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Aspects of network formation in glassy thermosets

Authors

  • Andrew T. Detwiler,

    1. Department of Polymer Science and Engineering, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst, Massachusetts 01003
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  • Alan J. Lesser

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Polymer Science and Engineering, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst, Massachusetts 01003
    • Department of Polymer Science and Engineering, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst, Massachusetts 01003
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Abstract

Aspects of network formation and the physical properties of stoichiometric amine-cured epoxy resins are investigated. The state of network formation is systematically controlled by using isothermal cure conditions and a linear temperature ramp condition. Affine deformation in compression at a constant true strain rate is used to measure the true stress–strain response from small strains to large strains. Beginning with the low-strain responses and continuing through yielding, partially cured samples demonstrate characteristics of physical ageing that diminish as the networks approach full conversion. The postyield properties are characterized by a strong dependence on network connectivity with little influence of the curing method. The mechanical responses are also applied to necking and shear banding analyses. The resins are unable to achieve stable necking in tension. However, shear bands are able to be stabilized, as predicted by a model developed in this work. These results suggest that physical ageing is inherent in epoxy network formation, and the resulting strain localization significantly degrades the mechanical integrity of epoxy resins in the partially cured state, regardless of the cure conditions. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2010

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