Thermal and mechanical properties of thermosetting polymers using coarse-grained simulation

C Jang and CF Abrams, EUROPEAN PHYSICAL JOURNAL-SPECIAL TOPICS, 225, 1775-1783 (2016).

DOI: 10.1140/epjst/e2016-60143-0

We developed coarse-grained (CG) molecular representations of mixtures of diglycidyl ether of bisphenol-A (DGEBA) and poly(oxypropylene) diamine (POP-DA) for use in CG molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. In the CG representation, DGEBA is comprised of three beads of two types and POP-DA also by three beads of two types. Atomistic MD of liquid systems was performed to derive intra-and inter-bead potentials via Boltzmann inversion. While the bonded potentials, composed of bond stretching and angle bending, were parameterized directly from the distribution functions of all atomistic molecular dynamics trajectories, the non-bonded potentials were derived from the iterative Boltzmann Inversion with a given set of coarse-grained interactions. CG systems correctly reproduced liquid and crosslinked densities. Under uniaxial tension, the Young's modulus of the CG systems was much lower than the experimental value, and we show this arises from the assumed form of the extrapolated regions of the CG potentials. By stiffening these regions, we increased the CG Young's modulus of the crosslinked systems without sacrificing the correct prediction of density. This suggests that transferrable CG potentials can be optimized for use in non-equilibrium MD for property estimation.

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