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Investigation of the Shear Thinning Behavior of Epoxy Resins for Utilization in Vibration Assisted Liquid Composite Molding Processes

: Meier, R.; Kirdar, C.; Rudolph, N.; Zaremba, S.; Drechsler, K.


Altstädt, V. ; American Institute of Physics -AIP-, New York:
29th International Conference of the Polymer Processing Society, PPS 2013. Proceedings : 15–19 July 2013, Nuremberg, Germany
New York, N.Y.: AIP Press, 2014 (AIP Conference Proceedings 1593)
ISBN: 978-0-7354-1227-9
Polymer Processing Society (PPS International Conference) <29, 2013, Nuremberg>
Fraunhofer ICT ()

Efficient production and consumption of energy are of greatest importance for contemporary industries and their products. This has led to an increasing application of lightweight materials in general and of Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastics (CFRP) in particular. However, broader application of CFRP is often limited by high costs and manual labor production processes. These constraints are addressed by Liquid Composite Molding (LCM) processes. In LCM a dry fibrous preform is placed into a cavity and infiltrated mostly by thermoset resins; epoxy resins are wide spread in CFRP applications. One crucial parameter for a fast mold filling is the viscosity of the resin, which is affected by the applied shear rates as well as temperature and curing time. The work presented focuses on the characterization of the shear thinning behavior of epoxy resins. Furthermore, the correlation with the conditions in vibration assisted LCM processes, where additional shear rates are created during manufacture, is discussed. Higher shear rates result from high frequencies and/or high amplitudes of the vibration motions which are created by a vibration engine mounted on the mold. In rheological investigations the shear thinning behavior of a representative epoxy resin is studied by means of rotational and oscillatory experiments. Moreover, possible effects of shear rates on the chemical curing reaction are studied. Here, the time for gelation is measured for different levels of shear rates in a pre-shearing phase. Based on the rheological studies, the beneficial effect of vibration assistance in LCM processes with respect to mold filling can further be predicted and utilized.