A Novel Experimental Approach for Curing Polymer Analysis
Kang, Andrew Byungkyu
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In aerospace industry, understanding the development of stress within the composite part is a crucial aspect in producing high-quality composite parts. One such issue in composite manufacturing is the volume change of the polymer matrix material, that occurs as the epoxy cures and shrinks in volume. Over the years, several experimental procedures have been introduced to characterize various sources of this shrinkage. However, most of these methods are unable to provide an analysis of the epoxy throughout its cure cycle. In this paper, a novel experimental device is introduced to analyze the entire cure cycle of the matrix material of a typical composite. Unlike other previously proposed methods for curing polymer analysis, this apparatus aims to analyze the epoxy through rigorous stress calculation. Furthermore, it also aims to provide addition insights that may showcase relations between various cure characteristics that were previously unknown.