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- Epoxy + liquid crystalline epoxy coreacted networks
- Molecular reinforcement through in-situ polymerization of liquid crystalline epoxies (LCEs) and a non-liquid crystalline epoxy has been investigated. Three LCEs: diglycidyl ether of 4,4'-dihydroxybiphenol (DGE-DHBP) and digylcidyl ether of 4-hydroxyphenyl-4"-hydroxybiphenyl-4'-carboxylate (DGE-HHC), were synthesized and blended with diglycidyl ether of bisphenol F (DGEBP-F) and subsequently cured with anhydride and amine curing agents. Curing kinetics were determined using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). Parameters for autocatalytic curing kinetics of both pure monomers and blended systems were determined. The extent of cure for both monomers was monitored by using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR). The glass transitions were evaluated as a function of composition using DSC and dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA). The results show that the LC constituent affects the curing kinetics of the epoxy resin and that the systems are highly miscible. The effects of molecular reinforcement of DGEBP-F by DGE-DHBP and DGE-HHC were investigated. The concentration of the liquid crystalline moiety affects mechanical properties. Tensile, impact and fracture toughness tests results are evaluated. Scanning electron microscopy of the fracture surfaces shows changes in failure mechanisms compared to the pure components. Results indicate that mechanical properties of the blended samples are improved already at low concentration by weight of the LCE added into epoxy resin. The improvement in mechanical properties was found to occur irrespective of the absence of liquid crystallinity in the blended networks. The mechanism of crack study indicates that crack deflection and crack bridging are the mechanisms in case of LC epoxy. In case of LC modified epoxy, the crack deflection is the main mechanism. Moreover, the effect of coreacting an epoxy with a reactive monomer liquid crystalline epoxy as a matrix for glass fiber composites was investigated. Mechanical properties of the modified matrix were determined by tensile, flexural and impact testing. The improvement in toughness of the bulk matrix by the addition of a LCEs is seen also in the composites. The improvement is related to the enhancement of adhesion between the glass fibers and the matrix.