Fracture toughness of carbon fiber/polyether ether ketone composites manufactured by autoclave and laser-assisted automated tape placement

Dipa Roy, Anthony J. Comer, John Lyons, Winifred Obande, David Jones, Ronan M. O. Higgins*, Michael A. McCarthy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

A comparative study is presented on the fracture toughness of carbon fiber/PEEK composites manufactured by autoclave and laser-assisted automated tape placement (LATP). Formation of a good inter-laminar bond is always a concern in ATP due to the short time available for intimate contact development and polymer healing, yet our double cantilever beam (DCB) tests reveal 60-80% higher Mode I fracture toughness for the LATP processed specimens than for the autoclave processed specimens. This magnitude of difference was unexpected, so specimens were further examined via differential scanning calorimetry, dynamic mechanical analysis, nano-indentation, and scanning electron microscopy. The results indicate that the LATP process has been very effective in heating and consolidating the surface of plies, creating an excellent bond. However, it has been less effective in processing the interior of plies, where a low crystallinity and poor fiber-matrix bonding are evident. The higher fracture toughness of the LATP processed specimens is also not solely due to a better bond, but is partially due to significant plastic deformation in the interior of plies during the DCB test. The findings indicate there is still considerable scope for optimizing the laser-assisted ATP process, before the optimum balance between strength and toughness is achieved at favorable lay-down speeds. (c) 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Appl. Polym. Sci. 2015, 132, 41643.

Original languageEnglish
Article number41643
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Applied Polymer Science
Volume132
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2015

Keywords

  • composites
  • morphology
  • structure
  • property relations
  • COOLING RATE INFLUENCES
  • THERMOPLASTIC COMPOSITES
  • FIBRE/PEEK COMPOSITES
  • MATRIX COMPOSITES
  • PEEK COMPOSITES
  • MORPHOLOGY
  • NANOINDENTATION
  • CONSOLIDATION
  • CRYSTALLINITY
  • INTERFACE

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