A study of the thermal degradation of glass fibre sizings at composite processing temperatures

Thomason, James L. and Nagel, Ulf and Yang, Liu and Bryce, David (2019) A study of the thermal degradation of glass fibre sizings at composite processing temperatures. Composites Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing, 121. pp. 56-63. ISSN 1359-835X (https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compositesa.2019.03.013)

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Although not fully understood, it is well recognized that optimal working of glass fibre sizings is necessary to maximize the performance of glass fibre reinforced polymer composites. It is important that the organic components in such sizings continue to function after exposure to the high temperatures often experienced during composite processing. This study presents the results on the thermal stability of polypropylene and epoxy compatible glass fibre sizings obtained using TGA, microbond adhesion measurement and composite mechanical testing. Test results indicate that the performance of commercial polypropylene compatible glass fibre sizings can be significantly compromised by thermo-oxidative degradation at normal composite processing temperatures. A significant reduction in composite performance is directly related to a loss of fibre-matrix adhesion caused by thermal degradation of some of the principal sizing components.