The Investigation of Advanced Thermoplastic Composite Materials In Aerospace Applications
The main research fields in the production of new generation and high-technology structural parts in aircrafts are based on the development of advanced materials and new methods to meet the expectations for high performance, light weight and less fuel consumption. In this sense, due to their enhanced physical and chemical properties in addition to the affordable manufacturing processes fiber reinforced composites have been using extensively in aeronautics since 1950s as alternative to metals and alloys. Glass fiber consisting of resin matrix based composite material is the most common one and first came to prominence in the 1950s for designing Boeing 707 passenger jet. Subsequently, fibrous composite materials were originally used in small percentages in military aircraft during the 1960s and within civil aviation from the 1970s . Composite materials which are currently being used in aerospace applications are mainly based on thermosets, particularly epoxy resins in pre-impregnated composite fibers. Although their mechanical strength, high levels of dimensional stability and cost-effective manufacturing thermoset composites have considerable drawbacks. They cannot be recycled, cannot be remolded or reshaped, moreover they are difficult to surface finish. On the other hand, instead of using thermoset based composite matrices proceeding with thermoplastics is more advantageous since fiber reinforced thermoplastic prepregs provide high-impact resistance, remolding/reshaping capabilities, chemical resistance and long lifetime. However, the problems arising with thermoplastic composites are the difficulty experiencing in control of fatigue propagation because of the delamination phenomenon. Hence, in our study we focus on the molecular interactions between fiber and matrix. Our aim is to enhance the mechanical properties of thermoplastic composite materials at harsh conditions through the functionalization processes.