Journal of Materials Science

, Volume 50, Issue 7, pp 2960–2972 | Cite as

An experimental investigation of compaction behavior of carbon non-crimp fabrics for liquid composite molding

  • Long Li
  • Yan Zhao
  • Jin Yang
  • Jindong Zhang
  • Yuexin Duan
Original Paper


Compaction of the preforms to a desired fiber volume fraction in liquid composite molding has a significant influence on the subsequent injection process and mechanical properties of the final composites. Hence, knowledge of the compaction of the fabric preforms is important for improving the composite product quality and developing the mold filling simulation. In this paper, the compaction behavior of four types of carbon non-crimp fabrics (NCFs) was experimentally studied. The investigation of compaction behavior included the influence of number of cyclic compaction, number of layers, stitching pattern, compaction speed, and the lubrication (wet states). The results show that the compaction curves tend to be stable and repeatable with an elastic deformation from the third cycle. Other factors affecting the compaction behavior can be explained by the nesting effect, considering the special structure of the NCFs. Gaps between fiber tows created by the stitches may provide room for the adjacent fibers to embed or nest in. Meanwhile, the relaxation of the preforms after compaction was discussed in terms of the energy dissipation. The results elucidate that the lubrication and compaction speed have no significant effect on the compaction process, but exhibit influence on the relaxation. Finally, the microstructural observation of the laminates backs up the experimental analysis and highlights the deformation of fibers at the tow gaps. The change of the internal parameters, including the shape and dimensions of the tows and the gaps, with the compaction degree was statistically studied. It also provides geometrical parameters for establishing predictive models of carbon NCFs with different compaction degrees.


Compaction Fiber Volume Fraction Compaction Process Compaction Pressure Compaction Behavior 


  1. 1.
    Boisse P, Grasser A, Hagege B, Billoet JL (2005) Analysis of the mechanical behavior of woven fibrous material using virtual tests at the unit cell level. J Mater Sci 40:5955–5962. doi: 10.1007/s10853-005-5069-7 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Boisse P (2006) Meso-macro approach for composites forming simulation. J Mater Sci 41:6591–6598. doi: 10.1007/s10853-006-0198-1 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Gutowski TG (1997) Advanced composites manufacturing. Wiley, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Breiling KB, Adams DOH (1996) Effects of layer nesting on compression-loaded 2-d woven textile composites. J Compos Mater 30:1710–1728CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Yenilmez B, Senan M, Murat Sozer E (2009) Variation of part thickness and compaction pressure in vacuum infusion process. Compos Sci Technol 69:1710–1719CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Grimsley BW, Hubert P, Song X, Cano RJ, Loos AC, Pipes RB (2001) Flow and compaction during the vacuum assisted resin transfer molding process. Proceedings of the 33rd international SAMPE technical conference 33:140–153Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Buntain M, Bickerton S (2007) Modeling forces generated within rigid liquid composite molding tools. Part A: experimental study. Compos Part A 38:1729–1741CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Xiao X, Long A, Zeng X (2014) Through-thickness permeability modelling of woven fabric under out-of-plane deformation. J Mater Sci 49:7563–7574. doi: 10.1007/s10853-014-8465-z CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Yang J, Xiao J, Zeng J, Jiang D, Peng C (2012) Compaction behavior and part thickness variation in vacuum infusion molding process. Appl Compos Mater 19:443–458CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Chen B, Lang EJ, Chou T-W (2001) Experimental and theoretical studies of fabric compaction behavior in resin transfer molding. Mater Sci Eng A 317:188–196CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Rohatgi V, Lee LJ (1997) Moldability of tackified fiber preforms in liquid composite molding. J Compos Mater 31:720–744CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Robitaille F, Gauvin R (1998) Compaction of textile reinforcements for composites manufacturing. I: review of experimental results. Polym Compos 19:198–216CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Robitaille F, Gauvin R (1998) Compaction of textile reinforcements for composites manufacturing. II: compaction and relaxation of dry and H2O-saturated woven reinforcements. Polym Compos 19:543–557CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Robitaille F, Gauvin R (1999) Compaction of textile reinforcements for composites manufacturing. III: reorganization of the fiber network. Polym Compos 20:48–61CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Lomov SV, Verpoest I, Peeters T, Roose D, Zako M (2003) Nesting in textile laminates: geometrical modelling of the laminate. Compos Sci Technol 63:993–1007CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Saunders R, Lekakou C, Bader M (1998) Compression and microstructure of fibre plain woven cloths in the processing of polymer composites. Compos Part A 29:443–454CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Chen B, Lang EJ, Chou T-W (1999) Compaction behavior of fabric preforms in resin transfer molding process. Proceedings of the 12th international conference on composite materials, 12:5–9Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Saunders R, Lekakou C, Bader M (1999) Compression in the processing of polymer composites 1. a mechanical and microstructural study for different glass fabrics and resins. Compos Sci Technol 59:983–993CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Kruckenberg T, Ye L, Paton R (2008) Static and vibration compaction and microstructure analysis on plain-woven textile fabrics. Compos Part A 39:488–502CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Hammami A (2001) Effect of reinforcement structure on compaction behavior in the vacuum infusion process. Polym Compos 22:337–348CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Somashekar A, Bickerton S, Bhattacharyya D (2006) An experimental investigation of non-elastic deformation of fibrous reinforcements in composites manufacturing. Compos Part A 37:858–867CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Somashekar A, Bickerton S, Bhattacharyya D (2007) Exploring the non-elastic compression deformation of dry glass fibre reinforcements. Compos Sci Technol 67:183–200CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Luo Y, Verpoest I (1999) Compressibility and relaxation of a new sandwich textile preform for liquid composite molding. Polym Compos 20:179–191CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Bickerton S, Buntain M, Somashekar A (2003) The viscoelastic compression behavior of liquid composite molding preforms. Compos Part A 34:431–444CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Kelly P (2011) A viscoelastic model for the compaction of fibrous materials. J Text Inst 102:689–699CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Chen Z-R, Ye L, Kruckenberg T (2006) A micromechanical compaction model for woven fabric preforms. Part I: single layer. Compos Sci Technol 66:3254–3262CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Chen Z-R, Ye L (2006) A micromechanical compaction model for woven fabric preforms. Part II: multilayer. Compos Sci Technol 66:3263–3272CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Chen B, Chou T-W (1999) Compaction of woven-fabric preforms in liquid composite molding processes: single-layer deformation. Compos Sci Technol 59:1519–1526CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Chen B, Chou T-W (2000) Compaction of woven-fabric preforms: nesting and multi-layer deformation. Compos Sci Technol 60:2223–2231CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Potluri P, Sagar T (2008) Compaction modelling of textile preforms for composite structures. Compos Struct 86:177–185CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Comas-Cardona S, Le Grognec P, Binetruy C, Krawczak P (2007) Unidirectional compression of fibre reinforcements. Part 1: a non-linear elastic-plastic behaviour. Compos Sci Technol 67:507–514CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Kim K-Y, Ye L (2012) Interlaminar fracture properties of weft-knitted/woven fabric interply hybrid composite materials. J Mater Sci 47:7280–7290. doi: 10.1007/s10853-012-6682-x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Creech G, Pickett A (2006) Meso-modelling of non-crimp fabric composites for coupled drape and failure analysis. J Mater Sci 41:6725–6736. doi: 10.1007/s10853-006-0213-6 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Lomov SV (2011) Non-crimp fabric composites: manufacturing, properties and applications. Woodhead, CambridgeCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Lomov SV, Barburski M, Stoilova T et al (2005) Carbon composites based on multiaxial multiply stitched preforms. Part 3: biaxial tension, picture frame and compression tests of the preforms. Compos Part A 36:1188–1206CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Lomov SV, Belov E, Bischoff T, Ghosh SB, Truong Chi T, Verpoest I (2002) Carbon composites based on multiaxial multiply stitched preforms. Part 1. Geometry of the preform. Compos Part A 33:1171–1183CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Mattsson D, Joffe R, Varna J (2007) Methodology for characerization of internal strucature parameters governing performance in NCF composites. Compos Part B 38:44–57CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Gutiérrez J, Ruiz E, Trochu F (2013) High-frequency vibrations on the compaction of dry fibrous reinforcements. Adv Compos Mater 22:13–27CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Long Li
    • 1
  • Yan Zhao
    • 1
  • Jin Yang
    • 1
  • Jindong Zhang
    • 1
  • Yuexin Duan
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Materials Science and EngineeringBeihang UniversityBeijingChina

Personalised recommendations