Polymer, Vol.173, 88-102, 2019
Crosslinkable hyperbranched poly(arylene ether nitrile) modifier for phthalonitrile resins: Synthesis, chain-end functionalization and properties
Soluble hyperbranched poly(arylene ether nitrile)s end-capped by either hydroxyl (HBPAEN-OHs) or phthalonitrile groups (HBPAEN-PNs) were synthesized via nucleophilic substitution reactions, where activated carbon supported calcium oxide was used as the catalyst to avoid crosslinking at high conversion. In order to evaluate their potential application in phthalonitrile resins, these hyperbranched polymers were blended with 1,3-bis(3,4-dicyanophenoxy)benzene and 4-(4-aminophenoxy)phthalonitrile, then cured into polymers. Curing mechanisms of different prepolymers were proposed and compared, and processability, thermal and mechanical properties were characterized. The introduction of HBPAEN-OHs was found to postpone the curing, while thermal and mechanical properties were compromised. On the contrary, the usage of HBPAEN-PNs was beneficial to both processability and thermal properties. More importantly, the impact strength for polymers containing HBPAEN-PN could be as high as 12.92 kJ m(-2), indicating such resin could be potentially applied as high temperature structural composite matrices. In addition, the toughening mechanism was proposed and discussed.