Structural Integrity And Performance Of Aerospace Design Applications

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Aerospace design applications rely heavily on weight reduction, structural integrity and optimize performance. Engineers and designers have adopted carbon fiber composite due to its high modulus reinforcement fibers embedded in an epoxy matrix. Also called graphite fiber or carbon graphite, carbon fiber consists of very thin strands of the element carbon. Each fiber is 5-10 microns in diameter as shown on Figure 1, one micron (um) is 0.000039 inches. Carbon fiber composite material is a special candidate for aerospace applications because of its high tensile strength, corrosion and fire resistant properties, which provides functional integrity by design, results in high strength and light weight construction that could be formed into practically any shape or form. These fibers are constructed with multiple laminate which are bonded together with a matrix or resin system. When combined with resin and wound or molded to form composite materials, a high strength-to-weight ratio is achieved.

Figure 1.
Carbon fiber 5 microns

Carbon Composite Materials Under industrial production now, carbon fibers are classified into PAN-based (polyacrylonitrile based) seen on figure 2, pitch-based (coal tar and petroleum products) and rayon-based. The manufacturing of carbon fiber involves a chemical and mechanical process. Mixing the precursor and co-monomer then drawing the fiber out the chemical mixture then mechanically stretching and coating the fibers. The

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