Recent Patents on In-Plane Permeability Measurement of LCM Composite Reinforcements
Optimization of Liquid Composite Molding (LCM) processes using Darcy flow numerical simulation requires inputting accurate reinforcement permeability data. Historically introduced by its author to describe infiltration phenomenon, permeability coming from Darcys law is usually used in LCM processes as a rheological parameter in order to predict the macroscopic resin motion during the filling stage. Resulting from the flow through a complex fibrous architecture, its measurement is very sensitive to the test conditions due to the high filaments flexibility and mesostructure heterogeneity. Reinforcements are currently anisotropic fibrous media and their in-plane permeability measurement requires specific facilities. Measurements can be performed in transient or steady state conditions, and in one-, two- or three-dimensional configurations. This paper describes the different existing experimental configurations, identification procedures and instrumentation techniques. Advantages and drawbacks of each method are discussed, in the particular case of 2D transient measurements, which are the most representative of Resin Transfer Molding process. Two recent patents using different instrumentation techniques are detailed. They are focused on the simultaneous identification of the in-plane principal permeability values in an anisotropic fibrous reinforcement. Some perspectives are suggested to improve the repeatability of such measurement results.
Keywords: Permeability measurement, fibrous reinforcement, liquid composite molding, anisotropic porous media
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