Surface Treatment for Graphite Fiber Composites

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Missile Defense Agency
Contract: N/A
Agency Tracking Number: 18099
Amount: $56,610.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 1992
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
3754 Hawkins Ne, Albuquerque, NM, 87109
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Richard W. Brotzman, Phd
 (505) 345-5668
Business Contact
Phone: () -
Research Institution
High performance graphite/resin composites have not realized their potential because they have poor interface-dependent mechanical properties that degrade by as much as 65% under hot-wet conditions. An RF-plasma/wet-chemistry fiber surface treatment is proposed to establish covalent bonding between the graphite fiber/resin matrix interface. The plasma process will establish reactive moieties on the relatively inert crystallite basal plane of the graphite fiber. The wet-chemical treatment will covalently bond the resin matrix to the reactive plasma-generated moieties thus forming the interfacial covalent bond. The covalently bonded interfaces will improve interface-dependent mechanical properties by at least 50% and prevent degradation of these properties under hot-wet conditions. Prior work that established interfacial covalent bonds in OCF S-2 glass/polysulfone composites demonstrated that interface-dependent mechanical properties degraded by less than 8% during 106 degree C-9 RH aging conditions. Basal plane reactivity treatments will be conducted in a spectrometer-controlled plasma research reactor facility. Titration, IGC, surgace energetics and ESCA techniques will characterize the graphite surface. Processes will be developed for wet-chemical bonding. Peel tests of two-ply laminates subjected to hot-wet aging will provide proof of increased interfacial adhesion.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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