Biobased, thermoreversibly crosslinked polyesters: A styrene-free alternative to currently employed resins

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Polyester resins are often used due to their superior chemical and mechanical properties. However, most commercial resins contain high amounts of the toxic chemical styrene.
This thesis describes the search for a human-friendly alternative to polyester resins. In this work, mostly biobased (obtained from renewable sources) chemicals are used to end up with a green compound.
However, just "going green" does not solve the problem of waste generated at the end of product life, in order to address this and reduce the carbon footprint of the material even further a reversible crosslinking Chemistry was employed.
The reason polyester resins possess such desirable mechanical quantities is due to their chemical crosslinking. This is achieved via a polymerization reaction which yields a very tough material. However, the downside of this crosslinking is that the final material can never be reused, recycled or reclaimed: it has to be discarded, burnt for energy recovery, or at best some of it can be reused in a low-value application (like asphalt filler).
The material described in this thesis is shown to be fully recyclable and reworkable, due to the use of Diels alder Chemistry which allows the crosslinks (which give the material its strength) to be re-opened, This allows the material to be reused and reshaped.
The first chapters describe the synthesis of the material, and its successful recycling. This is shown by grinding spent testbars, remolding them and obtaining a new sample with identical mechanical properties.
The later chapters describe various alterations through which the mechanical properties of the compound can be improved (e.g. better impact resistance) or altered (e.g. influencing the softening temperature).
Overall the complete route from commercially available green chemical to final material in (close to) real life application is covered.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • University of Groningen
  • Picchioni, Francesco, Supervisor
  • Heeres, Hero, Supervisor
Award date8-May-2017
Place of Publication[Groningen]
Print ISBNs978-90-367-9737-5
Electronic ISBNs978-90-367-9738-2
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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