Optical rheology of new liquid crystalline thermosets (LCTs): Influence of shear on disclination texture

Haihu Qin, Patrick T. Mather

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Liquid crystalline thermosets (LCTs) have been under intensive study because of their outstanding mechanical performance and low viscosity during processing. We have successfully synthesized four kinds of nematic bismaleimide thermosets that differ in the nature of a pendant group substitution and that feature a thermally stable nematic phase. Importantly, the pendant groups were found to be efficient in depressing the melting point to a level that allows for flow and cure at reasonably low temperatures. By blending two particular monomers with monofunctional maleimide that we synthesized, N-(4-hydroxyphenyl) maleimide (HPMI), the melting point is depressed and the curing process is postponed to higher temperatures. Such a blend has a processing window amenable to much-needed thermal and rheological characterization, particularly the evolution of disclination density during shear flow as cure progresses. Our previous work on disclination density measurements during shear flow has revealed particular scaling of dimensionless disclination density with dimensionless shear rate. The influence of shearing on the disclination density, flow patterns, and molecular orientation though gelation of thermosetting liquid crystals remains unexplored. In this presentation, we will follow a description of material synthesis with a report on the results of optical rheology experiments applied to the ternary blends containing HPMI and two bismaleimide monomers, detailing the influence of shear on disclination density though gelation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)257-263
Number of pages7
JournalMaterials Research Society Symposium - Proceedings
StatePublished - 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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