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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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