Novel rubbers from cationic copolymerization of soybean oils and dicyclopentadiene. 1. Synthesis and characterization.

PMID 16529433


Novel thermosetting copolymers, ranging from tough and ductile to very soft rubbers, have been prepared by the cationic copolymerization of regular (SOY) and 100% conjugated soybean oils (C(100)SOY) with dicyclopentadiene (DCP) catalyzed by Norway fish oil (NFO)-modified and SOY- and C(100)SOY-diluted boron trifluoride diethyl etherate (BFE). The gelation time of the reactions varies from 4 to 991 min at 110 degrees C. The yields of the bulk copolymers are essentially quantitative, while the yields of the cross-linked copolymers remaining after Soxhlet extraction with methylene chloride range from 69% to 88%, depending on the monomer stoichiometry and the catalyst used. (1)H NMR spectroscopy and Soxhlet extraction data indicate that these copolymers consist of a cross-linked soybean oil-DCP network plasticized by certain amounts of methylene chloride-soluble linear or less cross-linked soybean oil-DCP copolymers, unreacted oil, and some low molecular weight hydrolyzed oil. The molecular weights of these soluble fractions are in the range from 400 to 10,000 g/mol based on polystyrene standards. The bulk copolymers have glass transition temperatures ranging from -22.6 to 56.6 degrees C, while their tan delta peak values range from 0.7 to 1.2. Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) indicates that these soybean oil-DCP copolymers are thermally stable below 200 degrees C, with 10% and 50% weight loss temperatures ranging from 280 to 372 degrees C and 470-554 degrees C, respectively. These properties suggest that these biobased thermosets may prove useful alternatives to current petroleum-based plastics and find widespread utility.

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Dicyclopentadiene, contains BHT as stabilizer