A kinetics model for interphase formation in thermosetting matrix composites

Authors

  • F. Yang,

    1. Composites Processing Laboratory, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut 06269-3139
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  • R. Pitchumani

    Corresponding author
    1. Composites Processing Laboratory, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut 06269-3139
    • Composites Processing Laboratory, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut 06269-3139
    Search for more papers by this author

Abstract

During the cure of thermosetting polymer composites, the presence of reinforcing fibers significantly alters the resin composition in the vicinity of the fiber surface via several microscale processes, forming an interphase region with different chemical and physical properties from the bulk resin. The interphase composition is an important parameter that determines the micromechanical properties of the composite. Interphase development during processing is a result of the mass-transport processes of adsorption, desorption, and diffusion near the fiber surface, which are accompanied by simultaneous cure reactions between the resin components. Due to complexities of the molecular-level mechanisms near the fiber surface, few studies have been carried out on the prediction of the interphase evolution as function of the process parameters. To address this void, a kinetics model was developed in this study to describe the coupled mass-transfer and reaction processes leading to interphase formation. The parameters of the model were determined for an aluminum fiber/diglycidyl ether of bisphenol-A/bis(p-aminocyclohexyl)methane resin system from available experimental data in the literature. Parametric studies are presented to show the effects of different governing mechanisms on the formation of the interphase region for a general fiber–resin system. The interphase structure obtained from the model may be used as input data for the prediction of the overall composite properties. © 2003 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci 89: 3220–3236, 2003

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