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Polyurethanes plastic sheets and foams synthesized from aromatic triols Open Access


Other title
Aromatic polyols, polyurethanes, plastic sheets, foams, vegetable oil, physical properties
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Dumont, Marie-Josée
Supervisor and department
Narine, Suresh S. (Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science)
Examining committee member and department
Weselake, Randall (Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science)
Gaenzle, Michael (Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science)
Ozimek, Lech (Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science)
Choi, Philip (Chemical and Materials Engineering)
Thomas, Sabu (Gandhi University, India)
Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science

Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
Novel plastic sheets and foams from vegetable oil-based monomers were produced. These new polyurethanes were synthesized from aromatic polyols, with erucic acid as the starting material. These monomers have the unique feature of containing an aromatic ring which was hypothesized to improve the rigidity of the polyurethane matrices and the overall physical properties of the plastics and foams. The benefits of the aromatic ring were proposed to be enhanced due to three terminal primary hydroxyl groups within the structure of the polyols. Reactions to produce hexasubstituted benzene derivatives containing alcohol groups in positions 1,2,4- and 1,3,5- around the benzene ring were suitably scaled up to provide amounts necessary for polyurethane production and characterization. These isomers (asymmetric and symmetric triols) were separated using chromatography. The pure triols were crosslinked with 4,4’-methylenebis(phenyl isocyanate) into polyurethanes sheets (asymmetric and symmetric polyurethane respectively). The physico-chemical properties of these PUs were studied by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, x-ray diffraction,, differential scanning calorimetry dynamic mechanical analysis, thermogravimetric analysis coupled with Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, and tensile analysis. The asymmetric polyurethane sheet and the symmetric polyurethane sheet differed in their glass transition temperatures and crosslinking densities. This variation could be explained by the differences in crosslinking densities, related to the increase in steric hindrance between adjacent hydroxyl groups of the asymmetric triol monomers. It was found that both polyurethanes had similar mechanical and thermal properties. Due to the similar properties of the asymmetric polyurethane and symmetric polyurethane sheets, the monomers were combined together in order to synthesize PU foams. The physical properties of these foams were studied by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, differential scanning calorimetry, dynamic mechanical analysis, scanning electron microscopy, thermogravimetric analysis and were analyzed for close cell content and compression strength. The effect of the benzene ring in the monomer structure on the physical properties of these new polyurethane foams was mainly compared with high density canola polyurethane foams previously investigated. It was demonstrated that the physical properties of polyurethane foams made with aromatic monomers are comparable to those made with aliphatic monomers when enhanced with glycerol.
License granted by Marie-Josee Dumont ( on 2009-12-14T19:31:25Z (GMT): Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of the above terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis, and except as herein provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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