High-pressure autoclave curing for a thermoset composite: effect on the glass transition temperature
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The effect of high-pressure curing within an autoclave on the cured glass transition temperature (Tg) of a thermoset fibre-reinforced composite has been studied. The results indicate that an increase in the Tg value was obtained by a higher curing pressure as well as a lower moisture content. Both results have been related to the reduction in the microscopic free volume and the macroscopic void content of the matrix resin. Using the results obtained, the Tg increase was related to the applied autoclave pressure through equations based on both free-volume and thermodynamic concepts, with the results indicating a significantly higher effect than for homogeneous polymers. This has been attributed to a moisture-dominant diffusion process which has been used to explain the growth and reduction of voids.
KeywordsGlass Transition Temperature Diffusion Process Material Processing Free Volume High Cure
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