This report focuses on epoxy-dicyandiamide (DICY) curing system accelerated by N-aryl-N′,N′-dialkyl urea, aiming at clarifying the accelerating mechanism and the relationship between accelerating effect and molecular structure of the accelerators. Nine N-aryl-N′,N′-dialkyl ureas were synthesized and investigated with measurements of differential scanning calorimetry, thermo gravimetric/differential thermal analysis and NMR spectroscopy. The results revealed that the ureas released the corresponding secondary amines by the thermal dissociation in the presence of epoxide, which led to the formation of tertiary amines that catalyze the addition reaction of DICY to epoxide. Moreover, a tendency that the ureas able to release more compact amines exhibited higher acceleration effects was discovered. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Polym Sci Part A: Polym Chem, 2010
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