Frontal polymerization in microgravtty

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



© 1998 by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Inc. All rights reserved. Frontal polymerization is a mode of converting monomer into polymer via a localized reaction zone that propagates through the coupling of thermal diffusion and Arrhenius reaction kinetics. Because of convective instabilities, it is not possible to perform frontal polymerization with many monomers that produce thermoplastics, such as n-butyl acrylate, without the addition of a viscosity enhancing agent. Sounding rocket experiments allowed the preparation of benchmark materials and demonstrated that methods to suppress the Rayleigh-Taylor instability in ground-based research did not significantly affect the molecular weight of the polymer. The interaction of bubbles with propagating fronts with liquid product and solid product was studied on KC- 1 35 flights. Bubbles aggregate in microgravity but are dispersed in 1 g.

Publication Source (Journal or Book title)

36th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting and Exhibit

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