Resin Transfer Molding (RTM) process in the manufacturing of a composite cylinder is investigated. Resin flow in the woven fiber mat is modeled as flow through porous media to determine resin velocity and pressure distribution along the part. Five-harness carbon and eight-harness fiberglass mats with epoxy resin composites are investigated. Fiber mat permeability for the two fiber types are determined experimentally. These values are then employed in numerical models to simulate the injection cycle of the RTM process. ANSYS finite element software is used to perform the analysis. The results indicate that resin velocity in fiberglass mats is almost six times the velocity in carbon fiber mats. This is due to the higher permeability of fiberglass mats. The sharp drop in the resin velocity into carbon fibers indicates that flow problems will exist in the manufacturing of large carbon/epoxy parts with RTM processes.

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