Date of Award

Summer 1998

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering


Aerospace Engineering

Committee Chair

Yechiel J. Crispin

Committee Member

L.L. Narayanaswami

Committee Member

Luther R. Reisbig


A development of the composite materials parts require knowledge of the theoretical model that describes the physics, the chemical kinetics, and the heat-transfer properties of the materials.

For this work, the chemical kinetics of the polyurethane foam and the fiberglass-reinforced resin is investigated individually. An adiabatic method, which is commonly used by many investigators, is used for the polyurethane foam, while an isothermal degree and the rate of cure relationship is applied for the resin. A heat transfer effect during the curing process of both polyurethane foam and the resin is also investigated. A common approximate method for the heat-conduction problem known as a 'heat-balance integral method,' is considered with several assumptions to simplify the analysis.

The experiments involving a wooden box mold, which produces a sandwich construction of a polyurethane foam by the fiberglass-reinforced resins was performed at Boston Whaler facility by another individual. The temperature profiles of the polyurethane foam, the resin, and the mold were obtained for the purpose of analyzing the chemical kinetics and the heat transfer properties of the foam and the resin.