Micro-mechanisms of deformation in fiber reinforced polymer matrix elastic memory composites
Polymer matrix Elastic Memory Composite (EMC) materials show great potential for use as ultra-light weight deployable structures for space applications. Critical to acceptance of these materials is the ability to efficiently package these materials for launch without any damage or degradation. Research has been performed which has highlighted the potential failure modes and design considerations, which enable avoidance of these potential failure modes. We have taken a detailed materials science approach to this research effort and have used other smart materials for comparison. Owing to a theoretical recoverable strain on the order of 100%, Elastic Memory Composite (EMC) materials which utilize a special polymer matrix and fiber reinforcement can pose an alternate solution to traditional smart materials for some applications. In this work we present a detailed study on the micro-mechanisms of deformation in EMC materials. The results of macroscale bend tests on EMC's show that strain recoverability potential is less of a concern compared to degradation of subsequent mechanical properties through damage. Consequently, using a combination of optical and scanning electron microscopy techniques and analytical modeling we present detailed information on the damage mechanisms in EMC materials. The damage is shown to depend on a multitude of factors at different length scales such as matrix composition, fiber volume fraction, and fiber architecture. Based on these studies, a clear path is recognized for micro-structural tailoring of these new state-of-the-art materials for optimization of post recovery properties. © 2001 The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc. All rights reserved.
Gall, K; Tupper, ML; Munshi, NA; Mikulas, M
19th Aiaa Applied Aerodynamics Conference