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Synthesis and characterization of epoxy-acrylate vinylester resin and network structure

Zeytin Derin, Çiğdem
Vinylesters are termosets resins that have reactive double bond at the chain ends. They are produced by the reaction of various epoxies and acrylic acids by step growth polymerization. Vinylester chains are oligomers with molecular weight from 600 to 1200 g/mol. The resin viscosity is very high; therefore, diluent is used for easy application. The generally used diluent is styrene with, reactive double bonds to form a crosslink between the chains. The diluted resin viscosities are between 200 2000 cps. Peroxide initiators are used for network formation. The mechanical properties of vinylester resin are enhanced with reinforcements such as glass fiber, carbon fiber, Kevlar or nanoparticules to make composites. Various molecular weights of vinylester resins were synthesized and the samples were prepared with different styrene contents. The effects of the styrene content, temperature and molecular weight on the viscosity were measured and examined. The main effects were determined as styrene content and temperature, while the effect of molecular weight is negligible. The resins were characterized with IR and NMR spectroscopy. The molecular weights were determined by theoretical calculations, titration and H-NMR spectroscopy. Peroxide initiators were used to cure the resins with the cobalt complex accelerator. The resins were post-cured at different temperatures. The completion of the curing was monitored by the disappearance of the carbon-carbon double bonds of methacrylate (943 cm-1) and styrene (910 cm-1), by FT-IR spectrum. The effects of styrene content, post-cure conditions, and molecular weight on the mechanical properties were discussed. The glass transition temperatures were determined by DSC and DMA. The crosslink densities and rheological properties were determined by creep test. The important properties of vinylester resins, which are modulus, tensile and flexural strength, shrinkage, water absorption, glass transition temperature, HDT values and impact strength were investigated.