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Curing Agents for Epoxy Adhesives (Part 1): Low Temperature Cure

Edward M. Petrie & Edward M Petrie – May 14, 2012

This is the first part of two articles that will describe these common curing agents and their selection process. This current article focuses on low or room temperature curing epoxy adhesive systems. The second part will appear in SpecialChem4Adhesives near September. This later article will deal with epoxy curing agents that require elevated temperatures for cure. A variety of curing agents will react with epoxy resins to provide crosslinked adhesives. There are six primary classifications of curing agents that are generally used. These curing agents are often divided into low or room temperature curing types and elevated temperature curing types. The choice of a particular curing agent or catalyst depends on the processing requirements (e.g., viscosity, pot life, application method, curing temperature, rate of reactivity, mix ratio) and the end-use requirements (e.g., thermal and chemical resistance, shear strength, toughness) of the cured adhesive. The curing agents along with the epoxy resin will determine the type of chemical bonds and the degree of crosslinking that will occur.

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