Development of a 3D reinforcement by tufting in carbon fiber/epoxy composites
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Since the early development, the sectors where the composite materials are being used have been growing gradually. Nowadays, these materials have extensive application in the structural components in the aerospace, defense, transportation, civil, and energy industries. The composites, especially carbon fabric/epoxy resin, have excellent in-plane properties. However, the susceptibility to delamination from out-of-plane loads, due to the lack of fibers oriented through the thickness, is still one of the weaknesses of this kind of materials. The introduction of reinforcement through the thickness has the potential to increase out-of-plane properties of composite materials. This can be accomplished by different reinforcement methods, such as Z-pinning, stitching, and tufting. This work aimed to develop and implement a simplified method of through-the-thickness reinforcement, based on tufting reinforcement. The experimental methodology was developed in a CNC router machine where glass fiber and polyamide were used as the main reinforcement materials in different square patterns (5 × 5 and 7 × 7) and applied in laminated carbon/epoxy composites manufactured by vacuum resin transfer molding process. Then, efficiency of the reinforcement was evaluated by means of mechanical testing, i.e., tensile and end-notched flexure testing in order to evaluate the ability to improve the interlaminar fracture strength. Results showed that the presence of the reinforcements provided around 27% increase in the delamination resistance compared to the non-reinforced composites in the thickness direction.
KeywordsTTT reinforcement Tufting Interlaminar fracture toughness Delamination Carbon/epoxy composites
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The authors would like to thank Giorgio Solinas (TEXIGLASS® Company) for his support.
This study received financial support from the Brazilian agency CNPq – Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico and CAPES – Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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