Polymerization and Thermal Characteristics of Acrylonitrile/Dicyclohexylammonium 2-Cyanoacrylate Copolymers for Carbon Fiber Precursors Kim, Ki-Young; Park, Woo-Lee; Chung, Yong-Sik; Shin, Dong-Geun; Han, Jin-Wook;
This study experimentally investigated dicyclohexylammonium 2-cyanoacrylate (CA) as a potential comonomer for polyacrylonitrile (PAN) based carbon fiber precursors. The P(AN-CA) copolymers with different CA contents (0.19-0.78 mol% in the feed) were polymerized using solution polymerization with 2,2-azobis(isobutyronitrile) as an initiator. The chemical structure and composition of P(AN-CA) copolymers were determined by proton nuclear magnetic resonance and elemental analysis, and the copolymer composition was similar to the feeding ratio of the monomers. The effects of CA comonomer on the thermal properties of its copolymers were characterized differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) in nitrogen and air atmospheres. The DSC curves of P(AN-CA) under nitrogen atmosphere indicated that the initiation temperature for cyclization of nitrile groups was reduced to around . The heat release and the activation energy for cyclization reactions were decreased in comparison with those of PAN homopolymers. On the other hand, under air atmosphere, the P(AN-CA) with 0.78 mol% CA content showed that the initiation temperature of cyclization was significantly lowered to . The activation energy value showed 116 kJ/mol, that was smaller than that of the copolymers with 0.82 mol% of itaconic acids. The thermal stability of P(AN-CA), evidenced by thermogravimetric analyses in air atmosphere, was found higher than PAN homopolymer and similar to P(AN-IA) copolymers. Therefore, this study successfully demonstrated the great potential of P(AN-CA) copolymers as carbon fiber precursors, taking advantages of the temperature-lowering effects of CA comonomers and higher thermal stability of the CA copolymers for the stabilizing processes.