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Toughening of an epoxy anhydride resin system using an epoxidized hyperbranched polymer
journal contributionposted on 01.01.2004, 00:00 authored by Russell VarleyRussell Varley, W Tian
This paper reports on the use of an epoxidized hyperbranched polymer (HBP) as an additive to an epoxy anhydride resin system. The hyperbranched polymer used was an aliphatic polyester with a molecular weight of around 10 500 g mol -1 . The epoxy resin mixture used was a combination of a difunctional diglycidyl ether of bisphenol A (DGEBA) epoxy and an epoxy novolac, and was cured with a catalysed anhydride curing agent. It has been shown that, at a concentration range of 0 to 20 wt% addition, the HBP is able to almost double the fracture toughness, with little evidence of any deleterious effects upon processing and the durability of the cured resin system. The flexural modulus and stress, however, were found to both decrease by about 30% as a result of HBP addition while the T g was found to decrease by about 10%. The processability of the uncured resin systems has been investigated by using rheological and calorimetric techniques and it was found that the processability window, as determined by the gel time and viscosity changes, was relatively unaffected by HBP addition. The fracture surfaces were evaluated by using scanning electron microscopy which showed that the unique structure of the HBP facilitates an enhanced interaction with the polymer matrix to achieve excellent toughness enhancement of the polymer matrix. The durability of the epoxy network has been investigated via thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and solvent uptake, and the HBP has been shown to have little systematic deleterious effect upon the degradation temperatures and the total amount of solvent absorbed.