Microstructure of Thermoplastic Composite Materials
Learn the latest materialographic techniques for characterizing TPCs microstructures. Optimizing their manufacturing processes and resultant properties.
Thermoplastic composites (TPCs) are gaining worldwide recognition as viable replacements for traditional materials in a wide variety of applications such as automotive, aerospace, and defense. This is due to their superior strength-to-weight ratios compared to lightweight metallic alloys. Consequently, thermoplastic composites are increasingly being used to make not only small parts such as brackets for airplanes but also large, safety-critical structures such as landing gears and fuselage panels. Unlike thermoset composites which require curing time for polymerization, thermoplastic composites do not require a curing step after consolidation. In the manufacture of thermoplastic components, the polymer is simply heated, formed into shape, consolidated, and cooled.
Despite this ease of manufacture, a variety of discontinuities and defects such as fiber misorientation and wrinkling, ply misalignment, porosity and voids, and delamination between fibers and matrix can occur. Accurate characterization of these microstructural defects is of critical importance to achieving the desired properties for optimal performance. While nondestructive testing techniques can be used for the macro-inspection of the parts, they do not offer adequate insight into processing-microstructure-property-performance relationships needed for property-performance optimization. Such information is best obtained using metallographic techniques.
In this webinar, attendees will learn about:
• Materialographic techniques for characterizing TPC microstructures, optimizing their manufacturing processes, and resultant properties
• Presence of voids, delamination of fibers from the matrix, and fiber orientation
• The potential utilization of thermoplastic composites in modern fuel-efficient vehicles
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Ellis Perry, Applications Engineer
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