Kinetic study of epoxy curing in the glass fiber/epoxy interface using dansyl fluorescence

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The fluorescence response of the dansyl chromophore has been used to study the kinetic of epoxy curing processes. With this new method, comparison between the curing at the interface of a glass fiber/epoxy and in the epoxy bulk of a composite material was studied. The effect of two glass fiber surface treatments was investigated. Commercial E-glass fibers were surface coated with 3-aminopropyltriethoxysilane (APTES) and 3-aminopropylmethyldiethoxysilane (APDES). Fluorimetry (using fluorescent labels) and FT-NIR (Fourier transformed infrared spectroscopy in the near range) techniques were used to monitor the curing process in these composite materials. From the analysis of the data obtained, different simple kinetic models were discussed and apparent activation energies were obtained. Furthermore, from those techniques the respective results were compared to obtain complementary information. Independently of the sample and the technique used for the kinetic analysis, no variation of the activation energy of the epoxy curing reaction was found, which suggests that there are no changes in the mechanism of the reaction along the process. Fluorescence from dansyl located at the glass fiber/epoxy interface reflected that the kind of reinforcement treatment clearly affects the epoxy curing process exactly in that region. However, when analytical response comes from the whole system the mechanism of the reaction does not seem to change with the silane coating used although is quite different in comparison with the process at the interface.
Fluorescence, Interfaces, Composites, Epoxy
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Olmos, D., Aznar, A. J., Baselga, J. & González-Benito, J. (2003). Kinetic study of epoxy curing in the glass fiber/epoxy interface using dansyl fluorescence. Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, 267 (1), pp. 117-126.