Cure monitoring of epoxy films by heatable in situ FTIR analysis: correlation to composite parts



The curing mechanism of an epoxy film containing dicyandiamide (DICY) and an epoxy formulation based on diglycidyl ether of Bisphenol A (DGEBA) polymer was studied as a function of various temperature programs. The investigation was performed in situ, using a thin film of the epoxy mixture on a silicon wafer substrate in a heatable transmission tool of a FTIR spectrometer. Based on these model-curing experiments, a major curing mechanism was proposed, taking into account the appearance, the decrease, and the development of characteristic bands at various temperatures. The conclusions of the model curing were correlated to FTIR measurements on a real, 50-mm-thick glass fiber reinforced component composite part from a technical process. It could be shown that characteristic bands that develop at curing temperatures above 150°C appear especially in the center of the thick sample. From the chemical or molecular point of view, this demonstrates the established technician's understanding that temperature control inside a large-scale fiber composite of, for example, aircraft, wind-turbine, automotive applications component is of major importance. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Appl. Polym. Sci. 2014, 131, 39832.