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Effect of initial molecular weight and solvents on the ultrasonic degradation of poly(ethylene oxide)

Vijayalakshmi, SP and Madras, Giridhar (2005) Effect of initial molecular weight and solvents on the ultrasonic degradation of poly(ethylene oxide). In: Polymer Degradation and Stability, 90 (1). pp. 116-122.

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The ultrasonic degradation of poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO) of different initial molecular weights was studied at a fixed temperature. The time variation of the number average molecular weight was determined using Gel Permeation Chromatography (GPC). The ultrasonic degradation rate,\chi, was assumed to be of the form, $\kappa = k_d(\chi - \chi_{lim})^\lambda$, where $k_{d}$ represents the rate coefficient, while \chi and $\chi_{lim}$, represent the molecular weight and limiting molecular weight, respectively. A continuous distribution model assuming midpoint chain scission and two different expressions for the rate coefficient was developed to satisfactorily model the experimental data. In the first method, the model was solved numerically and the values of $k_{d}$ and \chi were determined by fitting the model to the experimental data. However, when \chi is assumed to be unity, an analytical solution to the model was determined and fitted the experimental data for the degradation of PEO.To confirm this model, the effect of initial molecular weight on the degradation of other polymers (polyacrylamide (PAM), poly(butylacrylate) (PBA), poly(methyl acrylate) (PMA)) was also investigated.The assumption of $\chi = 1$ fitted the experimental data for the ultrasonic degradation of these polymers indicating that this is a reasonable approximation for the ultrasonic degradation of polymers.The effect of various solvents on the degradation of poly(ethyleneoxide) was also investigated. No degradation was observed when PEO was degraded in acetone, acetonitrile or methanol but degradation occurred in mixtures of water and the above solvents. Thus, it was concluded that the degradation of PEO was dependent more on the vapor pressure of the solvent than on polymer-solvent interactions.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publication: Polymer Degradation and Stability
Publisher: Elsevier
Additional Information: Copyright for this article belongs to Elsevier.
Keywords: Ultrasound;Degradation;Poly(ethylene oxide);Polyacrylamide;Poly(butyl acrylate);Poly(methyl acrylate);Continuous distribution kinetics;Initial molecular weight.
Department/Centre: Division of Mechanical Sciences > Chemical Engineering
Date Deposited: 22 Nov 2005
Last Modified: 19 Sep 2010 04:21
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/4077

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