Marc R. Schultz and Dr. Al Loos
National Science Foundation and Technology Center:
High Performance Polymeric Adhesive and Composites, and
Engineering Science and Mechanics Department
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Blacksburg, Virginia


A one-dimensional model was developed to describe the compression molding consolidation process. The basic assumptions in this model are that the resin flow during consolidation is only along the fiber direction, the variables are all constant across the thickness but can change with time, and that the fiber bed is a porous medium. The porous bed assumption allows us to use Darcy's Law to describe the resin flow. Fiber deformation is taken into account by the model by assuming that the applied pressure is distributed over the resin and the fiber bed. This model has been incorporated into a computer code and the code has been checked against an analytical solution. The model has also been compared with actual panels fabricated in an autoclave. The relationship between the computer code and the actual panels is not overly encouraging but we have several theories as to where the discrepancy comes from. There are several further studies that should be conducted to try to rectify the difference between the model and the actual panels.