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Characterisation of cross-linking and moisture ingress detection in an epoxy/amine resin using fibre-optic sensors

Mahendran, Ramani Salmalee (2010)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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Themosetting resins are being used increasingly as matrix materials in advanced fibre-reinforced composites. It is well known that the processing conditions used to manufacture the composite can have a major influence on its mechanical integrity in service. In addition, the processing parameters can also affect the ingress of moisture in thermosetting resin and composites. The feasibility of using optical fibre-based sensor systems for monitoring cross-linking reaction has been demonstrated previously. However, little work has been reported on the deployment of a single sensor to study the cross-linking kinetics and the diffusion of moisture. In the current work, four low-cost sensor designs were evaluated for in situ monitoring of the cross-linking reactions of an epoxy/amine resin system. One of these sensor designs was selected and used to investigate in detail the cross-linking kinetics. Excellent correlation was observed between the cross-linking data obtained form the sensors and conventional transmission spectroscopy. Semi-empirical models were used successfully to describe the cross-linking behaviour of the epoxy/amine resin system that was used in this study. Subsequent to monitoring the cross-linking reactions, the fibre-optic sensors were used to study the diffusion of moisture in the cross-linked resin system. Conventional gravimetric measurements were also carried out to enable the correlation with the data obtained from the fibre optic sensors. It was demonstrated that the fibre-optic sensors were capable of giving information on the “localised” diffusion of moisture in the neat-resin plaques. Three previously published models were investigated and localised diffusion of moisture in the neat-resin showed non-Fickian behaviour.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Kukureka, Stephen N. and Fernando, G.F.
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Engineering & Physical Sciences
Department:School of Metallurgy and Materials
Subjects:TP Chemical technology
TS Manufactures
TK Electrical engineering. Electronics Nuclear engineering
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:1083
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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