Test Report - Fault Current Through Graphite Filament Reinforced Plastic
- Evans, R. W.
- Apr. 1997.
- Physical Description:
- 1 electronic document
- Restrictions on Access:
- Unclassified, Unlimited, Publicly available. and Free-to-read Unrestricted online access
- Tests were performed to determine the damage to samples of composite material when a current carrying wire is shorted to the surface of the composite material, and to determine whether enough current can flow through the material to blow a fuse before damage can occur. Fault current tests were performed on samples of graphite epoxy materials. Samples consisted of six layers of IM7 graphite fiber mat in Hercules 8552 epoxy resin. A variable power supply provided up to 35 amps of current. The high voltage side of the power supply was attached to a wire at the end of a hinged arm, and the low side was attached to the edge of the sample. To test joints, the return was connected to the edge of one sample, and the high side was shorted to the top of the other sample. Tests show that when current exceeds approximately 5 amps, the graphite glows, and the epoxy melts out at the shorted contact. At higher current levels the epoxy burns. At voltages above 15 volts the epoxy outer coat is easily broken, and fire, flame, and a rise in current occur suddenly. When joints are introduced, resistance is increased, and the maximum current resulting from a short circuit to the graphite epoxy is reduced. This condition can easily result in fault current lower than the circuit breaker limit and higher than the 5 amp ignition level. The shorting contact and the joint become hot spots with melting epoxy, smoke, and fire.
- NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS) Collection.
- Document ID: 19970018160., Accession ID: 97N20236., NASA-CR-4774., M-831., and NAS 1.26:4774.
- No Copyright.
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