A bisphenol A epoxy can be cured with m-phenylene diamine (mPDA) to produce a highly crosslinked epoxy with a high glass transition temperature. Unfortunately, such a highly crosslinked and brittle epoxy is difficult to toughen. Aniline can be added as a chain extender. The addition of aniline reduces the crosslink density as well as the glass transition temperature. The cure kinetics were also slower with the addition of aniline. The objective of this research is to evaluate the use of accelerators to speed up the polymerization of the epoxy/mPDA/aniline system.
Amelia Labak is a fifth year student at Lehigh University pursuing dual degrees in Materials Science and Engineering and Architecture. Originally from Falls Church, VA, Amelia chose Lehigh because of its outstanding engineering school and beautiful location. Now in the Materials Science department, she is very grateful to have attended Lehigh for the wonderful introduction and inspiration the Materials department has provided. She has held an internship with the Naval Research Laboratory and a grant-funded research position under Dr. Pearson at Lehigh. From this point, Amelia hopes to move into a MS program or industry position where she can apply, and continue to learn about, materials, with an emphasis on polymers.