Journal article

Time-cure-temperature superposition for the prediction of instantaneous viscoelastic properties during cure

The relative sequence of shrinkage and evolution of modulus of a thermoset resin during cure leads to the build-up of internal stresses, especially if the resin is constrained by the presence of other materials in the form of a substrate or reinforcing fibers. To enable prediction of the levels of internal stress generated during processing and to determine appropriate processing windows, the evolution of the modulus of an epoxy-amine system during cure has been characterized and described with a phenomenological model. A combined reaction kinetics model is used to determine the degree of conversion of the epoxy over any complete range of cure. The chemorheological properties of the resin are measured as a function of curing temperature with a torsional parallel plate rheometer. A new phenomenological approach for time-cure-temperature superposition is proposed for predicting the relaxation modulus at any moment during cure and at any cure temperature. The combination of these two models provides a full description of the instantaneous viscoelastic properties during cure. This approach, which can be adapted to any curing resin, provides suitable tools for the analysis of viscoelastic stress build-up following any industrially relevant cure cycle.


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