Improvement in Char Formability of Phenolic Resin for Development of Carbon/Carbon Composites
In the processing of carbon/carbon composites using polymer resin as the matrix precursor, it is inevitable that a porous structure was formed after carbonization. As a result, densification by liquid phase impregnation followed by recarbonization is required to obtain a densified composite. Consequently, the char formability of resin is an important factor in reducing the number of densification cycles and hence the processing cost. In this study, a novel approach is adopted to improve the densification of carbon/carbon composites by using a new phenolic resin modified by pitch. For this purpose, soluble part of pitch was extracted and dispersed in resol type phenolic resin. The polymerization reaction was performed in presence of para-formaldehyde and a resol-pitch (RP) compound was obtained. The second compound was prepared by mixing novolac-furfural (NF) in 55:45 weight ratio containing 9% by weight hexamethylene tetramine. This compound was added to RP compound in 10, 20, 50 and 80 w%. The microstructure of carbonized resin was investigated by X-ray diffraction and char yield, and the linear and volumetric shrinkage were obtained. Results show that in 80:20 ratio of RP to NF, the char yield would be maximized by 71% and volumetric shrinkage would be minimized at 16.4%. At the same time, XRD results indicate that the resin has a strong ability to graphitize carbon/carbon composites matrix as a necessary step for its processing.