Predicting Water Sorption and Volume Swelling in Dense Polymer Systems via Computer Simulation

H Horstermann and R Hentsehke and M Amkreutz and M Hoffmann and M Wirts- Rutters, JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY B, 114, 17013-17024 (2010).

DOI: 10.1021/jp105210y

Atomistic model structures of amorphous polyamide 6 (PA-6) and of an adhesive system consisting of the diglycidyl ether of bisphenol A (DGEBA) as epoxy resin and isophorone diamine (IPD) as a curing agent are generated. For the adhesive, we use a new approach for the generation of the cross-linked polymer networks. It takes into account the chemical reaction kinetics of the curing reaction and, therefore, results in more realistic network structures. On the basis of the corresponding model structures, the equilibrium water content and the swelling ratio of amorphous PA-6 and of the DGEBA+IPD networks are calculated via computer simulation for different thermodynamic conditions. A hybrid method is used combining the molecular dynamics technique with an accelerated test particle insertion method. The results are in reasonable agreement with experiments and, in the case of the PA-6 system, with results obtained via other computer simulation methods.

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