Optimizing the Curing Process of Epoxy-Clay Nanocomposites
Epoxy resin is one of the most applied thermoset polymers as a matrix for Glass Fiber Reinforced Pipes (GFRP). Curing process of epoxy resin is important for the integrity of the GFRP. The present work has been conducted to determine the proper pre-curing and post-curing temperatures and duration to develop epoxy-clay nanocomposite. During this study a differential scanning calorimeter (DSC) was used to determine the glass transition temperature and hence the degree of curing. Several samples of epoxy were prepared at different pre-curing and post-curing temperatures and durations. Pre-curing temperatures ranging from 80 to 150°C and post-curing temperatures ranging from 150 to 200°C were studied. The results show that the optimum pre-curing and post-curing temperatures are 100 and 170°C, respectively. Regarding the effect of curing duration, several specimens were prepared at the same pre-curing and post-curing temperatures with different curing durations of 1, 2, and 3 hours. It was observed that beyond one hour curing, the changes in the Tg and the degree of crosslinking were negligible. Using these optimum conditions samples of epoxy-clay nanocomposites were prepared using ultrasonication. The results showed that the addition of nonoclay to epoxy resulted in a reduction of the Tg.
S.M. Sapuan, F. Mustapha, D.L. Majid, Z. Leman, A.H.M. Ariff, M.K.A. Ariffin, M.Y.M. Zuhri, M.R. Ishak and J. Sahari
M. Al-Qadhi et al., "Optimizing the Curing Process of Epoxy-Clay Nanocomposites", Key Engineering Materials, Vols. 471-472, pp. 415-419, 2011