Through thickness compaction response of 3D woven reinforcements

Hussam Alhussein, Rehan Umer, Sanjeev Rao, Wesley J. Cantwell

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Compaction characterization of fibrous reinforcements is fundamental to liquid composite molding (LCM) processes, where it determines the part thickness and fiber volume content for a given tooling. In this study, different architectures of 3D fabrics are considered. Single and multiple cycle compaction experiments were conducted on dry and saturated 3D preform samples. It was observed that z-binder yarns have a significant effect on the compressibility of 3D preforms. Three types of 3D fabric were studied, orthogonal, layer to layer and angle interlock, each having a different weave style and z-binder pattern. Orthogonal preforms were more difficult to compact to a target fiber volume fraction of 0.65, with peak stresses reaching up to 2.3 MPa. Cyclic compaction tests were conducted to highlight the importance of permanent deformation of the reinforcements to achieve high fiber content during an LCM process. The panels were infused with an epoxy resin and samples were sectioned for microscopy. The micrographs confirmed significant permanent deformation and nesting of the tows after compaction. This paper also presents a model to simulate and understand the viscoelastic nature of fibrous materials. The compaction response was modeled using a modified Maxwell model. Good agreement with the experiments was observed for all types of reinforcement. The data paves the ground for robust LCM processes in both simulation and real life.

Original languageBritish English
StatePublished - 2015
Event20th International Conference on Composite Materials, ICCM 2015 - Copenhagen, Denmark
Duration: 19 Jul 201524 Jul 2015


Conference20th International Conference on Composite Materials, ICCM 2015


  • 3D fabrics
  • Compaction
  • LCM


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