A transparent composite is based on the concept of matching the refractive index of the glass fiber with that of resin. A novel optically transparent glass-ribbon reinforced polymer matrix composite has been developed by infusing a clear epoxy resin system of matching refractive index into a stacked glass-ribbon preform (micron-size glass fibers with rectangular cross section). Rectangular glass ribbons are used as reinforcement as opposed to the conventional circular glass fibers since ribbons scatter less light than circular fibers for any given condition. The preforms are then laid up, vacuum bagged and infused with the resin. The set-up is then cured in an oven under controlled temperature and vacuum to make transparent composite panels. Various physical and mechanical tests like fiber volume fraction, tensile, flexure and impact have been conducted. Results indicate significant improvements in stiffness, strength and impact resistance. These new glass-ribbon reinforced structural transparent composites will find applications in windshields, windows and other components where a strong, lightweight transparent material is desirable. Transparent composites will also have potential applications as backing material in transparent armor systems.
- Glass Ribbons,
- Transparent Composites,
- Vacuum Infusion
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/thomas-schuman/62/