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Keywords:

  • activation energy;
  • curing of polymers;
  • differential scanning calorimetry (DSC)

Abstract

A commercial solid resole phenolic resin was thoroughly characterized with Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, NMR, and gel permeation chromatography, and its nonisothermal curing reaction was studied systematically with differential scanning calorimetry at a series of heating rates (βs) of 3, 4.5, 5.7, and 10°C/min. The results show that the solid resole had a higher molecular weight than conventional liquid resoles, and its reactive hydroxymethyl (CH2[BOND]OH) and dibenzyl ether (CH2[BOND]O[BOND]CH2) functionalities participated in the crosslinking reaction upon heating. The nonisothermal curing reaction of the solid resole exhibited a relatively constant reaction heat, whereas the onset, peak, and end curing temperatures increased gradually with increasing βs. In addition, the reaction kinetics of the solid resole was analyzed with an nth-order reaction model, the global activation energy was determined with the Kissinger method, and the reaction order was derived from the Crane equation. The obtained rate equation was applied to simulate the reaction time, conversion, and reaction rate, with a good fit achieved between the experimental data and the model predications. In conclusion, this study provided us with new knowledge on solid resoles at a molecular level and was also a great help for the curing procedure design, property optimization, and practical application of this commercial solid resole. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2011