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Polymer Composites 2003 - EMA 4666C POLYMER PROCESSING...

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EMA 4666C POLYMER PROCESSING LABORATORY POLYMER COMPOSITES Glass Fiber/Epoxy Composites PURPOSE: To understand the compression molding processing of composites and their associated properties. MATERIALS: Mold Release Aluminum Mold 11”x11” PET sheet Epon 828 Epoxy Resin Jeffamine D-230 Amine Hardener 400 ml Plastic Beaker Mold Cleaner 3-4” x 4” Owens Corning Glass Fiber Plain Weave EQUIPMENT: Carver Hot Press Electrical Stirrer Mettler Digital Scale Density Measurement Apparatus DMS 110-Flexure Mode BACKGROUND: Polymer matrix composites (PMC) have become increasingly popular as advanced materials. Unidirectional fiber reinforced composites are attractive since the unique mechanical properties of the fiber, i.e. high strength and modulus, can be more fully realized in the form of a structural part. In addition, the high strength and stiffness to weight ratios of PMC's are particularly advantageous for applications such as automotive, sporting equipment, biomedical, marine, and military applications. The compression molding technique described in this lab is similar to the bag molding process with the exception that vacuum is not maintained on the composite during cure. The bag molding process is generally used in the aerospace industry where high production rates are not required. Compression molding is used commercially to transform sheet molding compounds (SMC’s) into finished products, e.g., automotive components like road wheels, bumpers, and leaf springs. There are three key processing parameters which may be controlled to optimize the composite laminate. These are temperature, time and pressure. They are adjusted in such a way as to enhance excess resin flow, decrease voids and air bubbles, and to remove impurities in order to yield optimum composite laminates.
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