Voids or bubbles in polymer composites have a detrimental effect on the properties of the material. Such voids are found in PMR 15/graphite fiber (fabric type) composites. The matrix, PMR 15, is formed in‐situ during the molding process and undergoes two major stages of reactions, viz., imidization and crosslinking. Volatiles are formed as by‐products of these reactions and may remain trapped in the matrix to form voids or bubbles. Photomicrographs of composite cross sections suggested the classification of voids as two different phases in two different directions, each aligned with the fibers, resulting in a five phase model. The composites were tested in three‐point bending tests to obtain the flexural modulus. By combining Weng's inclusion approach (1) and Ishikawa and Chou's crimp method (2), an analytical model has been developed to predict the elastic moduli of such a multiphase composite material. Thus, the voids have been treated as inclusions in an enclosing matrix, which in turn is reinforced by woven fibers in two directions. The stiffness behavior obtained analytically was within 10% of the experimental values.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ceramics and Composites
- Materials Chemistry
- Polymers and Plastics