Infoscience

Journal article

Phase Separation and Gelation of Epoxy Resin/Hyperbranched Polymer Blends

The structural buildup during reticulation of thermoset systems containing reactive modifiers can strongly influence the final properties of such blends. This was studied by considering the rheological behavior during cure of an epoxy/amine thermoset system blended with reactive dendritic hyperbranched polymers (HBPs). Depending on the chemical structure of the HBP used in the blend, a phase separation could be observed. The onset and offset of the phase separation process could be detected by observing the evolution of the viscoelastic properties. The phase separation onsets obtained by rheological measurements were compared with the values obtained by traditional cloud point observations. Good agreement between the two techniques was observed. Hyperbranched polymers that did not phase separate during the curing process were used to study gelation phenomena and its dependence on the reactivity and functionality of the HBP. The gelation of the homogeneous blend system using the Flory-Stockmayer theory was also modeled. This highlighted the influence of both functionality and reactivity of the components, and the appearance of co-operative polymerization mechanisms in homogeneous blends.

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