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GELLED FIBER REINFORCED PLASTICS AND GEL COATS

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000007401D
Publication Date: 2002-Mar-21
Document File: 14 page(s) / 88K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Related People

Alvin Binkley: AUTHOR [+4]

Abstract

Gelled matrix liquid compositions suitable for constructing fiber reinforced plastics and gel coats are disclosed which comprise a matrix liquid and a gellant, the liquid being a mixture of one or more polymerizable monomers, an unsaturated polyester resin, a curing catalyst and optional components such solvent and inert filler and an organic polyamide gellant. The preferred polyamide gellant is a polymerized fatty acid-based polyamide terminated by either ester or secondary amide groups. The disclosed gellants are readily incorporated into the matrix liquid composition by mild heating and or high shear mixing to form, when cooled, a homogenous, shear-thinnable gel with thixotropic character that prevents separation of the liquid from the fiber matrix or sagging of the gel coat.

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TECHNICAL DISCLOSURE

 GELLED FIBER REINFORCED PLASTICS AND GEL COATS

ABSTRACT

 Gelled matrix liquid compositions suitable for constructing fiber reinforced plastics and gel coats are disclosed which comprise a matrix liquid and a gellant, the liquid being a mixture of one or more polymerizable monomers, an unsaturated polyester resin, a curing catalyst and optional components such solvent and inert filler and an organic polyamide gellant.  The preferred polyamide gellant is a polymerized fatty acid-based polyamide terminated by either ester or secondary amide groups. The disclosed gellants are readily incorporated into the matrix liquid composition by mild heating and or high shear mixing to form, when cooled, a homogenous, shear-thinnable gel with thixotropic character that prevents separation of the liquid from the fiber matrix or sagging of the gel coat.

A.                 Background

Fiber Reinforced Plastics (FRP) are typically composed of a curable matrix liquid, commonly mixtures of styrene, reactive polyester resin, and a reinforcing fiber.  These systems are deficient for several reasons.  For instance, the matrix liquid containing styrene or other monomer can drain away from the composite fiber prior to cure.  In addition, when thick films of matrix liquid are applied to a vertical surface the weight of the coating can cause it to flow or sag.

As for matrix liquid gellants, those currently available are primarily silica-based.  This particulate nature provides a route for agglomeration of particles, migration of and attack by many solvents, including water.

B.                 Gelled FRPs

The gelled matrix liquids (or simply gelled FRPs or FRP gel) as disclosed herein contain gellant, a mixture of monomers, unsaturated polyester, and optional solvent (referred to herein together as “solvent”) that is gelled by the gellant, a free radical initiator to copolymerize and crosslink the monomer with the unsaturated polyester, and optional ingredients.  The uncured FRP gel is preferably homogenous and easily applied to a coated surface or fiber mat.  Suitable gellants, solvents, monomers, polyester resins and optional ingredients, as well as methods to manufacture the FRP, are described below.

1.      Gellants, monomers and resins

Details of standard FRP technology can be found in J. Sellig, Kirk-Othmer, Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology Fourth Edition, Vol. 19, 654-677 (John Wiley and Sons, Inc., (1996). These systems are composed of (1) an unsaturated polyester (“PE resin”) prepared from an unsaturated acid or diacid such as maleic anhydride, fumaric acid, or itaconic acid; a glycol such as propylene glycol or neopentyl glycol; and a saturated diacid such as one of the phthalic acids or adipic acid; (2) a liquid, unsaturated monomer such as styrene, vinyl toluene, or alpha-methylstyrene; and (3) a free radical catalyst such as benzoyl peroxide or cumene hydroperoxide sometimes combined with a metal salt co-catalyst.

The following are exemplary gellants, monomers, and PE resins that...