MANUFACTURE OF SIZEABLE MULTISCALE COMPOSITES THROUGH ENHANCEMENT OF RESIN FLOW IN THE RIDFT PROCESS
The introduction of carbon nanotubes (CNTs)to composite laminates has led to a paradigm shift in the application of advanced composites. To harness the advantagesof incorporating nanomaterials in the creation of multiscale multifunctional composites, viable techniques for manufacturing sizable components must be developed. This paper reports on an effort using the Resin Infusion between Double Flexible Tooling (RIDFT) process for the manufacture of multiscale composites. An
evaluation of several designs of RIDFT flow distribution channels were made to determine the best configuration for viscous flow of up to 10,000cPs. The optimized FDC configuration was used to infuse 1 and 2wt.% CNTs in vinyl ester resin. This work also determined that the addition of 60wt.% of styrene monomer was necessary to allow for CNT dispersion using a 3-roll calendaring mill. Flexural test results showed improvement in mechanical properties as CNT concentration was increased.
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