Published: Jan 1987
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The weight savings potential of graphite composites for wing structures in transport aircraft is directly related to design strength values. These values must reflect the influence of defects, notches, impact damage, and environmental conditions on material strength. Within the last several years, improvements have been made in the constituents of graphite/epoxy composites. Fiber tensile strengths have increased and tougher resins have been formulated. Tension, impact, and compression tests were conducted on several of these advanced materials to evaluate their performance. Based on these tests, it was concluded that increased values for design allowable tensile strength can be obtained. However, similar increases in compressive strength allowables cannot be obtained until additional improvements are made to resin matrices.
composite materials, graphite/epoxy, toughened resins, impact damage, post-impact compression, notched tension, mechanical properties, tests
Research and development engineer, Lockheed-California Co., Burbank, CA