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Cure Cycle Optimization in Polymer Composites
Final rept. 1 Mar 1996-28 Feb 1999
TENNESSEE UNIV KNOXVILLE DEPT OF MECHANICAL AND AEROSPACE ENGINEERING
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This work includes experimental and theoretical study of the effect of cure cycles on the development of cure-induced stresses in thermoset polymer composites. The experimental part includes modifying a newly developed test method to monitor the development of cure-induced stresses in thermoset polymer composites. Test results gave a clear understanding of the mechanisms of stresses development. The test method was further modified with a closed loop feedback control system to modify the cure cycles to reduce cure-induced stresses. Test results show that the modified cure cycles reduce residual stresses in composite laminates. The theoretical part included the development of a mechanical optimization model to study the effect of changing the cure cycle on the development of residual stresses in composite laminates. The model was used to generate cure cycles that reduce residual stresses in thermoset polymer composites. Findings of the theoretical modeling were found to agree well with those of the experimental study.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE