Title: An investigation into the microstructure and mechanical properties of a 3D fibre reinforced advanced composite with an enhanced fibre volume fraction

Authors: G.F. Stewart, Alistair T. McIlhagger, Justin P. Quinn, Scott King

Addresses: School of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering, Engineering Composite Research Centre (ECRE), Room 6C31, University of Ulster at Jordanstown, Shore Road, Newtownabbey, Co. Antrim BT37 0QB, UK. ' School of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering, Engineering Composite Research Centre (ECRE), Room 6C31, University of Ulster at Jordanstown, Shore Road, Newtownabbey, Co. Antrim BT37 0QB, UK. ' School of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering, Engineering Composite Research Centre (ECRE), Room 6C31, University of Ulster at Jordanstown, Shore Road, Newtownabbey, Co. Antrim BT37 0QB, UK. ' School of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering, Engineering Composite Research Centre (ECRE), Room 6C31, University of Ulster at Jordanstown, Shore Road, Newtownabbey, Co. Antrim BT37 0QB, UK

Abstract: Industries such as Aerospace, Marine, Automotive and Construction are now embracing advanced composites processed using resin infusion techniques. These composites consist of complex fibrous reinforcements and polymeric matrices. They hold the promise of lower costs and equivalent or greater performance than composites produced via more expensive traditional techniques such as autoclaving and as a result are gaining increasing acceptance. One such material is a 3D fibre reinforced composite which possesses superior strength and stiffness in the Through-The-Thickness (T-T-T) direction compared to 2D composites due to their T-T-T binder tows. However, due to the T-T-T binder it is harder to achieve the required high fibre Volume Fraction (Vf) for optimum performance. This paper investigates a 3D fibre reinforced composite and how its structure and mechanical properties are affected by increasing Vf.

Keywords: 3D composites; fibre volume fraction; VARTM; vacuum assisted resin transfer moulding; microstructure; mechanical properties; fibre reinforced composites; advanced composites.

DOI: 10.1504/IJCMSSE.2009.024931

International Journal of Computational Materials Science and Surface Engineering, 2009 Vol.2 No.1/2, pp.146 - 154

Published online: 04 May 2009 *

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