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Air Force

High temperature thermosetting resins

Thermosetting resins that offer high thermal stability with ease of processing

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High temperature thermosetting polymer materials are often used in adhesives, sealants, and composite resins for applications that involve exposure to elevated temperatures. Such applications include integrated circuit housings, turbine brush seals, capacitors, airframes, radomes, and radiation-resistant structures.

There is an ongoing need to improve the thermo-chemical stability of cured resins in environments involving both elevated temperature and exposure to chemical agents (such as oxygen, water vapor, and acid vapor). In this context, the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Aerospace Systems Directorate has developed and patented a new class of high temperature thermosetting resins for use in solid rocket motor casings, missiles, and spacecraft as well as gaskets, sealants, and adhesives. The AFRL thermosetting resins may consist of trifunctional and tetrafunctional silicon containing terminal reactive groups such as cyanate esters or phthalonitriles in which silicon serves as a network junction point, providing an increase in glass transition temperature. The resins are compatible with industry standard manufacturing practices including resin transfer molding, resin infusion molding, filament winding, and may be used as materials for additive manufacturing.

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