Title: CHARACTERIZATION OF INTERLAYER TOUGHENED CARBON FIBRE-REINFORCED POLYMERS USING SYNCHROTRON-BASED COMPUTED TOMOGRAPHY
Authors: Farzad Sharifpour, Toby M. Bond, Anoush Poursartip
Abstract: Typically, 2D imaging techniques such as optical microscopy and scanning electron microscopy have been used to characterize carbon fibre-reinforced polymer (CFRP) microstructures. However, a proper understanding of CFRP microstructure benefits from 3D observation of the internal features, and synchrotron x-ray computed tomography (SRCT) has demonstrated the feasibility of capturing such microstructures at the needed resolution. From a processing perspective, this includes investigating the geometrical variability of prepreg fibre architectures including process-induced defects during cure, where simple 2D imaging fails to provide a complete picture. This research investigates the applicability of high-resolution SRCT (0.34–0.72 µm/voxel) in characterizing the microstructure of an interlayer-toughened CFRP. The Toray T800S/3900-2B material system was scanned and analyzed with particular attention to fibre-related parameters such as tortuosity and in-plane misalignment. Additionally, cure path dependent microstructures of the toughened interlayer were captured, and the significance of the particle shape on the interlayer thickness and fibre volume fraction was highlighted. The results are compared to previous 2D sectioning techniques, and the advantages and drawbacks of these techniques are discussed. This study advances the use of µCT to quantitatively characterize the change in prepreg microstructure due to processing, which in turn is key in understanding how mechanical properties change in the final cured part.
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