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Composite Materials. Ahmed W. Moustafa Lecture (1). COMPOSITE MATERIALS. Technology and Classification of Composite Materials Metal Matrix Composites Ceramic Matrix Composites Polymer Matrix Composites Guide to Processing Composite Materials. Classification Scheme for Composite Materials.

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Composite Materials


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    1. Composite Materials Ahmed W. Moustafa Lecture (1)

    2. COMPOSITE MATERIALS • Technology and Classification of Composite Materials • Metal Matrix Composites • Ceramic Matrix Composites • Polymer Matrix Composites • Guide to Processing Composite Materials

    3. Classification Scheme for Composite Materials • Metal Matrix Composites (MMCs) ‑ mixtures of ceramics and metals, such as cemented carbides and other cermets • Ceramic Matrix Composites (CMCs) ‑ Al2O3 and SiC imbedded with fibers to improve properties, especially in high temperature applications • The least common composite matrix • Polymer Matrix Composites (PMCs) ‑ thermosetting resins are widely used in PMCs • Examples: epoxy and polyester with fiber reinforcement, and phenolic with powders

    4. The Reinforcing Phase (Secondary Phase) • Function is to reinforce the primary phase • Imbedded phase is most commonly one of the following shapes: • Fibers • Particles • Flakes • In addition, the secondary phase can take the form of an infiltrated phase in a skeletal or porous matrix • Example: a powder metallurgy part infiltrated with polymer

    5. Figure 9.1 ‑ Possible physical shapes of imbedded phases in composite materials: (a) fiber, (b) particle, and (c) flake

    6. Fibers Filaments of reinforcing material, usually circular in cross‑section • Diameters range from less than 0.0025 mm to about 0.13 mm, depending on material • Filaments provide greatest opportunity for strength enhancement of composites • The filament form of most materials is significantly stronger than the bulk form • As diameter is reduced, the material becomes oriented in the fiber axis direction and probability of defects in the structure decreases significantly

    7. Continuous vs. Discontinuous Fibers • Continuous fibers - very long; in theory, they offer a continuous path by which a load can be carried by the composite part • Discontinuous fibers (chopped sections of continuous fibers) - short lengths (L/D = roughly 100) • Important type of discontinuous fiber are whiskers ‑ hair-like single crystals with diameters down to about 0.001 mm (0.00004 in.) with very high strength

    8. Fiber Orientation – Three Cases • One‑dimensional reinforcement, in which maximum strength and stiffness are obtained in the direction of the fiber • Planar reinforcement, in some cases in the form of a two‑dimensional woven fabric • Random or three‑dimensional in which the composite material tends to possess isotropic properties

    9. Figure 9.3 ‑ Fiber orientation in composite materials: (a) one‑dimensional, continuous fibers; (b) planar, continuous fibers in the form of a woven fabric; and (c) random, discontinuous fibers

    10. Materials for Fibers • Fiber materials in fiber‑reinforced composites: • Glass – most widely used filament • Carbon – high elastic modulus • Boron – very high elastic modulus • Polymers - Kevlar • Ceramics – SiC and Al2O3 • Metals - steel • The most important commercial use of fibers is in polymer composites

    11. Particles and Flakes • A second common shape of imbedded phase is particulate, ranging in size from microscopic to macroscopic • Flakes are basically two‑dimensional particles ‑ small flat platelets • The distribution of particles in the composite matrix is random, and therefore strength and other properties of the composite material are usually isotropic • Strengthening mechanism depends on particle size

    12. The Interface • There is always an interface between constituent phases in a composite material • For the composite to operate effectively, the phases must bond where they join at the interface Figure 9.4 ‑ Interfaces between phases in a composite material: (a) direct bonding between primary and secondary phases

    13. Interphase • In some cases, a third ingredient must be added to achieve bonding of primary and secondary phases • Called an interphase, this third ingredient can be thought of as an adhesive Figure 9.4 ‑ Interfaces between phases: (b) addition of a third ingredient to bond the primary phases and form an interphase

    14. Another Interphase Interphase consisting of a solution of primary and secondary phases Figure 9.4 ‑ Interfaces and interphases between phases in a composite material: (c) formation of an interphase by solution of the primary and secondary phases at their boundary

    15. Properties of Composite Materials • In selecting a composite material, an optimum combination of properties is usually sought, rather than one particular property • Example: fuselage and wings of an aircraft must be lightweight and be strong, stiff, and tough • Several fiber‑reinforced polymers possess this combination of properties • Example: natural rubber alone is relatively weak • Adding significant amounts of carbon black to NR increases its strength dramatically

    16. Properties are Determined by Three Factors: • The materials used as component phases in the composite • The geometric shapes of the constituents and resulting structure of the composite system • The manner in which the phases interact with one another

    17. Figure 9.5 ‑ (a) Model of a fiber‑reinforced composite material showing direction in which elastic modulus is being estimated by the rule of mixtures (b) Stress‑strain relationships for the composite material and its constituents. The fiber is stiff but brittle, while the matrix (commonly a polymer) is soft but ductile.

    18. Figure 9.6 ‑ Variation in elastic modulus and tensile strength as a function of direction of measurement relative to longitudinal axis of carbon fiber‑reinforced epoxy composite

    19. Fibers Illustrate Importance of Geometric Shape • Most materials have tensile strengths several times greater as fibers than in bulk • By imbedding the fibers in a polymer matrix, a composite material is obtained that avoids the problems of fibers but utilizes their strengths • The matrix provides the bulk shape to protect the fiber surfaces and resist buckling • When a load is applied, the low‑strength matrix deforms and distributes the stress to the high‑strength fibers

    20. Other Composite Structures • Laminar composite structure – conventional • Sandwich structure • Honeycomb sandwich structure

    21. Laminar Composite Structure Two or more layers bonded together in an integral piece • Example: plywood in which layers are the same wood, but grains are oriented differently to increase overall strength of the laminated piece Figure 9.7 ‑ Laminar composite structures: (a) conventional laminar structure

    22. Sandwich Structure – Foam Core Consists of a relatively thick core of low density foam bonded on both faces to thin sheets of a different material Figure 9.7 ‑ Laminar composite structures: (b) sandwich structure using foam core

    23. Sandwich Structure – Honeycomb Core • An alternative to foam core • Either foam or honeycomb achieves high strength‑to‑weight and stiffness‑to‑weight ratios Figure 9.7 ‑ Laminar composite structures: (c) sandwich structure using honeycomb core

    24. Other Laminar Composite Structures • Automotive tires - consists of multiple layers bonded together • FRPs - multi‑layered fiber‑reinforced plastic panels for aircraft, automobile body panels, boat hulls • Printed circuit boards - layers of reinforced plastic and copper for electrical conductivity and insulation • Snow skis - composite structures consisting of layers of metals, particle board, and phenolic plastic • Windshield glass - two layers of glass on either side of a sheet of tough plastic

    25. Metal Matrix Composites (MMCs) A metal matrix reinforced by a second phase • Reinforcing phases: • Particles of ceramic (these MMCs are commonly called cermets) • Fibers of various materials: other metals, ceramics, carbon, and boron

    26. Cermets MMC with ceramic contained in a metallic matrix • The ceramic often dominates the mixture, sometimes up to 96% by volume • Bonding can be enhanced by slight solubility between phases at elevated temperatures used in processing • Cermets can be subdivided into • Cemented carbides – most common • Oxide‑based cermets – less common

    27. Cemented Carbides One or more carbide compounds bonded in a metallicmatrix • The term cermet is not used for all of these materials, even though it is technically correct • Common cemented carbides are based on tungsten carbide (WC), titanium carbide (TiC), and chromium carbide (Cr3C2) • Tantalum carbide (TaC) and others are less common • Metallic binders: usually cobalt (Co) or nickel (Ni)

    28. Figure 9.8 ‑ Photomicrograph (about 1500X) of cemented carbide with 85% WC and 15% Co (photo courtesy of Kennametal Inc.)

    29. Figure 9.9 ‑ Typical plot of hardness and transverse rupture strength as a function of cobalt content

    30. Applications of Cemented Carbides • Tungstencarbide cermets (Co binder) - cutting tools are most common; other: wire drawing dies, rock drilling bits and other mining tools, dies for powder metallurgy, indenters for hardness testers • Titanium carbide cermets (Ni binder) - high temperature applications such as gas‑turbine nozzle vanes, valve seats, thermocouple protection tubes, torch tips, cutting tools for steels • Chromium carbides cermets (Ni binder) - gage blocks, valve liners, spray nozzles, bearing seal rings

    31. Ceramic Matrix Composites (CMCs) A ceramic primary phase imbedded with a secondary phase, which usually consists of fibers • Attractive properties of ceramics: high stiffness, hardness, hot hardness, and compressive strength; and relatively low density • Weaknesses of ceramics: low toughness and bulk tensile strength, susceptibility to thermal cracking • CMCs represent an attempt to retain the desirable properties of ceramics while compensating for their weaknesses

    32. Polymer Matrix Composites (PMCs) A polymer primary phase in which a secondary phase is imbedded as fibers, particles, or flakes • Commercially, PMCs are more important than MMCs or CMCs • Examples: most plastic molding compounds, rubber reinforced with carbon black, and fiber‑reinforced polymers (FRPs) • FRPs are most closely identified with the term composite

    33. Fiber‑Reinforced Polymers (FRPs) A PMC consisting of a polymermatrix imbedded with high‑strength fibers • Polymer matrix materials: • Usually a thermosetting (TS) plastic such as unsaturated polyester or epoxy • Can also be thermoplastic (TP), such as nylons (polyamides), polycarbonate, polystyrene, and polyvinylchloride • Fiber reinforcement is widely used in rubber products such as tires and conveyor belts

    34. Fibers in PMCs • Various forms: discontinuous (chopped), continuous, or woven as a fabric • Principal fiber materials in FRPs are glass, carbon, and Kevlar 49 • Less common fibers include boron, SiC, and Al2O3, and steel • Glass (in particular E‑glass) is the most common fiber material in today's FRPs; its use to reinforce plastics dates from around 1920

    35. Common FRP Structure • Most widely used form of FRP is a laminar structure, made by stacking and bonding thin layers of fiber and polymer until desired thickness is obtained • By varying fiber orientation among layers, a specified level of anisotropy in properties can be achieved in the laminate • Applications: parts of thin cross‑section, such as aircraft wing and fuselage sections, automobile and truck body panels, and boat hulls

    36. FRP Properties • High strength‑to‑weight and modulus‑to‑weight ratios • Low specific gravity - a typical FRP weighs only about 1/5 as much as steel; yet, strength and modulus are comparable in fiber direction • Good fatigue strength • Good corrosion resistance, although polymers are soluble in various chemicals • Low thermal expansion - for many FRPs, leading to good dimensional stability • Significant anisotropy in properties

    37. FRP Applications • Aerospace – much of the structural weight of todays airplanes and helicopters consist of advanced FRPs • Automotive – somebody panels for cars and truck cabs • Continued use of low-carbon sheet steel in cars is evidence of its low cost and ease of processing • Sports and recreation • Fiberglass reinforced plastic has been used for boat hulls since the 1940s • Fishing rods, tennis rackets, golf club shafts, helmets, skis, bows and arrows.

    38. Figure 9.11 ‑ Composite materials in the Boeing 757 (courtesy of Boeing Commercial Airplane Group)

    39. Other Polymer Matrix Composites • In addition to FRPs, other PMCs contain particles, flakes, and short fibers as the secondary phase • Called fillers when used in molding compounds • Two categories: • Reinforcing fillers – used to strengthen or otherwise improve mechanical properties • Examples: wood flour in phenolic and amino resins; and carbon black in rubber • Extenders – used to increase bulk and reduce cost per unit weight, but little or no effect on mechanical properties

    40. Guide to Processing Composite Materials • The two phases are typically produced separately before being combined into the composite part • Processing techniques to fabricate MMC and CMC components are similar to those used for powdered metals and ceramics • Molding processes are commonly used for PMCs with particles and chopped fibers • Specialized processes have been developed for FRPs