(19)
(11)EP 3 560 977 A1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT APPLICATION

(43)Date of publication:
30.10.2019 Bulletin 2019/44

(21)Application number: 19163346.0

(22)Date of filing:  18.03.2019
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
C08G 59/00(2006.01)
C09D 5/03(2006.01)
C08G 59/68(2006.01)
C08G 59/42(2006.01)
C08G 59/50(2006.01)
(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR
Designated Extension States:
BA ME
Designated Validation States:
KH MA MD TN

(30)Priority: 26.04.2018 EP 18169507
04.01.2019 US 201916239709

(71)Applicant: SABIC Global Technologies B.V.
4612 PX Bergen op Zoom (NL)

(72)Inventors:
  • Agrawal, Mukesh
    562125 Bangalore, Karnataka (IN)
  • Verghese, Nikhil K. E.
    Sugar Land, TX Texas 77478 (US)

(74)Representative: Modiano, Micaela Nadia et al
Modiano & Partners Thierschstrasse 11
80538 München
80538 München (DE)

  


(54)CURABLE EPOXY COMPOSITIONS


(57) A curable epoxy composition comprises 100 parts by weight of an epoxy resin composition comprising one or more epoxy resins, each independently having an epoxy equivalent weight of at least 2; 30 to 200 parts by weight of an aromatic dianhydride curing agent of the formula

wherein T and y are as provided herein; and 0.1 to 5 parts by weight of a heterocyclic accelerator, based on the total parts by weight of the epoxy resin composition and the aromatic dianhydride curing agent, wherein the heterocyclic accelerator comprises a substituted or unsubstituted C3-6 heterocycle comprising 1 to 4 ring heteroatoms, wherein each heteroatom is independently the same or different, and is nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus, silicon, or sulfur, preferably nitrogen, oxygen, or sulfur, more preferably nitrogen, wherein the composition does not contain a monoanhydride curing agent.


Description

BACKGROUND



[0001] Thermoset polymers are used in a wide variety of consumer and industrial products including protective coatings, adhesives, electronic laminates (such as those used in the fabrication of printed circuit boards), flooring and paving, glass fiber-reinforced pipes, and automotive parts (such as leaf springs, pumps, and electrical components). Thermoset epoxies are derived from thermosetting epoxy resins that are polymerized in the presence of a co-reactive curing agent (also referred to in the art as a hardener), a catalytic curing agent (also referred to in the art as a cure accelerator or a catalyst), to afford a cured thermoset polymer.

[0002] Anhydride curing agents can be used to provide higher heat properties, better electrical properties, longer pot life, and lower shrinkage to cured epoxies. Examples of anhydride curing agents include norbornene dicarboxylic anhydride, hexahydrophthalic anhydride, tetrahydrophthalic anhydride, phthalic anhydride, trimellitic anhydride, pyromellitic dianhydride, and benzophenone tetracarboxylic dianhydride. However, these anhydride curing agents can release undesirable heat during curing that can lead to shrinkage, and have long curing times. These anhydride curing agents further provide epoxy thermosets that can lack dimensional stability at temperatures higher than 220°C.

[0003] Accordingly, there remains a need for curable epoxy compositions suitable for making thermoset (cured) epoxies for high heat applications.

BRIEF SUMMARY



[0004] Provided is a curable epoxy composition including 100 parts by weight of an epoxy resin composition comprising one or more epoxy resins, each independently having an epoxy equivalent weight of at least 2; 30 to 200 parts by weight of an aromatic dianhydride curing agent of the formula

wherein T is -O-, -S-, -C(O)-, -SO2-, -SO-, -CyH2y- wherein y is an integer from 1 to 5 or a halogenated derivative thereof, or -O-Z-O- wherein Z is an aromatic C6-24 monocyclic or polycyclic moiety optionally substituted with 1 to 6 C1-8 alkyl groups, 1 to 8 halogen atoms, or a combination thereof; and 0.1 to 5 parts by weight of a heterocyclic accelerator, based on the total parts by weight of the epoxy resin composition and the aromatic dianhydride curing agent, wherein the heterocyclic accelerator comprises a substituted or unsubstituted C3-6 heterocycle comprising 1 to 4 ring heteroatoms, wherein each heteroatom is independently the same or different, and is nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus, silicon, or sulfur, preferably nitrogen, oxygen, or sulfur, more preferably nitrogen, wherein the composition does not comprise a monoanhydride curing agent.

[0005] Provided is a method for the manufacture of the curable epoxy composition, the method including combining the epoxy resin composition and the aromatic dianhydride curing agent at a temperature of 100 to 200°C, preferably 120 to 190°C, more preferably 130 to 180°C to provide a reaction mixture; cooling the reaction mixture to less than 100°C; and adding the heterocyclic accelerator to the reaction mixture, to provide the curable epoxy composition.

[0006] Also provided are a thermoset epoxy composition including the cured product of the curable epoxy composition, and an article including the thermoset epoxy composition.

[0007] Further provided is a method for the manufacture of a thermoset epoxy composition including curing the curable epoxy composition; preferably curing the curable epoxy composition by compression molding, injection molding, transfer molding, pultrusion, resin casting, or a combination thereof.

[0008] The above described and other features are exemplified by the following detailed description and examples.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION



[0009] This disclosure relates to a curable epoxy composition including an epoxy resin, an aromatic dianhydride as curing agent, and a heterocyclic accelerator (catalyst). The inventors have discovered that an aromatic dianhydride, for example bisphenol-A dianhydride (BPA-DA), can be a useful curing agent for making high heat cured epoxies. The curable epoxy composition including the aromatic dianhydride as an epoxy curing agent can provide a cured thermoset product having good high heat resistance properties, such as a glass transition temperature that can be greater than 230°C. Moreover, the curing time and heat of polymerization when using the curable epoxy composition may be less than those of other curable epoxy compositions that do not include the aromatic dianhydride curing agent. The disclosed curable epoxy composition and the corresponding cured thermoset product can be used in a variety of high heat applications including but not limited to adhesives, coatings, epoxy tooling compositions, potting compositions, and fiber-reinforced composites.

[0010] Provided herein is a curable epoxy composition including 100 parts by weight of an epoxy resin composition comprising one or more epoxy resins, each independently having an epoxy equivalent weight of at least 2; 30 to 200 parts by weight of an aromatic dianhydride curing agent; and 0.1 to 5 parts by weight of a heterocyclic accelerator, based on the total parts by weight of the epoxy resin composition and the aromatic dianhydride curing agent, wherein the heterocyclic accelerator comprises a substituted or unsubstituted C3-6 heterocycle comprising 1 to 4 ring heteroatoms, wherein each heteroatom is independently the same or different, and is nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus, silicon, or sulfur. In an aspect, each heteroatom of the heterocyclic accelerator is independently the same or different, and is nitrogen, oxygen, or sulfur. In a preferred aspect, the heteroatom of the heterocyclic accelerator is nitrogen.

[0011] The stoichiometric ratio between the aromatic dianhydride curing agent and the epoxy resin composition can be 0.1:1 to 2.0:1, preferably 0.4:1 to 1.2:1, more preferably 0.6:1 to 1:1. As used herein, "stoichiometric ratio" refers to the molar ratio of anhydride functionalities in the dianhydride curing agent to the epoxy functionalities in the epoxy resin composition. The stoichiometric ratio is also referred to herein as the anhydride to epoxy (A/E) ratio.

[0012] The curable epoxy composition can include 50 to 150, preferably 60 to 140, more preferably 80 to 120 parts by weight of the aromatic dianhydride curing agent; and 0.1 to 4, preferably 0.2 to 3, more preferably 0.5 to 2 parts by weight of the heterocyclic accelerator, based on the total parts by weight of the epoxy resin composition and the aromatic dianhydride curing agent.

[0013] The epoxy resin composition can be a bisphenol A epoxy resin, a triglycidyl-substituted epoxy resin, a tetraglycidyl-substituted epoxy resin, a bisphenol F epoxy resin, a phenol novolak epoxy resin, a cresol novolak epoxy resin, a cycloaliphatic diglycidyl ester epoxy resin, a cycloaliphatic epoxy resin comprising a ring epoxy group, an epoxy resin containing a spiro-ring, a hydantoin epoxy resin, or a combination thereof. In an aspect, the epoxy resin is bisphenol-A diglycidyl ether (BPA-DGE).

[0014] The aromatic dianhydride can be of the formula (1)

wherein T is -O-, -S-, -C(O)-, -SO2-, -SO-, -CyH2y- wherein y is an integer from 1 to 5 or a halogenated derivative thereof, or -O-Z-O- wherein Z is an aromatic C6-24 monocyclic or polycyclic moiety optionally substituted with 1 to 6 C1-8 alkyl groups, 1 to 8 halogen atoms, or a combination thereof. For example, R1 can be a monovalent C1-13 organic group. For example, T is -O- or a group of the formula -O-Z-O- wherein the divalent bonds of the -O- or the -O-Z-O-group are in the 3,3', 3,4', 4,3', or the 4,4' positions. In particular aspects, T is not -C(O)-.

[0015] Exemplary groups Z include groups of formula (2)

wherein Ra and Rb are each independently the same or different, and are a halogen atom or a monovalent C1-6 alkyl group, for example; p and q are each independently integers of 0 to 4; c is 0 to 4; and Xa is a bridging group connecting the hydroxy-substituted aromatic groups, where the bridging group and the hydroxy substituent of each C6 arylene group are disposed ortho, meta, or para (specifically para) to each other on the C6 arylene group. The bridging group Xa can be a single bond, -O-, -S-, -S(O)-, -S(O)2-, -C(O)-, or a C1-18 organic bridging group. The C1-18 organic bridging group can be cyclic or acyclic, aromatic or non-aromatic, and can further include heteroatoms such as halogens, oxygen, nitrogen, sulfur, silicon, or phosphorous. The C1-18 organic group can be disposed such that the C6 arylene groups connected thereto are each connected to a common alkylidene carbon or to different carbons of the C1-18 organic bridging group. A specific example of a group Z is a divalent group of the formula (3a) or (3b)

wherein Q is -O-, -S-, -C(O)-, -SO2-, -SO-, -P(Rc)(=O)- wherein Rc is a C1-8 alkyl or C6-12 aryl, or -CyH2y- wherein y is an integer from 1 to 5 or a halogenated derivative thereof (including a perfluoroalkylene group). For example, Q can be 2,2-isopropylidene. For example, T can be -O-Z-O-, preferably wherein Z is derived from bisphenol A (i.e., Z is 2,2- (4-phenylene)isopropylidene).

[0016] Exemplary aromatic dianhydrides include 3,3-bis[4-(3,4-dicarboxyphenoxy)phenyl]propane dianhydride; 4,4'-bis(3,4-dicarboxyphenoxy)diphenyl ether dianhydride; 4,4'-bis(3,4-dicarboxyphenoxy)diphenyl sulfide dianhydride; 4,4'-bis(3,4-dicarboxyphenoxy)benzophenone dianhydride; 4,4'-bis(3,4-dicarboxyphenoxy)diphenyl sulfone dianhydride; 2,2-bis[4-(2,3-dicarboxyphenoxy)phenyl]propane dianhydride; 4,4'-bis(2,3-dicarboxyphenoxy)diphenyl ether dianhydride; 4,4'-bis(2,3-dicarboxyphenoxy)diphenyl sulfide dianhydride; 4,4'-bis(2,3-dicarboxyphenoxy)benzophenone dianhydride; 4,4'-bis(2,3-dicarboxyphenoxy)diphenyl sulfone dianhydride; 4-(2,3-dicarboxyphenoxy)-4'-(3,4-dicarboxyphenoxy)diphenyl-2,2-propane dianhydride; 4-(2,3-dicarboxyphenoxy)-4'-(3,4-dicarboxyphenoxy)diphenyl ether dianhydride; 4-(2,3-dicarboxyphenoxy)-4'-(3,4-dicarboxyphenoxy)diphenyl sulfide dianhydride; 4-(2,3-dicarboxyphenoxy)-4'-(3,4-dicarboxyphenoxy)benzophenone dianhydride; and 4-(2,3-dicarboxyphenoxy)-4'-(3,4-dicarboxyphenoxy)diphenyl sulfone dianhydride. For example, the aromatic dianhydride curing agent can be bisphenol-A dianhydride.

[0017] The heterocyclic accelerator includes a substituted or unsubstituted C3-6 heterocycle including 1 to 4 ring heteroatoms, wherein each heteroatom is independently the same or different, and is nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus, silicon, or sulfur. For example, each heteroatom can be independently the same or different, and is nitrogen, oxygen, or sulfur. In a preferred aspect, the 1 to 4 ring heteroatoms are each nitrogen.

[0018] Exemplary accelerators include benzotriazoles; triazines; piperazines such as aminoethylpiperazine, N-(3-aminopropyl)piperazine, or the like; imidazoles such as 1-methylimidazole, 2-methylimidazole, 3-methyl imidazole, 4-methylimidazole, 5-methylimidazole, 1-ethylimidazole, 2-ethylimidazole, 3-ethylimidazole, 4-ethylimidazole, 5-ethylimidazole, 1-n-propylimidazole, 2-n-propylimidazole, 1-isopropylimidazole, 2-isopropylimidazole, 1-n-butylimidazole, 2-n-butylimidazole, 1-isobutylimidazole, 2-isobutylimidazole, 2-undecyl-1H-imidazole, 2-heptadecyl-1H-imidazole, 1,2-dimethylimidazole, 1,3-dimethylimidazole, 2,4-dimethylimidazole, 2-ethyl-4-methylimidazole, 1-phenylimidazole, 2-phenyl-1H-imidazole, 4-methyl-2-phenyl-1H-imidazole, 2-phenyl-4-methylimidazole, 1-benzyl-2-methylimidazole, 1-benzyl-2-phenylimidazole, 1-cyanoethyl-2-methylimidazole, 1-cyanoethyl-2-ethyl-4-methylimidazole, 1-cyanoethyl-2-undecylimidazole, 1-cyanoethyl-2-phenylimidazole, 2-phenyl-4,5-dihydroxymethylimidazole, 2-phenyl-4-methyl-5-hydroxymethylimidazole, 1-cyanoethyl-2-phenyl-4,5-di(2-cyanoethoxy)methylimidazole; cyclic amidine such as 4-diazabicyclo(2,2,2)octane (DABCO), diazabicycloundecene (DBU), 2-phenyl imidazoline, or the like; N,N-dimethylaminopyridine (DMAP); sulfamidates; or a combination thereof.

[0019] The curable epoxy composition can further include an additive composition. The additive composition can include a particulate filler, a fibrous filler, a reinforcing material, an antioxidant, a heat stabilizer, a light stabilizer, a ultraviolet light stabilizer, a ultraviolet light-absorbing compound, a near infrared light-absorbing compound, an infrared light-absorbing compound, a plasticizer, a lubricant, a release agent, a antistatic agent, an anti-fog agent, an antimicrobial agent, a colorant, a surface effect additive, a radiation stabilizer, a flame retardant, flame retardant synergists such as antimony pentoxide, an anti-drip agent, a fragrance, an adhesion promoter, a flow enhancer, a coating additive, an additional polymer different from the thermoset (epoxy) polymer, or a combination thereof. In a preferred aspect, the additive composition comprises a flame retardant, a particulate filler, a fibrous filler, an adhesion promoter, a flow enhancer, a coating additive, a colorant, or a combination thereof.

[0020] The additive composition can include a particulate filler. The particulate filler can be alumina powder, hydrated alumina powder, quartz powder or fused quartz powder, glass fibers, carbon fibers, or a combination thereof. The curable composition can be a fibrous substrate (woven or non-woven) such as glass, quartz, polyester, polyimide, polypropylene, cellulose, carbon fibers and carbon fibrils, nylon or acrylic fibers, preferably a glass substrate, that can be impregnated with the curable composition (i.e., prepregs).

[0021] The curable epoxy composition can further include an additional cure accelerator different from the heterocyclic cure accelerator. The cure accelerator can be an amine cure accelerator, a term that also refers to amine curing agents and amine hardening accelerators. Exemplary amine cure accelerators include isophoronediamine, triethylenetetraamine, diethylenetriamine, 1,2- and 1,3-diaminopropane, 2,2-dimethylpropylenediamine, 1,4-diaminobutane, 1,6-diaminohexane, 1,7-diaminoheptane, 1,8-diaminooctane, 1,9-diaminononane, 1,12-diaminododecane, 4-azaheptamethylenediamine, N,N'-bis(3-aminopropyl)butane-1,4-diamine, dicyanamide, diamide diphenylmethane, diamide diphenylsulfonic acid (amine adduct), 4,4'-methylenedianiline, diethyltoluenediamine, m-phenylenediamine, p-phenylenediamine, melamine formaldehyde resins, urea formaldehyde resins, tetraethylenepentamine, 3-diethylaminopropylamine, 3,3'-iminobispropylamine, 2,4-bis(p-aminobenzyl)aniline, tetraethylenepentamine, 3-diethylaminopropylamine, 2,2,4- and 2,4,4- trimethylhexamethylenediamine, 1,2- and 1,3-diaminocyclohexane, 1,4-diamino-3,6-diethylcyclohexane, 1,2-diamino-4-ethylcyclohexane, 1,4-diamino-3,6-diethylcyclohexane, 1-cyclohexyl-3,4-diminocyclohexane, 4,4'-diaminondicyclohexylmethane, 4,4'-diaminodicyclohexylpropane, 2,2-bis(4-aminocyclohexyl)propane, 3,3'-dimethyl-4,4'-diaminodicyclohexylmethane, 3-amino-1-cyclohexaneaminopropane, 1,3- and 1,4-bis(aminomethyl)cyclohexane, m- and p-xylylenediamine, diethyl toluene diamines, or a combination thereof. The amine cure accelerator can be a tertiary amine cure accelerator, such as triethylamine, tributylamine, dimethylaniline, diethylaniline, benzyldimethylamine (BDMA), α-methylbenzyldimethylamine, N,N-dimethylaminoethanol, N,N-dimethylaminocresol, tri(N,N-dimethylaminomethyl)phenol, or a combination thereof. Amine cure accelerators can also be acid-base complexes such as a boron trifluoride-trialkylamine complex. Alternatively, the curable epoxy composition does not include an amine cure accelerator or is free from an amine cure accelerator.

[0022] The additional cure accelerator can be a phenolic hardener. Exemplary phenolic hardeners include novolac type phenol resins, resole type phenol resins, aralkyl type phenol resins, dicyclopentadiene type phenol resins, terpene modified phenol resins, biphenyl type phenol resins, bisphenols, triphenylmethane type phenol resins, or a combination thereof. Alternatively, the curable epoxy composition does not include a phenolic hardener or is free from a phenolic hardener.

[0023] The additional cure accelerator can be a latent cationic cure catalyst such as diaryliodonium salts, phosphonic acid esters, sulfonic acid esters, carboxylic acid esters, phosphonic ylides, triarylsulfonium salts, benzylsulfonium salts, aryldiazonium salts, benzylpyridinium salts, benzylammonium salts, isoxazolium salts, or a combination thereof. The diaryliodonium salt can have the structure [(R10)(R11)I]+ X-, wherein R10 and R11 are each independently a C6-C14 monovalent aromatic hydrocarbon radical, optionally substituted with from 1 to 4 monovalent radicals selected from C1-C20 alkyl, C1-C20 alkoxy, nitro, and chloro; and wherein X- is an anion. The additional cure accelerator can have the structure [(R10)(R11)I]+ SbF6-, wherein R10 and R11 are each independently a C6-C14 monovalent aromatic hydrocarbon radical, optionally substituted with from 1 to 4 monovalent radicals selected from C1-C20 alkyl, C1-C20 alkoxy, nitro, and chloro. For example the additional cure accelerator can be a latent cationic cure catalyst comprising 4-octyloxyphenyl phenyl iodonium hexafluoroantimonate. The latent cationic cure catalysts also include metal salts including copper (II), tin (II), and aluminum (III) salts of an aliphatic or aromatic carboxylic acid, such as acetate, stearate, gluconate, citrate, benzoate, and mixtures thereof; copper (II), tin (II), or aluminum (III) β-diketonates such as acetylacetonate. Alternatively, the curable epoxy composition does not include a latent cationic cure catalyst or is free from a latent cationic cure catalyst.

[0024] The curable epoxy composition contains no monoanhydride component (e.g., does not comprise a monoanhydride curing agent or is free of monoanhydride curing agents). The curable epoxy composition can also be free of (contain no) solvent, reactive diluent, or a combination thereof. As used herein, "reactive diluent" is a reactive compound that includes a monoanhydride functionality. For example, monoanhydride curing agents include norbornene dicarboxylic anhydrides (e.g., methyl-5-norbornene-2,3-dicarboxylic anhydride, or the like), hexahydrophthalic anhydrides (e.g., 1,2-cyclohexanedicarboxylic anhydride, 4-methylhexahydrophthalic anhydride, 5-methylhexahydrophthalic anhydride, or the like), tetrahydrophthalic anhydrides (e.g., 1,2,3,6-tetrahydrophthalic anhydride, 1,2,3,6-tetrahydro-4-methylphthalic anhydride, or the like), phthalic anhydrides (e.g., 3-fluorophthalic anhydride), maleic anhydrides (e.g., 2-methylmaleic anhydride, dimethylmaleic anhydride, or the like), succinic anhydrides (e.g., dodecenylsuccinic anhydride, hexadecenylsuccinic anhydride, or the like), trimellitic anhydride, perfluoroglutaric anhydride, or the like.

[0025] As used herein, when the curable epoxy composition is free of a component or contains none of a component (e.g., a monoanhydride curing agent and/or a reactive diluent), the component is present in the curable epoxy composition in an amount of 100 parts per million by weight (ppm) or less, preferably 75 ppm or less, more preferably 50 ppm or less, even more preferably 25 ppm or less, still more preferably 10 ppm or less, based on the total weight of the curable epoxy composition.

[0026] The curable composition can further include a poly(phenylene ether) copolymer. The poly(phenylene ether) copolymer can be used as a reactive component in the curable composition because it is bifunctional, with two reactive phenolic groups. For example, the curable epoxy composition can further comprise 1 to 100 parts by weight of the poly(phenylene ether) copolymer.

[0027] The curable epoxy composition can be manufactured by combining the epoxy resin composition and the aromatic dianhydride curing agent at a temperature of 100 to 200°C, preferably 120 to 190°C, more preferably 130 to 180°C to provide a reaction mixture. The reaction mixture can be subsequently cooled, for example to less than 100°C, and the heterocyclic accelerator can be added to the reaction mixture, to provide the curable epoxy composition.

[0028] The curable epoxy composition and/or the reaction mixture can be prepared without solvent and therefore be substantially free of solvent. In some aspects, the curable epoxy composition can be substantially free of solvent. The term "substantially free of solvent" means that the curable epoxy composition and/or the reaction mixture contains less than 500 parts per million by weight (ppm) of solvent. A "solvent free" curable epoxy composition and/or reaction mixture can have greater than 0 to 450 ppm, preferably greater than 0 to 300 ppm, more preferably greater than 0 to 200 ppm, even more preferably greater than 0 to 100 ppm of solvent, based on the total weight of the curable epoxy composition and/or reaction mixture.

[0029] Alternatively, the reaction mixture further includes a solvent. Exemplary solvents include C3-C8 ketones, C4-C8 N,N-dialkylamides, C4-C16 dialkyl ethers, C6-C12 aromatic hydrocarbons, C3-C6 alkyl alkanoates, C2-C6 alkyl nitriles, C2-C6 dialkyl sulfoxides, or a combination thereof. Examples of C3-C8 ketones include acetone, methyl ethyl ketone, methyl isobutyl ketone, and combinations thereof. Examples of C4-C8 N,N-dialkylamides include dimethylformamide, dimethylacetamide, N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone, and combinations thereof. Examples of C4-C16 dialkyl ethers include tetrahydrofuran, dioxane, and combinations thereof. The C4-C16 dialkyl ether can optionally further include one or more ether oxygen atoms within the alkyl groups and one or more hydroxy substituents on the alkyl groups, for example the C4-C16 dialkyl ether can be ethylene glycol monomethyl ether. The aromatic hydrocarbon solvent can be an ethylenically unsaturated solvent. Examples of C6-C12 aromatic hydrocarbons include benzene, toluene, xylenes, styrene, divinylbenzenes, and combinations thereof. Examples of C3-C6 alkyl alkanoates include methyl acetate, ethyl acetate, methyl propionate, ethyl propionate, and combinations thereof. Examples of C2-C6 alkyl cyanides include acetonitrile, propionitrile, butyronitrile, and combinations thereof. Examples of C2-C6 dialkyl sulfoxides include dimethyl sulfoxide, methyl ethyl sulfoxide, diethyl sulfoxide, and combinations thereof. For example, the solvent can be acetone, methyl ethyl ketone, N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone, toluene, or a combination thereof. In another example, the solvent can be a halogenated solvent such as methylene chloride, chloroform, 1,1,1-trichloroethane, chlorobenzene, or the like.

[0030] Also provided is a cured composition including the product obtained by curing or from curing the curable composition. The cured composition can exhibit a single glass transition temperature (Tg), such as a single Tg greater than or equal to 170°C, preferably greater than or equal to 180°C, more preferably greater than or equal to 200°C, or 220°C, or 240°C. For example, the cured composition can have a single Tg of 200°C to 280°C, preferably 210°C to 270°C, more preferably 220°C to 270°C, even more preferably 230°C to 270°C. The glass transition temperature can be determined using dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA) performed from -40°C to 300°C with a temperature ramp of 3 °C/min. Alternatively, Tg can be determined using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) performed from 23 to 300°C with a heating rate of 10 °C/minute or 20 °C/minute.

[0031] Also provided is a method for the manufacture of a thermoset epoxy composition that includes curing the curable epoxy composition. There is no particular limitation on the method by which the composition may be cured. The composition can, for example, be cured thermally or by using irradiation techniques, including UV irradiation and electron beam irradiation. When heat curing is used, the temperature can be 80 to 300°C, preferably 100 to 250°C, more preferably 120 to 240°C. The heating period can be 1 minute to 10 hours, preferably 1 minute to 6 hours, more preferably 1 hour to 6 hours, even more preferably 3 hours to 5 hours. Such curing may be staged to produce a partially cured and often tack-free resin, which then can be fully cured by heating for longer periods or temperatures within the aforementioned ranges.

[0032] The curable epoxy composition can be cured by compression molding, injection molding, transfer molding, pultrusion, resin casting, or a combination thereof. For example, the curable epoxy composition can be disposed in, for example injected into, a mold and then cured at 150 to 250°C in the mold. Various molded articles or components can be prepared in this manner, including those described herein.

[0033] The resulting thermoset epoxy composition after curing can be clear and/or transparent. For example, thermoset epoxy composition after curing can have a total transmission of greater than 50%, preferably greater than 70%, more preferably greater than 90%.

[0034] The thermoset epoxy composition can exhibit good ductility, good fracture toughness, unnotched Izod impact strength, and good tensile elongation.

[0035] The thermoset epoxy composition can exhibit increased char formation on pyrolysis.

[0036] The thermoset epoxy composition can exhibit low moisture absorption.

[0037] The thermoset epoxy composition can exhibit decreased shrinkage upon curing.

[0038] The thermoset epoxy composition can exhibit decreased dielectric properties.

[0039] The disclosed epoxides, curable compositions, and cured compositions can be used in a variety of applications and articles, including any applications where conventional epoxides are currently used. Exemplary uses and applications include coatings such as protective coatings, sealants, weather resistant coatings, scratch resistant coatings, and electrical insulative coatings; adhesives; binders; glues; composite materials such as those using carbon fiber and fiberglass reinforcements. When utilized as a coating, the disclosed compounds and compositions can be deposited on a surface of a variety of underlying substrates. For example, the compositions can be deposited on a surface of metals, plastics, glass, fiber sizings, ceramics, stone, wood, or any combination thereof. The disclosed compositions can be used as a coating on a surface of a metal container, such as those commonly used for packaging and containment in the paint and surface covering industries. In some instances the coated metal is aluminum or steel.

[0040] Articles that can be prepared using the disclosed curable compositions include, for example, electrical components and computer components. Other exemplary articles include, but are not limited to, components of transport, including bicycle, motorcycle, automotive, aircraft, and watercraft exterior and interior components. The article can be in the form of in the form of a composite, a foam, a fiber, a layer, a coating, an encapsulant, an adhesive, a sealant, a component, a prepreg, a casing, or a combination thereof. The disclosed curable compositions can be used for the production of composite materials for use in the aerospace industry. The curable composition can be used in forming composites used for printed circuit boards. Methods of forming composites for use in printed circuit boards are known in the art and are described in, for example, U.S. Pat. No. 5,622,588 to Weber, U.S. Pat. No. 5,582,872 to Prinz, and U.S. Pat. No. 7,655,278 to Braidwood.

[0041] Additional applications for the curable compositions include, for example, acid bath containers; neutralization tanks; aircraft components; bridge beams; bridge deckings; electrolytic cells; exhaust stacks; scrubbers; sporting equipment; stair cases; walkways; automobile exterior panels such as hoods and trunk lids; floor pans; air scoops; pipes and ducts, including heater ducts; industrial fans, fan housings, and blowers; industrial mixers; boat hulls and decks; marine terminal fenders; tiles and coatings; building panels; business machine housings; trays, including cable trays; concrete modifiers; dishwasher and refrigerator parts; electrical encapsulants; electrical panels; tanks, including electrorefining tanks, water softener tanks, fuel tanks, and various filament-wound tanks and tank linings; furniture; garage doors; gratings; protective body gear; luggage; outdoor motor vehicles; pressure tanks; printed circuit boards; optical waveguides; radomes; railings; railroad parts such as tank cars; hopper car covers; car doors; truck bed liners; satellite dishes; signs; solar energy panels; telephone switchgear housings; tractor parts; transformer covers; truck parts such as fenders, hoods, bodies, cabs, and beds; insulation for rotating machines including ground insulation, turn insulation, and phase separation insulation; commutators; core insulation and cords and lacing tape; drive shaft couplings; propeller blades; missile components; rocket motor cases; wing sections; sucker rods; fuselage sections; wing skins and fairings; engine narcelles; cargo doors; tennis racquets; golf club shafts; fishing rods; skis and ski poles; bicycle parts; transverse leaf springs; pumps, such as automotive smog pumps; electrical components, embedding, and tooling, such as electrical cable joints; wire windings and densely packed multi-element assemblies; sealing of electromechanical devices; battery cases; resistors; fuses and thermal cutoff devices; coatings for printed wiring boards; casting items such as capacitors, transformers, crankcase heaters; small molded electronic parts including coils, capacitors, resistors, and semiconductors; as a replacement for steel in chemical processing, pulp and paper, power generation, and wastewater treatment; scrubbing towers; pultruded parts for structural applications, including structural members, gratings, and safety rails; swimming pools, swimming pool slides, hot-tubs, and saunas; drive shafts for under the hood applications; dry toner resins for copying machines; marine tooling and composites; heat shields; submarine hulls; prototype generation; development of experimental models; laminated trim; drilling fixtures; bonding jigs; inspection fixtures; industrial metal forming dies; aircraft stretch block and hammer forms; vacuum molding tools; flooring, including flooring for production and assembly areas, clean rooms, machine shops, control rooms, laboratories, parking garages, freezers, coolers, and outdoor loading docks; electrically conductive compositions for antistatic applications; for decorative flooring; expansion joints for bridges; injectable mortars for patch and repair of cracks in structural concrete; grouting for tile; machinery rails; metal dowels; bolts and posts; repair of oil and fuel storage tanks, and numerous other applications.

[0042] Methods of forming a composite can include impregnating a reinforcing structure with a curable composition; partially curing the curable composition to form a prepreg; and laminating one or a plurality of prepregs. The lamination can include disposing an additional layer, e.g., an electrically conductive layer or an adhesive or bond ply on a side of a prepreg before lamination. The lamination can include disposing an additional layer, e.g., an electrically conductive layer or an adhesive or bond ply on a side of a prepreg before lamination.

[0043] Reinforcing structures suitable for prepreg formation are known in the art. Exemplary reinforcing structures include reinforcing fabrics. Reinforcing fabrics include those having complex architectures, including two or three-dimensional braided, knitted, woven, and filament wound. The curable composition is capable of permeating such complex reinforcing structures. The reinforcing structure can include fibers of materials known for the reinforcement of plastics material, for example fibers of carbon, glass, metal, and aromatic polyamides. Exemplary reinforcing structures are described, for example, in Anonymous (Hexcel Corporation), "Prepreg Technology", March 2005, Publication No. FGU 017b; Anonymous (Hexcel Corporation), "Advanced Fibre Reinforced Matrix Products for Direct Processes", June 2005, Publication No. ITA 272; and Bob Griffiths, "Farnborough Airshow Report 2006", CompositesWorld.com, September 2006. The weight and thickness of the reinforcing structure can be selected according to the intended use of the composite using criteria known to those skilled in the production of fiber reinforced resin composites. The reinforced structure can include various finishes suitable for the epoxy matrix.

[0044] The method of forming the composite can include partially curing the curable composition after the reinforcing structure has been impregnated therewith. Partial curing can be curing sufficient to reduce or eliminate the wetness and tackiness of the curable composition, but not so great as to fully cure the composition. The resin in a prepreg is customarily in the partially cured state, and those skilled in the thermoset arts, and particularly the reinforced composite arts, understand the concept of partial curing and how to determine conditions to partially cure a resin without undue experimentation. References herein to properties of the "cured composition" refer to a composition that is substantially fully cured. For example, the resin in a laminate formed from prepregs is typically substantially fully cured. One skilled in the thermoset arts can determine whether a sample is partially cured or substantially fully cured without undue experimentation. For example, one can analyze a sample by differential scanning calorimetry to look for an exotherm indicative of additional curing occurring during the analysis. A sample that is partially cured will exhibit an exotherm. A sample that is substantially fully cured will exhibit little or no exotherm. For example, in addition to the conditions described above, partial curing can be effected by subjecting the curable-composition-impregnated reinforcing structure to a temperature of 133 to 140°C for 4 to 10 minutes.

[0045] Commercial-scale methods of forming composites are known in the art, and the curable compositions described herein are readily adaptable to such processes and equipment. For example, prepregs are often produced on treaters. The main components of a treater include feeder rollers, a resin impregnation tank, a treater oven, and receiver rollers. The reinforcing structure (E-glass, for example) is usually rolled into a large spool. The spool is then put on the feeder rollers that turn and slowly roll out the reinforcing structure. The reinforcing structure then moves through the resin impregnation tank, which contains the curable composition. The varnish impregnates the reinforcing structure. After emerging from the tank, the coated reinforcing structure moves upward through the vertical treater oven, which is typically at a temperature of 175 to 200°C, and the solvent of the varnish is boiled away. The resin begins to polymerize at this time. When the composite comes out of the tower it is sufficiently cured so that the web is not wet or tacky. The cure process, however, is stopped short of completion so that additional curing can occur when laminate is made. The web then rolls the prepreg onto a receiver roll.

[0046] While the above-described curing methods rely on thermal curing, it is also possible to effect curing with radiation, including ultraviolet (UV) light and electron beams. Combinations of thermal curing and radiation curing can also be used.

[0047] Processes useful for preparing the articles and materials include those generally known to the art for the processing of thermosetting resins. Such processes have been described in the literature as in, for example, Engineered Materials Handbook, Volume 1, Composites, ASM International Metals Park, Ohio, copyright 1987 Cyril A. Dostal Senior Ed, pp. 105-168 and 497-533, and "Polyesters and Their Applications" by Bjorksten Research Laboratories, Johan Bjorksten (pres.) Henry Tovey (Ch. Lit. Ass.), Betty Harker (Ad. Ass.), James Henning (Ad. Ass.), Reinhold Publishing Corporation, New York, 1956. Processing techniques include resin transfer molding; sheet molding; bulk molding; pultrusion; injection molding, including reaction injection molding (RIM); atmospheric pressure molding (APM); casting, including centrifugal and static casting open mold casting; lamination including wet or dry lay-up and spray lay up; also included are contact molding, including cylindrical contact molding; compression molding; including vacuum assisted resin transfer molding and chemically assisted resin transfer molding; matched tool molding; autoclave curing; thermal curing in air; vacuum bagging; pultrusion; Seeman's Composite Resin Infusion Manufacturing Processing (SCRIMP); open molding, continuous combination of resin and glass; and filament winding, including cylindrical filament winding. For example, an article can be prepared from the disclosed curable compositions via a resin transfer molding process.

[0048] This disclosure is further illustrated by the following examples, which are nonlimiting.

EXAMPLES



[0049] Materials used in the examples are described in Table 1.
Table 1
ComponentDescriptionSource
BPA-DGE Diglycidyl ether of bisphenol A, CAS Reg. No. 1675-54-3. Sigma-Aldrich
BPA-DA Bisphenol-A dianhydride, CAS Reg. No. 38103-06-9. SABIC
2,4-EMI 2-Ethyl-4-methylimidazole, CAS Reg. No. 931-36-2. Sigma-Aldrich
MTHPA Tetrahydro-4-methylphthalic anhydride, CAS Reg. No. 34090-76-1. TCI Chemicals
MHHPA Hexahydro-4-methylphthalic anhydride, CAS Reg. No. 19438-60-9. Sigma-Aldrich
NMA Methyl-5-norbornene-2,3-dicarboxylic anhydride, CAS Reg. No. 25134-21-8. Sigma-Aldrich
THPA 1,2,3,6-Tetrahydrophthalic anhydride, CAS Reg. No. 85-43-8. Sigma-Aldrich
HHPA 1,2-Cyclohexanedicarboxylic anhydride, CAS Reg. No. 85-42-7. Sigma-Aldrich

Sample Preparation


Example 1



[0050] BPA-DGE is heated at 160 °C and combined with BPA-DA at an anhydride to epoxy (A/E) ratio of 0.4:1. A homogenous and transparent reaction mixture is afforded. The reaction mixture was cooled to 90 °C, and 1 wt% of 2,4-EMI was added while stirring. The resulting mixture was poured into a preheated mold (130 °C) and then cured in the mold at 220 °C for 60 minutes to provide a rigid and clear casting.

Example 2



[0051] The same procedure as Example 1 was followed, except the A/E ratio was 0.6:1.

Example 3



[0052] The same procedure as Example 1 was followed, except the A/E ratio was 0.8:1.

Example 4



[0053] The same procedure as Example 1 was followed, except the A/E ratio was 1:1.

Example 5



[0054] The same procedure as Example 1 was followed, except the A/E ratio was 1.2:1.

Example 6



[0055] The same procedure as Example 3 was followed, except the resulting mixture was cured in the mold at 150 °C for 30 minutes, 175 °C for 30 minutes, 200 °C for 30 minutes, and 220 °C for 90 minutes.

Comparative Example 1



[0056] BPA-DGE was combined with MTHPA at 23 °C with an anhydride to epoxy (A/E) ratio of 0.8:1. 2,4-EMI (1 wt%) was then added while stirring and the reaction mixture was heated at 90 °C. The reaction mixture was then poured into a preheated mold (130 °C) and cured in the mold at 150 °C for 30 minutes, 175 °C for 30 minutes, 200 °C for 30 minutes, and 220 °C for 90 minutes to provide a rigid and clear casting.

Comparative Example 2



[0057] The same procedure as Comparative Example 1 was used, except the curing agent was MHHPA instead of MTHPA.

Comparative Example 3



[0058] The same procedure as Comparative Example 1 was used, except the curing agent was NMA instead of MTHPA.

Comparative Example 4



[0059] BPA-DGE was combined with THPA at 60°C with mechanical stirring and at an anhydride to epoxy (A/E) ratio of 0.8:1. The reaction mixture was cooled to 23°C, 2,4-EMI (1 wt%) was added while stirring, and the resulting mixture was heated to 60°C. The mixture was then poured into a preheated mold (100°C) and cured in the mold at 100°C for 30 minutes, 150°C for 30 minutes, 175°C for 30 minutes, 200°C for 30 minutes, and 220°C for 90 minutes to provide a rigid and clear casting.

Comparative Example 5



[0060] BPA-DGE was combined with HHPA at 60°C with mechanical stirring and at an anhydride to epoxy (A/E) ratio of 0.8:1. The reaction mixture was cooled to 23°C, 2,4-EMI (1 wt%) was added while stirring, and the resulting mixture was heated to 60°C. The mixture was then poured into a preheated mold (130°C) and cured in the mold at 150°C for 30 minutes, 175°C for 30 minutes, 200°C for 30 minutes, and 220°C for 90 minutes to provide a rigid and clear casting.

Sample Analysis



[0061] The glass transition temperature (Tg) was determined by dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA) using an RDA III DMA from Rheometric Scientific. Sample bars were prepared (40 mm length, 4 mm width, and 6 mm thickness) and analyzed at -40°C to 300°C with a temperature ramp of 3 °C/min and at a frequency of 6.283 radians per second.

[0062] The enthalpy of the curing reaction and peak temperature were obtained by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) on a Discovery DSC from TA Instruments. Samples were analyzed from 23 to 300°C with a heating rate of 20 °C/minute under a nitrogen atmosphere.

[0063] Thermo-gravimetric analysis (TGA) was used to evaluate thermal stability using a TGA Q5000 from TA Instruments. Samples were analyzed at 23 to 800°C with a heating rate of 10 °C/minute in nitrogen media with a flow rate of 50 mL per minute.

[0064] Table 2 shows the Tg (°C), enthalpy of curing (Joules per gram, J/g), and peak temperature (°C) for Examples 1 to 5.
Table 2
 A/E RatioTg (°C)Enthalpy (J/g)Peak Temperature (°C)
Example 1 0.4:1 233 123 143.5
Example 2 0.6:1 246 170 144.5
Example 3 0.8:1 264 167 146.4
Example 4 1:1 251 170 146
Example 5 1.2:1 231 151 154


[0065] Examples 1 to 5 had glass transition temperatures of greater than 230°C by DMA. Example 3 had the highest glass transition temperature at 264°C.

[0066] The thermal stability was then evaluated. Table 3 shows the onset temperature (Tonset), maximum temperature (Tmax), and char yield for Examples 1 to 5.
Table 3
 A/E RatioTonset (°C)Tmax (°C)Char Yield (%)
Example 1 0.4:1 354 384 27.8
Example 2 0.6:1 352 379 30.9
Example 3 0.8:1 356 377 31.1
Example 4 0.1:1 353 378 32.1
Example 5 1.2:1 357 379 26.9


[0067] Examples 1 to 5 were thermally stable to at least 350°C and had char yields of 27 to 32 wt%. These results suggest that BPA-DA can be used as a curing agent to provide epoxy resins suitable for high heat applications.

[0068] The samples cured in the mold were next evaluated. Table 4 shows the Tg of Example 6 and Comparative Examples 1 to 5.
Table 4
 Tg (°C)
Example 6 265
Comparative Example 1 148.4
Comparative Example 2 160
Comparative Example 3 182.5
Comparative Example 4 152.5
Comparative Example 5 139.3


[0069] As shown in Table 4, Example 6 had the highest glass transition temperature of 264°C. None of Comparative Examples 1 to 5 had a glass transition temperature of greater than 183°C.

[0070] Table 5 shows the enthalpy of the curing reaction and peak temperature for Example 6 and Comparative Examples 1 to 5.
Table 5
 Enthalpy (J/g)Peak Temperature (°C)
Example 6 171 146
Comparative Example 1 317 164
Comparative Example 2 342 163
Comparative Example 3 303 179
Comparative Example 4 277 175
Comparative Example 5 373 166


[0071] As shown in Table 5, Example 6 releases least amount of heat during reaction with BPA-DGE. In contrast, Comparative Examples 1 to 5 had reaction enthalpies of greater than 275 J/g. Similarly, Example 6 had a lower peak temperature relative to Comparative Examples 1 to 5.

[0072] This disclosure further encompasses the following exemplary aspects.

Aspect 1. A curable epoxy composition, including: 100 parts by weight of an epoxy resin composition comprising one or more epoxy resins, each independently having an epoxy equivalent weight of at least 2; 30 to 200 parts by weight of an aromatic dianhydride curing agent of the formula

wherein T is -O-, -S-, -C(O)-, -SO2-, -SO-, -CyH2y- wherein y is an integer from 1 to 5 or a halogenated derivative thereof, or -O-Z-O- wherein Z is an aromatic C6-24 monocyclic or polycyclic moiety optionally substituted with 1 to 6 C1-8 alkyl groups, 1 to 8 halogen atoms, or a combination thereof; and 0.1 to 5 parts by weight of a heterocyclic accelerator, based on the total parts by weight of the epoxy resin composition and the aromatic dianhydride curing agent, wherein the heterocyclic accelerator includes a substituted or unsubstituted C3-6 heterocycle including 1 to 4 ring heteroatoms, wherein each heteroatom is independently the same or different, and is nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus, silicon, or sulfur, preferably nitrogen, oxygen, or sulfur, most preferably nitrogen, wherein the composition does not include a monoanhydride curing agent.

Aspect 1a. The curable epoxy composition according to aspect 1, wherein T is - O-, -S-, -SO2-, -SO-, -CyH2y- wherein y is an integer from 1 to 5 or a halogenated derivative thereof, or -O-Z-O- , and wherein Z is as defined in aspect 1.

Aspect 1b. The curable epoxy composition according to aspect 1 or 2, wherein the composition does not include a substituted or unsubstituted norbornene dicarboxylic anhydride, a substituted or unsubstituted hexahydrophthalic anhydride, a substituted or unsubstituted tetrahydrophthalic anhydride, a substituted or unsubstituted phthalic anhydride, a substituted or unsubstituted maleic anhydride, a substituted or unsubstituted succinic anhydride, a substituted or unsubstituted trimellitic anhydride, and perfluoroglutaric anhydride; preferably wherein the curable composition does not include methyl-5-norbornene-2,3-dicarboxylic anhydride, ,2-cyclohexanedicarboxylic anhydride, 4-methylhexahydrophthalic anhydride, 5-methylhexahydrophthalic anhydride, 1,2,3,6-tetrahydrophthalic anhydride, 1,2,3,6-tetrahydro-4-methylphthalic anhydride, phthalic anhydride, 3-fluorophthalic anhydride, 2-methylmaleic anhydride, maleic anhydride, dimethylmaleic anhydride, dodecenylsuccinic anhydride, hexadecenylsuccinic anhydride, trimellitic anhydride, and perfluoroglutaric anhydride.

Aspect 1c. The curable epoxy composition according to any one or more of the preceding aspects, wherein the composition does not further include an amine cure accelerator, a phenolic hardener, a latent cationic cure catalyst, or a combination thereof.

Aspect 2. The curable epoxy composition according to any one or more of the preceding aspects, wherein a stoichiometric ratio between the aromatic dianhydride curing agent and the epoxy resin composition is 0.1:1 to 2.0:1, preferably 0.4:1 to 1.2:1, more preferably 0.6:1 to 1:1.

Aspect 3. The curable epoxy composition according to any one or more of the preceding aspects, wherein the epoxy resin composition includes a bisphenol A epoxy resin, a triglycidyl-substituted epoxy resin, a tetraglycidyl-substituted epoxy resin, a bisphenol F epoxy resin, a phenol novolak epoxy resin, a cresol novolak epoxy resin, a cycloaliphatic diglycidyl ester epoxy resin, a cycloaliphatic epoxy resin including a ring epoxy group, an epoxy resin containing a spiro-ring, a hydantoin epoxy resin, or a combination thereof.

Aspect 4. The curable epoxy composition according to any one or more of the preceding aspects, wherein T is -O- or a group of the formula -O-Z-O- wherein Z is of the formula

wherein Ra and Rb are each independently the same or different, and are a halogen atom or a monovalent C1-6 alkyl group, Xa is a single bond, -O-, -S-, -S(O)-, -S(O)2-, -C(O)-, or a C1-18 organic bridging group, and p, q, and c are each independently integers of 0 to 4.

Aspect 5. The curable epoxy composition according to aspect 4, wherein Z is a divalent group of formula

wherein Q is -O-, -S-, -C(O)-, -SO2-, -SO-, -P(Ra)(=O)- wherein Ra is a C1-8 alkyl or C6-12 aryl, or -CyH2y- wherein y is an integer from 1 to 5 or a halogenated derivative thereof, preferably wherein Q is 2,2-isopropylidene.

Aspect 5a. The curable epoxy composition according to any one or more of the preceding aspects, wherein the epoxy resin composition includes bisphenol-A diglycidyl ether and the aromatic dianhydride curing agent includes bisphenol-A dianhydride.

Aspect 5b. The curable epoxy composition according to any one or more of the preceding aspects, wherein the composition does not further include an amine cure accelerator, a phenolic hardener, a latent cationic cure catalyst, or a combination thereof.

Aspect 6. The curable epoxy composition according to any one or more of the preceding aspects, wherein the heterocyclic accelerator includes a C3-4 five-membered ring wherein the ring heteroatoms are one or two nitrogen atoms; preferably a C3 five-membered ring wherein the ring heteroatoms are nitrogen atoms.

Aspect 7. The curable epoxy composition according to any one or more of the preceding aspects, further including at least one of a cure accelerator different from the heterocyclic cure accelerator; or an additive composition, preferably wherein the additive composition includes a particulate filler, a fibrous filler, an antioxidant, a heat stabilizer, a light stabilizer, a ultraviolet light stabilizer, a ultraviolet light-absorbing compound, a near infrared light-absorbing compound, an infrared light-absorbing compound, a plasticizer, a lubricant, a release agent, a antistatic agent, an anti-fog agent, an antimicrobial agent, a colorant, a surface effect additive, a radiation stabilizer, a flame retardant, an anti-drip agent, a fragrance, an adhesion promoter, a flow enhancer, a coating additive, a polymer different from the thermoset polymer, or a combination thereof; more preferably wherein the additive composition includes a flame retardant, a particulate filler, a fibrous filler, an adhesion promoter, a flow enhancer, a coating additive, a colorant, or a combination thereof.

Aspect 8. A method for the manufacture of the curable epoxy composition according to any one or more of the preceding aspects, the method including: combining the epoxy resin composition and the aromatic dianhydride curing agent at a temperature of 100 to 200°C, preferably 120 to 190°C, more preferably 130 to 180°C to provide a reaction mixture; cooling the reaction mixture to less than 100°C; and adding the heterocyclic accelerator to the reaction mixture, to provide the curable epoxy composition.

Aspect 9. The method of aspect 8, wherein the reaction mixture contains (e.g., includes) no solvent, no reactive diluent, or a combination thereof. In other words, the curable epoxy composition can be solvent free or free of solvents, free of reactive diluents, or a combination thereof.
Aspect 9a. The curable epoxy composition of any one or more of the preceding aspects, wherein the composition contains (e.g., includes) no solvent. In other words, the curable epoxy composition can be solvent free or free of solvents.

Aspect 10. A thermoset epoxy composition including the cured product of the curable epoxy composition according to any one or more of the preceding aspects.

Aspect 11. The thermoset epoxy composition according to according to any one or more of the preceding aspects, which after curing has at least one of: a glass transition temperature of greater than or equal to 170°C, preferably greater than or equal to 180°C, more preferably greater than or equal to 200°C, or greater than or equal to 220°C, or greater than or equal to 240°C; and a total transmission of greater than 50%, preferably greater than 70%, more preferably greater than 90%.

Aspect 12. An article including the thermoset epoxy composition of aspect 10 or aspect 11.

Aspect 13. The article of aspect 12, wherein the article is in the form of in the form of a composite, a foam, a fiber, a layer, a coating, an encapsulant, an adhesive, a sealant, a component, a prepreg, a casing, or a combination thereof.

Aspect 14. A method for the manufacture of a thermoset epoxy composition, the method including: curing the curable epoxy composition of any one or more of aspects 1 to 9; preferably curing the curable epoxy composition by compression molding, injection molding, transfer molding, pultrusion, resin casting, or a combination thereof.
Aspect 14a. The method of aspect 14, wherein the curing is at a temperature of 300°C or less, preferably 100°C to 250°C, more preferably 120°C to 240°C, and for a time of 6 hours or less, preferably 1 to 6 hours, more preferably 3 to 5 hours.

Aspect 15. The method of aspect 14 or 14a, wherein the curing includes disposing the curable epoxy composition into a mold, and curing the epoxy resin composition at 150°C to 250°C in the mold.



[0073] The compositions, methods, and articles can alternatively comprise, consist of, or consist essentially of, any appropriate materials, steps, or components herein disclosed. The compositions, methods, and articles can additionally, or alternatively, be formulated so as to be devoid, or substantially free, of any materials (or species), steps, or components, that are otherwise not necessary to the achievement of the function or objectives of the compositions, methods, and articles.

[0074] All ranges disclosed herein are inclusive of the endpoints, and the endpoints are independently combinable with each other (e.g., ranges of "up to 25 wt%, or, more specifically, 5 to 20 wt%", is inclusive of the endpoints and all intermediate values of the ranges of "5 wt% to 25 wt%," etc.). Disclosure of a narrower range or more specific group in addition to a broader range is not a disclaimer of the broader range or larger group.

[0075] The singular forms "a" "an," and "the" include plural referents unless the context clearly dictates otherwise. "Combinations" is inclusive of blends, mixtures, alloys, reaction products, and the like. "Or" means "and/or" unless clearly indicated otherwise by context. Reference to "an aspect" means that a particular element described in connection with the aspect is included in at least one aspect described herein and may or may not be present in other aspects. A "combination thereof" is open and includes any combination comprising at least one of the listed elements, optionally together with a like or equivalent element not listed. The described elements may be combined in any suitable manner in the various aspects.

[0076] Unless defined otherwise, technical and scientific terms used herein have the same meaning as is commonly understood by one of skill in the art to which this application belongs. All cited patents, patent applications, and other references are incorporated herein by reference in their entirety. However, if a term in the present application contradicts or conflicts with a term in the incorporated reference, the term from the present application takes precedence over the conflicting term from the incorporated reference.

[0077] Compounds are described using standard nomenclature. For example, any position not substituted by any indicated group is understood to have its valency filled by a bond as indicated, or a hydrogen atom. A dash ("-") that is not between two letters or symbols is used to indicate a point of attachment for a substituent. For example, -CHO is attached through carbon of the carbonyl group.

[0078] The term "hydrocarbyl" or "hydrocarbon" refers broadly to a monovalent group containing carbon and hydrogen, optionally with 1 to 3 heteroatoms such as a halogen, N, O, S, Si, P, or a combination thereof. Exemplary hydrocarbyls include alkyl, cycloalkyl, alkenyl, cycloalkenyl, aryl, alkylaryl, or arylalkyl as defined below. The term "hydrocarbylene" refers to a divalent hydrocarbyl group. Hydrocarbylene include alkylene, cycloalkylene, arylene, alkylarylene, or arylalkylene as defined below. The term "alkyl" means a branched or straight chain, saturated monovalent hydrocarbon group, e.g., methyl, ethyl, n-propyl, i-propyl, n-butyl, s-butyl, t-butyl, n-pentyl, s-pentyl, and n- and s-hexyl. "Alkenyl" means a straight or branched chain, monovalent hydrocarbon group having at least two carbons joined by a carbon-carbon double bond (e.g., ethenyl (-HC=CH2)). "Alkoxy" means an alkyl group that is linked via an oxygen (i.e., alkyl-O-), for example methoxy, ethoxy, and sec-butyloxy groups. "Alkylene" means a straight or branched chain, saturated, divalent hydrocarbon group (e.g., methylene (-CH2-) and propylene (-(CH2)3-)). "Cycloalkyl" means a non-aromatic monovalent monocyclic or multicyclic hydrocarbon group having at least three carbon atoms. "Cycloalkylene" means a divalent cycloalkyl group. "Cycloalkenyl" means a monovalent group having one or more rings and one or more carbon-carbon double bonds in the ring, wherein all ring members are carbon (e.g., cyclopentenyl and cyclohexenyl). "Aryl" means an aromatic hydrocarbon group containing the specified number of carbon atoms, such as phenyl, tropone, indanyl, or naphthyl. "Arylene" means a divalent aryl group. "Alkylarylene" means an arylene group substituted with an alkyl group. "Arylalkylene" means an alkylene group substituted with an aryl group. "Aryloxy" means an aryl group with the indicated number of carbon atoms attached through an oxygen bridge (-O-). "Amino" means a monovalent radical of the formula -NRR' wherein R and R' are independently hydrogen or a C1-C30 hydrocarbyl, for example a C1-C20 alkyl group or a C6-C30 aryl group. "Halogen" or "halogen atom" means a fluorine, chlorine, bromine, or iodine atom. The prefix "halo" means a group or compound including one more of a fluoro, chloro, bromo, or iodo substituents. A combination of different halo groups (e.g., bromo and fluoro), or only chloro groups can be present. The prefix "hetero" means that the compound or group includes at least one member or ring member that is a heteroatom (e.g., 1, 2, or 3 heteroatom(s)), wherein the heteroatom(s) is each independently N, O, S, Si, or P. The suffix "oxy" indicates that the open valence of the group is on an oxygen atom and the suffix "thio" indicates that the open valence of the group is on a sulfur atom.

[0079] Unless substituents are otherwise specifically indicated, each of the foregoing groups can be unsubstituted or substituted, provided that the normal valence of the substituted atom is not exceeded, and that the substitution does not significantly adversely affect the manufacture, stability, or desired property of the compound. "Substituted" means that an atom of the group is substituted with at least one (e.g., 1, 2, 3, or 4) substituent instead of hydrogen, where each substituent is independently nitro (-NO2), cyano (-CN), hydroxy (-OH), halogen, thiol (-SH), thiocyano (-SCN), C1-6 alkyl, C2-6 alkenyl, C2-6 alkynyl, C1-6 haloalkyl, C1-9 alkoxy, C1-6 haloalkoxy, C3-12 cycloalkyl, C5-18 cycloalkenyl, C6-12 aryl, C7-13 arylalkylene (e.g., benzyl), C7-12 alkylarylene (e.g., toluyl), C6-10 aryloxy (e.g., phenoxy), C4-12 heterocycloalkyl, C3-12 heteroaryl, C1-6 alkylthio, C1-6 alkylsulfinyl, C1-6 alkyl sulfonyl (-S(=O)2-alkyl), C6-12 arylsulfonyl (-S(=O)2-aryl), or tosyl (CH3C6H4SO2-). When the substituent is oxo (i.e., =O), then two hydrogens on an atom of the group are replaced. When a group is substituted, the indicated number of carbon atoms is the total number of carbon atoms in the compound or group, excluding those of any substituents. For example, -CH2CH2CN is a C2 alkyl group substituted with a cyano substituent.

[0080] While particular aspects have been described, alternatives, modifications, variations, improvements, and substantial equivalents that are or may be presently unforeseen may arise to applicants or others skilled in the art. Accordingly, the appended claims as filed and as they may be amended are intended to embrace all such alternatives, modifications variations, improvements, and substantial equivalents.


Claims

1. A curable epoxy composition, comprising:

100 parts by weight of an epoxy resin composition comprising one or more epoxy resins, each independently having an epoxy equivalent weight of at least 2;

30 to 200 parts by weight of an aromatic dianhydride curing agent of the formula

wherein T is -O-, -S-, -C(O)-, -SO2-, -SO-, -CyH2y- wherein y is an integer from 1 to 5 or a halogenated derivative thereof, or -O-Z-O- wherein Z is an aromatic C6-24 monocyclic or polycyclic moiety optionally substituted with 1 to 6 C1-8 alkyl groups, 1 to 8 halogen atoms, or a combination thereof; and

0.1 to 5 parts by weight of a heterocyclic accelerator, based on the total parts by weight of the epoxy resin composition and the aromatic dianhydride curing agent, wherein the heterocyclic accelerator comprises a substituted or unsubstituted C3-6 heterocycle comprising 1 to 4 ring heteroatoms, wherein each heteroatom is independently the same or different, and is nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus, silicon, or sulfur, preferably nitrogen, oxygen, or sulfur, more preferably nitrogen,

wherein the composition does not contain a monoanhydride curing agent.
 
2. The curable epoxy composition of claim 1, wherein an anhydride to epoxy stoichiometric ratio (A/E) is 0.1:1 to 2.0:1, preferably 0.4:1 to 1.2:1, more preferably 0.6:1 to 1:1.
 
3. The curable epoxy composition of any one or more of the preceding claims, wherein the epoxy resin composition comprises a bisphenol A epoxy resin, a triglycidyl-substituted epoxy resin, a tetraglycidyl-substituted epoxy resin, a bisphenol F epoxy resin, a phenol novolak epoxy resin, a cresol novolak epoxy resin, a cycloaliphatic diglycidyl ester epoxy resin, a cycloaliphatic epoxy resin comprising a ring epoxy group, an epoxy resin containing a spiro-ring, a hydantoin epoxy resin, or a combination thereof.
 
4. The curable epoxy composition of any one or more of the preceding claims, wherein T is -O- or a group of the formula -O-Z-O- wherein Z is of the formula

wherein

Ra and Rb are each independently the same or different, and are a halogen atom or a monovalent C1-6 alkyl group,

Xa is a single bond, -O-, -S-, -S(O)-, -S(O)2-, -C(O)-, or a C1-18 organic bridging group, preferably a single bond, -O-, -S-, -S(O)-, -S(O)2-, or a C1-18 organic bridging group, more preferably a C1-18 organic bridging group, and

p, q, and c are each independently integers of 0 to 4.


 
5. The curable epoxy composition of claim 4, wherein Z is a divalent group of formula

wherein Q is -O-, -S-, -C(O)-, -SO2-, -SO-, -P(Rc)(=O)- wherein Rc is a C1-8 alkyl or C6-12 aryl, or -CyH2y- wherein y is an integer from 1 to 5 or a halogenated derivative thereof, preferably wherein Q is 2,2-isopropylidene.
 
6. The curable epoxy composition of any one or more of the preceding claims, wherein the epoxy resin composition comprises bisphenol-A diglycidyl ether and the aromatic dianhydride curing agent comprises bisphenol-A dianhydride.
 
7. The curable epoxy composition of any one or more of the preceding claims, wherein the heterocyclic accelerator comprises a C3-4 five-membered ring wherein the ring heteroatoms are one or two nitrogen atoms; preferably a C3 five-membered ring wherein the ring heteroatoms are nitrogen atoms.
 
8. The curable epoxy composition of any one or more of the preceding claims, further comprising at least one of
a cure accelerator different from the heterocyclic cure accelerator; or
an additive composition;
preferably wherein the additive composition comprises a particulate filler, a fibrous filler, an antioxidant, a heat stabilizer, a light stabilizer, a ultraviolet light stabilizer, a ultraviolet light-absorbing compound, a near infrared light-absorbing compound, an infrared light-absorbing compound, a plasticizer, a lubricant, a release agent, a antistatic agent, an anti-fog agent, an antimicrobial agent, a colorant, a surface effect additive, a radiation stabilizer, a flame retardant, an anti-drip agent, a fragrance, an adhesion promoter, a flow enhancer, a coating additive, a polymer different from the epoxy resins, or a combination thereof.
 
9. A method for the manufacture of the curable epoxy composition of any one or more of the preceding claims, the method comprising:

combining the epoxy resin composition and the aromatic dianhydride curing agent at a temperature of 100 to 200°C, preferably 120 to 190°C, more preferably 130 to 180°C, to provide a reaction mixture;

cooling the reaction mixture to a temperature of less than 100°C; and

adding the heterocyclic accelerator to the reaction mixture to provide the curable epoxy composition.


 
10. The method of claim 11, wherein the reaction mixture is substantially free of solvent.
 
11. A thermoset epoxy composition comprising a cured product of the curable epoxy composition of any one or more of the preceding claims.
 
12. The thermoset epoxy composition of claim 11, which after curing has at least one of:

a glass transition temperature of greater than or equal to 170°C, preferably greater than or equal to 180°C, more preferably greater than or equal to 200°C, as determined by dynamic mechanical analysis; or

a total transmission of greater than 50%, preferably greater than 70%, more preferably greater than 90%.


 
13. An article comprising the thermoset epoxy composition of claim 11 or 12, preferably wherein the article is in the form of in the form of a composite, a foam, a fiber, a layer, a coating, an encapsulant, an adhesive, a sealant, a component, a prepreg, a casing, or a combination thereof.
 
14. A method for the manufacture of a thermoset epoxy composition, the method comprising:

curing the curable epoxy composition of any one or more of claims 1 to 8;

preferably wherein the curing comprises compression molding, injection molding, transfer molding, pultrusion, resin casting, or a combination thereof.


 
15. The method of claim 14, wherein the curing is a temperature of 300°C or less for a time of 6 hours or less;
preferably wherein the curing comprises disposing the curable epoxy composition into a mold, and curing the epoxy resin composition at 150°C to 250°C in the mold.
 





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Search report




Cited references

REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

Patent documents cited in the description




Non-patent literature cited in the description