KaZaK Composites proposes to develop a pultrusion process to produce carbon fiber / liquid crystal polymer (LCP) prepreg, a first for this category of materials and a critical development for its inclusion in new high performance composite materials. Until now, commercially available LCPs were not suitable for RTM or RFI carbon fiber composite processing. LKX1215 is a novel thermosetting LCP with excellent mechanical, thermal, and chemical properties, in particular low moisture pickup and low outgassing. Its relatively low melt viscosity and ability to cross-link at temperatures above 310o
C make it a prime candidate resin for processing into carbon fiber prepreg. Preliminary work by KaZaK on LKX1215 suggests this material is well suited to continuous carbon fiber reinforcement. The prepreg material developed by KaZaK under the proposed program will be characterized in terms of physical, microstructural, and mechanical properties. Development of techniques for prepreg processing into cured composite laminates and characterization of the mechanical properties of the resulting composite laminates will also be an important part of the proposed program. At the conclusion of Phase I, KaZaK will have developed and demonstrated a previously unavailable process for making carbon fiber composite material for a wide range of cryogenic and high-temperature applications.