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Open AccessArticle

Thermal Analysis and Crystal Structure of Poly(Acrylonitrile-Co-Itaconic Acid) Copolymers Synthesized in Water

1
School of Materials Science and Engineering, North China University of Water Resources and Electric Power, Zhengzhou 450045, China
2
Key Laboratory of Carbon Fiber and Functional Polymers Ministry of Education, Beijing University of Chemical Technology, Beijing 100029, China
3
School of Electric Power, North China University of Water Resources and Electric Power, Zhengzhou 450045, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Polymers 2020, 12(1), 221; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12010221
Received: 10 December 2019 / Revised: 12 January 2020 / Accepted: 13 January 2020 / Published: 16 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Thermal Properties and Applications of Polymers II)
The composition and structure of polyacrylonitrile (PAN) precursors play an important role during thermal stabilization, which influences the properties of the resulting carbon fibers. In this paper, PAN homopolymer and PAN-itaconic (IA) copolymers with different IA contents were synthesized by aqueous phase precipitation polymerization. The effects of IA content on the structure and thermal properties were studied using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), X-ray diffraction (XRD), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). The morphology of PAN polymers showed that the average size of the PAN particles increased with the increase of IA content in the feed. The content of the IA comonomer on the copolymers was quantitatively characterized by the relative absorbance intensity (A1735/A2243) in FTIR spectrum. With the increase of IA content in the feed, PAN-IA copolymers exhibited lower degree of crystallinity and crystal size than the control PAN homopolymer. The results from DSC curves indicated that PAN-IA1.0 copolymers had lower initial exothermic temperature (192.4 °C) and velocity of evolving heat (6.33 J g−1 °C−1) in comparison with PAN homopolymer (Ti = 238.1 °C and ΔHT = 34.6 J g−1 °C−1) in an air atmosphere. TGA results suggested that PAN-IA1.0 copolymers had higher thermal stability than PAN homopolymer, which can form a ladder structure easier during thermal processing. Therefore, PAN-IA1.0 copolymers would be a suitable candidate for preparing high performance PAN based carbon fibers. View Full-Text
Keywords: copolymers; morphology; crystallization; differential scanning calorimetry; thermal properties copolymers; morphology; crystallization; differential scanning calorimetry; thermal properties
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MDPI and ACS Style

Zhang, H.; Quan, L.; Gao, A.; Tong, Y.; Shi, F.; Xu, L. Thermal Analysis and Crystal Structure of Poly(Acrylonitrile-Co-Itaconic Acid) Copolymers Synthesized in Water. Polymers 2020, 12, 221.

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