Picosecond Pulsed Laser Ablation for the Surface Preparation of Epoxy Composites
As part of a technical challenge under the Advanced Composites Program, methods for improving pre-bond process control for aerospace composite surface treatments and inspections, in conjunction with Federal Aviation Administration guidelines, are under investigation. The overall goal is to demonstrate high fidelity, rapid and reproducible surface treatment and surface characterization methods to reduce uncertainty associated with the bonding process. The desired outcomes are reliable bonded airframe structure, and reduced timeline to certification. In this work, laser ablation was conducted using a q-switched Nd:YVO4 laser capable of nominal pulse durations of 8 picoseconds (ps). Aerospace structural carbon fiber reinforced composites with an epoxy resin matrix were laser treated, characterized, processed into bonded assemblies and mechanically tested. The characterization of ablated surfaces were conducted using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), water contact angle (WCA) goniometry, micro laser induced breakdown spectroscopy (μLIBS), and electron spin resonance (ESR). The bond performance was assessed using a double cantilever beam (DCB) test with an epoxy adhesive. The surface characteristics and bond performance obtained from picosecond ablated carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRPs) are presented herein.
Author: Frank Palmieri
Conference: SAMPE Seattle 2017