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Vitrification during the isothermal cure of thermosets

Part I. An investigation using TOPEM, a new temperature modulated technique

Journal of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry
Authors: I. Fraga, S. Montserrat, and J. Hutchinson

Abstract  

The process of vitrification that occurs during the isothermal cure of a cross-linking system at temperatures below T g∞, the glass transition temperature of the fully cured resin, has been studied by TOPEM, a new temperature modulated DSC (TMDSC) technique based upon the use of stochastic temperature pulses. A comparison is made between TOPEM and another TMDSC technique, and some advantages of TOPEM are considered. The TOPEM technique is used to show that the mobility factor is not always a reliable approach to predicting the cure rate during vitrification, in view of its frequency dependence. Also, the dependence of the apparent vitrification time on frequency is examined. There appears to be a non-linear relationship between the apparent vitrification time and log(frequency), which is further discussed in the second part of this series.

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Abstract  

The processes of vitrification and devitrification that occur in an epoxy resin when it cures non-isothermally with a hardener are studied in terms of their frequency dependence and as a function of the heating rate. A novel modulated DSC technique, TOPEM, has been used which permits the evaluation of the frequency dependence for a single sample in a scan at constant underlying heating rate, thus avoiding errors arising from the composition of the sample. The effects of both frequency and heating rate on vitrification and devitrification are investigated. Some advantages of this technique are observed and discussed.

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Abstract  

The rheological behaviour of the materials diglycidil ether of bisphenol A (n = 0), 1, 2 diamine-cyclohexane and the epoxy reactive diluent vinylcyclohexane dioxide have been studied both separately and mixed before the beginning of the curing reaction. Different kinds of tests such as: preshear and time sweep, flow curve and stress sweep experiments were carried out. From these experiments, interesting information about: viscosity-shear stress and viscosity-shear rate dependences, storage modulus and the linear viscoelastic region were found out. Relationships between concentration of diluent and the final viscosity of the mixed sample and also between percentage of diluent and storage modulus were studied.

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Abstract  

Differential scanning calorimetry was used to study the influence of an epoxy reactive diluent, vinylcyclohexane dioxide, on the curing reaction of a polymeric system composed of diglycidyl ether of bisphenol A (n=0) and 1,2-diaminecyclohexane (DCH). Heat evolution and glass transition temperature, were measured in terms of the added diluent percentage. Experimental results show that both the curing degree and the glass transition temperature of the polymeric system decrease with an increase in the diluent percentage. Dynamic mechanical analysis of several samples also showed that T g decreases with the increase of diluent percentage, thus corroborating DSC measurements.

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Journal of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry
Authors: L. Núñez-Regueira, M. Villanueva, and I. Fraga-Rivas

Abstract  

The study of the degradation of a polymer is important because it can determine the upper temperature limit, the mechanism of a solid-state process, and the life-time for this system. Since the behavior of thermosets is affected by the selection of the curing cycle, it is important to investigate the changes which take place during the thermal degradation of these materials when a change on the sequence of time and temperature is introduced during the curing reaction. In this work, the thermal degradation of two epoxy systems diglycidyl ether of bisphenol A (BADGE n=0)/1, 2 diamine cyclohexane (DCH) cured through different sequences of time and temperature was studied by thermogravimetric analysis in order to determine the reaction mechanism of the degradation processes, and also to check the influence of the curing cycle on this mechanism. Values obtained using different kinetic methods were compared to the value obtained by Kissinger’s method (differential method which do not require a knowledge of the n-order reaction mechanism), and to that obtained through Flynn–Wall–Ozawa method in a previous work.

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Journal of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry
Authors: Lisardo Núñez-Regueira, M. Villanueva, I. Fraga, C. A. Gracia-Fernández, and S. Gómez-Barreiro

Abstract  

The thermal degradation of an epoxy system consisting of a diglycidyl ether of bisphenol A (DGEBA, n=0) and m-xylylenediamine (m-XDA) was studied by both thermogravimetric analysis (TG) and dielectric analysis (DEA). It has been checked a deviation of the typical behaviour in the Arrhenius plot expected for this kind of systems, owing to the thermal degradation. Both, structural relaxation time and conductivity values, were represented as a function of the mass loss, that allow a relationship to be obtained between characteristic relaxation time and the degree of degradation at the beginning of the degradation process.

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Journal of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry
Authors: Maria Villanueva, I. Fraga, J. Rodríguez-Añón, J. Proupín-Castiñeiras, and J. Martín

Abstract  

The diffusive, calorimetric and thermal degradation behavior of different epoxy-amine systems was investigated during water sorption at different temperatures (23, 40 and 70°C). Experimental results showed that the water absorption at these temperatures fitted well to Fick’s law. Influence of water immersion during different periods of time on the glass transition temperatures was studied by differential scanning calorimetry. Thermal degradation of saturated samples was studied by thermogravimetric analysis. Dependence on the selected curing cycle was also checked.

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