Typical carbon-fiber reinforced composites require large heating equipment and processing times for resin curing, making repair in the field difficult and laborious. We propose a method that allows for out-of-oven, rapid patching of damaged composites using electric field plasma-induced heating and curing. A dielectric barrier discharge (plasma) applicator passes an electric field through the carbon fibers impregnated with uncured epoxy, causing local heating and curing of the resin. This can be used to quickly apply and cure patches over damaged zones in aerospace composites. This approach can even be used to fabricate carbon fiber pre-pregs, allowing for additive manufacturing of carbon fiber composites. All of this occurs without autoclaves or ovens.
Name: Sheikh Ismail