The cure kinetics and glass transition development of a commercially available epoxy/carbon fiber prepreg system, DMS 2224 (Hexel F584), was investigated by isothermal and dynamic-heating experiments. The curing kinetics of the model prepreg system exhibited a limited degree of cure as a function of isothermal curing temperatures seemingly due to the rate-determining diffusion of growing polymer chains. Incorporating the obtained maximum degree of cure to the kinetic model development, the developed kinetic equation accurately described both isothermal and dynamic-heating behavior of the model prepreg system. The glass transition temperature was also described by a modified DiBeneditto equation as a function of degree of cure. Finally, the equivalent processing time (EPT) was used to investigate the development of glass transition temperature for various curing conditions envisioning the internal stress buildup during curing and cooling stages of epoxy-based composite processing. © 2002 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci 84: 144–154, 2002; DOI 10.1002/app.10282
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