Chemical shrinkage characterization techniques for thermoset resins and associated composites
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- Nawab, Y., Shahid, S., Boyard, N. et al. J Mater Sci (2013) 48: 5387. doi:10.1007/s10853-013-7333-6
Control and optimization of curing process is very important for the production of high quality composite parts. Crosslinking of molecules of thermoset resin occurs in this phase, which involves exothermy of reaction, chemical shrinkage (Sh) and development of thermo-physical and thermo-mechanical properties. Exact knowledge of the evolution of all these parameters is required for the better understanding and improvement of the fabrication process. Sh is one such property of thermoset matrix, which is difficult to characterize due to its coupling with thermal expansion/contraction. A number of techniques have been used to determine volume Sh of thermoset matrix, which later on has been used to find tensor of Sh for the simulation of residual stresses and shape distortion of composite part, etc. Direct characterization of volume Sh of composites has also been made by some authors. Though not much, but some work has also been reported to determine the Sh of composite part in a specific direction. In this article, all the techniques used in the literature for the characterization of Sh of resin and composite are reported briefly with their respective advantages, disadvantage and important results.