Date of Award

January 2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Space Studies

First Advisor

Ron Fevig


Out-of-autoclave vacuum-bagged-only (VBO) processing is capable of producing lower cost composite primary structures for small satellites than autoclave processing. However, the outgassing performance of VBO structures in a vacuum environment has not been examined. Panels were manufactured from CYCOM 5320-1 and TC275-1 carbon fiber/epoxy prepreg using VBO processing. The humidity level, pre-cure dwell time, and cure cycle parameters were varied during manufacturing. The degree of cure and glass transition temperature were shown to increase with increasing oven temperature. Processing humidity levels and the length of pre-cure dwell times had no discernable effect on the total mass loss (TML) and collected volatile condensable material (CVCM) that were outgassed under vacuum. Instead the TML was controlled by moisture saturation after manufacturing. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy showed that epoxy oligomers were the primary CVCM. The study showed the VBO laminates had outgassing values that were comparable to the autoclave-cured laminates.