Survival of actively cooled microvascular polymer matrix composites under sustained thermomechanical loading

Anthony M. Coppola, Luke G. Warpinski, Sean P. Murray, Nancy R. Sottos, Scott R. White

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Exposure to high heat can cause polymer matrix composites (PMC) to fail under mechanical loads easily sustained at room temperature. However, heat is removed and temperature reduced in PMCs by active cooling through an internal vascular network. Here we compare structural survival of PMCs under thermomechanical loading with and without active cooling. Microchannels are incorporated into autoclave-cured carbon fiber/epoxy composites using sacrificial fibers. Time-to-failure, material temperature, and heat removal rates are measured during simultaneous heating on one face (5-75 kW/m2) and compressive loading (100-250 MPa). The effects of applied compressive load, heat flux, channel spacing, coolant flow rate, and channel distance from the heated surface are examined. Actively cooled composites containing 0.33% channel volume fraction survive without structural failure for longer than 30 min under 200 MPa compressive loading and 60 kW/m2 heat flux. In dramatic comparison, non-cooled composites fail in less than a minute under the same loading conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)170-179
Number of pages10
JournalComposites Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing
Volume82
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2016

Keywords

  • B. High-temperature properties
  • B. Thermomechanical
  • D. Thermal analysis
  • Vascular cooling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Mechanics of Materials

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