Date: May 23, 1999
Creator: Drazel, L.T.; Janke, C.J. & Yarborough, K.D.
Description: The recently completed Department of Energy (DOE) and industry sponsored Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) entitled, ''Electron Beam Curing of Polymer Matrix Composites,'' determined that the interlaminar shear strength properties of the best electron beam cured IM7/epoxy composites were 19-28% lower than autoclave cured IM7/epoxy composites (i.e. IM7/977-2 and IM7/977-3). Low interlaminar shear strength is widely acknowledged as the key barrier to the successful acceptance and implementation of electron beam cured composites in the aircraft/aerospace industry. The objective of this work was to improve the interlaminar shear strength properties of electron beam cured composites by formulating and evaluating several different fiber sizings or coating materials. The researchers have recently achieved some promising results by having discovered that the application of epoxy-based, electron beam compatible sizings or coatings onto surface-treated, unsized IM7 carbon fibers improved the composite interlaminar shear strength properties by as much as 55% versus composites fabricated from surface-treated, unsized IM7 fibers. In addition, by applying these same epoxy-based sizings or coatings onto surface-treated, unsized IM7 fibers it was possible to achieve an 11% increase in the composite interlaminar shear strength compared to composites made from surface-treated, GP-sized IM7 fibers. Work is continuing in this area of research ...
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