SAMPE Tech Seattle 2014 Conference, June 2-5, 2014, Seattle, Washington
Complex parts; Component testing; Fast Processing; Filling pressures; High pressure; Mechanical performance; Thermoplastic composite; Void contents
Randomly-oriented strands composites offer the possibility to mould complex parts with fast processing cycle. In this paper, effects of pressure and strand size on the quality of a T-shape part were studied experimentally. Low pressure results showed strand size effects on the filling of a 25 mm rib cavity. Filling pressures for three strand sizes were obtained. 10 bar of pressure was enough to fully consolidate parts with smaller strands (3.17 mm × 6.35 mm). Analyzing parts processed at minimal filling pressure showed a void content in the rib feature no greater than 1.2 %. Processing at higher pressure reduced void content between 0.22 % and 0.44 %. Mechanical testing (ASTM D2344) showed similar strength for ribs processed at filling pressure and high pressure. This same trend was obtained for component testing of the T-shape. The main findings show that processing a complex feature at filling pressure Pfill was sufficient to reach nominal mechanical properties. This suggested that porosity was not detrimental to the mechanical performance for the given tests.