Designing Cure Cycles for Matrix/Fiber Composite Parts
- Hou, Tan-Hung
- April 2006.
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- 1 electronic document
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- A methodology has been devised for designing cure cycles to be used in the fabrication of matrix/fiber composite parts (including laminated parts). As used here, cure cycles signifies schedules of elevated temperature and pressure as functions of time, chosen to obtain desired rates of chemical conversion of initially chemically reactive matrix materials and to consolidate the matrix and fiber materials into dense solids. Heretofore, cure cycles have been designed following an empirical, trial-and-error approach, which cannot be relied upon to yield optimum results. In contrast, the present methodology makes it possible to design an optimum or nearly optimum cure cycle for a specific application. Proper design of a cure cycle is critical for achieving consolidation of a reactive matrix/fiber layup into a void-free laminate. A cure cycle for a composite containing a reactive resin matrix usually consists of a two-stage ramp-and-hold temperature profile. The temperature and the duration of the hold for each stage are unique for a given composite material. The first, lower-temperature ramp-and hold stage is called the B stage in composite- fabrication terminology. At this stage, pressure is not applied, and volatiles (solvents and reaction by-products) are free to escape. The second, higher-temperature stage is for final forced consolidation.
- Other Subject(s):
- NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS) Collection.
- Document ID: 20100021337.
NASA Tech Briefs, April 2006; 15-16.
- Copyright, Distribution as joint owner in the copyright.
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