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Composite resin development to improve resin performance and mechanical properties

Dr Xiaoqing Zhang, Team Leader – Resins and Composites, CSIRO Manufacturing


The strong growing demand of carbon fibre composites materials globally is driven primarily by the need to reduce energy consumption through production of light-weight materials.  In conjunction with continuous effort towards further development of advanced carbon fibre with superior properties, polymer resins acting as a binder and matrix of the composites also play a key role in composites production and overall material performance/properties. Through close engagement with global and Australian industries, CSIRO are currently conducting new resin development to investigate and correlate resin chemistries with a broad range of resin performance/properties related to composite production and industrial applications, address the challenge in providing contradictory properties such as low resin viscosity vs high glass transition (Tg) temperatures, high strength/modulus vs sufficient toughness for high-performance composites. This presentation reports the recent R&D progress in developing high Tg polymer resin systems with low viscosity, controllable curing reactivity for composite production, and improved toughness for micro-crack resistance via variation of crosslinking network structures or utilizing nano-scale additives to the resin systems.


Dr Xiaoqing Zhang is a Senior Principal Research Scientist and Team Leader for Composites at CSIRO Manufacturing.  His expertise is in the field of polymer science and composites materials. He has been taking on several emerging and challenging responsibilities at CSIRO, leading both fundamental and commercial R&D in various areas and achieved success in transferring fundamental research outcomes into industrial technologies.  He is also supervising PhD students at University of Melbourne, has published over 80 peer-reviewed publications and achieved an h-index of 30.  He was awarded Newton Turner Award – career award for exceptional senior CSIRO scientists in May 2013.