Motorsport demands high performance and lightweight materials – historically, this has resulted in carbon fibre composites being the go-to choice.
Now though, new materials are emerging, which offer both enhanced performance and reduced environmental impact.
Driven by a combination of forthcoming regulatory changes and race teams increasing recognition of their own environmental policies, interest in these sustainable composites materials is growing rapidly.
If you missed our webinar titled “Lighter, Faster, Greener: How Sustainable Composites are Making Their Mark in Motorsport Applications”, you can watch it here… in this webinar, we’ll draw upon our extensive experience in the development and production of high-performance composites to explore the benefits on offer from sustainable composites, and highlight current and emerging applications within the motorsport sector.
We had some great questions during the webinar and couldn’t answer them all within the allocated time, so here’s a selection.
“Do you have any published results for flame resistance / toxicity for the PFA composites?”
Our Evopreg PFC prepregs meet the most stringent fire requirements with glass or carbon reinforcements. Indicative FST test data is provided on the Evopreg PFC502 technical datasheet, which you can download from here Fire-resistant prepregs.
“Is the PFA available as a resin and suitable for vacuum impregnation?”
Evopreg PFC is only available as a prepreg system.
“What is the best way to prevent moisture absorption.”
The best way is to ensure that cut edges of the fibre are not exposed, for example by applying a coating of resin or some other sealer.
“How do cured mechanical properties of furfural resins compare to epoxies, polyesters, etc?”
The mechanical properties of PFA resin systems (in general) are more like phenolics than epoxies. You’ll find some indicative mechanical performance data on the Evopreg PFC 502 datasheet, which you can download from at Evopreg PFC.
“The ampliTex plus powerRibs looks like great technology… but how do you get B side mounting features?”
The simple answer is that you would use the powerRibs wherever you can, but leave flat areas clear for the usual bonding of fasteners, fixing points etc.
“What is the CTE of the flax?”
The CTE of flax is very low, and closely matches that of carbon. An indicative CTE value for our Evopreg EPC300 prepreg resin on 300 gsm ampliTex flax is 10.3 μm/m/°C.
“Are cosmetic issues around PFA systems common? E.g. Class A/ trim panels feasible without extensive rework.”
PFA resins release a small amount of water during the curing reaction (in a similar way to phenolics) and this can have an impact on surface finish….but there are processing tips that we can offer to help deal with this. If you are planning to use PFA prepregs for the first time, we’d always recommend a chat with our technical support team to help you get started.
“What is the crosslinking system used with the PFC prepregs? Standard Epoxy?”
PFC502 (and PFA resin systems in general) cure by an acid-catalysed condensation reaction, so there is no separate cross-linking component added.
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