Increasing the toughness or damage resistance/tolerance of composites has been a consistent theme in recent materials development, and one of the major motivating forces behind development of thermoplastic composites and thermoplastic/thermoset blends.
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To this end, Dr. Paul Steiner has explored methods of “inhomogeneous toughening” of discrete layers or regions in the laminate. One reason this approach is interesting is that prepregging and other processing requirements limit the amount of thermoplastic that can be incorporated into a thermoset matrix, and thus the amount of toughening that can be imparted. Continue reading