A cure kinetics investigation of a high temperature-resistant phenol novolac cyanate ester toughened with polyether sulfone (CE-PES blend) was undertaken using non-isothermal differential scanning calorimetry. Thin ply carbon fiber prepreg, based on the CE-PES formulation, was fabricated, and plates for further in-situ cure monitoring were manufactured using automated fiber placement. Online monitoring of the curing behavior utilizing Optimold sensors and Online Resin State software from Synthesites was carried out. The estimation of the glass transition temperature and degree of cure allowed us to compare real time data with the calculated parameters of the CE-PES formulation. Alongside a good agreement between the observed online data and predicted model, the excellent performance of the developed sensors at temperatures above 260 °C was also demonstrated.
Keywords: cure kinetics; cyanate ester; online cure monitoring; prepreg technology.