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Title: Characterization of flax/epoxy prepregs before and after cure
Authors: Phillips, Steven ×
Baets, Joris
Lessard, Larry
Hubert, Pascal
Verpoest, Ignace #
Issue Date: Jun-2013
Publisher: Technomic Pub. Co.
Series Title: Journal of Reinforced Plastics and Composites vol:32 issue:11 pages:777-785
Abstract: This paper aims to better understand the nature of flax/epoxy hot melt prepreg systems as well as the mechanical
properties of their cured composites. Two uncured systems were subjected to thermal gravimetric analysis and compaction
experiments. Composites were then produced in an autoclave at pressures of 1, 3 and 5 bars. Void analysis was
carried out on the cured laminates by optical microscopy and void contents ranging from below 1% to over 20% were
obtained by image analysis. The primary source of voids was shown to be resin starvation based on the results of the
compaction tests. Tensile properties were shown to be strongly degraded by fabric crimp. Short beam tests revealed a
16% decrease in interlaminar shear strength with a 3.5% increase in void content. Similarly, water absorption tests
showed a significant increase in rate of absorption likely due to the presence of voids. The results suggest that in order
for flax/epoxy prepregs to reach their full potential, the level of crimp and the evacuation of moisture during cure should
be of primary concern.
ISSN: 0731-6844
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Structural Composites and Alloys, Integrity and Nondestructive Testing
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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