Published online by Cambridge University Press: 28 February 2011
Polymers and polymer composites have been processed In a cylindrical resonant microwave applicator at a frequency of 2.45GHz. Stoichlometric mixtures of two epoxy/amine systems, DGEBA (Diglycidyl Ether of Bisphenol A)/DDS (4,4'-Diaminodiphenyl Sulfone) and DGEBA/mPDA(m-Phenylene Diamine), were microwave and thermally cured Isothermally using a thin film technique. FTIR was used to determine the extent of cure. Increased reaction rates were observed In microwave cure when compared to those of thermal cure. The rate Increase due to microwave effects was much greater for the DGEBA/DDS system than for DGEBA/mPDA. Also, crossply and unidirectional 24-ply and 72-ply graphite/epoxy laminates(AS4/3501-6 prepreg, Hercules Corp.). were processed using microwave radiation. The flexural properties of the microwave processed composites were strongly dependent on the resonant heating mode. Comparable flexural properties were obtained for the unpressurized microwave processed composites and the pressurized autoclave processed composites. Proper controlled-hybrid modes are required to process composites of high mechanical properties. The procedures for obtaining these controlled-hybrid modes are described.
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