Ultrasonic cavitation erosion of CFRP composites

Leon Chernin (Lead / Corresponding author), Raimondas Guobys, Margi Vilnay

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Abstract

To date, cavitation erosion of carbon fibre reinforced polymer (CFRP) composites has attracted only limited scientific attention. This paper investigates this knowledge gap through a series of experiments, in which unidirectional and bidirectional (2x2 twill) CFRP composites were exposed to cavitation clouds produced by an ultrasonic transducer in distilled water. Both composites were bonded with epoxy resin. Cavitation erosion tests were conducted according to the ASTM G32-16 standard using a stationary specimen method. The effect of water absorption on monitoring erosion damage was studied using saturated and dry specimens. Specimen mass loss measurements and microscopy observations were done at regular intervals throughout testing. Erosion imprint topographies were studied using X-ray computed microtomography. Three distinct erosion stages were identified from the erosion process observations. Nonuniformities in surface geometry and properties facilitated nucleation and accelerated local erosion. Surface epoxy thickness, fibre diameter and packing, and thickness and layup of fibre bundles influenced the erosion process. The erosion mechanisms included cracking and debonding of epoxy, and tunnelling and trenching in fibre bundles. Research findings indicated that the composite internal structure can potentially be designed for reduced water absorption and increased erosion resistance. Acoustic impedance was most efficient in predicting material response to cavitation erosion.

Original languageEnglish
Article number205300
Number of pages21
JournalWear
Volume544-545
Early online date15 Feb 2024
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 May 2024

Keywords

  • Ultrasonic cavitation erosion
  • Carbon fibre reinforced polymer (CFRP) composites
  • Surface analysis
  • X-ray microtomography (Micro-CT)
  • Material properties.

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