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The University of Southampton

Research project: Voids in carbon fibre reinforced epoxy composite - Dormant - Dormant

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The role of voids in composite failure has not been well understood or characterized.  This study presents the results of an investigation aimed at examining the mechanical behaviour of undirectional carbon fibre-reinforced polymer matrix materials as used by the wind turbine industry.

The experimental programme investigates the effect of void content, different manufacturing method, type of loading (three-point bending vs four-point bending) on the static strength and fatigue life under flexural load.

Three-point bending tests show flexural strength to exponentially decrease as much as 6.4% for SPRINT and 6% for prepreg.  The similar void effect may be due to the similar microstructure for both materials.  Mechanism of failure is observed using optical microscopy of the polished edge and cross section of the area near the failure and also using X-ray tomography.  Voids were found to interact with cracks in both static and fatigue failure.

Conferences and events associated with this project:

Examples of the voids
Examples of the voids
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