Dicyclopentadiene Polyester Resin Risk Assessment
Dicyclopentadiene is a reactive monomer used in substantial volume as a key raw material by the unsaturated polyester resin industry. Although the chemistry was well understood from a technical perspective, the process safety considerations were not well documented. Following some initial work internally, an opportunity was seized to initiate a collaborative study of the risks posed by this reaction chemistry under the umbrella of the Composites Fabricators Association Process Safety Committee. Committee members supply DCPD resins to the composites industry. Benefits of this effort have included access to incident and near miss experiences; shared costs for carrying out stability testing using adiabatic runaway calorimetry and continuous addition studies; and access to best practices for improving DCPD process safety. Limitations, such as the need to protect proprietary formulation data, have not seriously impacted work on the common half-ester reaction step, but have required some follow-up studies by individual companies. This successful effort to enhance reactive chemical safety may provide a useful model for other companies working to improve their safety performance and PSM compliance.
Cramer, John; Lay, James (2000). Dicyclopentadiene Polyester Resin Risk Assessment. Mary Kay O'Connor Process Safety Center; Texas &M University. Libraries. Available electronically from