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Composite Resins

Dr. Hady Efendy


August 2010
What we will discuss
• Basics of composites
• Matrix properties in general
• Basics of polymers
• Polyesters
• Epoxies
• Vinyl esters
• Phenolics
• Specialty thermosets
• Thermoplastics
• Properties and Testing
Composites
• Very important in our 21st Century world
• Listed as one of the top 10 greatest
engineering developments of last quarter
of the 20th Century
– Others: Apollo moon landing, unmanned
satellites, microprocessor, CAD, CT scan,
jumbo jet, lasers, fiber-optic communication,
genetic engineering
What are composites?
• Solid materials composed of a binder or
matrix that surrounds and holds in place
reinforcements.
– The material consists of two (or more) phases
– One of the phases is continuous (the matrix)
– The other phase is discontinuous (the
reinforcement)
– The phases can be thought of as a group of
islands (discontinuous) in a sea (continuous)
Matrix purposes
• Hold the reinforcements together
• Give shape to the object
• Transfer loads to the reinforcements
Protect the reinforcements
– Heat
– Weather
– Flammability
– Impacts
– Solvent/water
Reinforcement purposes
• Carry the load (most mechanical
properties)
• Give directionality of some properties
(optional)
Types of composites
• Engineering
– Fiberglass reinforced
– Matrix of unsaturated polyesters and vinyl esters or
common engineering thermoplastics
– Uses: tub/shower, boats, automotive, pipes,
architectural, etc.
• Advanced
– Carbon fiber, aramid fiber, or other high performance
reinforcements
– Matrix of epoxies and specialty resins
– Uses: aerospace, sporting goods, specialty
Basic Materials – a primer
• Three types of solid materials
– Ceramics
– Metals
– Polymers
• These differ, at the most fundamental
level, in the types of bonds between the
atoms
Periodic Table of the Elements
Metals Non-Metals
Ceramics Polymers
(Ionic Bonds) (Covalent Bonds)

Metals
(Metallic Bonds)
Polymers
• Polymers can be natural (like wood,
cotton, wool, leather)
• Polymers can be man-made (plastics)
• Polymers can be easily shaped (molded)
• Polymers have other advantages over
ceramics and metals
Polymers
• Made from small molecules (monomers)
which are linked together
– “mono” means one
– “mer” means unit
• The linked monomers form a chain-like
structure called a polymer
– “poly” means many
• The links are the covalent bonds between
the atoms
Monomers Polymers
M

M M M
M
M M M
M

M M
Covalent
M Bonds
M
M

M Polymer
M

M
Polymers

H
H
H
H C
H H
C H

H C H
C
C
H C C H
H

H
H Monomer
C H

Polymer
Polymers
• Many millions of chains exist in the typical
polymeric part
• The chains are intertwined
– Like a mass of spaghetti
What determines physical, chemical
and mechanical properties of
materials?
• Molecular shape and movement
– Crystallinity
– Thermal transitions and crosslinks
– Aromaticity
– Pendant groups
– Chemical nature of the backbone
• Bonding between matrix and reinforcements
• Polarity (like attracts like)
Polymers − Physical structure
• Amorphous − Polymers that have no regular
internal structure (just like the spaghetti)
• Semi-crystalline − Polymers that have some
internal structure (regular packing)
– Semi-crystalline polymers vary in the amount of
packing (crystallinity)
– Semi-crystalline polymers with high percentage of
packing are sometimes called crystalline
– No polymers are 100% crystalline
Amorphous and Crystalline

Crystal
Regions

Amorphous Semi-Crystalline or Crystalline


(random entanglement) (regular packing)
Polymers − melting, molecular
weight, crosslinking
• Polymers are classified into two groups
depending on whether they are crosslinked
– Thermoplastics (not crosslinked)
– Thermosets (crosslinked)
• Crosslinks are covalent bonds that link
between the polymer chains
• When crosslinking occurs, the polymers will no
longer melt
– When heated to a high temperature, they burn or char
Thermoplastics
• Thermoplastics are not crosslinked and so they
will melt
• Thermoplastics are processed (molded) as
molten liquids
• Thermoplastics are cooled to solidify
• Thermoplastics can be re-melted repeatedly
• Kitchen example:

candy

• Examples of thermoplastics: polyethylene,


polystyrene, nylon, polycarbonate, acrylic,
Teflon®, PET (thermoplastic polyester)
Thermosets
• Thermosets are crosslinked and do not melt
• Crosslinking is sometimes called curing
• Thermosets are processed as room
temperature liquids
• Thermosets are heated to solidify
• Kitchen example:

cake

• Examples of thermosets: polyesters, vinyl


esters, epoxies, phenolics, polyimides, silicones
Thermal Transitions
• Heat Distortion Temperature (HDT)
• Glass transition temperature (Tg)
• Melting point (Tm)
• Decomposition temperature (Td)

Semi-crystalline
thermoplastic HDT Tg Tm Td

Hard, stiff Leathery Liquid Degraded

HDT Tg Td (Tm)
Thermoset

Hard, stiff Semi-rigid Degraded, Char

Temperature
The Great Dilemma in Polymers
• Polymers must have • Polymers must have
good properties good processing
– Good properties are – Good processing is
favored by high favored by low
molecular weight molecular weight
Mechanical Properties

Ease of Processing

Molecular Weight Molecular Weight


The Great Dilemma In Polymers
• Thermoplastics meet the dilemma by
compromise
– High enough molecular weight to get adequate
properties
– Low enough molecular weight to process OK
• Thermosets meet the dilemma by
crosslinking
– Low molecular weight initially (for wetout and
processing) followed by curing to increase
molecular weight
– No compromise is required
Polymers − Molecular shape
• Aromatic − Contains the benzene group
(sometimes called phenyl group)
– Named aromatic because it tends to have a strong
smell (like styrene)
– Increases stiffness
– Increases strength
– Increases non-flammability
• Aliphatic −Does not contain the benzene group
– Increases flexibility
– Increases toughness
– Increases weatherability
...C C C C...
...C ( C C )nC... C
C C
Polyethylene (no aromatic)
C C
C
C C C C
Polystyrene (pendant
C C C O C C C C C O C... aromatic)
O C C C C
Epoxy (aromatic backbone)
HO HO OH

O
....C C C C C...
C C C C C C C C C C C C
...C C C N C C C C... C C C C C C
C C C
C C H C C
C C C
Kevlar aromatic backbone) HO C C C OH
C C C C C C C C
C C C C C C
....C C C C C...

Phenolic (aromatic network)


Bonding
• Bonding is strongest when electrons are:
– Transferred (ceramics)
– Shared by many atoms (metals)
– Shared by two atoms (covalent)
• Weak bonding occurs without electrons
being transferred or shared
• These weak bonds depend upon polarity
Polarity
N S S N

S N S N

O
- H H
O
- -
C O C O ...C C O C...
-
O
H H
Polyester is attacked by water molecules
Bonding in polymers by polarity
• Polar areas on the polymers attract other
polar areas on other molecules.
– Opposite charges attract
– The most electronegative atoms are those
that cause polarity
– The electronegative atoms are: F, O, N, Cl
– These are all in the upper right corner of the
periodic table
• Non-polar areas attract other non-polar
areas
Bonding
OH OH Fiberglass − A highly polar molecule
...O Si O Si O...
OH -OH Sizing (alkylsilane) − Mixed polar/non-polar

CH3
H3C Si O C C C C C C C...
CH3
Nonpolar regions (weak attraction)
-
O
....C C O C C C C C...

Polyester − Largely non-polar


Thank you