Composite materials are widely used in aviation industry due to their superior properties; however, they are susceptible to delamination. Through-thickness stitching is one of the techniques to alleviate delamination. Kevlar is one of the most common stitching materials; in contrast, it is expensive and presents stitching fabrication challenges. Therefore, this study compares the performance of Kevlar with an inexpensive and easy-to-use nylon fiber in stitching to alleviate delamination. Three laminates of unidirectional carbon fiber-epoxy composites were manufactured using vacuum assisted resin transfer molding process. One panel was stitched with Kevlar, one with nylon, and one unstitched. Mode I interlaminar fracture tests were carried out on specimens from the three composite laminates, and the results were compared. Fractographic analysis using optical and scanning electron microscope were conducted to reveal the differences between stitching with Kevlar and nylon on the internal microstructure of the composite with respect to the interlaminar fracture toughness values.
This article experimentally investigates various physical properties of special fire retardant sewing threads under different sewing speeds. The aramid threads are common for sewing the fire-fighter clothing due to high strength and high melting temperature. 3 types of aramid threads with different linear densities are used for sewing at different speed of 2000 to 4000 r/min. The needle temperature is measured at different speeds of sewing and tensile properties of threads are measured before and after the sewing process respectively. The results shows that the friction and abrasion during the sewing process causes a significant loss to the tensile properties of the threads and needle temperature rises to nearly 300oC at 4000 r/min of machine speed. The Scanning electron microscope images are taken before and after the sewing process and shows no melting spots but significant damage to the yarn. It is also found that machine speed of 2000r/min is ideal for sewing firefighter clothing for higher tensile properties and production.