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Aliphatic polyesters have acquired significant interest as environmentally friendly thermoplastics for a wide range of applications, and understanding their degradation behaviour has relevance both for processing and end uses. We have investigated the thermal and thermo-oxidative degradation processes occurring in synthetic and commercial poly(butylene succinate) (PBSu). Thermal oxidation was performed in atmospheric air using extremely thin polymer films at 170 °C for up to 6 h. The oxidized compounds were analyzed by size exclusion chromatography (SEC), NMR spectroscopy, and Mass Spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS). A measurable reduction of the molar mass of the polyesters was soon apparent, promoting the formation of PBSu oligomers with different end groups. MALDI mass spectrometry combined with the use of extremely thin polyester films provided a virtual magnifying glass to obtain exhaustive …
Publication date: 
1 Oct 2009

Paola Rizzarelli, Sabrina Carroccio

Biblio References: 
Volume: 94 Issue: 10 Pages: 1825-1838
Polymer degradation and stability