Composition improves smoothness of composite surfaces
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has issued patent No. 7,989,557 to Robert Seats, senior group leader, Ashland Performance Materials.
What is it?
Titled "Surface improver for reinforced composite compositions," the patent is a blend of one or more vegetable oils such as soybean and linseed oil, and alkyl esters with one or more aromatic epoxides or epoxy functionalized polyoxyalkylene polyols.
The composition improves the surface for unsaturated thermosetting resins such as unsaturated polyester and vinyl ester-based molding compounds. These composite materials offer numerous advantages over traditional materials such as low density, light weight, corrosion resistance, strength and durability. However, molded composites do not always appear as smooth as a traditional metal surface. Manufacturers of light vehicles and construction materials are demanding a smoother surface for molded composites.
The patented composition is useful as a surface improvement additive in unsaturated thermosetting resin compositions like our Derakane™ epoxy vinyl ester resins and unsaturated polyester resins, such as Arotran™ and Aropol™.
The composition was tested for surface waviness on molded panels with an industry standard measurement for surface quality. With Seats' patented composition, the surface waviness on the panels measured much better than the panels not treated with the composition.
The patented composition can be used in the manufacture of thermoset items such as automotive fenders and hoods, bathtubs, and residential entry doors. This technology is used with Ashland resins to create a smooth surface for applications where appearance is critical. This invention allows thermoset composites to replace more traditional construction materials, including metals.