Research Update for: A Method for Out-of-autoclave Fabrication of High Fiber Volume Fraction Fiber Reinforced Polymer Composites (ARL-TR-6057)
Final rept. 1 Jan 2008-31 Jul 2012
ARMY RESEARCH LAB ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND MD WEAPONS AND MATERIALS RESEARCH DIRECTORATE
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In an update to previous research, we have been increasing the fiber-volume fraction by Vacuum Assisted Resin Transfer Molding VARTM in order to produce composite structures with aerospace grade qualities. Of specific focus is the control of processing parameters during resin infusion to obtain fiber-volume fractions like those of autoclave processed composites. Using a combination of viscosity control, U.S. Army Research Laboratory ARL based VARTM techniques, and a pressure control system, we have shown an increase in fiber-volume content from 50 ARLs normal processing range for a particular material system and VARTM process to over 60. Future work will focus on continued processing improvements in order to achieve 65 fiber-volume fraction with this material system. It is shown that the increase in fiber-volume fraction provides for higher strength to weight ratios in composite parts while cutting the cost of fabrication. Processing characteristics will be presented, and evaluations will be discussed.
- Laminates and Composite Materials