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An experimental study of craze cracks in glass filament reinforced plastics was conducted in order to determine the nature and cause of the crazing phenomenon. Both visual examination and microscopic techniques were employed. Photomicrographs of cross-sections through representative craze cracks are presented. A theoretical model for the mechanism of cracking was developed on the basis of the observations made and is demonstrated schematically. The probable causes of craze cracking are three: filament migration prior to completion of the resin cure, inaccuracies in placement which may occur during winding, and crossing of one layer of filaments over others. An experiment performed in this work employing an 18-in. diameter pressure chamber indicated that craze cracking occurs, at least in part, prior to burst. Improvements in winding machine and materials are required to reduce crazing.
Rawe, Richard A.
Assistant Manager, Space-General Corp., a subsidiary of Aerojet-General Corp., El Monte, Calif.