, Volume 47, Issue 8, pp 3493-3503
Date: 14 Jan 2012

Characterization of double network epoxies with tunable compositions

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This article reports the processing and characterization of epoxy resins with near constant molar cross-link density prepared from sequentially reacted amine cross-linking agents. Stoichiometric blends of curing agents with compositions ranging from all polyetheramine to all diaminodiphenylsulfone (DDS) are reacted with an epoxy monomer in a staged curing procedure. The low reactivity of the aromatic amine permits the selective reaction of the aliphatic amine in the first stage. The residual aromatic amine and epoxide functionality are reacted in a second stage at higher temperature. Above approximately 50% DDS content the first stage produces sol glasses which have not reached the gel point. The glass transition temperatures of the partially cured networks decrease monotonically with increasing DDS content. The partially cured networks can be characterized thermally and mechanically above their respective glass transitions without significantly advancing the reaction of the residual DDS and epoxide functionality. The networks formed after the second stage of the cure exhibit thermal and mechanical properties intermediate between those of the two individual amine cured networks, according to composition. The blends do not show any evidence of phase separation across the entire composition range in either the partially cured or fully cured state.