AFM fracture surface study of vinylester and unsaturated polyester based thermosets
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The study and understanding of the structure and properties of styrene/vinylester (St/VE) and styrene/unsaturated polyester (St/UP) cross-linked thermosets has received technologic and scientific attention, because these resins are widely used as matrices in composites formulations, sharing advantages, such as low room temperature viscosity coupled with good mechanical properties and low cost, plus the added chemical resistance in the case of VE. To investigate the morphologies of these systems, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) offers an useful tool at a micron scale, while the atomic force microscopy (AFM) allows to reach the detail of the topography at a nanometric scale and also to determine the nanostructures of the surface .
In both systems, the cross-linked reaction occurs by free radical polymerisation where, big molecular structures are formed through connecting St and UP (or VE) unsaturated comonomers by both inter- and intra-molecular reactions. These branched structures...
KeywordsAtomic Force Microscopy Benzoyl Peroxide Maleic Anhydride Vinylester Atomic Force Microscopy Technique