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Polymers 2010, 2(3), 174-187;

Study on Exothermic Oxidation of Acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) Resin Powder with Application to ABS Processing Safety

Department of Occupational Safety and Health, Jen-Teh Junior Colledge of Medicine, Nursing and Management, Taiwan
Energy and Environment Research Laboratories, Industrial Research Technology Institute, Taiwan
Department of Safety, Health and Environmental Engineering, National Kaohsiung First University of Science and Technology, Taiwan
Department of Safety Health and Environmental Engineering, National United University, Miaoli, Taiwan
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 7 June 2010 / Revised: 16 July 2010 / Accepted: 2 August 2010 / Published: 4 August 2010
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Oxidative degradation of commercial grade ABS (Acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene) resin powders was studied by thermal analysis. The instabilities of ABS containing different polybutadiene (PB) contents with respect to temperature were studied by Differential Scanning Calorimeter (DSC). Thermograms of isothermal test and dynamic scanning were performed. Three exothermic peaks were observed and related to auto-oxidation, degradation and oxidative decomposition, respectively. Onset temperature of the auto-oxidation was determined to be around 193 °C. However, threshold temperature of oxidation was found to be as low as 140 °C by DSC isothermal testing. Another scan of the powder after degeneration in air showed an onset temperature of 127 °C. Reactive hazards of ABS powders were verified to be the exothermic oxidation of unsaturated PB domains, not the SAN (poly(styrene-acrylonitrile)) matrix. Heat of oxidation was first determined to be 2,800 ± 40 J per gram of ABS or 4,720 ± 20 J per gram of PB. Thermal hazards of processing ABS powder are assessed by adiabatic temperature rise at process conditions. IR spectroscopy associated with heat of oxidation verified the oxidative mechanism, and these evidences excluded the heat source from the degradation of SAN. A specially prepared powder of ABS without adding anti-oxidant was analyzed by DSC for comparing the exothermic behaviors. Exothermic onset temperatures were determined to be 120 °C and 80 °C by dynamic scanning and isothermal test, respectively. The assessment successfully explained fires and explosions in an ABS powder dryer and an ABS extruder. View Full-Text
Keywords: ABS powder; self-accelerating reaction; thermal hazard; auto-oxidation; calorimetry ABS powder; self-accelerating reaction; thermal hazard; auto-oxidation; calorimetry

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Duh, Y.-S.; Ho, T.-C.; Chen, J.-R.; Kao, C.-S. Study on Exothermic Oxidation of Acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) Resin Powder with Application to ABS Processing Safety. Polymers 2010, 2, 174-187.

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