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Prediction of residual curing capacity of melamine-formaldehyde resins at an early stage of synthesis by in-line FTIR spectroscopy

  • Melamine-formaldehyde (MF) resins are widely used as surface finishes for engineered wood-based panels in decorative laminates. Since no additional glue is applied in lamination, the overall residual curing capacity of MF resins is of great technological importance. Residual curing capacity is measured by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) as the exothermic curing enthalpy integral of the liquid resin. After resin synthesis is completed, the resulting pre-polymer has a defined chemical structure with a corresponding residual curing capacity. Predicting the residual curing capacity of a resin batch already at an early stage during synthesis would enable corrective measures to be taken by making adjustments while synthesis is still in progress. Thereby, discarding faulty batches could be avoided. Here, by using a batch modelling approach, it is demonstrated how quantitative predictions of MF residual curing capacity can be derived from inline Fourier Transform infrared (FTIR) spectra recorded during resin synthesis using partial least squares regression. Not only is there a strong correlation (R2 = 0.89) between the infrared spectra measured at the end of MF resin synthesis and the residual curing capacity. The inline reaction spectra obtained already at the point of complete dissolution of melamine upon methylolation during the initial stage of resin synthesis are also well suited for predicting final curing performance of the resin. Based on these IR spectra, a valid regression model (R2 = 0.85) can be established using information obtained at a very early stage of MF resin synthesis.

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Author of HS ReutlingenKandelbauer, Andreas
Erschienen in:Polymers
Place of publication:Basel
Document Type:Journal article
Publication year:2021
Tag:batch modelling; decorative laminates; inline spectroscopy; melamine formaldehyde (MF); process analytics
Page Number:19
Article Number:2541
DDC classes:540 Chemie
Open access?:Ja
Licence (German):License Logo  Creative Commons - CC BY - Namensnennung 4.0 International