Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Polyester Blend Aids In Scientific Pursuit Of Future Composites

Date:
May 6, 1999
Source:
National Institute Of Standards And Technology
Summary:
Scientists at the Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology today announced that they have taken a major step toward the manufacture of strong yet inexpensive composite materials, developing a more efficient production method than those currently in use.

Scientists at the Commerce Department's National Institute ofStandards and Technology today announced that they have taken amajor step toward the manufacture of strong yet inexpensivecomposite materials, developing a more efficient productionmethod than those currently in use.

Today's molded composite parts are used in everything from cars,boats and aircraft to sporting goods and other consumer products.They are made by first fashioning skeletons out of a woven fabricof fibers, such as glass or carbon, and then injecting thosepre-formed structures with plastic resins, or by molding apre-mixed paste of resin and fibers. The reinforcing fibersimpart greater strength to the composite parts. But the processis complicated, expensive and labor intensive.

Therefore, materials scientists have been trying to makeso-called "molecular composites" that naturally contain built-infibers. The result would be a sort of self-assembled compositethat could be injected into molds, eliminating steps now neededto incorporate fibers separately. Although the idea for molecularcomposites--a flexible polymer reinforced by a rigid polymer--wasfirst conceived more than 20 years ago by late Nobel laureatePaul J. Flory, scientists only recently have been able to producethem.

NIST researchers achieved such a composite and have learned howthe reinforcing fibers form. This work was presented today in aposter paper in New York, during this year's Annual TechnicalConference of the Society of Plastics Engineers. The paper waswritten by Fang Qiao, Kalman Migler and Charles C. Han,scientists in the Polymers Division of the NIST Materials Scienceand Engineering Laboratory.

The researchers have developed a process in which polyester isdramatically strengthened with a material known as a liquidcrystalline polymer. The liquid crystalline polymer used in theresearch is called Vectra , a plastic material similar to Kevlarthat is five times stronger than steel. By combining the polymerand polyester at just the right mixing speed and temperature, theVectra forms fibrils that are embedded in the polyester andattached to the polyester molecules. That attachment is essentialfor reinforcement and is enhanced by adding epoxy, which acts asa coupler between the polyester and the liquid crystallinepolymer molecules.

Polyester is used because its chemical structure is ideal formaking bonds with the liquid crystalline polymer. Theresearchers, who have been working on the process for a year anda half, also developed a system that uses a light-scatteringdetector and video microscopy to analyze the composite materialas it is being produced, allowing critical adjustments to be madein chemistry, temperature, composition and mixing speed in realtime.

So far, the research has shown that the strength of polyester ismore than doubled in a composite containing only 0.2 percent ofVectra . At around $8 a pound, Vectra is far more expensive thanpolyester, which costs less than $1 a pound. For that reason, theaim is to use as little liquid crystalline polymer as necessaryto produce composites with the necessary strengths and otherproperties.

The NIST research is ongoing. Future work will include researchwith mixtures that contain higher concentrations of Vectra , orother types of liquid crystalline polymers, yielding evenstronger polyester materials.

As a non-regulatory agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce'sTechnology Administration, NIST promotes economic growth byworking with industry to develop and apply technology,measurements and standards through four partnerships: theMeasurement and Standards Laboratories, the Advanced TechnologyProgram, the Manufacturing Extension Partnership and the BaldrigeNational Quality Program.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National Institute Of Standards And Technology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

National Institute Of Standards And Technology. "Polyester Blend Aids In Scientific Pursuit Of Future Composites." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 May 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/05/990506065443.htm>.
National Institute Of Standards And Technology. (1999, May 6). Polyester Blend Aids In Scientific Pursuit Of Future Composites. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/05/990506065443.htm
National Institute Of Standards And Technology. "Polyester Blend Aids In Scientific Pursuit Of Future Composites." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/05/990506065443.htm (accessed August 22, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Friday, August 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Former TSA X-Ray Scanners Easily Tricked To Miss Weapons

Former TSA X-Ray Scanners Easily Tricked To Miss Weapons

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) Researchers found the scanners could be duped simply by placing a weapon off to the side of the body or encasing it under a plastic shield. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Flower Power! Dandelions Make Car Tires?

Flower Power! Dandelions Make Car Tires?

Reuters - Business Video Online (Aug. 20, 2014) Forget rolling on rubber, could car drivers soon be traveling on tires made from dandelions? Teams of scientists are racing to breed a type of the yellow flower whose taproot has a milky fluid with tire-grade rubber particles in it. As Joanna Partridge reports, global tire makers are investing millions in research into a new tire source. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Awesome New Camouflage Sheet Was Inspired By Octopus Skin

Awesome New Camouflage Sheet Was Inspired By Octopus Skin

Newsy (Aug. 19, 2014) Scientists have developed a new device that mimics the way octopuses blend in with their surroundings to hide from dangerous predators. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

AP (Aug. 19, 2014) Four Texas high school football programs are trying out an experimental system designed to diagnose concussions on the field. The technology is in response to growing concern over head trauma in America's most watched sport. (Aug. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins