Polybenzimidazole carbon fibre composite – Utilising a high performance thermoplastic

Thomas R. Pozegic*, Putu Suwarta, Michael R. Wisnom, Ian Hamerton

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Polybenzimidazole (PBI) is an amorphous thermoplastic with the highest tensile and compressive strength of any unfilled polymer [1] (160 MPa and 340 MPa, respectively [2]) and is currently being exploited for its high temperature performance in fire resistant clothing [1]. Unfortunately, given its high glass transition temperature [2, 3], poor flow characteristics –does not melt - incorporating PBI as a matrix in a fibrous composite has proven challenging. Current efforts require highly polar and aprotic solvents such as dimethylacetamide, to dissolve the polymer. Such solvents are toxic and have high boiling points, thus making industrial scale-up and removal of such polymer difficult. In this study, we consider using a ‘greener’ alternative to these solvents, called ionic liquids, and demonstrate their capabilities of fabricating a PBI – carbon fibre composite. We will study the thermal properties of the PBI to determine any residue by-products of the synthesis that could form unwanted voids in the composites. Following this, a fabrication procedure shall be demonstrated to cast a PBI polymer film on the carbon fibre concluding with a mechanical tensile test to demonstrate consolidation.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes
Event21st International Conference on Composite Materials, ICCM 2017 - Xi'an, China
Duration: 20 Aug 201725 Aug 2017


Conference21st International Conference on Composite Materials, ICCM 2017


  • Ionic liquids
  • Polybenzimidazole
  • Thermoplastic


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