Next Article in Journal
Preparation, Characterization, and Performance Evaluation of Polysulfone Hollow Fiber Membrane with PEBAX or PDMS Coating for Oxygen Enhancement Process
Next Article in Special Issue
PLA Melt Stabilization by High-Surface-Area Graphite and Carbon Black
Previous Article in Journal
Ionic Liquid-Based Thermoplastic Solid Electrolytes Processed by Solvent-Free Procedures
Previous Article in Special Issue
Toughening of Poly(lactic acid) and Thermoplastic Cassava Starch Reactive Blends Using Graphene Nanoplatelets
Article Menu
Issue 2 (February) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Polymers 2018, 10(2), 125;

Effect of Curing Rate on the Microstructure and Macroscopic Properties of Epoxy Fiberglass Composites

Department of Macromolecular Science and Engineering, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH 44106, USA
Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA 23529, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 11 December 2017 / Revised: 21 January 2018 / Accepted: 24 January 2018 / Published: 27 January 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Processing-Structure-Properties Relationships in Polymers)
Full-Text   |   PDF [2568 KB, uploaded 30 January 2018]   |  


Curing rates of an epoxy amine system were varied via different curing cycles, and glass-fiber epoxy composites were prepared using the same protocol, with the aim of investigating the correlation between microstructure and composite properties. It was found that the fast curing cycle resulted in a non-homogenous network, with a larger percentage of a softer phase. Homogenized composite properties, namely storage modulus and quasi-static intra-laminar shear strength, remained unaffected by the change in resin microstructure. However, fatigue tests revealed a significant reduction in fatigue life for composites cured at fast curing rates, while composites with curing cycles that allowed a pre-cure until the critical gel point, were unaffected by the rate of reaction. This result was explained by the increased role of epoxy microstructure on damage initiation and propagation in the matrix during fatigue life. Therefore, local non-homogeneities in the epoxy matrix, corresponding to regions with variable crosslink density, can play a significant role in limiting the fatigue life of composites and must be considered in the manufacturing of large scale components, where temperature gradients and significant exotherms are expected. View Full-Text
Keywords: curing rate; epoxy microstructure; fatigue; composites; critical gel curing rate; epoxy microstructure; fatigue; composites; critical gel

Graphical abstract

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

Supplementary material


Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Patel, A.; Kravchenko, O.; Manas-Zloczower, I. Effect of Curing Rate on the Microstructure and Macroscopic Properties of Epoxy Fiberglass Composites. Polymers 2018, 10, 125.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Polymers EISSN 2073-4360 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top