Table of Contents
Journal of Composites
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 162657, 6 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/162657
Research Article

Cure Cycle Effect on High-Temperature Polymer Composite Structures Molded by VARTM

Department of Industrial Technology, College of Engineering, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, P.O. Box 42972, Lafayette, LA 70504, USA

Received 9 January 2013; Accepted 17 March 2013

Academic Editor: Nikhil Gupta

Copyright © 2013 Ahmed Khattab. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

This paper presents an analytical and experimental investigation of cure cycle effect on carbon-fiber reinforced high-temperature polymer composite structures molded by vacuum assisted resin transfer molding (VARTM). The molded composite structure consists of AS4-8 harness carbon-fiber fabrics and a high-temperature polymer (Cycom 5250-4-RTM). Thermal and resin cure analysis is performed to model the cure cycle of the VARTM process. The temperature and cure variations with time are determined by solving the three-dimensional transient energy and species equations within the composite part. Several case studies were investigated by the developed analytical model. The same cases were also experimentally investigated to determine the ultimate tensile strength for each case. This study helps in developing a science based technology for the VARTM process for the understanding of the process behavior and the effect of the cure cycle on the properties of the molded high-temperature polymer composites.