College of Engineering and Polymer Science

Date of Last Revision

2023-05-09 09:51:44


Aerospace Systems Engineering

Honors Course

Aerospace Design Project

Number of Credits


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Date of Expected Graduation

Spring 2023


This work explores a custom air atmospheric pressure plasma treatment (APPT) machine’s effectiveness in cleaning and chemically activating a CFRP surface. It is explore by implementing water contact angle (WCA) measurements, water-break free (WBF) testing, and adhesive tubular lap-joint (TLJ) tensile testing. An 8x3 test matrix of different machine parameters is defined with the bounding conditions being the machine’s capabilities and industry standard recommendations. Each configuration of the test matrix is explored after treatment at multiple time intervals up to 2 weeks afterwards to gain insight into the outlife of the treatments with the intention of adhesively bonding to the surfaces. Multiple data analysis processes such as one-way ANOVA studies, box and whisker plot interpretations, and visualizations of (24) different process parameters at once are performed to understand the custom plasma machine’s effect on the surface of the CFRP components.

Results show that treatments that are closer to the tube are best for uniformly treating the surface which is supported with all of the tests performed. It is also shown that there is a statistical difference between the surface chemistry of different CFRP tows visible on the surface of the CFRP tube.

Research Sponsor

Manigandan Kannan

First Reader

Isaiah Kaiser

Second Reader

Karl Bates

Honors Faculty Advisor

Scott Sawyer

Proprietary and/or Confidential Information




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