Effects of Moulding Condition and Curing Atmosphere on the Flexural Properties of Vinyl Ester
Nouranian, S., Lee, J., Torres, G. W., Lacy, T., Toghiani, H., & Pittman, C. (2013). Effects of Moulding Condition and Curing Atmosphere on the Flexural Properties of Vinyl Ester. Polymers and Polymer Composites. 21(2), 61-64.
The effects of molding and curing atmosphere on the flexural properties of a neat 33 wt%-styrene epoxy vinyl ester (VE) were investigated. Specimens were prepared using either open or closed molds, and thermally cured under either air or nitrogen atmosphere. Four-point bending tests were performed with both the top (“air-side”) and bottom (“mold-side”) surfaces of the cured specimens in tension. The mean flexural moduli for nitrogen-cured and closed-mold specimens were 3% and 9% higher than for air-cured specimens, respectively. However, the mean flexural strength for open-mold air-cured specimens with their air-sides loaded in tension were 65% lower than the mean flexural strengths of open-mold nitrogen-cured or closed-mold specimens. This likely resulted from partial VE resin curing inhibition due to oxygen diffusion into the free surface region of the open-mold air-cured specimens. This creates gradients in the local stiffness and strength in the near-surface region due to lower crosslink density. This effect may be particularly important for thin specimens. These results underscore the significance of exposure to air during open-mold curing on the cured VE flexural properties.