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Materials 2017, 10(3), 293; doi:10.3390/ma10030293

Optimizing Polymer Infusion Process for Thin Ply Textile Composites with Novel Matrix System

1
School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, 50, Nanyang Avenue, Singapore 639798, Singapore
2
Institute for Sports Research, Nanyang Technological University, 50, Nanyang Avenue, Singapore 639798, Singapore
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Yong Sheng
Received: 9 January 2017 / Revised: 3 March 2017 / Accepted: 13 March 2017 / Published: 15 March 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Textile Composites)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [6034 KB, uploaded 15 March 2017]   |  

Abstract

For mass production of structural composites, use of different textile patterns, custom preforming, room temperature cure high performance polymers and simplistic manufacturing approaches are desired. Woven fabrics are widely used for infusion processes owing to their high permeability but their localised mechanical performance is affected due to inherent associated crimps. The current investigation deals with manufacturing low-weight textile carbon non-crimp fabrics (NCFs) composites with a room temperature cure epoxy and a novel liquid Methyl methacrylate (MMA) thermoplastic matrix, Elium®. Vacuum assisted resin infusion (VARI) process is chosen as a cost effective manufacturing technique. Process parameters optimisation is required for thin NCFs due to intrinsic resistance it offers to the polymer flow. Cycles of repetitive manufacturing studies were carried out to optimise the NCF-thermoset (TS) and NCF with novel reactive thermoplastic (TP) resin. It was noticed that the controlled and optimised usage of flow mesh, vacuum level and flow speed during the resin infusion plays a significant part in deciding the final quality of the fabricated composites. The material selections, the challenges met during the manufacturing and the methods to overcome these are deliberated in this paper. An optimal three stage vacuum technique developed to manufacture the TP and TS composites with high fibre volume and lower void content is established and presented. View Full-Text
Keywords: NCFs; VARI; manufacturing; Elium®; thermoset; thermoplastic; optimisation NCFs; VARI; manufacturing; Elium®; thermoset; thermoplastic; optimisation
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Bhudolia, S.K.; Perrotey, P.; Joshi, S.C. Optimizing Polymer Infusion Process for Thin Ply Textile Composites with Novel Matrix System. Materials 2017, 10, 293.

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