Studies of microwave-assisted curing of neat resins (epoxy) and unidirectional glass and carbon fiber laminates have shown that a substantial reduction in the curing time was obtained . This may be explained by the penetration of microwave energy directly and throughout the laminate with enhancement of the kinetics of the chemical reaction.
Results of this work indicate that the microwave assisted curing of glass fiber laminates also shows a substantial reduction of the required curing time.
Microwave radiation of 2.45 GHz has been demonstrated to be an acceptable method to cure unidirectional carbon fiber laminates. Also, effective curing of crossply (0/90) laminates through this method was observed when proper rotation of the parts accompanied the curing process. This is in accordance with previous work [2,3].
Multidirectional carbon fiber/epoxy laminates demonstrate a lack of coupling during the curing process. A direct curing of these laminates was not possible by microwave radiation with the experimental approach used, in agreement with previous work [4[. Nevertheless, a moderate reduction in the curing time of these thin laminates was observed due to hybrid curing.