Enhancing the solvent resistance and thermomechanical properties of thermoplastic acrylic polymers and composites via reactive hybridisation

Wini Obande, Weronika Gruszka, Jennifer A Garden, Christian Wurzer, Conchúr M. Ó Brádaigh, Dipa Ray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This work demonstrates the use of an engineering thermoplastic, poly(phenylene ether) (PPE) to enhance the solvent resistance and thermomechanical properties of liquid acrylic resin matrix composites by a reactive hybridisation route. Oligomeric PPE with vinyl functionality was employed to attain chemical reactivity between the two constituents during the in-situ polymerisation process. Both unreinforced polymer blends and glass fibre-reinforced composites were studied; physical insights into the polymer structure and properties were obtained through complementary spectroscopic analysis, thermal analysis and microscopy. Spectroscopic analysis revealed the formation of multi-component mixtures in the blends, containing both CDCl3-soluble and -insoluble constituents, with the latter likely corresponding to a reacted acrylic/PPE species. These findings show that incorporating reactive PPE into a reactive acrylic resin to produce a hybrid-matrix system is a simple, yet effective strategy towards enhancing solvent resistance (mass retention: 98% – PPE-modified; 72% – unmodified), while simultaneously enhancing the glass transition temperature (+9%) in acrylic-matrix composites.
Original languageEnglish
Article number109804
JournalMaterials & Design
Volume206
Early online date6 May 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 6 May 2021

Keywords

  • Polymer-matrix composite
  • Thermoplastic composite
  • Thermoplastic resin
  • Chemical analysis
  • Thermal analysis
  • Hybrid-matrix composite

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