fiberglass chopped strand mat (CSM) have been the mainstay of the reinforced composites industry for decades - compared to Europe, North America, and more in the Asia Pacific region for obvious reasons. The CSM is essentially short fibers held together to form a uniform multi-directional reinforced nonwoven fabric. Polyester powder (for powder chopped strand mat) or polyvinyl acetate (vinyl acetate) emulsion (for emulsion chopped strand mat) is used as a binder to hold the staple fibers to form a mat.
Modified bisphenol fumaric acid polyesters are commonly used as powder binders for chopped strand mats. Due to the chemical nature of the adhesive, the solubility in styrene (present in the laminating resin) is very rapid and complete - styrene (although in combination) is a virtual solvent for the powder binder.
It is similar to the ability to absorb and dissolve more syrup. Adhesion is associated with adhesion, and the excellent adhesion of the powder chopped strand is due to the fact that the polyester powder binder is more polar than the plasticized PVC emulsion. Higher polarity results in better wetting (zero contact angle because it disperses very well on the fiberglass substrate) and therefore better adhesion.
The dissolution rate of the styrene polyester powder binder (in the laminated resin) is rapidly soaked during the impregnation, resulting in very fast wetting. The chopped roving (in the fiber formation stage) sizing usually has a previous polyester film which can be imparted to the powder chopped strand to improve wetting characteristics. This combination of excellent wetting and fast wetting properties (especially the former) allows for a maximum contact area of the resin-glass fiber interface and contributes to better mechanical properties of the composite made of powder chopped strand mat.
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