Journal of Applied Polymer Science, Vol.61, No.10, 1663-1674, 1996
Addition of a Reactive Diluent to a Catalyzed Epoxy-Anhydride System .1. Influence on the Cure Kinetics
The effect of a reactive diluent (RD) on the kinetics of the curing of an epoxy resin, based on diglycidyl ether of bisphenol A (DGEBA), with a carboxylic anhydride derived from methyl-tetrahydrophthalic anhydride (MTHPA) catalyzed by a tertiary amine has been studied. The reactive diluent was a low-viscosity aliphatic diglycidyl ether, and the compositions per 100 parts by weight (pbw) of DGEBA were 10, 30, and 50 pbw of RD with the stoichiometric quantity of MTHPA and 1 pbw of catalyst. The curing kinetics was monitored by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), and the kinetic parameters were determined from the nonisothermal DSC curves by the method described by Malek. The kinetic analysis suggests that the two-parameter autocatalytic model is the more appropriate to describe the kinetics of the curing reaction of this epoxy-anhydride system. The kinetic parameters thus derived satisfactorily simulate both the nonisothermal DSC curves and the isothermal conversion-time plots. Increasing the RD content leads to a small increase in both the nonisothermal and the isothermal heats of curing and has a slight effect on the kinetic parameters E, In A, m, and n and, consequently, on the overall reactivity of the system. On the other hand, the increase of the RD content significantly affects the structure of the crosslinked epoxy. It is confirmed that the introduction of aliphatic chains in the structure of the epoxy increases the mobility of the segmental chains in the glass transition region. The consequence of this chemical modification is a decrease of the glass transition temperature, T-g.