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A polyethersulfone (PESU) resin from Solvay Specialty Polymers (Dallas, TX) has been employed by Korea's Hankuk Carbon Co. to improve the toughness, heat resistance and processing consistency of a carbon fiber-reinforced thermoset composite prepreg. The prepreg is intended for use by a major U.S. automotive OEM for a commercial automotive fender and roof application.

November 2, 2015

1 Min Read
PESU resin toughens thermoset carbon fiber composite prepreg

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PESU toughener also improves heat resistance and processing consistency of a carbon fiber-reinforced thermoset composite prepreg.

"As an industry leader in high-performance thermoset composite tougheners, Solvay is committed to supporting the success of our global automotive customers who are striving to reduce vehicle weight and meet increasingly stringent emission standards," said Armin Klesing, global business development manager for Aerospace and Composites at Solvay Specialty Polymers. "Our collaboration with Hankuk Carbon on these cutting-edge applications highlights the added value that Virantage PESU tougheners offer compared to conventional materials."

According to the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI), fiber-reinforced polymer composites could help reduce the weight of conventional passenger cars by 50 percent and improve fuel efficiency by nearly 35 percent without compromising performance or safety. Fabricated using advanced polymer technologies, composites also eliminate corrosion and improve weather resistance versus metal. They also require lower maintenance.

Solvay's Virantage PESU tougheners can increase the impact strength of thermoset composites parts by nearly 40 percent and provide a step-change improvement in heat resistance. Because Virantage PESU micropowders are compatible with a range of epoxy systems, they disperse more quickly versus conventional impact modifiers, thereby improving processability and consistency in high-volume composite production. Already widely used in prepreg production for commercial and military aircraft applications, Virantage PESU tougheners are attracting increasing interest from automotive engineers as an integral part of their vehicle lightweighting strategy as they seek to meet emerging CO2emission standards.

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