Studies in the molecular weight distribution of epoxide resins. I. Gel permeation chromatography of epoxide resins



The molecular weight distributions as measured by gel permeation chromatography of solid epoxide resins made by the direct addition of epichlorohydrin to bisphenol A (the “taffy” process) and by the reaction of low molecular weight liquid epoxide resins whose main constituent is the diglycidyl ether of bisphenol A with bisphenol A (the “advancement” process) have been compared with the theoretical distribution calculated by the application of Flory statistics. The model used for predicting the molecular weight distribution has been shown to be too simple to describe the real size distribution of these resins. For resins prepared by the “taffy” process, incompleteness of reaction, the presence of monofunctional epoxides, and the possibility of branching reactions through the epoxide–hydroxyl reaction lead to a distribution that more nearly resembles one calculated for a resin having a higher epoxide value than that actually measured. In the case of resins prepared by the “advancement” process, the presence of small amounts of the higher oligomeric diepoxides and monofunctional epoxides in the starting material used for the synthesis lead to complex molecular weight distributions that are not easy to deduce theoretically. The experimentally determined molecular weight distributions for the higher molecular weight epoxide resins (epoxide value <2 eq/kg) made by the “advancement” process resemble more nearly those calculated for resins having lower epoxide values than those actually measured.