With the growing popularity of composite materials for the manufacture of light-weight components, there has been a lot of effort in improving and optimising composite manufacturing processes. One such commonly used process is Liquid Composite Moulding (LCM), in which dry preforms are impregnated with the matrix material. The efficiency of filling the moulds can be improved by using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) filling simulations during the design of the mould and the process. As part of an on-going effort to develop a CFD tool for the simulation of LCM processes, a volume averaged energy balance equation has been derived and implemented in a custom OpenFOAM solver. The derivation of the energy balance and the experimental validation of the custom solver have already been covered in previous works.
There is no generally accepted volume averaged conservation law for modelling flows through porous media, and hence, there are several differences in the proposed volume averaged conservation laws. For the modelling of LCM processes, some authors have chosen to ignore the pressure terms in the volume averaged energy balance. This work aims to investigate whether ignoring the pressure terms in the volume averaged energy balance is a valid assumption when modelling LCM processes by comparing the results from OpenFOAM simulations which include and ignore the pressure terms in the computation with experimental results and also to observe the relative performance of the two implementations.