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Rheological study of crosslinking and gelation in bismaleimide/cyanate ester interpenetrating polymer network



In searching for high performance polymer resins that have a combination of low dielectric constant and loss, high temperature resistance, ease of being processed, and other desirable properties, an interpenetrating polymer network (IPN) based on cyanate ester (CE) and 2,2′-diallylbisphenol A (DBA) modified bismaleimide resin (BMI) was prepared via prepolymerization followed by thermal curing. This work discusses the use of multiple waveform rheological technique to investigate the crosslinking and gelation behavior of this resin system at various temperatures. The gel point can be accurately determined from a single experiment using this technique. At the point of gelation, both the storage modulus (G′) and loss modulus (G″) of the IPN follow a similar power law equation with oscillation frequency used in the rheological measurement. Both the relaxation exponent n, a viscoelastic parameter related to the cluster size of the gel, and gel strength S, related to the mobility of the crosslinked chain segments, were determined via a curve fitting method. Both n and S were found to be temperature dependent in this BMI/DBA–CE IPN system. The apparent activation energy of gelation or curing reaction was found to be approximately 47.6 kJ/mol. © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci 80: 2437–2445, 2001