Epoxy–lignin polyblends: Correlation between polymer interaction and curing temperature



A bisphenol A–polyamine hardener based epoxy adhesive (EP) was modified by polyblending with Kraft lignin (L). EP–L polyblends with an L content up to 40% by weight were cured at room temperature or above their glass transition temperature (Tg). Previous data have shown that the thermal and viscoelastic properties, as well as adhesive performance of the EP–L polyblends, are influenced by the curing temperature and by the L content in thermally cured polyblends. A reasonable explanation for the different behavior of EP–L polyblends as function of the curing temperature and their L content could be the enhanced degree of bonding between L and the EP network taking place at elevated temperature. This bonding was specifically considered to take place between L and possible unreacted amine groups of the hardener. Characterization of the EP–L polyblends was performed to search for evidence of irreversible chemical bonding between L and the EP network in thermally cured EP–L polyblends. FTIR studies, L extractibility from the crosslinked, polyblends, and quantitative data concerning the reactivity of L toward the polyamine hardener are discussed.