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REVIEW QUESTIONS

1. What are the main advantages of using composite materials from a


manufacturing point of view?
a) Strength
b) Reduced cost-effectiveness techniques have been developed that produce a finished
after-mold type surface that does not require further processing, thus eliminating the need
for costly and time-consuming finishing.
c) Low weight - with substantial weight savings on similar metal parts.
d) Resilience: the ability to deform and return to its original form without major damage.
e) Safety - fiber reinforced compounds are low in electrical conductivity and are efficient
fire retardants, making them a good choice for covering electrical parts.
f) Thermal properties - composite structures act as very good insulators.
g) Compatibility with adhesives and coatings.
h) Resistance to a wide range of chemical agents, including acid rain and salt, conditions
under which metal parts would suffer.

2. What are the main factors that affect the curing of a composite material? Explain
why each is important.

a) Pressure must be controlled too


b) The humidity is also a factor that must be controlled during the
curing process, because the material could be damaged.
c) It must be heated at a certain speed; not too fast or slow.
Approximately at 5 per minute.
d) The amount of time the material is cured, must be according to the
composite

3. Why the viscosity of a resin is important in the manufacture of composite


materials?

Because if the resin has a very high viscosity then it would be hard for it to
penetrate between fibers, then the resins need to be low in viscosity to be workable
by hand. This generally compromises their mechanical/thermal properties due to
the need for high diluent/styrene levels.

4. What is a toughened carbon / epoxy? What are the advantages and


disadvantages of a hardened CFRP?
a. A carbon fiber reinforced polymer composite, are widely used in
technology. Epoxy resins are employed as the matrix material,
possessing an outstanding mechanical performance.
b. Advantages:

b.1. Strong, light, low thermal expansion, corrosion resistance,


exceptional durability.

c. Disadvantages
c.1 Relatively brittle, expensive, shatters when compressed or
exposed to high impact.

5. How does a slower heat-up rate vs. A faster heat-up rate would affect the quality
of a composite part?
Fig. 8 also shows that the void content increased about 50% when the temperature was
raised to 177 C (L4). During this part of the curing cycle, the vacuum vapor pressure was
at its maximum due to an increase in temperature. As a result, the moisture would have
more eruption.

6. What is the cause of voids induced in manufacturing? How would you reduce the
void content?
Vacuum is the most common tiny defect of composite materials. Porosity is very close
related to the ownership of the composite structure. The gaps that are formed are due to
the behavior in the compounds at the time of their cure. The laminated compounds are
different the porosities were repaired with the different process parameters. Research has
been carried out on the improvement of the void content by adjusting the autoclaving
process. Research has focused on improving the void content for the composite laminate
structure.

7. What are co-cure, co bond and secondary bonding? List an example for
each process.

Co-cure: The act of curing a composite laminate and simultaneously bonding it to


some other uncured material, or to a core material such as balsa, honeycomb, or
foam core. A typical co-cure application is the simultaneous cure of a stiffener and
a skin. Adhesive film is frequently placed into the interface between the stiffener
and the skin to increase fatigue and peel resistance.
Co-bond: The curing together of two or more elements, of which at least one is fully
cured and at least one is uncured. Film adhesive is often used to improve peel
strength.
Secondary bonding: The joining together, by the process of adhesive bonding, two
or more pre-cured composite parts, where the only chemical or thermal reaction
occurring is the curing of the adhesive itself. Honeycomb sandwich assemblies
commonly use a secondary bonding process to ensure optimal structural
performance

Typically, prepregs are kept at 0 F (-18 C) for up to 6 months. Beyond that time,
most prepregs must be recertified as acceptable or simply discarded. Because the
amount of time that a prepreg is exposed to room temperature is critical to its shelf
life, when a roll of prepreg is removed from the freezer, the time it is out of the
freezer is carefully noted.
Carbon fiber reinforced composites made with such recyclable thermoset resins
demonstrate not only excellent mechanistic properties, but also easy recyclability
under specific and benign chemical conditions. As such the CFRP waste during
manufacturing or CFRP parts after the end of their useful life can be recycled to
recover valuable carbon fiber for reuse as composite parts and degraded
thermoset resin as thermoplastics.

9. Why cant you open the plastic bag of a prepreg right after it is moved to
the shop for the layup?
Because if you open the plastic bag of a prepreg right after it is moved, it could
produce entrapped air and this air causes voids, that undesirable in the
manufacturing process.
10. How does the autoclave pressure would affect the part quality?
An autoclave is a pressure chamber used to carry out industrial processes
requiring elevated temperature and pressure different from ambient air pressure. In
terms of quality, the high heat and pressure that autoclaves allow help to ensure
that the best possible physical properties are repeatable in the part that its been
under this process.
11. What is the typical autoclave pressure for curing a CFRP laminate vs
curing a sandwich panel?
The pressures used in autoclave healers of CFRP structures are typically 0.7-0.8 bars
while in sandwich structures it will generally be 0.1-0.2 bars depending on the type of core.

12. What is a tow? How many fibers are in a tow in modern composite
aircraft?
The basic fiber forms for high-performance composite applications are bundles of
continuous fibers called tows. Typically, a carbon fiber tow contains between 1000
and 48000 individual filaments.
13. What is the Exotherm and what causes it? What is the consequence of
exotherm in curing?

Exotherm is an excessive accumulation of heat, it can generate enough heat to


melt containers in which the exotherm is generated or cause nearby elements to
catch fire. During curing a chemical reaction occurs between the resin and the
epoxy hardener that generates a great heat. When that heat can not escape,
causing it to accumulate more and more heat and this speeds up the curing
process as the epoxy cures faster the higher the temperature.

14. List five different processes for fabricating thermoset composites and
discuss what aircraft parts can be made using these processes.

a) Reaction injection molding (RIM).


b) Vacuum-assisted resin transfer molding (VARTM).
c) Hand LayUp.
d) Resin transfer molding (RTM).
e) Resin infusion processes.

15. What are advantages and disadvantages of the VARTM process? Can VARTM
produce as high quality parts as those made of the prepreg?
Advantages
a) Start-Up shorter time.
b)The cost of tools.
Disadvantages
a) It is a relatively complex process
In VARTM if can produce high quality parts using vacuum pressure only.
16. How is the manufacturing of thermoplastic composites different from termoset?
A: Thermostable: thermoset polymers are obtained in the form of two liquid resins. One
contains curing agents, hardeners and plasticizers, the other fillers and / or reinforcers
which may be organic or inorganic. In general they are hard and rigid even at elevated
temperatures.
When these two components are mixed, the cross-linking reaction is initiated, just as in
others it is initiated by heat and / or pressure. Because of this, thermosets can not be
reheated and melted down like thermoplastics.
B. Thermoplastics: thermoplastics to be shaped need the application prior to cooling that
gives them the definitive shape. These materials can be reheated and reformed several
times without significant changes in their properties. Its molecular structure is mostly
linear, with or without branching. The molecules are linked to one another, but without
cross-linking.
From a structural point of view, we could cite as a particular case the polymeric fibers as
groups of linear macromolecules, with an extended configuration in which there exists a
computer principle that allows the formation of ordered and regularly oriented regions.
All these materials are obtained in a synthetic way by chemical reactions called
polymerization reactions

17. Why the selection of a proper tooling material important in composite


fabrication? What are the best tooling materials to make CFRP part?

It is important because this can be subjected to different temperatures and the


piece needs dimensional accuracy. Bad tools produce bad parts. Major factors to
be considered in the design and fabrication of tooling for structural and mechanical
components are:
a) Control of fiber orientation
b) Dimensional tolerance control and configuration stability.
c) Location of parts in a structurally reliable assembly to give the lowest
possible cost.
d) Contour and size of the part.

Other significant factors which control final tool concept selection are:
a) Cost.
b) Tool service life.
c) Heat up rate.
d) Total energy requirements.
e) Production rates and related facility costs.

The tooling required to fabricate most composite parts can be subdivided into
several major categories including:
a) Molds and mandrels.
b) Assembly tools
c) Ply layup tools
d) Skin or mold forms
e) Curing aids
f) Handling tools
g) Drilling and trimming tools

A tool called a chopper gun is used to quickly create CFRP parts.


18. Why does a CFRP part spring back? How would you design a tool to
make 90 angle part?

This mainly happens in curing and is mostly due to pressure. A good solution to
these problems is to add an elastomer. Using an unbalanced stack, the part can be
designed to avoid the elastic recovery and maintain the angle.
In order to design a tool that can make a piece of CFRP at 90 , it is necessary to
make a relation between the angle of the piece loaded and unloaded, d y e
respectively. K is the spring back ratio.
e
K=
d

By means of this table we can approximate a punch radius that would come being
the one of the tool to obtain a piece with 90