Skip to main content

Influence of Temperature on Accessible Pyrolysis Pathways of Homopolymerized Bisphenol A/F Epoxies and Copolymers...

by Derek B Dwyer, Sara B Isbill, Jennifer L Niedziela, Roger J Kapsimalis, Douglas C Duckworth
Publication Type
Journal Name
Journal of Analytical and Applied Pyrolysis
Publication Date
Page Number

Understanding the thermal pyrolysis of epoxies and their copolymers is important for identifying structural changes resultant from thermal transients, enabling identification of failure modes of high-performance composite materials. This work expands our understanding of the thermal pyrolysis of cured epoxies and the role of temperature and composition on products, pathways, and relative rates. Numerous researchers have explored the pyrolysis of bisphenol A (BPA) epoxy. Significantly fewer have studied bisphenol F (BPF), and copolymers of BPA and BPF have been neglected. In this work, a pyrolysis gas chromatography mass spectrometer (PY-GC-MS) was used to investigate the degradation mechanism of homopolymerized BPA, BPF epoxies and their copolymers. For polymer identification, pyrolysis >450 °C resulted in the most extensive fragmentation and is useful for material identification, though lower temperatures show different degradation product profiles that provide mechanistic insight into thermal degradation pathways. Temperature greatly influences the accessible pyrolysis pathways of BPA, revealing dual mechanisms of formation for products p-isopropylphenol and p-isopropenylphenol. For BPF at low pyrolysis temperature the p,p-bisphenol F isomer is produced at significantly lower relative abundance compared to the abundance at higher temperatures tested, but production of the other two isomers changes little with respect to temperature. This suggests the epoxy components consisting of the p,p-bisphenol F isomer have higher thermal stability. Overall, the copolymer epoxies were found to have similar degradation products in stoichiometric distributions. The major exception was the formation of the p,p-bisphenol F isomer, which shows evidence of thermal stabilizing effects from addition of BPA epoxy.