Thermal Cycling of Thin and Thick Ply Composites

by Stephen S. Tompkins, NASA Langley Research Cent, Hampton, United States,
James Y. Shen, NASA Langley Research Cent, Hampton, United States,
Andre J. Lavoie, NASA Langley Research Cent, Hampton, United States,



Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Engineering, Construction, and Operations in Space IV

Abstract:

An experimental study was conducted to determine the effects of ply thickness in composite laminates on thermally induced cracking and changes in the coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE). After a few thermal cycles, laminates with thick-plies cracked, resulting in large changes in CTE. CTEs of the thin-ply laminates were unaffected by microcracking during the first 500 thermal cycles, whereas, the CTEs of the thick-ply laminates changed significantly. After about 1500 cycles, microdamage had also reduced the CTE of the thin-ply laminates to a value of about half of their initial value.



Subject Headings: Thermal effects | Composite materials | Thermal properties | Laminated materials | Matrix (mathematics) | Thickness | Cracking | Fabrication | Connecticut | United States

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