SAMPE Journal - July/August 2016 - 57

Feature Article
Table 3. Total cycle time comparison.

(a)

(b)
Figure 7. Representative (a) C-scan and (b) microscopy
images for the thickest panel (about 2% averaged void
content after optmization efforts).

quasi-isotropic configuration with a dimension of
about 13 cm x 38 cm. As shown in the ultrasonic
scan no anomalies were observed. An average
void content of 2% was found in the cross section
analysis, which was reduced from 5% before
optimization trials.
Figure 8 shows a comparison between the
interlaminar thickness observed in the QS process
and the autoclave. The interlaminar thickness
from the QS process was equivalent to that of

(a)

the autoclave about 20 um, keeping in mind the
autoclave method utilizes much more significant
compaction pressures. QS was able to increase
compaction pressure by optimizing the process
variable of fluid transfer pressure within the mold.
Typically the process calls for 0.007 - 0.10 MPa
fluid pressure yet up to an additional 0.05 - 0.06
MPa could be applied. This additional pressure has
been observed to improve laminate quality even
further.
Mechanical Equivalency
Figure 9 shows the mechanical results and
performance envelope between composite
laminates produced by Quickstep, VBO, and
autoclave. All the mechanical data was normalized
to autoclave cure mechanical properties. To
demonstrate equivalency the following standard
cure profiles were used:
1. Autoclave cure: 180°C x 2 hr, 2°C/min. ramp
rate, 0.59 MPa compaction pressure
2. VBO cure: 120°C x 2 hr, 180°C x 2 hr, 2°C/min.
ramp rate, 0.10 MPa compaction pressure
3. Quickstep: 140°C x 2 hr, 180°C x 2 hr, 20-30°C/
min. ramp rate, ~0.14 MPa compaction pressure
All laminates from these processing methods
were at or below 2% averaged void content. As in
non-interlayer toughened system, we found tensile,
compressive, and shear properties equivalent to
the autoclave processing method.

(b)

Figure 8. Representative average interlaminar thickness for CAI panels fabricated by (a) autoclave and (b) Quickstep.
SAMPE Journal, Volume 52, No. 4, July/August 2016

57



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of SAMPE Journal - July/August 2016

Contents
SAMPE Journal - July/August 2016 - Cover1
SAMPE Journal - July/August 2016 - Cover2
SAMPE Journal - July/August 2016 - Contents
SAMPE Journal - July/August 2016 - 2
SAMPE Journal - July/August 2016 - 3
SAMPE Journal - July/August 2016 - 4
SAMPE Journal - July/August 2016 - 5
SAMPE Journal - July/August 2016 - 6
SAMPE Journal - July/August 2016 - 7
SAMPE Journal - July/August 2016 - 8
SAMPE Journal - July/August 2016 - 9
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SAMPE Journal - July/August 2016 - Cover3
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