Document Type


Date of Degree

Fall 2012

Degree Name

MS (Master of Science)

Degree In

Chemical and Biochemical Engineering

First Advisor

Julie L. P. Jessop


Photopolymerization of epoxy-acrylate hybrid resins takes advantages of inherent properties present in the free-radical and cationic reactions to reduce oxygen inhibition problems that plague free-radical reactions. Similarly, the combined reaction mechanisms reduce moisture sensitivity of the cationic reactions. Despite the advantages of epoxy-acrylate hybrid resins, problems persist that need to be addressed. For example, low conversion and polymerization rate of the epoxides are a problem, because the fast acrylate conversion prevents the epoxide from reaching high conversion. Controlling phase separation is challenging, since two moieties with different properties are reacting. The physical properties of the polymer will be impacted by the availability of different moieties. High shrinkage stress results from the acrylate moiety, causing buckling and cracking in film and coating applications.

The overall goal of this study is to use the fundamental knowledge of epoxy-acrylate hybrid resins to formulate industrially viable polymers. In order to achieve this goal, the study focuses on the following objectives: (I) determine the apparent activation energy of the hybrid monomer METHB, (II) increase epoxide conversion and polymerization rate of hybrid formulations, and (III) control physical properties in epoxy-acrylate hybrid resins. In order to increase the epoxide conversion and rate of polymerization, the sensitivity of epoxides to alcohol is used to facilitate the activated monomer (AM) mechanism and induce a covalent bond between the epoxide and acrylate polymers through the hydroxyl group. It is hypothesized that if the AM mechanism is facilitated, epoxide conversion will increase. As a result, the resins can be tailored to control phase separation and physical properties, and shrinkage stress can be reduced.

In pursuit of these objectives, the hybrid monomer METHB was polymerized at temperatures ranging from 30°C to 70°C to obtain apparent activation energy of 23.49 kJ/mol for acrylate and 57 kJ/mol for epoxide moeities. Then, hybrid systems pairing hydroxyl-containing acrylates with epoxides were formulated to promote the faster AM mechanism. Monomer composition was changed in the presence of hydroxyl-containing acrylate, and initiators were carefully selected in order to control phase separation. The conversion of acrylate and epoxide was monitored in real time by Raman spectroscopy. The physical and mechanical properties were monitored using dynamic mechanical analysis. Epoxide conversion and rate of polymerization in epoxide-acrylate hybrid monomer systems were shown to increase through the introduction of a hydroxyl group on the meth/acrylate monomer, taking advantage of the faster AM mechanism. In addition, this covalent bond linking the epoxide network to the meth/acrylate polymer chains resulted in little or no phase separation and a reduction of the Tg for the hybrid polymer compared to the neat epoxide.

Fundamental knowledge gained from this research will enable the use of epoxy-acrylate hybrid resins in variety of applications. For instance, shrinkage may be reduced in dental fillings, noise and vibration problems in aircraft and other machinery may be controlled, and photopolymerization cost could be reduced in thin film applications.


Acrylate, Epoxide, Hybrid, Hydroxyl-Cpntaining, Photopolymerization, Raman Spectroscopy


xiv, 83 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 76-83).


Copyright 2012 Gbenga I. Ajiboye