Numerical modelling of the flow in a swelling preform during LCM mould filling

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Abstract

Composite industry increasingly uses natural fibres because of their environment-friendly advantages. These natural fibres may swell during the mould filling process when they absorb resin, and this swelling reduces the porosity and permeability of the preform. Hence, computational modelling of the flow in swelling porous media would be useful to model the different mould filling processes with the swelling effect. This paper demonstrates the possibility of using computational fluid dynamics to study the effect of swelling on liquid composite moulding mould filling in isotropic and orthotropic porous media. An empirical relation for local permeability changes is used to model the flow of resin under constant volume flow rate and constant injection pressure conditions. The flow front locations and inlet pressure predicted by the computational fluid dynamics simulations are in good agreement with the experimental data for 1D rectilinear flow case. Further, to capture the flow patterns, two different arrangements employing point injection are considered. It was observed that the volume fraction of resin in swelling porous medium is 6% less than rigid porous medium at any given time. It was also observed that the location of the inlet and outlet has a considerable effect on the flow front advancement.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)490-504
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Reinforced Plastics and Composites
Volume40
Issue number13-14
Early online date6 Dec 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2021

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