Therman and Volumetric Property Analysis of Polymer Networks and Composites Using Elevated Temperature Digital Image Correlation

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Polymers and High Performance Materials


Digital Image Correlation (DIC), which exploits non-contact advantages and full-field analysis, provides more data in-situ that are not possible with traditional techniques. In this work, elevated temperature digital image correlation techniques were applied to a glassy polymer network via thermal expansion and contraction experiments to study volumetric behavior during the curing process. A glassy epoxy network was tested in both cured and under-cured states and heated to the ultimate cure temperature. Matrix volume changes due to both thermal expansion and cure shrinkage were quantified. Concurrently, the thermal expansion of aerospace-grade composite laminates was also observed in matrix and fiber-dominant directions. Additionally, the strain-free temperature of a non-symmetric composite laminate was identified through thermal compensation of process-induced curvatures. Finally, laminate dimension changes were related to the strain-free temperature as means to probe process-induced strains within composite laminates. Thermal properties of the neat matrix and composite laminates were compared to traditional techniques, validating the benefit of elevated temperature digital image correlation for composite matrix qualification.

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Polymer Testing



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