Phenol formaldehyde resins are formed by a step-growth polymerization. GPC/SEC with RI and UV detection is often used to characterize resins and to quantify the amount of different oligomeric species.
Phenol formaldehyde resins are formed by a step-growth polymerization. GPC/SEC with RI and UV detection is often used to characterize resins and to quantify the amount of different oligomeric species. Additional information is available if a ESI-MS-spectrometer is on-line attached to the GPC/SEC system. This technique combines the separation ability of GPC/SEC with the sensitivity and specificity of detection from MS and allows the identification of oligomeric species and gives information about the degree of CH2-OH substitution.
GPC/SEC analysis was performed on a PSS SECcurity 1200 system consisting of:
Columns: PSS SDV, 5 µm, 50 + 100 + 1000 Å, 8 × 300 mm each + precolumn
Flow rate: 0.3 mL/min
Inject volume: 20 µL
Software: PSS WinGPC Unity 7.4, Thermo Fisher Excalibur 2.07
Figure 1: RI trace oligomeric phenol formaldehyed resin, degree of polymerization identified from corresponding mass spectrum.
Figure 1 shows the elugram of an oligomeric phenol formaldehyde resin, separated into three different peaks with 1, 2 and 3 repetition units. The mass spectra are then measured for each species. Figure 2 shows as example the mass spectrum for peak n = 1 while Table 1 summarizes the masses possible in theory and identified (green) or not detected (grey). This combined approach can be used for molar masses up to approx. 2000 Da, higher degrees of polymerization have also been investigated.
Figure 2: Mass spectrum for n = 1 showing the 3 different species (CH2âOH substitution).
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