Curing kinetics and mechanical properties of bio-based composite using rosin-sourced anhydrides as curing agent for hot-melt prepreg

Xu Feng Zhang, Yun Qi Qi Ge Wu, Jia Hu Wei, Jian Feng Tong, Xiao Su Yi

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


In this study, a novel bio-based thermosetting system has been developed from epoxy resin (EP), with rosin-sourced anhydrides (maleopimaric acid, RAM) as curing agent and imidazole type latent catalyst (two amino imidazole salt complex, IMA), to be used as matrix for hot-melt prepreg curing at mid-temperature. For comparison, the epoxy resin system with petroleum sourced hardener methylhexahydrophthalicanhydride (MHHPA) was also examined. The curing behaviour and mechanism were investigated by non-isothermal differential scanning calorimeter (DSC) analysis and Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectra. The results showed that the curing course of bio-based epoxy resin system containing RAM included two stages, which were the reaction between the free carboxyl group of RAM and oxirane ring under the acceleration of IMA, and the main reaction attributed to the reaction between anhydride and oxirane. According to Kissinger method, the reaction activation energy (Ea) of two stages were 68.9 and 86.5 kJ mol‒1, respectively. The Ea of EP/MHHPA and EP/IMA resin system were 81.04 and 77.9 kJ mol‒1. The processing property of EP/RAM/IMA system, i.e. the relationship between viscosity-temperature-time, was characterized by cone-plate viscometer aim to decide the processing parameter of prepreg preparation. The effect of RAM content on mechanical performance and dynamic mechanical property was investigated. Noteworthily, compared with the laminates with EP/MHHPA as matrix, the laminates with RAM as hardeners achieved a 44%, 73% and 70°C increase in bending strength, bending modulus and the glass transition temperature, respectively, due to the bulky hydrogenated phenanthrene ring structure incorporated into the cross-linking networks. When the fiber volume fraction reached 47%, the mechanical property of the laminates prepared with hot melt prepreg was superior or comparable to that of composites with pure petroleum sourced matrix. RAM as cross-linking agent of epoxy resin holds a great potential to satisfy the requirement of composites such as structure and secondary structure parts preparation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1318-1331
Number of pages14
JournalScience China Technological Sciences
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • bio-based
  • cure kinetics
  • epoxy resin
  • hot-melt prepreg
  • mechanical property
  • rosin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • General Engineering


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