2023 article

Consequences of Humidity Cycling on the Moisture Absorption Characteristics of Epoxy Resins with Different Network Architectures

Guha, R. D., Danilov, E. O., Berkowitz, K., Oluwajire, O., & Grace, L. R. (2023, January 3). ACS APPLIED POLYMER MATERIALS.

By: R. Guha n, E. Danilov n, K. Berkowitz n, O. Oluwajire n & L. Grace n

co-author countries: United States of America 🇺🇸
author keywords: epoxy; moisture; humidity; infrared spectroscopy; dielectric properties
Source: Web Of Science
Added: January 30, 2023

Absorbed moisture is a perpetual contributor to the steady loss of performance for in-service epoxy-based polymer materials. On the atomistic scale, the state of individual water molecules in a crosslinked epoxy is dependent on the strength of the secondary bonding interactions they engage in and their local physical environment. However, these chemical and physical variables can be tailored on the macroscopic scale through changes in the experimental curing schedule. In this study, crosslinked epoxy matrices with different network architectures were cured by varying the stoichiometric mixing ratios of the epoxy: hardener combination. The samples were subsequently subjected to fluctuating humidity conditions which comprises repeating cycles of high (∼95% RH) and ambient humidity. Both infrared (IR) spectroscopy and dielectric readings were successful in establishing a strong correlation between moisture absorption, network morphology, and dielectric properties. An anomalous behavior observed during the spectral peak analysis helped us understand how absorption history can redistribute the concentrations of water species at the same moisture concentrations. The results from this study elucidate how the phenomenon of absorption itself can act as a damage initiation event, and they also indicate that the spatial quantification of the different water species across a sample can allow us to map damage sites, nanopores, and areas with an overall higher void content.