This paper presents the application of a new technique, Magnet Assisted Composite Manufacturing (MACM), to enhance the quality of composite laminates fabricated by wet lay-up/vacuum bag (WLVB) and vacuum assisted resin transfer molding (VARTM). Towards this goal, a set of high-power, Neodymium permanent magnets, which are placed on a magnetic tool plate, is applied on the vacuum bag/lay-up. To further demonstrate the effectiveness of MACM, six-ply random mat, E-glass/epoxy composite laminates are produced under four processing scenarios: (i) Conventional WLVB; (ii) WLVB with magnetic consolidation; (iii) Conventional VARTM; and (iv) VARTM with magnetic consolidation. Applying magnetic consolidation pressure is found to be a convenient and efficient method for enhancing the overall quality of the laminates fabricated by WLVB and VARTM. For instance, in WLVB-MACM process, fiber volume fraction improves by 98% to 49% and void content reduces from 5% to less than 1.5% compared to conventional WLVB. These two factors lead to substantially increased mechanical properties of the WLVB-MACM laminates to a level comparable to those achieved by the higher-cost VARTM-MACM process.

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