In this work, a kinetic study on the thermal degradation of carbon fibre reinforced epoxy is presented. The degradation is
investigated by means of dynamic thermogravimetric analysis (TG) in air and inert atmosphere at heating rates from 0.5 to
20C min−1 . Curves obtained by TG in air are quite different from those obtained in nitrogen. A three-step loss is observed during
dynamic TG in air while mass loss proceeded as a two step process in nitrogen at fast heating rate. To elucidate this difference,
a kinetic analysis is carried on. A kinetic model described by the Kissinger method or by the Ozawa method gives the kinetic
parameters of the composite decomposition. Apparent activation energy calculated by Kissinger method in oxidative atmosphere
for each step is between 40–50 kJ mol−1 upper than Ea calculated in inert atmosphere.
The thermo-oxidative degradation illustrated by Ozawa method shows a stable apparent activation energy (Ea ≈130 kJ mol−1 ) even though the thermal degradation in nitrogen flow presents a maximum Ea for 15% mass loss (Ea ≈60 kJ mol−1 ).