Using X-ray Micro-CT Scanning to Characterize Cracking in Composites

Date
2017-04-11
Authors
Roth, Rachel
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Altmetrics
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Environmental Health and Safety
Abstract

Fibrous composites are used throughout the aerospace industry with military, commercial, satellite, and space exploration applications. Composites are desired for their high specific strength and stiffness to weight ratios, as well as their malleability to produce aerodynamically efficient structures. We used computed tomography (CT) to investigate the structural integrity of two small rectangular carbon-fiber composite samples after each underwent unknown amounts of physical stress. Results revealed consistent cracking along the long edges and patterns of cracking through the center of one sample and virtually no cracking in the other sample. The results of this study will help to determine the structural characteristics and limits of carbon-fiber composites under extreme physical stress, with potential to save the aerospace industry money in both aircraft testing and regular use.

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