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Title: Stochastic modelling of textile structures for resin flow analysis
Author: Gommer, Frank
Awarding Body: University of Nottingham
Current Institution: University of Nottingham
Date of Award: 2013
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This work addresses the characterisation of the micro-structure of fibre bundles in reinforcement textiles for composites and its influence on resin flow in liquid composite moulding (LCM) processes. Random variations in local filament spacing result in a non-uniform flow velocity field. Merging flow fronts due to differences in local flow velocities can lead to gas entrapment in the matrix phase. This results in formation of micro-scale defects, which can significantly reduce the matrix-dominated mechanical properties of the finished composite. An automated image analysis method was developed to precisely determine local filament distributions within complete fibre bundles. Based on two-dimensional micrographs, filament arrangements were characterised statistically by means of nearest neighbour distance and angle distributions. It was observed that the micro-structure becomes more uniform with increasing level of compaction. A micro-structure generator to reconstruct filament arrangements was adapted incorporating these measurement data. Transverse permeabilities derived from numerical simulations of steady-state flow on automatically discretised model domains were found to be log-normally distributed. With increasing model size, average values and widths of the distributions decrease, converging to the permeability of a complete fibre bundle. Similarly, average values and scatter decrease with increasing fibre volume fraction. The transverse permeability of random filament arrangements was found to be significantly smaller than for uniform filament arrangements. The void content in composite specimens produced by resin injection along and perpendicular to the fibre bundles was characterised with a developed image analysis process. Due to the more uniform micro-structure at increased bundle compaction, a decrease in void content was observed in the case of transverse resin injection. A first step towards void content prediction in a fibre bundle by numerical simulation of transient flow through a randomised filament arrangement was made. It was hypothesised that steady-state flow results may be used for the prediction of transient flow.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)