The purpose of this paper is to describe the first experiments to manufacture self-healing carbon fiber reinforced panels (CFRPs) for the realization of structural aeronautic components in order to address their vulnerability to impact damage in the real service conditions.
The developed self-healing system is based on ring-opening metathesis polymerizations reaction of microencapsulated 5-ethylidene-2-norbornene/dicyclopentadiene cyclic olefins using Hoveyda-Grubbs’ first generation catalyst as initiator. In this work, the self-healing resin is infused into a carbon fiber dry preform using an unconventional bulk film infusion technique that has allowed to minimize the filtration effects via a better compaction and reduced resin flow paths. Infrared spectroscopy provides a useful way to identify metathesis products and therefore catalyst activity in the self-healing panel after damage. The damage resistance of the manufactured CFRPs is evaluated through hail and drop tests.
The self-healing manufactured panels show, after damage, catalyst activity with metathesis product formation, as evidenced by an infrared peak at 966 cm−1. The damage response of CFRPs, detected in accord to the requirements of hail impact for the design of a fuselage in composite material, is very good. The results are very encouraging and can constitute a solid basis for bringing this new technology to the self-healable fiber reinforced resins for aerospace applications.
In this paper, autonomically healing CFRPs with damage resistance and self-healing function are proposed. In the development of self-healing aeronautic materials it is critical that self-healing activity functions in adverse weather conditions and at low working temperatures which can reach values as low as −50°C.
The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under Grant Agreement No. 313978.
Raimondo, M., De Nicola, F., Volponi, R., Binder, W., Michael, P., Russo, S. and Guadagno, L. (2016), "Self-repairing CFRPs targeted towards structural aerospace applications", International Journal of Structural Integrity, Vol. 7 No. 5, pp. 656-670. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJSI-11-2015-0053
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