Professor James Economy's Group
Polyester Thermosetting Resins
High Performance Polyesters
These materials generally don't fall into the "low-cost" region, however, since they are related to this family of materials I'll mention them here. These materials are high-performance matrix and adhesive materials. In general these materails have been able to reach lap-shear strengths up to 20 MPa, they have a use temperature up to around 400 degrees C, with relatively low change in strengths. These materials exhibit interchain transesterification reactions (ITR), and have been shown to be recyclable.
Medium Performance, Medium Cost Polyesters
Using very common precursors and simple chemistry, we have been able to produce polyester resins which can be processed between 230 and 250 degrees C, exhibit almost as good lap-shear properties as the High Performance polyesters above, however, exhibit a lower use temperature (up to 180 degrees C.) These materials and the Low-Cost materials will hopefully fill a temperature void (above 150 degrees C) which occurs due to lack of low-cost thermosets (other than Phenol Formaldehyde) in industry. These materials again can be recycled and exhibit ITR reactions as due the following and previous materials mentioned.
Medium Performance, Low-Cost Polyesters
The precursors and synthesis of these materials point to costs in the range of 60 cents / lb. (This is lower than Phenol Formaldehyde's current costs). The materials used to make these polyesters are in wide-spread use, but have never been researched for engineering properties before. Since we are in the synthesis stage of this material, no properties can be discussed yet. Things look promising though. These materials also exhibit ITR reactions, and should be able to be recycled as mentioned earlier.