Volume 2, Issue 1
Effect of Resin Cure Recipe and Ambient Processing Temperature on the Material Properties of Marine Grade Polymer Matrix Composite Materials
The effects of the resin curing recipe and ambient processing temperature on the mechanical properties of composite laminates were investigated. Woven roving E-glass/vinyl-ester composite plates were fabricated with a pliable-bag vacuum assisted resin transfer molding process over a range of ambient temperatures and resin gel times commonly encountered when fabricating polymer composite parts for the marine industry. Standardized tests for Mode-I interlaminar fracture toughness, compression, constituent volume fraction, and Barcol hardness were conducted. Interlaminar fracture toughness exhibited the most variability among the measured properties. Although there were few direct correlations between the measured properties and the parameters in the study, there were several statistically significant differences that could not be discarded as random, as they were consistent among the replicate panels fabricated for each combination of parameters in the study.