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(784b) Vapor Permeation of Ethanol and Water in Thermally Rearranged (TR) Polymers

Gleason, K. L., The University of Texas at Austin
Paul, D. R., The University of Texas at Austin
Freeman, B. D., University of Texas at Austin

In this work, we present a high temperature permeation study of water and ethanol vapor in a thermally rearranged polyimide synthesized from 3,3'-dihydroxy-4,4'-diamino-biphenyl (HAB) and 2,2'-bis-(3,4-dicarboxyphenyl) Hexafluoropropane Dianhydride (6FDA).  Polyimide films were converted to polybenzoxazole (PBO) by heating at 450 °C for 30 minutes.  Under these conditions, nearly 100% conversion to PBO occurred.  Chemical resistance of the PBO was investigated by exposing film samples to 50%wt ethanol/water at 120 °C and 3 atm for two weeks.  Light gas permeability and selectivity was measured before and after exposure, and FTIR-ATR was used to probe changes to the chemical structure.  Samples of the polyimide precursor exposed in this way were severely degraded, but fully converted PBO samples were little affected.  Permeation tests involving water and ethanol vapors were performed at temperatures ranging from 110-190 °C and at pressures up to 6.4 atm.  At 110 °C, water vapor permeability exceeded 3000 Barrer, and water/ethanol selectivity exceeded 60.  Water vapor permeability was found to decrease with increasing temperature, indicating that water sorption was affected more strongly by the changing temperature than was diffusivity.  On the other hand, ethanol permeability changed very little with temperature, indicating that the changes to sorption and diffusivity were more balanced for ethanol.  For elevated pressures, mild plasticization effects were apparent, causing permeability to increase and selectivity to decrease with pressure.