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The application of polymer matrix composites has found valuable in many engineering fields like electrical, marine, aerospace, electronics and microelectronics. Thus, a new technique like microwave through electromagnetic energy was explored for processing of polymer matrix composite. The roles of microwave in the post curing of polymer matrix composites cannot be underestimated, as it has the capacity to improve the mechanical and micro-structural properties of the composite produced. The aim of the study is to investigate the effect of microwave post curing on the mechanical and micro- structural properties of particulate reinforced polymer matrix composites. These effects were compared with composites post cured using conventional autoclave oven with the objective of investigating the significance of microwave curing on the tensile strength and structural qualities in terms of defects of the produced composites. A specific study comprising of aluminum filled polyester based composite and carbon black filled polyester based composite were investigated using two different composite curing methods (microwave oven and conventional autoclave oven). The investigation, through experimentation was based on mechanical property (tensile strength) and micro-structural quality (defects) of the produced composites. Comparing the results of the post-curing of the composites using microwave and conventional methods, there is direct relationship between the tensile strength and the percentage weight fraction of the fillers with respect to the post curing methods. 30% aluminium filled, post cured in microwave has 0.01 MPa tensile strength, 20% aluminium filled (microwave) has 0.0076MPa while 30% aluminium filled (conventional oven curing) has 0.0092MPa and 20% aluminium filled (conventional oven curing) has 0.0068MPa. Also, composites post-cured with microwave show less voids defect compared to that post-cured by conventional autoclave oven. It was shown in this paper that post-curing of the particulate composites through microwave was able to improve the tensile strength and minimize defects better as compared to conventional autoclave method.

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current04:31, 25 June 2016 (8.2 MB)Dr. Edwin Levinson (Talk | contribs) (The application of polymer matrix composites has found valuable in many engineering fields like electrical, marine, aerospace, electronics and microelectronics. Thus, a new technique like microwave through electromagnetic energy was explored for processin)

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