Title: Simple modelling of impregnation in pultrusion process of thermoplastic composites

Authors: Sana Koubaa; Christian Burtin; Arnaud Poitou; Steven Lecorre

Addresses: GEM – Ecole Centrale de Nantes, 1 rue de la Noe, BP 92101, F-44321 Nantes cedex 3, France. ' GEM – Ecole Centrale de Nantes, 1 rue de la Noe, BP 92101, F-44321 Nantes cedex 3, France. ' GEM – Ecole Centrale de Nantes, 1 rue de la Noe, BP 92101, F-44321 Nantes cedex 3, France. ' Polytech'Nantes – LTN, UMR CNRS 6607La Chantrerie, rue Christian Pauc, BP 50609, 44306 Nantes cedex 3, France

Abstract: Pultrusion is a continuous process with application in the manufacture of fibre-reinforced composites. This work reports the impregnation process which is one of the major concerns in pultrusion. We set out to develop a model that describes the flow advancement for a thermoplastic matrix when the reinforcements pass through the die. Therefore, the influence of several processing conditions on the impregnation state has been assessed. An analytical model based upon the Darcy's law and Stokes equation was applied to describe the progression of the radial flow front through porous medium. In this investigation, a unidirectional fibrous medium is adopted and the injected fluid is considered to be Newtonian and incompressible. Results show that the geometry of the die, pulling velocity and obviously the fibres permeability are the major factors influencing the degree of wetting. This analytical methodology is a useful tool to control the matrix impregnation.

Keywords: pultrusion; impregnation; permeability; thermoplastics; modelling; fibre permeability; thermoplastic composites; fibre-reinforced composites; radial flow front; porous medium; pulling velocity; die geometry; wetting.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMMP.2012.050945

International Journal of Microstructure and Materials Properties, 2012 Vol.7 No.5, pp.428 - 438

Published online: 10 Dec 2012 *

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