Recently, new methods have been developed for the utilization of elemental sulfur as a feedstock for novel polymeric materials. One promising method is the inverse vulcanization, which is used to prepare polymeric structures derived from sulfur and divinyl comonomers. However, the mechanical and electrical properties of the products are virtually unexplored. Hence, in the present study, we synthesized a 200 g scale of amorphous, hydrophobic as well as translucent, hyperbranched polymeric sulfur networks that provide a high thermal resistance (>220 °C). The polymeric material properties of these sulfur copolymers can be controlled significantly by varying the monomers as well as the feed content. The investigated comonomers are divinylbenzene (DVB) and 1,3-diisopropenylbenzene (DIB). Plastomers with low elastic content and high shape retention containing 12.5%–30% DVB as well as low viscose waxy plastomers with a high flow behavior containing a high DVB content of 30%–35% were obtained. Copolymers with 15%–30% DIB act, on the one hand, as thermoplastics and, on the other hand, as vitreous thermosets with a DIB of 30%–35%. Results of the thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), the dynamic scanning calorimetry (DSC) and mechanical characterization, such as stress–strain experiments and dynamic mechanical thermal analysis, are discussed with the outcome that they support the assumption of a polymeric cross-linked network structure in the form of hyper-branched polymers.
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