Mechanical characterization of a compression molded chopped-carbon-fiber and cyanate ester compound

Nilesh S Apte, University of Texas at El Paso


This thesis describes the results of a study intended to evaluate the tensile strength of a new experimental chopped-carbon-fiber and Cyanate Ester compression molded compound. This compound has been given the designation MS-4F. This study first developed a compression molding technique designed to manufacture tensile specimens modeled after an ASTM specification. The compression molding parameters including temperature and pressure were varied to observe the effects on the tensile strength of the resulting material. ^ The specimens were tested in a uniaxial test to obtain load-deflection and stress-strain curves for the material. In total, twelve specimens were tested to the breaking point. Examination of the material failure characteristics indicated that different failure mechanisms are produced depending on the compression molding temperatures. It was determined that the optimal compression molding parameters in terms of temperature and pressure were about 800 psi pressure and a temperature of 365 °F (185 °C). ^ Tensile strengths for this material were found to be in the range of 26-36 ksi. It was found that the ultimate strength in tension is about one-third of the flexural strength. This is attributed to the unique characteristics of this chopped fiber material. ^ The stiffness and strength characteristics of this material combined with its light weight and ease of manufacture make it well suited for aerospace applications. An example of such an application would be control surfaces on missiles. ^

Subject Area

Engineering, Mechanical

Recommended Citation

Apte, Nilesh S, "Mechanical characterization of a compression molded chopped-carbon-fiber and cyanate ester compound" (2006). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI1435323.