Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Document Type



Thermal frontal polymerization has long been used as a method to cure composites and coatings. However, this is the first time these applications have been used without the use of a catalyst, for the case of composites and coatings.

Chapter 2 discusses how to optimize cure-on-demand, thin layer coatings, using frontal polymerization. Previously, for the use of curing thin layer coating using thermal FP, it was known to just make the formulation viscous enough, as this would prevent premature quenching caused by heat loss. It was discovered that for a given layer thickness, a minimum viscosity and initiator concentration were required.

Chapter 3 shows the attempt to synthesize a benzopinacol (TPED) derivative. Currently, TPED generates bubble-free systems but has poor solubility. This solubility is hoped to be improved by adding branching groups to TPED. This synthesis requires a two-part synthesis, the first part to add the branching groups to a benzophenone compound, followed by pinacol rearrangement as performed to synthesized TPED.

Chapter 4 highlights the ability to enhance properties of composites cured via thermal FP by incorporating a bio-based fire-retardant monomer and fire-retardant fillers. This study is also the first case where a hexa-acrylate has been successfully frontally polymerized.

Chapter 5 goes into details of how Dr. Gary’s nonskid coating was tested at cold temperatures. Mock testing was done in the Pojman lab and the lab at Naval Surface Warfare Center Carderock Division before testing on a naval barge in Ketchikan, AK. While the optimal results were not achieved, it was determined that the nonskid coating would best be used as a cure-on-demand spot cure repair for industrial sites rather than large scale areas, especially those in cold locations.



Committee Chair

Pojman, John A.

Available for download on Friday, April 04, 2025