E-beam; cationic polymerization; epoxy resin; size exclusion chromatogram.
Electron-beam (e-beam) induced polymerization of epoxy resins proceeds via cationic mechanism in presence of suitable photoinitiator. Despite good thermal properties and significant processing advantages, epoxy-based composites manufactured using e-beam curing suffer from low compressive strength, poor interlaminar shear strength, and low fracture toughness. A detailed understanding of the reaction mechanism involving e-beam induced polymerization is required to properly address the shortcomings associated with ebeam curable resin systems. This work investigated the effect of hydroxyl containing materials on the reaction mechanism of e-beam induced cationic polymerization of phenyl glycidyl ether (PGE). The alcohols were found to play important roles in polymerization. Compared to hydroxyl group of aliphatic alcohol, phenolic hydroxyl group is significantly less reactive with the oxonium active centre, generated during e-beam induced polymerization of epoxy resin system.