Effect of preform consolidation on the fracture toughness of marine grade polymer matrix composite materials fabricated with a VARTM process
Publication Name: Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Publication URL: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/260590719_Effect_of_Preform_Consolidation_on_the_Fracture_Toughness_of_Marine_Grade_Polymer_Matrix_Composite_Materials_Fabricated_with_a_VARTM_Process
The effect of fiber preform consolidation on Mode-I fracture toughness of composite laminates was investigated. Woven roving E-glass/vinyl-ester composite plates were fabricated with a pliable-bag VARTM process using consolidation pressures and consolidation times commonly incorporated when fabricating marine grade polymer composite parts. This study investigated the range of 0.85 to 0.98 bar (25 to 29 in-Hg) for consolidation pressure, and a consolidation time range of 1 to 5 hours. The general trend at the lower consolidation pressures was that shorter consolidation times produced larger onset fracture toughness values and smaller propagation fracture toughness values, while longer consolidation times produced smaller onset fracture toughness values and larger propagation fracture toughness values. There was not a consistent effect at the higher pressure. There was no correlation found between the global fiber volume fraction of the specimens and the fracture toughness properties.