How are curing cycles for thermosets determined?

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In summary, the determination of curing cycles for high temperature polymers, specifically polyimide, is typically done empirically by trying different cycles and testing the resulting material. This decision is often based on the manufacturer's experience with similar polymers and the process may also be influenced by factors such as reaction rates and evaporation of solvents. However, the specific reasons for choosing a particular curing cycle are not often justified in detail in research papers.
  • #1
I'm a materials student, doing a bigger project on high temperature polymers (mostly polyimide).
Right now I'm looking at the different curing cycles that are used in manufacturing and I'm wondering how these are determined (they usually consist of a series of temperature increases and holding at these temperatures for a an hour or so). The papers that detail the process very seldom justify why they choose those particular curing steps.

I'm imagining it having something do with reaction rates and and evaporation of solvents, but this is not something that I've been able to confirm.

Any help or information on this would be greatly appreciated.
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  • #2
They are usually determined empirically - i.e. different curing cycles are tried, and the resulting material is tested.
The manufacturer decides which process they are prepared to back with the standard consumer guarantees.

What sort of cycles to try is determined by experience with similar polymers.

What are thermosets and how do they differ from thermoplastics?

Thermosets are a type of polymer that undergo a chemical reaction during curing to form a cross-linked network. This makes them highly resistant to heat and chemicals, unlike thermoplastics which can be melted and reshaped.

What factors are considered in determining the curing cycle for thermosets?

The curing cycle for thermosets depends on several factors, including the type of resin used, the desired final properties, the geometry and size of the part, and the curing temperature and time.

How is the curing temperature determined for thermosets?

The curing temperature for thermosets is typically determined based on the melting point of the resin and the desired degree of cure. Generally, a higher curing temperature results in a faster curing process, but can also lead to changes in the final properties of the material.

What are the different types of curing cycles for thermosets?

There are three main types of curing cycles for thermosets: time-based, temperature-based, and combined time and temperature cycles. Each type has its own advantages and is chosen based on the specific needs of the application.

How is the curing time calculated for thermosets?

The curing time for thermosets is determined based on the resin's cure kinetics, which describes the rate of the chemical reaction during curing. This information is typically provided by the resin manufacturer and can be used to calculate the required curing time for a specific process.

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