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Thermo-oxidative aging and thermal cycling of PETI-340M composites
High Performance Polymers  (IF2.161),  Pub Date : 2021-08-16, DOI: 10.1177/09540083211033771
Xiaochen Li, Bo Cheng Jin, Thomas K Tsotsis, Steven Nutt

Polyimide composites (PETI-340M) were fabricated and subjected to high-temperature aging and thermal cycling to evaluate resistance to degradation. Mechanical-degradation mechanisms and kinetics depended on aging temperature. Aging at 232°C resulted in strength loss due to polymer degradation, while intra-tow cracking was the dominant mechanism during aging at 288°C. Composite panels subjected to thermal-cycling fatigue (−54°C to 232°C) retained mechanical properties without microcracking. However, in regions containing pre-existing fabrication-induced defects (primarily voids), intra-tow microcracks were observed after thermal cycling. Unlike some polyimide composites (PMR-15), oxidative aging effects during thermal cycling were negligible. The thermo-oxidative stability and the retention of mechanical performance after thermal cycling indicates potential for long-term, high-temperature structural applications.