JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #143 - November/December 2021 - 51

Fibre-reinforced composites with a vitrimer matrix
Fig. 2: Airpoxy demonstrators: fan cowl and wing
still the standard in the production of structural components due to
important advantages such as high stiffness, high glass transition temperatures
(Tg
), low creep and good chemical resistance.
In comparison to thermoplastics, uncured thermoset resins have a
low viscosity, which is a benefit for the impregnation of complex fibre
structures. In the production of aircraft primary structures, low raw
material prices and low processing temperatures are additional arguments
in favour of thermoset systems.
In 2011, a new class of materials was introduced with the presentation
of one of the first vitrimer polymers [1]. Vitrimers are based on
thermoset polymers and therefore show the same properties at room
temperature in terms of stiffness and chemical resistance. They consist
of covalent networks, which can change their topology by thermally-activated
bond-exchange reactions. At high temperatures, they can
flow like viscoelastic liquids. In this state, vitrimer-based CFRP can
be formed, joined and recycled - similar to a thermoplastic material.
Below the material's Tg
, the bond-exchange reactions are frozen and
the resin behaves like classical thermosets.
Within the Airpoxy EU-funded project, a new generation of vitrimer
CFRP is being researched by a multidisciplinary team of 11 partners
from six EU countries. The investigations are based on the newly-developed
3R vitrimer resin, which combines the advantages of thermoplastic
and thermoset materials and thus creates new processing possibilities
and areas of application (Figure 1).
The abbreviation " 3R " stands for the three decisive properties of the
material: repairable, reprocessable, recyclable. The subject areas of
thermoforming, joining and repairing of 3R CFRP are developed and
investigated within the project. The research focuses on the development
of a new class of aviation materials by drastically reducing costs in
all areas - starting with manufacturing, maintenance, repair and operating
costs of CFRP, and ending with material recycling for end-of-life
components.
The potential of 3R CFRP is demonstrated by two sub-components
from the aerospace industry: a fan cowl and a wing (Figure 2). For this
purpose, components from the different processing routes are combined.
3R
vitrimer
Polymer-based vitrimers are characterised by the fact that they show
similar specific properties to thermoset-matrix systems below the glass
transition temperature (Tg
= 170°C). Above Tg
, the chemical polymer
Fig. 3: Chemical structure of a standard and a dynamic epoxy network [2]
bonds can reorganise, thus ensuring processability in thermoforming
and welding processes.
Early investigations with fibre-reinforced 3R vitrimers have already
shown their enormous potential in terms of thermoforming, repair
and recycling [2]. These investigations are further expanded and
deepened within the project framework. The base materials used are
carbon fibre (Chomarat C-Weave™ 280SA5 T800HB 6K 40B- 5HS)
reinforced 3R composites made using resin transfer moulding (RTM)
and a standard prepreg process.
Thermoset composites can be produced with a variety of commercially-available
epoxy monomers, which are polymerised using a suitable
hardener. The properties of the final polymer network can be specifically
adapted to the application requirements through the type of
monomer and hardener, as well as the stoichiometry. [2]
Figure 3 shows the chemical structure of a standard epoxy network using
an epoxy monomer with a standard hardener, as well as the structure
of the reversible dynamic network induced by a dynamic hardener.
The dynamic network allows the exchange of disulphide bonds,
even when the resin is already 100% cured. This property makes it possible
to process 3R CFRP with technologies that are otherwise only
suitable for thermoplastic composites. [2]
The 3R system shows one of its advantages in the production of
semi-finished products. Since the resin is based on an epoxy network, it
has a much lower viscosity in the uncured state than a molten thermoplastic
polymer. Thus, the fibre structure can be impregnated efficiently
in the prepreg or RTM process. Another decisive advantage is the
shelf life of 3R vitrimers at room temperature. Once the resin is cured
above the gel point (approximately 50% curing rate), the semi-finished
products can be stored at ambient temperature without further curing.
This makes it possible to produce single-layer 3R CFRP prepregs,
so-called enduring prepregs (EPP), which are used for the production
of multilayer laminates. Unlike standard CF epoxy prepregs, no energy-intensive
cooling is required during transport and storage.
N°143 November - December 2021 / jec composites magazine
51

JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #143 - November/December 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #143 - November/December 2021

Cover
Edito
«Our goal is to deliver a car that you only need to charge once or twice a year»
Contents
NEWS
In brief
Agenda
Training - ‘‘We have always provided experienced personnel to support our clients composites operations’’
Lightweighting - Novel, affordable solutions for lightweight automotive and aerospace parts
BUSINESS
Market - Carbon fibre: China accelerates the timelines
Development - Five decades of composites, from raw materials to finished parts
MANUFACTURING
Injection - Hollow stereolithographic structures reinforced by short carbon fibres
FEATURE ENERGY: Are Composites ubiquitous in the Energy sector ?
- Hydrogen: Hydrogen permeation testing on non-metallic materials
- Strategy: EuCIA highlights opportunities for composites under EU Green Deal energy strategies
- Consortium - Megapol by EDF: the polymer wild card of the nuclear sector
- Windblade - Vestas V236-15.0 MW: the Eiffel Tower of the seas
- Raw materials: New surfacing technology enabling high-quality paint-ready surfaces
- Natural fibre - The Green Nacelle: pioneering natural-fibre composites in wind energy
- Recycling: Zero-emission blade recycling
- Recycling: FAIRMAT raises 8.6 million euros for carbon fibre composites recycling
SOLUTIONS
e&e - Gita mini, the Sherpa robot
Textile - A ‘‘Composite Textile’’ brand from Japan
Railway - Composites won’t be left standing on the platform
TECHNOLOGY
Vitrimers - Fibre-reinforced composites with a vitrimer matrix
Index
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JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #143 - November/December 2021 - Cover
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #143 - November/December 2021 - 2
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #143 - November/December 2021 - Edito
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #143 - November/December 2021 - «Our goal is to deliver a car that you only need to charge once or twice a year»
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #143 - November/December 2021 - 5
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #143 - November/December 2021 - Contents
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #143 - November/December 2021 - 7
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #143 - November/December 2021 - In brief
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #143 - November/December 2021 - 9
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #143 - November/December 2021 - 10
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #143 - November/December 2021 - Agenda
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #143 - November/December 2021 - Training - ‘‘We have always provided experienced personnel to support our clients composites operations’’
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #143 - November/December 2021 - 13
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #143 - November/December 2021 - Lightweighting - Novel, affordable solutions for lightweight automotive and aerospace parts
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #143 - November/December 2021 - 15
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #143 - November/December 2021 - Market - Carbon fibre: China accelerates the timelines
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #143 - November/December 2021 - 17
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #143 - November/December 2021 - 18
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #143 - November/December 2021 - Development - Five decades of composites, from raw materials to finished parts
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #143 - November/December 2021 - 20
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #143 - November/December 2021 - Injection - Hollow stereolithographic structures reinforced by short carbon fibres
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #143 - November/December 2021 - 22
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #143 - November/December 2021 - 23
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #143 - November/December 2021 - 24
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #143 - November/December 2021 - 25
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #143 - November/December 2021 - - Hydrogen: Hydrogen permeation testing on non-metallic materials
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #143 - November/December 2021 - 27
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #143 - November/December 2021 - - Strategy: EuCIA highlights opportunities for composites under EU Green Deal energy strategies
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #143 - November/December 2021 - 29
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #143 - November/December 2021 - - Consortium - Megapol by EDF: the polymer wild card of the nuclear sector
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #143 - November/December 2021 - 31
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #143 - November/December 2021 - 32
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #143 - November/December 2021 - - Windblade - Vestas V236-15.0 MW: the Eiffel Tower of the seas
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #143 - November/December 2021 - - Raw materials: New surfacing technology enabling high-quality paint-ready surfaces
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #143 - November/December 2021 - 35
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #143 - November/December 2021 - 36
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #143 - November/December 2021 - - Natural fibre - The Green Nacelle: pioneering natural-fibre composites in wind energy
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #143 - November/December 2021 - 38
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #143 - November/December 2021 - 39
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #143 - November/December 2021 - - Recycling: Zero-emission blade recycling
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #143 - November/December 2021 - 41
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #143 - November/December 2021 - - Recycling: FAIRMAT raises 8.6 million euros for carbon fibre composites recycling
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #143 - November/December 2021 - 43
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #143 - November/December 2021 - e&e - Gita mini, the Sherpa robot
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #143 - November/December 2021 - 45
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #143 - November/December 2021 - Textile - A ‘‘Composite Textile’’ brand from Japan
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #143 - November/December 2021 - 47
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #143 - November/December 2021 - Railway - Composites won’t be left standing on the platform
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #143 - November/December 2021 - 49
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #143 - November/December 2021 - Vitrimers - Fibre-reinforced composites with a vitrimer matrix
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #143 - November/December 2021 - 51
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #143 - November/December 2021 - 52
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #143 - November/December 2021 - 53
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #143 - November/December 2021 - Advertisers
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #143 - November/December 2021 - 55
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