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Tension tests on (0°)g T300/5208 graphite/epoxy composites were performed to determine the influence of various quality control variables on failure strength as a function of moisture and moderate temperatures. The extremely high- and low-moisture contents investigated were found to have less effect upon properties than did temperature or the quality control variables of specimen flaws and prepreg batch-to-batch variations. In particular, specimen flaws were found to reduce drastically the predicted strength of the composite, whereas specimens from different batches of prepreg displayed differences in strength as a function of temperature and extreme moisture exposure. The findings illustrate the need for careful specimen preparation, studies of flaw sensitivity, and careful quality control in any study of composite materials.
composite materials, graphite/epoxy composites, tensile strength, environmental tests, moisture, quality control
associate professor, San,
United Technologies, Sunnyvale, Calif.