Mechanical and Impact Characterization of Poly-Dicyclopentadiene (p-DCPD) Matrix Composites Using Novel Glass Fibers and Sizings

Report No. ARL-TR-7749
Authors: Steven E Boyd
Date/Pages: August 2016; 36 pages
Abstract: A survey of mechanical and impact properties for glass-reinforced polydicyclopentadiene (p-DCPD) matrix composites is undertaken to assess the suitability of the new resin system as a replacement for existing epoxy-matrix systems. The p-DCPD resin system has superior thermal stability and intrinsic fracture-toughness properties that are desirable for Army-unique applications. However, challenges in conventional processing techniques and chemical-sizing compatibility were encountered during the study. Various novel glass fibers and commercially available fabrics were infused with both p-DCPD resin and SC-15 epoxy and mechanical and impact testing performed. The key results indicate p-DCPD composites have lower mechanical and impact performance compared to SC-15 composites due to chemical-sizing incompatibility at the fiber?matrix interface. Despite efforts to tweak processing and to develop compatible sizings with industry partner Pittsburgh Plate Glass Industries, the p-DCPD composites had poor interfacial bonding that manifested as significantly lower interlaminar-shear strength. The main conclusion of this study is this: Given the desirable properties of p-DCPD, a program effort should be undertaken to develop a chemical sizing that will be 100% compatible with the p-DCPD resin and allow for processing of composites that have improved or comparable structural—as well as ballistic—properties to epoxy-matrix composites.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: August 1, 2016