The kinetics of hydrolytic polymerization of ε-caprolactam. V. Equilibrium data on cyclic oligomers



The concentrations of the cyclic oligomers (Ci; i = 3, 4, 5, and 6) in the polymeric products of ε-caprolactam were determined by high-performance liquid chromatography. The equilibrium data on the oligomers were obtained as a function of the polymerization temperature and initial water concentration. The concentration of each oligomer in the equilibrated polymer was found to increase with the temperature and/or initial water concentration. A set of the kinetic equations to express the oligomer formation during the polymerization was also proposed.