Development of heat-activated joining technology for composite-to-composite pipe using prepreg fabric
Stubblefield, Michael A.
Yang, Chihdar Charles
Lea, Richard H.
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Stubblefield, M. A., Yang, C., Pang, S.-S., & Lea, R. H. (1998). Development of heat-activated joining technology for composite-to-composite pipe using prepreg fabric. Polymer Engineering and Science, 38(1), 143-149. doi:10.1002/pen.10174
Owing to the lack of reliable and cost?effective joining methods, composite materials have not yet achieved their full market potential. The use of heat?activated thermal couplings offers a quick and cost?effective method for joining composite?to?composite pipe. In this study, a prepreg laminate containing thermoset resins and fiberglass reinforcements is wrapped around the ends of the components to be joined. A shrink tape, constructed of an oriented polyester film, is placed over the prepreg laminate. When heat is applied to the thermal coupling for curing, the shrink tape shrinks and compresses the prepreg to improve adhesion. Tests of the heat?activated thermal coupling in bending shows an increase of 29% over the currently used butt?weld method. A finite element model has been developed to assist in determining the most appropriate cure cycle required for different joint configurations. This reduces the need for experimentation when a variable has been changed. Based on the tested prepreg material properties and model, the FEA temperature distribution differs less than 10% from that of experimental results.
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