Manufacturing and Experimental Evaluation of Microwave Cured Carbon/Epoxy Composites


Carbon fiber-reinforced polymer composites have been increasingly used by the aerospace, automobile, and other industries due to their high specific stiffness and strength properties. Manufacturing polymer composites using conventional prepreg curing is time-consuming and energy-intensive. Microwave curing of composites is an attractive alternative technology to manufacture composites with exceptional processing speed and energy savings. In this work, a traditional microwave oven was modified and used to manufacture composite panels. The void content, short beam strength properties, flexural properties, and impact response of the microwave cured panels were evaluated. Composite panels (control) were manufactured using carbon/epoxy prepreg cured in walk-in oven. The performance of microwave cured composite specimens was compared against the performance of conventional walk-in oven cured composite specimens. Results showed that the short beam strength and flexural strength of panels cured in the microwave oven remained approximately the same as the control specimen, however, the flexural modulus, the impact peak force, and the rebound energy increased by 12%, 6% and 18% respectively for the panels manufactured through microwave curing.


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Composite cure; Manufacturing; Mechanical properties; Microwave; Thermosets

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

1573-4897; 0929-189X

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


File Type





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Publication Date

21 Sep 2021