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Proceedings Paper

End-of-cure sensing using ultrasonics for autoclave fabrication of composites
Author(s): Paul J. Biermann; Joan H. Cranmer; Carol A. Nove; Lawrence M. Brown
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Paper Abstract

The objective of this work was to demonstrate the use of ultrasonics to determine the end-of-curve for autoclave cured, graphite/epoxy composite laminates. The fundamental benefit of this work will be understanding when to complete the temperature hold and cool down the autoclave and, therefore, consistently produce composite laminates with the desired material properties. An additional benefit is the ability to follow the changing viscosity of the resin during the initial part of the cure. The general approach to this program involved using pulse-echo ultrasonics to measure the transit time for longitudinal ultrasonic waves to pass through a graphite/epoxy composite laminate during cure. Sixteen, 32 and 64 ply (0/90)s graphite/Fiberite 934 epoxy panels were fabricated and cured to various end-of-cure conditions. Additionally, panels with various starting conditions were run. Sound speed was calculated using the panel thickness divided by the measured transit time.

Paper Details

Date Published: 15 November 1996
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 2948, Nondestructive Evaluation for Process Control in Manufacturing, (15 November 1996); doi: 10.1117/12.259184
Show Author Affiliations
Paul J. Biermann, Johns Hopkins Univ. (United States)
Joan H. Cranmer, Johns Hopkins Univ. (United States)
Carol A. Nove, Edison Welding Institute (United States)
Lawrence M. Brown, Naval Surface Warfare Ctr. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2948:
Nondestructive Evaluation for Process Control in Manufacturing
Richard H. Bossi; Tom Moran, Editor(s)

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