In this article, the effect of hygrothermal aging on the painted surface finish of unidirectional and fabric carbon fibre composite laminates, with and without surfacing film was investigated. The results highlighted the importance of ensuring that the composite surface directly beneath the paint layer is made from a uniform material with a consistent thickness in order to minimise surface defects from occurring during aging. The surfacing film was found to minimise the print through development on the painted unidirectional and twill composite surfaces. However, the surfacing film layer was found to intermingle with the carbon fibre plies during cure, which resulted in an uneven film thickness that caused increased levels of orange peel. The twill laminate painted surface produced high levels of print through and surface waviness that was caused by the large resin rich regions located within the tow intersections at the surface which enlarged due to thermal expansion and swelling of the matrix with hygrothermal aging. It was also noted that the small resin rich regions between the individual carbon fibres on the unidirectional composite surface were sufficiently large to print through the painted surface.
Field of Research
090202 Automotive Engineering Materials 091202 Composite and Hybrid Materials
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