Aliphatic polybenzoxazoles, polybenzothiazoles, and polybenzimidazoles have been prepared by three methods: in poly(phosphoric acid), by the polyamide precursor, and by melt polymerization. The melt polymerization method was found to be the most satisfactory. All of the aliphatic heterocyclic polymers had excellent thermal stability, resistance to alkaline hydrolysis, high glass transition temperatures, and a high degree of flexibility. The only class of polymer found having any degree of solubility, however, was the polybenzimidazoles. Aliphatic polybenzimidazole films were prepared by solution casting. These films were found to be extremely flexible at ambient and cryogenic temperatures. The films were unaffected by alkaline hydrolysis, even in an oxidizing medium. A molding prepared from the aliphatic polybenzimidazole had excellent physical properties at both cryogenic and room temperature.
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