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Thermal and mechanical properties of a dendritic hydroxyl-functional hyperbranched polymer and tetrafunctional epoxy resin blends



Blends of a tetrafunctional epoxy resin, tetraglycidyl-4,4′-diaminodiphenylmethane (TGDDM), and a hydroxyl-functionalized hyperbranched polymer (HBP), aliphatic hyperbranched polyester Boltorn H40, were prepared using 3,3′-diaminodiphenyl sulfone (DDS) as curing agent. The phase behavior and morphology of the DDS-cured epoxy/HBP blends with HBP content up to 30 phr were investigated by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA), and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The phase behavior and morphology of the DDS-cured epoxy/HBP blends were observed to be dependent on the blend composition. Blends with HBP content from 10 to 30 phr, show a particulate morphology where discrete HBP-rich particles are dispersed in the continuous cured epoxy-rich matrix. The cured blends with 15 and 20 phr exhibit a bimodal particle size distribution whereas the cured blend with 30 phr HBP demonstrates a monomodal particle size distribution. Mechanical measurements show that at a concentration range of 0–30 phr addition, the HBP is able to almost double the fracture toughness of the unmodified TGDDM epoxy resin. FTIR displays the formation of hydrogen bonding between the epoxy network and the HBP modifier. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Polym Sci Part B: Polym Phys 48: 417–424, 2010