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Composites] Fiberglass Reinforced Plastics

Composites] Fiberglass Reinforced Plastics

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Published by: luciferian8605 on Feb 08, 2012
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ENGINEERING PLASTICS
INTRODUCTION
Iron, copper, tin, zinc, brass, bronze and wood were man’s primarymaterials of construction prior to the American Civil War. With theadvent of the Bessemer and open-hearth processes and the subsequentgeneration of alloys, the steel industry began its adolescence during thepost-Civil War years, and aluminum was introduced by the end of thecentury. Plastics did not become major engineering materials until theearlier part of this century although limited applications and interestsdeveloped in the mid-nineteenth century.The earliest known plastic-molding techniques were practiced byMalayan natives in the early 1800s. They made utensils and artifacts fromgum elastic (a vegetable material named gutta percha), softened in hotwater and fashioned by hand. The art of molding plastic compounds wasfirst brought to the United States by Alfred Critchlow, who, by 1850,developed shellac-molding compounds. The plastics industry during the1850s was limited to the manufacturing of checkers, picture frames,buttons, combs and display plaques or cases molded from wood flour-filled shellac compounds.The first synthetic plastic material produced was celluloid. Cellulosenitrate was first produced in 1835 by dissolving cellulosic products innitric acid. Ten years later, a Swiss chemist by the name of Schonbeinnitrated cellulose with sulfuric acid as a catalyst, and in 1854 anAmerican scientist, J. Cutting, obtained patents for his process of gumcamphor in collodion for photographic solutions. This marked the firstuse of camphor with cellulose nitrate. Evaporation of the photographiccollodion by Alexander Parkes, an English scientist, produced a hard,elastic waterproof material that could be fashioned into useful articles.1
 
2 Fiberglass Reinforced PlasticsCelluloid, although the first synthetic material, did not advance themolded products industry as it could not be molded. Shellacs andbituminous cold-mold plastics continued to dominate the industry until1909, which marked the introduction of phenol-formaldehyde. Dr.Bakeland is accredited with invention of phenol-formaldehyde resin,which was the first synthetic, moldable plastic material. Since its debut,more than 50 distinct families of plastics have been invented with literallyhundreds of variations of these materials. Table l-l summarizes themajor developments in the plastics field up to 1909.Today, when one refers to engineering plastics, those most frequentlythought of are the acetals, nylons, phenolics, polycarbonates and fluoro-carbons. The growth rate of plastics in industrial and commercial usagesurpasses most conventional materials such as metals, rubber, ceramics,textiles and paper due to superiorities in flexibility, strength-to-weightratio, abrasion resistance, energy absorption of foams, thermal and elec-trical insulation variety in color and clarity, and resistance to inorganicand/or organic chemicals. At the same time, plastics in general areplagued with a large number of deficiencies. Table l-2 summarizes someof the general advantages and disadvantages of plastics. There are threegeneral classes of plastics; Thermoplastics, Thermoset Plastics andThermoplastic-Thermoset.
Thermoplastics
Thermoplastics are commonly converted into molded productsthrough injection molding processes and, hence, are more commonlyreferred to as injection materials. Additives such as plasticizers, which areusually nonvolatile organics, are added by hot mixing or solution mixingwith a solvent or by dry blending, to improve the materials flexibilityand processability. Stabilizing agents are also added to thermoplastics toprevent thermal degradation and deterioration by light or oxidation.Fluorescent additives are sometimes added to certain thermal plastics tomeet color specifications. A brief description of the major thermoplasticmaterials is in order.
Table l-l: Chronological Development of Plastics to 1909
1820 First rubber processing plant was built.1834 Liebig isolated melamine.1835 Pelouze nitrated cellulose.Regnault developed vinyl chloride.(continued)
 
Engineering Plastics 3
Table l-l: (continued)
183918451847185918651866187018721873187818791880188418941899190119051909Goodyearintroduced the vulcanization of rubber.Bewley designed extruder for gutta percha.Schonbeinnitrated cellulose in H,SO,.Berzelius developed the first polyester.Butlerove made formaldehyde polymers.Schuzenberger prepared acetylated cellulose.Parkes’s patented Parkesine process.Berthelot synthesized styrene.Hyatt patented basic celluloid.Hyatt patented first plastics injection molding machine.Bayer observed reactions between phenols and aldehydes.Baumann polymerized vinyl chloride.Caspery and Tollens prepared various acrylate esters.Hyatt developed first multicavity injection mold.Gray patented first screw extruder.Kahlbaum polymerized methylacrylate.Holzer isolated urea-formaldehyde condensation products.Chardonnetdeveloped the first synthetic silk.Crossand Bevan patented the first industrial process formanufacturing cellulose acetate.Continuouscellulose nitrate film made by casting on apolished drum.Spitteler and Kritsche patented casein plastic.Smith studied alkyd resins in reaction of glycerol and phthalicanhydride.Milec prepared secondary cellulose acetate.Bakeland patented phenolic resins.
Table l-2: General Advantages/Disadvantages of PlasticsAdvantages
With ReinforcementUse in structural applications
Disadvantages
Rigidity less than metals, cer-amics, wood(continued)

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