Phenalkamines with different structures are expected to affect the curing reaction of epoxy, yet the exact mechanism remains to be elucidated. In this study, four cardanol-based phenalkamines (named PK1, PK2, PK3, and PK4, respectively), synthesized from ethylenediamine, diethylenetriamine, triethylenetetramine, and pentaethylenehexamine, were used as curing agents in diglycidyl ether of bisphenol A (DGEBA) epoxy system. The phenalkamines were characterized by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, nuclear magnetic resonance, and time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry. The curing behaviors and kinetics were investigated by non-isothermal differential scanning calorimetry, and the activation energies of the reactions (E α ) were determined using Kissinger–Akahira–Sunose (KAS) and Starink methods. The results indicate a similar curing mechanism for all four phenalkamines. All E α values remain almost constant in the range of 0.05 ≤ α ≤ 0.6, and increase dramatically after α > 0.6 due to greater viscosity of the reaction systems. The diffusion of reactive groups plays an increasingly important role in determining the curing kinetics. In addition, DGEBA/PK1 and DGEBA/PK2 have lower initial E α values than DGEBA/PK3 and DGEBA/PK4, because PK1 and PK2 have lower viscosity than PK3 and PK4. When α is high, DGEBA/PK1 and DGEBA/PK2 have higher E α values than DGEBA/PK3 and DGEBA/PK4, because more tertiary amine groups can be formed in the reactions between the epoxy and secondary amine groups in the DGEBA/PK3 and DGEBA/PK4 systems, which catalyze the curing reaction and it thus lowers energetic barrier.
Iranian Polymer Journal – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 6, 2017
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