NMR studies of urea–formaldehyde resins



A procedure used for analyzing urea–formaldehyde resins by NMR spectroscopy was developed. Using this procedure, the condensation of dimethylolurea under acidic and alkaline conditions was sudied. It was confirmed that polymerization under acidic conditions proceeds via the formation of methylene linkages and under alkaline conditions, via the formation of dimethylene ether groups. The more highly condensed water-soluble urea resins were found to contain hemiformal groups, which could be quantitatively determined. Two butylated urea–formaldehyde resins with varying degrees of butylation were also studied and were found to differ in the number of methylene and dimethylene ether groups and degree of butoxylation. Both were found to contain hemiformal groups. The resin with lower degree of butylation was also found to contain dimethyl ether linkages. None of the resins studied showed any detectable amounts of fully substituted amide groups.