Test Methods for Composite Structures for Pulsed Power, Rotating Machines
MetadataShow full item record
Composites are an enabling technology for achieving high power and energy densities in pulsed power rotating machinery. Due to extreme thermomechanical loads, an optimized combination of structural, thermal, and electrical properties is required to achieve the desired durability and service life performance. Coupon level tests are performed to generate the results necessary to quantify these properties and guide the development of a correctly balanced composite. This paper presents a top-level discussion of test methodologies and their use that are important for evaluation of composite laminate properties for pulsed power applications. Test methodologies include: (1) hydroburst for hoop (circumferential) properties; (2) transverse tensile and shear tests for resin dominated loading; (3) radial precompression testing for viscoelastic effects; (4) fiber digestion for fiber volume and void content determination, digital photomicrographs for visual evaluation; and (5) transverse electrical conductivity tests. Both the hydroburst and transverse tensile test fixtures feature elevated temperature test capabilities. These test techniques, which are currently in use at The University of Texas at Austin Center for Electromechanics (UT-CEM), are described and typical test-generated data is discussed.