To simultaneously address the lower toughness and the build-up of internal heat for fast-curing epoxy matrices, the influence of nominal 100 nm and 300 nm core-shell rubber (CSR) particles on the properties and rheo-kinetics were studied. The fracture energy was enhanced by a factor of 14.5, up to 2572 ± 84 J m−2 with 14.5 wt% of the nominal 300 nm diameter CSR particles, with evidence of cavitation and plastic void growth of the rubber core combined with shear band yielding of the epoxy matrix. These toughening mechanisms were modelled with an approximately linear increase up to 10 wt% for both particle types. At higher concentrations, deviation between the measured and modelled data was observed due to insufficient epoxy to dissipate additional energy. The CSR particles were not filtered out or damaged during the manufacturing of composites and reduced the total heat of reaction with a linear correlation, demonstrating a multi-functionality of simultaneous toughening and reduction of the exothermic peak.
- A: Polymers
- B: Fracture toughness
- Core-shell rubber
- D: Scanning electron microscopy (SEM)