The effect of gamma irradiation on the electrical properties of the epoxy resins
This thesis is concerned primarily with the curing of epoxy resin and the effect of gamma-irradiation on the electrical properties of epoxy resin systems. The particular systems examined were a diglycidyl ether of bisphenol A (DGEBA, Ciba Geigy MY750) epoxy resin cured using one of two hardeners. These were a hydroxyalkylated polyamine (Ciba Geigy HY956) and a dodecenyl-succinicanhydride (DDSA) with an accelerator of benzyldimethylamine. Different methods of examining the curing of the epoxy resin system have been carried out including differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), infrared spectroscopy (I.R.), dielectric measurements, volume resistivity measurements and thermally stimulated discharge current. The results of dielectric relaxation measurements obtained during the curing of the epoxy resin system were interpreted on the basis of a model considering the growing polymer molecules to be in solution, the solvent being the unreacted monomer and hardener. The investigation of the effect of gammairradiation on the electrical properties (conduction mechanism and dielectric behaviour) of the epoxy resin system was achieved by examining the electrical properties of the fully cured epoxy resin system before and after irradiation and the results compared. To establish the electrical properties of the fully cured epoxy resin system before and after irradiation, a series of experiments which provide information about the conduction mechanism, the dielectric properties, the infrared spectra (I.R.) and the glass transition temperature (Tg) obtained from (DSC) measurements were carried out. For the epoxy resin system MY750/HYS56, it was found that the D.C. conductivity, dissipation factor and capacitance values increase, whereas the glass transition temperature (Tg) and the activation energy, E, obtained from D.C. measurements decreased for the irradiated samples. Furthermore, a modification in the I.R. spectrum in the 1600 to 1800 cm⁻¹ range due to the formation of carbonyl groups (C = O) in the irradiated sample has been observed. However in the case of epoxy resin system MY750/DDSA, it was found that the dissipation factor and capacitance values decrease, whilst the glass transition temperature (Tg) and the activation energy obtained from dielectric measurements increased for the irradiated samples.