ABSTRACT

This chapter will concentrate on the study of curing systems in the DMA. The fully cured material was covered in Chapter 6, as the concerns there are the same as for thermoplastics. However, the interest in studying curing behavior and curing materials may be even greater. The high sensitivity of the DMA and its ability to measure viscosity quickly make it one of the most valuable tools for studying curing systems. I personally have found it more useful even than the differential scanning calorimeter (DSC), although characterizing a thermoset without having both techniques available would be inefficient at best. In examining the applications of the DMA to thermosets, we will discuss fingerprinting materials, curing kinetics, methods of characterization like the Gillham-Enns diagram, postcure studies, and decomposition studies. This chapter, like Chapter 6, will concentrate on methods that mainly involve the variation of time and temperature, although a few digressions will occur.