Thermal degradation of vinylidene chloride/vinyl chloride copolymers in the presence of N-substituted maleimides
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As a consequence of their excellent barrier properties vinyl chloride/vinylidene chloride copolymers have long been prominent in the flexible packaging market. While these polymers possess a number of superior characteristics, they tend to undergo thermally- induced degradative dehydrochlorination at process temperatures. This degradation must be controlled to permit processing of the polymers. Three series of N-substituted maleimides (N-alkyl-, N-aralkyl, and N-aryl) have been synthesized, characterized spectroscopically, and evaluated as potential stabilizers for a standard vinyl chloride/vinylidene chloride (85 mass%) copolymer. As surface blends with the polymer, these compounds are ineffective as stabilizers. However, significant stabilization may be achieved by pretreatment of the polymer with N-substituted maleimides. The most effective stabilization of the polymer is afforded by N-aralkyl- or N-arylmaleimides, most notably, N-benzylmaleimide and N-p-methoxyphenylmaleimide.
KeywordsN-substituted maleimides stabilization thermal processing thermogravimetry vinyl barrier polymers
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