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Open AccessArticle

Influence of the Fibre Content, Exposure Time, and Compaction Pressure on the Mechanical Properties of Ultraviolet-Cured Composites

1
IDEKO, Arriaga Industrialdea, 2, E-20870 Elgoibar, Spain
2
GAIKER, Parque Tecnológico, Edif. 202, 48170 Zamudio, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
J. Compos. Sci. 2020, 4(1), 30; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs4010030
Received: 26 February 2020 / Revised: 17 March 2020 / Accepted: 18 March 2020 / Published: 20 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Journal of Composites Science in 2019)
A new process for the impregnation, consolidation, and curing of glass-fibre-reinforced polyester composites was developed to reduce manufacturing costs and secure end properties that compete with other traditional materials. This new process, based on the ultraviolet (UV) curing of prepregs, could be a viable alternative to infusion and other processes. In this paper, we showed that glass fibre composites 3 mm thick could be easily formed using suitable photoinitiating systems. We achieved improved mechanical properties through the application of favourable parameters to traditional manufacturing processes such as hand lay-up and infusion. The prepreg polymerization was monitored by dielectric analysis (DEA), and we evaluated the relationship between the UV radiation exposure time and curing degree. Both the exposure time and compaction pressure affected the fibre content of composites and interlaminar shear strength. Experimental results showed that compaction pressures higher than 4 bar are necessary to increase the mechanical properties of the UV-cured composites. Finally, the properties of the composites manufactured by this new process were compared to the properties of composites manufactured using traditional processes such as hand lay-up and infusion. View Full-Text
Keywords: glass-fibre-reinforced composites; impregnation; UV curing prepregs; compaction pressure; degree of curing; infusion process glass-fibre-reinforced composites; impregnation; UV curing prepregs; compaction pressure; degree of curing; infusion process
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G. Pérez-de-Eulate, N.; Iztueta, A.A.; Gondra, K.; Vallejo, F.J. Influence of the Fibre Content, Exposure Time, and Compaction Pressure on the Mechanical Properties of Ultraviolet-Cured Composites. J. Compos. Sci. 2020, 4, 30.

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