A tough polyethersulfone (PES) membrane was utilized as a novel reinforcement to improve impact performance of a carbon/glass hybrid composite. The hybrid composite was made of a glass fibre/epoxy block that was sandwiched between two carbon fibre/epoxy blocks. The PES reinforced hybrid composite was compared with an unmodified hybrid composite and a glass reinforced aluminium (GLARE) laminate. During impact testing, results showed that incorporation of PES led to an increase in toughness with a reduction in damage propagation in the investigated composite panels. Furthermore, the results showed that for low impact energy levels (6 J, 12 J and 18 J), the addition of the PES membrane reduced the area of damage by an average of 67%, compared to the virgin laminate. By increasing the impact energy level (24 J and 32 J), fibre breakage was the dominant failure mode and the PES had a negligible effect on the impact performance. A comparable load bearing performance was observed with the hybrid composites and the GLARE laminate for the low energy levels (6 J, 12 J and 18 J). However, the GLARE laminate had a better performance during high energy impacts (24 J and 32 J), due to the high ductility of the aluminium plates.
- Bristol Composites Institute ACCIS
- Glass/Carbon hybrids