Research Activities: 2007


Soy-Based UV Resistant Polyurethane Pultruded Composites



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Sequential Number


Matching Research Agency

United Soybean Board

Principal Investigator

K. Chandrashekhara, Curator's Professor
231 Toomey Hall
Missouri University of Science and Technology
Rolla MO 65409

Student Involvement

One student

Project Objective

Development and performance evaluation of soy-based polyurethane pultruded composites


Project Abstract

Polyurethane (PU) resin systems exhibit superior strength and damage tolerance relative to unsaturated polyester and vinylester pultrusion resins. Also, high pultrusion line speeds can be achieved using PU resins.  In our previous study, we have successfully evaluated pultrudable PU with aromatic isocyanate and soy-based polyol (with 20% soy content).  The performance of the soy-based resin is comparable to the base PU resin. However, aromatic PU based composites have poor environmental stability under UV light exposure and require specialized painting to provide protection. Aliphatic PU resins provide improved UV resistance but exhibit lower mechanical performance in comparison to aromatic polyurethanes. In the proposed work, we will investigate pultrudable PU resin systems with aromatic and aliphatic isocyanates, and soy-polyol. Neat resin coupons and pultruded composite parts will be manufactured using the developed aromatic and aliphatic PU resin systems. Also, parts will be manufactured by incorporating nano-engineered fillers in the aliphatic soy-based PU resin system to compensate the loss of mechanical performance over aromatic PU resins. The cure kinetics of polyurethanes will be studied by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and the reaction rates of the aliphatic and aromatic polyurethanes will be compared. Mechanical performance will be evaluated by conducting tensile, flexure and impact tests. The economics of aromatic system and aliphatic systems will be assessed.


Task Description


Anticipated Benefits

Use of soy-based materials offer low cost raw materials and environmentally sustainable benefits


Project Number



Project Start Date:
Project End Date:08/31/2010

Relationship to other Research/Projects


Previous studies were on hydrogen storage cylinders and biocomposites


Technology Transfer Activities

Bio-based composites can be used in infrastructure applications


Transportation Research Board Keywords

Pultrusion Process, Soy-based Resin System, Composite Manufacturing