Date of Award

Fall 7-16-2021

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

School

Polymer Science and Engineering

Committee Chair

Jeffrey Wiggins

Committee Chair School

Polymer Science and Engineering

Committee Member 2

Derek Patton

Committee Member 2 School

Polymer Science and Engineering

Committee Member 3

Sarah Morgan

Committee Member 3 School

Polymer Science and Engineering

Committee Member 4

Xiaodan Gu

Committee Member 4 School

Polymer Science and Engineering

Committee Member 5

Sergei Nazarenko

Committee Member 5 School

Polymer Science and Engineering

Abstract

The presented research delves into epoxy network formation corroborating reactant concentration profiles and physical property development throughout cure, providing an experimental basis for burgeoning molecular dynamics and coarse-grained simulation methodologies. Herein, three primary subjects were investigated: the first two examine neat and toughened epoxide/amine network formation with respect to various cure profiles aimed at altering reaction pathways, the final chapter intends to augment traditionally utilized activation energy (Ea) methodologies.

Neat and toughened epoxide/amine slurries were monitored in-situ throughout cure via near infrared (NIR) spectroscopy and rheological techniques. Functional group conversion and moduli development were related with specific attention on analogous events: critical gelation, final degree of cure (DOC), complete primary amine consumption DOC, vitrification DOC, Tg, maximum secondary amine concentration, and DOC at the maximum secondary amine concentration. Similar investigations were proffered for traditional Ea determination ramps, investigating whether altered ramp rates incur network formation variations (reaction order or physical state). All work remains central to epoxy network formation and the effects various manners of achieving it evoke.

ORCID ID

https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3969-0657

Available for download on Tuesday, October 18, 2022

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