Tert-butyl hydroquinone–based poly(cyanoarylene ether) (PENT) was synthesized by the nucleophilic aromatic substitution reaction of 2,6-dichlorobenzonitrile with tert-butyl hydroquinone using N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone (NMP) as solvent in the presence of anhydrous potassium carbonate in a nitrogen atmosphere at 200°C. PENT-toughened diglycidyl ether of bisphenol A epoxy resin (DGEBA) was developed using 4,4′-diaminodiphenyl sulfone (DDS) as the curing agent. Scanning electron micrographs revealed that all blends had a two-phase morphology. The morphology changed from dispersed PENT to a cocontinuous structure with an increase in PENT content in the blends from 5 to 15 phr. The viscoelastic properties of the blends were investigated using dynamic mechanical thermal analysis. The storage modulus of the blends was less than that of the unmodified resin, whereas the loss modulus of the blends was higher than that of the neat epoxy. The tensile strength of the blends improved slightly, whereas flexural strength remained the same as that of the unmodified resin. Fracture toughness was found to increase with an increase in PENT content in the blends. Toughening mechanisms like local plastic deformation of the matrix, crack path deflection, crack pinning, ductile tearing of thermoplastic, and particle bridging were evident from the scanning electron micrographs of failed specimens from the fracture toughness measurements. The thermal stability of the blends were comparable to that of the neat resin. © 2006 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci 100: 3536–3544, 2006.
Dr. Akanksha Saxena Pandit, Francis, B., V. Rao, L., and Ninan, K. N., “Epoxy-tert-butyl poly(cyanoarylene ether) blends: Phase morphology, fracture toughness, and mechanical properties”, Journal of Applied Polymer Science, vol. 100, pp. 3536–3544, 2006.