Manufacturing and Characterization of Basalt Fiber-Phenolic Resin Composites
The aerospace industry is highly interested in the development of composite materials capable of reducing part weight while maintaining required mechanical properties. Some previous research indicates that basalt fiber may have higher specific mechanical properties than fiberglass, a common reinforcement in aerospace interior composites. To further the investigation into basalt fiber as a fiberglass alternative, phenolic/basalt fiber prepreg and composite panels were manufactured and characterized at Western Washington University (WWU). Prepreg was manufactured using a laboratory scale, solvent-based prepreg treater. Non-destructive and destructive testing methods were used to verify prepreg quality, including the use of non-contact ultrasound to observe resin distribution. Resin content, volatile content, and resin distribution of the prepreg were optimized through a design of experiments to study the effects of nip roller spacing and resin bath residence time. The optimized basalt prepreg was then processed into c-stage composite test specimens in the form of sandwich panels and laminates. These were mechanically tested for short beam shear, long beam shear, flexural strength, tensile strength, and climbing drum peel for comparison with traditional phenolic/fiberglass prepreg.
Authors: Gunnar Lindskog, Cecile Grubb, David Peebles, and Nikki Larson
Conference: SAMPE Seattle 2017