Plans are to increase productivity, decrease scrap and material costs, and enable adoption into the automotive industry.
Plans are to increase productivity, decrease scrap and material costs, and enable adoption into the automotive industry.

The Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI) and materials specialist Michelman have announced a project which aims to improve the vinyl ester resins and fiber sizings used in carbon fiber composites. Plans are to find styrene-free prepreg formulations with longer room temperature shelf life, shorter cycle times, and reduced cost in order to increase productivity, decrease scrap and material costs, and enable adoption into the automotive industry.

Besides Michelman, the team also includes Ashland, Zoltek, University of Dayton Research Institute (UDRI), JobsOhio, and Michigan State University (MSU).

As part of this technical collaboration, researchers at MSU and UDRI will identify cost-effective combinations of fiber sizings from Michelman, resins from Ashland, and carbon fibers from Zoltek that can be used to make prepregs that can be compression-molded into composite parts. The goal is to develop vinyl ester resin/fiber sizing/carbon fiber combinations that are styrene-free and that have room temperature storage capability of at least three months and cure times less than three minutes.

This story is reprinted from material from Michelman, with editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.