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Accueil du site > Production scientifique > Deciphering the structure of itaconate‐based unsaturated polyester resins by high resolution mass spectrometry

Deciphering the structure of itaconate‐based unsaturated polyester resins by high resolution mass spectrometry

Date de publication: 18 mai 2020

J. Molina, Z. Mahmoud, M. Hubert‐Roux , N. Azaroual, C. Afonso, A.‐S. Schuller, C. Rolando
Polymer International (2020). DOI

Travail réalisé sur le site de l’Université de Lille.


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Unsaturated polyester (UP) resins are widely used to manufacture composite materials and fulfil a wide panel of specification for industrial or domestic applications at low cost. These resins consist of a highly viscous polyester oligomer and a reactive diluent, which allow their processability and crosslinking. The oligomers are synthesized from diols and saturated or unsaturated diacids. Maleic anhydride is classically used as an unsaturated acid because of its reactivity for esterification and its competitive cost. However, maleic anhydride is petroleum based and classified as skin and respiratory sensitizing by the European Chemicals Agency. Itaconic acid which is recognized as one of the top 12 biobased molecules by the US Department of Energy is a biobased alternative with a reactive unsaturation. In this work, a UP based on propylene glycol, itaconic acid and dimethyl terephthalate was synthesized by polycondensation and characterized by high resolution mass spectroscopy, 1H, 13C 1D and 2D NMR as well as ion mobility spectrometry mass spectrometry. The main structures were linear but cyclic species and a few branched chains due to the intermolecular Ordelt reaction were also detected by NMR and high resolution mass spectroscopy. Molecular modelling has indeed demonstrated that itaconate‐based UPs are more prone to cyclization than fumarate‐based UPs. Moreover, NMR analysis showed a significant consumption of itaconate unsaturation by the Ordelt reaction. Ion mobility spectrometry mass spectrometry allowed an additional structure to be distinguished for the same m/z peaks first attributed to a linear structure only. These results suggest the existence of cyclic species based on an intramolecular Ordelt reaction.