Fast-Curing Bio-Based Thermoset Foams Produced via the Michael 1,4-Addition Using Fatty Acid-Based Acetoacetate and Acrylate
European Polymer Journal 2024
Ralfs Pomilovskis, Eliza Kaulina, Arnis Abolins, Inese Mieriņa, Ivo Heinmaa, Vitālijs Rjabovs, Anda Fridrihsone, Miķelis Kirpļuks

This study introduces an approach for creating bio-based polymer foams exploiting the Michael reaction that could be utilized as thermal insulation. The thermoset foams were developed using a second-generation bio-based feedstock – tall oil. Tall oil is a by-product of wood pulping in paper manufacturing and mainly comprises unsaturated fatty acids like oleic and linoleic acid. The study explores the use of tall oil-based acetoacetates (Michael donor) combined with various acrylates (Michael acceptor), petrochemical-based (bisphenol-A ethoxylate diacrylate, trimethylolpropane triacrylate, pentaerythritol tetraacrylate), and bio-based (epoxidized soybean oil acrylate, epoxidized tall oil free fatty acids-based acrylate), to develop polymer foams that meet today's sustainability requirements. The developed polymer foams underwent extensive characterization. Matrix curing parameters were assessed by measuring changes in dielectric polarization during curing. Foaming parameters, including start and rise times, were precisely measured. The chemical composition of the foams was analysed using Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy. Their thermal, thermo-mechanical, and mechanical properties were evaluated through thermal gravimetric analysis, differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA), and compression tests. Additionally, the content of closed-cell and the coefficient of thermal conductivity were determined, further characterizing the foams as potential thermal insulation materials. Foams from bio-based donors with petrochemical-based acceptors exhibited a range of enhanced properties. They not only achieved high glass transition temperatures (up to 85 °C by DSC and up to 108 °C by DMA) but also displayed a spectrum of mechanical strengths (compression strength ranging from moderate to as high as ∼ 0.40 MPa) and good thermal isolation properties (thermal conductivity coefficient ∼ 31 mW/(m·K)). Bio-based foams, derived from renewable resources, were characterized by properties fitting for flexible foam applications, such as low glass transition temperatures (down to −9.7 °C by DSC and down to 9.8 °C by DMA), reduced compression strength (approximately 0.011 MPa), and increased thermal conductivity (up to 46.7 mW/(m·K)), indicating their potential utility in applications where flexibility is a key requirement.

Bio-based acetoacetates | Bio-based acrylates | Bio-based polymer foams | Free fatty acid-based polymer foams | Michael monomers | The Michael 1,4-addition reaction

Pomilovskis, R., Kaulina, E., Abolins, A., Mieriņa, I., Heinmaa, I., Rjabovs, V., Fridrihsone, A., Kirpļuks, M. Fast-Curing Bio-Based Thermoset Foams Produced via the Michael 1,4-Addition Using Fatty Acid-Based Acetoacetate and Acrylate. European Polymer Journal, 2024, Vol. 210, Article number 112968. ISSN 0014-3057. Pieejams: doi:10.1016/j.eurpolymj.2024.112968

Publication language
English (en)
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