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Frontal Polymerization of Dicyclopentadiene

POLETTE CENTELLAS, MOSTAFA YOURDKHANI, IAN D. ROBERTSON, JEFFREY S. MOORE, NANCY R. SOTTOS, SCOTT R. WHITE

Abstract


Fabrication of thermosetting polymers is restricted by the long cure cycles required for the full cross-linking of monomers. For example, high temperature performance epoxy resins require several hours of curing at elevated temperatures to obtain a robust polymer network. An oven or autoclave is typically used to provide the required energy for the polymerization, resulting in the bulk curing of the monomers. A promising alternative to the slow and long bulk curing is frontal polymerization, in which the monomers undergo a self-sustaining exothermic polymerization reaction once triggered by a thermal stimulus. Essentially, the monomers polymerize locally at the front of the exothermic reaction wave, leading to the rapid cure of the material. In this paper, we evaluate the frontal polymerization of the thermosetting polymer dicylcopentadiene under a variety of thermal triggering conditions. We show significantly faster cure times compared to typical epoxies as well as dramatically reduced energy required for curing.


DOI
10.12783/asc2017/15291

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