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Title: Investigation into the reaction mechanism of new initiators for curing epoxy resins
Author: Binks, Fiona
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2014
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The current research focuses on the examination of the mechanism of reaction between an epoxy resin and a 1,3-dialkylimidazolium based ionic liquid. The two epoxies employed in this work include the difunctional diglycidyl ether of Bisphenol A (DGEBA) and the monofunctional phenyl glycidyl ether (PGE). The four ionic liquids investigated comprise the common cation (1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium) and an anion (acetate, diethyl phosphate, dicyanamide or thiocyanate). Investigation of the thermal stability of the initiators via thermogravimetric analysis revealed 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium acetate to be the least thermally stable, both in air and nitrogen, and 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium dicyanamide to be the most thermally stable. This observation was reflected in the dynamic differential scanning calorimetry analysis of formulations comprising DGEBA and ionic liquid where it was revealed that the lowest and highest temperature for the onset of reaction were observed for formulations with 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium acetate and 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium dicyanamide respectively. 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium acetate was shown, via nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy and residual gas analysis, to degrade at 150°C to yield dealkylated products including methyl acetate and ethyl acetate as well as 1-methylimidazole and 1-ethylimidazole. The dealkylated imidazole ring is proposed as a route for initiation of the epoxy ring. Adduct formation between 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazoloium acetate and benzaldehyde at room temperature was observed leading to the proposal of the generation of a carbene species as a route for initiation of the epoxy ring in formulations with the acetate anion. NMR analysis of formulations comprising 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium thiocyanate and epoxy are believed, at room temperature, to initiate via reaction of the thiocyanate anion with the epoxy ring. At elevated temperatures, it is proposed that a second, competing reaction involving deprotonation of the imidazolium ring also becomes active. The three proposed reaction pathways, namely the carbene route, the imidazole route and the counter-ion route, are all proposed to occur when an ionic liquid is used to initiate an epoxy resin.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available