An Assessment of Cure Kinetics of Epon 862-W Epoxy Resin System in the Presence of Electrospun Carbon Nanofibers During the Fabrication of Nanoengineered Prepregs
Curing characteristics is one of the most important process parameters in the development of various polymer applications including prepregs. For optimum properties of the prepreg, it is very crucial that the exact degree of cure has been ensured. To obtain a certain degree of cure, during the prepreg fabrication, it is mandatory to know the cure kinetics of the material system. Fiber reinforced composites typically consists of two materials and show significant variations in cure behavior with a minor difference in material compositions. To enhance the performance of composite materials, in addition to resin and conventional fibers, usually, electrospun nanofibers are used in the fabrication of nanoengineered prepregs. However, change in cure kinetics due to the addition of nanofiber layer is not fully explored. In the case of the development of nanoengineered prepregs, the material system may exhibit different cure kinetics other than the basic kinetics of the resin system. In the current research, the effect of electrospun carbon nanofiber mat on the curing profile of Epon862-W system is investigated. The cure profiles were obtained by different isothermal scans using differential scanning calorimeter. The obtained data is fitted with nth order polynomial and using an acceleration reaction model. The chemical parameters such as activation energy, reaction orders have been estimated. It has been noticed that for this specific material system, acceleration model is sufficient to describe the cure behavior of nanoengineered Epon 862-W resin system. The change in chemical parameters with the change in different weight fraction of nanofibers is investigated.
Author: ABM I. Islam, and Ajit D. Kelkar
Conference: SAMPE Seattle 2017