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Reversible Plasticization

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000059850D
Original Publication Date: 1986-Jan-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-08
Document File: 1 page(s) / 12K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Sainsbury, DE: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

Plasticizers are typically used as processing aids in the fabrication of polymers which are difficult to process. The choice of plasticizer depends on many variables, however, a major disadvantage in their use is that they remain in the polymer after processing, thus affecting its properties, i.e., lower modulus melting point. In principle, therefore, it would be desirable to remove the plasticizer after processing.

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Reversible Plasticization

Plasticizers are typically used as processing aids in the fabrication of polymers which are difficult to process. The choice of plasticizer depends on many variables, however, a major disadvantage in their use is that they remain in the polymer after processing, thus affecting its properties, i.e., lower modulus melting point. In principle, therefore, it would be desirable to remove the plasticizer after processing. With this idea in mind, we developed a reversible plasticization technique according to which a volatile plasticizer such as (NH3) ammonia, is impregnated in a polyamide (polymer with H-bonds between adjacent molecular chains) to cause its plasticization by disrupting the H-bonds between the molecular chains, and after the polymer was processed in the solid state always under conditions so that the ammonia was below its critical temperature and pressure, the ammonia was released by volatilization. The idea was demonstrated with nylons 6 and 6,6 (polyamides). The reversible plasticization can have an important application in a different area, namely, when we fabricate polymer products we frequently need to observe very tight tolerances and this implies that we must resort to expensive mold designs. The use of the reversible plasticization concept has the advantage in that an object can be molded using conventional molding practices and then impregnated with a volatile plasticizer and tailored to the desired tolerances in the s...