We studied the dynamic curing of a polymer blend containing an unsaturated polyester prepolymer, styrene, and a saturated polyester as a low-profile thermoplastic additive during heating from 40 to 160°C with a constant rate (4 or 10 K/min). This work was performed by means of a homemade dilatometer that simultaneously determined conversion degree, volume, pressure, and temperature. The various phenomena inducing volume change were identified and then separated (thermal expansion, shrinkage, and shrinkage compensation). A model based on physical consideration was built that allowed an accurate fit of the experimental results. The influence of the pressure on all this phenomena was summarized and quantified. © 2003 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci 88: 1258–1267, 2003
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