A Device to Measure the Shrinkage and Heat Transfers during the Curing Cycle of Thermoset Composites


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Residual stresses development during manufacturing of composites depends mostly on the shrinkage behaviour of the polymer matrix from the point where stresses cannot be relaxed anymore. The matrix shrinkage may have a thermal and/or chemical origin and can leads to dimensional instability, ply cracking, delamination and fibre buckling. The approaches for measuring cure shrinkage can be classified as volume and non-volume dilatometry. Each technique has corresponding advantages and drawbacks but volume dilatometry is the one that is mostly used. In the present article, we report a home-built apparatus, named PVT-a mould, on which temperature, volume change and reaction conversion degree are measured simultaneously for an applied pressure. It can also be used to study the composite during curing and for the bulk samples having several millimetre thicknesses. The instrument is preferred over other techniques as it works in conditions close to the industrial ones. This device was used to measure cure shrinkage of resin and thermoset composite material with different fibre fractions as a function of temperature and reaction conversion degree. The heat of cure of the resin measured by PVT-a mould was compared to the results obtained by DSC.



Edited by:

Arshad Munir and Zaffar M. Khan






Y. Nawab et al., "A Device to Measure the Shrinkage and Heat Transfers during the Curing Cycle of Thermoset Composites", Advanced Materials Research, Vol. 326, pp. 19-28, 2011

Online since:

September 2011




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