Changes in the molecular structure and composition of interpenetrating polymer networks (IPNs) can be used to tailor their properties. While the properties of IPNs are typically different than polymer blends, a clear understanding of the impact of changing polymerization sequence on the physical properties and the corresponding molecular bonding is needed. To address this issue, a data mining approach is used to identify the change with polymerization sequence of tensile and rheological properties of acrylate-epoxy IPNs. The experimental approach used to study the molecular structure is high throughput Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy. Analysis of the FTIR spectra of IPNs synthesized with different polymerization sequences leads to an understanding of the molecular bonding responsible for the tensile and rheological properties. From the interpretation of the wavenumber bands and associated molecular bonds, we find that the polymerization sequence most affects hydrogen bonding and aromatic ring bond energies. This work defines the relationships between chemistry, structure, processing, and properties of the IPN samples.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/balaji_narasimhan/16/