1. Adv. Polymers for Aerospace

Advanced Polymer Materials for Aerospace

advanced polymers for aerospace


Many aerospace composites structures are constructed from sandwich panels that include two phenolic/fiberglass composite skins on either side of a honeycomb core (as shown at right). “Crush core compression molding” cures the semi-polymerized phenol-formaldehyde (PF) or phenolic polymer in the composite skins and sets the geometry and mechanical properties of the part. 

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In 2008, the European Union Committee established to define Environmental Health and Safety made a recommendation that phenol-based polymers be phased out in the next generation of composites. A collaboration between a Washington aerospace industrial partner and the Departments of Engineering and Chemistry at Western Washington University has been charged to investigate alternative materials for next generation composites. The alternative material is expected to match many of the material and processing characteristics of the phenol-based material and enable long-term opportunities for greener processing.

See  our collaborative paper in: Journal of Polymer Science, Part A: Polymer Chemistry.

See our paper in: Macromolecules.

See our paper in: Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research.

For a magazine article on this work, see Page 18 in the September/October Issue of Composites Manufacturing:

See a video highlight of this work here: