A novel self-emulsifiable waterborne amine-terminated curing agent for epoxy resin based on glycidyl tertiary carboxylic ester (GTCE) was synthesized through three steps of addition reaction, capping reaction, and salification reaction of triethylene tetramine (TETA) and liquid epoxy resin (E-44). The curing agent with good emulsifying and curing properties was gradually obtained under condition of the molar ratio of TETA: E-44 as 2.2: 1 at 65 °C for 4 h, 100% primary amine capped with GTCE at 70 °C for 3 h, and 20% salifiable rate with glacial acetic acid. The curing agent was characterized by Fourier transform-infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR). The curing behavior of the E-44/GTCE-TETA-E-44 system was studied with differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and FT-IR. Results showed that the optimal mass ratio for E-44/GTCE-TETA-E-44 system was 3 to 1, and the curing agent showed a relatively lower curing temperature. The cured film prepared by the self-emulsifiable curing agent and epoxy resin under the optimal mass ratio displayed good thermal property, hardness, toughness, adhesion, and corrosion resistance.

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J. Appl. Polym. Sci. 2017, 134, 44246.