Strength knock-down assessment of porosity in composites: modelling, characterising and specimen manufacture

A McMillan, E Archer, AT McIlhagger, G Lelong

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3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Porosity and inclusion of foreign material is known to reduce the strength of materials, and this paper addresses the particular problem of strength knock-down assessment due to porosity in composite materials. Porosity is often measured in terms of percentage of voids per unit volume of a component, because this can be related directly to ultra-sound absorption. Nevertheless, this is a poor indicator of actual strength knock-down, as it provides little information about void size, shape, orientation and whether they are evenly distributed or are clustered. Characterisation of void clustering enables a link between a cluster characteristic and the strength knock-down. Laboratory based testing achieves controlled porosity in specimens by introducing pin-holes into the RTM in-flow pipework, which entrains voids into the body of the preform within mould tooling. Specimens are manufactured to create resin regions bounded by a fibre reinforced picture frame, to allow for easy load application. Strength knock-downs from test are related to the theoretical expectations.
LanguageEnglish
JournalJournal of Physics: Conference Series
Volume382
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 29 Aug 2012

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Porosity
Composite materials
Resin transfer molding
Strength of materials
Resins
Ultrasonics
Fibers
Testing

Cite this

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AB - Porosity and inclusion of foreign material is known to reduce the strength of materials, and this paper addresses the particular problem of strength knock-down assessment due to porosity in composite materials. Porosity is often measured in terms of percentage of voids per unit volume of a component, because this can be related directly to ultra-sound absorption. Nevertheless, this is a poor indicator of actual strength knock-down, as it provides little information about void size, shape, orientation and whether they are evenly distributed or are clustered. Characterisation of void clustering enables a link between a cluster characteristic and the strength knock-down. Laboratory based testing achieves controlled porosity in specimens by introducing pin-holes into the RTM in-flow pipework, which entrains voids into the body of the preform within mould tooling. Specimens are manufactured to create resin regions bounded by a fibre reinforced picture frame, to allow for easy load application. Strength knock-downs from test are related to the theoretical expectations.

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