Manufacture of multi-scale composites using the resin infusion between double flexible tooling process


The introduction of carbon nanotubes (CNT) to composite laminates has led to a paradigm shift in the application of advanced composites. Researchers have noted the potential of CNTs for significantly enhancing mechanical and electrical properties of composites, leading to multiscale, multifunctional advanced materials. Most of the enhancements however, have been limited due to flow issues associated with the increased viscosity of resins doped with dispersed CNTs in liquid composite molding techniques. The Resin Infusion between Double Flexible Tooling (RIDFT) process is assessed in this work for its ability to infuse CNT-filled resins through a fiber preform and avoiding CNT filtration seen in other infusion processes. Components are made with 1% wt of CNTs dispersed using a 3-roll calendaring mill in vinyl ester resin, and reinforced with carbon fibers. Flexural tests were performed, indicating an increase with flexural strength with the addition of CNTs. Failed sections were observed under scanning electron microscopy to verify CNT dispersion through representative laminate sections.

Publication Title

International SAMPE Symposium and Exhibition (Proceedings)

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