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Journal article Open Access

Time–temperature superposition for kinetic mapping of solventless autocatalytic addition of diisocyanates and macrodiols

Svajus Joseph Asadauskas; Paulina Nemaniutė; Dalia Bražinskienė; Olegas Eicher-Lorka; Vincent Verney


The migration of chemicals from polyurethane (PUR) is a concern in many applications, such as adhesives for food packaging. Low molecular weight catalysts, which are prone to migration, need to be eliminated from PUR, in particular those containing Sn or other metals. This is difficult partly due to many uncertainties of autocatalytic polyaddition between isocyanates and polyols. Hexamethylene and tolylene diisocyanates, HDI and TDI, are often reacted with macrodiols to produce prepolymers for PUR. This study measures isocyanate contents during the polyaddition of HDI and TDI with excess macrodiols. Ester-based macrodiols were reacted between 60 °C and 90 °C using 1 : 0.3 and 1 : 0.5 molar ratios to form OH-terminated prepolymers. Time–temperature superposition (TTS) was used to process the values of unreacted isocyanate fractions from several temperatures. Presumed activation energies and kinetic data scatter implied that polymerization has a distinct initial phase of conversion of unreacted diisocyanate into monofunctional adducts by addition to macrodiols, followed by more complex processes. Utilization of the activation energy from the initial phase and TTS application might allow the prediction of kinetic trends without the need for a large volume of accurate data. Such kinetic mapping should be useful for developing catalyst-free PUR with low levels of migrating chemicals.

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