Studies of the thermal rearrangement and degradation of polyphenylene-ether (PPE) have been carried out by TGA (thermo-gravimetric analysis), GC-MS (gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy) and 1H-NMR. 2,6-Xylenol was a major scission product in the temperature range 420-700 °C, and 3,5-xylenol, as a scission product, decreased with increasing temperature. Four monomeric and eight dimeric scission products were observed at relatively high temperatures. The distribution of the scission products, which changed with increasing temperature, led to the suggestion that rearrangement of the PPE main-chain occurred to form diphenyl methylene groups, followed by thermal degradation.
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