On-site evaluation of a modified pultrusion process: Fibre spreading and resin injection-based impregnation

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • Pultrex Ltd, Dale Hall Industrial Estate, UK

Abstract

The focus of the current research was to demonstrate a modified pultrusion technique at an industrial site using a commercial production machine. In this instance, the conventional resin bath was replaced by a custom-designed compact impregnation unit. The dimensions of the impregnator were 310 mm × 400 mm × 9 mm. The relatively short length of the impregnator, when compared to a 5 litre resin bath, meant that it had to be efficient in impregnating the reinforcing fibre bundles. This was achieved using a fibre spreading unit and a facility to inject the resin under low-pressure. The design basis for the fibre spreading unit and the impregnator are presented along with the methodology that was used to select the pultrusion speed and die temperature. The pultrusion experiments were performed using filled and unfilled vinyl ester resin and E-glass fibres. The profile of the 0.5 metre-long die was rectangular with dimensions of 32 mm × 2.2 mm. The fibre spreading unit and the impregnator were retrofitted to the pultrusion line with ease. The physical, mechanical and thermo-mechanical properties were determined for the pultruded composites using the resin bath and the modified technique. The properties of the latter were found to be equivalent or marginally superior when compared to the resin bath-based production method. However, in the modified pultrusion technique, when compared to conventional resin bath-based pultrusion, the volume of waste resin generated was 97% lower. The volume of solvent required to clean the equipment after production was reduced by 90%.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-93
JournalJournal of Composite Materials
Volume55
Issue number1
Early online date26 Jul 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2021

Keywords

  • Pultrusion, glass fibres, polymer-matrix composites, impregnation, mechanical properties