Silicone elastomers are employed in many different fields from biomedicine to electronics due to a plethora of unique features. In particular, the thermal stability is fundamental with respect to the reliability and the performance of silicone-based devices. This remarkable resistance upon high temperatures is due to the inherent strength of the siloxane bond, the considerable flexibility of the backbone, and the entropically higher stability of the cyclic degradation products compared to the linear original chain . Keeping in mind the vast majority of work done so far on the degradation of silicones [2,3], the goal of this study is to achieve a deeper insight into the thermal degradation mechanism of commercial silicone elastomers with the main aim of translating it into the complex, coupled thermal and electrical breakdown processes that dielectric elastomers undergo. A systematic analysis of the thermal behavior was carried out using thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) on the pure poly(dimethyl siloxane) network with different crosslinking ratios performed in either inert atmosphere (pure thermal degradation) or air (thermo-oxidative degradation). Extraction of the samples in heptane was exploited in order to remove the non-bonded PDMS chains and determine to which extent the thermal degradation is influenced compared to the pristine elastomers. The core of the work was the accurate recovery and characterization of the volatile and non-volatile degradation products of the thermally treated elastomers, aiming at the elucidation of the mechanism and the extent of degradation through the combination of different techniques such as size exclusion chromatography and infrared spectroscopy.
|Number of pages||1|
|Publication status||Published - 2017|
|Event||11th International Workshop on Silicone Polymers 2017 (ISPO 2017) - Snekkersten, Denmark|
Duration: 2 Jul 2017 → 6 Jul 2017
|Conference||11th International Workshop on Silicone Polymers 2017 (ISPO 2017)|
|Period||02/07/2017 → 06/07/2017|