Interlaminar shear strength (ILSS) of fiber reinforced polymer composite is an important property for most of the structural applications. Matrix modification is an effective method used to improve the interlaminar shear strength of composite. In this paper, EPON 862/w epoxy system was modified using Tetraethyl orthosilicate (TEOS) electrospun nanofibers (ENFs) which were produced using electrospinning method. Unmodified and nanofibers modified resins were used to fabricate glass fiber reinforced polymer composite (GFRP) using H-VARTM method. The ILSS of the Glass Fiber Reinforced Polymeric Composites (GFRP) was investigated. The study shows that introduction of TEOS ENFs in the epoxy resin enhanced the ILSS of GFRPby 15% with 0.6% wt. fraction of TEOS ENFs.
Radiation shielding is an obstacle in long duration space exploration. Boron Nitride Nanotubes (BNNTs) have attracted attention as an additive to radiation shielding material due to B10’s large neutron capture cross section. The B10 has an effective neutron capture cross section suitable for low energy neutrons ranging from 10-5 to 104 eV and hydrogen is effective at slowing down high energy neutrons. Hydrogenated BNNTs are potentially an ideal nanofiller for radiation shielding composites. We use Molecular Dynamics (MD) Simulation via Material Studios Accelrys 6.0 to model the Young’s Modulus of Hydrogenated BNNTs. An extrapolation technique was employed to determine the Young’s Modulus due to the deformation of the nanostructure at its theoretical density. A linear regression was used to extrapolate the data to the theoretical density of 2.62g/cm3. Simulation data shows that the hydrogenated BNNTs will experience a 11% decrease in the Young’s Modulus for (6,6) BNNTs and 8.5% decrease for (8,8) BNNTs compared to non-hydrogenated BNNT’s. Hydrogenated BNNTs are a viable option as a nanofiller for radiation shielding nanocomposite materials for long range and long duration space exploration.
Composite materials, due to their unique properties such as high strength to weight ratio, corrosion resistance, and impact resistance have huge potential as structural materials in automotive, construction and transportation applications. However, these properties often come at higher cost owing to complex design methods, difficult manufacturing processes and raw material cost. Traditionally, tapered laminated composite structures are manufactured using autoclave manufacturing process by ply drop off technique. Autoclave manufacturing though very powerful suffers from high capital investment and higher energy consumption. As per the current trends in composite manufacturing, Out of Autoclave (OoA) processes are looked as emerging technologies for manufacturing the structural composite components for aerospace and defense applications. However, there is a need for improvement among these processes to make them reliable and consistent. In this paper, feasibility of using out of autoclave process to manufacture the variable thickness cantilever beam is discussed. The minimum weight design for the composite beam is obtained using constant stress beam concept by tailoring the thickness of the beam. Ply drop off techniques was used to fabricate the variable thickness beam from glass/epoxy prepregs. Experiments were conducted to measure bending stresses along the span of the cantilever beam at different intervals by applying the concentrated load at the free end. Experimental results showed that the stresses in the bean at different intervals were constant. This proves the ability of OoA process to manufacture the constant stress beam. Finite element model for the constant stress beam was developed using commercial finite element simulation software. It was observed that the simulation results agreed very well with the experimental results and thus validated design and manufacturing approach used.
In recent years, nanotechnology has played an important role in the design of an efficient radiation shielding polymeric composites. It is well known that, high loading of nanomaterials with radiation absorption properties can enhance the radiation attenuation efficiency of shielding structures. However, due to difficulties in dispersion of nanomaterials into polymer matrices, there has been a limitation in higher loading percentages of nanoparticles in the polymer matrix. Therefore, the objective of the present work is to provide a methodology to fabricate and then to characterize the functionally graded radiation shielding structures, which can provide an efficient radiation absorption property along with good structural integrity. Sandwich structures composed of Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene (UHMWPE) fabric as face sheets and functionally graded epoxy nanocomposite as core material were fabricated. A method to fabricate a functionally graded core panel with controllable gradient dispersion of nanoparticles is discussed. In order to optimize the design of functionally graded sandwich composites and to analyze the stress distribution throughout the sandwich composite thickness, a finite element method was used. The sandwich panels were discretized using 3-Dimensional 8 nodded brick elements. Classical laminate analysis in conjunction with simplified micromechanics equations were used to obtain the properties of the face sheets. The presented finite element model would provide insight into deformation and damage mechanics of the functionally graded sandwich composites from the structural point of view.