Thermal resistance is one of the most dominative properties for polymer materials. Thermal degradation mechanisms of epoxidized natural rubber (ENR) and NR are studied by thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and differential thermal analysis (DTA). The results show that, the introduction of epoxy groups into the NR molecular main chain leads to a remarkable change in the degradation mechanism. The thermal stability of ENR is worse than that of NR. For the first thermooxidative degradation stage, the thermal decomposition mechanism of ENR is similar to that of NR, which corresponds to a mechanism involving one-dimensional diffusion. For the second stage, the thermal decomposition mechanism of ENR is a three-dimensional diffusion, which is more complex than that of NR. Kinetic analysis showed that activation energy (E?), activation entropy (?H) and activation Gibbs energy (?G) values are all positive, indicating that the thermooxidative degradation process of ENR is non-spontaneous.
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