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D.C. Blest

a

, S. McKee

b,

*, A.K. Zulkie

b

, P. Marshall

c

a

School of Mathematics and Physics, University of Tasmania, Box 1214, Launceston, Tasmania, 7250 Australia

b

Department of Mathematics, University of Strathclyde, Livingstone Tower, 26 Richmond Street, Glasgow G1 IXH, UK

c

British Aerospace, Sowerby Research Centre, Bristol, UK

Received 31 July 1997; received in revised form 16 April 1999; accepted 19 July 1999

Abstract

This paper deals with the modelling and simulation of resin ow, heat transfer and the curing of a multilayer thermoset compo-

site by the resin lm infusion process. For approximately isothermal ows, the model is based on Darcy's Law and Stoke's equa-

tions where a similarity solution is obtained and subsequently used in a two-dimensional convection-diusion heat equation

coupled with a rate of cure equation. A nite dierence scheme is applied to the energy equation on a moving grid and simulations

for varying laminate thicknesses and number of plies are performed. # 1999 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

Keywords: Heat transfer; Thermoset composites; Resin infusion; Computer model

1. Introduction

Resin lm infusion is an alternative method to the

prepreg technique of fabricating composite materials.

The lay-up of the infusion process is similar to the pre-

preg process where dry bre plies, interspersed with

resin, are enclosed in a vacuum bag and placed in an

autoclave for curing to take place. Heat and pressure are

simultaneously applied to the set-up; this initiates an

exothermic chemical reaction and forces the resin to

infuse through the dry bres. As the resin completely

impregnates the dry bres and consolidation takes place,

it gels and solidies into the desired nished product.

Several investigators have studied and proposed

models for the RFI process used in composites manu-

facturing. Resin ow through the dry bres is con-

ventionally modelled as an unsaturated ow through

porous media, where Darcy's Law is employed. The

determination of the exact location of the ow front is

an important feature in the analysis. When high pres-

sure gradients are applied, it is necessary to treat the

bre layers as deformable, and a recent study of this

uidsstructure interaction problem has been treated by

Ambrosi and Preziosi [22]. Another important issue is

the elimination of trapped air where minimizing the

presence of voids can signicantly improve the quality

of the composite. As in the prepreg process, proper

selection of the cure cycle of the autoclave is important

in order to produce a high quality part where full resin

wet-out and complete, uniform curing are achieved at

the end of the process.

For steady ow through a wall-bounded porous

medium, Givler and Altobelli [9] have used the Brink-

manForchheimer equation to model the ow. They

noted that when a porous ow domain contains an

interface, the Brinkman term (j

e

\

2

v) is an important

determinant in predicting the development of boundary

layers which emanate from the interface. However,

inaccurate determination of j

e

, the eective viscosity,

has in the past tended to hamper the usage of this term.

Nassehi and Petera [10] presented a nite-element

method for linking the NavierStokes and Darcy equa-

tions along a porous inner boundary in a ow regime

governed by both of these equations. Ni et al. [20]

investigated a two-regional ow introducing an equiva-

lent permeability parameter for the ow in the bre free

region. A comprehensive study of single uid ow in

porous media with application to cylindrical beds of

brous mats has been presented by Liu and Masliyah

[15]. A discussion of ow in porous media with appli-

cation to composite processing has also been given by

Tucker and Dessenger (see Ref. [7]).

Both nite-element and nite-dierence approaches

have been employed to solve the macroscopic and

microscopic models. Coulter and Gu ceri [2] developed

a numerical code, TGIMP, for computing a two-

dimensional Darcy isothermal resin ow based on a

nite-dierence method using boundary-tted coordi-

nates with numerical grid generation. They determined

0266-3538/99/$ - see front matter # 1999 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

PI I : S0266- 3538( 99) 00084- 6

Composites Science and Technology 59 (1999) 22972313

* Corresponding author.

the resin front by relocating the computational nodes

using the resultant surface velocities and a pre-

determined time increment. Coulter and Gu ceri [3] also

performed physical experiments and found reasonable

agreement with results predicted by the TGIMP code.

Ahn et al. [4] proposed a model for the RFI vacuum

process which predicts the nal resin content of the

laminate and the desired autoclave processing cycle

required to eliminate voids. They dened a dimension-

less parameter, the Infusion Flow Number, which

describes the degree of impregnation of a preform based

on the total pressure, resin viscosity, resin velocity, pre-

form permeability and thickness of bre preform. They

controlled the resin content in the nal composite by

changing the initial amounts of resin in the bleeder and

they detected no voids using this process. This com-

pared well with the prepreg process which displayed

voids due to air pockets trapped in between the prepreg

layers during the lay-up. Bruschke and Advani [8] pre-

sented a non-isothermal viscous ow model, using a

nite element control volume method, to predict the free

surface of a shear-thinning resin injected through a bre

preform on the in-plane direction of a thin part.

Wymer and Engel [11] developed a numerical model to

study the ow of a thermoset resin through, and parallel

to, a heated unidirectional bre array, with temperature-

dependent viscosity. They considered a micro-model of

the nonisothermal incompressible ow of the resin,

employing the CrankNicolson nite dierence scheme

on the steady one-dimensional convective energy equa-

tion of the RTM process. Kang et al. [12] presented

numerical and experimental studies of the simulation of

resin transfer moulding (both non-isothermal mould

lling and curing) using a nite-element control-volume

technique. Malkin et al. [13] proposed a model for the

impregnation of liquid above a porous layer and applied

the model to moulding of low viscosity resin. Sadiq et

al. [14] investigated experimentally the transverse ow

through aligned cylinders and provided data for the

progress of the ow front and the formation of voids

through a heterogeneous bre bed. Loos and MacRae

[16] developed an analytical model to simulate the non-

isothermal inltration of resin in the resin lm infusion

process for manufacturing a blade-stiened panel. Their

model predicts the temperature, resin viscosity, and extent

of cure during inltration of an anisotropic bre preform

using a nite element/control volume technique.

Williams et al. [1] presented a comprehensive review

of the `resin infusion under exible tooling' process

(RIFT) which is a variant of the vacuum-driven RTM

in which one of the solid tool faces is replaced by a

exible polymeric lm. This process potentially is a safer

and more economical method of production, where

resin is drawn into the dry reinforcement in an evac-

uated vacuum bagged tool using only a partial vacuum

to drive the resin. Mogavero and Advani [19] performed

ow experiments through preforms composed of multi-

ple layers of reinforcement material, and investigated

the eect of varying the order of the lay-up of a xed

number of plies and the impact of varying the thickness

of individual layers of a thick preform. They found that

the weighted average scheme provided a reasonable esti-

mate for the eectiveness of the preforms. Yu and Young

[21] proposed an RTM simulation model integrated with

genetic algorithms to search for the process parameters

(the mould heating rate, mould temperature, resin lling

and curing temperatures) that could reduce cycle time

and enhance the uniformity of the nal product.

Ambrosi and Preziosi [22] proposed a model of resin

ow under isothermal conditions for an injection

moulding process. Their model allows for deformation

of the reinforcing network of the dry and the wetted

part of the preform generated by the inltration process.

Pillai and Advani [23] performed simulations of unsa-

turated ow of resin in woven and stitched bre mats

used in RTM using an adaptation of the Finite Ele-

ment/Control Volume (FEM/CV) technique. A dual-

scale porous medium was modelled and the inlet pres-

sures, inlet ll times, and mat saturation were studied.

Lekakou and Bader [24] proposed a macro- and a

micro-inltration model based Darcy's law incorporat-

ing mechanical, capillary and vacuum pressures. Pearce

et al. [25] conducted experiments to investigate ow

behaviour inside moulds where ow fronts converged

due to multiport injection in RTM processing. They

found that when ow fronts meet at a mould edge, they

merge and act as a single front and when the ow fronts

meet head-on, voids can be formed. Abraham and

McIlhagger [26] investigated experimentally the eect of

a gating arrangement and the use of vacuum and posi-

tive pressure transfer to maximize fabric wet-out and

minimize void content.

In our work, a similarity solution is developed for the

approximately isothermal ow of the resin, where Stokes'

slow ow equations are used in the bre-free regions and

Darcy's Law in the saturated bre regions. A nite dier-

ence scheme is then employed in the convection-diusion

heat equation which includes the heat source term from

the exothermic reactions to calculate the temperature and

cure proles of the laminate during the process.

2. Modelling the resin ow

The schematic diagram for the set-up, with the chosen

coordinate axis, is shown in Fig. 1. A one-dimensional

model is developed where the resin is assumed to be

Newtonian with constant viscosity and the ow is in the

direction of the applied vertical force normal to the dry

bre plies. The ow through the dry bre plies is con-

sidered as ow through a porous medium where Darcy's

law is employed.

2298 D.C. Blest et al. / Composites Science and Technology 59 (1999) 22972313

Initially there are 2n+1 layers, n dry bre plies inter-

spersed with n+1 resin layers where the resin is considered

to be in liquid form. A typical k dry bre ply, which is

considered as non-deformable and of constant thickness

d=h

2k

h

2k1

, is therefore the 2k layer of the lay-up, for

k=1, 2, . . ., n.

As external pressure is applied at the top plate,

y=h

2n+1

(t), the laminate is compressed, resulting in the

ow of the resin into the dry bre plies, thus wetting the

bres and consolidating the laminate while heat is

simultaneously applied in order to cure the resin into a

solid composite part.

The velocity and pressure in the resin region [L,

L][h

2k

, h

2k+1

] are denoted by v

r

2k1

and p

r

2k1

, while in

the lower wetted bre region [L, L][h

2k1

, o

2k1

] the

velocity and pressure are denoted by v

w.l

2k1

and p

w.l

2k1

and

in the upper wetted bre region [L, L][o

2k

, h

2k

] the

velocity and pressure are denoted by v

w.u

2k

and p

w.u

2k

for

k=1, 2,. . ., n.

In a typical (2k1) bre-free layer, k=1, 2,. . ., n+1,

indicated by the superscript r, resin is assumed to ow

only in the y-direction. Hence, the incompressiblity

condition can be written as

ov

r

2k1

oy

= 0 (1)

and the momentum equation in the x direction yields

op

r

2k1

ox

= 0 (2)

Given the high viscosity of the resin and considering a

quasi-steady-state assumption, the steady Stokes' equation

is employed to model the ow in the y-direction, so that

o

2

v

r

2k1

ox

2

=

op

r

2k1

oy

(3)

In the dry bre plies, as the resin can ow from above

or below each ply, an upper and lower wetted region is

identied for the pressure and velocity of each ply. The

wetted regions of the 2k layer are dened by

h

2k1

t ( )4y4o

l

2k1

t ( ) and o

u

2k

t ( )4y4h

2k

t ( ). (4)

k = 1. 2. . . . . n

where o

2k1

l

(t) and o

2k

u

(t) are the lower and upper free

surfaces respectively. The ow in the wetted regions,

denoted by the superscript w, can be described by the

continuity equation and the momentum equations in

the x and y directions of an amended Darcy's law, tak-

ing account of the vertical motion of the dry bre plies,

as

ov

w.i

2k

oy

= 0 (5)

op

w.i

2k

ox

= 0 (6)

v

w.i

2k

h

.

2k

t ( ) =

k

j

op

w.i

2k

oy

(7)

for k=1, 2,. . ., n where i=l, u denotes the lower or

upper wetted region respectively, h

.

2k

(t) is the velocity of

each dry bre ply, k is the permeability of the bre ply

and j is the dynamic viscosity of the resin. In this work,

both the parameters k and j are taken to be constant.

The boundary conditions for the velocities in the

above set-up are

. At the top and bottom plate, y=h

2n+1

(t) and y=0

respectively, the kinematic condition is imposed.

Thus

v

r

2n1

x. h

2n1

t ( ). t ( ) = h

.

2n1

t ( ) (8)

v

r

1

x. 0. t ( ) = 0 (9)

. At the resin-wet bre interfaces, a continuity con-

dition is imposed whereby

v

r

2k1

x. h

2k1

t ( ). t ( ) = v

w.l

2k

x. h

2k1

t ( ). t ( ). (10)

v

r

2k

x. h

2k

t ( ). t ( ) = v

w.u

2k

x. h

2k

t ( ). t ( ). (11)

Fig. 1. Set-up for n dry bre plies.

D.C. Blest et al. / Composites Science and Technology 59 (1999) 22972313 2299

for k=1,2,. . .,n

. At the free surfaces y=o

k

(t), k=1, 2,. . ., 2n, the

kinematic condition is applied whereby

v

w.l

2k

h

.

2k1

t ( ) = o

.

2k1

t ( ) h

.

2k1

t ( )

_ _

. (12)

v

w.u

2k

h

.

2k

t ( ) = o

.

2k

t ( ) h

.

2k

t ( )

_ _

(13)

for k=1, 2,. . . n, where is the porosity of the bre

ply.

The boundary conditions for the pressure are:

. At the top bounding plate, the external force F

a

acts

normal to the plate at y=h

2n+1

(t) in the negative y-

direction. Thus, applying a force balance over the

plate of length 2L gives the pressure condition as

p

r

2n1

x. h

2n1

t ( ). t ( ) =

F

a

2L

(14)

where L is the half-length of the ply.

. At the resin-wet bre interfaces y=h

k

(t), k=1,

2,. . ., 2n, the continuity condition is imposed

whereby

p

r

2k1

x. h

2k1

t ( ). t ( ) = p

w.l

2k

x. h

2k1

t ( ). t ( ) (15)

p

r

2k

x. h

2k

t ( ). t ( ) = p

w.u

2k

x. h

2k

t ( ). t ( ). (16)

for k=1, 2,. . ., n.

. At the free surfaces y=o

k

(t), k=1, 2,. . ., 2n, the

pressures are taken to be zero. Thus

p

w.l

2k

x. o

2k1

t ( ). t ( ) = 0. (17)

p

w.u

2k

x. o

2k

t ( ). t ( ) = 0. (18)

for k=1, 2,. . ., n.

A similarity solution is sought for the pressure and

velocity in both the bre-free and the wetted bre or

saturated regions (see Blest[28]). In the bre-free layers,

the pressure is in terms of t only (see Appendix A)

p

r

1

t ( ) = p

r

3

t ( ) = . . . = p

r

2n1

t ( ) =

F

a

2L

(19)

In a typical dry bre ply of the 2k layer, the pressure in

the upper wetted region is

p

w.u

2k

y. t ( ) =

j

k

h

.

2k

o

.

2k

_ _

y o

2k

( ) (20)

and in the (2k+1) resin layer is

p

r

2k1

t ( ) = p

w.u

2k

h

2k

t ( ). t ( )

=

j

k

h

.

2k

t ( ) o

2k

t ( )

_ _

h

2k

t ( ) o

2k

t ( ) ( ) (21)

In the upper wetted region of the 2k dry bre ply,

imposing the free-surface kinematic condition gives

v

w.u

2k

t ( ) = h

.

2k

t ( ) o

.

2k

t ( ) h

.

2k

(t)

_ _

(22)

At the bottom resin layer, imposing the kinematic

boundary condition at y=0 yields

v

r

1

t ( ) = 0.

The pressure in the rst resin layer is

p

r

1

t ( ) =

j

k

h

.

1

t ( ) h

1

t ( ) h

1.0

_ _

. (23)

The position of the bottom bre ply is

h

1

t ( ) = h

1.0

kF

a

t

Lj

_

. (24)

In the lowermost bre ply, the free surface of the lower

wetted region is

o

1

t ( ) =

1

h

1

t ( )

1

h

1.0

. (25)

and eliminating h

1

(t) in (25) using (24) yields

o

1

t ( ) = h

1.0

1

1

_ _

kF

a

t

Lj

_

. (26)

At the top resin layer, the velocity is

v

r

2n1

t ( ) = h

.

2n1

t ( ) (27)

and from (21) with k=n, the pressure is

p

r

2n1

t ( ) =

j

k

h

2n

t ( ) o

2n

t ( ) ( ) h

.

2n1

t ( ) h

.

2n

t ( )

_ _

. (28)

In terms of its initial position, the position of the top

plate is

h

2n1

t ( ) = h

2n1.0

2n 1 ( )

kF

a

t

Lj

_

. (29)

From the initial condition o

2k

(0)=h

2k

(0)=h

2k,0

, the

position of the free surfaces of the upper wetted regions

in the 2k bre ply can be found to be (see Appendix A)

2300 D.C. Blest et al. / Composites Science and Technology 59 (1999) 22972313

o

2k

t ( ) = h

2k

t ( )

kF

a

t

Lj

_

. k = 1. 2. . . . . n. (30)

The position of the free surfaces in the lower wetted

regions in the 2k bre plies are

o

2k1

t ( ) = h

2k1

t ( )

kF

a

t

Lj

_

. k = 0. 1 . . . . n 1. (31)

Hence, the heights of the resin-bre interfaces and the

free-surface ow fronts for a typical k layer, are

h

2k1

= h

2k1.0

2k 1 ( )

kF

a

t

Lj

_

. k = 0. 1. . . . . n (32)

h

2k

= h

2k1

d. k = 1. 2. . . . . n (33)

o

2k1

= h

2k1.0

2k 1

1

_ _

kF

a

t

Lj

_

.

k = 0. 1. . . . . n 1

(34)

o

2k

= h

2k.0

2k 1

1

_ _

kF

a

t

Lj

_

.

k = 1. 2. . . . . n

(35)

where we recall that n is the total number of bre layers

and d is the constant thickness of a bre layer.

Thus, dierentiating (32)(35), we obtain the velocities

of both the bre layers and the free-surface fronts:

h

.

2k1

= k

1

2

_ _

kF

a

Ljt

_

. k = 0. 1. . . . . n (36)

h

.

2k

= h

.

2k1

. k = 1. 2. . . . . n (37)

o

.

2k1

=

1

2

2k 1

1

_ _

kF

a

Ljt

_

. k = 0. 1. . . . . n (38)

o

.

2k

=

1

2

2k 1

1

_ _

kF

a

Ljt

_

. k = 1. 2. . . . . n (39)

3. Heat transfer model

The heat applied in the autoclave initiates an exo-

thermic heat reaction of the resin. As the resin ows

into the dry bre layers there are three dierent regions

through which the heat transfer process will occur,

namely the bre-free resin regions, the wetted bre

regions and the dry bre regions.

In the bre-free resin layers, the two-dimensional

convection-diusion heat equation can be expressed as

oT

r

ot

v

r

oT

r

oy

= K

r

o

2

T

r

ox

2

o

2

T

r

oy

2

_ _

H

R

c

r

oo

ot

. (40)

while in the wetted bre layers, which is considered as

saturated porous layers, the heat transfer is described by

oT

w

ot

v

w

oT

w

oy

= K

w

o

2

T

w

ox

2

o

2

T

w

oy

2

_ _

H

R

c

w

oo

ot

(41)

and in the dry bre layers, in the absence of resins, only

the conduction mode occurs, and hence

oT

f

ot

= K

f

o

2

T

f

ox

2

o

2

T

f

oy

2

_ _

(42)

where T

i

=T(x,y,t), i=r,w,f denote the temperature, v

i

,

i=r,w denote the vertical velocity ow component,

o x. Y. t ( ) is the degree of cure of the resin and the suf-

ces r,w and f denote the resin, wetted bre and dry

bre layers respectively. K

i

, i=r,w,f are the thermal dif-

fusivities, c

i

, i=r,w,f are the thermal specic heats, is

the voidage of the bre layer and H

R

is the heat of

reaction of the resin.

The thermal diusivities are dened by

K

i

=

k

i

,

i

c

i

for i = r. w. f (43)

where k

i

are the thermal conductivities and ,

i

are the

densities of the respective regions.

In the wetted bre regions, the values of the thermal

conductivity and heat capacity are expressed by the rule

of mixtures [31]

k

w

= k

r

1 ( )k

f

. (44)

c

w

,

w

= c

r

,

r

1 ( )c

f

,

f

. (45)

where the suces r and f again denote the resin and dry

bre properties respectively. The expressions for the rate

of degree of cure for the thermoset resin are obtained

from Lee et al. [27]; they are

oo

ot

=

a

1

a

2

o ( ) 1 o ( ) 0.47 o ( ) o40.3

a

3

1 o ( ) o > 0.3

_

(46)

where the temperature-dependent a

i

, i=1, 2, 3 are

a

i

= A

1

exp

E

i

RT

_ _

. i = 1. 2. 3.

D.C. Blest et al. / Composites Science and Technology 59 (1999) 22972313 2301

A

i

are specied pre-exponential factors, E

i

are the

known activation energies, and R is the universal gas

constant. The degree of cure takes the value zero initi-

ally and the value 1 when fully cured.

3.1. Boundary and initial conditions

The initial temperature, T

ini

, is assumed to be uniform

across the dierent regions and also assumed known,

T

r

x. y. 0 ( ) = T

w

x. y. 0 ( ) = T

f

x. y. 0 ( ) = T

ini

(47)

The prescribed autoclave temperature, T

a

, is assumed

known and is imposed at the top and bottom bounding

plates of the laminates at y=h

2n+1

(t) and y=0 respec-

tively. Thus

T

r

x. 0. t ( ) = T

r

x. h

2n1

t ( ). t ( ) = T

a

. (48)

The laminates are also assumed to be insulated at the

ends x=L; thus

oT

r

ox

L. y. t ( ) =

oT

w

ox

L. y. t ( ) =

oT

f

ox

L. y. t ( ) = 0.

(49)

oT

r

ox

L. y. t ( ) =

oT

w

ox

L. y. t ( ) =

oT

f

ox

L. y. t ( ) = 0. (50)

Continuity conditions for the temperature and ux

are imposed at the interface of the saturated bre and

the bre-free layers:

T

r

x. h

k

t ( ). t ( ) = T

w

x. h

k

t ( ). t ( ).

k

r

oT

r

oy

x. h

k

t ( ). t ( ) = k

w

oT

w

oy

x. h

k

t ( ). t ( )

_

k = 1. 2. . . . . 2n

and at the free surfaces:

T

w

x. o

k

t ( ). t ( ) = T

f

x. o

k

t ( ). t ( ).

k

w

oT

w

oy

x. o

k

t ( ). t ( ) = k

f

oT

f

oy

x. o

k

t ( ). t ( )

_

k = 1. 2. . . . . 2n.

4. Solution techniques

The following non-dimensionalised variables are intro-

duced to facilitate the numerical solution procedure:

x~ =

x

d

. y~ =

y

d

. v~

i

=

v

i

V

. T

~

i

=

T

i

T

ini

_ _

T

a

T

ini

( )

and t

~

=

tK

r

d

2

for i=r,w,f, where d is the thickness of a dry bre layer

and V is the velocity of the uppermost plate, h

2n+1

(t).

In the bre-free resin layers, the non-dimensional heat

equation becomes

oT

r

ot

Pev

r

oT

r

oy

=

o

2

T

r

ox

2

o

2

T

r

oy

2

_ _

J

r

oo

ot

(51)

while in the wetted bre layers, Eq. (41) transforms to

oT

w

ot

Pev

w

oT

w

oy

= D

w

o

2

T

w

ox

2

o

2

T

w

oy

2

_ _

J

w

oo

ot

(52)

and in the dry bre layers, Eq. (42) manifests itself as

oT

f

ot

= D

f

o

2

T

f

ox

2

o

2

T

f

oy

2

_ _

(53)

Note that the tilde has been omitted. The dimensionless

numbers are

Pe =

Vd

K

r

. (54)

J

r

=

H

R

c

r

T

a

T

ini

( )

. (55)

J

w

=

,

r

H

R

c

w

,

w

T

a

T

ini

( )

. (56)

D

f

=

K

f

K

r

. (57)

D

w

=

K

w

K

r

. (58)

The degree of cure Eq. (46) becomes

oo

ot

=

_

C

1

C

2

o ( ) (1 o) 0.47 o ( ) o40.3.

C

3

1 o ( ) o > 0.3

(59)

where

C

i

=

d

2

a

i

K

r

. i = 1. 2. 3. (60)

The solutions to the coupled, non-dimensionalised

temperature and degree of cure Eqs. (51), (52), (53) and

(59) are determined in a domain which changes with time.

The modied Euler method is used to discretize the

rst-order degree of cure Eq. (59). The predictor-cor-

rector method can be expressed as

2302 D.C. Blest et al. / Composites Science and Technology 59 (1999) 22972313

o

+

n1

= o

n

tf o

n

( ) predictor (61)

o

n1

= o

n

1

2

t f o

n

( ) f o

+

n1

_ _ _ _

corrector (62)

The alternating direction implicit (ADI) nite dier-

ence scheme with the appropriate upwinding, proposed

by McKee et al. [32], is employed to discretize the

energy Eqs. (51), (52), (53). The ADI method in split

form is given by

1

ra

2

_ _

T

l

( )

m1

+

i.j

= 1 sao

2

y

qv

l

PeV

y

ra

2

o

2

x

_ _

T

l

( )

m

i.j

tJ

l

g o

m

i.j

. T

l

( )

m

m.j

_ _

(63)

1

sa

2

qv

l

Pe

2

V

y

_ _

T

l

( )

m1

i.j

= T

l

( )

m1

+

i.j

sa

2

o

2

y

qv

l

Pe

2

V

y

_ _

T

l

( )

m

i.j

(64)

where (T

l

)

i,j

m

, l=r,w,f represents the approximate tem-

perature in the respective l layer of resin, wet bre or

dry bre at the mth time level for the node (i,j), where

x

i

=x

0

+ix. i N and y

j

=y

0

+jy. j N.

The dierence notations used are

V

y

T

l

( )

m

i.j

= T

l

( )

m

i.j

T

l

( )

m

i.j1

o

2

x

T

l

( )

m

i.j

= T

l

( )

m

i1.j

2 T

l

( )

m

i.j

T

l

( )

m

i1.j

o

2

y

T

l

( )

m

i.j

= T

l

( )

m

i.j

T

l

( )

m

i.j

T

l

( )

m

i.j1

and

a =

_

D

w

for the wetted fibre region

D

f

for the dry fibre region

1 for the resin layer

p, q, r and s are dened as

p = t,x. q = t,y. r = t,x

2

and

s = t,y

2

(65)

and g(o

m

i.j

. T

l

( )

m

i.j

) is the exothermic reaction function

from (59).

5. Numerical results

The simulation to obtain the temperature distribution

and the degree of cure distribution during the process is

performed for 16, 32 and 52 plies of bres which are

initially dry. The thermal material constants employed

can be found in Loos and Springer [29] and are given in

Table 1. Other data constants for the ow properties

used for the simulation are given in Table 2 (Blest [28]).

The value of constants used in the curing equations are

obtained from Lee et al. [27] and are given in Table 3.

Fig. 2 shows the computed change in the non-dimen-

sional thickness of the resin layers with time as pressure

is applied to laminates consisting of three dierent

numbers of plies. It is observed that for the given mag-

nitude of force and viscosity (j=1, constant), the resin

inltration into the dry bres and the consolidation of

the saturated plies are almost instantaneous for all the

thicknesses.

Figs. 3 and 4 show temperature versus time at the

centre of a composite consisting of dierent numbers of

plies at heating rates of 2.8 K/min and 11.1 K/min

respectively. At both rates of heating, exotherms are

observed to occur for all the composites and the

magnitude of the exotherms is seen to increase for

thicker composites.

Fig. 5 shows the degree of cure versus time at the

centre of a composite consisting of dierent numbers of

plies at a heating rate of 2.8 K/min. It can be seen that

the predicted time for maximum cure to be achieved

increases as the laminate thickness increases.

Fig. 6 compares the temperature at the centre of a 16-

ply composite for heating rates of 2.8 K/min and 11.1

K/min respectively. It can be seen that for the same

thickness, higher exotherms are predicted for higher

heating rates.

Fig. 7 compares the cure at the centre of a 16-ply

composite for two dierent heating rates and it can be

seen that the time to achieve maximum cure is increased

as the heating rates increases.

Table 1

Material properties of Hercules 3501-6 resin and bre

Resin density, ,

r

1.2610

3

kg/m

3

Specic heat of resin, c

r

1.2610

3

J/(kg K)

Thermal conductivity of resin, k

r

1.6710

1

W/(m.K)

Heat of reaction of resin, H

R

474 J/g

Fiber density, ,

f

1.7910

3

kg/m

3

Specic heat of bre, c

f

7.1210

2

J/(kg K)

Thermal conductivity of bre, k

f

2.6010

1

W/(m.K)

Gas constant, R 8.31435 J/Kmol

Initial ambient temperature, T

ini

300 K

Applied cure temperature, T

C

450 K

Permeability of porous mat, k 10

16

m

2

Applied force, F

a

10

3

N

Table 2

Flow parameters from Blest [28]

Resin viscosity, j 1.0 Pas

Porosity, 0.5

Half-length of composite, L 0.5 m

D.C. Blest et al. / Composites Science and Technology 59 (1999) 22972313 2303

Figs. 8 and 9 show a one-dimensional prole of tem-

perature through the thickness at dierent times for a

16-ply and a 32-ply composite at a heating rate of 11.1

K/min. From the graphs, the model predicts a fairly

uniform temperature distribution for the selected cure

cycle throughout the process. The gures also display

the eects of the exotherms as the composite thickness

increases.

6. Experimental investigation

In an experimental investigation 4 layers (equiva-

lently, 8 plies) of stitched fabric were used. The plies in

each layer were oriented alternatively at +45

and 45

ties in both in-plane directions. Two separate cases were

investigated; in the rst, resin was distributed at the top

and bottom of the stack of bers, and in the second the

Table 3

Curing constants of Hercules 3501-6 resin

Pre-exponential constant, A

1

2.101 10

9

min

1

Pre-exponential constant, A

2

2.104 10

9

min

1

Pre-exponential constant, A

3

1.960 10

5

min

1

Activation Energy, E

1

8.0710

4

J/mol

Activation Energy, E

2

7.7810

4

J/mol

Activation Energy, E

3

5.6610

4

J/mol

Fig. 2. Resin thickness vs time.

Fig. 3. Temperature vs time at the centre of the composites at heating

rate 2.8 K/min.

Fig. 4. Temperature vs time at the centre of the composites at heating

rate 11.1 K/min.

Fig. 5. Cure vs time at the centre of the composites at heating rate 2.8

K/min.

2304 D.C. Blest et al. / Composites Science and Technology 59 (1999) 22972313

same amount of resin was applied at the top only. The

applied pressure was 85 psi (5.8610

5

Nm

2

), and the

temperature was quickly ramped to 175

a 30 min period. Here it may be remarked that the resin

utilised begins to gel after such a length of time at this

temperature. In each case the nal thickness of the

laminate was approximately 3.5 mm.

For the rst case, Fig. 10 shows complete impregna-

tion of all plies although the 5th ply from the top indi-

cates some small defects. Fig. 11 represents an increased

magnication of the right-hand micrograph in Fig. 10.

However, when the same experimental regime was

applied to the stack with resin at the top only, only 6

out of 8 plies were impregnated, as is indicated in Fig.

12. It is clear that when the resin was placed at both

ends of the stack of bers, the infusion process is more

successful and achieved full penetration in a shorter

time; this was of course predicted by the model, and

entirely to be expected.

For a one resin, one ber set-up, Eqs. (34) and (35)

for the impermeation depth reduce to

o =

kPt

j

_

(66)

where P denotes the pressure.

Additional experimentation on the resin alone, over a

cure cycle equivalent to that of the infusion process,

shows that the viscosity is below 10 Pas. Given the very

large changes in the viscosity over the cure cycle (as

Fig. 6. Comparison of temperature vs time at the centre of the com-

posites at dierent heating rates.

Fig. 7. Comparison of degree of cure vs time at the centre of the

composite at dierent heating rates.

Fig. 8. Temperature vs normalized height at dierent times during the

process for n=16 plies.

Fig. 9. Temperature vs normalized height at dierent times during the

process for n=32 plies.

D.C. Blest et al. / Composites Science and Technology 59 (1999) 22972313 2305

much as from 1 to 10

5

Pas), an estimated viscosity of 10

Pas with an impermeation period of 15 min was adop-

ted for the purpose of representing the cycle. The per-

meability, k, more dicult to obtain, is estimated to lie

between 510

3

and 510

4

m

2

, and 10

3

was adopted

for the order of magnitude calculation. Typical values

of the porosity lie near 0.5. With these values,

o = 3.25mm (67)

Given the average values taken for the parameters this

is a reasonable match for the measured value of 3.5(6/

8)=2.625 mm.

Finally, there was no evidence of distinctly diering

resin distributions away from the centres of the micro-

graphed sections, allowing some support for the one-

dimensional model of the uid ow oered in this paper.

Appendix A

Derivation of RFI ow equations

We rst note that an ``internal'' layer, whether it be

bre or resin, has (geometrical) symmetry. The bottom

resin layer (k=1) and the top layer (k=2n+1) must be

considered separately.

Fig. 10. Section through centre of 8 ply composite made with resin lm at top and bottom.

Fig. 11. Section through centre of 8 ply composite made with resin

lm at top and bottom x50.

2306 D.C. Blest et al. / Composites Science and Technology 59 (1999) 22972313

We begin, however, by making a number of observa-

tions for all layers. Firstly, in the bre-free (2k1) layer of

resin, integrating the incompressibility condition (1) yields

v

r

2k1

= v

r

2k1

x. t ( ) (i.e. v

r

2k1

is not a function of y)

and integrating the momentum Eq. (2) yields

p

r

2k1

= p

r

2k1

y. t ( ) i.e. p

r

2k1

is not a functionof x

_ _

. (A1)

Hence, dierentiating (A1) with respect to x, reduces

Eq. (3) to

o

3

v

r

2k1

ox

3

= 0

which, upon integration, yields

v

r

2k1

x. t ( ) = A

2k1

t ( )x

2

B

2k1

t ( )x C

2k1

t ( ). (A2)

Similarly, in a typical (either upper or lower) wetted

region of the 2k bre layer, dened by (4), integrating

(5) and (6) respectively yields

v

w.i

2k

= v

w.i

2k

x. t ( ) (A3)

p

w.i

2k

= p

w.i

2k

y. t ( ) (A4)

where i=u,l denotes upper or lower regions respectively.

Hence dierentiating (7) with respect to y gives:

o

2

oy

2

p

w.i

2k

y. t ( ) = 0

which on integrating yields the pressure

p

w.u

2k

y. t ( ) = Q

u

2k

y R

u

2k

. (A5)

p

w.l

2k

y. t ( ) = Q

l

2k

y R

l

2k

. (A6)

where Q and R are functions of t.

Further, the velocity expressions in the lower and

upper wetted regions may be obtained from (7):

v

w.u

2k

t ( ) = h

.

2k

t ( )

k

j

Q

u

2k

. (A7)

v

w.l

2k

t ( ) = h

.

2k1

t ( )

k

j

Q

l

2k

. (A8)

The dependence of p

r

2k1

y. t ( ) and v

r

2k1

x. t ( ) on t only

will now be established. Recall that

v

r

2k1

x. t ( ) = A

2k1

t ( )x

2

B

2k1

t ( )x C

2k1

t ( ) (A9)

Fig. 12. Section through centre of 8 ply composite made with resin lm on top only.

D.C. Blest et al. / Composites Science and Technology 59 (1999) 22972313 2307

and

v

w.l

2k

x. t ( ) = h

.

2k1

t ( )

k

j

Q

l

2k

t ( ). (A10)

At y = h

2k1

t ( ) the continuity of the normal velocity is

assumed, that is

v

r

2k1

x. t ( ) = v

w.l

2k

x. t ( ) (A11)

which implies, upon equating coecients of powers of x,

A

2k1

= B

2k1

= 0 (A12)

and

C

2k1

= h

.

2k1

t ( )

k

j

Q

l

2k

t ( ). (A13)

Thus v

r

2k1

x. t ( ) is a function of t only, and henceforth

will be denoted by v

r

2k1

t ( ). Note that this argument

holds for all k=1, 2,. . ., n.

The assumption of continuity of normal velocity is

really valid only for high porosity (i.e. ~ 1) a more

accurate requirement might be continuity of ux, that is

1

v

r

2k1

x. t ( ) = v

w.l

2k

x. t ( ) etc.

Now consider the pressure in the general resin layer.

From (3)

o

oy

p

r

2k1

=

o

2

ox

2

v

r

2k1

= 0 (A14)

using the fact that v

r

2k1

has now been shown to be a

function of t only. This demonstrates that p

2

2k1

is inde-

pendent of y. However, from (2), p

2

2k1

is also indepen-

dent of x, and so can only be a function of t. Henceforth,

we shall write

p

r

2k1

y. t ( ) = p

r

2k1

t ( ).

Note again that this is true for all resin layers, k=1,

2,. . ., n.

The fact that the p

r

2n1

y. t ( ) is also a function of t only

is established later [e.g. see (A39)].

Now from (A5), applying the zero pressure condition

of the upper free surface y = o

2k

t ( ) yields

R

u

2k

= Q

u

2k

o

2k

t ( ). (A15)

The pressure is assumed to be continuous on the inter-

face y = h

2k

t ( ), that is,

p

r

2k1

t ( ) = p

w.u

2k

h

2k

t ( ). t ( ) = Q

u

2k

h

2k

t ( ) R

u

2k

(A16)

using (A5). However, from (A15) we have

p

r

2k1

t ( ) = Q

u

2k

h

2k

t ( ) o

2k

t ( ) ( ). (A17)

(Note that since we have shown p

r

2k1

is independent of

y, this is true for all y h

2k

. h

2k1

[ [.) But, imposing the

free surface kinematic condition, (13) in the upper wet-

ted 2k brous layer gives

v

w.u

2k

t ( ) = h

.

2k

o

.

2k

h

.

2k

_ _

(A18)

and comparing this with (A7) yields

Q

u

2k

=

j

k

o

.

2k

h

.

2k

_ _

. (A19)

Thus, inserting (A19) into (A17) gives

p

r

2k1

t ( ) = p

w.u

2k

h

2k.

t

_ _

=

j

k

h

.

2k

o

.

2k

_ _

h

2k

o

2k

( ). (A20)

Also, inserting (A15) and (A19) into (A5) gives

p

w.u

2k

y. t ( ) =

j

k

h

.

2k

o

.

2k

_ _

(y o

2k

). (A21)

We shall nowconsider k=1 separately. At y=0 we have

v

r

1

t ( ) = 0. (A22)

and since we have demonstrated that v

r

is not a function

of y (i.e. the resin in the bottom layer is static) we have

v

r

1

t ( ) = 0 for all y c 0. h

1

t ( ) [ ].

At y=h

1

(t) we assume continuity of ow, that is

v

r

1

t ( ) = v

w.l

2

t ( ) = h

.

1

t ( )

k

j

Q

l

2

which implies

h

.

1

t ( ) =

k

j

Q

l

2

. (A23)

However, we require the continuity of pressure across

y=h

1

(t), that is

p

r

1

t ( ) = p

w.l

2

h

1

t ( ). t ( ) = Q

l

2

h

1

t ( ) R

l

2

. (A24)

2308 D.C. Blest et al. / Composites Science and Technology 59 (1999) 22972313

But the pressure p

1

r

(t) has been shown to be independent

of y and so

p

r

1

t ( ) = Q

l

2

h

1

t ( ) R

l

2

for all yc 0. h

1

t ( ) [ ]

=

j

k

h

.

1

t ( )h

1

t ( ) R

l

2

from(A23) (A25)

Furthermore on the free surface y=o

1

(t), there is zero

pressure:

p

w.l

2

o

1

t ( ). t ( ) = 0

which implies that

R

l

2

= Q

l

2

o

1

t ( )

so that

p

r

1

t ( ) =

j

k

h

.

1

t ( ) h

1

t ( ) o

1

t ( ) ( ). (A26)

At y=o

1

(t) there is also the kinematic condition, that is

v

w.l

2

h

.

1

t ( ) = o

.

1

t ( ) h

.

1

t ( )

_ _

. (A27)

But this expression is independent of y and so must hold

for all y h

1

t ( ). o

1

t ( ) [ [. Equating (A27) with the velocity

v

r

1

= 0 ( )at y = h

1

t ( ) gives

h

.

1

t ( ) = o

.

1

t ( ) h

.

1

t ( )

_ _

which, after rearranging and integrating, gives

1 ( )h

1

t ( ) o

1

t ( ) = constant.

The constant may be determined by applying the initial

condition for the free surface:

o

1

0 ( ) = h

1

0 ( ) = h

1.0

yielding

o

1

t ( ) =

1

h

1

t ( )

1

h

1.0

. (A28)

and so eliminating o

1

(t) in (A26) yields

p

r

1

t ( ) =

j

k

h

.

1

h

1

h

1.0

_ _

. (A29)

We consider the bre layer k=n where the velocity

and pressure in the upper wetted layer are

v

w.u

2n

t ( ) = h

.

2n

t ( )

k

j

Q

u

2n

. (A30)

p

w.u

2n

y. t ( ) = Q

u

2n

y R

u

2n

. (A31)

From the continuity conditions at the interface

y = h

2n

t ( ) the pressure is

p

r

2n1

h

2n.

t

_ _

= Q

u

2n

h

2n

R

u

2n

. (A32)

Applying the zero-pressure free-surface condition at

y = o

2n

gives

0 = Q

u

2n

o

2n

R

u

2n

. (A33)

Hence,

R

u

2n

= Q

u

2n

o

2n

. (A34)

Applying the kinematic condition (13) at y = o

2n

gives

Q

u

2n

=

j

k

o

.

2n

h

.

2n

_ _

. (A35)

Hence, the velocity and pressure in the 2n layer are

v

w.u

2n

t ( ) = h

.

2n

o

.

2n

h

.

2n

_ _

. (A36)

p

w.u

2n

y. t ( ) =

j

k

o

.

2n

h

.

2n

_ _

y o

2n

( ). (A37)

We now consider the topmost resin layer where the

velocity of the top plate is v

r

2n1

t ( ) = h

.

2n1

t ( ). Matching

this velocity with the velocity of the upper wetted bre

layer (A7), at y=h

2n

, yields

Q

u

2n

=

j

k

h

.

2n1

h

.

2n

_ _

. (A38)

In (A5), applying the zero pressure condition at y =

o

2n

t ( ) and substituting into (A38), k=n, gives

p

r

2n1

t ( ) = p

w.u

2n

h

2n

t ( ). t ( )

=

j

k

h

2n

o

2n

( ) h

.

2n1

h

.

2n

_ _

. (A39)

We now turn our attention to the top resin layer,

y=h

2n1

, where the applied force, F

a

, is opposed by

the viscosity of the resin. A force balance over the top

plate of length 2L gives

F

a

=

_

L

L

p

r

2n1

t ( )dx (A40)

and on integration yields

D.C. Blest et al. / Composites Science and Technology 59 (1999) 22972313 2309

p

r

2n1

t ( ) =

F

a

2L

. (A41)

Since the pressure in this layer is a function of t only,

p

r

2n1

t ( ) =

F

a

2L

for y c h

2n

. h

2n1

[ ]. (A42)

Furthermore, since the bre layers are assumed incom-

pressible, the next resin layer will experience the same

pressure and so on. We can, therefore, conclude that

p

r

1

t ( ) = p

r

3

t ( ) = . . . = p

r

2n1

t ( ) =

F

a

2L

. (A43)

Equation (A20) now becomes a dierential equation in

h

2k

o

2k

:

h

.

2k

o

.

2k

_ _

h

2k

o

2k

( ) =

kF

a

2Lj

. (A44)

Integrating and applying the initial condition o

2k

(0) =

h

2k

(0) = h

2k.0

results in

o

2k

= h

2k

kF

a

t

Lj

_

. k = 1. 2. . . . . n. (A45)

From the geometry (see Fig. 1), o

2k

- h

2k

and conse-

quently the minus sign has been chosen. This relates the

moving front o

2k

t ( ) to the interface h

2k

t ( ). However, we

also require an expression for o

2k1

t ( ). To obtain this we

return to p

r

2k1

t ( ) and p

w.l

2k2

(t). Requiring continuity at

y = h

2k1

t ( ) implies

p

r

2k1

t ( ) = p

w.l

2k2

h

2k1

t ( ). t ( )

= Q

l

2k2

h

2k1

t ( ) R

l

2k2

. (A46)

From (A6), applying the zero-pressure surface-condition

at the lower surface y = o

2k1

implies

R

l

2k2

= Q

l

2k2

o

2k1

t ( ). (A47)

Again we have the kinematic condition (13):

v

w.l

2k2

t ( ) = h

.

2k1

o

.

2k1

h

.

2k1

_ _

(A48)

which implies

Q

l

2k2

=

j

k

o

.

2k1

h

.

2k1

_ _

. (A49)

Thus

p

r

2k1

t ( ) =

j

k

o

.

2k1

h

.

2k1

_ _

h

2k1

o

2k1

( ) (A50)

Using (A43) we obtain the dierential equation

o

.

2k1

h

.

2k1

_ _

o

2k1

h

2k1

( ) =

kF

a

2Lj

. (A51)

Integrating the above yields

1

2

o

2k1

h

2k1

( )

2

=

kF

a

t

2Lj

constant. (A52)

But the constant is 0, since h

2k1

0 ( ) = o

2k1

0 ( ) = h

2k1.0

.

Therefore

o

2k1

h

2k1

=

kF

a

Lj

_

.

(A53)

Rearranging the above gives

o

2k1

= h

2k1

kF

a

t

Lj

_

. k = 0. 1. . . . . n 1. (A54)

For the general 2k+1 resin and 2k bre regions we

have

v

r

2k1

= v

w.l

2k2

= h

.

2k1

o

.

2k1

h

.

2k1

_ _

(A55)

v

w.u

2k

= h

.

2k

o

.

2k

h

.

2k

_ _

. (A56)

At y = h

2k

we have v

r

2k1

= v

w.u

2k

so that

h

.

2k1

h

.

2k

o

.

2k1

h

.

2k1

_ _

o

.

2k

h

.

2k

_ _

= 0

(A57)

or, upon rearranging,

1 ( ) h

.

2k1

h

.

2k

_ _

= o

.

2k1

o

.

2k

_ _

= [ h

.

2k1

1

2

kF

a

Ljt

_ _ _

(A58)

h

.

2k

1

2

kF

a

Ljt

_ _ _

] (A59)

= h

.

2k1

h

.

2k

_ _

kF

a

Ljt

_ _ _

. (A60)

2310 D.C. Blest et al. / Composites Science and Technology 59 (1999) 22972313

Thus

h

.

2k1

h

.

2k

=

kF

a

Ljt

_

. (A61)

Integrating and using

h

2k1

= h

2k1.0

and h

2k

= h

2k.0

when t = 0 (A62)

gives

h

2k1

h

2k

= h

2k2.0

h

2k.0

2

kF

a

t

Lj

_

. (A63)

Consider (A27), where now

F

a

2L

= p

r

1

t ( ) =

j

k

h

.

1

h

1

h

1.0

_ _

. (A64)

Integrating this gives

h

1

t ( ) = h

1.0

kF

a

t

jL

_

. (A65)

We now prove the following:

h

2k1

t ( ) = h

2k1.0

2k 1 ( )

kF

a

t

jL

_

(A66)

o

2k1

t ( ) = h

2k1.0

2k 1

1

_ _

kF

a

t

jL

_

(A67)

o

2k

t ( ) = h

2k.0

2k 1

1

_ _

kF

a

t

jL

_

(A68)

with h

2k

=h

2k+1

+d. Consider

h

2k1

t ( ) = h

2k1.0

2k 1 ( )

kF

a

t

jL

_

.

k = 0. 1. . . . . n.

(A69)

Setting k=0, we obtain

h

1

t ( ) = h

1.0

kF

a

t

jL

_

(A70)

which is none other than (A65). Assume (A69) is true

for k=v1:

h

2v1

= h

2v1.0

2v 1 ( )

kF

a

t

jL

_

(A71)

Thus (A63) for k=v becomes

h

2v1

= h

2v

h

2v1.0

h

2v.0

2

kF

a

t

jL

_

= h

2v1

d ( ) h

2v1.0

h

2v1.0

d

_ _

2

kF

a

t

jL

_

= h

2v1.0

2v 1 ( )

kF

a

t

jL

_ _ _

h

2v1.0

h

2v1.0

2

kF

a

t

jL

_

= h

2v1.0

2v 1 ( )

kF

a

t

jL

_

(A72)

which completes the induction argument.

From (A54) we have

o

2k1

t ( ) = h

2k1

t ( )

kF

a

t

jL

_

. (A73)

Therefore

o

2k1

t ( ) = h

2k1.0

2k 1 ( )

kF

a

t

jL

_ _ _

1

kF

a

t

jL

_

= h

2k1.0

2k 1

1

_ _

kF

a

t

jL

_

.

(A74)

Similarly

o

2k

t ( ) = h

2k

kF

a

t

jL

_

= h

2k1

d

kF

a

t

jL

_

= h

2k1.0

2 k 1 ( ) 1 ( )

kF

a

t

jL

_

d

1

kF

a

t

jL

_

= h

2k.0

2k 1

1

_ _

kF

a

t

jL

_

.

(A75)

Thus (A66)(A68) have been demonstrated to be true.

We now consider the top layer resin layer. Eliminating

the pressure in (A39) using (A43) and eliminating o

2n

t ( )

using (A45) with k=n results in

h

.

2n1

h

.

2n

=

kF

a

4Ljt

_

. (A76)

Integrating the above yields

D.C. Blest et al. / Composites Science and Technology 59 (1999) 22972313 2311

h

2n1

= h

2n

h

2n1.0

h

2n.0

kF

a

t

Lj

_

. (A77)

But

h

2n

= h

2n.0

2n

kF

a

t

Lj

_

. (A78)

Hence

h

2n1

= h

2n.0

2n

kF

a

t

Lj

_ _ _

h

2n1.0

h

2n.0

kF

a

t

Lj

_

= h

2n1.0

2n 1 ( )

kF

a

t

Lj

_

.

(A79)

In summary, the heights of the resin-bre interfaces

and the free-surface ow fronts for a typical k layer, are

h

2k1

= h

2k1.0

2k 1 ( )

kF

a

t

Lj

_

. k = 0. 1. . . . . n

(A80)

h

2k

= h

2k1

d. k = 1. 2. . . . . n (A81)

o

2k1

= h

2k1.0

2k 1

1

_ _

kF

a

t

Lj

_

.

k = 0. 1. . . . . n 1

(A82)

o

2k

= h

2k.0

2k 1

1

_ _

kF

a

t

Lj

_

.

k = 1. 2. . . . . n.

(A83)

where we recall that n is the total number of bre layers

and d is the constant thickness of a bre layer.

Thus, dierentiating (A80)(A82), we then obtain the

velocities of both the bre layers and the free-surface

fronts:

h

.

2k1

= k

1

2

_ _

kF

a

Ljt

_

. k = 0. 1. . . . . n (A84)

h

.

2k

= h

.

2k1

. k = 1. 2. . . . . n (A85)

o

.

2k1

=

1

2

2k 1

1

_ _

kF

a

Ljt

_

. k = 0. 1. . . . . n (A86)

o

.

2k

=

1

2

2k 1

1

_ _

kF

a

Ljt

_

. k = 1. 2. . . . . n. (A87)

Acknowledgements

References 5, 6, 17, 18 and 30 were deleted in proof.

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[3] Coulter JP, Gu ceri SI. Resin impregnation during composite

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[4] Ahn KJ, Seferis JC, Letterman L. Autoclave resin infusion pro-

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