Description: A major technological opportunity lies in the development of phthalonitrile-based composite systems for aerospace, marine, automobile, geothermal, electronic device, and oil rig platform applications. Phthalonitrile-based composites are easy to process from room temperature indefinitely stable prepreg or by resin transfer molding, exhibit high thermal and oxidative stability approaching 500°C (930°F) in air, have low-equilibrium moisture/water absorption, retain structural integrity in a flame environment, and show fire tolerance that exceeds Navy specifications for composite ship applications. Additionally, the cure exotherm is easily controlled for thick composite fabrication. The oligomeric phthalonitriles are liquid at about 50°C with curing to a thermoset or networked polymer above 200°C.

Advantages/Features Include:

  • Composite component production from indefinitely stable room temperature stored composite prepreg.
  • Composite component fabrication by cost effective manufacturing techniques such as resin transfer molding and resin infusion molding
  • Resins cure to void-free components
  • High thermal and oxidative stability approaching 500°C (930°F) in air
  • Conversion to high density carbon-carbon composites

Applications Include:

  • Fabrication of high temperature composite components in or near engines (aircraft, automobile, etc.)
  • Dielectric materials for electronic devices up to 400°C
  • High temperature electrical insulation up to 500°C
  • Fabrication of flame resistant/high temperature components for oil rig platform


  • "Pthalonitrile-Epoxy Blends: Cure Behavior and Copolymer Properties" J. Appl. Polymer Sci. 110 (2008) 2507.
  • "Direct Conversion of Highly Aromatic Pthalonitrile Thermosetting Resins into Carbon Nanotube Containing Solids" POLYMER 48 (2007) 7484.
  • "Low Melting Pthalonitrile Oligomers: Preparation, Polymerization, and Polymer Properties" High Performance Polymers 18 (2006) 283.

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