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Stress Relaxation Via Addition-fragmentation Chain Transfer In High T(g), High Conversion Methacrylate-based Systems.

H. Y. Park, Christopher J Kloxin, Ahmed S. Abuelyaman, J. D. Oxman, C. Bowman
Published 2012 · Chemistry, Medicine

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To reduce shrinkage stress which arises during the polymerization of crosslinked polymers, allyl sulfide functional groups were incorporated into methacrylate polymerizations to determine their effect on stress relaxation via addition-fragmentation chain transfer (AFCT). Additionally, stoichiometrically balanced thiol and allyl sulfide-containing norbornene monomers were incorporated into the methacrylate resin to maximize the overall functional group conversion and promote AFCT while also enhancing the polymer's mechanical properties. Shrinkage stress and reaction kinetics for each of the various functional groups were measured by tensometry and Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, respectively. The glass transition temperature (T(g)) and elastic moduli (E') were measured using dynamic mechanical analysis. When the allyl sulfide functional group was incorporated into dimethacrylates, the polymerization-induced shrinkage stress was not relieved as compared with analogous propyl sulfide-containing resins. These analogous propyl sulfide containing monomers are incapable of undergoing AFCT while having similar chemical structure and crosslink density to the allyl sulfide containing methacrylates. Here, a monomethacrylate monomer that also contains a cyclic allyl sulfide (PAS) was found to increase the crosslinking density nearly 20 times as compared to an analogous monomethacrylate in which the allyl sulfide was replaced with an ethyl sulfide. Despite the much higher crosslink density, the PAS formulation exhibited no concomitant increase in stress. Thiol-norbornene resins were copolymerized in PAS to promote AFCT as well as to synergistically combine the ring opening benefits associated with the thiol-ene reaction. AFCT resulted in a 63% reduction of polymerization stress and a 45°C enhancement of the glass transition temperature in the allyl sulfide-containing thiol-norbornene-methacrylate system compared with rubbery dimethacrylates. When compared with conventional glassy dimethacrylates, this combined system has less than 10% of the typical shrinkage stress level while having similarly excellent mechanical properties.
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