Thermal dispersion in resin transfer molding

Richard B. Dessenberger, Charles L. Tucker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This investigation focuses on the effects of thermal dispersion in resin transfer molding (RTM). A set of volume‐average balance equations suitable for modeling mold filling in RTM is described and implemented in a numerical mold filling simulation. The energy equation is based on the assumption of local thermal equilibrium and includes a dispersion term. Thermal dispersion is an enhanced transport of heat due to local fluctuations in the fluid velocity and temperature away from their average values. Nonisothermal mold filling experiments are performed on a center‐gated disk mold to investigate and quantify dispersion effects. Good agreement is found between the experimentally measured and numerically predicted temperatures, and a function for the transverse dispersion coefficient in a random glass fiber mat is determined. The results indicate that thermal dispersion is important in RTM processes and must be included in simulations to obtain accurate predictions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)495-506
Number of pages12
JournalPolymer Composites
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1995
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • General Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry


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