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Polymers 2018, 10(8), 888;

Triblock Copolymer Toughening of a Carbon Fibre-Reinforced Epoxy Composite for Bonded Repair

Aerospace Division, Defence Science and Technology Group, Fishermans Bend 3207, Australia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 28 June 2018 / Revised: 31 July 2018 / Accepted: 7 August 2018 / Published: 8 August 2018
PDF [4549 KB, uploaded 19 August 2018]


Epoxy resins are the most widely used systems for structural composite applications; however, they lack fracture toughness, impact strength and peel strength due to high cross-linking densities. Use of conventional toughening agents to combat this can lead to reductions in mechanical, thermal and processability properties desirable for bonded composite applications. In this work, an asymmetric triblock copolymer of poly(styrene)–b–poly(butadiene)–b–poly(methylmethacrylate) was used to modify an epoxy resin system, with the materials processed using both vacuum bag and positive pressure curing techniques. Interlaminar fracture toughness testing showed improvements in initiation fracture toughness of up to 88%, accompanied by a 6 °C increase in glass transition temperature and manageable reductions in gel-time. Shear testing resulted in a 121% increase in ultimate shear strain with only an 8% reduction in shear strength. Performance improvements were attributed to nano-structuring within the toughened resin system, giving rise to matrix cavitation and dissipation of crack front strain energy upon loading. View Full-Text
Keywords: carbon fibre; nano-structures; mechanical properties; polymer-matrix composites carbon fibre; nano-structures; mechanical properties; polymer-matrix composites

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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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Charles, A.D.; Rider, A.N. Triblock Copolymer Toughening of a Carbon Fibre-Reinforced Epoxy Composite for Bonded Repair. Polymers 2018, 10, 888.

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