Innovative AFR-VARTM resin and HTVARTM processing

Period of Performance: 09/11/2007 - 06/11/2008


Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

Infoscitex Corp.
303 Bear Hill Road
Waltham, MA 02451
Principal Investigator
Firm POC

Research Institution

University of Dayton
300 College Park
Dayton, OH 45469
Institution POC


High Temperature Polymer Matrix Composites (HTPMCs) are needed in advanced aerospace systems but their use is limited by manufacturing cost. Vacuum-Assisted Resin Transfer Molding (VARTM) produces low cost composites but currently isn't used with HTPMC's due to high resin viscosity even at elevated temperatures. Infoscitex (IST) proposes to create AFR-VARTM resin via addition of compatible reactive diluents (RDs) to commercially available AFR-RTM. RD's in the system will significantly reduce resin viscosity during heated VARTM and will lead to additional crosslinking upon cure to create a strong hydrophobic resin matrix with enhanced hot/wet performance without evolution of volatiles. Reduced resin viscosity in combination with compatible, functional sizing will facilitate resin wet-out and rapid wicking into the fabric perform. Microcracks will be prevented by blending mono- and difunctional RD which cures to a more linear molecular structure with less shrinkage and lower stress. Phase I thermal, physical and mechanical evaluation on multiple formulations will lead to down selection of the AFR-VARTM system and processing conditions. Phase II includes material and process optimization, manufacturing scale up and will culminate in the fabrication of a sub-scale demonstration article. Program partners include UDRI, Maverick, Hydrosize, Fabric Development, and Pratt & Whitney.