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Adhesive Bonding Via Exposure to Variable Frequency Microwave Radiation

  • Felix L. Paulauskas (a1), April D. McMillan (a1) and C. David Warren (a1)


Adhesive bonding through the application of variable frequency microwave (VFM) radiation has been evaluated as an alternative curing method for joining composite materials. The studies showed that the required cure time of a thermosetting epoxy adhesive is substantially reduced by the use of VFM when compared to conventional (thermal) curing methods. Variable frequency microwave processing appeared to yield a slight reduction in the required adhesive cure time when compared to processing by the application of single frequency microwave radiation. In contrast to the single frequency processing, the variable frequency methodology does not readily produce localized overheating (burnt or brown spots) in the adhesive or the composite. This makes handling and location of the sample in the microwave oven less critical for producing high quality bonds and allows for a more homogeneous distribution of the cure energy. Variable frequency microwave processing is a valuable alternative method for rapidly curing thermoset adhesives at low input power levels.



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