The role of stable nitroxyl radical precursors as antioxidants in polyolefins
Various 2,2,6,6-tetramethyl piperidines and their N-alkyl derivatives of stable nitroxyl radical precursors containing acrylic(s) and methacrylic(s) groups were reactively processed in the presence of a peroxide as bound-antioxidant masterbatches for polyolefin stabilisation. It was found that grafting of the antioxidant monomers onto the polymer backbone was inevitably in competition with homopolymerisation of the monomers as well as melt degradation of the polymer and other side reactions. As previously reported, binding efficiency of bisacrylic nitroxyl precursor was maximum due to formation of unextractable homopolymer of the antioxidant. On the other hand, the binding efficiency of monoacrylic derivatives was low and the homopolymers were found extractable, which suggests that the bound monoacrylic derivatives are entirely grafted onto the polyolefin backbone. Application of bis and tri-functional coagents gave improved binding efficiency of the monoacrylic monomers. This may be due to copolymerisation of the antioxidants with the coagents and grafting of the copolymers onto the polymer backbone. Comparison of photostabilising activity of the fully extracted bound antioxidants to those of the corresponding unbound analogous showed lower results for the former. However, thermal stabilising activity of the bound antioxidants was higher than that of the unbound analogous due to better substantivity. Analysis using physical techniques and GPC for molecular weight distribution of masterbatches containing the bound monoacrylic antioxidants showed formation of high molecular weight products. Model reaction of a secondary amine derivative in liquid hydrocarbon and analysis of the product using FTIR and NMR spectroscopy indicated a possibility of side reaction, i.e. involvement of the amine active group (>N-H) of the antioxidant in the binding process to form the high molecular weight product.