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Process Modelling and Materials Characterization

Steep thermal and micro-structural gradients are generated within many composite products and components during their manufacture. Adhesive bonding sites are therefore exposed to a diversity of time-temperature histories as such products gain integrity sufficient for their release from constraint. Understanding these conditions is often an important part of adhesive specification and it is, in some situations, practicable to tailor the spatial distribution of adhesive reactivity by anticipating such thermal gradients during layup.

The ABES instrument is designed to quantify the relationship between temperature and adhesion dynamics for specific formulation-adherend combinations. Understanding the mechanisms which drive heat transfer is, however, a requisite of bond strength prediction in the production setting. Temperature measurement by embedding sensors during product formation is sometimes feasible. However, in many situations this is not practicable, and deterministic 2-D or 3-D simulation of the mechanisms that drive the product formation process can provide a powerful alternative. AES has expertise in undertaking such modeling and also in the design of laboratory techniques to provide necessary material property input data. Test methods and process simulation strategies for diverse composite material and engineering component synthesis can be undertaken on a contract-basis.