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Keywords:

  • resins;
  • cure kinetics;
  • carbon nanotubes;
  • nanocomposites;
  • differential scanning calorimetry (DSC)

Abstract

The cure kinetics of tetraglycidyl-4,4′-diaminodiphenylmethane (TGDDM) and 4,4′-diaminodiphenylsulfone (DDS) as a cure agent in nanocomposites with multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWNTs) have been studied with an isothermal differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) technique. The experimental data for both the neat TGDDM/DDS system and for epoxy/MWNTs nanocomposites showed an autocatalytic behavior. Kinetic analysis was performed with the phenomenological model of Kamal and a diffusion control function was introduced to describe the cure reaction in the later stage. Activation energies and kinetic parameters were determined by fitting experimental data. For MWNTs/epoxy nanocomposites, the initial reaction rates increased and the time to the maximum rate decreased with increasing MWNTs contents because of the acceleration effect of MWNTs. The values of the activation energies for the epoxy/MWNTs nanocomposites were lower than the values for the neat epoxy in the initial stage of the reaction. © 2004 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Polym Sci Part B: Polym Phys 42: 3701–3712, 2004