Yibo Su defends his thesis on the co-consolidation of hybrid joints
On January 19th, TPRC researcher Yibo Su will defend his PhD thesis in the field of hybrid metal-thermoplastic composites joints.
His research on hybrid joints is very topical and aligns well with the current trend of applying ‘the right material in the right place’, resulting in multi-material parts and structures. The challenge in such structures lies in the design and manufacturing of the multi-material joints as these will govern the performance of the structure as a whole.
Yibo Su investigated the performance hybrid metal – thermoplastic composite, joints. Conventionally, metals and composites are joined through either adhesive bonding or mechanical fastening. When using a thermoplastic matrix based composite, however, a third joining technique enters the fray: co-consolidation. Metal inserts are in this case effectively co-bonded with the thermoplastic composite material during the pre-preg consolidation process. This omits expensive and tedious post-processing steps and as such reduces manufacturing time and costs.
The joint strength is to a large degree governed by the interface performance. Optimization of the joint, therefore, requires a good understanding of the factors that affect bond development at the interface. Yibo has spent the last four years studying the physical mechanisms that govern interface development in the case of titanium – C/PAEK joints. His work has led to the development of titanium pre-treatment and co-consolidation process guidelines to be used by the industry and as such forms an essential building block essential towards future hybrid engineering solutions for the aerospace.
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