Title: Industrial cure monitoring of CBT using DEA for wind energy

Authors: E. Archer, A. Mcilhagger, R. Mcilhagger, P. Mallon, C. O Bradaigh

Addresses: Engineering Composites Research Centre, University of Ulster, Jordanstown, Northern Ireland. ' Engineering Composites Research Centre, University of Ulster, Jordanstown, Northern Ireland. ' Engineering Composites Research Centre, University of Ulster, Jordanstown, Northern Ireland. ' EireComposites Teo., An Choill Rua, Indreabhan Co. Galway, Ireland. ' EireComposites Teo., An Choill Rua, Indreabhan Co. Galway, Ireland

Abstract: Dielectric Analysis (DEA) is a widely used method to measure the cure of many common thermosetting resins systems such as epoxies, polyesters, polyurethanes, polyimides, silicones, bismaleimides and phenolics. The objective of this work is to investigate the curing characteristics of a thermoplastic, Cyclic Butylene Terephthalate (CBT) (supplied by Cyclics Corporation) which polymerises to form Polybutylene Terephthalate (PBT). This paper reports on the results of ongoing experimental investigations in which DEA is used to relate the curing cycle to composite structural features and mechanical performance of a complex composite part. Through adjustments in curing parameters, the significant processing parameters have been identified which optimise the production cycle for thermoplastic PBT composite parts. The recorded ion viscosity is used to determine change in material viscosity, cure rate and cure time. These results have been analysed and presented as a processing guide for correct process control.

Keywords: process monitoring; DEA; dielectric analysis; CBT; cyclic butylene terephthalate; thermosetting resins; thermoplastics; curing cycle; polybutylene terephthalate; PBT; composites; process control; materials processing; material viscosity; cure rate; cure time; wind energy; wind power; wind turbines; turbine blades.

DOI: 10.1504/IJCMSSE.2009.024927

International Journal of Computational Materials Science and Surface Engineering, 2009 Vol.2 No.1/2, pp.91 - 98

Published online: 04 May 2009 *

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