Sie sind auf Seite 1von 37

PULTRUSION 23

Brian A. Wilson

23.1 INTRODUCTION ment and manufactured the equipment to pro-


duce structural elements by the method. A
The word pultrusion is used to describe a com-
typical pultrusion machine is shown in Fig.
mercial fabrication process for the production
23.1. The process has a relationship to extru-
of fiber reinforced composite elements. First
sion, which is used primarily with metals and
mention of the process is recorded in a patent
describes the process of forming a shape using
in 1951 with much of the early work in the
a closed die and pushing normally hot metallic
1950s attributed to W. Brandt Goldsworthyl.
materials through the die. Pultrusion differs in
He performed much of the process develop-

Handbook of Composites. Edited by S.T. Peters. Published Fig. 23-1Typical Pulkusion machine. (Courtesy of
in 1998 by Chapman & Hall, London. ISBN 0 412 54020 7 W. Brant Goldsworthy and Associates Inc.)
The basic process 489

that it takes advantage of the strength of the curing energy in the heated die to cure the com-
longitudinal fibers in the section to pull the posite into a hard structural product and using
extruded shape through the forming die and the resulting shape as a unidirectional strength
the heated curing die to create a constant cross element for commercial structures.
section structural element from a composite The primary advantages of pultrusion are
materials system. Hence the name pultrusion. as follows:
Use of this-processhas now expanded both in
the USA and around the world with many ~roductioniscontinuous~
manufacturers equipped to produce the simple 0 labor requirements are low;
structural elements which are the main pultru- 0 material scrap rate is low;
sion products. The process was labeled for the 0 the requirement for support materials is
first 30 years or so of its existence as a com- eliminated, i.e. breathers, bleeder cloth, sep-
mercial production method. This was owing to arator film, bagging film, edge tape.
the nature of the method, using longitudinal
fibers and a simple thermoset resin system to
23.2.1 VARIATIONS IN PROCESSING
produce a structural shape which had its pri-
mary strength in the longitudinal direction and The original process of pulling a bundle of
properties in the transverse and third axis unidirectional fibers through a curing die
relating only to those of the resin system. The remained without variation until the middle
ability to incorporate three-dimensional of the 1960s. At this point, pultruders, both in
strength first occurred in the mid 1960s when it Europe and the USA, developed the process of
became possible to include layers of mat/fab- adding fabric in strip or sheet form and fiber
ric and circumferentially wound layers of fiber mat to the pultrusion system in order to pro-
both w i t h the body and on the surface of the vide transverse strength and shear strength in
structural shapes. Multi-directional reinforce- the corner sections of complex pultruded
ment was used extensively starting in the shapes. In addition, the concept was devel-
1970s2,3 . These developments, plus the intro- oped for a filament winding head to be added
duction of thermoplastic resin matrices, have to the pultrusion machine to provide a hoop
brought the pultrusion process into the manu- wrap around a pultruded form. This process is
facturing arena of the aerospace, defense and known as 'pull winding' and is primarily used
aircraft businesses as a relatively inexpensive with tubular or rod shapes. It is not feasible to
and repeatable method of producing a constant add the filament winding process to a struc-
cross-section structural element48 *. tural shape that has a concave curvature, such
In this chapter, the basic process, variations as angles, channels and I-beams. A typical
on the process, pultrusion equipment, materi- process of pull winding is shown schemati-
als including fiber, fabric, resin matrices, cally in Fig. 23.212.
additives, tooling, curing, structural connec- During the 1970s, the concept of pull form-
tion methods, equipment manufacturers, ing was developed by Brandt Goldsworthy.
pultrusion fabricators and potential markets Three versions of this forming process were
and applications will be reviewed"". developed.
The first was actually named 'curved pultru-
sion' by Goldsworthy Engineering. The method
23.2 THE BASIC PROCESS
was developed under a NASA contract and
The basic pultrusion process as originally con- resulted in a pure, constant radius section with
ceived consisted of creating a cured composite a constant cross section. A curved die was used,
shape by pulling a bundle of resin impregnated with a reduced radius, smaller than the
fibers through a heated die, providing sufficient required part radius. This allows for a degree of
490 Pultvusion

COUNTER-ROTATING

MANDREL
AND

LAYER 1. LAYER 2. LAYER 3. LAYER 4. LAYE&S. FIBERS


FIBERS WOUND FIBERS FIBERS WOUND FIBERS

Fig. 23.2 5-Layer tube on double head pull winder. (Courtesyof Pultrex Ltd.)

spring back after the product is removed from response to a specific production require-
the diel3. The die was split along its length, in rnentl4,l5.The pull forming process still uses
the vertical plane. One half of the curved unit the basic principles of pultrusion since it has a
was fixed in place. The internal radius portion continuous strand of fiberglass roving within
of the die was further split in half vertically, the product and this roving is used to pull the
along the central radius plane, forming two product through the sequence of the forming
quadrants. Each of the quadrants had a slightly process. Goldsworthy Associates have
longer circumferential length than the fixed designed two versions of this process, a
half. The two moving quadrants moved past curved pull forming and a straight pull form-
the fixed part of the die at the processing speed ing. These two versions of the process are
of the pultrusion. When each moving quadrant briefly described in the following paragraphs
had exited the plane of the fixed die, it moved but it should be noted that a major difference
rapidly in a circular fashion to contact the end between pull forming and pultrusion is that
of the following quadrant as it too passed pultrusion is a generic process which can be
across the face of the fixed die. used to make many different cross-sectional
shapes and products by changing the die in
23.3 PULL FORMING
the machine (which creates the cross-sectional
shape) and the materials of fabrication. Pull
The pull forming process is a highly sophisti- forming however, is essentially a custom
cated variation of the pultrusion process in process which must be tailored to a particular
which both curved and straight product sec- product design.
tions are fabricated with the ability to change
cross-sectional dimensions of the product. It
can be thought of as a combination of pultru- 23.3.1 CURVED PULL FORMING
sion and compression molding. The pull In the curved version of the pull forming
forming process was developed by process, a curved structure is manufactured
Goldsworthy Associates and was created in using a selected combination of roving and
Pull forming 491

mat/fabric to satisfy the performance require- machine is shown in Fig. 23.3.


ments of the produ~t'~J~. The die is a multi- It should be noted that the process does dif-
cavity die. Several of these dies are mounted on fer from pultrusion in that the fiber preform is
the face of a wheel and are curved with the placed into the mold rather than being pulled
radius of curvature of the die matching the through it. Also, while the cross section of the
radius of its position on the wheel. The die is mold can change, the resulting part is a con-
open faced and is also open on the two ends for stant volume design, equivalent to the volume
entry of the fiber preform. The preform is of the preform which is initially compressed
impregnated with resin in the same manner as into the mold.
for pultrusion and the fiber and mat/fabric
combination is pulled into the curved mold or
23.3.2 STRAIGHT PULL FORMING
die by the rotation of the wheel. As the preform
is pulled into the die, a stainless steel band Straight pull forming was also invented by
moves against the open face of the die and com- Goldsworthy Associates in response to a spe-
presses the impregnated preform into the cific customer requirement for the automated
contour which is in essence a compression manufacture of hammer handles. In this
molding cavity. After the die is closed, it is process, the fiber is pulled as a preform through
heated to cure the resin and following cure, the the automated machine. Many single cavity
stainless steel band peels away from the face of dies are mounted on a belt. As the fiberglass
the die/mold. A fixed pin which is mounted roving moves through the system, a section
adjacent to the wheel strips the product out of of bulk molding compound (BMC) is cut
the mold and into a storage bin. When the stain- from a rope of this material, is opened up
less steel band is moved against the mold it is longitudinally and placed around the roving
held in place by an automated clamping system and clamped onto it. The BMC is then com-
until the product is fully cured at which point pressed in a small briquetting press which
the clamping system releases the band which travels with the fiber preform as it moves
then retracts into a 'parking' position. The through the system. Following the compression

Fig. 23.3 Curved pull forming process. (Courtesy of W. Brandt Goldsworthy and Associates Inc.)
492 Pultrusion

molding of the BMC, the press releases and the process variation has not been successful to
balance of the fiberglass roving is fed in and date and further development will be required.
encapsulates the BMC material. Following the
encapsulation, a shrink film is placed around
23.4 PROCESS EQUIPMENT
the wet package and the process goes through a
heated tunnel which shrinks the film around The pultrusion fabrication machine consists of
the product. Finally, the product is run through six different parts (Fig. 23.4): the creel; the
the frame of a C-shaped die in a press which resin bath; the forming die; the heated curing
provides the final compression molding and die; the pullers; the cut-off saw.
curing of the hammer handle. The product is
pulled from the die and cut off and the dies con-
23.4.1 CREEL
tinuously exit the belt and are recycled back to
the front end of the process. The creel is the beginning of the pultrusion
This type of pull forming is a highly auto- process and is the material storage system from
mated, sophisticated process which requires which the fibers and mat, veil or fabric are
considerable capital investment for the design, drawn in the correct sequence to match the
manufacture and set up. Each potential prod- design requirements of the structural shape.
uct, which would be a candidate for the pull Since pultrusion is a long run continuous
forming process, must have its design analyzed process, fiber rovings are provided in the max-
and the process modified to respond to the cus- imum size configuration possible. Continuous
tom requirements of the particular product. glass rovings are normally provided in 'center
With the increasing popularity and explo- pull' packages between 14 and 23 kg (30 and 50
ration of the resin transfer molding process in lb) in size. These center pull packages are typi-
recent years, the pultrusion process has been cally stored on a bookshelf style creel. These
reviewed for the potential of developing a creels have from three to six shelves and are
repeatable, precise cross-section of a preform capable of storing anywhere from 45 to 120
using a loose fiber bundle and an adhesive packages of this type of fiberglass. These creels
binder in place of the resin system. This are normally mounted on casters to create a

Mat
Roving racks
racks A Material

Pulling
mechanism Cutoff saw

V Resin tank Finished


Preforming product
guides

Fig. 23.4 Schematic of pultrusion process. (Courtesy of W. Brandt Goldsworthy and Associates Inc.)
Process equipment 493

mobile system. The casters are provided with a plied on 'way wound' packages on standard
foot locking device to enable them to be locked diameter cardboard cores. A typical carbon
in place when this is required. The glass roving fiber package mounted in a payoff creel is
is pulled vertically from the package through shown in Fig. 23.5. These fiber packages are
ceramic-lined holes in the shelves above. The designed to provide fiber payoff from the exte-
roving is collected above the creel and turned rior of the fiber package and hence avoid
90" by means of a ceramic textile type thread twist. While fiberglass is normally supplied in
guide and then moved forward to the material the heavy center pull spools, it can also be
accumulating section just prior to the resin obtained in the outside payoff type package.
bath and forming die. A series of ceramic All of the cardboard cores are a standard three
guides or rollers can be provided in the fiber inch diameter with the exception of the aramid
path in order to tailor the tension in the fibers which is 90 mm (3.5 in) inside diameter.
to the required level. The pulling of fiber from This style of package requires the use of a
the center of the package will automatically multiple spindle creel design in which the
insert a twist in the fiber as it is led into the pul- packages are oriented normally horizontal but
trusion machine. To eliminate this, some usually with a slight upward camber. Creels
fiberglass rovings are provided in a center pull are available with package positions up to
twistless condition where the natural twist has 1500 or 2000 on a single creel or combination
been off-set by a 'built-in' reverse twist. of creel frames. A loaded multiple spindle
Continuous fibers of fiberglass, carbon, creel is shown in Fig. 23.6. Ceramic guides are
aramid and polyethylene are normally sup- used to move the fibers to the front of the creel

Fig. 23.5 Carbon fibre spool on package holder with quick braking action. (Courtesy of Texkimp Ltd.)
494 Pulfrusion

(12-24 in) on cores of 75-100 mm (3-4 in) in


inside diameter. This special mat/fabric creel
must be able to accommodate rolls of these
dimensions and resulting weight and permit
the rolls of material to be installed in a varying
sequence of locations to match the design of the
final structure. This type of material creel will
normally provide horizontal feed. However, if
vertical mat or fabric is required, then an inde-
pendent custom unit must be provided. These
units are usually of a carousel-type configura-
tion. Figure 23.7 shows a typical mounting for
feeding veil rolls into the system.

Fig. 23.6 Loaded multiple spindle creel. (Courtesy


of Texkimp Ltd.)

and into the pultrusion system. Tension


requirements in this type of system are usually
provided by spring attached tension straps
which rub on a pulley attached to the package
holder. This provides a braking action. The
straps can be either independently loaded
with weight or can be connected to a central I
mechanical system, such that tension for all of
the spools can be varied by a single adjust- Fig. 23.7 Feeding external veil material into pultru-
ment handle. Fiber packages for this type of sion system. (Courtesyof Creative Pultrusions Inc.)
system are normally 5 kg (11 lb). With this
small size of package, it is normal for a large Clearly, the overall creel system for materials
number of packages to be located on this type supply must be able to provide any combina-
of creel assembly. In addition, package simula- tion or arrangement. It should be noted that in
tion bars are normally provided with these every fiber and fabric system used for pultru-
types of creels to give a uniform tension and to sion, there should be sufficient continuous
eliminate the possibility of a fiber from a small roving in the system to sustain the required
or 'almost used' package touching and abrad- pulling force. As the various materials travel
ing a near-by forward mounted, full package. forward towards the resin application area it is
Stationed immediately after the fiber creel is important to control the alignment of the vari-
the specialized type of creel which is designed ous fibers and fabric/mat strips which are
to accommodate rolls of mat, veil or fabric. going into the configuration. This will prevent
These materials are usually supplied in roll knotting and twisting of the fiber reinforce-
form with diameters between 305-610 mm ment and also will ensure that the various fiber
Process equipment 495

materials remain in the correct relationship to bath is frequently used which matches the pre-
each other and are placed in the correct zone of form shape or orientation of materials which
the pultruded product according to the prod- pass through it. These types of tailored chan-
uct design requirements. This can be best nels or baths can also be used to orient the flat
accomplished by the use of orifice plates, creel materials properly. This method permits the
cards combs and rollers (grooved and flat) to resin impregnation to take place without mov-
precisely and accurately place all the materials. ing the reinforcements away from their
The materials commonly used for these guides optimum path or shape.
and rollers are primarily titanium oxide
ceramic, stainless steel, tool steel alloys and
23.4.3 VERTICAL PULTRUSION
chrome plated steel. These materials are also
used for the various rollers associated not only The vertical pultrusion process should be men-
with guiding the sheet materials but also with tioned at this point since the primary difficulty
controlling them during their passage through in creating a vertical pultrusion is the place-
the resin impregnation zone. ment and use of a resin bath. In the
arrangement for vertical pultrusion the equip-
ment used is essentially similar to that for the
23.4.2 RESIN IMPREGNATION
horizontal methodI8.Most equipment operates
Virtually all pultrusion processes utilize a in the vertical position with the exception of the
resin impregnation bath to facilitate the resin bath and roving creels which are generally
impregnation of the resin into the fiber struc- positioned horizontally and the roving is fed in
ture. The position of the resin impregnation the regular manner, horizontally through the
bath in the production line can be varied and resin impregnation bath. This bath is located
the manner in which the resin is applied to the above the entrance to the forming die and the
fiber can have many different versions. A resin fibers exiting from the bath are turned 90"
dip bath is most commonly used. During this across a roller and then proceed vertically into
process the fibers are passed over and under a the forming die. The advantage of using this
series of rollers or bars which both spread the vertical procedure is that a uniform arrange-
fiber to more easily accept the resin and also ment of impregnated fibers can be achieved
provide a massaging effect which 'kneads' the across the section being formed. The effects of
resin into the fiber bundles and structure. gravity are removed from the fiber arrange-
The wetting speed of the fibers depends ment. During the horizontal process, gravity
upon their pretreatment and on the resin for- plus any nonuniform tensioning across the
mulation. Wetting is also affected by the type fiber group will result in some fibers sagging
of sizing agent on the fiber, the possible pres- under their weight with resin and hence not be
ence of remaining lubricant on woven fabric properly located as they enter the forming and
and finally the type of binder which is used in curing dies. An additional advantage of the ver-
mat and veil products. The resin bath is uni- tical process is that it is possible accurately to
formly used for products that utilize all roving locate the internal mandrels whch are neces-
in their construction or for products that are sary for hollow shapes and tubes. This is
easily formed from the flat fiber ply which particularly important in the fabrication of
emerges from the resin bath. However, in heavy, thick wall tubes. In the horizontal
many of the more sophisticated products process, these internal mandrels will frequently
which are now made from pultrusion, it is deflect under their own weight and cause a
impractical to dip all of the materials in the nonuniformity of wall thickness around the
resin bath. When vertical mats are required or hollow profile or tube. In addition, the vertical
hollow profiles are produced, a tailored resin process allows the use of several different fiber
496 Pul trusion

entry points to the forming process with multi- fabricators to provide pultruded tubular struc-
ple resin baths. In the horizontal procedure, the tures both round and square23,24. The process
multiple entry points have to come from the side combines the standard continuous unidirec-
of the main fiber path and it is not as easy to coa- tional fibers of the pultrusion process with
lesce the fibers into a single merged preform. hoop wound continuous fibers. The longitudi-
nal fibers are used for axial and bending
resistance while the hoop fibers are used for
23.4.4 USE OF THERMOPLASTIC MATRIX
hoop tension and compression resistance. The
RESINS
combination of the two processes of pultru-
Thermoplastics cannot be applied to roving sion and winding provides virtually unlimited
easily using the standard resin bath, even with possibilities. However, the increasing com-
heating. Thermoplastic resins impregnated on plexity of the process limits these
roving are generally available as preimpreg- combinations. Normally, longitudinal fibers
nated (prepreg) materials and are supplied by are positioned at the inside and outside sur-
specialty companies who are experts in the faces of the tube with one or two hoop wound
prepreg process. Thermoplastic matrices layers positioned internally in the tube wall.
improve the toughness of the composite and These hoop wound layers are not truly 90"
this is their major end use advantage. In gen- hoop wound layers because of the slightly
eral they have high softening temperatures helical nature of the winding and the lateral
and high physical properties coupled with a movement of a wound roving, one band width
low fluid viscosity in their melted form. The of advance with each circumferential pass.
prepregs are normally prepared using solvents Depending on the diameter of the tube, the
and this provides some difficulty against envi- winding angle is typically anywhere from
ronmental regulations in order to remove and 80-87". The winding can be performed in
dissipate the majority of the solvent. Some sol- both clockwise and counterclockwise direc-
vent has to be retained in the process in order tion and in addition to the hoop tension and
to have the material be sufficiently pliable for compression resistance can also provide a
machine and manual handling. In addition to degree of torque strength to the tubing.
the improved toughness of the thermoplastic Single and double head pull winders are used
composite, an important advantage of thermo- with these techniques. The pull winding
plastic pultrusions is the ability to heat and process is shown in Fig. 23.2 and the proce-
reshape the product after f ~ r m i n g ' ~ - ~ ~ . dure for the use of these systems is self
explanatory. The important control feature of
the pull winding process is the control of the
23.4.5 RESIN BATH LIFE
winding speed and position with respect to
In a continuous pultrusion process, the pot life the linear motion of the pultruded form
of the resin should be several days. However, through the machine. This is achieved by
if the volume of the resin bath can be kept sensing the speed of the longitudinal motion
small in relation to the resin being withdrawn, accurately and using a microprocessor con-
shorter pot-life resin, i.e. 3 4 h can be used. trol to coordinate the speed of the rotating
Shorter pot-life resins result in smaller batches head motor. This relationship defines the
and mixing becomes time consuming. pitch of the winding which is defined as the
linear distance moved during one revolution
of the head. With the microprocessor control
23.4.6 THE PULL WINDING TECHNIQUE
the pitch can be varied, thus providing varia-
The pull winding process was developed in tions in fiber content and angular position, as
Europe and was used frequently by European required. A paper by D.E. Shaw Stuartz5
Process equipment 497

defines the primary advantages of pull wind- used for forming dies include Teflon@,high
ing over other methods of tube manufacture as: molecular weight polyethylene, chrome plated
0 it is a fully automatic continuous process; steel and a variety of tool steel alloys. The fabri-
it is dimensionally accurate and repeatable; cation of the forming die is a custom process
which is best performed at the pultrusion fabri-
0 it produces tubes with a good external
appearance and finish; cator by a skilled tool maker/machinist.
0 it can have built-in color;
it can be made with thinner wall sections
23.4.8 INJECTION PULTRUSION
than conventional pultrusion or filament
winding. In this modification of the resin impregnation
process, the resin is directly injected into either
the forming die or into the initial segment of
23.4.7 PULTRUSION DIES the pultrusion die. The resin is injected into the
die under pressure and is forced into the inter-
Two types of dies are used in the pultrusion
stices of the fiber system. The principal
process: the forming die and the heating or cur-
advantage of this system is that it limits the
ing die. Forming is normally accomplished
release of volatile resin components and reac-
immediately after the impregnation process
tion products.
although some shaping with the roving and
An additional advantage of this process for
mat/fabric inserts in a dry condition can take
laboratory or research and development pul-
place prior to entering the resin impregnation
truders is that it enables a rapid resin change
processing step. Forming dies or guides are
without removal and cleaning of all of the
normally attached to the heating or curing die
resin bath components. In addition, dry fibers
in order to provide the correct relationship
are not impregnated with resin before entering
between the forming and the heated curing
the die and therefore they can be positioned
step. For tubular or hollow profile pultruded
accurately, even with complex profile cross
products, a central mandrel support is neces-
sections and multiple mat and fabric entries.
sary internal to the fiber form and it is
The schematic of the injection pultrusion sys-
necessary to extend this mandrel as a cantilever
tem is shown in Fig. 23.8. A typical resin
through the pultrusion die. It is also important
injection pultrusion die is shown in Fig. 23.9.
to resist the forward drag on this central man-
In addition to the advantages listed above,
drel which will occur from the surface tension
there are several disadvantages which must be
and adhesive forces of the resin on the roving or
weighed in a process trade off, before resorting
mat. Materials must form in sequence around
to the injection pultrusion method. These dis-
this mandrel and must alternate from one mate-
advantages are:
rial to another to prevent any weak areas at
overlapping joints. The sizing of the slots, holes 0 a more complicated die design;
and clearances in the forming die must be care- 0 more parameters to control;
fully designed so that excess tension on the dry 0 analytical support is required to predict wet
or impregnated fiber is avoided. The fiber is out behavior and design of the resulting
weaker in this condition than in the cured con- dies;
dition and filaments may be independently 0 fibers in the die are very tightly compressed
broken and distortion of the mat and fabric can and resin penetration is difficult, particu-
take place. The forming die can also be larly with large wall thicknesses;
designed to permit excess resin removal. This 0 the tightly packed fibers can act as a filter
prevents an abnormally high hydrostatic force and partially remove resin additives, partic-
at the curing die entrance. Materials commonly ularly those in suspension.
498 Pultrusion

Fiber
rack
doth
J racks

I
S - moving

-
pulling mechanisms cutoff saw
disengaged
\
Lc t
I
\ /
preforming
I hydraulic rams
finished
pressurized product
guides
resin tank

Fig. 23.8 Injection pultrusion process. (Courtesyof American Composite Technology Inc.)

injection port thermostats


23.4.10 POSITIONING OF THE HEATED DIE
The heating/curing die must be firmly
mounted to the frame of the pultrusion
machine in order to react the pulling forces,
which are created in pulling the product
through the process. These forces are typically
in the range of 5440-7250kg (6-8tons).
‘1 6% thermostats
However, some of the larger machines which
are capable of producing parts up to 1.52 m
matrix
injection i (60 in) wide and heights of 0.60 m (24 in) (with
fiber +
I zone
1 cure
zone
narrower parts) can require pulling forces up
COmprBsEmn
zcne to 16 320-18 000 kg (8-20 tons). The mounting
method must not only permit these types of
Fig. 23.9 Resin injection pultrusion die. (Courtesy loading but must also be capable of mounting
of American Composite Technology Inc.) height adjustment in order to accurately align
the axis of the die with the pullers which move
the product out of the die. Following align-
23.4.9 HEATING AND CURING DIES
ment and clamping, the mounting system
There are three considerations in the design must also not allow any deflection which
and use of a heated die for the curing of a pul- might provide an angular or dimensional mis-
truded composite section. The first of these is match of the machine.
the positioning of the die relative to the
machine access, the second is the actual
23.4.11 DIE HEATING
method of heating to induce the necessary
energy into the composite material to fully cure Die heating is probably the most critical con-
the resin system. The third includes the design trol parameter of the whole pultrusion
features and construction materials for the die. process. The die heating profile will control
Process equipment 499

the rate of polymerization of the resin system Use of the platen system will allow change out
and the position of the resin gel point front of dies with very little system down time.
w i t h the die. It also influences the degree of During start up and also during shut down
resin exotherm profile throughout the various periods it is necessary to provide a cooling
wall thicknesses of the pultruded structure. method at the front of the die to prevent early
The curing dies are typically heated with elec- gelation of the resin system. During these
tric strip heaters or hot oil jackets. The thermal phases, the entire die will heat up rapidly
curing using these two methods of heating is without the composite being pulled through it
slow, owing to the fact that the tool steel of the and acting as a heat sink. The cooling can be
die is a poor conductor and limits the rate of done dynamically through cold air impinge-
heat injection to provide a uniform cure. The ment or by using a water jacket or tubes
thermal energy which is required to cure the through which cold water will be pumped.
composite material must all be applied Instead of these dynamic methods, a simple
through the outer surface of the composite static method would be to provide an
shape. The heat input is required to produce unheated zone at the beginning of the die to
gelation of the resin throughout the composite act as a heat sink and conduct away the excess
part. When the composite structure being pul- heat during start up or shut down actions.
truded has thick sections, this necessarily These same unheated or cooled sections may
requires a longer heat input which slows also be useful at the exit of the die to remove
down the pultrusion rate. Increasing the rate contained heat from the product prior to its
of heating to permit a faster pulling speed will exit.
not necessarily solve this problem and may It has been mentioned that the heating pro-
result in premature curing of the outside skin file within the die is the primary factor which
of the profile with early onset of the exotherm controls the speed of throughput of material in
in the resin system and potential overheating the process. This was recognized early in the
and cracking of the exterior surface of the part. development of the pultrusion process by W.
Temperature conditions of the die are con- Brandt Goldsworthy and he added a radio fre-
trolled by the internal placement of quency preheated system to his pultrusion
thermocouples and this can result in individ- machine designZ6rz7. The use of radio frequency
ual control of heating rates in various heating in conjunction with the traditional die
segments of the die. heating methods can significantly increase
Instead of using strip heaters or hot oil jack- running speeds. This technique is basically
ets, it is possible to heat the curing die by limited to unidirectional reinforced rods, bars
means of heated platens and a press. These and shapes and cannot be used if carbon fibers
heated platens will usually have several zones comprise the reinforcement. Data from
of heating control with imbedded thermocou- Goldsworthy Engineering Inc. shows speed
ples to sense the platen temperature. T h s increases of up to 400% based on a 2.54mm
method provides a uniform heating condition (0.1 in) wall thickness pultrusion. Speed
to the die. However, since the thermocouples increases of 100% (i.e. doubling the speed) are
are sensing the platen heating temperature accomplished at wall thicknesses of 2.54 mm
rather than the die or product temperatures, (0.1 in).
the temperature differential between these During recent years it has become possible
zones must be well documented. This permits to evaluate the internal die profile with regard
the platen heating temperature to be set to pro- to both temperature and pressurez8.The sen-
vide an adequate heating level in the sors which are used to provide that data are
composite product and absorb all of the con- essentially similar to strain gages with output
duction and radiation losses from the system. leads attached to them. The pressure sensor is
500 Pultrusion

a unique development resulting from the heating zones in order to maintain control
music industry. These sensors were originally over the resin gel, curing and cooling of the
used as striking pads in electronic keyboards pultruded section within the die. In addition,
and the manufacturer has now developed if one of the cavities in the multi-cavity tool is
them to measure pressure forces transverse to damaged, the complete tool is not out of pro-
the plane of the sensor. The output from the duction since the remaining useable heating
sensor is transmitted via a pair of thin strain zones can be modified to continue to provide
gage type wires. It is thus possible to insert an acceptable product.
both of these sensors (temperature and pres- The dies are usually made from steel, which
sure) into the fiber resin system prior to can be hardened tool steel, or steel alloy which
entering the curing die. The sensors will then is treated, hardened and plated before use. The
travel through the die internal to the product die must be relatively thick walled so that it
and will record both the temperature and the can be heated uniformly and retain the heat
internal pressure in the die from the entrance input. Thick wall design also reduces distor-
to the exit. Once the sensors have traveled tion under temperature and pressure. It has
beyond the exit from the die, the connecting been suggested that the cross-sectional area of
wires can be cut. The section of product which the steel should be at least ten times that of the
contains the two sensors and the lead wires is pultruded part. The steel used should be hard
then cut out and discarded. The resulting data since it has to withstand the abrasive action of
provides a complete process description from the composite being drawn through it. A typi-
the entrance to the exit of the die. cal hardness is a Rockwell C rating of 30,
which can be obtained with a prehardened
tool steel. Dies are manufactured from multi-
23.5 DESIGN FEATURES AND MATERIALS
ple pieces that are machined and joined
In considering the design of the heated curing together to create a design profile cavity. As
die for a pultrusion system, it is possible to use the various sections of the die are connected
a single cavity tool, a multi-cavity tool or sev- together they must be properly aligned. This
eral single cavity tools mounted in parallel. can be done using dowels for permanent
The choice between these three will depend alignment or by machining an alignment
upon the size, complexity, dimensional toler- groove on the outside part of the die which
ance and surface quality of the pultruded can then be used for a hard metal key which
product. Individual or single cavity dies are a can be driven into the groove to provide a pos-
frequent choice of pultruders, particularly for itive alignment for the entire tool. The die
medium to large or sophisticated shaped assembly is then match drilled and tapped for
products. Use of the multi-cavity tool or sev- the assembly bolts which hold the parts of the
eral single cavity tools mounted in parallel is die in position against the high internal pres-
generally restricted to very competitive and sure developed during the process. Following
low cost shapes such as round and square alignment and assembly, the exterior surface
cross section rod. The choice between an indi- of the assembled die is ground flat. The inter-
vidual die and a multi-cavity die is frequently nal cavity surfaces are polished using
dependent upon the experience and prefer- polishing wheels and buffing compounds to a
ence of the manufacturing engineer in the high surface finish 0.254-0.762 wm (10-20 kin).
pultrusion company. The multi-cavity tool can At this point a bell mouth is machined
be an efficient arrangement for production around the entrance of the die to provide a
conditions. In this case the die is two to three smooth entrance for the resin impregnated
times the length of a single cavity tool. The fiber form. The radius will vary in size from
longer die makes it possible to use different a small radius for small simple structural
Design features and materials 501

profiles to a relatively large radius for a large pultruded profile remains stationery until the
and complex composite profile particularly puller returned to the beginning of its stroke.
where the fiber content is high. The bell mouth Because of the alternating pull and pause
is polished and the finished die is hard chrome mechanism this system was known as the
plated to a thickness of 0.025-0.050 mm 'intermittent puller'. This system is still used
(0.0014.002 in) with a Rockwell C hardness of on some very early machines, however, it is
approximately 70. The dimensions and surface certainly not in widespread use.
quality of the pultruded product are a direct A modificationof the clamping/pulling sys-
reflection of the condition of the die. Dies will tem has become popular which provides a
thus not be removed from production to be continuous pull. The clamping, pulling and
inspected unless the shape or quality of the unlocking cycles of this system are coordinated
product begins to change. Chrome plated dies by the control system of the machine. The drive
will normally have a life of 61 000-150 000 m system used can be either a hydraulic cylinder,
(200 000-500 000 ft) of product run with their a threaded ball screw such as is used on lathes,
initial chrome plate application. Up to 305 000 m or a chain drive mechanism. The clamping
(1x lo6ft) of product have been produced from pads are still formed to match the contour of
some hard chrome plated dies. Chrome plated the profile being pulled. The two puller heads
dies require frequent inspection to insure that must operate in the space originally designed
their internal shape and dimension is main- for the single puller. Consequently, limited lat-
tained. They should also be inspected for wear eral movements of approximately two feet
of the chrome plated surface since the wear each are sustained by the two pullers. The two
process will proceed much more rapidly if the puller system is shown in Fig. 23.10.
tool steel surface is exposed from under the
chrome. Once the die has worn and produces
product beyond allowable dimensional toler-
ances, the die may be replated and repolished
back to original dimensions. This process may
be repeated several times.

23.5.1 CLAMPING AND PULLING


Three different types of clamping and pulling
systems have been used in the pultrusion
industry. Of these three, only two are now
encountered. The original system used on the
earliest machines in the 1950s and early 1960s
employed a single clamp. This clamp was Fig. 23.10 Conventional two puller system.
hydraulically controlled and contoured pads (Courtesy of Pultrex Ltd.)
were used for gripping the part. The unit con-
taining this single clamp was pulled by a
continuous chain for a distance of 3.2-3.7 m Continuous belt pullers are used on basic com-
(10-12 ft). Areversible motor was used to drive mercial machines. These pullers can be used
the chain and following the pull stroke, the with single or multiple cavity molds. The
puller/clamp released the product and cleated chain or caterpillar version of the con-
returned to the beginning of the pulling stroke, tinuous belt machine has many individually
clamped the product and pulled againz9.The contoured puller pads attached along the
obvious disadvantage of this system is that the chain length. The number of these contoured
502 Pultrusion

puller pads depends on the complexity of the aramid fiber to date has been the high pressure
part but generally varies between 12 and 60 water jet and presumablythis could be adapted
pads. This large number of pads permits a for use on a pultrusion machine. The inherent
lower unit pressure between the clamping pad disadvantage of the high pressure water jet is
and the pultrusion. The caterpillar type its cost which is from $50 000-100 000. A com-
machine was designed and built in 1958 by promise solution to this problem would be to
Brandt Goldsworthy, Dennis Franks and Tom cut off the sections as smoothly as possible,
Bailey. Caterpillar type machines are preferred using the diamond saw, to a slightly over
and still widely used in the industry. length condition with very rough ends. The
product length can then be subcontracted to a
waterjet cutting source for final trimming. This
23.5.2 CUT-OFF STATION
will result in some wastage.
Every pultrusion machine utilizes a cut-off saw
to cut the pultruded profiles to the required 23.6 MATERIALS
length for shipment and use. This saw is fre-
quently of a radial arm type as shown in Fig. Fiber properties to aid the designer are shown
23.11, but can be also a chop saw, orbital or elsewhere in this text. Following the selection of
band saw. It is mounted on a platform which the fiber type to suit the required design factors,
moves down the pultrusion exit table at the the fiber must be oriented in the correct direc-
same speed as the pultruded product. Carbide tion. It is understood that all of the fiber types
and diamond tipped saw blades are used for must be available in continuous form in order
the cutting of glass and carbon pultrusions. to be useable in the pultrusion process. The
However, these saw blades are not effective for most commonly used form of continuous rein-
cutting aramid fiber pultrusions. This fiber is forcement is roving. This is available in single
known for its properties of toughness and and multiple strand configurationsm.Glass rov-
resistance to abuse. These properties lead to ings are designated by their yield which is the
difficulty in machining, grinding and cutting. number of yards per pound of material. The
The most successful method of cutting two most commonly used versions are at
112yd/lb or 224 in/kg or 112 or 124 m/kg (56
1 or 62 yd/lb). The glass rovings are typically
supplied in 18.1 kg (40 lb) hollow cylindrical
packages with a center pull payout. A similar
center pull spool is also available for both
aramid and polyethylene fibers. Carbon fiber is
typically available in either a 3K, a 6K or a 12K
!!- filament. It should be noted that the tow sizes of
- the
1 carbon are much smaller than the glass rov-

\ ing and package weights are 1-2 kg (2-5 lb)


with an outside payoff designed for a package
holder style creel system. New versions of the
- carbon fiber roving are available now in 40K,
160K and 320K tows. Use of these tows allows
the fiber to be laid down very rapidly and con-
sequently these versions of carbon fiber are
attractive to pultruders. Typical properties of
Fig. 23.11 Conventional cut-off saw. (Courtesy of fibers used in PultruSiOn are shown in Table
Creative Pultrusions Inc.) 23.13', 32.
Materials 503

Table 23.1 Typical properties of the major fibers used in the pultrusion process

Property E-glass S-glass Keular Spectra Carbon Carbon


(Aramid) (Type T300) Inter. modulus
~~

Density, 2600 2491 1470 968 1720 1770


kg/m3
Tensile strength, 3447.5 4585.2 2964.9 1170.0 1896.1 2560.9
MPa
Tensile modulus, 72.4 86.9 131.0 26.0 379.2 473.6
GPa
Elongation at 4.8 5.4 2.3 3.7 0.5 1.81
break, %

All the rovings discussed will yield the highest is porous and its use on the exterior surface of
possible longitudinal properties. Fibers as rov- a pultrusion might well leave porosities or
ings result in the maximum fiber content to be voids in the surface. To counter this problem, a
achieved in pultrusion. If the longitudinal rov- very fine filament, E-glass mat, commonly
ings are used under near perfect conditions, a known as veil, can be used as the surface ply.
65% fiber volume percent level should be Its presence during the pultrusion process will
achieved. In a product which utilizes 100% tend to bring more resin to the surface of the
roving this material is normally in the longitu- pultrusion and this will achieve a smooth, uni-
dinal direction or axis of the pultruded form surface, devoid of porosity or voids. The
product. Properties in the other two directions veil mats can also be placed internally in the
are dependent upon the resin system and the composite and recent improvements in their
mechanical properties of the matrix resins are structural properties have made this possible.
much lower than fiber properties. Transverse The random fiber mats in E-glass are used
strength problems are overcome by inserting in weights of 0.15-0.6 kg/m2 (0.5-2 oz/ft2).
transverse fiber materials into the pultrusion. The inclusion of these mats in the pultruded
This is done either by using fabric or continu- structure means that some of the longitudinal
ous strand mat. The latter is most commonly fibers will have to be removed to allow for the
used. While the fabric is a standard woven tex- volume of the mat, veil or fabric. With the use
tile form, the continuous strand mat has fibers of fabric or mats in the structure, the resin con-
oriented in a random mode, bonded with a tent by volume will increase in order to fill the
thermoset resin binder which holds the mat openings in the mat or fabric. Thus while the
together adequately for processing in the pul- transverse strengths increase, the longitudinal
truded section. While mat is available in any of strengths usually decrease. Mats are also avail-
the fibers which have been previously dis- able in carbon fiber.
cussed, the most common available mat is an The random fiber structure of strand mat
E-glass version that has coarse fibers in an provides fibers in all directions. However, this
open or porous construction. This mat can be random orientation does provide some prob-
used either as a center ply in a pultruded lems in that the fibers may not provide a
structure or on the outer surface of the struc- symmetrical balance within the structure. The
ture. Use of the mat greatly improves the initial solution to this problem was the use of
transverse physical and mechanical proper- woven fabric. However, the lack of tension in
ties. It should be noted, however, that the mat the fabric results in a lower strength capability
504 Pultrusion

of the pultrusion since under load, the fibers 23.6.1 MATRIX RESINS
in the fabric will have to straighten and Of all of the technology considerations in the
become tensioned prior to being able to pultrusion process, the most critical material is
accept load. One way of solving this diffi- the resin system and its f~rmulation~"~~. Resin
culty is to use non-woven biaxial fabrics selection controls mechanical characteristics,
which are stitched or knitted together at the electrical insulation, corrosion resistance,
crossover points. Because of the nature of fab- operating temperature and flame and smoke
rication of these nonwoven materials, any properties. It also has a significant effect on the
ratio of fibers in the two directions can be process speed because of the required cure
provided. It is also feasible to utilize k45" cycle for any particular resin. The selection of
fibers in conjunction with the 0 and 90" fibers. a resin system will also affect the production
The biaxial fabrics are normally used as inter- cost of the process. The two most commonly
nal plies and not on the external surface. This used resin types in pultrusion are the isoph-
is due to the nature of the nonwovens in that thalic polyester and the vinylester. These two
their transverse fibers will tend to be dis- comprise over 90% of all resins used in pultru-
placed by friction with the walls of the die sion. Epoxy resins and phenolic resins are also
during pulling. Fabrics using a +45" orienta- being increasingly used. Phenolic resins were
tion without any longitudinal fibers are traditionally avoided by pultruders because of
usually impractical for the pultrusion their condensation reaction during cure.
process. It should be noted that hybrid com- Condensation reactions produce large vol-
posites with tailored properties are possible umes of water vapor and this typically causes
using combinations of the fiberglass, carbon voids, channels, delaminations and porosity
and aramid materials. The designer will read- when there is no provision to remove it. While
ily determine the mechanical properties the pultrusion die does have an entrance and
which are required from the nonwoven or an exit, nonetheless the system is essentially a
woven fabrics. The rule of mixtures will closed, pressurized volume. Table 23.2 pro-
apply for combination proper tie^^^. vides typical mechanical properties for resin
When pultruded composites are used in systems most generally used in pultrusion and
outdoor weather conditions, the surface of several other chapters discuss the broad range
the composite may be degraded with time by of matrix materials39.
sun, wind, rain and ultraviolet exposure. In
order to solve this problem, additional resin
needs to be provided at the exterior surface of 23.6.2 PHENOLICS
the pultrusion. This is done by incorporating
the very fine filament veil mats which are In consideration of the use of phenolic resin
typically fabricated from polyester or nylon34. systems, the disadvantage of the condensation
These veil fabrics are available in a variety of type reaction was certainly sufficient to cause
weights and weaving patterns. They help the delays in the potential use of phenolic resin in
pultruder by providing a tough surface mate- the pultrusion process. The amount of water
rial which will protect the die wall from the vapor which is generated in the condensation
abrasive nature of the fiberglass or aramid. In process is very large and it has always been
addition, the resin rich surface is created assumed that a phenolic pultruded structure
without any obvious fiber weaving patterns, would look somewhat like a sponge. However,
plus the veil materials can be screen printed phenolic systems have been pultruded in
with company identification or decorative recent years and a phenomenon has occurred
effects35. which is not well understood. During pulling
of a phenolic/fiberglass structure through the
Materials 505

Table 23.2 Typical mechanical properties for resins Federal Department of Transport and the var-
used in the pultrusion process ious state departments of transportation have
imposed fire controls on composite materials. It
Property Polyester Vinylester Epoxy is required that they will not bum or stimulate
Density, 1100 1100 1300 combustion, have minimum required smoke
kg/m3 levels and also will not produce toxic fumes
Tensile strength, 77.2 81.2 75.4
under flame impingement and high environ-
MPa mental temperature conditions. Considering all
of the resins in the composite industry, pheno-
Tensile modulus, 3.3 3.4 3.3 lic resins will come closest to matching these
GPa
flammability specifications. Because of these
Elongation at 4.2 4.5 6.3 factors, it is anticipated that the use of phenolic
break, YO resin systems in pultruded products in the
Flexural strength, 122 134 115 future will increase dramatically.
MPa
Flexural modulus, 3.2 3.1 3.3 23.6.3 COMPARISON OF RESIN SYSTEMS
GPa
In recent years, there has been use of epoxy
Heat distortion, 77 99 166 and phenolic resins in pultrusion. G.A. Hunter
"C
of Shell Development Company compared the
properties of resin systems42.He provided a
three zone model of the pultrusion process
pultrusion die, a high pressure jet of steam is within the curing die (Fig. 23.12). The sketch
noted at the exit from the die. How and why provides an excellent background for compar-
the steam is caused to come off in this manner ison of resin proper tie^^^.
is not known. However, in the experiments Of the four primary resin systems used in
which have been run, the resulting pultrusion the pultrusion process, the polyester and
has not had any porosity problems and the vinylester resins account for more than 90% of
processing tests are noted as being successful. the marketplace. Phenolic and epoxy resins
Specific pultrusion grades of phenolic resin make up the balance of the market. In com-
systems are now available from plywood paring resin systems, one should review the
manufacturing corporations such as internal contours and the heating profile of the
Weyerhauser and Georgia Pacific. The avail- heated resin die and examine the change in
ability of these resins would certainly indicate resin morphology as it proceeds through the
that the anticipated processing problems have die. The model of the pultrusion process given
not occurred40, 41. The importance of phenolic in Fig. 23.12 which shows the three zones of
resins is in their resistance to fire and their low the heated die and the transition of the resin
smoke and toxicity production under fire con- phase from liquid through the gel zone into
ditions. All forms of composite materials, the solid phase. The first zone shown in Fig.
including pultrusions, are being used increas- 23.12 is where the material enters the die at
ingly in mass transit, aircraft and civil room temperature and expands as it absorbs
engineering applications. In all of these areas heat which causes the hydraulic pressure in
of application, increasing contact of the com- this zone of the die to rise. As the material pro-
posite material systems with the general gresses into zone 2, or the gel zone, it has
public is occurring. Because of this, the fire absorbed more heat, is beginning to cross link
smoke and toxicity requirements of specifica- and changes from a viscous liquid into a non-
tion control groups such as the FAA, the flowing jelly type of material, then into a
506 Pultrusion
~~

"THE GEL ZONE"


STRIP HEATER

&&( LIQUID PHASE

ZONE 1
..
i.
..
.
SOLID P H A S E

ZONE 3
iVlSCOUS SHEAR i i SLIDING FRICTION FORCES i
iFORCES *........ .*......-.I
**a..............
ZONE 2 I..

: COHESIVE FORCES :

Fig. 23.12 Three zone model of the pultrusion process. (Courtesy of Shell Development Company.)

rubber-like texture. As the material cures to a gel zone will expand or contract.
hard solid, shrinkage occurs which releases Joseph Sumerak in 1985 quantitatively
the hydraulic pressure forces and the product described the internal dynamics of the pultru-
shape retracts from the internal surface of the sion process. Taking test results from
die. This is zone 3. In this zone, because of the Sumerak's earlier work, Hunter showed the
release of the product from the surface of the relationship of pull loads to processing speed
die, the sliding frictional forces are very slight. for catalyzed and uncatalyzed resin systems
Depending upon the thickness of the part and (Fig. 23.13)w7. For the uncatalyzed resin case,
the process speed, the bullet-nose shape of the the rising pulling load associated with

looot7
1
P W I T H 20 P H R C L A Y

t 800 -
D - PULL LOADS ATTRIBUTED TO
VISCOUS SHEAR AND FRICTION O F
CATALVZED RESIN
0 - P U L L L O A D S A T T R I B U T E D TO
* 700- PURE VISCOUS SHEAR OF THE
U N C ATALYZ E D R E S I N
A
I 600 -A CALCULATED PULL LOADS
ATTRIBUTED TO VISCOUS
u)
S H E A R O F T H E CATALVZED

0
400-
J
J
3 300-
n
200 -

0 12 24 36
LINE SPEED, INIMIN.

Fig. 23.13 Pull loads compared with line speed for different types of resin systems. (Courtesy of Shell
Development Company.)
Materials 507

increased processing rate, or line speed, is the die and is proportional to the speed of pro-
result of increasing shear forces over the cessing. Hunter provided evidence that the
length of the die. In the case of the catalyzed pressure loss in zone 3 of the die occurs well
resin and referring back to Fig. 23.12, viscous before the material cools. Thus it is not thermal
shear forces are generated only in the front contraction but volumetric shrinkage due to
portion of the die, i.e. zone 1. Within the gel the cure of the resin. The coefficient of thermal
zone, cohesive forces come into play for a expansion of the steel material of the die also
small length of the die which is followed by enters into this equation. For a differential
the transition to the rubbery cured material temperature of 121°C (250"F),the hottest tem-
which provides substantial friction forces. As perature section of the die for a 12.7 mm
the resin hardens and shrinks away from the (0.5 in) diameter pultrusion will be 0.3% larger
surface of the die, the frictional forces are than the entrance. Thus pressure and volumet-
reduced significantly. It is obvious that the ric shrinkage together play a major role in
pull load is significantly higher for the cat- pultrusion dynamics. Insufficient pressure
alyzed resin system, particularly as the line causes sloughing problems and insufficient
speed increases. This proves that the major shrinkage can cause excessive pull loads. The
portion of the pultrusion loads are generated resin rate of shrinkage affects the rate of pres-
in the gel zone and are cohesive forces and sure decay and is controlled linearly by the
frictional forces resulting from the interface of cure rate of the resin. Thus a delicate balance
the resin and the die. between pressure, cure rate and shrinkage
Sumerak showed that a significant part of must be obtained for a clean pultrusion
the internal pressure does develop inside the process to take place.

B
4
-1- -
---
INITIAL CURE CYCLE
SECOND HEAT CYCLE
0
>
-2-
STARTING VOLUME - 9.098 ML
NET VOLUME LOSS - 0.<5 ML
VOLUMETRIC SHRINKAGE - 6.04 %
-3-
1 . r l r . l : 1 1 1 . 1 I ,

Fig. 23.14 Volume change of polyester resin during cure. (Courtesy of Shell Development Company.)
508 Pultrusion

23.6.4 SHRINKAGE is fully cured. Similarly, the pressure during


Hunter ran shrinkage tests on a typical poly- the gelation phase ensures that the product is
ester resin and a standard Shell epoxy resin tightly held against the surface of the die and
system42.The volume change of the polyester consequently a smooth surface will be gener-
and the epoxy resin are during cure are shown ated with the pressure preventing sloughing.
in Figs. 23.14 and 23.15. The data shows that Thus, from a comparison of the test results, it
the polyester shrinks almost twice the degree is obvious that the polyester shrinkage profile
of epoxy. However, Hunter reports that the net is superior to the epoxy in terms of providing
shrinkage is not nearly as important as the gelation and cure under pressure. In addition,
profile of that shrinkage. The polyester contin- the sudden high initial rate of shrinkage fol-
ues to expand after the gel point which is lowing gelation for the polyester resin is also
followed by a high shrink rate that gradually beneficial in that it results in a fast pressure
tapers off. In comparison, the epoxy resin drop and hence frictional force reduction.
shrinks before it gels and continues to shrink In comparison, the epoxy resin begins to
at a steady rate until it is fully cured. This shrink well in advance of gelation and gels
information sheds new light on the under- under a condition of declining hydraulic pres-
standing of the pultrusion characteristics of sure. Thus much of the hydraulic pressure is
epoxy resins compared to polyesters. In most lost by the time that gelation occurs due to the
composite manufacturing processes, the appli- effect of volumetric shrinkage. Following gela-
cation of pressure during the curing phase of tion, the rate of shrinkage is very slow such
the resin is always beneficial to the resulting that it causes the friction forces to only reduce
product. Pultrusion is no exception to this rule gradually. Thus in the gel zone for epoxy
and it is beneficial to generate pressure in the resins there is insufficient hydraulic pressure
pultrusion die up to the point where the resin to prevent sloughing. This explains why a

3t. A GEL POINT


i 22.8" C QUENCH

-2-
NET VOLUME LOSS - .32 MLS.
VOLUMETRIC SHRINKAGE - 3.57 %
-3-

Fig. 23.15 Volume change of epoxy resin during cure. (Courtesy of Shell Development Company.)
Materials 509

problem is frequently encountered when 23.6.5 CURE RATE


epoxy resin is substituted directly for a poly-
ester without consideration of the curing and As previously mentioned, shrinkage rate is a
shrinkage properties. Hunter postulates that a direct result of the known cure rate of the resin.
simple solution has been found to compensate It is beneficial in the pultrusion process to have
for these shrinkage characteristics in epoxy a high shrinkage rate to initiate a quick pressure
resin systems. The presence of fillers, whether drop to reduce frictional pull loads. From this
fiber or powdered, in the resin system, reduces point of view, it is important for the epoxy to
the amount of total volumetric shrinkage. Also have a fast cure rate. This will also provide a
the pressure from thermal expansion is shorter gel zone which will result in a faster
directly proportional to the amount of filler or processing rate. Cure rates of polyesters may
fiber reinforcement volume. Thus the increase be varied chemically by changing the amounts
in reinforcement to resin volume ratio, either and types of peroxide catalysts which are used
by fiber or powder fillers, will reduce the to initiate them. It is not simple to change the
shrinkage tendency and the hydraulic pres- cure rate of an epoxy resin chemically.
sure will be increased at the same time. Even Curing agents for epoxy resins are selected
though the epoxy resin shrinks prior to gela- based on the desired performance parameters
tion, sufficient pressure will remain to prevent for the epoxy in the final product or structure.
sloughing. This explains why it is always ben- Some considerations of pot life and manufac-
eficial to have a higher fiber to resin ratio for turing process also influence this selection.
epoxies in the pultrusion process than for Thermal accelerators can be used. However,
polyester resins. the effect of increasing cure rate accelerator

00

50

00

50

I I I I
75 100 125 150 175 200
GEL TIME TEMPERATURE, DEG. C

Fig. 23.16 Gel time compared with temperature of epoxy and polyester resin. (Courtesy of Shell
Development Company.)
510 Pultrusion

content may be to reduce the pot life. Hunter 23.6.6 REINFORCEMENT VOLUME
ran experiments to provide data on gel times The general relationship of glass fiber content
of epoxy resin at different accelerator levels. to pull loads in epoxy resin system is shown in
In addition, he checked on the gel times of Fig. 23.18. These data were derived from an
polyester resin using two different curing experiment in the Shell laboratories where the
agents. Figure 23.16 shows the data which reinforcement volume was decreased and the
resulted from these two evaluations. The data pull loads were recorded until sloughing
on the epoxy resin system shows that signifi- The fiber volume was then
cantly more heat is required to generate the increased until the sloughing was eliminated
same gel times even though the accelerator and was increased further until pull loads
content is doubled. Figure 23.17 shows the became too large. The data shows that there is a
viscosity versus time of the epoxy resin at two plateau in the pull load curve spanning approx-
accelerator levels and two temperatures. This imately 2% of the glass fiber content range. This
graph clearly indicates that pot life is sacri- is the optimum level for pultruding the
ficed by increasing the accelerator level. Pot 12.7mm (0.5in) diameter epoxy rod used in the
life is also affected by temperature and Fig. test program. Below the optimum range,
23.17 illustrates that a small increase in tem- sloughing occurs owing to the insufficient
perature will reduce the time to double the hydraulic pressure at the gel point. Above the
initial viscosity by almost half. Heat can be optimum level, the pull loads rise owing to the
generated during the mixing process of the high pressure both during and after the gel
epoxy formulations and because of this it is zone (referring back to Fig. 23.12). Both poly-
important to minimize the mixing times when ester and epoxy systems respond similarly to
using high shear mixers that generate heat the different types of reinforcement materials
within the body of the resin system. The which are contained within the pultruded
implication of the experimental data pre- structure. For both of these resin systems, the
sented in these figures is that the most minimum reinforcement level to prevent
efficient method of increasing cure rate in the sloughing when using a continuous mat and
epoxy resin is to increase the die temperature. roving is somewhat less than that for an all rov-
4 0 0 0 ~0- P T D . A C C E L E R A T O R LEVEL AT 2 l . C

3500 -
W
u)
0 3000-
n
2500-
2
w
0 2000-

>.
1500-
u)

2 1000-
-
u)

5 500-

01 I I I I I I 1 1 1 1 1 1 I J
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1 0 1 1 1 2 1 3
TIME, H

Fig. 23.17 Epoxy resin viscosity compared with time and temperature. (Courtesy of Shell Development
Company.)
Materials 511

1000
112" DIAMETER ROUND
P R O C E S S E D AT 1 2 " I M I N
112 VLO. SINGLE END ROVING

-
47-64 ENDS
000 16 x CLAY

0
2 600 - TOO LOW, TOO HIGH,
4 LOADS ARE
A
OCCURS EXCESSIVE
2
3
n
400 -

78 79 00 01 02 03 04 05 86 07

GLASS CONTENT (NON-COMBUSTIBLES), % B Y WT.'


'OF W H I C H A P P R O X I M A T E L Y 2 X IS R E S I D U A L C L A Y

Fig. 23.18 Epoxy resin pull loads compared with glass content. (Courtesy of Shell Development Company.)

ing part. Table 23.3 lists the target reinforcement 23.6.7 DIE TEMPERATURE CONTROL
volumes for the epoxy system for a variety of In polyester pultrusion, there is a wealth of
reinforcement systems. These values were gen- prior experience7 which can be used to pro-
erated by following the same procedure as for vide a temperature set point to produce the
the data in Fig. 23.18. The data shown in Table desired surface and internal quality of the part
23.3 are qualitative rather than quantitative val- with the controller being a thermocouple
ues. They may be used to estimate the required located some short distance from the entrance
reinforcement volume. to the die. This creates a situation which is
Table 23.3 Target fiber volume ranges for epoxy
independent of the actual exotherm tempera-
pultrusion ture in the curing process.
For epoxy pultrusion it is vital that the peak
wt.% exotherm be understood and controlled. It
should not exceed 225°C (437°F) in the hottest
All glass roving reinforced composites
region of the part and die. At this temperature
Multi-end type rovings 78 homopolymerization will take place within
Single end type rovings 77-81 the epoxy resin system and the resin does not
Glass roving and continuous mat need the curing agent to stimulate the cure.
reinforced composites The mechanical and physical properties of the
3.175 nun (1/8in) thick cross sections 6447 structure are degraded under these conditions
6.35 nun (1/4 in) thick cross sections 71-74 by the presence of the unused curing agent.
For most thin profiles (up to 12.7 mm (0.5 in)
Carbon fiber reinforced composites
thick), a single heating zone is sufficient. The
All unidirectional tows 67-74 thermocouple should be located in the center
(57-65VOlYO)
512 Pultrusion

CIT

1 2 ' /MINUTE

1 8 ' S T R I P HEATERS

1'- -
----
TEYPERATURE ON THE SURFACE OF THE ROD
TEYPERATURE I N THE CENTER OF T H E R O D

I 1 I I 1 I I I
0 6 12 18 24 30 36 42 48
DIE LENGTH, IN

Fig. 23.19 Die temperature profile of single zone heating. (Courtesy of Shell Development Company.)
of the strip heater to minimize the overshoot in the epoxy resin system. If the temperature
and lag time for the temperature controller. set point is too low, the resin cure rate will
For a 12.7 mm (0.5 in) thick cross section the decrease which increases the size of the gel
temperature set point of 200°C (392°F) on the zone. At the same time, the rate of shrinkage
surface of the die will yield an internal peak and the rate of hydraulic pressure decay is
exotherm temperature of 225°C (437°F).Figure reduced and this results in more pressure
23.19 is a graphic example of this single strip within the larger gel zone which increases pull
heater profile. Figure 23.20 depicts the graph loads. As the die temperature increases, the
of the temperature set point versus pull loads conditions begin to favor reduced pull loads.

700 -
m
A

600 -
0
A
A
4
3
n 500 -

400
140 150 160 170 180 190 200
DIE CONTROL TEMPERATURE, "C

Fig. 23.20 Pull load compared with die control temperature. (Courtesy of Shell Development Company.)
Materials 513

With section thicknesses up to 12.7 mm (0.5 23.6.8 RESIN MIXING


in) a two zone heating profile can be used and
The best approach to mixing resin system com-
this will probably eliminate the need for radio
ponents is to precisely follow the stated recipe
frequency (RF preheating) to prevent internal
for the amount of material to be added and the
cracking. The pull loads are much lower and
degree of mixing following the addition. As the
the temperature decay rate is less than the sin-
ingredients such as catalyst accelerator, pig-
gle zone heating profile. Thus the two zone
ments, viscosity and extenders, internal mold
version will result in a higher degree of cure
release and fillers are added, the resin is mixed
than the single zone.
for a very short time of up to one minute (Table
For thick pultrusions with sections beyond
23.4). The curing agent is left out of the mix
12.7 mm (0.5 in), the RF preheating method
until the mix is ready to be added to the pultru-
results in faster processing rates without crack- sion resin bath. The addition of filler materials
ing. Figure 23.21 illustrates the die temperature
requires a high shear mixing and this should be
conditions for the same 12.7 mm (0.5 in) diam-
minimized since it generates significant quanti-
eter rod pultruded with RF preheating.
ties of heat. Just prior to start up, the curing
Preheating serves to reduce the temperature
agent should be added and blended at a
differential between the die entrance and the
reduced mixer speed (high shear mixing is only
gel zone which results in less volumetric expan- needed for filler addition.)Following start up of
sion due to temperature and hence less
the system, make-up replenishment resin
pressure. The temperature lag between the sur- batches should be scaled to the depletion rate
face and the center of the part is also reduced by for the run.If the resin consumption is 7.5 1 (two
RF heating, thus the gel zone is smaller which gallons) per hour, add 7.5 1 (two gallons) per
reduces pulling loads. Increase of the process- hour. This addition will assist the pot life of the
ing rate through the machine will bring the epoxy resin and will dilute it with fresh resin on
pressure, the gel zone size and the pull loads a frequent basis. If a small bath size can be used,
back to normal conditions. This is how RF heat- this will increase the dilution effect of the
ing permits faster processing rates without replenishment material. Depending on the size
increasing the pull loads beyond the standard of the bath, this technique can enhance the pot
levels.

CIT
200c
Q
18' /MINUTE
r

18' STRIP HEATERS


250k

W
I- 50- ----
-TEMPERATURE ON THE SURFACE O F THE ROD
TEMPERATURE I N THE CENTER OF THE R O D

01 I 1 I 1 I I I I I
0 6 12 18 24 30 36 42 48
DIE LENGTH, I N

Fig. 23.21 Die temperature profile with FF heating. (Courtesyof Shell Development Company.)
514 Pultrusion

life of the resin by 800% or more. A large master initiated there may be potential for significant
batch of the resin can be mixed and set aside in build up on the surface of the die and this may
advance of the production run.This batch with- be difficult to remove. The most troublesome
out the curing agent will be stable for up to spots in the die are the low pressure, remote
three days. The curing agent can then be added areas such as a comer or a small radius. There
to a small make-up batch and mixed in just is a standard process used in pultrusion of
prior to the addition to the system resin bath. A purging the die with pure mold release just
typical formulation used in batch mixing is prior to entry of the resin. Experience and
shown in Table 23.4. recent tests have shown that the pure mold
Even with the best of conditions in terms of release is not necessary and may lead to
a small resin bath and frequent addition of related problems. The normal types and quan-
new batches, the resin mix will ultimately tities of mold release recommended for use
become too viscous for good fiber wetting. A with epoxy were determined by tests at resin
good tip is to provide a large hole in the resin suppliers. Any levels of mold release in excess
bath with an appropriate plug. This allows a of those recommended will not provide addi-
quick drain and a clean and refill with only a tional benefit to the process. A high
momentary pause in the process. With this concentration of mold release may result in a
step, the pot life of the resin bath will be reset 'squeeze off' at the die entrance which could
to zero. It should also be noted that the plug in work its way back into the resin bath. If a pre-
the drain hole should not be threaded since a lubrication step is used, this squeeze off resin
very small amount of resin can cure and lock quantity must not be allowed to get back into
up the threads. A preferred plug would be the resin bath.
hard rubber with a rim, similar to the knock Prior to the resin entering the bath, the die
out drain plugs in the floor of an automobile. temperature must be stabilized at the set point.
For most parts an initial throughput speed of
25.4-30.4 cm (10-12 in) per min is recom-
23.7 START-UP PROCEDURE
mended until the cured stock is in the pullers,
A key factor in trouble free start up is to use to minimize loads imposed on the dry fiber.
the minimum required amount of reinforce- Process rate increase can then be made gradu-
ment. However, if too much reinforcement is ally and for epoxy resins the processing speeds
eliminated in start up, sloughing will take normally will not exceed 45.7 cm (18 in) per
place in the die because of insufficient total min. It would appear that 30.4-35.5 cm
pressure in the gel zone. Once the sloughing is (12-14 in) per min provides the best combina-

Table 23.4 Two part batching for long production runs

Part 'A' Part 'B'


(in order of addition) [PHR, (wt.%)] Epon Curing AgenP
1. Epon@resin 9310 100.00 9360
2. Epon Curing Agent@9360 0.67 33 PHR based on resin weight
3. Mold Accelerator 837 Wiz Int. 1846 0.70 OR
4. Zylac 907 0.40 Recompute based on the total weight of Part 'A'
Blend the above for 30 s then add clay (33/121.77) 100 = 27.1
5 . ASP400P 20.00 and use
Blend clay for no more than 5-10 min 27.1 PHR to Part 'A'
Courtesy: Shell Chemical Co.
Additives 515

tion of processing parameters, pull loads and provide a mild scrubbing action that will clean
surface gloss. If RF preheating is used, perform the surface of the die.
the start up without it at a reduced speed
15.2-20.3 cm (6-8 in) per min to minimize pull
23.7.2 SHUT DOWN
loads. When cured stock is through the die and
in the pullers, the RF preheater can gradually Standard shut down procedures have been
be started up. The resin temperature entering developed for polyester resins. The key step is
the die should be monitored and as it reaches to remove the resin bath or bypass the rein-
about 71°C (160°F)gradually increase the pro- forcement around it. The dry reinforcement
cessing speed. Do not recycle the resin which is should be completely pulled through the die.
squeezed off at the die entrance. None of it should be cut out or removed. At
this point the die will be free from build up
and ready for a restart.
23.7.1 TROUBLESHOOTING
The resin drain from the bath should be
The standard problem encountered with placed in a container in an area with good ven-
epoxy resin pultrusions is poor surface finish tilation and spill protection. A metal or plastic
or sloughing. The reasons for this have been tray with a surrounding high lip will be satis-
discussed earlier in this chapter. If the rein- factory for spill protection. The resin containers
forcement level is low then the cure for this is should only be half full. Eventually when it
to obviously add some reinforcement. does exotherm, it will become hot, expand and
However, if the redorcement level is in accor- may overflow the container if it is too full.
dance with the specifications, then additional
reinforcement will increase the pull loads
23.8 ADDITIVES
beyond standard. In this case the die tempera-
ture profile is probably too low. There is an Inorganic fillers are used to reduce shrinkage at
instrument on the market known as the polymerization. They also extend the volume of
Gelstar Thermal Analyzer. The thermal ana- the resin phase to provide a low cost formula-
lyzer can be used to obtain a temperature tion. These are primary additives. Fillers can
profile within the die. From this, the size of the frequently constitute the largest proportion of a
gel zone can be estimated. This is proportional formulation, second only to the base resin.
to the lag time between the die and internal Fillers are classified according to their particle
temperature profiles. If the temperatures size, as either coarse fillers or fine. Coarse fillers
appear to be within limits but the lag time is have an average particle size in excess of 8 pm
too large then the processing rate is too fast for and are generally the nonfibrous type with low
the particular cross section within the die. At surface area and low oil absorptions. They can
this point either reduce the process rate or use be highly loaded into the resin and are easily
RF preheating to minimize the problem. These wetted out by the resin system. Their disadvan-
steps will reduce the size of the gel zone. tage is that they tend to provide poor
If sloughing is encountered, the part should compound cohesiveness and to introduce local-
automatically clean itself up. The typical ized resin rich pockets and possibly to increase
purge techniques that are common in the fiber agglomeration during secondary molding
industry can be used with epoxy resins. If a processes (as in pull forming).The large particle
portion of the die refuses to clean up, a trick is size filler can be filtered out by a high density
to insert a copper kitchen ‘Chore Boy’ in the roving preform which can lead to large voids in
area of the part which has the problem. This the interior of the pultruded structure.
will often push the offending plug out or catch The most common of these fillers are cal-
onto it and pull it out. The copper gauze will cium carbonate, aluminum silicate and
516 Pultrusion

alumina trihydrate. Silica and coarse talcs are 23.8.1 PIGMENTS


also examples of coarse fillers. Calcium car- Pultruded products are normally associated
bonate is primarily used as a volume extender with bright colors and these colors are nor-
to provide the lowest cost resin formulation mally created by adding suitable colored
where performance is not critical4s. pigments to the resin system which are then
Fine fillers have an average particle size of cured into the matrix material. Pigments are
5 pm or less and have high surface areas which generally of three types: (a) dyes; (b) organic
can produce high viscosities in the formula- pigments; (c) inorganic pigments. These three
tions. These fillers provide a high order of pigments are characterized by their own indi-
cohesiveness and will tend to lubricate the vidual proper tie^^^. Dyes have good
pultrusion system. They also help to reduce transparency and acceptable brightness.
localized shrinkage owing to their more com- However, they have poor heat resistance and
plete distribution within the polymer. Kaolin tend to migrate in solution. Organic pigments
clays, hydrous alumina silicate, fine talc, col- also have acceptable brightness and brilliance
loidal silica and precipitated calcium but are not normally as good as the dyes.
carbonate are examples of fine fillers. Clay Weather resistance and W absorption tends
fillers are used to improve corrosion resistance to be a problem and the colors may deteriorate
and where electrical properties are required. and fade after long periods of W exposure.
They also impart a superior surface finish to Inorganic pigments are generally the materi-
the pultruded product. Alumina trihydrate als of choice. These are usually natural or
improves flame and smoke generation proper- synthetic metallic oxides, sulfides, or other
ties and occurs in applications where salts which are heat treated and converted to a
consumer or governmental codes are imposed dry powder at 600-1100°C (1112-2012°F).
to decrease flammability. Inorganic pigments have superior properties of
Fillers used in the pultrusion process brightness to those of organic pigments or dyes
should contain less than 0-5% free water con- and are very resistant to weather and migra-
tent and should be uniform and free from tion and have a very high stability under light
contamination. Foreign material in the filler exposure. The major problem, however, in
may cause localized reaction with off gassing incorporating these pigment additives into
of volatile byproducts and voids or could resin formulations are the effects which they
affect the uniformity of coloring within the have on the cure cycle of the resins. It is possi-
pultrusion. Fillers are mixed into the resins in ble for them to be involved in the
quantities up to 50% of the total resin formula- polymerization reaction during the curing of
tion by weight (100 parts filler per 100 parts the resins and to become chemically attached
resin). Limits of filler addition are based on the into some of the reactive sites. This has a strong
viscosity of the system which results from the effect on the properties of the resulting com-
particle size of the filler and the characteristics posite material and will require a change in the
of the resin. Wetting agents are sometimes temperature/time curing cycle. A large per-
used to add a volume of filler material without centage of pultruded composite components
increasing formula viscosity. Wetting agents are used outdoors and W exposure is a prob-
can be added to the filler by the supplier or as lem. Under these circumstances, titanium
an additive during the formulation process for dioxide, an excellent UV absorber and
the resin. Air release agents are added in the whitener, is used as a part of the formulation.
same manner and will result in more efficient Its presence would also naturally create a paler
packing by reducing entrapped air in the liq- color in the pultruded composite and hence
uid resin. They also tend to reduce void additional quantities of inorganic pigment are
content in the finished product.
Additives 517

normally required to make the color bright. 0 surface preparation of the composites is
Zinc sulfide is also a UV absorber which is fre- not required;
quently used in pigment systems. Both 0 inspection of the joint is relatively easy;
titanium dioxide and zinc sulfide seem to have 0 the joint can be assembled and connected
little effect on the ultimate mechanical and up to full strength rapidly;
physical properties of the pultrusions such as 0 ability to disassemble and reassemble.
the strength, moduli and impact resistance.
The disadvantages of a mechanically fastened
joint are:
23.8.2 STRUCTURAL CONNECTIONS
in preparing the joints, holes must be
Pultruded FRP composites can be joined using drilled and sealed, structural members
various methods of assembly including must be trimmed and any required gusset
mechanical fastening (with plastic or metallic plates must be fabricated;
bolts or screws or by doweling with dowels or drilling of holes cuts the longitudinal
rivets), mechanically interlocking connections strength fibers in the area of the hole. This
(where molded or laminated inserts lock into can cause high stress levels and stress con-
the sections being fastened), adhesive bond- centrations;
ing, or a combination of these methods50. strength of the joint is dependent upon the
When structural components are assembled bearing strength of the composite material;
special attention must be given to the rigidity, the strength of mechanically fastened
geometry, fabrication and assembly require- joints is also dependent upon the strength
ments involved. It has been determined that of the fastener.
mechanical fastening and/or mechanically
Fastener parameters include:
interlocking connections are most suitable for
structural connections. Some connections 0 clamping force/installation torque limits;
depending upon the geometry and the stresses 0 washer size for transmission of load;
developed in connection can be strengthened 0 fastener size;
by also adhesive bonding in addition to 0 hole size and tolerance;
mechanical fasteners. Each of these systems 0 joint type;
have their own advantages and disadvantages 0 geometry of the fastener layout;
which are discussed in the following para- 0 composite thickness;
graphs. 0 rate of loading and the direction;
0 static or dynamic loading;
0 failure criteria;
23.8.3 MECHANICAL FASTENERS
0 high stress concentrations around fas-
If properly designed and fabricated, mechani- tener.
cally fastened connections are the most
reliable method of joining pultruded struc-
23.8.4 ADHESIVE JOINTS
tural sections. In recent years a significant
amount of information through empirical test- Adhesive joints have become popular for the
ing and prototyping of connections has connection of the composite materials since
become available on the bolting and riveting there is not degradation of the composite itself
of composites. There are many standard refer- by the bonding process. Adhesives are usually
ences in this field51-53. available in solid, paste or liquid form and are
classified as either inorganic or organic materi-
The advantages of a mechanically fastened als. The majority of the structural adhesives are
joint are: derived from the organic group and can be
518 Pultrusion

thermosetting resins, thermoplastics, or elas- double or single lap joint. The stress can be
tomers. These adhesives are known for their particularly severe in thick, double lapped
properties of being strong, tough, insoluble and joints;
useable over a wide temperature rangeM.The 0 adhesive bonded joints take time to cure
primary advantages of an adhesive joint are: while the resin is setting up and hardening.
During the cure cycle, the component parts
0 the properties of the composite material must be restrained in a fixed position.
remain intact and are not degraded;
0 adhesives are generally stronger than the
23.8.5 MECHANICAL ADHESIVE
composite material being bonded, conse-
COMBINATION
quently any failure mode is usually forced
into the surrounding primary structural Some connections are stronger using a
material; mechanically fastened/adhesive bonded joint.
0 good distribution of joint stresses; Advantages of mechanically fastened/adhe-
0 adhesive bonding can be used to bond dis- sive bonded joints are:
similar materials;
0 higher overall capacities;
0 adhesive joints can be particularly forgiv-
0 greater resistance to environmental and
ing. Flaws in the joints do not generally
thermal deteriorations;
degrade the strength of the joint. The main
0 less subject to peel stress failure than
reason for this is that the critical stress
‘bonded only’ joint;
location in a bonded joint is usually at the
0 improved fatigue and impact characteris-
end of the overlap and flaws tend to occur
tics;
in the center of the joint where the stress
0 increased joint rigidity.
level is low;
0 good fatigue and impact loading charac- The disadvantage of mechanically fas-
teristics. tened/adhesive bonded joints is that they are
labor intensive.
Disadvantages of the adhesive bonded joints
are:
23.9 APPLICATIONS FOR PULTRUDED
0 surface pretreatment such as cleaning and PRODUCTS
etching must be carefully performed;
0 the preparation and mixing of the adhe- Applications for pultruded products are many
sive in the correct proportions is critical. and varied but generally are commercially ori-
Manufacturers instructions must be fol- ented. The process shows up in the consumer
lowed precisely; and recreation market, electrical equipment
0 there is a time limit or shelf life of the products, corrosion resistance, civil engineer-
adhesive following its preparation; ing and construction and transportation
0 the component parts must be carefully (automotive, truck, bus and rail).
located ;sing holding tools and fixtures
and maintained in position with pressure 23.9.1 CONSUMER/RECREATION
across the joint during the curing of the The combination of strength, stiffness, fatigue
adhesive; resistance and aesthetic design and coloring
0 while adhesive joints are normally makes pultruded products ideal for the con-
designed and stressed in shear, there is an sumer recreation market. Applications are:
additional failure mode owing to peel fishing rods, archery bows and arrows, hockey
stress. This is a tensile stress which devel- sticks, tent poles, ski poles, playground equip-
ops a maximum value at the free end of a ment, fence posts and baseball bats.
Applications for pultruded products 519

23.9.2 ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT


In this marketplace, strength, electrical insula-
tion and safety are primary attributes of
pultruded The following are the
most significant applications:fuse holders, lad-
ders, tool handles, electrical conduits5(', cable
traysy and power rail covers for subway trains.
Figure 23.22 shows a set of pultruded ladders
and Fig. 23.23 shows the installation of a
power rail cover for a subway train.

Fig.23.23 Third rail cover for rapid transit rail sys-


tem. (Courtesy of Creative Pultrusions Inc.)

23.9.3 C M L ENGINEERING/CONSTRUCTION
MARKET
In this market the properties which are
required are strength, modulus, corrosion
resistance and nonslip surfaces. Applications
are: gratings, stairs, guard rails, bridges and
platform^^^, crash barriers, ladder cages,
structural supports614, sign posts and signs,
light and pedestrian bridges.
Figure 23.24 shows an installationof gratings
and hand rails in a chemical plant. Figure 23.25
shows a pedestrian bridge and Fig. 23.26 shows
the Aberfeldy foot bridge in the UK. This latter
applicationis one of the most interesting devel-
opments in the application of pultruded
sections. This bridge was designed and erected
by Maunsell Structural Plastics Division of
Fig. 23.22 Pultruded ladders. (Courtesy of Creative Maunsell Engineering in London. The bridge
Pultrusions Inc.) spans the River Tay in Scotland and C O M & S
520 Pultrusion

,,
Fig. 23.26 Aberfeldy footbridge. (Courtesy of
Maunsell Structural Plastics Ltd.)

Fig. 23.24 Grating and handrail installation. two sections of a golf course. The bridge is a
(Courtesy of North West Fibre Mechanics Ltd.) double cable stay design and all of the compo-
nents are made of composite materials with the
bridge decking and guard rails being pultruded
products. Maunsell has also installed a com-
posite vehicular bridge at Bonds Mill in
England which was opened in 1994.

23.9.4 TRANSPORTATION MARKET


This market is potentially very large. It
includes automotive, trucks, busses, light rail,
subway trains and passenger trains. The prod-
ucts which are being pultruded for this large
array of industries are as follows: drive shafts
for trucks66,leaf springs67,68, bumpers, frames
and cross members, transportation container
bodies, roll up doors, refrigerated truck com-
ponents, frames for light rail cars, interior
structure for passenger trains and subway
Fig. 23.25 Pedestrian bridge in Pennsylvania. load carrying beds for small trucks
(Courtesy of Creative Pultrusions Inc.) and frangible airport approach masts.
References 521

Figure 23.27 shows a bus interior, fabricated


from pultruded sections and Fig. 23.28 dis-
plays a frangible airport approach mast.

23.9.5 MISCELLANEOUS
Another market which is using pultruded
products is the oil and gas industry for off
shore oil well platforms. Application here is
for floor gratings, hand rails, stairs and storage
buildings and living quarters on the platforms.
Another emerging application is in the con-
stant cross section blade for the Darius design
of windmills for alternate power.
This is just a brief review Of the current aPP1i- Fig. 23.27 Bus interior showing pultruded compos-
cations. The future of the pultrusion process and ites. (Courtesy of Creative Pultrusions Inc.)
its applications is only limited by the scope of
human imagination. The market will continu-
ously increase and it is predicted that by the
year 2000 the total volume of pultruded prod- ..” .- -----c?9.

ucts will have tripled over the 1995 levels.

REFERENCES
1. Goldsworthy, W. Brandt, US Patent, 2 871 911
Apparatus for Producing Elongated Articles
from Fiber-reinforced Plastic Material; Issued
2/12/59.
2. Birsa, R. and Taft, P., New Materials Approach
for Providing Transverse Strength in Pultruded
Shapes, RP/C Reinforced Plastics/Composites
‘84; Composites go to the Market; Papers pre-
sented at Technical Sessions of the 39th Ann.
Conf., New York. Jan 16-19,1984, Session 1-A,
p. 4, 627, SPI Reinforced Plastics/Composites
Institute.
3. Taft, P. and Birsa, R., Transverse Strength for
Pultruded Parts, Plusf. Engng., 1984,40, (5), 634.
4.

5.

6.

Barking: Elsevier Applied Science, 1986,p. 1-46, Fig. 23.28 Frangible airport approach mast.
012. (Courtesy of Creative Pultrusions Inc.)
522 Pultrusion

7. Martin, J., Pultrusion, Plastics Products Design 19. Beever, W.H. and O’Connor, J.E., Pultruded
Handbook. Part B. Processes and Design for Thermoplastic Composite Structures, Int.
Processes, (ed Miller, E.), New York: Marcel S A M P E Symp. Proc., 32, 1309,1987.
Dekker Inc., 1983, p. 37-74. 20. Beever, W.H. and OConnor, J.E., Polyphenylene
8. Martin, J. and Sumerak, J.E., Pultruded Sulphide Pultruded Type Composite Structure,
Composites - The Case Against Aluminum 42nd Ann. Conf., Plastics/Composites Inst.,
Extrusions, Pultrusion Technology, Inc., RP/C 1987.
Reinforced Plastics/Composites ‘84; 21. Wood, AS., Pultrusion is Poised for New
Composites go to the Market; Papers presented Growth and It Won’t be All Thermosets, Mod.
at Technical Sessions of the 39th Annual Plast. Int., 1976, 6(6), 47-9.
Conference, New York. Jan 16-19, 1984, Session 22. Goldsworthy, W. Brandt, Thermoplastic
1-D, p. 5, Confer. 627, SPI Reinforced Plastics/ Composites: The New Structurals, Plast. World,
Composites Institute. 1984,42(9),56-8.
9. Laguan, O., Pultrusion: Economic Aspects, 23. Kidd, A.C., Winding and Profile Production -
Applications and Design, Rev. Plast. Mod., 1985, Tape, Filament, Pultrusion-Extrusion,
50(349), 61-6 (Spanish). Reinforced Plastics, In Proc. Electrical Symp.,
10. Spencer, R.A.P., Developments in Pultrusion, In Bristol, Feb 1975, Paper 5, p. 18 Preprint 627-61
Developments in GRP Technology - 1, (ed. Harris, 24. Smith, A., Pull Winding Techniques Improve
B.), Barking: Applied Science, 1983, p. 1-36, Pultruded Products, Pop. Plast., 1988, 33(4),
6272. 42-3.
11. Martin, J.D., Pultrusion: The Other Process, 25. Shaw Stewart, D.E., Pullwinding Conf. Proc.,
Plast. Engng., 1979,35(3), 53-7. 2nd Int. Conf. on Automatic Composites, Paper
12. Beck, D.E., New Processes and Prospects in 15, Noordwijkerhout, The Netherlands, 26-28
Pultrusion, Goldsworthy Engineering Inc., Sept. 1988.
Composite Solutions to Material Challenges: 26. Goldsworthy, W. Brandt, US Patent, 3 674 601
38th Ann. Conf Preprint, Houston, Tex., Augmented Curing of Reinforced Plastic Stock;
February 7-11, 1983, Session 6-B, p. 4, Confer. Issued 7/4/72.
627, SPI, Reinforced Plastics/Composites 27. Goldsworthy, W. Brandt, US Patent, 3 793 108
Institute. Augmented Curing of Reinforced Plastic Stock;
13. Roubinet, P., Curved Pultrusion, Composites Issued 2/19/74.
Plast. Renf. Fibers. Verre Text, 24(4), July/Aug 28. Parry, T.V. and Wroksky, AS., Effect of
1984,69-73 (French). Hydrostatic Pressure on the Tensile Properties
14. Goldsworthy, W. Brandt, New Technology for of Pultruded CFRP, J. Mater. Sci., 1985, 20(6),
Continuous Reinforced Plastics Processing: Its 2141-7.
Called ’Pulforming’and It Permits Extrusion of 29. Bibbo, M.A. and Gutowski, T.G.,Analysis of the
Variable Cross Section Parts and Curves, Mod. Pulling Force in Pultrusion, Antec 86. Plastics -
Plast. Int., 1979,9(9),Sept, 100-1. Value Through Technology. Proc. 44th Ann.
15. Goldsworthy, W. Brandt, Pulforming - The Techn. Conf., Boston, April 28-May 1, 1986, p.
Changing Shape of Composites. 1430-2.012. SPE.
16. Ewald, G.W., Curved Pulforming - A New 30. Anon, Pultruded Fibre-Reinforcements, Plast.
Manufacturing Process for Composite News (Aust.),Nov. 1979, 20.
Automobile Springs, Working Together for 31. Hill, J.E., Goan, J.C. and Prescott, R., Properties
Strength, 36th Ann. Conf., Washington, D.C., of Pultruded Composite Containing High
February 16-20, 1981, Session 16-C, p. 1-6, Modulus Graphite Fibers, S A M P E Qtly, 1973,4,
Confer. 012 SPI Reinforced Plastics/Composites (2), 21-7.
Institute. 32. Spencer, R.A.P., Advances in Pultrusion of
17. Goldsworthy, W. Brandt, Pulforming Makes Carbon Fibre Composites, Carbon Fibres, 2nd
Curved Pultrusions, Brit. Plast. Rubb., Nov 1985, Int. Conf., London, Feb 1974, Paper 21, 140-7,
p. 36. Confer. 51FlC.
18. Nepasicky, J and Kannebley, G., Advantages 33. Evans, D.J., Designing with Pultrusions: From
and Limitations of Vertical and Horizontal the Idea to the Application, Composite
Pultrusion Processing. Examples of Typical Solutions to Material Challenges: 38th Ann.
Applications. Conf Preprint, Houston, Tex., February 7-11,
References 523
1983, Session 6-A, p. 5, Confer. 627, SPI Process Variables, Mod. Plast., March 1985.
Reinforced Plastics/Composites Institute. 45. Sumerak, J.E. and Martin, J.D., Pultrusion
34. Browning, J., Synthetic Surface Veils for GRP Process Variables and their Effect Upon
Laminates, Int. Reinf. Plast. Ind., 1986, 5(5) 14/6. Manufacturing Capability, RP/C Reinforced
35. Werner, R.I., Improvements in Means of Plastics/Composites '84; Composites go to the
Evaluating Weathering Characteristics of Market; Papers presented at Technical Sessions
Pultrusions, Rising to the Challenge: 35th Ann. of the 39th Ann. Conf., New York. Jan 16-19
Conf. New Orleans, LA, Feb 1980, Section 4-E, 1984, Session 1-B, p. 7, Confer. 627, SPI
p. 6, Confer. 627. SPI Reinforced Plastics/ Reinforced Plastics/Composites Institute.
Composites Institute. 46. Sumerak, J.E., Understanding Pultrusion
36. Heritt, R.W., New, High Performance, Fast Process Variables, Mod. Plast., 1985,62(3),58-64.
Curing Epoxy Resin System for Composites, 47. Sumerak, J.E., Understanding Pultrusion
Composite Solutions to Material Challenges: Process Variables for the First Time, Conference,
38th Ann. Conf. Preprint, Houston, Tex., Atlanta, GA, January 28-February 1, 1985,
February 7-11,1983, Session 19-D, p. 7.627, SPI, Paper No 2-B, p. 8, Confer. 627, SPI Reinforced
Reinforced Plastics/Composites Institute. Plastics/Composites Institute.
37. Kershaw, J.A., New Epoxy Resin Systems for 48. Armstrong, R.F., Calcium Carbonate,
Pultrusion, Shell Development Co., Composite Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology, Vol. 4, 2nd
Solutions to Material Challenges: 38th Ann. ed., Wiley Interscience, New York, 1964.
Conf Preprint, Houston, Tex., February 7-11, 49. Anderson, R. and Riddel, R., Effects of Pigments
1983, Session 6-42, p. 4, 627, SPI Reinforced on Pultrusion Physical Properties and
Plastics/Composites Institute. Performance, Molded Fiberglass Co.; Morrison
38. McQuarrie, T.S., New Generation Resins for Molder Fiberglass Co., Composite Solutions to
Pultrusion, 33rd Ann. Conf., Washington, D.C., Material Challenges: 38th Ann. Conf Preprint,
Feb 1978, Section %E, p. 5, Confer. 627 SPI Houston, Tex., February 7-11, 1983, Session
Reinforced Plastics/Composites Institute. 6-H, p. 4, Confer. 627, SPI Reinforced Plastics/
39. Howard, R.D. and Sayers, D.R., Development of Composites Institute.
New Methacrylate Resins for Use in Pultrusion, 50. Rufolo, A., Design Manual for Jointing of Glass
RP/C Reinforced Plastics/Composites '85. 40 Reinforced Plastics, US Naval Material
Years of Innovative Technology;Proc. 40th Ann. Laboratory Report, Navship 250-6341, August
Conf., Atlanta, GA, January 28-February 1, 1951.
1985, Paper 2-A, p. 5, 627, SPI Reinforced 51. Hodgkinson, J.M., de Beer, D.L. and Matthews,
Plastics/Composites Institute. EL., The Strength of Bolted Joints in Kevlar R.P.,
40. Boinot, E and Daspet, Y., Phenolic Resins: A Proc. Composite Design for Space Application,
Boon to the Building and Transport Industries, The Netherlands, (esa SP-243) 15-18, October
Composites Plast. Renf. Fibres Verre Text, 26, 3, 1985.
May/June 1986,97-100. 52. Hollaway, L. and Baker, S., The Development of
41. Lo Scalzo, E., Phenolic Resins in Advanced Nodal Joints Suitable for Double Layer Skeletal
Composites, Mat. Plast. Elast., 1988, 3, p. 124-9 System made from Fibre/Matrix Composites,
(Italian). Part 7, Paper 21, Proc. 3rd Intern. Conf. on Space
42. Hunger, G.A., Pultruding Epoxy Resin, Structures (ed. Nooshin, H.), Barking: Elsevier
Reprinted from 43rd Ann. Conf. and Focus '88. Applied Science, 1984.
Proc. 43rd Ann. Conf. SPI Reinforced 53. Green, A.K. and Phillips, L.N., Crimp-Bonded
Plastics/Composites Institute End-Fittings for Use on Pultruded Composite
43. Kiernan, D., Tessier, N. and Schott, N., Sections, Composites, 1982,13(3),219-24.
Modification of Epoxy Resins for Improved 54. Hart-Smith, L.J., Adhesively Bonded Joints for
Pultrusion Processing, US Army Materials & Fibrous Composite Structures, Douglas paper
Mechanics Research Center, RP/C Reinforced 7740, Long Beach, California, 1986.
Plastics/Composites '85, 40 Years of Innovative 55. Anderson, R., Use of Pultruded Reinforced
Technology; Proc. 40th Ann. Conf., Atlanta, GA, Plastics in Energy Generations and Energy
January 28-February 1,1985, Paper 2 4 , p 6 627, Related Applications, Working Together for
SPI Reinforced Plastics/Composites Institute. Strength, 36th Ann. C o d , Washington, D.C.,
44. Sumerak, J.E., Understanding Pultrusion February 16-20, 1981, Session 22-B, p. 1-3,
524 Pultrusion

Confer. 012. SPI Reinforced Plastics/Composites 62. Starr, T.F., Structural Applications for Pultruded
Institute. Profiles, TECHNOLEX, Composite Structures 2;
56. Morara, F. and Eva, G., GRP Conduits and Proc. 2nd Intern. Conf. Composite Structures,
Poles, Agrosistemi, Macplas, 1985, 10(67), Paisley, September 1616,1983, p. 192-216,627.
136-9. 63. Tickle, J.D., Halliday, G.A., Lazzarou, J. and
57. Pultrusions for Cable Rack, Brockhouse Group, Riseborough, B., Designing Structures With
Eur. Plast. News, 1982, 9(4), p. 36. Pultruded Fibre Glass Reinforced Plastic
58. Mallick, P.K., Qiauw, L.K. and Fesko, D.G., Structural Profiles as Compared to Standard
Design and Evaluation of a Pultruded Hybrid Steel Profiles, 33rd Ann. Conf., Washington,
Beam, Working Together for Strength, 36th Ann. D.C., Feb 1978, Section SF, p. 8, Confer. 627.SPI
Conf., Washington, D.C., Febraury 16-20, 1981, Reinforced Plastics/Composites Inst.
Session 1 7 4 , p. 1-5, Confer. 012. SPI Reinforced 64. Owens-Corning Fiberglas Europe SA, Fiberglas
Plastics/Composites Institute. in Action: FRP Lighting Poles, Burssels, 1977,
59. Head, P.R., GRP Walkway Membranes for Publn, 13-Ch. 4-5, p / 4 12 ins. 16/2/77
Bridge Access and Protection, 13th Reinforced 6272-6R.
Plastics Congress, 1982, Brighton, November 65. Mutch, W., Composite Utility Pole, Plast. World
8-11,1982, Paper 20,97-91, BFP Publn. 293, BPF, 1987,45, (8), 43.
Reinforced Plastics Group. 66. Kliger, H.S., Yates, D.N. and Davis, G.C.R.,
60. Head, P.R., Pultruded Box Beams, Fibreforce Driveshafts: The Next Step for Composites?,
Composites, Ltd.; Maunsell Structural Plastics; Aufomot. Engng, 1980,88(3),1OC-3.
UK Dept. of Transport; Windfoil Ltd. 67. Roubinet, P. and Delacroix, B., Industrial
61. Anderson, R.A. and Thomas, C., Development Development of Composite Leaf Springs,
of Large Hollow Rectangular Tubes for Composites Plast. RenJ Fibres. Verre Text., 26,(3),
Structural and Electrical Markets - A Unique May/June 1986, p. 79-83 (French).
Application for Pultrusion, Rising to the 68. de Goncourt, L. and Sayers, K.H., Composite
Challenge: 25th Ann. Conf., New Orleans, LA, Spring Systems, Composites Plast., Rent Fibres
Feb 1980, Section &A, p. 5, Confer. 627. SPI Verre Text, 1988,28(3), 145-50 (French).
Reinforced Plastics/Composites Institute. 69. BTR Permali RP Ltd, Pultrusion Protects
Passengers, Europ. Plast. News, 15(3), 1988,46.