Reaction-Induced Phase Separation and Morphology Evolution of Benzoxazine/Epoxy/Imidazole Ternary Blends

Polymers (Basel). 2021 Aug 31;13(17):2945. doi: 10.3390/polym13172945.

ABSTRACT

Introducing multiphase structures into benzoxazine (BOZ)/epoxy resins (ER) blends via reaction-induced phase separation has proved to be promising strategy for improving their toughness. However, due to the limited contrast between two phases, little information is known about the phase morphological evolutions, a fundamental but vital issue to rational design and preparation of blends with different phase morphologies in a controllable manner. Here we addressed this problem by amplifying the difference of polymerization activity (PA) between BOZ and ER by synthesizing a low reactive phenol-3,3-diethyl-4,4′-diaminodiphenyl methane based benzoxazine (MOEA-BOZ) monomer. Results indicated that the PA of ER was higher than that of BOZ. The use of less reactive MOEA-BOZs significantly enlarged their PA difference with ER, and thus increased the extent of phase separation and improved the phase contrast. Phase morphologies varied with the content of ER. As for the phase morphological evolution, a rapid phase separation could occur in the initial homogeneous blends with the polymerization of ER, and the phase morphology gradually evolved with the increase in ER conversion until the ER was used up. The polymerization of ER is not only the driving-force for the phase separation, but also the main factor influencing the phase morphologies.

PMID:34502984 | PMC:PMC8433963 | DOI:10.3390/polym13172945

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