Applied Composite Materials (v.19, #6)

Manufacturing and Process-based Property Analysis of Textile-Reinforced Thermoplastic Spacer Composites by Werner Hufenbach; Frank Adam; René Füßel; Michael Krahl; Daniel Weck (839-851).
Novel woven spacer fabrics based on hybrid yarns are suitable for an efficient fabrication of three-dimensional composite structures in high volume production. In this paper, an innovative manufacturing process with short cycle times and high automatisation is introduced for textile-reinforced thermoplastic spacer structures suited for bending load cases. The different process steps hybrid yarn fabrication, weaving technology for three-dimensional textile preforms and consolidation with unique kinematics and hot pressing technology are described in detail. The bending properties of the manufactured spacer structures are evaluated by means of experiments as well as finite element simulations. Numerical parametric studies are performed in order to validate the influence of manufacturing tolerances on the bending stiffness of the spacer structures.
Keywords: Textile-reinforced thermoplastics; Hybrid yarn; Three-dimensional textile preform; Bending properties

Influence of Through-Thickness Pinning on Composite Shear Properties by Romain Maurin; Christophe Baley; Denis D. R. Cartié; Peter Davies (853-864).
This paper describes results from tests to examine the influence of through-thickness pinning on in-plane shear behaviour, measured by tensile loading of ±45° specimens. Samples were produced by both aeronautical and marine manufacturing processes. As few previous studies have investigated pinning of marine composites these were also subjected to out-of-plane shear delamination tests. For both carbon/epoxy laminates the pins reduce the apparent in-plane shear modulus and strength. Pins modify the strain field measured by full-field image analysis, and slow damage development. A new damage mechanism, transverse pin cracking, was observed.
Keywords: Z-pinning; Shear; Mode II; Damage; Acoustic emission

Sound Transmission Loss Prediction of the Composite Fuselage with Different Methods by Chongxin Yuan; Otto Bergsma; Adriaan Beukers (865-883).
Increase of sound transmission loss(TL) of the fuselage is vital to build a comfortable cabin environment. In this paper, to find a convenient and accurate means for predicting the fuselage TL, the fuselage is modeled as a composite cylinder, and its TL is predicted with the analytical, the statistic energy analysis (SEA) and the hybrid FE&SEA method. The TL results predicted by the three methods are compared to each other and they show good agreement, but in terms of model building the SEA method is the most convenient one. Therefore, the parameters including the layup, the materials, the geometry, and the structure type are studied with the SEA method. It is observed that asymmetric laminates provide better sound insulation in general. It is further found that glass fiber laminates result in the best sound insulation as compared with graphite and aramid fiber laminates. In addition, the cylinder length has little influence on the sound insulation, while an increase of the radius considerably reduces the TL at low frequencies. Finally, by a comparison among an unstiffened laminate, a sandwich panel and a stiffened panel, the sandwich panel presents the largest TL at high frequencies and the stiffened panel demonstrates the poorest sound insulation at all frequencies.
Keywords: Sound transmission loss; SEA; Fuselage; Cylinder

Relationships Between LRI Process Parameters and Impact and Post-Impact Behaviour of Stitched and Unstitched NCF Laminates by Alvine Njionhou; Florentin Berthet; Bruno Castanié; Christophe Bouvet (885-899).
The general context of the development of out-of-autoclave processes in the aeronautics industry raises the question of the possible links between these new processes and impact behaviour. In this study, a Taguchi table was used in a design of experiment approach to establish possible links. The study focused on the liquid resin infusion process applied to laminates made with stitched or unstitched quadri-axial carbon Non-Crimp Fabric (NCF). On the basis of previous studies and an analysis of the literature, five process parameters were selected (stitching, curing temperature, preform position, number of highly porous media, vacuum level). The impact energy was set at 35 J in order to obtain enough residual dent depth. The parameters analysed during and after impact were: maximum displacement of the impactor, energy absorbed, permanent indentation depth, and delaminated surface. Then, compression after impact tests were performed and the corresponding average stress was measured. The interactions found by statistical analysis show a very high sensitivity to stitching, which was, of course, expected. A very significant influence of curing temperature and a significant influence of preform position were also found on the permanent indentation depth and a physical explanation is provided. Globally, it was demonstrated that the resin infusion process itself did not influence the impact behaviour.
Keywords: Liquid Resin Infusion; Non-Crimp Fabric; Impact; Compression after impact

Step Pultrusion by A. Langella; R. Carbone; M. Durante (901-912).
The pultrusion process is an efficient technology for the production of composite material profiles. Thanks to this positive feature, several studies have been carried out, either to expand the range of products made using the pultrusion technology, or improve its already high production rate. This study presents a process derived from the traditional pultrusion technology named “Step Pultrusion Process Technology” (SPPT). Using the step pultrusion process, the final section of the composite profiles is obtainable by means of a progressive cross section increasing through several resin cure stations. This progressive increasing of the composite cross section means that a higher degree of cure level can be attained at the die exit point of the last die. Mechanical test results of the manufactured pultruded samples have been used to compare both the traditional and the step pultrusion processes. Finally, there is a discussion on ways to improve the new step pultrusion process even further.
Keywords: Polymer-matrix composite; Pultrusion technology; Step pultrusion; Mechanical testing

Characterisation of CFRP Through Enhanced Ultrasonic Testing Methods by T. B. Helfen; R. Sridaran Venkat; U. Rabe; S. Hirsekorn; C. Boller (913-919).
Carbon fibre reinforced composite materials enjoy an increasing field of application in the aeronautical environment and are due to expand into the automotive and leisure sectors in due course. Those materials need to be qualified at reasonable cost and with considerable experience, where ultrasonic testing has become the procedure of primary choice for nondestructive testing (NDT) so far. However, the two-phase anisotropic structure of a composite material implies a variety of challenges such as scattering, beam skewing, and sound field distortion complicating the localization, sizing, and characterization of defects. Besides qualification during the manufacturing stage, additional tasks emerge once the composite material ages, maybe by mechanical fatigue, chemical ageing, or irradiation. Again characterisation of the material based on ultrasonics would allow comparisons to be made along a material’s life cycle. The knowledge generated could be used for in-situ monitoring procedures such as considered in the context of structural health monitoring (SHM).
Keywords: Nondestructive Testing (NDT); CFRP; Nonlinear Ultrasound (NLUS); Sampling Phased Array (SPA)

The objective of this study is to examine the Fluid Structure Interaction (FSI) effect on transient dynamic response and failure of sandwich composite structures under impact loading. The primary sandwich composite used in this study consisted of a 6.35 mm balsa core and a multi-ply symmetrical plain weave 6 oz E-glass skin. Both clamped sandwich composite plates and beams were studied using a uniquely designed vertical drop-weight testing machine. There were three impact conditions on which these experiments focused. The first of these conditions was completely dry (or air surrounded) testing. The second condition was completely water submerged. The final condition was also a water submerged test with air support at the backside of the plates. The tests were conducted sequentially, progressing from a low to high drop height to determine the onset and spread of damage to the sandwich composite when impacted with the test machine. The study showed the FSI effect on sandwich composite structures is very critical such that impact force, strain response, and damage size are generally much greater with FSI under the same impact condition. As a result, damage initiates at much lower impact energy conditions with the effect of FSI. Neglecting to account for FSI effects on sandwich composite structures results in very non-conservative analysis and design. Additionally, it was observed that the damage location changed for sandwich composite beams with the effect of FSI.
Keywords: Fluid–structure interaction; Sandwich composites; Damage; Impact