Fiber reinforced composites of a novel pendent polyimide: Optimum processing and mechanical properties

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Title: Fiber reinforced composites of a novel pendent polyimide: Optimum processing and mechanical properties
Author: Kamdar, Akshay
Abstract: A 2-component polyimide [3,4'-ODA + 4,4'-ODPA], a 3-component "parent" polyimide [3,4'-ODA + 4,4'-ODPA + 10 mol % Mellitic acid dianhydride (MADA)] and a 4-component "pendent" polyimide [3,4'-ODA + 4,4'-ODPA + 10 mol % MADA + 10 mol % Zr] were synthesized and characterized using fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) techniques. Since temperature and time are critical factors influencing the thermal and mechanical properties of the final polyimide, it is important to have detailed information on the best time-temperature conditions for imidization and cure in order to optimize the processing and properties of this polyimide. The present investigation focused on developing these conditions for the polymer. The processing condition of heating the poly(amic acid) at 310 C for 15 minutes was chosen as an optimum processing condition for the Zr-pendent polyimide. The sample showed complete imidization without any decomposition at the given processing temperature. The polyimide resins were also investigated as a matrix for high performance composites. Prepregs were fabricated using the conventional hand lay-up technique. Carbon and/or glass fiber reinforced composite laminates were fabricated in an autoclave to obtain a 60:40 fiber to resin by weight ratio. Tensile, flexural, Izod impact and dynamic mechanical analysis tests were carried out on the composite laminates. Mechanical properties of the pendent polymer were compared with those of the parent (without pendent groups) polyimide. Failure mechanisms were studied through the use of optical and scanning electron microscopy. The Zr-pendent polyimide composites showed lower moduli for the mechanical tests performed as compared to the 2-component and parent polyimide composites. Comparisons of mechanical data with laminates fabricated using a different molding cycle are also included.
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Date: 2002-08

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