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Abstract

Pyrolysis of melamine–formaldehyde and urea–formaldehyde resins in helium and air was investigated by means of TG and gravimetry with isothermal heating, as well as elemental and HCN analyses. Weight loss curves suggest three kinds of reactions involved in the pyrolysis, namely, initiation reactions, reactions splitting off volatile fragments, and reactions forming stabilized structures. In TG, in both helium and air atmospheres, the active weight loss of the melamine resin was completed in two steps, and that of the urea resin was completed in one step, which, however, consisted of a few small successive steps. The isothermal heating weight losses progressed through a few stages of first- and zeroth-order reactions. Arrhenius parameters were obtained for the weight losses in TG and with isothermal heating. The residue from the melamine resin is rich in carbon and nitrogen, and poor in oxygen and hydrogen, while that from the urea resin is rich in carbon, and poor in nitrogen, oxygen, and hydrogen. The effects of temperature on HCN yield changed, depending on the amount of air fed. The melamine resin evolved much more HCN than the urea resin because of the more stable C—N linkages in the resin.