A bio-based epoxy resin (denoted TEIA) with high epoxy value (1.16) and low viscosity (0.92 Pa s, 25 °C) was synthesized from itaconic acid and its chemical structure was confirmed by 1H NMR and 13C NMR spectroscopy. Its curing reaction with poly(propylene glycol) bis(2-aminopropyl ether) (D230) and methyl hexahydrophthalic anhydride (MHHPA) was investigated. For comparison, the commonly used diglycidyl ether of bisphenol A (DGEBA) was also cured with the same curing agents. The results demonstrated that TEIA showed higher curing reactivity towards D230/MHHPA and lower viscosity compared with DGEBA, resulting in the better processability. Owing to its high epoxy value and unique structure, comparable or better glass transition temperature as well as mechanical properties could be obtained for the TEIA-based network relative to the DGEBA-based network. The results indicated that itaconic acid is a promising renewable feedstock for the synthesis of bio-based epoxy resin with high performance.
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