Structure property relationships of biobased epoxy resins

Maiorana, Anthony Surraht
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Gross, Richard A.
Ryu, Chang Yeol
Bae, Chulsung
Koratkar, Nikhil A. A.
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This electronic version is a licensed copy owned by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY. Copyright of original work retained by author.
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The thesis is about the synthesis, characterization, development, and application of epoxy resins derived from sustainable feedstocks such as lingo-cellulose, plant oils, and other non-food feedstocks. The thesis can be divided into two main topics 1) the synthesis and structure property relationship investigation of new biobased epoxy resin families and 2) mixing epoxy resins with reactive diluents, nanoparticles, toughening agents, and understanding co-curing reactions, filler/matrix interactions, and cured epoxy resin thermomechanical, viscoelastic, and dielectric properties. The thesis seeks to bridge the gap between new epoxy resin development, application for composites and advanced materials, processing and manufacturing, and end of life of thermoset polymers.
The structures of uncured epoxy resins are characterized through traditional small molecule techniques such as nuclear magnetic resonance, high resolution mass spectrometry, and infrared spectroscopy. The structure of epoxy resin monomers are further understood through the process of curing the resins and cured resins’ properties through rheology, chemorheology, dynamic mechanical analysis, tensile testing, fracture toughness, differential scanning calorimetry, scanning electron microscopy, thermogravimetric analysis, and notched izod impact testing. It was found that diphenolate esters are viable alternatives to bisphenol A and that the structure of the ester side chain can have signifi-cant effects on monomer viscosity. The structure of the cured diphenolate based epoxy resins also influence glass transition temperature and dielectric properties. Incorporation of reactive diluents and flexible resins can lower viscosity, extend gel time, and enable processing of high filler content composites and increase fracture toughness. Incorpora-tion of high elastic modulus nanoparticles such as graphene can provide increases in physical properties such as elastic modulus and fracture toughness. The synthesis of epoxy resins with aliphatic esters in the main chain of the polymer allow for chemical recycling under alkaline conditions and changing the hydrophobicity and access of main chain esters influences the rate of polymer degradation. The thesis further provides strategies and concepts that will allow for future researchers to rapidly understand how to manipulate epoxy resins for specific end uses and supplements current understanding of epoxy curing agents, accelerators, and interactions with fillers.
August 2016
School of Science
Dept. of Chemistry and Chemical Biology
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY
Rensselaer Theses and Dissertations Online Collection
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