The enhancement of weakly exothermic polymerization fronts

Donna M.G. Comissiong*, L. K. Gross, V. A. Volpert

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The propagation of one-dimensional waves resulting from chemical reactions in a sandwich-type two-layer setting is considered. One layer, termed the polymerization layer, contains the monomer and initiator molecules needed for the initiation of a self-propagating polymer front. The other layer will be referred to as the enhancement layer, and it contains the necessary reactants to support a highly exothermic self-propagating reaction wave. Heat exchange occurs between the layers, and as a result, there is a net diffusion of heat away from the region undergoing the more exothermic reaction. As frontal polymerization (FP) reactions are known not to be very exothermic, an overall transfer of heat from the enhancement layer into the polymerization layer takes place. An analysis of the basic state of the system is carried out to investigate the effect of heat transfer on the polymerization reaction. An enhancement layer is shown to promote FP. This analysis is applicable to the manufacture of thin polymer films by FP.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)423-435
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Engineering Mathematics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2007


  • Enhancement layer
  • Free-radical polymerization
  • Frontal polymerization
  • Mathematical model
  • Traveling wave

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Mathematics
  • General Engineering


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