A reactive polymer for toughening epoxy resin

Authors

  • Hsu-Chiang Kuan,

    1. School of Advanced Manufacturing & Mechanical Engineering and Mawson Institute, Division of Information Technology, Engineering and the Environment, University of South Australia, SA5095, Australia
    2. Department of Computer Application Engineering, Far East University, Tainan 744, Taiwan
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  • Jia-Bin Dai,

    1. Harbin Institute of Technology, Heilongjiang, China
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  • Jun Ma

    Corresponding author
    1. School of Advanced Manufacturing & Mechanical Engineering and Mawson Institute, Division of Information Technology, Engineering and the Environment, University of South Australia, SA5095, Australia
    • School of Advanced Manufacturing & Mechanical Engineering and Mawson Institute, Division of Information Technology, Engineering and the Environment, University of South Australia, SA5095, Australia
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Abstract

Epoxy resins are hardly toughened by low weight content of tougheners. In this study, 5 wt % polyurea was adopted to significantly toughen piperidine-cured epoxy, as fracture toughness improved from 0.78 to 1.98 MPa m1/2. We focused on the reactions and morphology evolution of epoxy/polyurea mixture. The polyurea molecular weight was reduced by the exchange reactions of polyurea with epoxy during mixing, as evidenced by gel permeation chromatograph and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. As a result, epoxy molecules were chemically bonded with polyurea, improving particle content and interface thickness. Transmission electron microscope observation shows that (a) polyurea in situ formed nanoparticles in matrix which subsequently aggregate into micron-sized particles of thick interface with matrix; and (b) the particles became less stainable with increasing the mixing time, because the reactions promoted high levels of crosslink density of the particles which were thus more resistant to the diffusion of staining chemicals. Longer mixing time improved, obviously, the fracture toughness of epoxy/polyurea composite. © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2010

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