Epoxy curing agents
Ethylene amines are widely used as Epoxy Curing Agents. They can be used as a pure amine or in a modified form. Amines can react with Epoxy Resins, accelerated by phenols, acids and certain alcohols in such a way that a three-dimensional, cross-linked, infusible structure is formed. The resin becomes cured or hardened. This is essential in surface coating applications. A cure has to be effected at low ambient temperatures, down to 5 ºC and little or no solvent is allowed.
Epoxy curing systems are used for a variety of high-quality protective surface coatings (primers), high solids or solvent-free systems, civil engineering (floorings, grouts, mortars, cementious creeds, membranes), moulding and adhesives, sealants, filling compounds, laminates, water-proofing systems, cable-jointing compounds and castings.
For practical applications a large number of epoxy curing agents or hardeners based on different amines are commercially available. This market segment consumes relatively large amounts of the higher homologues of the Ethylene amines. This strong position is due to the superior mechanical, electrical properties and the good resistance to chemicals of the cured epoxy resin systems.