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This paper summarizes basic studies that were conducted to correlate the impact resistance of graphite-fiber-reinforced composites with polymer matrix properties. Three crosslinked epoxy resins and a linear polysulfone were selected as composite matrices. As a group, these resins possess a significantly large range of mechanical properties. The mechanical properties of the resins and their respective composites were measured. Neat resin specimens and unidirectional and crossply composite specimens were impact-tested with an instrumented drop-weight tester. Impact resistances of the specimens were assessed on the basis of loading capability, energy absorption, and extent of damage.
graphite fiber composites, epoxy matrix, thermoplastic matrix, impact resistance, toughness, mechanical properties, failure mechanisms
Materials engineer, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Lewis Research Center, Cleveland, OH