Effects of additives on the cure kinetics of vinyl ester pultrusion resins

Alexander Vedernikov, Yaroslav Nasonov, Roman Korotkov, Sergey Gusev, Iskander Akhatov, Alexander Safonov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Pultrusion is a highly efficient composite manufacturing process. To accurately describe pultrusion, an appropriate model of resin cure kinetics is required. In this study, we investigated cure kinetics modeling of a vinyl ester pultrusion resin (Atlac 430) in the presence of aluminum hydroxide (Al(OH)3) and zinc stearate (Zn(C18H35O2)2) as processing additives. Herein, four different resin compositions were studied: neat resin composition, composition with Al(OH)3, composition comprising Zn(C18H35O2)2, and composition containing both Al(OH)3 and Zn(C18H35O2)2. To analyze each composition, we performed differential scanning calorimetry at the heating rates of 5, 7.5, and 10 K/min. To characterize the cure kinetics of Atlac 430, 16 kinetic models were tested, and their performances were compared. The model based on the (Formula presented.) th-order autocatalytic reaction demonstrated the best results, with a 4.5% mean squared error (MSE) between the experimental and predicted data. This study proposes a method to reduce the MSE resulting from the simultaneous melting of Zn(C18H35O2)2. We were able to reduce the MSE by approximately 34%. Numerical simulations conducted at different temperatures and pulling speeds demonstrated a significant influence of resin composition on the pultrusion of a flat laminate profile. Simulation results obtained for the 600 mm long die block at different die temperatures (115, 120, 125, and 130 °C) showed that for a resin with a final degree of cure exceeding 95% at the die exit, the maximum difference between the predicted values of pulling speed for a specified set of compositions may exceed 1.7 times.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2921-2937
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Composite Materials
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2021


  • additives
  • cure kinetics
  • numerical simulation
  • process optimization
  • Pultrusion
  • vinyl ester resin


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