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Keywords:

  • composites;
  • curing of polymers;
  • reactive processing;
  • rheology;
  • simulations

Abstract

Reactive mold filling is one of the important stages in resin transfer molding processes, in which resin curing and edge effects are important characteristics. On the basis of previous work, volume-averaging momentum equations involving viscous and inertia terms were adopted to describe the resin flow in fiber preform, and modified governing equations derived from the Navier–Stokes equations are introduced to describe the resin flow in the edge channel. A dual-Arrhenius viscosity model is newly introduced to describe the chemorheological behavior of a modified bismaleimide resin. The influence of the curing reaction and processing parameters on the resin flow patterns was investigated. The results indicate that, under constant-flow velocity conditions, the curing reaction caused an obvious increase in the injection pressure and its influencing degree was greater with increasing resin temperature or preform permeability. Both a small change in the resin viscosity and the alteration of the injection flow velocity hardly affected the resin flow front. However, the variation of the preform permeability caused an obvious shape change in the resin flow front. The simulated results were in agreement with the experimental results. This study was helpful for optimizing the reactive mold-filling conditions. © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2009