Date of Award

12-1-2010

Degree Type

Dissertation

University or Center

Clark Atlanta University(CAU)

School

School of Arts and Sciences

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Department

Chemistry

First Advisor

Dr. Eric Mintz

Second Advisor

Dr. Conrad Ingram

Third Advisor

Dr. Cass Parker

Abstract

Phenylethynyl terminated imides (PETI) are high temperature, high performance matrix resins that can be processed into composites by various methods including resin transfer molding (RTM) arid vacuum assisted resin transfer molding (VARTM). PETI resins have experienced extremely rapid development in recent years, with major emphasis placed on engineering applications that take advantage of their high cured TgS,high thermooxidative stability, high strength to weight ratio, outstanding mechanical properties, and compatibility with RTM and VARTM processing. In recent years the addition of nanoparticles to resin systems has been shown to further enhance the mechanical properties and thermooxidative stability. In this study, we incorporated nanoporous aluminosilicate materials, otherwise known as zeolites, into PETI resin GRC-A, and investigated the effect the zeolites have on the viscosity, cure kinetics, thermooxidative stability and other thermomechanical properties of GRC-A. Rheological and differential scanning calorimetry studies conducted on the GRC-Alzeolite mixtures showed that zeolite L acts like a filler and retards the curing of the phenylethynyl end-groups, while zeolite Y catalyzes the curing process. Additionally, cure kinetic studies via melt rheology and DSC confirmed that the activation energies for GRC-A/zeolite Y mixtures as lower than for neat GRC-A and GRC-A/zeolite L mixtures, further supporting zeolite L acts as a filler while zeolite Y serves as a catalyst during the cure process. While the cured Tgs, from the DMA and TMA studies showed that in spite of the catalytic properties of zeolite Y; it did not afford additional properties over GRC-A and zeolite L mixtures. However, the catalytic properties of zeolite Y allows PETI resins to be cured at a lower temperatures, which could lead to lower energy costs in the production of composite parts from PETI resins.

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