Journal of Materials Science

, Volume 16, Issue 11, pp 3141–3152 | Cite as

Low-temperature behaviour of epoxy-rubber particulate composites

  • S. C. Kunz
  • P. W. R. Beaumont


Toughness and mechanical property data are presented for a carboxyl-terminated acrylonitrile butadiene (CTBN) rubber-modified epoxy resin in the temperature range 20 to − 110° C. A toughening model based on ultimate strain capability and tear energy dissipation of the rubber, present as dispersed microscopic particles in an epoxy matrix, is used to explain the suppression of composite toughness (G Ic ) below − 20° C. The toughness loss is attributed to a glass transition in the rubber particles, and to a secondary transition in the epoxy resin, both occurring in the range − 40 to − 80° C. Strain-tofailure and modulus measurements on bulk rubber-epoxy compounds, formulated to simulate rubber particle compositions, confirm a decrease in rubber ductility coincident with the onset of composite toughness loss. An increase in rubber tear energy associated with its transition to a rigid state can explain the observation that even at low temperatures composite toughness generally remains significantly higher than that of pure epoxy. Although the low-temperature epoxy transition reduces molecular mobility in the matrix phase, residual ductility in, and energy dissipation by, the rubber particles determine the extent of composite toughness suppression. The low-temperature data bear out the particle stretching-tearing model for toughening.


Epoxy Butadiene Acrylonitrile Epoxy Matrix Rubber Particle 
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Copyright information

© Chapman and Hall Ltd. 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. C. Kunz
    • 1
  • P. W. R. Beaumont
    • 2
  1. 1.Sandia National LaboratoriesAlbuquerqueUSA
  2. 2.Department of EngineeringUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeUK

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