Upgrading the adhesion properties of a fast-curing epoxy using hydrophilic/hydrophobic hyperbranched poly(amidoamine)s



A homologous series of hyperbranched polymers (HBPs) was prepared following a well-defined method and their formation in a polymeric form bearing different extents of branching with amine functional groups at the terminals was verified using different techniques such as Fourier Transform Infrared, 1H Nuclear Magnetic Resonance, Differential Scanning Calorimetry, and Gel Permeation Chromatography. Toughening of a commercially available fast cure epoxy was aimed through reactive blending with the formed HBPs that exhibit variation in polarity and branching according to the relevant synthesis strategy employed for each polymer. The mechanical properties (impact resistance, pull-off adhesion, and bending) of the resulting coating films pertaining to each epoxy formulation after adhering to metal substrates revealed obvious progress in their performance with respect to a control sample that was hardened exclusively in absence of any HBP. The results were explained on the light of the ability of this class of materials to impose flexibility and dilute the intensive crosslink density associated frequently with the rapid curing of epoxy systems. The extent of gained enhancement for each formulation was accounted for by the molecular architecture of the HBPs, their degrees of branching, polarity, and relative reactive contents of primary amino groups in each case. In addition, the influence of these parameters on a proper wetting over the substrate and morphology of the films in each case was also studied using scanning electron microscopy. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Appl. Polym. Sci., 2013