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A hybrid composite technique identified as having potential for improving the matrix-dominated properties of continuous fiber, reinforced composite materials is examined. This technique employs either particulates, whiskers, or microfibers to provide supplementary reinforcement of the matrix. An essential feature of this technique is that the supplementary reinforcement material should possess a diameter and aspect ratio such that the continuous fiber packing efficiency is not disrupted. The advantages of this technique are such that it does not require the development of new constituent materials and that it is adaptable to the processes and equipment currently used to fabricate aerospace grade composite materials.
Packing concepts, as well as micromechanics theories, which support this hybrid technique, are reviewed. Theoretical formulations are used to predict selected property improvements as a result of hybridizing silicon-carbide whiskers with graphite/epoxy. A series of laboratory tests are conducted to delineate the differences in structural and mechanical properties between a baseline graphite/epoxy composite and a hybrid silicon-carbide/graphite/epoxy composite.
composite materials, hybrid composites, silicon-carbide whiskers, epoxy, graphite fibers, supplementary reinforcement
deputy vice president, Atlantic Science and Technology Corp., Cherry Hill, NJ
Manager, American Cyanamid Co., Stamford, CT
Senior staff engineer, Douglas Aircraft Co., Long Beach, CA