Sustainable, Green Vinyl Ester Resin (VER) from Renewable Resources
University of Massachusetts Lowell Lowell United States
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Sustainable Green Vinyl Ester Resin VER from Renewable Resources Objective Carbon-fiber reinforced composites of Vinyl Ester Resin VER are largely used in Department of Defense DoD weapons platforms. Critical composite structures for ship hulls and transportation vehicles can be made using a low-cost VER that can be processed at ambient temperature using vacuum-assisted resin transfer molding VARTM. Current precursors for making VER are isolated from petroleum feedstock, which is subjected to fluctuating prices and limitations in supply. In addition, the synthetic route uses epichlorohydrin as one of the precursors, which is a potential carcinogen. The objective of this SERDP project was to develop a sustainable, environmentally safe VER for military structural composite weapons systems starting with low-cost lignin and glycerin biowaste streams, prepare various formulations and their carbon fiber reinforced composites that can completely or in part replace the current commercial resin manufactured from petroleum feedstock.