Influence of temperature on styrene emission from a vinyl ester resin thermoset composite material

Academic Article


  • Composite materials made with vinyl ester resins are lighter, stronger and corrosion resistant compared to most metals, and are increasingly being used as building materials and in public transportation. Styrene monomer is used as both a diluent and strengthener in the production of vinyl ester resin (VER) composites. Some researchers contend that free styrene in VER composites is available to diffuse out of the material into air, perhaps leading to adverse health effects via inhalation exposures in humans, yet there is no known data on styrene emissions from these materials in the literature. In this study, a typical VER composite made with resin containing 38% by weight styrene, reinforced with E-glass fiber and formed using a vacuum assisted resin transfer method was characterized for styrene emissions by environmental test chamber (ETC) methodology. Styrene concentrations in the ETC were measured over a temperature range of 10 to 50 °C. Initial evaporative styrene emissions increase with increasing temperature. There is a nearly linear relationship in the total mass of styrene emitted and emission factor as emissions increase with increasing temperature. Styrene emission factors appear to vary for different materials, which could indicate more complex processes or the influence of material physical properties on emission rates. These results can be used to validate and improve mass transfer emission models for the prediction of volatile organic compound concentrations in indoor environments. © 2011.
  • Authors

    Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Crawford S; Lungu CT
  • Start Page

  • 3403
  • End Page

  • 3408
  • Volume

  • 409
  • Issue

  • 18