Due to continued health and safety concerns surrounding isocyanates, alternative synthetic routes to obtain urea-containing polymers is gaining much attention. Melt polycondensation of urea with diamines achieved polyureas in the absence of catalyst or solvents. 1H NMR spectroscopy and thermogravimetric analysis confirmed targeted compositions and thermal stability, respectively. Differential scanning calorimetry and dynamic mechanical analysis provided insight into the copolymers' thermal and morphological behavior. A steady increase in the melting temperature across the range of compositions suggested co-crystallization of the different repeating units, in sharp contrast to non-hydrogen bonded copolymers. Furthermore, tunable melt temperatures and mechanical performance illustrated the versatility of these copolymers in high performance applications. Finally, initial biodegradation studies using a naturally occurring, soil enzyme (urease) demonstrated steady degradation over 4 weeks, releasing ammonia as a potential nitrogen source for agricultural applications.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Environmental Chemistry