Study of Room Temperature Curing of Phenolic Resin and Its Silica Reinforced Composites
Phenolic resin is among the oldest thermoset resins that have found wide spread applications in several industries, largely due to its high thermal resistance. In this research, room temperature curing of phenolic resin and its reinforced silica composite has been investigated by p-toluene sulphonic acid as a catalyst. Mechanical properties of the composites such as impact strength, flexural properties and hardness are studied. The results show that for achieving an optimum gel time in the order of 20 min an amount of 5.5 wt% acid is required. FTIR studies of the cured resin show no significant difference in chemical structure of both room temperature and hot cured resins. Based on thermal gravimetric analysis the thermal resistance of both systems is similar, but the residual char of the room temperature cured system is higher by 17%. The difference is not related to the carbon content, as revealed by elemental analysis. The room temperature cured composite system shows lower mechanical properties than the heat cured composite. Improved mechanical properties however, can be achieved by its post curing at high temperature.