Comparative Characterization of Hot-Pressed Polyamide 11 and 12: Mechanical, Thermal and Durability Properties
Chemically speaking, polyamide 11 (PA11) and polyamide 12 (PA12) have a similar backbone, differing only in one carbon. From an origin point of view, PA11 is considered a bioplastic polyamide composed from renewable resources, compared to oil-based PA12. Each of them has a number of advantages over the other, which makes their selection a challenging issue. Depending on the target application, diverse assessments and comparisons are needed to fulfill this mission. The current study addresses this research gap to characterize and compare PA11 and PA12 manufactured by the hot press technique in terms of their mechanical, thermal and durability properties for the first time, demonstrating their potential for future works as matrices in composite materials. In this regard, different characterization techniques are applied to the hot-pressed polymer sheets, including X-ray diffraction (XRD), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The mechanical performance of the PA11 and PA12 sheets is compared based on tensile tests and shore hardness measurement. The durability behavior of these two polyamides is evaluated in water and relative humidity conditions at different aging times. The experimental results show the ductile behavior of PA12 with respect to the quasi-brittle PA11. Both have a relatively small water and moisture gain: 1.5 wt% and 0.8 wt%, respectively. The higher crystallinity of PA12 (2.1 times more than PA11) with ?-phase is one of the leading parameters to achieve better mechanical and durability properties. The FTIR spectra displayed slight acid hydrolysis. Accordingly, absorbed water or moisture does not cause plasticization; thus, neither hardness nor dimension changes.