Manufacturing of Fibrous Composites for Engineering Applications

A special issue of Journal of Composites Science (ISSN 2504-477X). This special issue belongs to the section "Composites Manufacturing and Processing".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2022) | Viewed by 21916

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Special Issue Editor

School of Mechanical Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, China
Interests: fibrous composites; metallic alloys; hybrid composite stacks; high-performance materials; functional surfaces; multilayer coatings; coating evaluation; coated tools; mechanical machining; materials processing; numerical modeling surface texturing
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Fibrous composites are one type of high-performance composite material featuring the presence of fiber-like reinforcement impregnated with different matrix bases, which have taken a prominent position in diverse engineering applications because of their unique mechanical/physical properties and outstanding structural functions. Manufacturing is a critical procedure to ensure the target dimensions and desired quality of fibrous composites. This involves technical issues frequently encountered in the fabrication, processing, and machining of these composite materials. To date, great endeavors have been made in the past few decades to address manufacturing issues associated with the engineering applications of fibrous composites. Precision manufacturing of these advanced composites has thus become a hot research topic in both academia and industry. Recent advances have been achieved covering both experimental and numerical investigations of manufacturing science and technology of fibrous composites.

This Special Issue seeks to report the latest research findings achieved by worldwide scholars focusing on the manufacturing science of fibrous composites for engineering applications. Well-organized papers covering both experimental and numerical studies of fabricating, processing, and machining fibrous composites are all welcome. It is our hope that this Special Issue will provide a platform for academic and industrial researchers to share and disseminate their original research results on all manufacturing aspects of fibrous composites.

Prof. Dr. Jinyang Xu
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • fibrous composites
  • composite structures
  • CFRPs
  • GFRPs
  • KFRPs
  • fabrication
  • processing
  • machining
  • surface quality
  • experiments
  • numerical simulation

Published Papers (11 papers)

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Editorial

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3 pages, 219 KiB  
Editorial
Manufacturing of Fibrous Composites for Engineering Applications
J. Compos. Sci. 2022, 6(7), 187; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs6070187 - 24 Jun 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1183
Abstract
Fibrous composites are advanced engineering materials featuring the impregnation of fiber phase with a polymer matrix base to yield enhanced properties [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Manufacturing of Fibrous Composites for Engineering Applications)

Research

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14 pages, 6346 KiB  
Article
Organomorphic Silicon Carbide Reinforcing Preform Formation Mechanism
J. Compos. Sci. 2023, 7(2), 81; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs7020081 - 15 Feb 2023
Viewed by 965
Abstract
Development of the organomorphic ceramic-matrix composites (CMCs), where the reinforcing preform is built using polymer fibers subject essentially to hot pressing, was motivated by a desire to obtain much higher structural uniformity as well as to reduce the number of the process steps [...] Read more.
Development of the organomorphic ceramic-matrix composites (CMCs), where the reinforcing preform is built using polymer fibers subject essentially to hot pressing, was motivated by a desire to obtain much higher structural uniformity as well as to reduce the number of the process steps involved in the production of CMCs. This paper addresses the peculiarities of the organomorphic silicon carbide preform formation process. Using X-ray phase analysis, tomography, mass and IR spectroscopy, and thermomechanical and X-ray microanalysis, both the properties of the initial fibers of polycarbosilane (PCS)—the silicon carbide fiber precursor—and their transformation in the preform while heated to 1250 °C under constant pressing at 10–100 kPa were studied. Analysis of the data obtained showed the organomorphic SiC preform relative density at a level of 0.3–0.4 to be ensured by self-bonding of the silicon carbide preform, resulting from the fact that during the low-temperature part of pyrolysis, easily polymerizing substances are released leaving a high coke residue, thus cementing the preform. Another possible factor of SiC framework self-bonding is the destruction of the polymer fibers during pyrolysis of various PCS preforms differing in their methylsilane composition (for example, dimethylsilane), where deposition of silicon carbide on the contacting fibers starts as early as at 450–500 °C. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Manufacturing of Fibrous Composites for Engineering Applications)
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22 pages, 5132 KiB  
Article
Hole Quality Observation in Single-Shot Drilling of CFRP/Al7075-T6 Composite Metal Stacks Using Customized Twist Drill Design
J. Compos. Sci. 2022, 6(12), 378; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs6120378 - 08 Dec 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1571
Abstract
In the modern aircraft manufacturing industry, the use of fiber metal stack-up material plays an important role. During assembly, these stack-up materials need to be drilled, and single-shot drilling is the best option to avoid misalignments. This paper discusses hole quality in terms [...] Read more.
In the modern aircraft manufacturing industry, the use of fiber metal stack-up material plays an important role. During assembly, these stack-up materials need to be drilled, and single-shot drilling is the best option to avoid misalignments. This paper discusses hole quality in terms of hole edge defects and hole integrity with respect to tool geometry. In this study, tungsten carbide (WC) twist-type drills with various geometric features were fabricated, tested, and evaluated. Twenty custom twist drill bits with primary clearance angles ranging from 6° to 8°, chisel edge angles from 30° to 45°, and point angles from 130° to 140° were fabricated. The CFRP and Al 7075-T6 were stacked up, and a feed rate of 0.05 mm/rev and spindle speed of 2600 rev/min were used for all drilling experiments. The experimental array was constructed using response surface methodology (RSM) to design the experiments. The impact of factors and their importance on hole quality were investigated using analysis of variance (ANOVA). The study demonstrates that the primary clearance angle, followed by the chisel edge angle, is the most important factor determining hole quality. As a function of tool geometry, correlation models between exit delamination and burr height were developed. The findings suggested that, within the range of parameters examined, the proposed correlation models might be utilized to predict performance measures. For drilling CFRP/AL7075-T6 stack material in a single shot, the ideal twist drill geometry was determined to be a 45° chisel edge angle, 8° primary clearance angle, and 130° point angle. For optimum drill geometry, the discrepancy between the expected and actual experiment values was 0.11% for exit delamination and 9.72% for burr height. The findings of this research elucidate the relationship between tool geometry and hole quality in single-shot drilling of composite-metal stacks, and more specifically, they may serve as a useful, practical guide for single-shot drilling of CFRP/Al7075-T6 stack for the manufacture of aircraft. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Manufacturing of Fibrous Composites for Engineering Applications)
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15 pages, 6277 KiB  
Article
Optical Detection of Void Formation Mechanisms during Impregnation of Composites by UV-Reactive Resin Systems
J. Compos. Sci. 2022, 6(11), 351; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs6110351 - 15 Nov 2022
Viewed by 1743
Abstract
During the impregnation of reinforcement fabrics in liquid composite molding processes, the flow within fiber bundles and the channels between the fiber bundles usually advances at different velocities. This so-called “dual-scale flow” results in void formation inside the composite material and has a [...] Read more.
During the impregnation of reinforcement fabrics in liquid composite molding processes, the flow within fiber bundles and the channels between the fiber bundles usually advances at different velocities. This so-called “dual-scale flow” results in void formation inside the composite material and has a negative effect on its mechanical properties. Semi-empirical models can be applied to calculate the extent of the dual-scale flow. In this study, a methodology is presented that stops the impregnation of reinforcement fabrics at different filling levels by using a photo-reactive resin system. By means of optical evaluation, the theoretical calculation models of the dual-scale flow are validated metrologically. The results show increasingly distinct dual-scale flow effects with increasing pressure gradients. The methodology enables the measurability of microscopic differences in flow front progression to validate renowned theoretical models and compare simulations to measurements of applied injection processes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Manufacturing of Fibrous Composites for Engineering Applications)
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13 pages, 5389 KiB  
Article
Numerical Simulation of Two-Phase Flow in Liquid Composite Moulding Using VOF-Based Implicit Time-Stepping Scheme
J. Compos. Sci. 2022, 6(11), 330; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs6110330 - 03 Nov 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1676
Abstract
The filling stage in injection/infusion moulding processes plays a key role in composite manufacturing that can be influenced by the inlet and vent ports. This will affect the production of void-free parts and the desirable process time. Flow control is usually required in [...] Read more.
The filling stage in injection/infusion moulding processes plays a key role in composite manufacturing that can be influenced by the inlet and vent ports. This will affect the production of void-free parts and the desirable process time. Flow control is usually required in experiments to optimise such a stage; however, numerical simulations can be alternatively used to predict manufacturing-induced deficiencies and potentially remove them in the actual experiments. This study uses ANSYS Fluent software to model flow-front advancement during the impregnation of woven fabrics. A developed technique is applied by creating tracking points (e.g., on-line monitor) in the direction of the flow to report/collect data for flow-front positions as a function of time. The study adopts the FVM-VOF-based two-phase flow model together with an implicit time-stepping scheme, i.e., a dual-time formulation solution method with a preconditioned pseudo-time derivative. Initially, three time-step sizes, 5 s (small), 25 s, and 50 s (large), are evaluated to examine their impact on numerical saturation lines at various fabric porosities, 40%, 50%, and 60%, for a two-dimensional (2D) rectangular mould, and predictions are then compared with the well-known analytical Darcy. This is followed by a three-dimensional (3D) curved mould for a fillet L-shaped structure, wherein the degree-of-curvature of fibre preforms is incorporated using a User-Defined Function (UDF) to tailor the impregnation process. The developed approach shows its validation (1–5.7%) with theoretical calculations and experimental data for 2D and 3D cases, respectively. The results also stress that a shorter computational time can be achieved with a large time-step size while maintaining the same level of accuracy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Manufacturing of Fibrous Composites for Engineering Applications)
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12 pages, 2758 KiB  
Article
Filling Time Reduction in Liquid Composite Molding Processes
J. Compos. Sci. 2022, 6(8), 222; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs6080222 - 04 Aug 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1650
Abstract
The quality of Liquid Composite Molding (LCM) manufactured components is strictly related to the fibrous preform impregnation. As Darcy’s law suggests, the resin flow is influenced by the pressure gradient, geometrical features of the reinforcement, and resin viscosity. The former two parameters are [...] Read more.
The quality of Liquid Composite Molding (LCM) manufactured components is strictly related to the fibrous preform impregnation. As Darcy’s law suggests, the resin flow is influenced by the pressure gradient, geometrical features of the reinforcement, and resin viscosity. The former two parameters are dictated by the requirements of the component and other constraints; therefore, they are hardly modifiable during the process. Resin preheating increases its fluency, thus enhancing the impregnation and saturation flow, and reducing the mold filling time. In the present work, a microwave heating system has been integrated within a vacuum bag resin infusion process, to analyze the effect of the online preheating on the fiber impregnation. To monitor the resin flow a dielectric sensors-based system is used. Results from resin infusion tests conducted with and without the resin pre-heating were compared: the outcomes indicated an advance of approximately 190 s of the flow front when microwave heating is applied with respect to the unheated tests. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Manufacturing of Fibrous Composites for Engineering Applications)
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12 pages, 9759 KiB  
Article
Experimental Investigation on Machine-Induced Damages during the Milling Test of Graphene/Carbon Incorporated Thermoset Polymer Nanocomposites
J. Compos. Sci. 2022, 6(3), 77; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs6030077 - 02 Mar 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1935
Abstract
The fiber laminate composites are extensively used in aerospace, aircraft, automotive components due to their high stiffness, corrosion, moisture resistance, low weight, and durability features. These fiber composites are modified with nanomaterials to acquire the desired manufacturing properties. The complex structure and anisotropic [...] Read more.
The fiber laminate composites are extensively used in aerospace, aircraft, automotive components due to their high stiffness, corrosion, moisture resistance, low weight, and durability features. These fiber composites are modified with nanomaterials to acquire the desired manufacturing properties. The complex structure and anisotropic features differ from metals and their alloys. Additionally, the machining principles of fiber laminates significantly differ from conventional engineering materials. The present work investigates the machining behavior and permeates the damage generated while milling of graphene-modified carbon-fiber reinforced polymer nanocomposites (G/C@FRNC). The surface damages and defects caused in the milling samples have been examined through the high-resolution spectroscopy test. The influence of machining constraints such as cutting speed (N), feed rate (F), depth of cut (D), and graphene oxide weight % (GO) has been investigated to achieve the desired milling performances viz. material removal rate (MRR), cutting force (Fc), surface roughness (Ra), and delamination factor (Fd). The outcomes indicated that the cutting parameters and graphene nanomaterial prominently affects the milling responses. The addition of graphene improves the machinability of proposed nanocomposites with lesser defects generated. However, its higher addition can lead to the phenomenon of agglomeration that can reduce the machining efficiency. The damages and delamination generated in the machined sample are low at a higher cutting speed. This work suggests a new system to control the damage and defects to enhance the laminate samples’ quality and productivity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Manufacturing of Fibrous Composites for Engineering Applications)
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14 pages, 10946 KiB  
Article
On the Machining Temperature and Hole Quality of CFRP Laminates When Using Diamond-Coated Special Drills
J. Compos. Sci. 2022, 6(2), 45; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs6020045 - 01 Feb 2022
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 2241
Abstract
Carbon fiber reinforced polymers (CFRPs) are attractive engineering materials in the modern aerospace industry, but possess extremely poor machinability because of their inherent anisotropy and heterogeneity. Although substantial research work has been conducted to understand the drilling behavior of CFRPs, some critical aspects [...] Read more.
Carbon fiber reinforced polymers (CFRPs) are attractive engineering materials in the modern aerospace industry, but possess extremely poor machinability because of their inherent anisotropy and heterogeneity. Although substantial research work has been conducted to understand the drilling behavior of CFRPs, some critical aspects related to the machining temperature development and its correlations with the process parameters still need to be addressed. The present paper aims to characterize the temperature variation and evolution during the CFRP drilling using diamond-coated candlestick and step tools. Progression of the composite drilling temperatures was recorded using an infrared thermography camera, and the hole quality was assessed in terms of surface morphologies and hole diameters. The results indicate that the maximum drilling temperature tends to be reached when the drill edges are fully engaged into the composite workpiece. Then it drops sharply as the tool tends to exit the last fiber plies. Lower cutting speeds and lower feed rates are found to favor the reduction of the maximum composite drilling temperature, thus reducing the risk of the matrix glass transition. The candlestick drill promotes lower magnitudes of drilling temperatures, while the step drill yields better surface morphologies and more consistent hole diameters due to the reaming effects of its secondary step edges. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Manufacturing of Fibrous Composites for Engineering Applications)
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14 pages, 11236 KiB  
Article
Uniaxial Compressive Behavior of AA5083/SiC Co-Continuous Ceramic Composite Fabricated by Gas Pressure Infiltration for Armour Applications
J. Compos. Sci. 2022, 6(2), 36; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs6020036 - 20 Jan 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2497
Abstract
A novel approach of a gas pressure infiltration technique is presented for the synthesis of Co-Continuous Ceramic Composite (C4). SiC foams of varying pore sizes were infiltrated with aluminium AA5083. Optical examination revealed that the SiC foams contained open cells with a network [...] Read more.
A novel approach of a gas pressure infiltration technique is presented for the synthesis of Co-Continuous Ceramic Composite (C4). SiC foams of varying pore sizes were infiltrated with aluminium AA5083. Optical examination revealed that the SiC foams contained open cells with a network of triangular voids. The number of pores-per-inch (PPI) in the foams was found to depend on the strut thickness and pore diameter. The compressive strengths of two foam configurations, 10 and 20 PPI, were estimated to lie between 1–2 MPa. After infiltration, the compressive yield strength of the resulting C4 was observed to increase to 126 MPa and 120 MPa, respectively, for the 10 and 20 PPI C4. Additionally, the infiltration of ceramic foam with the AA5083 alloy resulted in an increase in strength of 58–100 times when compared with plain ceramic foam. The failure modes of the composites in compression were analyzed by crack propagation and determining the type of failure. The study revealed that shear failure and vertical splitting were the predominant mechanisms of compression failure, and that the fabricated C4 is advantageous in mechanical properties compared to the plain ceramic foam. This study, therefore, suggests the use of C4 composites in armour applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Manufacturing of Fibrous Composites for Engineering Applications)
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Review

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25 pages, 4401 KiB  
Review
A Review on the Fabrication and Mechanical Characterization of Fibrous Composites for Engineering Applications
J. Compos. Sci. 2023, 7(6), 252; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs7060252 - 18 Jun 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1498
Abstract
This review focuses on the fabrication and mechanical characterization of fibrous composites for engineering applications. Fibrous composites are materials composed of two or more distinct phases, with fibers embedded in a matrix. The properties of these materials depend on the properties of both [...] Read more.
This review focuses on the fabrication and mechanical characterization of fibrous composites for engineering applications. Fibrous composites are materials composed of two or more distinct phases, with fibers embedded in a matrix. The properties of these materials depend on the properties of both the fibers and the matrix, as well as the way they are combined and fabricated. The various fabrication methods, along with the process parameters, used to manufacture synthetic and natural fibrous composites for engineering applications, including hand lay-up, compression molding, resin transfer molding, additive manufacturing, etc., are discussed. The mechanical characterization of fibrous composites, including their strength, stiffness, and toughness of both synthetic and natural fibrous composites are discussed. The advantages and disadvantages of fiber reinforcement are discussed, along with their influence on the resulting mechanical characteristics of the composites. It can be observed that the mechanical properties of fibrous composites can be tailored by controlling various factors, such as the fiber orientation, fiber volume fraction, and matrix type. Although fibrous composites offer significant advantages, several challenges hinder their widespread use in engineering applications. These challenges include high manufacturing costs, limited design guidelines, and difficulties in predicting their mechanical behavior under various loading conditions. Therefore, despite their unique properties, these challenges must be overcome for fibrous composites to realize their full potential as high-performance materials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Manufacturing of Fibrous Composites for Engineering Applications)
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15 pages, 3525 KiB  
Review
Cool-Clave—An Energy Efficient Autoclave
J. Compos. Sci. 2023, 7(2), 82; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs7020082 - 16 Feb 2023
Viewed by 3869
Abstract
Out-of-autoclave (OOA) manufacturing techniques for composites result in lower fibre volume fractions than for fully compressed laminates. The lower fibre volume fraction produces a higher resin volume fraction, which becomes resin-rich volumes (RRV). Textile reinforcements with clustered fibres and consequent RRV generally have [...] Read more.
Out-of-autoclave (OOA) manufacturing techniques for composites result in lower fibre volume fractions than for fully compressed laminates. The lower fibre volume fraction produces a higher resin volume fraction, which becomes resin-rich volumes (RRV). Textile reinforcements with clustered fibres and consequent RRV generally have low strength but high in-plane process permeability, whereas the opposite is true for uniformly distributed fibres. The inevitable increase in resin volume fraction of OOA composites often compromises composite performance and leads to relatively higher weight and fuel consumption in transport applications. The retention of autoclave processing is recommended for highest performance when compression press moulding is not appropriate (for example, for complex 3D components). The traditional autoclave processing of composites heats not only the component to be cured but also parasitic air and the vessel insulation. Subject to minor modifications of the pressure vessel, electrically heated tooling could be implemented. This approach would need to balance insulation of the heated tool surface (and any heater blanket on the counter-face) against the quenching effect during the introduction of the pressurised cool air. This process optimisation would significantly reduce energy consumption. Additionally, the laminate on the heated tool could be taken to the end of the dwell period before loading the autoclave, leading to significant reductions in cure cycle times. Components could be cured simultaneously at different temperatures provided that there are sufficient power and control circuits in the autoclave. While autoclave processing has usually involved vacuum-bagged pre-impregnated reinforcements, implementation of the cool-clave technique could also provide a scope for using the pressure vessel to cure vacuum-infused composites. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Manufacturing of Fibrous Composites for Engineering Applications)
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