MANUFACTURING AND EVALUATION OF BRAIDED CARBON FIBER COMPOSITE TUBES

Open Access
Author:
Miller, Daniel Joseph
Area of Honors:
Engineering Science
Degree:
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Dr Bakis, Thesis Supervisor
  • Charles E Bakis, Thesis Supervisor
  • Ivica Smid, Honors Advisor
  • Judith A Todd, Faculty Reader
Keywords:
  • Composites
  • Drive Shaft
  • Carbon Fiber
  • VARTM
Abstract:
Helicopter tail drive shafts are currently made with metal segmented shafts that are connected with flexible couplings. These drive shafts need the flexible couplings to allow for mis-alignment in the rear boom when, during flight, the rear boom flexes. To reduce weight while transmitting torque under misalignment, flexible matrix composites (FMC) have been proposed as a solution. Tube specimens have been made using filament winding in previous work out of carbon fiber tow to form the reinforcement of the composite and polyurethane to form the matrix of the composite. In this research, the possibility of making tube specimens using vacuum assisted resin transfer molded (VARTM) was investigated. A mold was designed and through basic knowledge of VARTM research was done to develop the best way to make these specimens, using a combination of viscosity measurements of the resin being infused and trial and error. Specimens were tested in tension, compression and the fiber, matrix and void content was measured to be compared to the previously made filament wound parts made by Sollenberger. These specimens were found to have lower properties than the previously tested filament wound parts. However, after tests to calculate the percent composition of the VARTM parts were performed, it was found that the parts had less reinforcement and more voids that the filament wound parts. Classical laminated plate theory for composites was then used to determine the percent decrease due to the waviness of the samples.