Composites A, Applied Science and Manufacturing vol:35 issue:12 pages:1407-1418
Time consumption is the major drawback of many existing set-ups for permeability measurement. This drawback has prevented many researchers from studying the statistical distribution of experimentally obtained permeability values. To overcome this problem-while maintaining the necessary accuracy-an automated central injection rig for permeability identification called `PIERS set-up' (permeability identification using electrical resistance sensors) was developed. The PIERS set-up was used to characterize two typical glass fiber reinforcements. The test results demonstrated the presence of large scatter in the identified permeability values and hence the necessity to consider a statistical distribution of permeability values. The existence of a permeability distribution implies that a small number of measurements will not be sufficient to fully characterize the material. This paper discusses the necessary number of measurements to adequately characterize the statistical distribution and investigates the origins of the observed scatter. The paper also shows that the nesting of layers during stacking and mold closing is a major source of the observed variations in permeability values. (C) 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.