PROCESS OPTIMIZATION OF AUTOCLAVE BONDED LIGHT-WEIGHT MATERIAL JOINTS

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2022-04-01

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Abstract

This dissertation research fills a gap in the existing open literature regarding the significance of autoclave cure process variables and their interactions on the static strength of lightweight material single lap joints under tensile-shear loading. Specifically, the research investigates the dependence between the degree of cure of the epoxy adhesive and the mechanical performance of the single lap joint boded with same epoxy adhesive. Lightweight material system includes polycarbonate, Aluminum 6061 and glass reinforced plastics (GFRP) extren 500. A commercially available polyurethane film adhesive PE399 was selected to bond Polycarbonate single lap joints (SLJ) while epoxy film adhesive AF163-2K was selected to bond aluminum and GFRP joints. Studied variables include cure temperature, cure pressure and their respective rates as well as the duration of cure time. Dynamic Mechanical Analysis (DMA) is used to quantify glass transition temperature of AF163-2K cured with different combinations of autoclave process variables. The relative significance of variables and variable combinations are investigated for their effect on the bond strength. Experimental test data shows interaction between autoclave variable cure temperature in combination with cure time, temp ramp rate and pressure ramp rate have significant effect on glass transition temperature, bond strength and failure mode. Changes in joint static load transfer capacity (LTC) was investigated after cyclic temperature profile fluctuates between 20° C and 85° C at a constant relative humidity (RH) level of 85 %.

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Keywords

Mechanical engineering, Automotive engineering, Materials Science, Epoxy, Film Adhesive, Glass Transition Temperature, Light weight material, Polyurethane, Shear Strength

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