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Journal Article

Improve Heat Resistance of Composite Engine Cowlings Using Ceramic Coating Materials, Experimental Design and Testing

Abstract A large amount of heat generated in the engineering compartment in a hovering helicopter may lead to premature degradation of inner skin of its engine cowling and cause serious failure on the engine cowling. This study proposes a solution of improving heat resistance of the helicopter engine cowlings by replacing the currently used intumescent coating with a ceramic coating material, Cerakote C-7700Q. Oven and flame tests were designed and conducted to evaluate the heat resistance of Cerakote C-7700Q. The test results show that the currently used painting scheme of the engine cowlings failed the 220°C oven test while after replacing the epoxy seal coat with the Cerakote, the new painting system passed the 220°C test in regards to painting bubbling. Based on that, a new painting scheme with C-7700Q implemented was recommended.
Journal Article

Carbon Fiber/Epoxy Mold with Embedded Carbon Fiber Resistor Heater - Case Study

Abstract The paper presents a complete description of the design and manufacturing of a Carbon Fiber/epoxy mold with an embedded Carbon Fiber resistor heater, and the mold performances in terms of its surface temperature distribution and thermal deformations resulting from the heating. The mold was designed for manufacturing aileron skins from Vacuum Bag Only prepreg cured at 135°C. The glass transition temperature of the used resin-hardener system was about 175°C. To ensure homogenous temperature of the mold working surface in the course of curing, the Carbon Fiber heater was embedded in a layer of a highly heat-conductive cristobalite/epoxy composite, forming the core of the mold shell. Because the cristobalite/epoxy composite displayed much higher thermal expansion than CF/epoxy did, thermal stresses could arise due to this discrepancy in the course of heating.
Journal Article

Data Manipulation Approach and Parameters Interrelationships of the High-Pressure Torsion for AA6061-15%SiCp Composite

Abstract On contrast to the qualitative approach used in the majority of researches, an evaluation quantitative approach is introduced not only to depict the plain individual effect of the influence of the high-pressure torsion (HPT) processing conditions on the microstructural and Hv-values of the ultra-hard nanostructured AA6061-15%SiCp composite but also to detect its possible parameters functional interaction and nonlinear trends involved. Experimental data were used to establish many adequate and significant empirical models to detect and to evaluate the mutual functional interrelationships between the Hv-values of the composite, each of HPT processing pressure, and number of revolutions. For each group of interrelated parameters, the preferred selected developed model has been exploited to generate the relevant contours and response surface graphs.
Journal Article

On the Multi-Parameter Experimental Investigation of Curing Cycle for Glass Fabric/Epoxy Laminated Composites

Abstract In this study, a multi-parameter analysis, using Taguchi method for design of experiments, has been conducted to investigate the optimum curing conditions for E-glass fabric/epoxy laminated composites. The independent variables in the L25 Taguchi orthogonal array were heating rate a, curing temperature TC and curing time tC, including five levels each. Tensile and 3-point bending tests were performed for each experiment number (run number) of the Taguchi L25. In this study, the significant factors for both tensile and flexural performance were temperature and time at 95% confidence level. Specifically, the tensile performance was affected almost equally by both curing temperature and time (32.71% and 35.89%, respectively). The flexural performance was mostly affected by curing temperature (44.02%) and secondarily by curing time (31.52%).
Journal Article

Evaluation of Thermal Roll Formed Thick Composite Panels Using Surface NDT Methods

Abstract Inspection of Composite panels is vital to the assessment of their ability to be fit for purpose. Conventional methods such as X-ray CT and Ultrasonic scanning can be used, however, these are often expensive and time consuming processes. In this paper we investigate the use of off-the-shelf Non-Destructive Test, NDT, equipment utilizing Fringe projection hardware and open source software to rapidly evaluate a series of composite panels. These results are then verified using destructive analysis of the panels to prove the reliability of the rapid NDT methods for use with carbon composite panels. This process allows us to quickly identify regions of geometric intolerance or formed defects without the use of expensive sub-surface scanning systems, enabling a fast and cost effective initial part evaluation system. The focus of this testing series is on 6mm thick pre-preg carbon-epoxy composite laminates that have been laid up using AFP and formed using TRF.
Journal Article

Effects of Reflux Temperature and Molarity of Acidic Solution on Chemical Functionalization of Helical Carbon Nanotubes

Abstract The use of nanomaterials and nanostructures have been revolutionizing the advancements of science and technology in various engineering and medical fields. As an example, Carbon Nanotubes (CNTs) have been extensively used for the improvement of mechanical, thermal, electrical, magnetic, and deteriorative properties of traditional composite materials for applications in high-performance structures. The exceptional materials properties of CNTs (i.e., mechanical, magnetic, thermal, and electrical) have introduced them as promising candidates for reinforcement of traditional composites. Most structural configurations of CNTs provide superior material properties; however, their geometrical shapes can deliver different features and characteristics. As one of the unique geometrical configurations, helical CNTs have a great potential for improvement of mechanical, thermal, and electrical properties of polymeric resin composites.
Journal Article

Lightweight Carbon Composite Chassis for Engine Start Lithium Batteries

Abstract The supersession of metallic alloys with lightweight, high-strength composites is popular in the aircraft industry. However, aviation electronic enclosures for large format batteries and high power conversion electronics are still primarily made of aluminum alloys. These aluminum enclosures have attractive properties regrading structural integrity for the heavy internal parts, electromagnetic interference (EMI) suppression, electrical bonding for the internal cells, and/or electronics and failure containment. This paper details a lightweight carbon fiber composite chassis developed at Meggitt Sensing Systems (MSS) Securaplane, with a copper metallic mesh co-cured onto the internal surfaces resulting in a 50% reduction in weight when compared to its aluminum counterpart. In addition to significant weight reduction, it provides equal or improved performance with respect to EMI, structural and flammability performance.
Journal Article

Studies on Friction Mechanism of NAO Brake-Pads Containing Potassium Titanate Powder as a Theme Ingredient

Abstract Potassium titanate (KT) fibers/whiskers are used as a functional filler for partial replacement of asbestos in NAO friction materials (FMs). Based on little information reported in open literature; its exact role is not well defined since some papers claim it as the booster for resistance to fade (FR), or wear (WR) and sometimes as damper for friction fluctuations. Interestingly, KT fibers and whiskers (but not powder) are proved as carcinogens by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). However, hardly any efforts are reported on exploration of influence of KT powder and its optimum amount in NAO FMs (realistic composites) in the literature. Hence a series of five realistic multi-ingredient compositions in the form of brake-pads with similar parent composition but varying in the content of KT powder from 0 to 15 wt% (in the steps of 3) were developed. These composites were characterized for physical, mechanical, chemical and tribological performance.
Journal Article

Numerical Analysis of Blast Protection Improvement of an Armored Vehicle Cab by Composite Armors and Anti-Shock Seats

Abstract The objective of this article is to evaluate the effects of different blast protective modules to military vehicle structures and occupants. The dynamic responses of the V-shape integral basic armor, the add-on honeycomb sandwich structure module, and the anti-shock seat-dummy system were simulated and analyzed. The improvements of occupant survivability by different protective modules were compared using occupant injury criteria. The integral armored cab can maintain the integrity of the cab body structure. The add-on honeycomb sandwich armor reduces the peak structural deformation and velocity of the cab floor by 34.9% and 47.4%, respectively, compared with the cab with integral armors only. The integral armored cab with the anti-shock seat or the honeycomb sandwich structures reduces the occupant shock responses below the injury criteria. For different blast threat intensities, the selection of appropriate protective modules can meet protection requirements.
Journal Article

Industrial Framework for Identification and Verification of Hot Spots in Automotive Composite Structures

Abstract In this article, a framework for efficient strength analysis of large and complex automotive composite structures is presented. This article focuses on processes and methods that are compliant with common practice in the automotive industry. The proposed framework uses efficient shell models for identification of hot spots, automated remodelling and analysis of found hot spots with high-fidelity models and finally an automated way of post-processing the detailed models. The process is developed to allow verification of a large number of load cases in large models and still consider all potential failure modes. The process is focused on laminated composite primary structures. This article highlights the challenges and tools for setting up this framework.
Journal Article

Artificial Lightning Tests on Metal and CFRP Automotive Bodies: A Comparative Study

Abstract Carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) has been used in automobiles as well as airplanes. Because of its light weight and high strength, CFRP is a good choice for making vehicle bodies lighter, which would improve fuel economy. Conventional metal bodies provide a convenient body return for electric wiring and offer good shielding against electromagnetic fields. Although CFRP is a conductor, its conductivity is much lower than that of metals. Therefore, CFRP bodies are usually not useful for electric wiring. In thunderstorms, an automotive body is considered to be a Faraday cage that protects the vehicle’s occupants from the potential harms of lightning. Before CFRP becomes widely applied to automotive bodies, its electric and electromagnetic properties need to be investigated in order to determine whether it also works as a Faraday cage against lightning. In this article, CFRP and metal body vehicles were tested under artificial lightning.