Date of Award

Spring 5-2016

Degree Type

Honors College Thesis


Polymers and High Performance Materials

First Advisor

Jeff S. Wiggins

Advisor Department

Polymers and High Performance Materials


The formation of glassy polymer networks such as epoxy-amine systems may be altered by varying the temperature ramp rate that is used to cure the system. As a result, the physical and mechanical properties of the network may be changed. This work synthesized the epoxy resins diglycidyl ether of bisphenol A (DGEBA) with the amine curing agent 4,4-diaminodiphenyl sulfone (4,4’-DDS) from 35°C to 180°C using varying temperature ramp rates. Mechanical and structural properties of these samples were then analyzed to determine the effect the different temperature ramp rates had on the formation and properties of the thermoset matrix. These aspects were analyzed using Dynamic Mechanical Analysis (DMA), Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) and real-time Fourier Transform Near-Inferred (NIR) Spectroscopy.

It was found that higher temperature ramp rates during the cure cause the epoxide function groups to be consumed more rapidly. Also, these faster rates create materials that are less homogenized and have a lower glass transition temperature.