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Investigating the effects of a polyester preforming binder on the mechanical and ballistic performance of E-glass fiber reinforced polyester composites
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An experimental investigation was carried out to determine the effects of a preforming binder on the mechanical properties and ballistic performance of E-glass-fiber/polyester composite systems. The glass preforms were consolidated by application of heat and pressure over plies of the glass fabrics coated with various concentrations of a thermoplastic polyester binder. The peel strength of the preforms with various binder content was measured and the highest peel strength was obtained from preforms prepared with about 9 wt% of the binder. Composite laminates with and without binder were fabricated using VARTM technique and the effects of the binder on the composite mechanical properties were evaluated. It was found that the flexural strength and mode I interlaminar fracture toughness decreases by 15% and 40%, respectively, due to the presence of 3 wt% of the binder. Ballistic test was performed on E-glass/polyester composite panels using 1.1-g fragment-simulating projectiles and it was found that the binder amount has some considerable effect on the damage extension of the impacted composites. The results showed that the preforming binder has significant potential to tailor composite properties.