The use of MFA within composites resins was demonstrated in the construction of a composite materials rudder for the US Navy. The rudder was constructed by Structural Composites Inc. in Melbourne, FL, and overseen by the the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division (NSWCCD). It was built via the VARTM process at ambient temperatures and utilized a modified Corezyn CORVE 8100 resin product. Although CORVE 8100 typically contains 50% styrene, the CORVE 8100 was synthesized to included 10% MFA, which in turn yielded a styrene content of only 20%.
Composite Materials Rudder a Success
The composite materials rudder was built in two halves and utilized Fiber Glass Industries’ 18-ounce E-Glass. The rudder was infused in an impressive 60 minutes, deeming the construction a complete application success by Structural Composites. The US Navy tested the rudder further to validate the project. The composite materials rudder exhibited better shear and flexural strength, as well as equal tensile strength and modulus, as compared to rudders constructed with typical resin systems.