Subtle variations in the structure of crosslinked epoxy networks and the impact upon mechanical and thermal properties
journal contributionposted on 05.08.2020, 00:00 authored by Larry Reyes, Jane ZhangJane Zhang, B Dao, D L Nguyen, Russell VarleyRussell Varley
Presented here is an investigation of the structure–property relationships of crosslinked networks using three bi-functional glycidyl ether aromatic epoxy resins, two bi-aryl and one tri-aryl, cured with bi- and tri-aryl amines. Subtle changes to the monomer chemistry including changing aromatic substitution patterns from meta to para, methylene to isopropyl and isopropyl to ether were explored. Changing an epoxy resin backbone from methylene to isopropyl enhances backbone rigidity thus increasing glass transition temperature (Tg), yield strength, and strain despite reducing modulus. Changing meta-substitution to para increases Tg and yield strain while leaving strength unaffected and reducing modulus. Changing isopropyl linkages to ether reduces modulus, strength, Tg, and yield strain reflecting increased molecular flexibility. Using three instead of two aromatic rings increases the molecular weight between crosslinks thereby decreasing Tg and yield strain while increasing modulus and strength. Despite the complexities of multiple systems for varying epoxy resins and amine hardeners, the effect upon network properties is explained in terms of short- and long-range molecular and segmental mobility, crosslink density, and equilibrium packing density. © 2020 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Appl. Polym. Sci. 2020, 137, 48874.