Polymer material based on epoxy filled foam for application in Epoxy Core foil
Project duration: 2012 to 2015
Project manager: Martin Kaška
The goal of this project was to develop syntactic epoxy foam for exploitation in aerospace industry as a part of sandwich composite at launchers. Composite materials are being considered for use on future generations of reusable launch vehicles in effort to reduce the overall vehicle weight. This foam can reduce weight of whole launcher by utilization of nanoparticles. Any reduction of weight while maintaining end users parameters is very valuable for aerospace applications. It can be replaced layer based on Kevlar, carbon or glass fibers. Its excellent mechanical properties and temperature resistance satisfy required parameters and also keep a good adhesion to composite skeleton of launcher. These properties could be achieved by hollow glass microballons placed in epoxy system, it was also necessary to come up with the best dispersion method of these microballons using a binder system containing nanoparticles. Such material is available only on the US market and supply it to Europe is not convenient both for pricing reasons and key properties (low density and resistance to pressure).
The following key requirements were defined:
- Thickness 1-3 mm
- Density lower than 700 kg/m3
- Low flammability
- Curing at 180 °C and pressure of around 3 bars (co-curable with standard epoxy CFRP materials)
The expected properties were fully satisfied and in some cases they were better than expected. For further industrial application it is necessary to manufacture production equipment which will be able to produce standard product.
Synpo was founded in 1952 as a state-owned Research Institute for Synthetic Resins and Coatings and it has been the leading center of applied R&D in polymers ever since. Company activities include contract R&D in synthetic polymers, paints, composites and adhesives, production of paints (AKRYLMETAL, VEROMIX, ZIRAFINOL), tolling of specialty polymers, process development, piloting and small-scale manufacturing and analyses of polymeric materials and testing and certification of products in accredited labs.
The research departments acquired long-year experience in synthesis and application of polyacrylics, epoxies, polyurethanes, polyesters, alkyds, and many hybrid products, which involve various properties of these polymers. Synpo has been established producer of two-component paints, mainly polyurethane ones, for industrial applications that are sold under the trademarks AKRYLMETAL, VEROMIX, ZIRAFINOL.
What would you name as main benefits of the project to you and your company?
Synpo participation in the ESA projects is a reset of forty years’ experience in the field of composites application for commercial customers and long term work in the field of nanoparticles applications in epoxy systems. These applications have been studied since 2000 year for Spolchemie as one of the most known producers of epoxy resin and its customers around the whole world. Cooperation with ESA is the result of long term experience of Synpo and we very appreciate this possibility.”