Development of a Novel Biobased Polyurethane Resin System for Structural Composites

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Polyurethanes are gaining increasing interest for their use as structural components subjected to cyclic loads, such as leaf springs. Thermoset polyurethane (PUR) based technology offers some advantages, such as fatigue resistance, low viscosity, and fast curing. However, current PUR formulations present two major drawbacks: their petrochemical origin and high reactivity. The aim of this work was to develop a novel biobased PUR (BIO-PUR) with the required mechanical properties and processability for manufacturing structural composites by resin transfer moulding (RTM). For this purpose, a high functionality and high hydroxyl index castor-oil-based polyol was used combined with a biobased glycerol (BIO-Gly) to increase the crosslinking density and improve the final properties of the BIO-PUR. The viscosity and reactivity of the different systems were studied by means of rheology tests and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). Thermal and mechanical properties were studied by dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA) and flexural tests. Furthermore, the RTM process of a representative part was simulated and validated through the manufacturing and testing of plates. The properties of the BIO-PUR resin systems were strongly influenced by the addition of biobased glycerol and its effect on the crosslinking density. The combination of a high functionality and hydroxyl index biobased polyol with the biobased glycerol resulted in a high-performance BIO-PUR with the required reactivity and final properties for structural applications.
Publisher Copyright: © 2022 by the authors.
Echeverria-Altuna , O , Ollo , O , Larraza , I , Elizetxea , C , Harismendy , I & Eceiza , A 2022 , ' Development of a Novel Biobased Polyurethane Resin System for Structural Composites ' , Polymers , vol. 14 , no. 21 , 4553 , pp. 4553 .