This article presents the importance of progressing from post-manufacturing inspection/verification to in-process inspection/verification methods. It lists various quality assurance factors considered for typical composite laminate lay-up process. The article provides information on composite cure tooling that is fabricated from steel, aluminum, or high-temperature composite materials. The quality assurance for commercial applications is reviewed. The article concludes with a discussion on the data fusion systems that are designed to provide nondestructive analysis data from fabrication and assembly processes for each individual composite part.
This article focuses on epoxy because this resin category has widespread use and because it is tested using quality control measures typical of most resin systems. A typical resin system will consist of one or more epoxy resins, a curing agent, and a catalyst to control the rate of reaction. The article describes the component material tests, mixed resin system tests, and prepreg tests for the resin system. The tests include high-performance liquid chromatography, infrared spectroscopy, and gel permeation chromatography. The article contains a table that lists typical resin and prepreg property tests.