The polymerization mechanism and kinetics of DGEBA with BF3‐MEA

Michael Tackie, George C. Martin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


The diglycidyl ether of bisphenol‐A (DGEBA) and boron trifluoride monoethylamine (BF3‐MEA) were used in a model system to investigate the chemical and physical changes that occur during polymerization. Experiments using 19F and 1H nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) showed that BF3‐MEA breaks down rapidly into HBF4 and an amine salt at 85°C and above. The HBF4 complexes with the epoxy groups, producing an activated monomer that reacts with epoxy in an etherification reaction. A mechanism is proposed whereby activated epoxy sites (complexes) continuously add epoxy throughout the reaction, but where unactivated epoxies (monomer molecules) are unable to react with each other. The reaction rate and mode (kinetic vs. diffusion control) therefore are strongly influenced by the BF3‐MEA concentration and the reaction temperature. © 1993 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)793-808
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Applied Polymer Science
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 5 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry


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