Polymer Composites

Polymer Matrix Composites

The general object­ives of the poly­mer compos­ites activ­it­ies are the devel­op­ment of high perform­ance fibre rein­forced compos­ites for space and aerospace applic­a­tions, the improve­ment or modi­fic­a­tion of resin systems to intro­duce further func­tions like wear resist­ance, elec­trical conduct­iv­ity, low shrink­age, impact resist­ance, lower permeab­il­ity, UV protec­tion, trans­par­ency, higher surface protec­tion, flame retard­ancy or anti-ice capab­il­ity and the devel­op­ment of concepts and sensors for process and usage monitoring.

The research activ­it­ies are focused on the use of micro- and nano-sized fillers like ceramic nano particles (Alumina, Boehmit, Zircon Dioxide), nano­clays or carbon nanotubes, direc­tely intro­duced in the poly­mer matrix or applied as coat­ing or paint on the surface.

polymer matrix composites_2The compos­ite labor­at­ory has exper­i­ence in all state-of-the-art manu­fac­tur­ing processes like lay-up with vacuum bag, Liquid infu­sion with resin flow medium process, vacuum assisted resin trans­fer mould­ing (VARTM), auto­clave curing, warm press and resin trans­fer mould­ing (RTM).

The labor­at­ory expert­ise and facil­it­ies are completed by a set of profes­sional soft­ware tools like ANSYS Multiphysics and ACP for the mech­an­ical and thermal simu­la­tion or PAM-RTM for the simu­la­tion of the resin infu­sion process.

Besides the devel­op­ment activ­it­ies, the AAC provides the follow­ing services in compos­ites technology:

  • Raw mater­ial char­ac­ter­iz­a­tion: resin viscos­ity, curing para­met­ers, dens­ity, chem­ical analysis...
  • Process model­ling and simu­la­tion: resin infu­sion (flow front propaga­tion / dry spots), mech­an­ical and thermal beha­viours, spring-in effect …
  • Component and sample manu­fac­tur­ing: liquid infu­sion, autoclave ...
  • Component and sample char­ac­ter­iz­a­tion: mech­an­ics, void and fiber content, impact, nondestruct­ive testing ...

Examples of compos­ite systems, used in previ­ous projects:

Components Used in our laboratory
Resins High perform­ance epox­ies, RTM epoxy, Cyanate Ester
Carbon fibers ECC 462, Tenax HTA
Nanoparticles Al2O3, Y:ZrO2, Nanoclay
Carbon nanotubes, nanofibres Paper, felt, VGCF
Surface modi­fic­a­tion Plasma treat­ment, chem­ical sizing, heat treatment
Curing temper­at­ure RT till +180°C
Pressure Vacuum till +8 Bar
Size 5cm x 5cm, 15cm x 15cm, 30cm x 30cm

Our facil­it­ies:

Autoclave Autoclave Scholz, up to 300°C and 10 Bars, 1m lenght x 50cm diameter
RTM Plastech solid mould, up to 180°C curing cycle, 40cm x 40cm
Injection system Tartler, up to 130°C, maximal pres­sure 60 bars, maximal injec­tion rate 0.5L/min
Simulation PAM-RTM, ANSYS Multiphysics, ANSYS Composite PrePost
Powder prepar­a­tion Wetting agent, surfact­ants, ball milling, ultra turrax, centrifuges
Vacuum tech­niques Pumps, bags, SCRIMP, peel plies, breath­ers, breed­ers, release agents
Warm press Saspol press up to 160 Tons, 40cm x 40cm
Sample size 5cm x 5cm, 15cm x 15cm, 30cm x 30cm