Performance of composite materials usually suffers from process-induced defects such as dry spots or microscopic voids. While effects of void content in molded composites have been studied extensively, knowledge of void morphology and spatial distribution of voids in composites manufactured by resin transfer molding (RTM) remains limited. In this study, through-the-thickness void distribution for a disk-shaped, E-glass/epoxy composite part manufactured by resin transfer molding is investigated. Microscopic image analysis is conducted through-the-thickness of a radial sample obtained from the molded composite disk. Voids are primarily found to concentrate within or adjacent to the fiber preforms. More than 93% of the voids are observed within the preform or in a so-called transition zone, next to a fibrous region. In addition, viod content was found to fluctuate through-the-thickness of the composite. Variation up to 17% of the average viod content of 2.15% is observed through-the-thicknesses of the eight layers studied. Microscopic analysis revealed that average size of voids near the mold surfaces is slightly larger than those located at the interior of the composite. In addition, average size of voids that are located within the fiber preform is observed to be smaller than those located in other regions of the composite. Finally, proximity to the surface is found to have no apparent effect on shape of voids within the composite.

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