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Title: Compression and microstructure of glass fibre fabrics in the processing of polymer composites
Author: Saunders, R. A.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3554 0259
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 1997
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The compression of typical glass fibre woven fabrics, namely plain, twill, satin, and noncrimped stitch-bonded fabric, was studied experimentally by performing a series of mechanical tests on dry and resin impregnated assemblies of fabrics. This was followed by microstructural studies of corresponding laminates cured under different degrees of compression. The experiments included investigations on the effects of applied pressure, speed of compression, fabric orientation, number of plies and different resin systems on fibre volume fraction,Vf, of the compressed assembly. It was found that the compression of dry fabrics followed a power-law relationship between pressure and Vf where the power law index, b, was determined to be approximately equal to 10.3, 9.8 and 9.1 for assemblies consisting of plain, twill and 5 harness satin weaves, respectively. A mathematical analysis was performed for the viscoelastic compression of resin impregnated assemblies of fabrics and a model was developed incorporating the deformation of the fibre network and resin flow through the reinforcement. A methodology was devised for the geometrical representation of plain weaves in the microstructural analysis of cured laminates. The microstructural studies then provided data for the area and geometrical parameters of the yam cross-section; the mean amplitude, wavelength and phase angle of the yarn waveform and the distance between plies at different compression pressures. Cross-sections of laminates with each of the considered fabrics were compared in terms of fibre area fractions, porosity and void content, for the different compression pressures. The aim for the microstructural analysis was to elucidate the mechanism of compression and to follow the development of fibre and pore structure under different degrees of compression. It was concluded that the compression of resin impregnated woven fabrics could be considered as a combination of four modes of deformation; (a) the elimination of a resin rich interlayer between adjacent layers of fabric; (b) the nesting of layers of fabric by slipping while under compression; (c) the deformation of the yam waveform which results in the reduction of thickness of individual plies and (d) the compression and deformation of the cross-sections of individual yarns.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Reinforcing fibres; Contact moulding