Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Aeronautical Engineering


Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics

First Advisor

Anthony N. Palazotto, PhD


5250-4 bismaleimide resin is used in high performance polymer matrix composites with high temperature aeronautical applications. This thesis investigated the thermal and oxidative degradation of 5250-4 neat resin powder in argon, air, and oxygen environments. The powder was aged at 163 deg. C, 177 deg. C, and 190 deg. C in all environments for at least 250 hours. Isothermal thermo-gravimetric analysis demonstrated that weight loss was negligible for aging in the argon environment, indicating weight loss is the result of an oxidative process at these temperatures. The 5250-4 powder exhibited an initial period of weight gain before eventually losing weight in both air and oxygen. The applicability of a closed loop oxidation scheme to 5250-4 gravimetric behavior was investigated. Kinetic parameters for the scheme were determined for the Air Force Research Laboratory's polymer matrix composite lifetime prediction modeling efforts.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number