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Thermal behavior of carbon fiber precursor polymers with different stereoregularities


The effect of stereoregularity, in terms of isotactic triad content on the thermal behavior of carbon fiber precursor polymers synthesized through different polymerization routes such as solid state and radical solution polymerization techniques, was investigated by the thermogravimetric analysis and differential scanning calorimetric measurements. The isotactic contents of I-PAN and A-PAN were estimated with 13C NMR. The thermal cyclization reactions of atactic polyacrylonitrile (A-PAN) with low isotactic content (26.4–29.7 %) occurred at a lower temperature than that of isotactic polyacrylonitrile (I-PAN) with higher content (48.7–51.6 %). The percentage of mass loss observed in I-PAN was less as compared to A-PAN. The molecular mass characteristics of PAN obtained through solid state and radical solution polymerization were [M n (10.2–14.3 × 104), M v (2.44–3.26 × 105)] and [M n (10.2–14.3 × 104), M v (2.29–2.74 × 105)] Daltons (Da).

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Financial support by Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), New Delhi under Supra Institutional Project (SIP-IFCAP-04) is gratefully acknowledged. We thank The Director, CSIR-National Aerospace Laboratories, Bangalore for his support and permission to publish this work. The authors also grateful to the management and principal of Jamal Mohammed College, Bharathidasan University, Tiruchirappalli, India for their encouragement and help.

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Correspondence to G. Santhana Krishnan.

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Burkanudeen, A., Krishnan, G.S. & Murali, N. Thermal behavior of carbon fiber precursor polymers with different stereoregularities. J Therm Anal Calorim 112, 1261–1268 (2013).

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  • Solid state polymerization
  • Polyacrylonitrile
  • Stereoregularity
  • DSC
  • TG
  • Average molecular masses