The interlaminar toughness of carbon-fibre reinforced plastic composites using ‘hybrid-toughened’ matrices
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When polymerised, epoxy polymers are amorphous and highly crosslinked (i.e. thermosetting) materials. This microstructure results in many useful properties for structural engineering applications, such as a high modulus and failure strength, low creep, and good performance at elevated temperatures. For these reasons, epoxy polymers are frequently used as the matrices for fibre-reinforced materials.
However, the structure of such thermosetting polymers also leads to one highly undesirable property in that they are relatively brittle materials, with a poor resistance to crack initiation and growth. Nevertheless, it has been well established for many years that the incorporation of a second micro-phase of a dispersed rubbery [e.g. 1, 2, 3, 4] or a thermoplastic polymer [e.g. 5, 6, 7] into the epoxy can increase their toughness, without significantly impairing the other desirable engineering properties; and, considering the incorporation of a rubbery phase, typically the...
KeywordsEpoxy Polymer CFRP Laminate CFRP Plate Rubbery Phase Epoxy Equivalent Weight
The authors wish to thank the Royal Academy of Engineering for a Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship and the Royal Society for a Brian Mercer Postdoctoral Award for Innovation for Dr. A.C. Taylor and a studentship from the Government of Trinidad & Tobago for Mr. R.D. Mohammed. Also, they would wish to acknowledge the general support from the US Army European Research Office for Mr. R.D. Mohammed.
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