Date of Award:

12-2009

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Advisor/Chair:

Dr. Thomas H. Fronk

Abstract

A bonding evaluation that investigated the cryogenic tensile strength of several different adhesives / resins was performed. The test materials consisted of 6061 aluminum test pieces adhered to a wet-wound graphite laminate in order to simulate the bond created at the liner-composite interface of an aluminum lined composite overwrapped pressure vessel. It was found that for cryogenic applications, a flexible, low modulus resin system must be used. Additionally, the samples prepared with a thin layer of cured resin - or prebond - performed significantly better than those without. It was found that it is critical that the prebond surface must have sufficient surface roughness prior to the bonding application. Also, the aluminum test pieces that were prepared using a surface etchant slightly outperformed those that were prepared with a grit blast surface finish and performed significantly better than those which had been scored using sand paper to achieve the desired surface finish. An additional impact investigation studied the post impact tensile strength of composite rings in a cryogenic environment. The composite rings were filament wound with several combinations of graphite and aramid fibers and were prepared with different resin systems. The rings were subjected to varying levels of Charpy impact damage then pulled to failure in tension. It was found that the addition of elastic aramid fibers with the carbon fiber mitigate the overall impact damage and drastically improve the post impact strength of the structure in a cryogenic environment.

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