Processing maps based on polymerization modelling of thick methacrylic laminates

Sarah F. Gayot, Christian Bailly, Thomas Pardoen, Pierre Gerard, Frederik Van Loock (Corresponding author)

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Control of the in-situ polymerization of thick methacrylic laminates is essential to minimize cavitation due to monomer boiling. To this end, a computationally efficient thermochemical model is developed to predict the temperature and degree of monomer conversion during polymerization of a methyl methacrylate (MMA)-based resin in a fibrous preform. The model couples the self-accelerating exothermic free-radical bulk polymerization of MMA (gel effect) with the heat transfer within the preform and to the environment. The predicted temperature profiles are in excellent agreement with experimental data measured during a series of in-situ polymerization tests with different heating conditions and preform thicknesses. Processing diagrams are constructed to reveal the regimes of interest for the production of thick fiber-reinforced methacrylic composites without voids induced by monomer boiling.

Original languageEnglish
Article number109170
Number of pages13
JournalMaterials & Design
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Polymer-matrix composite
  • Thermoplastic resin
  • Methyl methacrylate
  • Polymerization kinetics
  • Process monitoring
  • Thermochemical model


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