This thesis describes the design, development, and testing of a laboratory-scale coating machine to produce uniform, consistent and reproducible coatings that could easily be transferred to an industrial scale. The machine technique was a new concept for research and was not currently available, consequently no previous research work has been carried out. It was designed to meet a need for the preparation of coated carbon or other applicable fabric samples of an appropriate size, into the structure of the substrate for the subsequent production of composites. To make the machine as versatile as possible, the design requirements included the ability to produce coatings by several different techniques, to use coating compounds with additives as well as incorporating nanoparticles, and to allow both dimensionally stable and unstable fabrics to be processed. No previous research has been carried out by the application of a coating within the structure of a fabric. The design and development processes are described in detail, with the reasons for design decisions outlined. The completed coating machine is described and the techniques to produce a range of coated carbon fibre fabrics. Following conversion into composite materials, these materials were subjected to a range of tests, with the aims of determining the uniformity of the coatings produced and identifying differences between the composites made from the different coated fabrics. The composites produced from the coated and uncoated fabrics were subjected to 4-point bending tests, impact tests, and post-impact compression tests. These tests, and their results, confirmed the uniformity of the coatings produced and revealed some differences between the behaviour of the different composites. The limited quantities of these composites prevented a more detailed exploration of the mechanisms behind these differences. Conclusions were drawn from the narrow distribution of physical weight and thickness measurements of the coated samples produced which showed the effectiveness of the new coating machine and the technique employed as well as the extent to which it has met the aims of the research in terms of the application of a compound into the structure of a fabric. Possible directions for the future development of the machine are discussed, emphasising the areas of versatility and ease of use applicable to other coating techniques. Preliminary conclusions are drawn on the test results on the composites produced from the different coated fabrics, and suggestions are made for future research to explore the differences observed.
|Date of Award||31 Dec 2022|
- The University of Manchester
|Supervisor||Venkata Potluri (Supervisor) & Arthur Wilkinson (Supervisor)|