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Thermoplastic matrix systems for large marine structures
Almost all large fibre composite structures used in the marine environment use a thermoset resin matrix. These materials have excellent durability in the sea, but are difficult to dispose of at end-of-life. After a rigorous selection process, methyl methacrylate and lactide monomers have been identified as potential thermoplastic matrix systems which can be manufactured using in situ polymerisation during monomer infusion under flexible tooling. The presentation will address manufacturing issues (acrylic is a “drop in” for polyester resin, but lactide requires heating systems), and end of life (acrylic is lower in the recycling hierarchy). This work was conducted within the SeaBioComp project which has received funding from Interreg 2 Seas Mers Zeeën programme 2014–2020 co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund under subsidy contract No. 2S06-006.