Cure-induced phase separation of epoxy/DDS/PEK-C composites and its temperature dependency

Xiu Juan Zhang, Xiao Su Yi, Yuan Ze Xu

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


The cure-induced phase separation approach for thermoplastic toughened thermosets of epoxy/DDS (4,4'-diaminodiphenyl sulfone)/PEK-C (modified polyetherketone) is studied by in situ rheology, real-time TOM (transmission optical microscope) in wide time-temperature space. Rheology studies show that there are two critical gel transformations corresponding to the loose entangled thermoplastic network at the threshold of phase separation and the percolated denser thermosetting network at chemical gelation point, respectively, within broad cure temperature range. The phase separation time may vary by using rheological or morphological methods, but its temperature dependencies can be well described by Arrhenius equation with similar phase separation activation energy Ea(ps). It is found in the present systems that E a(ps) keeps unchanged with varying PEK-C content and different epoxy monomers, while changes along the stoichiometric ratio of hardener, which presumably affects the chemical environment of the blends. The quantitative description of time/temperature dependence of phase separation is of practical importance for the design of cure paths in processing and optimizing the properties of TP/TS composites.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2195-2206
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Applied Polymer Science
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 15 Aug 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Cure-induced phase separation
  • Epoxy resin
  • Morphology
  • Phenolphthalein poly(ether ether ketone)
  • Rheology
  • Time/temperature dependence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry (all)
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry


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