Predicting the Viscosity of Low VOC Vinyl Ester and Fatty Acid-Based Resins

Report No. ARL-TR-3681
Authors: John J. La Scala, Amutha Jeyarajasingam, Cherise Winston, James M. Sands, and Giuseppe R. Palmese
Date/Pages: December 2005; 46 pages
Abstract: Styrene and methacrylated fatty acid (MFA) monomers were used as reactive diluents in the vinyl ester resins. The viscosities of these resins were measured as a function of reactive diluent content and type, temperature, and vinyl ester molecular weight to determine the operating window for composite manufacture. The viscosity decreased exponentially with reactive diluent content. Styrene and MFA monomers affected the viscosity in the same manner, but not to the same extent. The viscosities of resins using both diluents were accurately predicted using a logarithmic rule of mixtures from the two-component viscosity functions. The viscosity increased exponentially and predictably as a function of the vinyl ester number average molecular weight. Increasing the temperature decreased the viscosity in an Arrhenius manner. The activation energy for viscous flow decreased linearly as the diluent content increased, but was unaffected by vinyl ester molecular weight, fatty acid chain length, and unsaturation level. Overall, the resin viscosity was modeled as simple functions of the resin temperature, vinyl ester molecular weight, styrene content, MFA content, MFA chain length, and MFA unsaturation level, which are all known quantities for a formulated resin. Therefore, the operating window for various liquid molding operations was predicted for standard DGEBA-based vinyl ester resins and low VOC/HAP resins.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: December 1, 2005