The interfacial properties between fibers and resin matrices show great influence on the properties of fiber-reinforced composites. In this work, phthalonitrile containing benzoxazine (BA-ph) was chosen as the resin matrix, which combined with the glass fiber (GF) to prepare reinforced composite laminates at low temperature (200 °C). The poly(arylene ether nitrile) (PEN) was used to modify the GF and BA-ph matrix. Curing behaviors of the BA-ph/PEN were investigated with Differential scanning calorimetric (DSC) and Dynamic rheological analysis (DRA), and results indicated that the polymerization would be hindered by PEN due to the dilution effects. Moreover, the formation of triazine rings which assigning to the ring-forming polymerization of nitrile groups in BA-ph and PEN could improve the compatibility of BA-ph and PEN in the matrix. The SEM images of the fracture surface of the composites revealed that the brittleness of BA-ph matrix and interfacial adhesion between GFs and matrix was improved. The enhanced interfacial adhesion was detailedly discussed from the perspective of physical entanglement and the copolymerization between PEN chains on the surface of GFs and BA-ph/PEN matrix. The results of DMA also explained the toughness of BA-ph/PEN matrix, the semi-interpenetrating polymer networks and the interfacial adhesion. In sum, a feasible strategy that modifies the surface of GFs and the brittleness of the thermosetting matrix by high-performance thermoplastic polymers, which can be employed to prepare the composite laminates with improved properties.
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