This work shows that commercially available epoxy resins can be cured in seconds using very small amounts of solvate ionic liquids. This is the first ultrafast rapid curing epoxy resin composition.
Herein, we report a simple and effective approach to initiate ultrafast cross-linking reactions in epoxy resins using solvate ionic liquid as the catalytic additive. Rapid curing of epoxy as fast as 5 seconds or below was achieved without any significant changes in other physical properties of the cured thermosets. Typically, epoxy resin takes several minutes to hours to crosslink. This is the fastest cross-linking with epoxy resins ever reported, and still with room in tuning the cross-linking time. Known rapid cure resins in the market set within 3-8 minutes but are commercialized with unknown chemistry. To reap the benefits from using epoxy in large volume commercial production platforms, cure cycle times of less than 1 min must be achieved. In this manuscript we report curing under 5 seconds which is a significant achievement.
Rapid curing epoxy is another aspect required for materials gearing towards the 4.0 industry. Our previous manuscript (Multifunctionality in Epoxy Resins. Polym. Rev. 2020, 60 (1) 1-41), also showcased here in PubFacts.com, highlighted the lack of this kind of epoxy system that is essential for additive manufacturing. I believe, insights from this research is significant for the epoxy industry.Jaworski Capricho, BSc