Published June 1968
An epoxy resin is generally defined as any compound containing more than one epoxy or oxirane group, per molecule and capable of being converted to a useful thermosetting form by the interreaction of its epoxy groups with a curing agent. Somewhat misleading is the fact that the cured resin, which has few remaining epoxy groups, is also called an epoxy resin.
Epoxy resins have been developed commercially since World War II and have found wide application as thermosetting resins. Cured epoxy resins have a unique combination of properties, and while they compete with several other thermosetting resins, they have enjoyed a moderate growth rate. This report is concerned with the cost and technology of the manufacture of basic epoxy resins. Four processes for producing the most common epoxy resins from bisphenol A and epichlorohydrin (DGEDA resins) are evaluated in detail. Included are two processes for making liquid or low-molecular-weight DGEBA resins --one batch and one continuous process --one batch process for solid DGEBA resins, and one batch process for high-molecular-weight DGEDA resin. A process for the manufacture of an epoxy novolac resin is also evaluated in detail. Other processes for epoxy resins are discussed at length, but are not evaluated because they are believed to have only minor commercial significance at the current time.
The curing and formulation of epoxy resins are covered only briefly in this report. Normally, basic epoxy resin manufacturers do not make formulations, and therefore, this subject is considered outside the scope of this report. Information on the industry status and epoxy resin properties was gathered mainly from trade journals and resin manufacturers'
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