Thermoplastic veils based on Polyethylene-terephthalate (PET), Polyphenylene-sulfide (PPS) and Polyamide-12 (PA) fibres (∼10μm in diameter) were used to interlay unidirectional (UD), non-crimp fabric (NCF) and 5-Harness satin weave (5H) carbon fibre laminates. The PET and PPS veils remained in a fibrous form and the PA veils melted during the laminate curing process. The results of an end-loaded split test demonstrated significant improvements in the mode-II fracture performance in all cases. In general, interlaying thermoplastic veils was most efficient for toughening the UD laminates, with reduced improvements observed for the 5H and NCF laminates, respectively. The main toughening mechanism of the intact PET and PPS veils was thermoplastic fibre bridging. The melted PA veils mainly improved the fracture toughness of the epoxy at the mid-plane. The different toughening mechanisms of the veils, combined with different fracture mechanisms between the UD, NCF and 5H laminates, resulted in significantly different toughening levels.
- A: Polymer-matrix composites (PMCs)
- A: Thermoplastic veils
- B: Fracture toughness
- C: Fibre bridging
- D: Fractography