Out-of-autoclave manufacturing processes for composite materials are increasing in importance for aerospace and automotive industries. Vacuum Infusion processes are leading the push to move out of the autoclave. An understanding of the various process parameters associated with resin infusion is necessary to produce quality product. Variance in compaction, resin, and vacuum pressures are studied, concentrating on developing a compaction pressure profile as it relates to fiber volume fraction. The purpose of this research is twofold: (1) to show and quantify the existence of a resin pressure gradient in compression testing using rigid tooling, and (2) to use measured test data to validate and improve resin flow simulation models. One-dimensional compression tests revealed a pressure gradient across the diameter of the compression tool. The pressure gradient follows trends consistent with Darcy's Law. Compression tests revealed fabric hysteresis during compaction as shown in previous studies. Fiber compaction pressure was found to not be directly equal to compressive forces of the Instron when resin is present in the system. The relationship between Instron, resin and compaction pressures is defined. The compression study was used to validate previously developed flow simulation models. Resin pressures are critical to developing an accurate two-dimensional radial flow simulation for low permeability fabrics. It is feasible to determine final fiber volume fraction at a given compaction pressure.



College and Department

Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology; Technology



Date Submitted


Document Type





Paul Hannibal, vacuum infusion, resin infusion, out-of-autoclave, carbon fiber, fiberglass, compression, compressibility, pressure variance, pressure gradient, simulation

Technology Emphasis

Manufacturing Systems (MS)