Thermal Polymerization of Thiol-ene Network-Forming Systems

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Polymers and High Performance Materials


The thermal polymerization of a tetrafunctional thiol (PETMP) and divinyl ether (TEGDVE) was monitored by temperature-ramping differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and the effects of inhibitor type and concentration, oxygen inhibition and initiator type were studied. The incorporation of inhibitors was required to produce a stable system at room temperature. Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) inhibited polymerization at low temperatures, but was inefficient at high temperatures and polymerization rates, and hence BHT is an ideal stabilizer. In contrast, a nitroxide inhibitor (NO-67) was a very effective inhibitor and no polymerization occurred until all of the nitroxide was depleted. The presence of oxygen retarded the onset of polymerization but did not change the final conversion significantly. Polymerization with initiators having higher half-life temperatures shifted the DSC peak to higher temperature because the rate of initiator decomposition and thus initiation was slower. Rheological investigations of the cure at different temperatures revealed that the gel time decreased significantly with increasing cure temperature, and the calculated apparent activation energy for PETMP/TEGDVE was 54kJ mol(-1). Dynamical mechanical thermal analysis of the cured material was undertaken and frequency-superposed results revealed that the glass transition region of PETMP/TEGDVE/azobisisobutyronitrile was much narrower than that of free-radically cured dimethacrylate, but was similar to that of an epoxy resin cured with an aromatic diamine. This behaviour could be attributed to PETMP/TEGDVE network homogeneity, or to the less constrained crosslinks in the PETMP/TEGDVE network. (C) 2007 Society of Chemical Industry.

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Polymer International





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