High-performance thermosets with tailored properties derived from methacrylated eugenol and epoxy-based vinyl ester

Yuehong Zhang, Yuzhan Li, Vijay Kumar Thakur, Zhenhua Gao*, Jiyou Gu, Michael R. Kessler

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


A renewable chemical, eugenol, is methacrylated to produce methacrylated eugenol (ME) employing the Steglich esterification reaction without any solvent. The resulting ME is used as a low-viscosity co-monomer to replace styrene in a commercial epoxy-based vinyl ester resin (VE). The volatility and viscosity of ME and styrene are compared. The effect of ME loading and temperature on the viscosity of the VE–ME resin is investigated. Moreover, the thermomechanical properties, curing extent and thermal stability of the fully cured VE–ME thermosets are systematically examined. The results indicate that ME is a monomer with low volatility and low viscosity, and therefore the incorporation of ME monomer in VE resins allows significant reduction of viscosity. Moreover, the viscosity of the VE–ME resin can be tailored by adjusting the ME loadings and processing temperature to meet commercial liquid molding technology requirements. The glass transition temperatures of VE–ME thermosets range from 139 to 199 °C. In addition, more than 95% of the monomer is incorporated and fixed in the crosslinked network structure of VE–ME thermosets. Overall, the developed ME monomer exhibits promising potential for replacing styrene as an effective low-viscosity co-monomer. The VE–ME resins show great advantages for use in polymer matrices for high-performance fiber-reinforced composites. This work is of great significance to the vinyl ester industry by providing detailed experimental support.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)544-549
Number of pages6
JournalPolymer International
Issue number5
Early online date13 Mar 2018
Publication statusPrint publication - May 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • co-monomer
  • methacrylated eugenol (ME)
  • styrene replacement
  • thermosets
  • vinyl ester (VE)


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