Mechanical properties of thermoset-metal composite prepared under different process conditions
Abstract— This paper reports a study on the morphology and mechanical behavior of a thermoset-metal composite used in prototype molds as a function of the process conditions. The investigation of the mechanical properties of epoxy-aluminum specimens post-cured using different routines showed that they are related to the self-controlled diffusion characteristic of thermoset polymeric systems. A high-temperature post-cure routine resulted in higher values for the modulus, stiffness and glass transition temperature, Tg, for the specimens. The fracture surfaces analysis showed the presence of defects, which appeared as empty spaces in the epoxy matrix, due to the mixing and casting process. The defect size and the specimen strength showed a direct correlation. The Weibull modulus was 7.95 for the epoxy specimens characterizing low toughness and the presence of defects in the material, as revealed by fractography. The probability of failure increased rapidly to 50% for applied stress greater than 38 MPa.
Keywords— Thermoset-metal, mechanical properties, process conditions.
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