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Durability and Life Assessment for Affordable Manufacturing of Polymer-Matrix Composites.
Final rept. 1 Aug 95-31 Dec 96,
DELAWARE UNIV NEWARK CENTER FOR COMPOSITE MATERIALS
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The capability to characterize and test advanced composites in simulated operational environments- including elevated temperatures, thermal cycling, moisture, oxidation, solvents, etc. is essential to the future use of these material systems in various civilian and military applications. This program sought funding to establish core facilities for durability assessment of advanced polymer matrix composites in such applications as bridge rehabilitation, high speed civil aircraft, engine components for propulsion, and armored ground vehicles. The cross cutting issue in these programs is the durability of composite materials. The equipment purchased is being used to promote 1 significant advances in the fundamental understanding of degradation mechanisms and 2 concomitant improvements in design and processing aimed at increasing the durability of composite components for these applications. Researchers are currently using the equipment to measure changes in local elasticity over a sample surface. The results obtained thus far show promising correlation between the generated force curve data and the sample moduli. The work has successfully extended the capabilities of the AFM as a probe of nanomechanical properties and property variations important to the performance of composite materials and adhesive. It has also resulted in development of the first experimental technique to directly examine interface regions in multiphase systems.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE