Permeability modeling of fibrous media in composite processing

1
Mi Ae Choi
a
, Mi Hye Lee
b
, Jaeeon Chang
c
, Seung Jong Lee
d,*
a
National Institute of Technology and Quality, Chungang-dong 2, Kwacheon, South Korea
b
Pusan Regional Small & Medium Business Office, Manduk-dong 763-13, Pusan, South Korea
c
Institute of Chemical Processes, Seoul National University, Seoul 151-742, South Korea
d
Department of Chemical Engineering, Seoul National University, Seoul 151-742, South Korea
Received 21 April 1998; revised 30 May 1998
Abstract
The manufacturing of composites among industrial products involves the impregnation of fluid resins through fibrous
reinforcement. In the modeling of resin transfer molding process in particular, an accurate description of resin flow through
the fibrous media is required. In this study the permeability, which plays an important role in describing the resin flow through
fibrous media macroscopically, is first computed for the microscopic flows through fiber packing structures such as square and
hexagonal packings using the finite element simulations. A model, referred to as coupled flow model, is then proposed in order
to obtain an accurate estimation of the permeability through real fibrous media composed of the fiber bundles, considering
macroflow within a fiber bundle and macroflow around bundles simultaneously. The results obtained from the coupled flow
model are in better agreement than the previous models with currently available experimental data, and this model could be
put into practical use in obtaining a more quantitative estimation of the permeability of fibrous media. # 1998 Elsevier
Science B.V. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Permeability; Fibrous media; Coupled flow model; Finite element simulation; Fiber packing structure
1. Introduction
The prediction and measurement of permeability are essential in the design and operation of
composite manufacturing processes. The characteristics of flow through fibrous media are closely
related to the properties of both the fluid and the fiber. The permeability of fibrous media varies
substantially with the fiber volume fraction, and an accurate prediction of this property is of importance
for efficient design of resin transfer molding processes. The permeability is usually analyzed based on
the theoretical models developed for flow through porous media. Abundant literatures exist for flow
through porous media using the classical theory of Darcy's law. There have been much of both
theoretical and experimental studies to describe resin flow through fibrous media [1±11].
J. Non-Newtonian Fluid Mech. 79 (1998) 585±598
ÐÐÐÐ
* Corresponding author.
1
Dedicated to Prof. Marcel J. Crochet on the occasion of his 60th birthday.
0377-0257/98/$ ± see front matter # 1998 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
PII: S 0 3 7 7 - 0 2 5 7 ( 9 8 ) 0 0 1 2 0 - 7
Sangani and Acrivos [1,2] considered the flow parallel and perpendicular to square and hexagonal
arrays. They used a semi-analytical version of Galerkin method in which the trial functions are a series
of derivatives of the fundamental solution of Stokes equation for a periodic problem. Skartisis et al.
[3,4] performed the relevant experiments and numerical studies. Experiments with actual carbon fiber
beds revealed significant deviations from ideal bed behavior. Gebart [5] also studied theoretically the
permeability of an idealized unidirectional fiber mat with flows parallel and perpendicular to fiber
alignment. The experimental results with unsaturated polyester resin and the unidirectional fiber mat
showed a good agreement with results predicted by approximate analytical solutions. Berdichevsky and
Cai [6] performed numerical simulations for different fiber packing structures, analyzed the
permeability by using self-consistent methods, and proposed an unified model. Williams et al. [7]
investigated parallel flows of various fluids through aligned carbon fibers of widely varying diameters.
The discrepancies found between the experimental results and theoretical predictions were examined
using the Carman±Kozeny equation. Parallel and perpendicular flows of various oils through aligned
carbon fiber mats were studied by Gutowski et al. [8±10]. In order to overcome the deficiency
of the Carman±Kozeny equation, they have proposed a modified model for unidirectional fiber mats
with different values of the Kozeny constant in each direction. Parnas and Phelan [11] studied the
effect of the heterogeneous porous media on the filling flow. They regarded fiber bundles as fluid
sinks that remove fluid from the flow advancing through the preform. Till now the interrelationship
of resin flow and the material properties of the real fiber mat, composed of fiber bundles, has not
been explicitly established yet. The detailed knowledge on the microscopic flow phenomena in the
level of the individual fibers and macroscopic flow around bundles, which is depicted schematically
in Fig. 1, is necessary for more accurate prediction of the permeability in the resin flow through
real fiber mat.
In this study, the permeability in the level of the microscopic flow is first computed on the idealized
periodic fiber packing structures using finite element software package (Polyflow
1
). These results are
then used to predict the permeability for the resin flow through real fibrous media using the coupled
flow model developed in this study. The objective of this study is to develop a model which can be used
to predict the interrelationship between the properties of real fibrous media such as the permeability,
fiber packing structure, the fiber radius, and the fiber volume fraction.
2. Theoretical background
2.1. Microscopic flow simulation
Numerical computations of the flow through fibrous media having periodic regular packing
structures enable us to examine the influence on the permeability of variables such as fiber volume
fraction, packing structure, and flow direction. The velocity field in the pore space is solved with the
imposed pressure gradient which is parallel or perpendicular to the aligned fibers of uniform diameter,
and the permeability is then calculated from the flow rate and the pressure gradient imposed. The
simulation is done at a very low Reynolds number (¸1) so as to assume an effective creeping flow. The
flow domains in the square and hexagonal packing structures are shown in Fig. 2, in which the straight
boundary lines represent the planes of symmetry and the curved boundary lines represent the fiber
surfaces.
586 M.A. Choi et al. / J. Non-Newtonian Fluid Mech. 79 (1998) 585±598
The momentum equation, in case of parallel flow to the fiber length direction, is then given by
1
"
dp
dx
=
d
2
u
dy
2
÷
d
2
u
dz
2
Y (1)
where x is the fiber length direction, y and z are the other two directions on the plane perpendicular to
the fiber length direction, p is the pressure, u is the velocity component in x direction, and " is the
viscosity of the fluid. The pressure gradient is given constant along the flow direction. The usual
boundary conditions are applied; the normal velocity gradients are zero along the planes of symmetry,
and the velocities are zero on the fiber surfaces.
Meanwhile, in the case of perpendicular flow to the fiber length direction, the momentum equations
are written as
1
"
dp
dy
=
d
2
v
dy
2
÷
d
2
v
dz
2
Y (2a)
1
"
dp
dz
=
d
2
w
dy
2
÷
d
2
w
dz
2
Y (2b)
where v and w are the velocity components in y and z directions, respectively. Again the normal velocity
gradients are zero along the planes of symmetry, and the velocities are zero on the fiber surfaces.
The numerical solutions to the above equations are obtained using a Galerkin finite element method,
in which the nodal values of the velocity components and pressure are determined simultaneously. We
used the finite element flow simulation package Polyflow
1
to obtain the velocity field, and the total
flow rate Q is then calculated by the numerical integration of the velocity field using the Gaussian
quadrature. The permeability of the fibrous media having regular packing structure is then calculated
Fig. 1. Schematic diagram displaying microflow within a fiber bundle and macroflow around a fiber bundle.
M.A. Choi et al. / J. Non-Newtonian Fluid Mech. 79 (1998) 585±598 587
by the following equation
K =
Q"
AÁp
Y (3)
where K is the permeability, Áp is the pressure drop imposed, and A is the cross-sectional area
including both fluid and fibers.
Fig. 2. Flow domains and finite element meshes used in the microscopic flow simulations for (a) square and (b) hexagonal
packing structures when V
f
=0.4.
588 M.A. Choi et al. / J. Non-Newtonian Fluid Mech. 79 (1998) 585±598
2.2. The formulation of coupled flow model
Most permeability models have been developed based upon the approximation of the pore structure,
which is described by the average fiber radius, r
f
, and the fiber volume fraction, V
f
. Among them, the
Carman±Kozeny model [3,7] is the most successful and still widely used one, which provides a simple,
general expression for the permeability without the need to solve the detailed flow field. The Carman±
Kozeny equation is given by
K =
r
2
f
(1 ÷V
f
)
3
4 kV
2
f
Y (4)
where k is the Kozeny constant which accounts for the tortuosity and nonuniformity of the pore, and is
independent on the fiber radius and the fiber volume fraction.
In most of real fibrous media, the pore geometry is too complicated to be theoretically treated in
microscopic level. However, there are idealized cases of great importance as in the unidirectional fiber
mat which allows a detailed microscopic analysis. Berdichevsky and Cai [6] proposed a theoretical
model for estimating the permeability of fibrous media using a self-consistent method, and Gebart [5]
studied the permeability of an idealized unidirectional fiber mat for flows parallel and perpendicular to
the fiber direction. As real fibrous media consist of pores of different sizes and directions, the above-
mentioned models are not rigorously applicable. A more sophisticated model taking such
nonuniformity of the fibrous media into account is required.
The flow through real fiber mat involves macroflow that distributes fluid around a fiber bundle and
microflow that penetrates into the fiber bundle as shown in Fig. 1. The figure shows how the macroflow
occurs between fiber bundles while there is also a microflow occurring inside the fiber bundle. As is
evident from the figure, the flow path of the microflow is much longer than that of the macroflow. The
combination of these two types of flows may lead to a formulation in modeling permeability behavior.
In the coupled micro- and macroflow model, referred to as the coupled flow model here, it is assumed
that the fiber volume fraction within a fiber bundle remains constant and that fiber bundles get closer to
each other as the total fiber volume fraction increases. The fiber volume fraction within a bundle,
V
f,micro
and the volume fraction of fiber bundles, V
b,macro
are given as
V
fYmicro
=
Nr
2
f
r
2
b
Y (5a)
V
bYmacro
=
V
f
V
fYmicro
Y (5b)
where N is the number of fibers in a bundle and r
b
is the radius of fiber bundle.
The permeability for the microflow and macroflow can be calculated by using the Carman±Kozeny
equation, respectively. Although the general form of the permeability relationship is the same for both
microflow and macroflow, the values of Kozeny constants are different in each case. They can be
obtained from the numerical computations for the microscopic flow analysis, in which fiber is packed
in square or hexagonal arrangement. The Kozeny constant for microflow, k
/
, is determined by the fiber
volume fraction in a bundle and the radius of fiber, and the Kozeny constant for macroflow, k
//
, is
determined by the volume fraction of bundles and the radius of fiber bundle using the following
M.A. Choi et al. / J. Non-Newtonian Fluid Mech. 79 (1998) 585±598 589
equations, respectively.
K
micro
=
r
2
f
(1 ÷V
fYmicro
)
3
4k
/
V
2
fYmicro
Y (6a)
K
macro
=
r
2
b
(1 ÷V
bYmacro
)
3
4k
//
V
2
bYmacro
X (6b)
The flow through real fiber mat is thought to be similar to the flow through heterogeneous media. Let
us consider two limiting cases of the fiber bundle orientations relative to the flow direction. First, the
Fig. 3. Permeability modeling; (a) a model for the parallel flow and (b) combination model for the perpendicular flow.
590 M.A. Choi et al. / J. Non-Newtonian Fluid Mech. 79 (1998) 585±598
fiber bundles are oriented parallel to the flow direction, and the permeability in this case is simply the
algebraic sum of each contributions of the permeabilities as shown in a simple model in Fig. 3(a) and is
given by the following equations:
K
aa
= K
macro
÷V
bYmacro
×K
micro
X (7)
In the limiting case of no micro voids, K
micro
=0, and the permeability is then simply equal to K
macro
. If
V
b,macro
approaches 1, then there are no voids in macroflow region, K
macro
=0, and the permeability
becomes K
micro
.
Second, the flow through fiber bundles oriented perpendicular to the flow direction is considered.
The simple rule of mixture, Eq. (7), suitable for predicting the permeability in the parallel flow is
inadequate to predict the permeability in this case. The combination model, in which parallel and series
effects are considered simultaneously, is adopted and is illustrated in Fig. 3(b) for the perpendicular
flow to the unidirectional fiber mat [12].
In the combination model, part of the macrovoid region is intermittently distributed between the fiber
bundles within the shaded horizontal columns. Consequently, this portion of the macrovoid is assumed
to be coupled in series with the fiber bundles. The remaining part of the macrovoid region which
separates the shaded horizontal columns is assumed to react in parallel with the columns. As illustrated
in Fig. 3(b), these volume fractions can be specified in terms of spacing parameters of the fiber bundle
packing and the bundle radius. Consequently, this approach tends to distinguish between the various
packing structures. The region associated with the shaded horizontal column will exhibit an effective
permeability, K
e
. Since this region is connected in parallel with a continuous strip of macrovoid having
the permeability K
macro
, the same argument that gives Eq. (7) can be employed here to give
K
l
= K
macro
÷(1 ÷V
pYmacro
)K
e
Y (8)
where V
p,macro
is the volume fraction of parallel macrovoid portion depicted in white color in Fig. 3(b).
The effective permeability, K
e
, can be predicted from the arguments that the flow rate through the
shaded column is just the same as the one through the fiber bundles, and the pressure drop through the
void portion between the bundles is negligible compared to the pressure drop through bundles. K
e
is
then derived as
K
e
= (1 ÷V
pYmacro
)
K
micro
V
bYmacro
X (9)
Substituting Eq. (9) into Eq. (8) gives
K
l
= K
macro
÷(1 ÷V
pYmacro
)
2
K
micro
V
bYmacro
X (10)
The quantity (1 ÷V
pYmacro
)
2
can be easily determined geometrically as
(1 ÷V
pYmacro
)
2
=
V
bYmacro
V
max
Y (11)
where V
max
is the maximum volume fraction of fiber bundles in each packing geometry when
V
p,macro
=0. It is equal to %/4 for the square packing and

3
_
%a8 for the hexagonal packing. Substituting
M.A. Choi et al. / J. Non-Newtonian Fluid Mech. 79 (1998) 585±598 591
Eq. (11) into Eq. (10) gives
K
l
= K
macro
÷
K
micro
V
max
X (12)
In the limiting case of no microvoid, K
micro
=0, and therefore K
l
=K
macro
. But, the model does not allow
the permeability prediction for V
b,macro
>V
max
. Further study is required to deal with such cases,
especially in the hexagonal packing.
3. Results and discussion
3.1. Microscopic flow simulation
The flow behavior of the Newtonian fluid through unidirectionally aligned fiber mat is studied for
parallel and perpendicular flows to fiber alignment. The Reynolds number of the flow, defined as
"ur
f
&a"(1 ÷4) in which bar "u and 4 are the average velocity and the porosity, is in the range of 10
÷12
±
10
÷8
for both square and hexagonal packing structures. The typical finite element meshes used for
square and hexagonal packings at the fiber volume fraction of V
f
=0.4 are shown in Fig. 2.
In Figs. 4 and 5 are plotted the permeability and Kozeny constant varying with the fiber volume
fraction for the parallel and perpendicular flows, respectively. The Kozeny constant is calculated, using
Eq. (4), from the permeability obtained by numerical simulation. The simulation results are found to be
in a close agreement with the predictions of the series expansion of Sangani and Acrivos [1,2] and also
with those of the boundary integral method of Larson and Higdon [13,14]. It is observed that at low
fiber volume fractions the values of the Kozeny constant for the square packing are close to those for
the hexagonal packing. But at high fiber volume fractions, there are considerable differences of the
Fig. 4. (a) Permeability and (b) Kozeny constant obtained by the microflow finite element simulations for square packing
structures.
592 M.A. Choi et al. / J. Non-Newtonian Fluid Mech. 79 (1998) 585±598
Kozeny constant due to the difference of the packing structure. In particular, since most of the pressure
drop occurs within the narrow gaps between fibers, increasing fiber volume fraction would make the
difference between the wall frictions of the two structures more pronounced.
In the original Carman±Kozeny equation the Kozeny constant is assumed to be a constant. However,
it is known that the Kozeny constant is fairly constant only for the intermediate range for fiber volume
fraction, and that at higher or lower fiber volume fractions the Kozeny constant changes considerably
with the fiber volume fraction. As seen from Fig. 4(b) and Fig. 5(b), such behavior can be seen in the
present numerical study for the idealized fiber packing structures. In particular, for the perpendicular
flow both in the square and hexagonal packings the Kozeny constant rapidly increases in the high fiber
volume fraction region. To some extent, this behavior could be qualitatively explained by a physical
argument about the Kozeny constant, which is defined by
k = K
0
K
2
l
Y (13)
where K
0
is the shape factor determined by the cross-section of percolation passages and K
l
is the
tortuosity of the packing structure. The tortuosity K
l
, by which the pressure drop over the length of the
pore is reduced, is expressed in terms of two characteristic lengths, i.e.,
K
l
= L
e
aLY (14)
where L is the shortest distance measured along the direction of flow and L
e
is the length of the
effective path travelled by a fluid. For the parallel flow the tortuosity should approach unity, in which
case there is a little difference between the shape factor and the Kozeny constant. However, in the case
of the perpendicular flow, it is important to consider the tortuosity since the flow path is very tortuous.
As the fiber volume fraction increases, the path of the flow increases, and so does the tortuosity. Thus, it
is evident from Eq. (13) that the Kozeny constant for the perpendicular flow should increase with the
increasing fiber volume fraction, while the Kozeny constant for the parallel flow should remain
Fig. 5. (a) Permeability and (b) Kozeny constant obtained by the microflow finite element simulations for hexagonal packing
structures.
M.A. Choi et al. / J. Non-Newtonian Fluid Mech. 79 (1998) 585±598 593
constant. It is noted that this fiber volume fraction dependence of the Kozeny constant is well observed
in the present study as seen in Fig. 4(b) and Fig. 5(b). The above discussion could also explain why the
Kozeny constant for the perpendicular flow is higher than that for the parallel flow.
In Fig. 6 we compare our simulation results for the permeability with the predictions of other existing
theories. In comparison, the Kozeny constants on the Carman±Kozeny equation are chosen to be 0.7 for
the parallel flow and 17.9 for the perpendicular flow, respectively, with reference to the experimental
results of Gutowski et al. [10] for aligned carbon fiber beds. Also, carbon fibers are selected to plot
analytical theoretical expressions, an the radius of carbon fiber is determined to be 4 mm. Results of
self-consistent method by Berdichevsky and Cai [6] and the semi-analytical solution by Gebart [5] are
also plotted. Similar experimental results were obtained by Skartsis et al. [3,4], Gebart [5], Sangani and
Yao [15], and Bates et al. [16]. We note a significant difference among the theoretical predictions. And
moreover, for the parallel flow the permeability is too underestimated by the theories including present
work, whereas for the perpendicular flow the theories give systematically higher values than the
existing experimental results although the agreement is better than in the case of the parallel flow.
Several possible explanations for the discrepancies between predictions and experiments have been
proposed. One of them is to note nonideal conditions in real experiments: in the theoretical approach it
is assumed that the fibers are perfectly straight cylinders of equal size and ordered in strictly regular
arrangement, while real fiber beds always have in some degree fiber waviness and nonuniform packing.
In detail, the real carbon fiber beds are made of fiber bundles which again consist of thousands of
filaments and the separated fiber bundles make larger gaps, through which most of the fluid would flow,
compared to the case of the uniformly ordered packing. These differences should be kept in mind in
order to correctly model the permeability behavior in real fiber beds.
There is another important point to consider in real applications. One possible advantage of using the
Carman±Kozeny equation is that once the Kozeny constant is determined from one fiber volume
fraction, the permeabilities at other volume fractions could be estimated by the Carmon±Kozeny
equation. In continuous fiber composites processing the fiber volume fraction of practical interest
Fig. 6. Permeability obtained by the microflow finite element simulations compared with other permeability estimation
models for (a) parallel and (b) perpendicular flows.
594 M.A. Choi et al. / J. Non-Newtonian Fluid Mech. 79 (1998) 585±598
ranges from 0.4 to 0.7. But, as is seen from the foregoing discussion, the Kozeny constant in this range
may not be the constant, but is rather sensitive to the fiber volume fraction particularly for the
perpendicular flow. Therefore, a caution should be taken when the Carman±Kozeny equation is applied
to very high fiber volume fractions.
3.2. Coupled flow model
As indicated in Section 3.1, experimentally determined fiber volume fraction dependence does not
agree well with the predictions of the microscopic flow model. Here, the microscopic flow model
implies that the model consists of the finite element analysis of the flow through uniformly arranged
fibers in square or hexagonal packings. In most composite manufacturing processes, the nonuniform
packing is always present mostly in the form of fiber bundles, but taking into account this nouniformity
in the microscopic level is difficult. The coupled flow model proposed in this work would lead to an
improvement over the microscopic flow model in treating the nouniformity. To test the model, the
geometric dimensions of Hercules AS-4 graphite fibers are selected [4]. Each fiber bundle consists of
about 6000 fiber filaments of which the radius is approximately 4 mm. The radius of fiber bundle is
determined to be as 400 mm.
Assuming the hexagonal packing structure for fiber and bundle arrangement, the computations are
carried out using Eqs. (7) and (12), and the results are shown in Figs. 7 and 8. As is seen from the
figures, there are large differences for the predictions of the permeability and the Kozeny constant
between the microscopic and coupled flow models. The permeability behavior of an actual aligned
fiber bed deviates significantly from the ideal regularly arranged fibers. The most important factor for
the deviation is nouniformity in the fiber arrangement produced by the fiber bundle structure. For the
parallel flow the presence of wider paths, compared to the average size of the paths, existing between
bundles tends to increase the permeability because of the parallel effect: a few wide paths could
accommodate most of the flow. For the perpendicular flow the nonuniform arrangement would produce
Fig. 7. (a) Permeability and (b) Kozeny constant predicted by the coupled flow model for parallel flow through hexagonal
packing at various micro fiber volume fractions compared with the microflow simulation results.
M.A. Choi et al. / J. Non-Newtonian Fluid Mech. 79 (1998) 585±598 595
a series effect, by which narrow paths limit the flow, therefore, it leads to slightly smaller permeabilities
than for the parallel flow. At low fiber volume fractions, the effects of the nouniformity are clearly
enhanced. These effects might well dominate the usual increase in permeability with decreasing fiber
volume fraction, and as a result decrease in Kozeny constant.
In real composite processings, generally high fiber content is required, and so the range of fiber
volume fraction discussed previously is not typical in composite processings. Here, we assert that the
above results are valid within a low fiber volume fraction range. Fig. 9 represents the results of coupled
Fig. 8. (a) Permeability and (b) Kozeny constant predicted by the coupled flow model for perpendicular flow through
hexagonal packing at various micro fiber volume fractions compared with the microflow simulation results.
Fig. 9. (a) permeability and (b) Kozeny constant predicted by the coupled flow model for parallel flow through hexagonal
packing at nearly maximum macro fiber volume fraction compared with the microflow simulation results and experimental
data of Skartsis at al. [4] (&±&).
596 M.A. Choi et al. / J. Non-Newtonian Fluid Mech. 79 (1998) 585±598
flow model applied to high fiber volume fraction range usually encountered in real manufacturing
processes. Higher fiber content is obtained by compacting the fiber bundles which have a specified
number of filaments in a bundle. In this calculation, the macro bundle volume fraction is assumed near
the maximum available macro bundle volume fraction and is kept constant. It means that the radius of
the fiber bundle decreases gradually by increasing the fiber volume fraction. The predictions for
permeability and Kozeny constant are plotted in Fig. 9 in variation of the fiber volume fraction. It is
found out in the parallel flow that the Kozeny constant decreases with the increase of fiber volume
fraction. In addition, it is observed that on the contrary to the results of microscopic model, these values
are rather strongly dependent on fiber volume fraction as has been noted previously by several others
[3,4,7].
Possible reason for this behavior is due to nonuniformity effect. In the development of Carman±
Kozeny equation it can be shown that the Kozeny constant varies with shape factor and tortuosity. This
explanation explicitly took into account the pore structure in a fibrous media. Since the model assumes
the perfect aligned cylinders, the tortuosity is always equal to one for parallel flow. Clearly the results
could be explained in terms of shape factor. In case that bundles are closer together, the size of capillary
is determined in a bundle. The effects of nouniformity due to wide flow around bundles is cancelled
out. The shape factor, therefore, is smaller in higher fiber volume fraction. For perpendicular flow, the
combination model is limited in the modeling permeabilities at relatively low fiber volume fraction
range because macro bundle volume fraction can not reach the value of 0.68 and the fiber bundles can
not touch each other. For modeling permeability in this case, we should aim our effort to modify the
combination model for perpendicular flow.
Although the agreement is yet far from the perfect, it is possible to estimate the permeability of real
fiber mat within better accuracy than the previous models using the geometrical information about the
actual fibrous media. The characteristics of fiber bundles such as the radius of fiber bundle and the
number of filaments would be required to describe correctly the permeability behavior of real fiber mat.
4. Conclusions
The conclusions for the present study for the permeability modeling of the fibrous media are listed as
follows:
1. Although Darcy's law and the Carman±Kozeny equation have been commonly used to predict the
permeability in fibrous media, they are not able to fully describe the permeability behavior in the
real fibrous media. From the numerical simulation of the microscopic flow field, the Kozeny
constant was found to strongly depend on the flow direction, fiber volume fraction, and fiber
packing structure.
2. The microscopic flow model, which is based on the uniform regular packing structure, is able to
describe adequately the parallel and perpendicular flow in ideal fiber arrangement, but does not
succeed to predict experimental data in real fibrous beds. This is due to the effects of the
nouniformity present in the fiber arrangement.
3. The coupled flow model proposed in this work, which takes into account microflow in a bundle and
macroflow around bundles simultaneously, predicts better results than the pervious models.
Although the coupled flow model is yet required to be further tested, this model could be used in the
real composites manufacturing processes.
M.A. Choi et al. / J. Non-Newtonian Fluid Mech. 79 (1998) 585±598 597
5. Nomenclature
K
macro
permeability for the macroflow around fiber bundle
K
micro
permeability for the microflow within fiber bundle
K
x,
K
y
x-, y-directional permeability
K
//
permeability for parallel flow
K
l
Permeability for perpendicular flow
k,k
/
,k
//
Kozeny constants
N number of fibers in a bundle
p pressure
r
b
radius of fiber bundle
r
f
radius of fiber
u,v,w velocities in x, y, and z directions
V
b,macro
bundle volume fraction
V
f
fiber volume fraction
V
f,micro
fiber volume fraction within a bundle
x,y,z global coordinates
4 porosity
" viscosity
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