Date Approved

3-17-2020

Embargo Period

3-18-2020

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

PhD Engineering

Department

Chemical Engineering

College

Henry M. Rowan College of Engineering

First Advisor

Stanzione, Joseph F.

Second Advisor

LaScala, John J.

Third Advisor

Banning, Joseph E.

Subject(s)

thermoplastics; epoxy resins

Disciplines

Chemical Engineering

Abstract

Vinyl ester and epoxy resins are used to produce thermosetting polymeric materials for a variety of commercial and military applications due to their relatively high moduli (2-3 GPa at 25 deg C), glass transition temperatures (Tgs) (greater than or equal to 120 deg C), and adequate fracture toughness (G1C approx. 200-250 J m-2). Most commercially available vinyl ester and epoxy resins are typically cured via traditional manufacturing techniques such as resin transfer molding and thermal curing. However, additive manufacturing (AM) has gained significant traction as a favorable manufacturing technique over traditional methods due to the ability to create customizable parts with complex geometries on-demand.

This work aims to design high-performance materials that display similar thermal properties to conventional vinyl ester and epoxy resins while achieving significant gains in polymer fracture toughness and, in some cases, enable the use of such materials in stereolithography, an AM technique. Studies of the structure-property relationships of prepared, bio-based materials demonstrate that, in general, there are significant tradeoffs between Tg and fracture toughness; therefore, desired properties are not achieved. However, manipulation of polymer network connectivity via sequential formation of interpenetrating polymers allows for not only the use of AM, but also yields polymeric materials with Tgs that exceed 120 deg C and fracture toughness values four to five times higher in magnitude than conventional vinyl ester and epoxy resins.

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