Polymer Degradation and Stability
Polybutadiene and two copolymers containing butadiene and styrene have been cross-linked by thermal processes, by the use of initiators in solution, and by intimately mixing an initiator with the polymer and then heating this blend. The most efficient cross-linking process is the use of an intimate blend of the initiator and polymer. Most cross-linking processes lower the onset temperature of degradation, presumably because chain scission reactions occur simultaneously with cross-linking, while also increasing the fraction of non-volatile residue which is produced. It is believed that the density of cross-links is responsible for the increased yield of non-volatile residue.