Transport Properties and Durability of LCP and FRP materials for process equipment
Sammanfattning: This thesis focuses on transport properties and durability of liquid crystalline polymers (LCP)and fibre reinforced plastics (FRP) with regard to application in industrial process equipment.In the first part of the study the possibility of using a thermotropic LCP of type Vectra A950as lining material for FRP process equipment was investigated. Its performance wascompared to that of a fluorinated ethylene propylene copolymer (FEP) with respect tochemical and permeation resistance. Transport property and chemical resistance data wereestablished for different types of LCP film (compression molded, uniaxially and biaxiallyoriented film) exposed to selected chemicals chosen to represent typical industrial processenvironments. Annealing of the LCP, which may reduce the disclination density and henceimprove the barrier properties, induced a crystallinity increase, but did not significantlyimprove the barrier and chemical resistance properties. Different surface treatments toincrease the bonding between the LCP and FRP were explored. The conclusion was that LCPhas potential to serve as lining material for FRP in contact with water, organic solvents andnon-oxidizing acid environments, although certain issues, such as jointing techniques, stillhave to be evaluated. The second part of the study focused on transport and long-termproperties of commercial thermoset and FRP materials for industrial process equipment inaqueous environments (50 – 95 °C, water activity 0.78 – 1, exposure time ≤ 1000 days). Thewater transport properties in different thermosets were related to their chemical structureusing the solubility parameter concept. The transport of water in the thermosets with differentchemical structures could be predicted from the water activity, regardless of the actual type ofionic or non-ionic solute in the solution. An empirical relationship, independent of boththermoset chemistry and temperature, was established to describe the water concentration inthe thermoset as a function of water activity and the water concentration in pure water. Inlong-term, the water concentration in the thermosets increased with exposure time. Thisseemed to be primarily related to stress relaxation processes induced by water absorption andcertain leaching effects. The effects of hydrolysis seemed to be small. The glass fibrereinforcement may to various extents affect the water transport properties by capillarydiffusion and additional absorption around fibre bundles. The extent of such processesseemed to depend on temperature, water activity and the type of thermoset and reinforcement.The present work may be a useful contribution to an increased understanding of water effectsand durability of FRP process equipment. However, open questions still remain for a morecomprehensive durability analysis.
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