Toughening epoxy thermosets with block ionomers : the role of phase domain size

Wu, Shuying, Guo, Qipeng, Kraska, Martin, Stuhn, Bernd and Mai, Yiu-Wing 2013, Toughening epoxy thermosets with block ionomers : the role of phase domain size, Macromolecules, vol. 46, no. 20, pp. 8190-8202.

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Title Toughening epoxy thermosets with block ionomers : the role of phase domain size
Author(s) Wu, Shuying
Guo, Qipeng
Kraska, Martin
Stuhn, Bernd
Mai, Yiu-Wing
Journal name Macromolecules
Volume number 46
Issue number 20
Start page 8190
End page 8202
Total pages 13
Publisher American Chemical Society
Place of publication Washington, D.C.
Publication date 2013
ISSN 0024-9297
1520-5835
Summary Herein we report a novel approach to toughen epoxy thermosets using a block ionomer, i.e., sulfonated polystyrene-block-poly(ethylene-co-butylene)-block- polystyrene (SSEBS). SSEBS was synthesized by sulfonation of SEBS with 67 wt % polystyrene (PS). Phase morphology of the epoxy/SSEBS blends can be controlled at either nanometer or micrometer scale by simply adjusting the sulfonation degree of SSEBS. It has been found that there exists a critical degree of sulfonation (10.8 mol %) forming nanostructures in these epoxy/SSEBS blends. Above this critical value, macrophase separation can be avoided and only microphase separation occurs, yielding transparent nanostructured blends. All epoxy/SSEBS blends display increased fracture toughness compared to neat epoxy. But the toughening efficiency varies with the phase domain size, and their correlation has been established over a broad range of length scales from nanometers to a few micrometers. In the nanostructured blends with SSEBS of high sulfonation degrees, the fracture toughness decreases with decreasing size of the phase domains. In the macrophase-separated blends, only a slight improvement in toughness can be obtained with SSEBS of low sulfonation degrees. The epoxy blend with submicrometer phase domains in the range 0.05-1.0 μm containing SSEBS of a moderate degree of sulfonation (5.8 mol %) displays the maximum toughness. This study has clearly clarified the role of phase domain size on toughening efficiency in epoxy thermosets.
Language eng
Field of Research 091209 Polymers and Plastics
Socio Economic Objective 860606 Plastics in Primary Forms
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2013, American Chemical Society
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30058887

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Institute for Frontier Materials
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