Resin infusion of composite parts has continually been reaching to achieve laminate quality equal to, or exceeding, the quality produced with prepreg in an autoclave. In order for this to occur, developers must understand the key process variables that go in to producing a laminate with minimal void content. The purpose of this research is to continue efforts in understanding 1) the effect of process conditions on the resultant void content, with a focus on resin infusion flow rate, 2) applying statistical metrics to the formation, location and size of voids formed, and 3) correlate these metrics with the local mechanical properties of the composite laminate. The variation in dispersion and formation of micro-voids and macro-voids varied greatly between the rates of flow the infusion occurred, especially in the non-crimp carbon fiber samples. Higher flow rates led to lower volumes of micro-voids in the beginning section of the carbon fiber laminates with macro-voids being introduced approximately half-way through infusion. This was determined to have occurred decreasing pressure gradient as the flow front moved away from the inlet. This variation in void content per location on the laminate was more evident in the carbon fiber samples than the fiberglass samples. Micro-voids follow void formation modeling especially when coupled with a pressure threshold model. Macro-void formation was also demonstrated to correlate strongly to void formation models when united with void mobility theories and pressure thresholds. There is a quick decrease in mechanical properties after the first 1-2% of voids signaling strength is mostly sensitive to the first 0-2% void content. A slight decrease in SBS was noticed in fiberglass laminates, A-F as v0 increased but not as drastically as represented in the NCF laminates, G and H. The lower clarity in the exponential trend could be due to the lack of samples with v0 greater than 0% but less than 1%. Strength is not well correlated to void content above 2% and could possibly be related to void morphololgy.



College and Department

Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology; Technology



Date Submitted


Document Type





Mark Brandley, resin transfer molding, void formation, process optimization, out-of-autoclave, carbon fiber, vacuum infusion, resin infusion



Technology Emphasis

Manufacturing Systems (MS)