A novel fluorinated biphenyl-type epoxy resin (FBE) was synthesized by epoxidation of a fluorinated biphenyl-type phenolic resin, which was prepared by the condensation of 3-trifluoromethylphenol and 4,4′-bismethoxymethylbiphenyl catalyzed in the presence of strong Lewis acid. Resin blends mixed by FBE with phenolic resin as curing agent showed low melt viscosity (1.3–2.5 Pa s) at 120–122°C. Experimental results indicated that the cured fluorinated epoxy resins possess good thermal stability with 5% weight loss under 409–415°C, high glass-transition temperature of 139–151°C (determined by dynamic mechanical analysis), and outstanding mechanical properties with flexural strength of 117–121 MPa as well as tensile strength of 71–72 MPa. The thermally cured fluorinated biphenyl-type epoxy resin also showed good electrical insulation properties with volume resistivity of 0.5–0.8 × 1017 Ω cm and surface resistivity of 0.8–4.6 × 1016 Ω. The measured dielectric constants at 1 MHz were in the range of 3.8–4.1 and the measured dielectric dissipation factors (tan δ) were in the range of 3.6–3.8 × 10−3. It was found that the fluorinated epoxy resins have improved dielectric properties, lower moisture adsorption, as well as better flame-retardant properties compared with the corresponding commercial biphenyl-type epoxy resins. © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2009
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