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Effects of Release Materials and Temperature Ramp Rates on the Surface Finish of Carbon-Fiber Composite Components

  • Louis, Sudeep
  • Dang, Thucmy
  • Schlocker, Ethan
Publication Date
Jun 01, 2022
[email protected]
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Toray Advanced Composites is interested in improving their carbon fiber reinforced polymers (CFRP) manufacturing process by enhancing their control on the amount of surface roughness for varied customer preference. Surface roughness of CFRP is important in post-production processes including coating, priming, and painting. This project seeks to determine the effects of three release materials and two temperature ramp rates on the surface finish of CFRP. The release materials used were Tooltech, FEP, and Frekote 770-NC. The two initial temperature ramp rates were 1°F/min and 2°F/min. Surface roughness was measured using a profilometer and analyzed using Ra values. Ra is an average of the absolute value of profile height deviations from a reference line. A larger Ra value corresponds to a rougher surface. The Ra values calculated for the samples and tool plate were compared to describe their surface roughnesses. The tool plate’s average Ra was 0.604 microns. In cure cycle 1 (CC1), Tool Tech, FEP, and Frekote’s average Ra values were: 2.93, 1.17, and 11.50 microns. Cure cycle 2 (CC2) had average Ra values of 2.89, 5.56, and 20.94 microns, respectively. After ANOVA analysis, it was found that only FEP samples possessed a smoother surface finish with a slower temperature ramp rate, while Tooltech nor Frekote saw no statistically significant change. FEP produced the smoothest surface finish in CC1 with an average Ra value of 1.174µm. Tooltech produced the smoothest surface finish in CC2 with an average Ra value of 2.889µm. Frekote 700-NC produced the roughest surface finish in both CC1 and CC2, having average Ra values of 11.506µm and 20.944µm respectively.

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