On a novel approach to the thermogravimetric analysis of polymers: Polystyrene

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A novel equation that describes the temperature dependence of the residual mass fraction (as determined by thermogravimetric analysis) is derived, assuming that the dependence of the residual mass fraction on temperature has a sigmoidal shape. The equation allows the estimation of the sigmoidal activation energy solely from the experimental data at a single heating rate. The consistency with the isoconversional approach and the relationship between the Ozawa and sigmoidal activation energies are reported. The equation was successfully tested by the thermal degradation of atactic polystyrene at various heating rates. Both the thermograms and their derivatives are analyzed in detail.


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MRS Communications