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Properties of vinyl ester resins containing methacrylated fatty acid comonomer: the effect of fatty acid chain length

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This paper reports the formulation of a low‐cost vinyl ester‐based composite resin suitable for liquid molding, which has significantly lower volatile organic compound emission associated with it. Methacrylated fatty acid comonomers were used to replace the conventional yet environmentally hazardous reactive diluent, styrene. The chain length of these fatty acids played a key role in obtaining better viscosity, as it was proved to affect two interplaying factors: intermolecular friction and hydrogen bonding. The thermomechanical performance was greatly affected by the chain length of the fatty acids as well as the crosslink density of the polymer networks. A carbon number of 6 to 8 was good enough in optimizing the viscosity parameter suitable for handling; the dynamic mechanical analysis values, namely glass transition temperature and storage modulus, were in the range 66–121 °C and 0.97–2.8 GPa, respectively, as the carbon number was varied from 4 to 16, making the material suitable for various applications. Microstructures obtained from scanning electron microscopy results were correlated with polymer properties to obtain a better insight into these polymer networks. Copyright © 2007 Society of Chemical Industry
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Keywords: blends; mechanical properties; resins; structure–property relation; viscosity

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2007

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