Polymer Degradation and Stability
The thermal degradation of blends and copolymers of styrene with styrenesulfonic acid has been studied using thermogravimetric analysis, TGA/FTIR, and cone calorimetry. The blends have enhanced thermal stability relative to virgin polystyrene but there is no enhancement in thermal stability for the copolymers. Apparently, it is necessary to have adjacent sulfonic acid groups in order to permit the formation of a graphite-like char which can provide thermal protection to the polymer. It is necessary to have a good match in degradation temperatures of the two components if one is to have significantly enhanced thermal stability.