Skip to main content

Effects of the exposition of an autoclave prepreg to the processing environment on its properties, curing cycle and final composite behavior

Abstract

One of the major concerns when using prepreg materials for advanced composite manufacturing is the cure advancement. Although this type of prepreg curing is usually programmed to occur at high temperatures, the exposition to environmental conditions during processing, intrinsic to the industrial production, leads to the cure advancement and, consequently, to the detriment of prepreg’s processability. Therefore, techniques that provide accurate, relatively low-cost, and fast alternatives for tracking prepreg out-time are of great interest for composite industries. In this scenario, the present work aims to provide information on the use of thermal and rheological characterization techniques for monitoring the prepreg out-time. To do so, prepreg specimens were aged for pre-established periods (0 to 60 days) and characterized by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and dynamic shear rheometry techniques. Also, laminates were manufactured from aged prepregs, and their properties were characterized by ultrasound and volume fraction analyses and by interlaminar shear strength (ILSS) tests. The combination of the findings provides out-time tracking and properties monitoring alternatives for industries and points out to the possibility of extending prepreg out-time limits, reducing the waste on prepreg processing, one of the main challenges associated with composite manufacturing.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6
Fig. 7
Fig. 8
Fig. 9
Fig. 10

References

  1. Stark W, Jaunich M, McHugh J (2013) Carbon-fibre epoxy prepreg (CFC) curing in an autoclave analogue process controlled by dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA). Polym Test 32:1487–1494. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.polymertesting.2013.09.014

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Guo Z-S (2008) Effects of storage aging on the cure kinetics of T700/BMI prepregs for advanced composites. Polym Compos 29:1269–1275. https://doi.org/10.1002/pc.20457

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Jones RW, Ng Y, McClelland JF (2008) Monitoring ambient-temperature aging of a carbon-fiber/epoxy composite prepreg with photoacoustic spectroscopy. Compos Part A Appl Sci Manuf 39:965–971. https://doi.org/10.1016/J.COMPOSITESA.2008.03.015

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Yu Y, Su H, Gan W (2009) Effects of storage aging on the properties of epoxy Prepregs. Ind Eng Chem Res 48:4340–4345. https://doi.org/10.1021/ie8018005

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Kim D, Centea T, Nutt SR (2014) Out-time effects on cure kinetics and viscosity for an out-of-autoclave (OOA) prepreg: modelling and monitoring. Compos Sci Technol 100:63–69. https://doi.org/10.1016/J.COMPSCITECH.2014.05.027

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Gu Y, Li M, Zhang Z, Li Y (2009) Effects of resin storage aging on rheological property and consolidation of composite laminates. Polym Compos 30:1081–1090. https://doi.org/10.1002/pc.20659

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Blass D, Kreling S, Dilger K (2017) The impact of prepreg aging on its processability and the postcure mechanical properties of epoxy-based carbon-fiber reinforced plastics. Proc Inst Mech Eng Part L J Mater Des Appl 231:62–72. https://doi.org/10.1177/1464420716665413

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Chandrakala K, Vanaja A, Rao R (2009) Storage life studies on RT cure glass—epoxy pre-pregs. J Reinf Plast Compos 28:1987–1997. https://doi.org/10.1177/0731684408090715

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. de Almeida SFM, dos SN NZ (1994) Effect of void content on the strength of composite laminates. Compos Struct 28:139–148. https://doi.org/10.1016/0263-8223(94)90044-2

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. American Society for Testing Materials. ASTM D3171–15: standard test methods for constituent content of composite materials. 2015. doi:https://doi.org/10.1520/D3171-15

  11. American Society for Testing Materials. ASTM D792–13: standard test methods for density and specific gravity (relative density) of plastics by displacement. 2013. doi:https://doi.org/10.1520/D0792-13

  12. Nam J-D, Seferis JC (1993) Application of the kinetic composite methodology to autocatalytic-type thermoset prepreg cures. J Appl Polym Sci 50:1555–1564. https://doi.org/10.1002/app.1993.070500909

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Frigione M, Kenny JM (2002) Thermokinetic effect of the aging of epoxy matrix prepregs for high performance composites. Polym Compos 23:530–537. https://doi.org/10.1002/pc.10454

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Kim D, Centea T, Nutt SR (2014) In-situ cure monitoring of an out-of-autoclave prepreg: effects of out-time on viscosity, gelation and vitrification. Compos Sci Technol 102:132–138. https://doi.org/10.1016/J.COMPSCITECH.2014.07.027

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Miller SG, Sutter JK, Scheiman DA, Maryanski M, Schlea M. Study of out-time on the processing and properties of IM7/977–3 composites 2010

    Google Scholar 

  16. Zhang J, Fox B, Guo Q (2008) Consistent model predictions for isothermal cure kinetics investigation of high performance epoxy prepregs. J Appl Polym Sci 107:2231–2237. https://doi.org/10.1002/app.27356

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. Costa ML, Rezende MC, de Paiva JMF, Botelho EC (2006) Structural carbon/epoxy prepregs properties comparison by thermal and rheological analyses. Polym-Plast Technol Eng 45:1143–1153. https://doi.org/10.1080/03602550600887251

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. Hamill L, Centea T, Nutt S (2015) Surface porosity during vacuum bag-only prepreg processing: causes and mitigation strategies. Compos Part A Appl Sci Manuf 75:1–10. https://doi.org/10.1016/J.COMPOSITESA.2015.04.009

    Article  Google Scholar 

  19. Luis JPM de S. Effect of out-time aging in composite prepreg material. Instituto Superior Técnico Lisboa, 2014

  20. Biwa S, Watanabe Y, Ohno N (2003) Analysis of wave attenuation in unidirectional viscoelastic composites by a differential scheme. Compos Sci Technol 63:237–247. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0266-3538(02)00202-6

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. Fernlund G, Wells J, Fahrang L, Kay J, Poursartip A (2016) Causes and remedies for porosity in composite manufacturing. IOP Conf Ser Mater Sci Eng 139:012002. https://doi.org/10.1088/1757-899X/139/1/012002

    Article  Google Scholar 

  22. Zhu J, Imam A, Crane R, Lozano K, Khabashesku VN, Barrera EV (2007) Processing a glass fiber reinforced vinyl ester composite with nanotube enhancement of interlaminar shear strength. Compos Sci Technol 67:1509–1517. https://doi.org/10.1016/J.COMPSCITECH.2006.07.018

    Article  Google Scholar 

  23. Asp LE, Berglund LA, Talreja R (1996) Prediction of matrix-initiated transverse failure in polymer composites. Compos Sci Technol 56:1089–1097. https://doi.org/10.1016/0266-3538(96)00074-7

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Funding

The authors would like to acknowledge the Brazilian financing institutions CAPES (Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior – grant number: 1701878) and FIPT (Fundação de Apoio ao Instituto de Pesquisas Tecnológicas) for their financial support.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Olivia de Andrade Raponi.

Additional information

Publisher’s note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

de Andrade Raponi, O., Barbosa, L.C.M., Junior, J.E.B. et al. Effects of the exposition of an autoclave prepreg to the processing environment on its properties, curing cycle and final composite behavior. Int J Adv Manuf Technol 106, 5129–5136 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00170-020-05022-5

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00170-020-05022-5

Keywords

  • Cure advancement
  • Tack
  • Autoclave prepreg
  • Composites manufacturing