SEEK: Salford Environment for Expertise and Knowledge

Journal Article (Refereed)
January 2008

Modelling Microscopic Flow in Woven Fabric Reinforcements and Its Application on Dual-scale LCM Modelling

Wang, Y ( & S., G 2008, 'Modelling Microscopic Flow in Woven Fabric Reinforcements and Its Application on Dual-scale LCM Modelling', -Composites Part A (doi:10.1016/j.compositesa.2008.01.014), 39, pp.843-855.


A physical unit cell impregnation model is proposed for the micro-scale flow in plain woven reinforcements. The modelling results show a characteristic relationship between tow impregnation speed, the surrounding local macro-scale resin pressure and the tow saturation within the unit cell. This relationship has been formulated into a mathematical algorithm which can be directly incorporated into a continuum dual-scale model to predict the ‘sink’ term. The results using the dual-scale model show a sharp resin front in inter-tow-pore spaces and a partially saturated front region in intra-tow-pore spaces. This demonstrates that the impregnation of fibre tows lags behind the resin front in the macro pore spaces. The modelling results are in agreement with two reported experimental observations. It has been shown that the unsaturated region at the flow front could increase or have a fixed length under different circumstances. These differences are due to the variation in tow impregnation speed (or the time required for the tow to become fully impregnated), the weave architecture and the nesting and packing of plies. The modelling results have also demonstrated the drooping of the inlet pressure when flow is carried out under constant injection rates. The implementation of the algorithm into a dual-scale model shows coherence with a single-scale unsaturated model, but demonstrates an advantage in flexibility, precision and convenience in application.


 The method proposed by this paper has raised great interest in the research domain. University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in USA [] had a PhD project to do experiment to validate it which has been very successful. INTECH Open Access Publisher [] invited us to write a review on the topic for a special issue.


SEEK Members

External Authors

Grove, S.

Publication Details

Journal Name
-Composites Part A (doi:10.1016/j.compositesa.2008.01.014)