Three-dimensional spacer fabric resin interlaminar infusion media process and vacuum-induced reinforcing composite laminate structures

  • US 7,060,156 B2
  • Filed: 01/03/2003
  • Issued: 06/13/2006
  • Est. Priority Date: 07/23/2001
  • Status: Active Grant
First Claim
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1. A method for the vacuum-induced fabrication of reinforced plastic composites comprising:

  • assembling a fiber structure including a three-dimensional fibrous spacer fabric employed as an interlamina infusion medium, said fabric having at least first and second outer substantially fibrous layer surfaces composed of fibers or yarns, each of said outer layers being generally oriented in an X–

    Y plane, said spacer fabric having between its outer layers an intermediate spacer layer composed of spacer fibers or yarns oriented in a generally transverse direction with respect to said X–

    Y planes of said outer layers,juxtapositioning said spacer fabric with respect to at least one mold surface of a desired shape and configuration,forming an assembly comprising a substantially gas impervious cover sheet substantially enclosing said fabric,applying a negative pressure to said assembly, which collapses said spacer fabric,introducing a liquid resin flow within and into said collapsed spacer fabric while under negative pressure,continuing said resin flow to said collapsed spacer fabric so as to substantially fully saturate said spacer fabric with resin,terminating the resin flow, andthereafter allowing the resin to cure, with said spacer fabric in the collapsed state.

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