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Thermoplastic matrix composites

Involved People: Alfonso Maffezzoli, Antonio Greco
Research efforts on thermoplastic matrix composites started at the beginning of nineties. Research was developed mainly looking at the crystallization issues related to PPS and PEEK [1-11]. Among others, in Figure 1 [9], a CCT plot for a thermoplastic polyamide (TPI), used as composite matrix is reported. Lines are representative of the proposed macrokinetic model while experimental data are reported as symbols
More recently the consolidation of commingled woven and sandwich was studied in order to optimize processing conditions [12-22]. Among the most recent results, the comparison of spring in angle measurements and model results obtained on a squared angle PP/glass laminate, are reported in Figure 2. The proposed model well fits the experimental data.
In this framework even large prototypes were built, such as a 5 m long sailing boat obtained by vacuum bagging and welding of PP/glass commingled fabric [23, 24]. A new process base on bladder moulding of hollow objects was recently proposed [25, 26]. This process can be easily adapted to the equipments normally used in rotational moulding. An example of the parts that can be obtained using this process is shown in Figure 3.
Three workshop in 2003, 2005 and 2007 on thermoplastic matrix composites (Theplac 2003, Theplac 2005 and Theplac 2007) were organized while in 2009 the Theplac workshop will be embedded into the International Conference on Composite Materials ICCM-17 (

Figure 1 (from ref 9). CCT plot on New (TPI). Comparison of crystallization model (lines) and experimental data (Symbols)
Figure 2 (from ref 22). Comparison between model predictions (lines) and experimental spring in angle (symbols) obtained on a PP/glass laminate. Dotted lines represents a literature model, full line is obtained accounting for proper correction parameters.
Figure 3 (from ref 26). Hollow vessel obtained by bladder moulding using a PP/glass semipreg commingled fabric


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University of Salento   FacoltÓ di Ingengeria    Department of Engineering for Innovation