Pultrusion manufacturing, materials testing, and life cycle assessment of thermoplastic GFRP composites

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University of New Brunswick


This thesis pertains to the development of novel thermoplastic (TP) polymer-based glass fibre-reinforced polymer (GFRP) composites in a pultrusion manufacturing method. Thermosetting (TS) -based composites have a limited ability to absorb impacting energy and deform in the transversal direction. The idea that TP polymer is a suitable alternative to conventional TS polymer in pultrusion manufacturing processes has been tried by the composite community before. For the first time, however, this thesis assessed the plausability of this shift via a holistic research approach combining: TP-integrated GFRP manufacturing via pultrusion, mechanical and environmental property characterization of pultruded composites, and a novel life cycle framework (LCF) to estimate/analyze economic and environmental impact from ideation to end-of-life of pultruded TP vs TS -based GFRP. The novel TP composites were found to be manufacturable with comparable mechanical properties to TS counterparts, similar energy and environmental impacts, and up to 25% less expensive to manufacture.