An Introduction to Composites

List of materials we know

What is a Composite?
• A combination of two or more different materials
– Properties are superior to that of individual materials
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Metals
Concrete

Plastics
CFRP, GFRP

Ceramics

What is a Composite

Matrix Epoxy Polyamides Polyester Silicone

Composite

Reinforcemen t Glass Carbon Thermoplastic fibres Metals Ceramics Tungsten carbide

Steel Aluminium

boron nitride Carbon fibre

• Why a bunch of ceramic fibres are stronger than the Bulk material?

Reinforcements
• • • • • Glass fibre Carbon fibre Boron fibre Thermoplastic fibres Metal
– Wire, powder

• Ceramics
– SiC, Al2O3

Reinforcement Schemes • Continuous fibre (or yarn)

– UD laminates – Fibre Woven

• Chopped fibre/ whiskers • Flakes • Skeletal
– Honeycomb

• Glass fibre
– – – – – – – – Most commonly used Produced by extrusion E-Glass – electrical applications S-Glass – High strength applications Produced by Chemical Vapour Deposition Higher tensile modulus High cost Aerospace/ military applications

• Boron fibre

Prepregs
• reinforcement material pre-impregnated with a resin matrix in controlled quantities • The resin is partially cured (called B-state) • fabricator lays up the finished part and completes the cure with heat and pressure

– – – – –

Low void content Control of fibre volume fraction Control of laminate thickness Labour cost lower Better quality and conformity

Fabrication methods
• • • • • • • Vacuum Bag Moulding Autoclave Moulding Press Moulding Pressure Bag Moulding Filament Winding Thermal Expansion Moulding Pultrusion

A widely Used Example

CFRP

Carbon Fibre Reinforced Plastics  (Carbon-epoxy composites)

CFRP
– CFRP piece consists:
• 50-70% of woven Carbon fibre • 10-25% of Epoxy Resin • 8-28% of Polyamines

Carbon Fibre-How its made

• Carbon Fibre production by Pyrolyzing
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Oxidising

Carbonising

Graphitising 2500 - 3000℃ High Modulus Carbon

200 - 300℃

1500 - 2000℃

PAN (55%) Rayon  Pitch(85%)
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High Strength Carbon

– – –

Epoxy-matrix material
• Used as a Coating, adhesive, insulator
• Dulux® Epoxy floor paint (heavy duty)

• Epoxide/polyamine (Resin/Hardener)

 Ex.: • Ethylene Oxide • Propylene Oxide

• The matrices most widely used for composites in commercial and highperformance aerospace applications are thermoset resins, consisting of polymer chains that are permanently

Epoxies
• Highest strength/ stiffness • Low viscosity for wetting • Low shrinkage •

• What is Stiffness?

CFRP-Properties
Specific Tensile Carbon Density Strength 1.8 1.10 (for Fibre CFRP) Epoxy 1.2 Aluminiu 2.7 0.23  m High tensile strength/
weight  Very stiff  low thermal expansion  environmental resistance

• Can be Engineered to Suite the application


– add directional strength – high service temperature – impact resistance – improved hot/wet mechanical performance – fire retardancy – Complex shapes – Can be automated

CFRP-Advantages
• Due to the high specific modulus and strength of the materials, very strong and stiff structures can be designed, with substantial weight savings. • The ability to align the fibre orientation with the direction of principle stresses and, therefore, achieve high structural efficiency. • Exceptional environmental degradation and corrosion resistance properties. • Very low coefficient of thermal expansion, with the added possibility of designing the material to give desired thermal expansion in a particular direction. • Improved vibration damping properties. • Easy repairability of damaged structures. • Ability to manufacture complex shapes at lower costs compared with fabricated or machined metallic alloys. • Time and cost reductions on tooling and manufacturing of one-offs, prototypes and short length production runs. • Excellent fatigue life, i.e. carbon fibre composites can be designed to be essentially fatigue free. • Improved energy absorbing safety structures.

Industry Applications
• Aerospace
– Structural components, aircraft flooring, aircraft prototypes, unmanned air vehicles (UAVs), space structures, missile components

• Motorsport
– Bodywork & structural components, engine covers, – underbodies, heat shields, impact structures, prototypes

• Marine
– Hulls, decks, covers

• Sports
– Bicycles, skis/snowboards, helmets, tennis racquets, kayaks, fishing rods, golf clubs

• Automotive
– Prototype panels, combination/checking fixtures, sports/niche car components, interior trims, springs, drive shafts, exhausts

• Others

Boeing 787 - Dreamliner

Boeing 787 Dreamliner

Ø Largest & most critical application to rely on CFRP

Close to100% of skin 50% of all material of the plane 80% lesser number of drill-holes/rivets 20% saving on fuel consumption corrosion and fatigue benefits - remain in service for 12 years before its first structural test • assemble each 787 in just three days, down from 11 days for the 737 • • • • •

Some Drawbacks
• Expensive • Non-homogeniety/ discontinuity • Difficult to machine
– – – – Delamination Potentially toxic dust formation Fibre pull-outs Tool wear

• Disposal can be expensive and environmentally hazardous • Recycling is costly and may not give the same strength

Important websites
• • • • • • • • • www.toray.com www.compositesworld.com www.mmsonline.com www.wikipedia.org www.boeing.com www.riversimple.com

Refferences
• Kenneth G. Budinski, Michael K. Budinski; Engineering Materials – Properties and Selection; Sixth Edition; Prentice Hall, 1999, pp125

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Thank You

Any Questions?