Published online by Cambridge University Press: 28 February 2011
Microwave processing has been utilized to process thermosetting polymeric materials. Specifically, fundamental studies relating epoxy network generation to processing conditions have been investigated in a tunable cylindrical cavity operating at a frequency of 2.45 GHz. These studies demonstrate that fully cured networks can be generated in ten minutes with the retention of good mechanical properties. Furthermore, toughened epoxy systems which utilize carefully designed amine terminated poly(arylene ether sulfone) thermoplastics as reactive oligomers have resulted in novel phase separated morphologies. In fact, it has been demonstrated that the morphology in these multiphase systems can actually be controlled by utilizing microwave processing. Bismaleimide toughened systems, devised by similar strategies, have demonstrated a 10–20 fold reduction in the time required to achieve full cure.
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