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Hybridization Strategy for Improving Damage Tolerance of Three Phase Composites



This paper presents the development of novel three phase composite materials consisting of reinforcing fibers and continuous thermoplastic fibers in a thermoset matrix. In this work, two hybridization strategies have been employed for blending thermoplastic fibers with reinforcing fibers- comingling and micro-wrapping. S-glass and Polypropylene have been blended using a) air-jet comingling process and b) intratow micro-wrapping. Damage resistance and tolerance of the two material systems have been evaluated with drop-weight impact and compression after impact (CAI) tests. Results indicate that thermoplastic fibers improve the total absorbed energy of the composite by toughing mechanism through extensive plastic deformation as well as providing a protection to glass fibers to enhance damage tolerance of the hybrid laminates.

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