The thermal degradation of PET and analogous polyesters measured by thermal analysis Fourier transform IR spectroscopy

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Colleges, School and Institutes


The thermal degradation of two commercial poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET) samples and two laboratory prepared polyesters, poly(ethylene isophthalate) and poly(diethylene glycol terephthalate), was studied using thermogravimetry and thermal analysis-Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. The commercial PET samples were copolymerised with diethylene glycol and isophthalic acid groups in different proportions, and their thermal stabilities were found to differ. Through a study of the thermal degradation of poly(diethylene glycol terephthalate) and poly(ethylene isophthalate), it was found that diethylene glycol and isophthalate units promoted thermal degradation through increased chain flexibility and more favourable bond angles, respectively. The thermal degradation of all the polyesters tested lead to the formation of non-volatile residue. Infrared spectroscopic analysis indicated that the residue consisted almost exclusively of interconnected aromatic rings. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1835-1847
Number of pages13
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2002


  • isophthalic acid, poly(ethylene terephthalate), diethylene glycol