Fiber polymer composites are typically composed by a polymer matrix reinforced with fibers. Fibers improve the mechanical properties, while polymer binds all constituents and protects fibers from harsh environments, ensures shear strength between the fibers and increases resistance against fracture propagation. These composites are anisotropic, so they possess different properties according to fiber orientation and amount. Most technical solutions are based on the use of epoxy resins or high thermal resistance thermoplastic polymers., synthesized from fossil sources. Although epoxy resins are widely used, the elevated curing time and viscosity constitute problems in the industrial production of these composites.
In this project, a new technological solution is to be developed, contemplating the following:
- using unsaturated polyester (UP) from renewable resources, whose chemical structure needs to be compatible with carbon fibers;
- studying curing optimization conditions in order to improve the composite manufacturing process;
- incorporation of commercial fillers at an industrial scale for final properties adjustment (e.g., natural rubber for energy dissipation and ductility; silica for rigidity adjustment);
- obtaining high compatibility matrixes between organic material and fiber, in order to achieve high quality optical properties.