Molecular modeling for calculation of mechanical properties of epoxies with moisture ingress

TC Clancy and SJV Frankland and JA Hinkley and TS Gates, POLYMER, 50, 2736-2742 (2009).

DOI: 10.1016/j.polymer.2009.04.021

Atomistic models of epoxy structures were built in order to assess the effect of crosslink degree, moisture content and temperature on the calculated properties of a typical representative generic epoxy. Each atomistic model had approximately 7000 atoms and was contained within a periodic boundary condition cell with edge lengths of about 4 nm. Four atomistic models were built with a range of crosslink degree and moisture content. Each of these structures was simulated at three temperatures: 300 K, 350 K, and 400 K. Elastic constants were calculated for these structures by monitoring the stress tensor as a function of applied strain deformations to the periodic boundary conditions. The mechanical properties showed reasonably consistent behavior with respect to these parameters. The moduli decreased with decreasing crosslink degree and with increasing temperature. The moduli generally decreased with increasing moisture content, although this effect was not as consistent as that seen for temperature and crosslink degree. (c) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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