Production and Dynamic Mechanical Analysis of Macro-Scale Functionalized Polydicyclopentadiene Objects Facilitated by Rational Synthesis and Reaction Injection Molding




Cuthbert, Tyler J.
Li, Tong
Wulff, Jeremy E.

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ACS Applied Polymer Materials


Polydicyclopentadiene (PDCPD) is a ring-opening metathesis polymer derived from dicyclopentadiene. Valued for its light weight, excellent material strength, and good performance at both high and low temperatures, PDCPD is used to make body panels for tractors and heavy-duty trucks. We recently described the first functionalized form of PDCPD (fPDCPD) that maintains the thermal stability of the parent polymer. However, while commercial PDCPD components are produced through a reaction injection molding process on a very large scale, our fPDCPD polymer was developed on a small scale and has not been shown to be a viable substrate for reaction injection molding processes. Here we address these limitations by providing an improved synthesis of the fDCPD monomer mixture on a half-kilo scale and describing a method for separating the polymerizable monomer from other nonpolymerizable regioisomers without chromatography. We further demonstrate a reaction injection molding process for the creation of prototype fPDCPD components. Together, these increases in scale and advances in small object manufacturing facilitate the production of regular-dimensioned samples for dynamic mechanical analysis, permitting the first direct comparison of the mechanical properties of C-linked ester-functionalized PDCPD with those of unmodified PDCPD. Additionally, by using monomers of different regioisomer purity, products are achieved encompassing a broad range of glass transition temperatures and storage/loss moduli.



functionalized polymers, polydicyclopentadiene, reaction injection molding, dynamic mechanical analysis, structure-property relationships


Cuthbert, T. J., Li, T., & Wulff, J. E. (2019). Production and dynamic mechanical analysis of macro-scale functionalized Polydicyclopentadiene objects facilitated by rational synthesis and reaction injection molding. ACS Applied Polymer Materials, 1(9), 2460-2471.