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Hybrid polymer networks of unsaturated polyester–urethane as composite matrices for jute reinforcement



Reactions of unsaturated polyester resin and 4,4′ diphenyl methane diisocyanate were carried out at different NCO/OH ratios in presence of catalysts to form the hybrid polymer networks. Chain extender (1,4 butanediol) added in the hybrid network (NCO/OH ratio: 0.76) was optimized at a level of ∼ 3 wt % only of the polyester resin. The curing of these networks was studied by a rigid body pendulum type (RPT) method in terms of reduced damping ratio and increased frequency. Lack of multiple glass transition temperatures, sharp Tan delta peak, and particulate composite type morphology clearly demonstrated the formation of phase mixed domains in the hybrid networks. The storage modulus and loss modulus master curves obtained by dynamic mechanical analysis indicate that hybrid polymer networks retained higher modulus at lower and intermediate frequencies over the polyester resin showing their superior time-dependent response. Efficacy of these hybrid network resins was examined as matrices in the jute composites and compared with those of polyester resin and unsaturated polyester–polyurethane interpenetrating network matrices. It is found that the hybrid polymer network matrix composites exhibited superior physicomechanical properties under both dry and boiling water age test. Fractographic evidences such as fiber–matrix adhesion, hackle markings, and fiber breakage also supported their superior behavior over other composite matrices. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2011

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