Techno Press

Steel and Composite Structures   Volume 15, Number 3, September 2013, pages 267-279
On the fabrication of carbon fabric reinforced epoxy composite shell without joints and wrinkling
A. Vasanthanathan, P. Nagaraj and B. Muruganantham

Abstract     [Full Text]
    This article describes a simple and cost effective fabrication procedure by using hand lay-up technique that is employed for the manufacturing of thin-walled axi-symmetric composite shell structures with carbon, glass and hybrid woven fabric composite materials. The hand lay-up technique is very commonly used in aerospace and marine industries for making the complicated shell structures. A generic fabrication procedure is presented in this paper aimed at manufacture of plain Carbon Fabric Reinforced Plastic (CFRP) and Glass Fabric Reinforced Plastic (GFRP) shells using hand lay-up process. This paper delivers a technical breakthrough in fabrication of composite shell structures without any joints and wrinkling. The manufacture of stiffened CFRP shells, laminated CFRP shells and hybrid (carbon / glass / epoxy) composite shells which are valued by the aerospace industry for their high strength-to-weight ratio under axial loading have also been addressed in this paper. A fabrication process document which describes the major processing steps of the composite shell manufacturing process has been presented in this paper. A study of microstructure of the glass fabric/epoxy composite, carbon fabric/epoxy composite and hybrid carbon/glass/fabric epoxy composites using Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) has been also carried out in this paper.
Key Words
    composite structure; CFRP; GFRP; thin-walled shell; hybrid; hand lay-up; SEM
(1) A. Vasanthanathan and P. Nagaraj: Department of Mechanical Engineering, MEPCO SCHLENK Engineering College, Sivakasi, India;
(2) B. Muruganantham: COSMOPLAST, Mahia Industrial Estate, Madurai, India.

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