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Effect of the manufacturing process on the interlaminar fracture toughness of 2/2 twill weave fabric carbon/epoxy composites
journal contributionposted on 2005-01-01, 00:00 authored by Jin Zhang, Bronwyn Fox
A 2/2 twill weave fabric carbon fibre reinforced epoxy matrix composite MTM56/CF0300 was used to investigate the effect of different manufacturing processes on the interlaminar fracture toughness. Double cantilever beam tests were performed on composites manufactured by hot press, autoclave and 'Quickstep' processes. The 'Quickstep' process was recently developed in Perth, Western Australia for the manufacture of advanced composite components. The values of the mode I critical strain energy release rate (G1d were compared and the results showed that the composite specimens manufactured by the autoclave and the 'Quickstep' process had much higher interlaminar fracture toughness than the specimen produced by the hot press. When compared to specimens manufactured by the hot press, the interlaminar fracture toughness values of the Quickstep and autoclave samples were 38% and 49% higher respectively. The 'Quickstep' process produced composite specimens that had comparable interlaminar fracture toughness to autoclave manufactured composites. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) was employed to study the topography of the mode I interlaminar fracture surface and dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA) was performed to investigate the fibre/matrix interphase. SEM micrography and DMA spectra indicated that autoclave and 'Quickstep' produced composites with stronger fibre/matrix adhesion than hot press.