Computer simulation of structure and properties of crosslinked polymers: application to epoxy resins☆
Review articleOpen access

AbstractIn this work, a methodology has been developed for construction of atomistic models of crosslinked polymer networks. The methodology has been applied to low molecular weight water soluble epoxy resins crosslinked with different curing agents that are being considered for use as a primer coating on steel. The simulations allowed the crosslink density and the amount of free crosslinking sites in the coatings to be predicted. Shrinkage of the resin upon curing was reproduced by the simulation. In addition, the barrier properties of the model coatings were estimated. The interface between an inorganic substrate and cured epoxy resin has been constructed and the strength and molecular mechanisms of adhesion have been revealed. The developed methodology has a potential to significantly impact on the design and development of new coatings with improved barrier and adhesion properties.

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