Cost and Performance Report: Low-Hazardous Air Pollutant (HAP)/Volatile Organic Compound (VOC)-Compliant Resins for Military Applications

Report No. ARL-TR-5939
Authors: John La Scala, Steven Boyd, Kevin Andrews, Terese Glodek, Caroline Lochner, Philip Myers, Felecia Levine, Daniel De Bonis, Robert Hayes, James Sands, Maureen Foley, Roger Crane, Nicholas Shevchenko,
Date/Pages: March 2012; 56 pages
Abstract: Liquid resins used for molding composite structures are a significant source of hazardous air pollutant (HAP) emissions. One method of reducing styrene emissions from vinyl ester (VE) resins is to replace some or all of the styrene with fatty acid–based monomers. This patented technology allows for the formulation of high-performance composite resins with no more than 25 weight-percent styrene, which is a 25%–50% reduction in HAP emissions vs. commercial VE resins. This work validated the commercially produced low-HAP vinyl ester resins from Applied Poleramics, Inc., for use in U.S. Department of Defense composite structures. Tests have shown that the established resin formulations met the property requirements, including viscosity, glass transition temperature, modulus, strength, short beam shear strength, fracture toughness, and weatherability. The Army has demonstrated and validated the use of the high-mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicle transmission container, M35A3 hood, and M939 hood under laboratory testing and field conditions. The Air Force has demonstrated the production of an F-22 canopy cover, T-38 dorsal cover, and rapid prototyping splash molds. Mine countermeasure rudders were successfully demonstrated at production level and validated at the laboratory level. An economic analysis has shown that these resins will cost an additional $0.1–$1.20/lb (depending on manufacturing scale) more than baseline resins. However, they reduce life cycle cost by more than $1.20/lb, making them economically feasible.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: March 1, 2012