Bio-Based Epoxy Resin for Next Generation Epoxy Prepregs

Composite Technical Services LLC, has collaborated with Technologycom SRL and Cimteclab SRL, headquartered in Italy, to develop a bio-based epoxy resin for next generation epoxy prepregs.

The formulation features CTS's new novolac-based bio-hardener, Novocard XFN, which introduces a high level of renewable content to prepregs and increases impact strength by 163 percent, when compared to composite prepregs made with a conventional amine-cured resin and carbon fiber. The aerospace, wind energy, transportation and sporting industries can use the bio-based prepreg in a range of applications due to its versatility and strength.

Novocard resin is produced with oil extracted from discarded cashew nutshells. Thermally, chemically, and water-resistant, the bio-resin delivers superior fiber wetting and improved surface appearance. In addition to higher impact strength, Novocard-cured prepregs show improved material flow properties and processability in hot melt prepreg processes due to longer gel time when compared to traditional amine-cured epoxy systems.

Mechanical tests of a composite laminate made with a Novocard prepreg demonstrated higher shear strength and toughness of the cardanol-based matrix. The prepreg is especially compatible with carbon fibers. These results prove Novocard's potential for other manufacturing methods such as Resin Transfer Molding, pultrusion and filament winding.

Composite Technical Services LLC is a leading manufacturer of innovative, cost effective, environmentally sustainable materials and technologies for a broad range of industries that include automotive, aerospace, construction, marine, coatings and packaging. Along with its Italian partner Cimteclab SRL, CTS has pioneered ExaPhen, a family of bio-resins that include Novocard XFN and Polycard XFN, by taking the non-edible agricultural by-products of cashew nuts and extracting the inherent phenolic resins engineered by nature. This highly stable phenolic structure improves thermal stability, heat resistance, fire retardancy and compressive strength. Novocard XFN liquid novolac resins is an epoxy hardener designed to deliver improved physical and processing properties suited to composite manufacturing. ExaPhen's latest product line, Polycard XFN, is a new class of aromatic bio-based polyols with the ability to significantly improve the mechanical properties of bio-based rigid spray foams, sandwich panels and pour-in-place insulation systems.

CTS is dedicated to providing customers with a total solution from design concept and development of manufacturing processes to testing and production. CTS also works with customers to tailor products to unique requirements.

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