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Title:
PROCESS FOR THE PREPARATION OF ARYLCYCLOBUTENE TERMINATED CONDENSATION POLYMERS
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/1992/011308
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
In an improved process condensation polymers having terminal arylcyclobutene moieties are prepared. Such polymers are prepared by adding to a condensation polymerization process one or more arylcyclobutene chain terminating compounds along with the multi-hydric compounds and condensation polymer precursors that are typically employed in such a process. Desirably the condensation polymers have an average degree of polymerization of at least 2, preferably at least 3 based on multi-hydric compound. This process can be used to prepare a range of condensation polymers including polycarbonates, polyesters and polyestercarbonates. The resulting products can be easily processed and shaped into various forms and structures according to the known techniques. During or subsequent to the processing, the polymers can be crosslinked, by exposure to heat or radiation, for example, to provide crosslinked polymer compositions. These compositions have a good combination of properties, including for example, processability into shaped articles having unexpectedly good combinations of toughness, solvent resistance, ignition resistance, modulus and resistance to thermal linear expansion.

Inventors:
Marks, Maurice J.
Schrock, Alan K.
Newman, Thomas H.
Application Number:
PCT/US1991/009326
Publication Date:
July 09, 1992
Filing Date:
December 17, 1991
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
THE DOW CHEMICAL COMPANY.
International Classes:
C08G63/00; C08G63/20; C08G63/64; C08G64/00; C08G64/14; C08G64/20; C08G64/22; C08G64/26; C08G64/30; C08G85/00; (IPC1-7): C08G63/78; C08G64/14; C08G64/20
Foreign References:
US4708990A1987-11-24
US4708994A1987-11-24
US4937287A1990-06-26
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Claims:
CLAIMS
1. A process for the preparation of a condensation polymer based on one or more multihydric compounds which condensation polymer has one or more terminal arylcyclobutene moieties, the process comprising the step of adding to a condensation polymerization process one or more arylcyclobutene chain terminating compounds.
2. A process according to Claim 1 wherein the condensation polymer is a carbonate polymer, a polyester 0 or a polyestercarbonate.
3. A process according to Claim 1 wherein the condensation polymerization process is based on the reaction of an aromatic diphenol and a condensation polymer precursor under condensation polymerization conditions.
4. A process according to Claim 1 wherein the arylcyclobutene chain terminating compound is hydroxy¬ benzocyclobutene or benzocyclobutene acyl chloride.
5. A process according to Claim 1 wherein the condensation polymer product has an average degree of polymerization of from 2 to 100.
6. A process according to Claim 1 wherein an arylcyclobutene chain terminating compound and one or more additional nonarylcyclobutene chain terminating compound(s) are added.
7. A condensation polymerization process t~ according to Claim 1 comprising the steps of: a. supplying to a reaction vessel a reaction mixture comprising (i) a multihydric compound; (ii) a condensation polymer precursor; and 10 (iii) 0.01 to 1 mole of arylcyclobutene chain terminating compound per mole of multihydric compound; (I), (ii) or (iii) being supplied independently or in combinations of two or . more; _> b. maintaining the reaction mixture under condensation polymerization conditions; and 0 c. recovering from the reaction mixture a condensation polymer having terminal arylcyclo¬ butene moieties.
8. A process according to Claim 9 wherein the 5 condensation polymer precursor is one or more of the compounds selected from the group consisting of phosgene, a haloformate, a carbonate ester, one or more dicarboxylic acids and one or more dicarboxylic acid chlorides. 0.
9. A process according to Claim 1 wherein a polycarbonate or a polyester is prepared by the interfacial process, solution process or melt process.
10. A process according to Claim 1 further comprising the step of subjecting the condensation polymer product to conditions under which the arylcyclo¬ butene moieties react together to crosslink or branch the polymer. AMENDED CLAIMS [received by the International Bureau on 25 May 1992 (25.05.92) original claims 1,2,3 and 10 amended; remaining claims unchanged (2 pages)] 1 A process for the preparation of a condensation polymer based upon one or more multihydric compounds which condensation polymer is selected from the group consisting of a carbonate polymer, a polyester or a polyestercarbonate and has one or more terminal arylcyclobutene moieties, the process comprising the step of adding to a condensation polymerization process either (1) one or more arylcyclobutene chain terminating compounds to have complete arylcyclobutene chain termination in the condensation polymers or (2) one or more arylcyclobutene chain terminating compounds and one or more other condensation polymer terminating compounds.
11. 2 A process according to Claim 1 wherein the condensation polymer is a carbonate polymer or a polyestercarbonate. 3« A process according to Claim 1 wherein the condensation polymerization process comprises the reaction of an aromatic diphenol and a condensation polymer precursor under condensation polymerization conditions.
12. 4 A process according to Claim 1 wherein the arylcyclobutene chain terminating compound is hydroxy¬ benzocyclobutene or benzocyclobutene acyl chloride, 5 A process according to Claim 1 wherein the condensation polymer product has an average degree of polymerization of from 2 to 100.
13. 10 A process according to Claim 1 further comprising the step of subjecting the condensation polymer product to conditions under which the arylcyclobutene moieties react with one or more other arylcyclobutene moieties to crosslink or branch the polymer.
Description:
PROCESS FOR THE PREPARATION OF ARYLCYCLOBUTENE TERMINATED CONDENSATION POLYMERS

This invention relates to a novel process for the preparation of condensation polymers having at least one terminal arylcyclobutene moiety. These polymeric compositions are well suited for use in preparing molded articles, extruded articles such as sheet or film and composite materials. The process more selectively and efficiently provides a broader range of condensation polymers with terminal arylcyclobutene moieties.

10 There have been several recent efforts to incorporate reactive arylcyclobutene groups in condensation polymers. For example, in U.S. Patent -i - 108 , 99-, it is taught to incorporate reactive . - arylcyclobutene groups by means of alkylating or acylating aromatic groups of such resins with a molecule containing a reactive arylcyclobutene moiety to provide pendant arylcyclobutene moieties randomly along the polymer backbone. Unfortunately, however, these 20 processes are not efficient or selective in incorpor¬ ating reactive arylcyclobutene moieties. Moreover, the materials having random and uncontrolled crosslinking \ throughout the polymer backbone are found to possess

25

generally unsatisfactory combinations of other physical properties such as toughness.

In U.S. Patents 4,795,827 and 4,825,001 cyclobutarene ketoaniline monomers are used for attaching cyclobutarene groups to polymers or other molecules having amino-reactive functionalities, including ester- or ether-type polymers. The cyclo¬ butarene groups are then employed to form crosslinked or polymerized compositions. However, due to the requirement for amine reactivity and due to the nitrogen atoms used in creating the linking groups, the use of these monomers in condensation polymers is limited. For example, desirable carbonate-type condensation polymers having arylcyclobutene moieties could not be prepared by the technique of U.S. Patents 4,795,827 and 4,825,001 due to the unacceptable instability of the carbamate groups that would necessarily result from the use of such monomers. In addition, the use of such a technique to prepare the arylcyclobutene-functionalized condensation polymers requires the multiple steps of preparing or otherwise obtaining the initial polymer to be functionalized followed by the separate step of attaching the cyclobutarene ketoaniline monomers.

In U.S. Patent 4,864,010 benzoxazole linked bis-arylcyclobutenes are prepared from condensation reacting a cyclobutarene-carboxylic acid, a diamino- dihydroxyarene, and optionally an aromatic diacid or diacid chloride.

It would therefore be desirable to have an improved, efficient process for preparing a broad range of carbonate- and/or ester-type condensation polymers having terminal arylcyclobutene moieties and possessing

good combinations of product properties, including toughness, solvent resistance, heat resistance, and thermal stability.

Therefore, in one aspect the invention is a process for the preparation of a condensation polymer based on one or more multi-hydric compounds which condensation polymer has one or more terminal arylcyclo¬ butene moieties, the process comprising the step of adding to a condensation polymerization process one or more arylcyclobutene chain terminating compounds. In another aspect the condensation polymer is a carbonate polymer, a polyester or a polyestercarbonate.

In another aspect the present invention is a condensation polymerization process comprising the steps of:

a. supplying to a reaction vessel a reaction mixture comprising (i) a multi-hydric compound; (ii) a condensation polymer precursor; and (iii) 0.01 to 1 mole of arylcyclobutene chain terminating compound per mole of multi-hydric compound; (i), (ii) or (iii) being supplied independently or in combinations of two or more;

b. maintaining the reaction mixture under condensation polymerization conditions; and

c. recovering from the reaction mixture a condensation polymer having terminal arylcyclo¬ butene moieties.

The arylcyclobutene-functionalized condensation polymers prepared according to the present invention can be easily handled and processed according to the tech¬ niques generally utilized with the known condensation polymer resins and, when subjected to sufficient cross¬ linking conditions, result in shaped articles having improved combinations of physical properties such as heat resistance, solvent resistance, toughness and thermal stability. Depending upon the molecular weight of the condensation polymers, different product properties can be optimized and improved while maintaining the balance of processability and product properties at the good levels that are expected for carbonate polymer resins. Depending on the particular condensation polymers desired and the reactivity of the arylcyclobutene chain terminating compound and condensation polymer precursor used, the order of adding reactants i, ii and iii in step "a" above can be used to optimize the process and the product produced.

Condensation polymers, including for example, polycarbonates, polyesters and polyestercarbonates, are well known to those skilled in the art. In general, the condensation polymers can be prepared from one or more multi-hydric compounds by reacting the multi-hydric compound(s) such as a dihydric phenol (or its condensation reactive derivative such as its metal phenolate) with a condensation reactive precursor.

For the preparation of carbonate polymers, the carbonate precursors are well known and include ' phosgene, a haloformate or a carbonate ester such as diphenyl carbonate. Carbonate polymers are well known in the literature and can be prepared by well known techniques. See for example U.S. Patents 2,970,131;

2,999,835; 2,999,846; 3,028,365; 3,148,172; 3,153,008; 3,248,414; 3,271,367; 3,334,154; 3,912,687; 4,182,726; 4,286,085; 4,384,108; 4,452,968; 4,529,791 and 4,954,613; which are all incorporated herein by reference. In particular, U.S. Patents 3,912,687; 4,286,085; 4,384,108 and 4,529,791 illustrate interfacial processes and U.S. Patents 4,182,726; 4,452,968 and 4,954,613 illustrate melt-type processes which would be preferred for preparing the carbonate polymers.

In general, the carbonate polymers can be prepared from one or more multi-hydric compounds by reacting the multi-hydric compound(s) such as a dihydric phenol with a carbonate precursor such as phosgene, a haloformate or a carbonate ester such as diphenyl carbonate. The use of a dihydric phenol results in an aromatic carbonate polymer, the most typical of the carbonate polymers. Generally speaking, such carbonate polymers possess reoccurring structural units according to formula I:

where n is the degree of polymerization; A is a radical having at least 2 valences which is a remnant of a multi-hydric compound, (-) represents valences of A connecting to a carbonate moiety as shown and v is the number of valences of A in excess of 1, an integer greater than or equal to 1. In general A is

predominantly a dihydric compound remnant (v is 1) but, if branched polymers are intended, A can also be a tri- or tetra-hydric compound remnant (v is 2 or 3, respectively) at low levels. Dihydric phenols are preferred multi-hydric compounds. The use of a dihydric phenol results in an aromatic carbonate polymer, the most typical of the carbonate polymers. The carbonate polymer molecules are usually terminated with the remnant of a monohydric compound or other monofunctional chain terminating compound.

For the aromatic carbonate polymers of the types which are currently commercially available and most often employed in thermoplastic molding applications, n is usually from 30 to 315, representing aromatic polycarbonates with weight average molecular weights of from 20,000 to 200,000. See for example, "Polycarbonates", Encyclopedia of Polymer Science and Technology, Vol. 11, p. 648 (1987).

According to the present invention, however, where the carbonate polymers are prepared with the arylcyclobutene moieties and prior to crosslinking, n can advantageously be from 2 to 100, representing aromatic carbonate polymer molecular weights

(uncrosslinked) of from 500 to 65,000. In general, the degree of polymerization for a particular carbonate polymer resin according to the present invention depends on the average number of terminal arylcyclobutene moieties per polymer molecule. Carbonate polymers having two or more terminal arylcyclobutene moieties per chain usually become heavily crosslinked to drastically increase the effective molecular weight and provide the desired balance of physical properties. Such polymers need only a low degree of polymerization in the

precrosslinked phase. Branched carbonate polymers can be prepared from a carbonate polymer having less than two arylcyclobutene units per chain and a molecular weight within the ranges generally desired for branched carbonate polymers.

Generally, therefore, the precrosslinking degree of polymerization for the carbonate polymers prepared in the process according to this invention is at least 2, preferably greater than 2, more preferably at least 2.5, and most preferably at least 3- The precrosslinking degree of polymerization for the carbonate polymers prepared by the process according to this invention is generally up to 50, preferably less than or equal to 35, more preferably less than or equal to 30, and most preferably less than or equal to 20.

For condensation polymers the degrees of polymerization can be calculated and obtained in accordance with the well known Flory equations, as reproduced below:

n = (1+r)/(1-.r-2pr) r = X a /(X a +2Xt)

where n is the degree of polymerization, r is the mole ratio of reactive groups, p is the extent of reaction, Xa is the mole fraction of the dihydric chain extending compound and Xt is the mole fraction of the monohydric chain terminating compound- See P.J. Flory, "Principles of Polymer Chemistry", Cornell Univ. Press, Ithaca, New York, p. 92 (1953).

The dihydric phenols which are preferably employed to provide the aromatic carbonate polymers may contain one or more aromatic rings and contain as functional groups two or more hydroxyl moieties which

are reactive with the carbonate precursor compound, each of which hydroxyl moiety is preferably attached directly to a carbon atom of an aromatic ring.

Typical dihydric phenols are 2,2-bis-(4-hy- droxyphenyl)-propane ("Bisphenol A"); hydroquinone; resorcinol; 2,2-bis-(4-hydroxyphenyl)-pentane; 2,4'-dihydroxy diphenyl methane; bis-(2-hydroxyphenyl) methane; bis-(4-hydroxyphenyl)-methane; bis(4-hydroxy-5- nitrophenyl)-methane; 1, 1-bis-(4-hydroxyphenyl)-ethane; 3,3-bis-(4-hydroxyphenyl)-pentane; 2,2'-dihydroxydi- phenyl; 2,6-dihydroxy naphthalene; bis-(4-hydroxypehnyl) sulfone; 2,4'dihydroxydiphenyl sulfone; 5'-chloro-2,4'- -dihydroxydiphenyl sulfone; bis-(4-hydroxyphenyl) diphenyl disul one; 4,4'-dihydroxydiphenyl ether; 4,4'-dihydroxy-3,3'-dichloro diphenyl ether; and 4,4'-dihydroxy-2,5-diethoxydiphenyl ether. The preferred carbonate polymerization process uses a dihydric phenol, preferably Bisphenol A, as the multi- hydric compound.

It is possible to employ a trihydric and/or tetrahydric phenol compound, as illustrated by the trihydric and/or tetrahydric phenols shown in U.S. Patent No. 3,544,514, to prepare a randomly branched carbonate polymer. The randomly branched chain polycarbonates used in this invention are also well known to those skilled in the art and are prepared by reacting the dihydric compound with phosgene in the presence of a trihydric and/or tetrahydric compound as illustrated in U.S. Patent No. 3,544,514, incorporated herein by reference.

when a carbonate ester is used as the carbonate precursor in the polymer forming reaction, the materials

are reacted at temperatures of from 100°C or higher for times varying from 1 to 15 hours. Under such conditions ester interchange occurs between the carbonate ester and the multi-hydric compound used. The ester interchange is advantageously done at reduced pressures of the order of from 10 to 100 mm of mercury. The preferred carbonate polymer is prepared using a dihydric phenol, preferably Bisphenol A, as the multi-hydric compound.

It is, of course, possible to employ two or more different multi-hydric compounds or a multi-hydric compound in combination with a glycol, a hydroxy terminated polyester, or a dibasic acid in the event a carbonate copolymer rather than a homopolymer is desired for use in the preparation of the carbonate polymer mixtures of the invention. Also mixtures of various carbonate polymers (including mixtures with polyester) may be employed.

Also included in the condensation polymers suitable for arylcyclobutene functionalization according to the present invention are the polycarbonate/polyester copolymers of the types disclosed in and prepared according to U.S. Patents 3,169,121, 4,105,633, 4,156,069 and 4,260,731 which are incorporated herein by reference, as well as mixtures of polycarbonates and polycarbonate/polyester copolymers.

In general, the polyesters and copolyesters suitable for arylcyclobutene functionalization can be prepared from one or more multi-hydric compounds (including derivatives thereof such as metal phenolates of diphenols) by reacting multi-hydric compound(s) such as a dihydric phenol with a polyester precursor. See for example the Encyclopedia of Polymer Science and

Engineering, Vol. 12, "Polyesters", p. 1 et. seq. (1987) and High Performance Polymers: Their Origin and Development, "History of Polyarylates", pp. 95 to 103 (1986). Melt, solution and interfacial processes for the preparation of these polyesters and copolyesters are known and can similarly be employed to prepare their arylcyclobutene-functionalized counterparts. See for example, U.S. Patents 2,465,319; 3,047,539; 3,216,970; 3,756,986; 3,946,091; 4,049,629 and 4,137,278, all of which are incorporated herein by reference. In particular, U.S. Patents 4,137,278 and 3,946,091 disclose melt polymerization techniques; U.S. Patents 4,049,629 and 3,946,091 disclose solution polymerization techniques; and U.S. Patents 3,946,091 and 3,216,970 disclose interfacial polymerization techniques, which techniques could preferably be employed to prepare polyester resins.

The preferred polyesters for arylcyclobutene functionalization according to the present invention, are generally prepared by condensing a polyester precursor, preferably selected from the group of aromatic or aliphatic dicarboxylic acids or their acid chlorides, with dihydric compounds, preferably diols, more preferably diphenols. More preferably the polyester precursor is selected from the group of aromatic dicarboxylic acids or their acid chlorides. Suitable dicarboxylic acids include, for example, the following acids or their corresponding acid chlorides: terephthalic acid, isophthalic acid, naphthalene- dicarboxylic acid, diphenyletherdicarboxylic acid, diphenyldicarboxylic acid, diphenylsulfonedicarboxylic acid, diphenoxyethanedicarboxylic acid, and the like. Most preferred dicarboxylic acids for preparing

polyesters according to the process of the present invention are aromatic dicarboxylic acids, and most preferred are terephthalic acid and isophthalic acid.

The diols suitable for preparation of the polyesters include, for example, ethylene glycol, 1,3-propylene glycol, 1,4-butanediol, 1,5-pentanediol, 1 ,6-hexanediol, cyclohexane dimethylol, the dihydric phenols mentioned above for use in preparation of carbonate polymers and the like. Preferred aliphatic diols for preparation of polyesters according to the process of the present invention are ethylene glycol and 1 ,3-propylene glycol.

A preferred polyester is characterized by repeated units corresponding to the general formula:

wherein R is a divalent remnant of one or more of the above mentioned dihydric compounds and m is the degree of polymerization, typically in the ranges disclosed for n above, preferably from 2 to 200, more preferably in the range of from 3 to 100.

Polyethylene terephthalate and polybutylene terephthalate are preferred polyesters for arylcyclo¬ butene functionalization according to the process of the present invention. Other preferred polyesters for aryl¬ cyclobutene functionalization according to the process

of the present invention include the polyarylates wherein R in Formula II above is a diphenol remnant.

By the term polyester, as used in the present invention, is also contemplated copolyesters, which may 5 be prepared by cocondensing one or more dicarboxylic acids or their acid chlorides with one or more diols.

Specific methods of preparing aromatic polyesters and copolyesters which can be adapted for

10 arylcyclobutene functionalization according to the process of the present invention are more fully set forth in U.S. Patents Nos. 2,465,319 and 3,047,539, which are hereby incorporated in their entirety by reference thereto. 15

According to the process of the present invention, the backbone chains of all or part of the condensation polymers as described above are then provided with terminal arylcyclobutene moieties. With

20 the exception of the terminal arylcyclobutene moieties, it is desirable to avoid arylcyclobutene moieties which are otherwise pendant from the polymer backbone to the extent that their irregular and inconsistent .- distribution along the polymer molecules detrimentally affects the polymer properties, such as by causing gels or reduced physical properties. According to the present invention condensation polymers are obtained where the arylcyclobutene moieties consist essentially 0 of terminal arylcyclobutene moieties and more preferably there are essentially no pendant arylcyclobutene moieties. In general an arylcyclobutene terminated condensation polymer corresponds to the formula III below:

wherein B is a condensation polymer, Ar is an aromatic radical which may be substituted with an electron- withdrawing substituent or electron-donating substituent, the carbon atoms represented by C are bonded to adjacent carbon atoms of the aromatic radical Ar, R is independently in each occurrence hydrogen or an electron-withdrawing substituent or electron-donating substituent; x is an integer of 1 or greater, and y is an integer of 1 or greater, preferably 1. For example, a benzocyclobutene-functionalized condensation polymer prepared according to the process of the present invention corresponds to the following formula IV:

wherein P is a condensation polymer, R- | is independently in each occurrence hydrogen or an electron-withdrawing substituent or electron-donating substituent; z is an integer of 1 or greater. Benzocyclobutene, represented by formula IV above where there is no pendant condensation polymer and R- j is always hydrogen, is also referred to as bicyclo[4.2.0]-octa-1 ,3,5-triene.

According to the process of the present invention, the backbone chains of all or part of the

condensation polymer molecules are provided with terminal arylcyclobutene moieties by the use of an arylcyclobutene-functionalized chain terminating compound in a condensation polymer polymerization reaction. Compounds suitable for use as chain terminating compounds in condensation polymerization processes are well known in the literature. Similarly, techniques for preparing arylcyclobutene-contaiπing molecules are well known in the literature, for example

10 U.S. Patents 4,540,763 and 4,708,994.

In arylcyclobutene-functionalized chain terminating compounds the arylcyclobutene moieties are located on molecules which react into but terminate the - lc growing condensation polymer molecules. For example, arylcyclobutene-containing molecules with a single acyl chloride or hydroxy functionality are desirably employed in the condensation polymer polymerization process. For example, in USP 4,540,763 acid chloride functionalized 0 and hydroxy functionalized arylcyclobutene compounds are described. See also Lloyd et al., Tetrahedron, vol. 21, pp. 2281-2288, (1965) where hydroxybenzocyclobutene is shown. Hydroxybenzocyclobutene, and particularly 4-hydroxybenzocyclobutene, is a preferable arylcyclo¬ 5 butene-functionalized chain terminating compound for use in preparing the condensation polymers according to the present invention. It should be noted that 4-hydroxy- benzocyclobutene is also sometimes referred to as 0 3-hydroxy-bicyclo[4.2.0]-octa-1 ,3,5-triene. The hydroxy moiety in hydroxybenzocyclobutene reacts very effectively in the condensation polymerization process to provide the desired levels of terminal benzocyclo- butene moiety.

As mentioned above, the condensation polymerization process of the present invention can comprise the steps of:

a. supplying to a reaction vessel a reaction mixture comprising (i) a multi-hydric compound; (ii) a condensation polymer precursor; and (iii) 0.01 to 1 mole of arylcyclobutene chain terminating compound per mole of multi-hydric compound; (i), (ii) or (iii) being supplied independently or in combinations of two or more;

b. maintaining the reaction mixture under condensation polymerization conditions; and

c. recovering from the reaction mixture a condensation polymer having terminal arylcyclo¬ butene moieties.

For practicing the condensation polymerization process of the present invention, the general steps of supplying a reaction mixture to a reaction vessel, maintaining the reaction mixture under condensation polymerization conditions, and recovering from the reaction mixture a condensation polymer are generally to those skilled in this art. In the process according to the present invention, however, 0.01 to 1 mole of arylcyclobutene chain terminating compound per mole of multi-hydric compound is supplied to the reaction mixture either independently or in combination with the multi-hydric compound and/or condensation polymer precursor. Unlike other techniques for incorporating the arylcyclobutene groups, separate polymer preparation and functionalization steps are not used. Moreover, as

compared to the other techniques, the arylcyclobutene groups are more efficiently utilized in the process and preferentially located and incorporated into the polymer for optimized product properties and maximum benefit from the expensive arylcyclobutene component.

For the practice of this process it has been found preferable to use arylcyclobutene chain termin¬ ating compounds according to the following formula V:

wherein T is a condensation reactive moiety, preferably an hydroxyl (-0H) or an acyl chloride according to the following formula VI:

0

II VI

-C-Cl

and R- j is independently in each occurrence a hydrogen radical or an electron-withdrawing substituent or an electron-donating substituent, and is preferably a hydrogen radical in each occurrence. Preferably the arylcyclobutene chain terminating compound is 4-hydroxy- benzocyclobutene (3-hydroxy-bicyclo[4.2.0]-octa-1 ,3,5- triene) wherein T is a hydroxyl and R- j is a hydrogen radical in each occurrence.

By controlling the overall and relative amounts of the arylcyclobutene chain terminating compound and

any other condensation polymer terminating compounds employed, the concentration of the arylcyclobutene groups and the molecular weight of the condensation polymer can be optimized for a particular set of properties. In this way, the total concentration of terminating compound(s) statistically determines the chain length of the condensation polymer molecules. The amount of the arylcyclobutene chain terminating compound relative to the amount of any other chain terminating compound(s) will determine, on the average, what percentage of the condensation polymer molecule ends will be terminated with an arylcyclobutene moiety and thus the amount of branching and/or crosslinking that will take place.

In cases where it is desired to have complete arylcyclobutene chain termination in the condensation polymers, it is clear that the use of any other chain terminating compounds is to be avoided. For linear condensation polymers, complete arylcyclobutene chain termination means that the polymer molecule is terminated at both ends with the arylcyclobutene moiety and will provide a thoroughly crosslinked polymer composition upon activation of the crosslinking reaction. Condensation polymers having a relatively low degree of polymerization and complete chain termination with arylcyclobutene moieties are preferred in situations where a processable polymer is desired which has a very low initial melt viscosity prior to crosslinking but which can be easily crosslinked to provide sufficient toughness, solvent resistance and heat resistance.

It should also be noted that branched condensation polymers can be prepared by the use of

branching compounds having three or more hydroxyl groups in the process according to the present invention. In these cases the relative concentrations of a chain- terminating arylcyclobutene compounds and any other chain-terminating compounds can be determined to provide the theoretical amount which would be required to provide the desired molecular weight and percentage of chain ends with a terminal arylcyclobutene moiety.

Condensation polymers having a relatively low molecular weight prior to crosslinking and being completely terminated with all arylcyclobutene terminal groups can be very easily prepared in the process according to the present invention. These polymers can desirably be employed in applications where the molten polymer must flow quickly and easily into a mold, for example, relatively large, complicated molds. Then, upon further heating and crosslinking, in the mold or subsequently, the shaped articles possess good levels of toughness and other properties. It is very unexpected to be able to obtain a readily processable polymer which can be crosslinked to such a high degree and still provide shaped polymer articles which are relatively tough and heat and solvent resistant.

When using a hydroxyl or acyl chloride aryl¬ cyclobutene monomer to completely terminate condensation polymers in an interfacial polymerization process it has been found to be suitable to employ a mole ratio of at least 0.01 mole arylcyclobutene compound per mole of the multi-hydric compound to obtain the desired condensation polymer molecular weight. Preferably the mole ratio of the arylcyclobutene compound per mole of the multi- hydric compound is at least 0.02, more preferably at least 0.03 and most preferably at least 0.1. With

regard to the maximum levels, it has been found that the mole ratio of the arylcyclobutene compound per mole of the multi-hydric phenol compound is desirably less than or equal to to 1, preferably less than or equal to 0.99, more preferably less than or equal to 0.5.

For example, when preparing a carbonate polymer in an interfacial-type polymerization process using hydroxybenzocyclobutene, a precursor compound such as phosgene and a dihydric phenolic compound such as bisphenol A, a molar ratio of 1 mole hydroxybenzocyclo¬ butene per mole of dihydric phenolic compound results in a degree of polymerization of 2, based on dihydric compound determined prior to the crosslinking of the polymer, as calculated by the known Flory equations. A molar ratio of 0.03 mole hydroxybenzocyclobutene per mole of dihydric phenolic compound can be used to obtain a degree of polymerization of 34 when using these compounds to prepare a carbonate polymer which is completely terminated with the arylcyclobutene moiety.

As mentioned above, one embodiment of the present invention includes the preparation of polymers where less than all of the chain ends are terminated with the arylcyclobutene moiety. Since the arylcyclobutene moieties react with multiple other arylcyclobutene moieties upon activation, the resulting condensation polymer will be branched around a connecting point of inter-reacted arylcyclobutene moieties. It has been found that very desirable branched condensation polymers can be provided by this partial crosslinking (that is, branching) of the condensation polymer via the arylcyclobutene reaction. In this embodiment of the present invention an arylcyclobutene chain terminating compound is employed

in the polymerization process together with one or more other chain terminating compound(s).

With regard to the preparation of aromatic condensation polymers which are to be branched using the arylcyclobutene moiety and used in applications where the currently available branched resins are utilized, it is desired to use chain terminating compound (arylcyclo¬ butene and other) in total amounts in the range of from 0.04 to 0.01 mole per mole of multi-hydric aromatic 0 compound. Within this range of chain terminating compound amounts, the desired amount of branching, typically from 0.01 to 0.05 branches per polymer molecule, is then determined by the relative amounts of ( _ the arylcyclobutene and other type chain terminating compound which are employed.

In general, to obtain a noticeable effect from the branching in a condensation polymer where the desired molecular weight is in the range of from 16,000 to 65,000, it is desirable to use at least 0.01 mole arylcyclobutene chain terminating compound per mole of additional chain terminating agent, preferably at least 0.03 and more preferably at least 0.05 mole arylcyclo- butene chain terminating compound per mole of additional chain terminating agent. In general, to obtain desirable branched but not completely crosslinked condensation polymers, the arylcyclobutene chain terminating compound can be used in amounts of up to 0.5 moles arylcyclobutene chain terminating compound per mole of additional chain terminating agent, preferably up to 0.3 and more preferably up to 0.2 mole arylcyclo¬ butene chain terminating compound per mole of additional chain terminating agent.

The cyclobutene ring of the arylcyclobutene moiety can open by subjecting the functionalized polymers to sufficient heat. Typically, temperatures from 200°C to 300°C are sufficient to open the ring. Polymerization solvents or catalysts are unnecessary, although a copper salt catalyst may lower the required temperature. Electromagnetic radiation, such as microwave, infrared, ultraviolet, electron beam and gamma radiation, may also be used to open the ring, but thermal radiation is preferred since it can be applied by conventional methods.

The condensation polymers according to the present invention can be employed in mixtures, alloys or blends with other polymer resins, including mixtures with other condensation polymers. In addition, other additives can be included in the condensation polymer of the present invention such as fillers (that is, glass fibers), pigments, dyes, antioxidants, heat stabilizers, ultraviolet light absorbers, mold release agents, impact modifiers and other additives commonly employed in condensation polymer compositions.

In the following experiments the process according to the present invention is illustrated by providing polycarbonate resins ("PC") with terminal benzocyclobutene ("BCB") moieties. As can be seen, it is quite surprising that the terminal arylcyclobutene moieties can be provided across a broad range of polymer molecular weights in such a consistent and efficient preparation process.

Experiments

Preparation Method A - Complete BCB Termination of PC

According to the following procedure, Preparation Method A, Experiment Nos. 2 through 9 were performed, preparing carbonate polymers with the higher levels of benzocyclobutene, that is, BCB mole ratios of 0.06 and above.

A glass reactor was fitted with a mechanical stirrer, a baffle, a thermometer, a pH electrode connected to a pH meter/controller, a liquid inlet tube, a gas inlet tube and a gas outlet tube connected to a phosgene scrubber, the scrubber containing an aqueous solution of 50 weight percent sodium hydroxide and 1 percent by weight triethylamine. To the reactor was added 68.5 weight parts (0.3 mole parts) bisphenol A, 2.16 weight parts (0.018 moles) 4-hydroxybenzocyclo- butene (BCB-0H), 360 weight parts water and 240 weight parts dichloromethane.

While stirring the reaction mixture there were added 48 weight parts (0.6 mole parts) of sodium hydroxide in a 50 weight percent aqueous solution followed by the addition of 37 weight parts (0.375 mole parts) of gaseous phosgene at a rate of 1 weight part per minutes. The sodium hydroxide addition was maintained as needed to maintain a pH of 12.5. Following the phosgene addition, 515 weight parts dichloromethane and 0.3 weight parts (1 mole percent) triethylamine were added. The reaction mixture was agitated for 20 minutes to produce a bisphenol A polycarbonate resin terminated with benzocyclobutene moieties. The pH of the mixture was reduced to 7 by the

addition of 9 weight parts of phosgene. The polymer solution was washed with 1 N HC1 and with water and the polymer was then isolated.

The polymer molecular weight was determined by gel permeation chromatographic analysis, the weight average molecular weight (Mw) being 18,190. Liquid chromatographic analysis of the reaction mixture residue showed complete reaction of the 4-hydroxybenzocyclo- butene. The resulting polycarbonate, before any crosslinking, was therefore determined to contain 0.06 moles benzocyclobutene per mole bisphenol A and have a degree of polymerization of 27.

This material was compression molded at 585°F (307°C) to form a crosslinked polycarbonate which was completely insoluble in dichloromethane. Differential scanning calorimetry analysis showed a glass transition temperature (Tg) of 165°C. The composition is summarized below in Table I as Experiment No. 2 and the physical properties are shown in Table II.

Using the process as described above, a series of arylcyclobutene terminated carbonate polymers having a range of molecular weights and higher arylcyclobutene concentrations were prepared using the indicated amounts of 4-hydroxybenzocyclobutene ("BCB-0H") and bisphenol A ("BPA") as shown in Experiments 3 through 9 in Table I. In Table I the ratio of the moles hydroxybenzocyclo- butene to the moles of bisphenol A is shown as "BCB Mole Ratio." As shown in Table I, varying the amounts of BCB results in the indicated range of polymer compositions and molecular weights. Table I shows the correlation between the molecular weight of the resulting polymer (Mw and Mn), the degree of polymerization (n) and the

mole ratio of arylcyclobutene to multi-hydric compound. Table II further shows the very desirable property combinations in the resulting crosslinked polymer compositions.

Preparation Method B - Complete BCB Termination of PC

According to Preparation Method B, similar to Preparation Method A, Experiment No. 1 was performed, preparing a carbonate polymer with a BCB Mole Ratio of 0.03, having a lower BCB Mole Ratio and higher molecular weight.

To the reactor was added 68.5 weight parts (0.3 mole parts) bisphenol A and 360 weight parts water. With stirring 53 weight parts (0.66 mole parts) of sodium hydroxide in the form of a 50 percent aqueous solution was added followed by 38 weight parts (0.39 mole parts) phosgene at 1 weight part per minute. Then 210 weight parts dichloromethane and 1.08 weight parts (0.009 mole parts) 4-hydroxybenzocyclobutene (BCB-0H) were added and the mixture was stirred for 2 minutes. The pH of the mixture was increased to 12.5 with the addition of sodium hydroxide in the form of a 50 percent aqueous solution and 360 weight parts dichloromethane and 0.10 weight parts (0.001 mole parts) triethylamine were added. The mixture was agitated for 30 minutes with addition of 50 percent sodium hydroxide aqueous solution to maintain a pH of 12.5. The pH of the mixture was then reduced to 7 with addition of 19 weight parts phosgene to produce the BCB terminated polycarbonate.

The polymer solution was washed with 1 N HC1 and with water and then isolated. Gel permeation

chro atographic analysis gave a weight average molecular weight (Mw) of 31,967 and the liquid chromatographic analysis of the reaction mixture residue showed complete reaction of BCB-OH. The resulting polymer was compression molded "at 585°F (307°C) to form a crosslinked polycarbonate which was completely insoluble in dichloromethane (100 percent gel). Differential scanning calorimetry analysis showed a glass transition temperature (Tg) of 160°C. This composition is summarized below in Table I as Experiment No. 1 and further physical properties are shown below in Table II.

For the polymer analysis and evaluations indicated in Table II standard experimental and test methods were used. The Mw and Mn were determined on the uncrosslinked samples by gel permeation chromatographic analysis. The glass transition temperatures (Tg) of these materials were determined by differential scanning calorimetry analysis on samples that had been heated and thus crosslinked at 350°C.

The tensile testing is performed on 1.6 millimeter (mm), that is, 1/16 inch, samples that have been compression molded at 307°C The analyses were performed according to ASTM D-638 on type V sample dimensions. The tensile modulus is shown as "Ten Mod" and the value given in megaPascals (MPa) with the value in kilopounds per square inch (kpsi) being given in parentheses. The stress required to the point of sample yield and sample breaking are shown as "Yield stress" and "Break stress" and the values are given in MPa with the value in kpsi being given in parentheses. The percent of sample elongation at sample yield and sample break are shown as "Yield elong" and "Break elong" with the values shown being the percentages of original

sample length that the sample has been elongated. The flexural modulus ("Flex Mod") is tested according to ASTM D-790 and given in MPa with the value in kpsi being given in parentheses.

5 The notched Izod impact resistance is tested according to ASTM D-256-72A on on 3-18 millimeter (1/8 inch) samples that have been compression molded at 307°C. The results ("N. Izod") are given in Joules per meter (J/m) with the results in foot pounds per inch (ft

10 lb/in) being given in parentheses.

The percent swelling ( % Swell) shows the resistance to solvent of the polymer and was measured on 0.254 mm (1/100 inch) film samples soaked in dichloro¬

15 methane. The indicated results are the percentage increase in the polymer surface area due to solvent absorption. All of the samples were found to be insoluble in dichloromethane.

20 Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) is used to measure " the char yield (".Char"), the weight percentage of the residue remaining after heating to 800°C in air and the decomposition temperature ("Td"), the

-r temperature at which 5 percent of the sample material is lost. These results show the good thermal stability of the polymers according to the present invention.

The resistance to ignition of the polymer 0 compositions is shown by the Limiting Oxygen Index (L0I) and UL-94 tests performed according to ASTM A-2863-87 and D-4804-88 respectively on 3-18 millimeter (1/8 inch) samples.

The coefficient of linear thermal expansion ("CLTE") is measured according to ASTM D-696 and is

reported as a factor of 10-5 per degree Celsius

(x 10-5/°C) and, in parentheses, as a factor of 10-5 per degree Fahrenheit (x 10~5/°F)

The scratch hardness testing ("Hardness") shows the abrasion resistance of the samples and is tested according to ASTM D-3363 with H being the hardest and F, HB, B, 2B and 3B indicating progressively less hardness. As shown, a typical carbonate polymer has a hardness value of 3B and a hardness value of B is recognized to 0 be significantly better hardness than standard carbonate polymers.

Table I - Composition Data; Hydroxy BCB Process

_

C

_

C

Table II - Property Data

C

5

C

Molded at 200°C without crosslinking the polymer .

As can be seen in Table I, a high mole ratio of arylcyclobutene to dihydric phenol produces a carbonate polymer having a low degree of polymerization and a low molecular weight. As shown in Table II, however, the physical properties of resulting molded articles tested after the crosslinking of the polymer composition are surprisingly good. One skilled in this area of technology would generally expect a polymer that was crosslinked to such a degree to be very brittle and have low impact resistance.

Preparation Method C - Partial BCB Termination of PC

In Experiment 10 the procedures as described for Preparation Method A above were repeated using 0.13 weight parts (0.0011 mole parts) of 4-hydroxybenzocyclo- butene and 1.42 weight parts (0.0095 mole parts) of p-tertiary-butylphenol as an additional chain terminating compound. The prebranching molecular weight (Mw) prior to the activation of the benzocyclobutene bonding was 29,797. The polymer shear sensitivity was determined by measurement of melt viscosities at shear rates between 0.01 and 100 radians per second at 28θ°C. The shear sensitivity index, R*, is defined as the ratio of the melt viscosities at 1 and 100 radians per second. Among other things, the R* value is an indication of the blow moldability of the polymer, branched polycarbonates being generally recognized as superior in blow molding applications to linear polycarbonate resins. The following Table III compares the properties of the branched polycarbonate according to the present invention with the properties of a linear bisphenol A polycarbonate resin.

Table III - Branched Polycarbonate Property Data

Experiment No. PC Control 10

BPA (wt parts) 68.5

BPA (mole parts) 0.3

BCB-OH (wt parts) - 0.13

BCB-OH (mole parts) - 0.0011 p-t-butyl phenol (wt parts) 1.42 p-t-butyl phenol (mole parts) 0.0095

BCB Mole Ratio per Mole 0 .0037

Dihydric Compound (BPA)

BCB Mole Ratio per Mole NA 0.1

Other Chain Terminator

Preparation Method D - BCB Termination Via Acyl Chloride

In a further experiment (Experiment 11) the acyl chloride of benzocyclobutene ("BCB-COCl") was used to prepare a functionalized polycarbonate. A glass reactor was fitted with a mechanical stirrer, a stirrer baffle, a thermometer, a pH electrode connected to a Fisher Model 805 pH meter/controller, a caustic inlet tube, a phosgene inlet and a gas outlet tube connected to a phosgene scrubber, the scrubber containing an aqueous solution of 50 weight percent sodium hydroxide and 1 percent by weight triethylamine. The reactor and solvents were thoroughly purged with nitrogen prior to phosgenation. The stirrer was set to give turbulent mixing throughout the vessel. The reactor temperature was maintained below 30°C.

To the reactor as described above was added 68.5 weight parts (0.3 mole parts) bisphenol A, 1.50 weight parts (0.009 mole parts) benzocyclobutene-4- carbonyl chloride (BCB-COCl), 360 weight parts water, c - and 240 weight parts dichloromethane. With stirring 48 weight parts (0.6 mole parts) of sodium hydroxide in a 50 weight percent aqueous solution were added, followed by the addition of 37 weight parts (0.375 mole parts) phosgene at 1 weight part per minute. Sodium hydroxide

10 was added to maintain a pH of 12.5. Then 515 weight parts dichloromethane and 0.30 weight parts (1 mole percent) triethylamine were added.

The mixture was agitated for 20 minutes to 15 produce the BCB terminated polycarbonate. The pH of the mixture was reduced to 7 with addition of 9 weight parts of phosgene. The polymer solution was washed with 1 N HC1 and with water and the polymer was then isolated. Gel permeation chromatographic analysis gave a weight 0 average molecular weight (Mw) of 32,814 and Liquid chromatographic analysis of the reaction mixture residue showed complete reaction of BCB-COCl. The results of this Experiment 11 are shown in Table IV below. 5

0

Table IV - Acyl Chloride-based polymer