The Development Of Novel Bio-based Polymeric Materials For Insulating Foams

Berrow, Stuart (2022) The Development Of Novel Bio-based Polymeric Materials For Insulating Foams. PhD thesis, UNSPECIFIED.

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This thesis details the synthesis of a series of novel thermosetting resins incorporating bio-based raw materials, with a view to their application to produce insulating foams. The work focuses primarily on phenolic resins/foams, and herein is reported a novel method for the synthesis of phenolic resin analogues. This method was employed in the synthesis of five novel thermosetting resins, which were formaldehyde-free and produced (partly) from bio-based raw materials. Initial investigations focused on the use of glyoxylic acid as a bio-based formaldehyde replacement in phenolic resin production. The properties of the resin obtained could be easily tailored to yield resins suitable for a variety of applications, including foaming. This resin was then blended with a phenolic resin to produce novel foams, which showed promising properties for application to insulating foams. Research then focused on the use of cardanol as a bio-based phenol for phenolic resin production, with a view to improving the mechanical properties of the resulting phenolic foams. The novel method was employed to produce four novel resins consisting of condensation products of cardanol and naturally occurring aldehydes. These resins could be cured to yield flexible polymers. However, the curing of these resins was poor, taking multiple days at elevated temperature to produce the thermoset polymers, making foaming difficult. The focus of the investigations then adjusted, to focus on a cardanol-formaldehyde resin, which exhibits superior curing to the novel resins. The first reports of foam production from cardanol-formaldehyde resins are then presented. Additionally, the incorporation of a series of aromatic species based on succinic acid into thermosetting resins is discussed. These investigations focused on phenolic resins and epoxy resins, the latter proving most successful.

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Thesis (PhD)
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09 Nov 2022 09:45
Last Modified:
12 Sep 2023 00:54