Comparative studies were carried out on the curing kinetics, physical and mechanical properties of conventionally and microwave cured epoxy resins. Epoxy resins Araldite LY 5052 and DLS 772 were used for this study. 4 4' Diaminodiphenyl sulfone was used as a hardener in the preparation of both systems. Nuclear magnetic resonance and gel permeation chromatography were used to identify the chemical structure of the resins. Differential scanning calorimetry was used to monitor the curing kinetics of conventionally cured epoxy samples while a microwave heating calorimeter was used to monitor the curing kinetics of microwave cured epoxy samples "in situ". These studies were carried out under non-isothermal and isothermal conditions. For both conditions, there was a significant increase in the fractional conversion of the microwave cured samples compared to the conventionally cured samples. The curing reactions for samples cured using microwave heating took place over a smaller temperature range. Higher reaction rates were observed in the samples cured using microwave heating.There were some differences in the kinetic parameters of the non-isothermal curing reactions of samples cured using microwave and conventional heating. For the Araldite LY 5052 / 4 4' DDS epoxy system, the microwave cured samples had higher activation energy than conventionally cured samples, while for the Araldite DLS 772 / 4 4' DDS epoxy system, the microwave cured samples had lower activation energy. The activation energies of the microwave isothermal curing of both Araldite LY 5052 / 4 4' DDS and Araldite DLS 772 / 4 4'DDS epoxy systems were lower than the activation energies of the conventionally cured samples.Infrared spectroscopy showed that the curing reaction followed the same path during conventional and microwave heating. It also revealed that the reaction rate of the microwave cured samples was higher than the conventionally cured samples.For both epoxy systems, the microwave cured samples had a higher glass transition temperature (Tg) , higher cross-link density (?) and lower molecular weight between cross-links. These showed that the microwave cured samples had a more compact network structure than the conventionally cured samples, which is an indication of better mechanical properties.A microwave reaction system was used to successfully dissolve conventional and microwave cured samples of Araldite DLS 772 / 4 4' DDS epoxy system. The chemical structure of the decomposed product was determined.
|Date of Award||1 Aug 2011|
- The University of Manchester
|Supervisor||Richard Day (Supervisor)|