New Insight into the Structure-Property Relationships of Hybrid (Inorganic/Organic) POSS Thermoplastics
Technical paper rept.
AIR FORCE RESEARCH LAB EDWARDS AFB CA PROPULSION DIRECTORATE WEST
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The demand for multi-purpose, high-performance polymer systems has resulted in a need for advancing polymer properties beyond what traditional systems can offer. Only through controlalteration at the molecular level can one maximize property enhancements to meet current military and commercial needs. Over the last seven years the Air Force Research Laboratory has developed and incorporated discrete Si-O frameworks POSS Polyhedral Oligomeric Silsesquioxanes into traditional organic polymer systems. This research has resulted in new hybrid inorganic-organic polymer systems with remarkable enhancements in mechanical and physical properties including dramatic increases in both glass transition and decomposition temperatures, reduced flammability, increased moduli and oxidation resistance. We have shown that these enhancements result from the chemical composition Si-O core and size 15 A in diameter of the POSS frameworks, and can be copolymerized, grafted, or even blended using traditional processing methods. Recently, we have focused our efforts on understanding and controlling the molecular level interactions between POSS frameworks and the polymer matrix. The development of new POSS monomers has allowed us to study how functionality, size, and geometry enhances the bulk properties of these hybrid materials. For example, increasing the solubility of side groups on the POSS framework results in greater POSS-polymer matrix interactions and increased Tg and storage moduli. Recent studies with POSS blends have resulted in increases in hardness, and reductions in dielectric constants and coefficients of thermal expansion. New results in polymer synthesis, characterization, and applications will be discussed with a strong emphasis on the versatility of this new nanotechnology to many polymer systems.
- Polymer Chemistry