Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science




In the manufacturing of thin films such as cellophane, polymers employed as coatings greatly improve film functionality. Polymers such as polyvinylidene chloride, polyvinyl chloride, polyvinyl acetate and many others are used as coatings or components of coatings designed to improve the functionality of a film. Selection of polymers with properties that will meet the requirements of the finished film product is a continuing process of film manufacturers. Physical and chemical characterization of the polymer along with coating functionality are the factors involved in the selection. Chemical composition is the most important factor affecting polymer characteristics and must be known if one expects to relate properties to polymers. Composition analysis of macromolecules is a very tedious and time consuming task, usually requiring fractionation or other means of obtaining low molecular weight polymers. Low molecular weight polymers are usually soluble in common solvents and therefore more easily analyzed. The number of polymers available for coatings is quite large; therefore, to facilitate selection of coating polymers, there is a great need for a rapid technique of chemical analysis.

The object of this project was to develop the technique of thermogravimetric analysis as a rapid method for quantitative composition analysis of polymers. A homopolymer and copolymer of vinylidene chloride were used in this study.

Previous studies of vinylidene chloride have been carried out by reaction flask decomposition, requiring capture of the volatile material and removal of the residue, followed by quantitative analysis; however, this has not been done using a thermogravimetric analysis method. Data from the conventional method were used to determine reaction kinetics, and the data were compared in this study with values obtained by the thermogravimetric method.

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Chemistry Commons