RTM370 imide resin was developed to address the limitations of conventional imide resins, which are generated from commercially available symmetrical biphenyl dianhydride and oxydiani-line (ODA). These resins form symmetrical dianhydride or diamine compounds that result in a substance with much higher viscosity than is viable for RTM, RFI, and VARTM.
RTM370 harnesses the unique properties of asymmetric biphenyl dianhydride (a-BPDA) used in combination with a kinked ODA and a 4-(Phenylethynyl) phthalic anhydride endcap to form a mixture that can be melted without the use of solvents, and achieve the desired low-melt viscosity. RTM370 displays a high softening temperature (Tg = 370 °C) and can be melted at 260 to 280 °C. It can then be injected into fiber preforms under pressure (200 psi) or through a vacuum (VARTM) to form composites with excellent toughness. The resin can also be made into powder prepregs by melting the resin powders so that they fuse onto fibers.
Recently, carbon-fiber-filled RTM370 imide resins have been fabricated into composites by laser sintering. This exciting advancement in additive manufacturing represents a new frontier for high-temperature composites.
Not only are RTM370 composites lightweight, durable, and impact-resistant, but they also possess outstanding abrasion resistance and significant thermo-oxida-tive stability (as demonstrated in long-term isothermal aging at 288 °C for 1,000 hours). In summary, this groundbreaking approach yields a vastly superior resin for fabricating high-quality composites with improved performance, durability, and adaptability. RTM370's unique, solventfree melt process is simpler, more environmentally friendly, and more cost-effective than competing systems, lending it broad appeal for a variety of Earth-based applications.
NASA is actively seeking licensees to commercialize this technology. Please contact the Technology Transfer Office at