A detailed study is presented of the high-temperature cure of the difunctional monomer N-(2-biphenylenyl)-4-[2′-phenylethynyl]phthalimide (BPP) and the thermal properties of the resulting homopolymer. Although the phenylethynyl groups are consumed within 1 h at 370°C, other reactions continue well after this, leading to a cured polymer whose glass transition temperature (Tg) is highly dependent on cure time and temperature. A Tg of 450°C is achieved after a 16 h cure at 400°C. Use of chemometrics to analyse the infrared spectra of curing BPP provides evidence for changes in the aromatic moieties during cure, perhaps indicative of co-reaction between the biphenylene and phenylethynyl groups; however, other processes also contribute to the overall complex cure mechanism. Despite the high Tg values, BPP homopolymer exhibits unacceptably poor thermo-oxidative stability at 370°C, showing a weight loss of about 50 % after 100 h ageing. This is perhaps a result of formation of degradatively unstable crosslink structures during elevated-temperature cure.
- Thermal properties
- Thermo-oxidative stability