5 years ago

Cross-Linking of Poly(butylene terephthalate) by Reactive Extrusion Using Zn(II) Epoxy-Vitrimer Chemistry

Cross-Linking of Poly(butylene terephthalate) by Reactive Extrusion Using Zn(II) Epoxy-Vitrimer Chemistry
Theo Hoeks, Ludwik Leibler, Adrien Demongeot, Ramon Groote, François Tournilhac, Han Goossens
Poly(butylene terephthalate) (PBT) vitrimers were prepared by reactive extrusion from industrial PBT thermoplastics using Zn(II)-catalyzed addition and transesterification chemistry. PBT thermoplastics are characterized by a high degree of crystallinity, high melting temperature, and high crystallization rate, but right above their melting temperature their mechanical resistance disappears and they show a tendency to drip. We compared −OH and −COOH end-group additions on epoxies in the presence of two different catalysts: 2-methylimidazole (2-MI) and zinc acetylacetonate (Zn(acac)2). With 2-MI, chain extension reactions were efficiently catalyzed in a few minutes at 270 °C, but no gelation was observed. With Zn(acac)2, −COOH addition and transesterification led to efficient cross-linking within a few minutes at 270 °C. Such cross-linked material combines the crystalline properties of PBT and dimensional stability above the melting temperature. PBT materials cross-linked through epoxy-vitrimer chemistry are not soluble. However, compared with radiation cross-linked PBT, vitrimer PBT is processable and can be reshaped and recycled.

Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.macromol.7b01141

DOI: 10.1021/acs.macromol.7b01141

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