Dielectric monitoring during the cure of epoxy resin blends
Dielectric monitoring and supporting techniques (differential Scanning calorimetry, infra-red spectrosoopy, viscometry, dynamic mechanical thermal analysis and light transmittance) were used to study the isothermal cure reaction of the CTBN rubber modified DGEBA resin/amine hardener blends. The neat system was also examined for the required knowledge of the matrix properties. The complexity of the cure kinetics was demonstrated by the use of a rapid technique for kinetic parameters evaluation. The utility of the dielectric cure monitoring is focused at the observation of evidence o phase separation, gelation and vitrification. The phase separatlon which the blends underwent during the cure was detected by the dielectric »monitoring through a permittivity increase at the low frequency response. The onset of the rapid viscosity increase leading to gelation was also indicated by the sharp decrease o the dielectric constant atlhigh frequencies. The frequency dependence of the times reach the dielectric loss peaks was used to predict successfully the vitrification times during the isothermal reactions o the blends. The in-situ nature o the technique and the basic understanding o the features appearing in the dielectric signal during the cure reaction provide the basis for the use of dielectric monitoring in the process of composite materials, manufacture.