Journal of Material Sciences & Engineering

ISSN: 2169-0022

Open Access

Developing Polypropylene Bonded Hindered Phenol Antioxidants for Expanding Polypropylene Applications in High Temperature Conditions


Zhang G, Nam C and Chung TCM

Polypropylene (PP) represents about a quarter of commercial plastics produced around the world. Despite its huge commercial success, PP polymer is not suitable for the applications that require long-term exposure to high temperatures (>80°C), due to its chemical and physical stability. The PP chain is prone to the oxidative chaindegradation and exhibits a relatively low material softening temperature. This paper discusses a new research approach by developing the PP-bonded hindered phenol (PP-HP) antioxidants to address this scientifically challenging issue. We have investigated two PP-HP structures, one with two methylene units adjacent to the hindered phenol group (HP-L) and one without this spacer (HP-S). In general, PP-HP polymers are advantaged with the ability to incorporate a suitable concentration of HP antioxidant groups with homogeneous distribution along the polymer chain, which provide effective protection to the PP chains from oxidative degradation. In addition, the specific PP-HP-L structure can also engage in a facile crosslinking reaction to form a 3-D network during the oxidation reaction. In one accelerated oxidation test in air at 190-210°C, the regular commercial PP polymer (containing common antioxidants and stabilizers) degrades within a few minutes; a PP-HP-L copolymer with about 1 mol% HP-L group shows almost no detectable weight loss after 24 hrs. In an ASTM endurance test at 140°C in air, the commercial PP shows 1% weight loss within about 10 days. On the other hand, the PP-HP-L polymer lasts for more than 30 years. Overall, the experiment results present the potential of expanding PP applications into a much higher temperature range (>140°C) under oxygen oxidative environments


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