Date of Award

Spring 1979

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering


Mechanical Engineering

Committee Director

Stephen G. Cupschalk

Committee Member

John M. Kuhlman

Committee Member

R. L. Williams

Committee Member

Vernon Bell


Fibrous composite materials for mechanical and structural applications often are expensive due to high labor costs. One economical way of making composites is pultrusion, a manufacturing process in which resin-impregnated fibers are pulled at a constant speed through a heated die which shapes the resin-fiber mass and cures the resin. Most of the work which has been done on the process has been of an empirical nature, with limited understanding of the process principles. Most of the experience with pultrusion has been gained with polyester resins and glass fibers. Very little experience has been gained with higher performance, more costly materials such as epoxy resins and graphite fiber. The higher cost of these latter materials makes the empirical approach to developing process parameters much too expensive.