Effects of Moulding condition and curing atmosphere on the flexural properties of vinyl ester
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The effects of moulding condition and curing atmosphere on the flexural properties of a neat 33 wt.%-styrene epoxy vinyl ester (VE) were investigated. Specimens were prepared using either open or closed moulds, and thermally cured under either air or nitrogen atmosphere. Four-point bending tests were performed with both the top ("air-side") and the bottom ("mould- side") surfaces of the cured specimens in tension. The mean flexural moduli for nitrogen-cured and closed-mould specimens were 3% and 9% higher than for air-cured specimens, respectively. However, the mean flexural strength for open-mould air-cured specimens with their air-sides loaded in tension were 65% lower than the mean flexural strengths of open-mould nitrogen-cured or closed-mould specimens. This likely resulted from partial VE resin curing inhibition due to oxygen diffusion into the free surface region of the open-mould air-cured specimens. This creates gradients in the local stiffness and strength in the near-surface region due to lower crosslink density. This effect may be particularly important for thin specimens. These results underscore the significance of exposure to air during open-mould curing on the cured VE flexural properties. Such assessments are crucial for composite part manufacturing utilizing VEs.© 2013 Smithers Rapra Technology.
author list (cited authors)
Nouranian, S., Lee, J., Torres, G. W., Lacy, T. E., Toghiani, H., & Pittman, C. U.