Cure kinetics of thermosetting bisphenol E cyanate ester
Resin injection repair is a common method to repair delamination damage in polymer matrix composites (PMCs). To repair high-temperature PMCs, the resin should have a very low viscosity, yet cure into a compatible adhesive with high temperature stability. Normally, thermosetting polymers with high glass transition temperatures (Tg) are made from monomers with high room temperature viscosities. Among the high temperature resins, bisphenol E cyanate ester (BECy, 1,1’-bis(4-cyanatophenyl)ethane), is unique because it has an extremely low viscosity of 0.09–0.12 Pa s at room temperature yet polymerizes as a cross-linked thermoset with a high Tg of 274°C. BECy monomer is cured via a trimerization reaction, without volatile products, to form the high Tg amorphous network.
In this study, the cure kinetics of BECy is investigated by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). Both dynamic and isothermal experiments were carried out to obtain the kinetic parameters. An autocatalytic model was successfully used to model isothermal curing. The activation energy from the autocatalytic model is 60.3 kJ mol−1 and the total reaction order is about 2.4. The empirical DiBenedetto equation was used to evaluate the relationship between Tg and conversion. The activation energy of BECy from the dynamic experiments is 66.7 kJ mol−1 based on Kissinger’s method, while isoconversional analysis shows the activation energy changes as the reaction progresses.
Keywordsactivation energy cure kinetics cyanate ester DSC
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