272717 Synthesis and Characterization of Thermosetting Furan-Based Epoxy Materials with Improved Mechanical and Thermal Properties
Most of the thermosetting resins are produced from petroleum feedstocks. Recently, the high price of fossil fuels and the demand to protect health and the environment raise the interest in manufacturing polymeric materials from renewable materials. Among those, furan-based epoxy resins have become the materials of interest to different researchers. The aim of this research, therefore, is to synthesize furan-based epoxy resins from b-HMF (bis-(hydroxymethyl)furan) with improved mechanical and thermal properties, especially high glass transition temperature. Furan-based resins are thermoset condensation resins produced from pentose sugars, furfuryl alcohol or its prepolymers. Specifically, b-HMF furan-based epoxy resins are synthesized by improved conventional methods.
Novel furan-based epoxy resins are then characterized by several techniques, such as FT-IR, GPC, NMR, DSC and DMA. Good mechanical properties and high transition temperature (above 100°C) are required to achieve. This kind of epoxy can also be used as self-healing materials because it can react with both EPON 828 and PACM (methylenebiscyclohexanamine) at different ratios to attain different self-healing properties and high glass transition temperatures. Currently, synthesized furan-based epoxy resins cured by PACM show a glass transition temperature at about 65°C by DMA and DSC. Different functional groups will be attached to the main chemical structure to improve mechanical and thermal properties. Upon the success of synthesizing furan-based epoxy resins with improved mechanical and thermal properties compared to their petroleum-based competitors, selected resins will be used in fabricating natural fiber-reinforced composites for industrial applications.