Diffusion of gases through polyurethane block polymers



The diffusivities of simple gases through a series of polyurethane block copolymers of differing aromatic urethane content and type of soft segment were measured using a quadrapole mass spectrometer as a detecting device. Although an Arrhenius expression generally described the temperature dependence of diffusion in this system, a discontinuity was observed in the Arrhenius plots for some materials, and the discontinuity was found to be related to the onset of the glass transition in the hard domains. Increasing the hard segment content of the materials decreased the diffusivity due to the increase in the activation energy of diffusion. Increasing the soft segment length brought about a decrease in the activation energy with an increase in diffusivity. Polyster urethanes had lower activation energies for diffusion than polyether urethanes of similar hard segment composition. Finally, as the penetrant diameter was increased, a decrease in the diffusivity and an increase in the activation energy was noted.