Processing of intractable polymers using reactive solvents: 1. Poly(2,6-dimethyl-1,4-phenylene ether)/epoxy resin

R.W. Venderbosch, H.E.H. Meijer, P.J. Lemstra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

104 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

A new processing route for poly(2,6-dimethyl-1,4-phenylene ether) (PPE), an intractable polymer on account of its thermal and oxidative sensitivity, was explored. PPE can be dissolved at elevated temperatures in epoxy resin and these solutions can then be processed at temperatures as low as 175°C. For solutions of PPE with a molecular weight of 10, 20 and 30 kg mol-1, the phase diagram and the flow curves in the homogeneous region were determined. The upper critical solution temperature (UCST) cloud point curves intersect the glass transition-composition lines at a PPE content of 70 wt%. Below this composition, thermoreversible gelation is observed upon cooling which prevents complete phase separation. Curing of the homogeneous solutions, using diethyltoluene diamine, resulted in virtually complete phase separation. In the composition range that was studied (30–70 wt% PPE), the chemically induced phase separation is accompanied by phase inversion, yielding a final morphology of epoxy spheres dispersed in a PPE matrix. Thus, after processing, the (reactive) solvent is converted into a dispersed phase. The mechanical and thermal properties of the final materials, such as toughness and glass transition temperature, are dominated by the continuous PPE matrix.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4349-4357
Number of pages9
JournalPolymer
Volume35
Issue number20
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1994

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