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Radical-cured block copolymer-modified thermosets

Authors

  • Erica M. Redline,

    1. Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55455
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  • Lorraine F. Francis,

    1. Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55455
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  • Frank S. Bates

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55455
    • Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55455
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Abstract

Poly(ethylene-alt-propylene)-b-poly(ethylene oxide) (PEP-PEO) diblock copolymers were synthesized and added at 4 wt % to 2,2-bis[4-(2-hydroxy-3-methacryloxypropoxy)phenyl]propane (BisGMA), a monomer that cures using free radical chemistry. In separate experiments, poly(ethylene glycol) dimethacrylate (PEGDMA) was combined as a secondary monomer with BisGMA and the monomers were loaded with 4 wt % PEP-PEO. The diblock copolymers self-assembled into well-dispersed spherical micelles with PEP cores and PEO coronas. No appreciable change in the final extent of cure of the thermosets was caused by the addition of diblock copolymer, except in the case of BisGMA, where the addition of the block copolymer increased extent of cure by 12%. Furthermore, the extent of cure was increased by 29% and 37% with the addition of 25 and 50 wt % PEGDMA, respectively. Elastic modulus and fracture resistance were also determined, and the values indicate that the addition of block copolymers does not significantly toughen the thermoset materials. This finding is surprising when compared with the large increase in fracture resistance seen in block copolymer-modified epoxies, and an explanation is proposed. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Polym Sci Part B: Polym Phys, 2011

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