Epoxy is a class of thermosetting resins and has been widely used as a representative example of structural adhesives. Nevertheless, it remains unclear how the epoxy resin and curing agent are present on the adherend surface and how they move around dynamically and react with each other to form a three-dimensional network. We here adopt a fully atomistic molecular dynamics (MD) simulation to study molecular events of an epoxy resin composed of hydrogenated bisphenol A diglycidyl ether and 1,4-cyclohexanebis(methylamine) at the interface using a narrow gap, which was sandwiched between copper surfaces. The depth profiles of the density, molecular orientation, and concentration in addition to molecular diffusivity at the interface are addressed. These are finally combined with the kinetics for the curing reactions at the interface. Although some of the information here obtained is accessible by experimentation, most is not. We believe that the findings of this study will lead to a better understanding of the adhesion phenomenon.
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