Mechanical and thermomechanical characterisation of vacuum-infused thermoplastic- and thermoset-based composites

Obande, Winifred and Mamalis, Dimitrios and Ray, Dipa and Yang, Liu and Ó Brádaigh, Conchúr M. (2019) Mechanical and thermomechanical characterisation of vacuum-infused thermoplastic- and thermoset-based composites. Materials and Design, 175. 107828. ISSN 0264-1275

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    Abstract

    In this work, a comparative performance study was conducted on glass fibre-reinforced thermoplastic acrylic and thermosetting epoxy laminates produced by vacuum-assisted resin transfer moulding. Mechanical characterisation revealed that the acrylic-based composite had superior transverse tensile strength and mode-I fracture toughness to the epoxy composite, while longitudinal flexural properties and short beam shear strength were found to be comparable. Dissimilar damage evolution behaviour was observed in both materials during tensile testing. The thermomechanical behaviour of the materials has been assessed as a function of temperature. Finally, fractographic investigations of shear and mode-I fracture behaviour revealed distinct fracture mechanisms that complement the findings from mechanical and thermomechanical analyses.