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Proceedings Paper

Characterization of polymer composites during autoclave manufacturing by Fourier transform Raman spectroscopy
Author(s): Stuart Farquharson; Wayne W. Smith; Elias J. Rigas; Dana Granville
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Paper Abstract

12 The superior engineering properties of fiber reinforced polymer matrix composites, primarily the high strength-to- weight ratio, make them suitable to applications ranging from sporting goods to aircraft components (e.g. helicopter blades). Unfortunately, consistent fabrication of components with desired mechanical properties has proven difficult, and has led to high production costs. This is largely due to the inability to monitor and control polymer cure, loosely defined as the process of polymer chain extension and cross- linking. Even with stringent process control, slight variations in the pre-polymer formulations (e.g. prepreg) can influence reaction rates, reaction mechanisms, and ultimately, product properties. In an effort to optimize the performance of thermoset composite, we have integrated fiber optic probes between the plies of laminates and monitored cure by Raman spectroscopy, with the eventual goal of process control. Here we present real-time measurements of two high performance aerospace companies cured within an industrial autoclave.

Paper Details

Date Published: 13 February 2001
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 4201, Optical Methods for Industrial Processes, (13 February 2001); doi: 10.1117/12.417383
Show Author Affiliations
Stuart Farquharson, Real-Time Analyzers (United States)
Wayne W. Smith, Real-Time Analyzers (United States)
Elias J. Rigas, Army Research Lab. (United States)
Dana Granville, Army Research Lab. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4201:
Optical Methods for Industrial Processes
Stuart Farquharson, Editor(s)

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