Aerospace Engineering Department
BS in Aerospace Engineering
Composite materials such as a carbon fiber are used in a variety of new technologies including aircraft, spacecraft, and motor vehicles. Carbon fiber has a high strength to weight ratio, a key advantage over other material options. This report discusses the use of composite damage arrestment devices (DADs) in composite sandwich panels with a foam core. There are three different curing cycles tested for the DADs: pressure only, vacuum only, and vacuum with 1000 lbs of pressure. Using a Tetrahedron Heat Press to cure the composite specimen and an Instron Machine to perform tensile testing, data was collected for each method. The method that can withstand the highest loads and tensile stresses is the pressure only curing process. Composite sandwich panels were comprised of a FR-6710 polyurethane closed cell foam core and two layers of carbon fiber on each side for the control group. For the specimens with DADs there were two slots milled on each side of the foam and a layer sheet resin was used to bond the surfaces. Compression testing was performed using a jig that had two blots running through the half-inch holes in the specimen. It was found that the specimens that included DADs could withstand 95% higher loads and had a Young’s Modulus of around 85 ksi compared to the control group that was 55 ksi.