Scientists at Sevastopol State University have Found an Innovative Method of Strengthening Fiberglass
Scientists at the Scientific and Educational Center ‘Advanced Technologies and Materials’ at Sevastopol State University are developing a new concept of strengthening and creating cheaper polymer materials using nanopowders.
Polymer materials - fiberglass and carbon fiber – are high-tech composite materials. They are used in the manufacture of mechanical components, such as car bodies. In fact, the bodies of modern racing cars are almost entirely made out of carbon fiber.
“We work with polymers using lamination technology. We add tungsten carbide to the composite (epoxy resin) and lubricate it with a layer of fiberglass. We conducted trial experiments to determine the increase in strength and discovered that the material becomes more than twice as strong. At the same time, less than a gram of nanopowder is spent on a plate 18 × 12 cm in size”, said Artem Oleinik, a member of staff at the Scientific and Educational Center.
Typically, the strength of the material is increased by increasing the number of layers.
“The interest is that with the development of technology, we can, without increasing the number of layers, obtain greater strength due to nanopowders, or maintain the original strength using less materials, thereby reducing cost and weight,” said Mr. Oleinik.
The technology of strengthening polymers is quite simple, and does not require additional equipment to obtain a composite part with modified strength.
Scientists have already tested a trial batch of materials and are preparing for a wider study.