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Frontal Polymerization of Dicyclopentadiene: A Numerical Study B

Goli, Elyas, Robertson, Ian D., Geubelle, Philippe H., Moore, Jeffrey S.
The Journal of physical chemistry 2018 v.122 no.16 pp. 4583-4591
energy efficiency, heat production, manufacturing, models, physical chemistry, polymerization, prediction, temperature
As frontal polymerization is being considered as a faster and more energy efficient manufacturing technique for polymer–matrix fiber-reinforced composites, we perform a finite-element-based numerical study of the initiation and propagation of a polymerization front in dicyclopentadiene (DCPD). The transient thermochemical simulations are complemented by an analytical study of the steady-state propagation of the polymerization front, allowing to draw a direct link between the cure kinetics model and the key characteristics of the front, i.e., front velocity and characteristic length scales. The second part of this study focuses on the prediction of the temperature spike associated with the merger of two polymerization fronts. The thermal peak, which might be detrimental to the properties of the polymerized material, is due to the inability of the heat associated with the highly exothermic reaction to be dissipated when the two fronts merge. The analysis investigates how the amplitude of the thermal spike is affected by the degree of cure at the time of the front merger.