Effect of molding condition on resin impregnation behavior and the associated mechanical properties were investigated for carbon fabric reinforced thermoplastic composites. Carbon fiber yarn (TORAYCA, Toray) was used as a reinforcement, and thermoplastic PI (AURUM PL 450 C, Mitsui Chemicals) was used as the matrix. CFRTP textile composites were compression-molded with a hot press system under the molding temperature, 390 °C, 410 °C and 430 °C, molding pressure 2 MPa and 4 MPa and molding time 0∼300 s. In order to evaluate the impregnated state, cross sectional observation was performed with an optical microscope. Specimen cross-section was polished and finished with alumina slurry for a clear observation. The images observed were processed through image processing software to obtained impregnation ratio which defined as the resin impregnation area to the cross-sectional area of a fiber yarn. Resin impregnation was accelerated with molding temperature and pressure. At molding temperature more than 410 °C, resin impregnation was similar irrespective of temperature. Tensile test results indicated that modulus and strength increased with resin impregnation. Resin impregnation during molding was predicted using the analytical model based on Darcy’s law and continuity condition. The analysis could successfully predict the impregnation behavior despite the difference in molding pressure and temperature.

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