Full (interpenetrating networks (IPNs)) and semi-IPNs of the epoxy resin and poly (ethyl methacrylate) (PEMA) were prepared by the sequential mode of synthesis. These were characterized with respect to their mechanical properties, namely, tensile strength, elongation at break, modulus, and toughness. Thermal properties were studied by differential scanning calorimetry and thermogravimetry. The morphological features were studied through scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and polarized light microscopy. The effects of variation of the blend ratios on the above-mentioned properties were examined. There was a gradual decrease of modulus and tensile strength with consequent increases in elongation at break and toughness for both types of IPNs with increases in PEMA content. The weight retentions in the thermal decomposition of both the semi-IPNs and full IPNs were higher than the epoxy homopolymer. This enhancement was presumably related to the presence of the unzipped ethyl methacrylate monomer, which acted as radical scavengers in the epoxy degradation. An inward shift and lowering (with respect to pure epoxy) of the Tg of the IPNs was observed. The polarized light microscopy exhibits bimodal distribution of particle sizes. The fractography as studied by SEM shows change in fracture mechanics from shear yielding to crazing with increasing PEMA content. © 1998 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.