In this interview, Borys Schafran from Jayhawk Fine Chemicals Corporation talks to AZoM about their JAYHAWK™ range of dianhydride products, which have unique capabilities in advanced epoxy systems.
Can you give us a brief introduction to BTDA?
BTDA is an acronym for 3,3’, 4,4’-Benzophenonetetracarboxylicdianhydride. BTDA was first launched as an epoxy curative in the early 1970s, manufactured by Gulf Chemical, a previous owner of the Jayhawk site.
We’re honored by this legacy, but also challenged to keep the product fresh 40 years later.
If you review the literature on epoxy curing, you will find plenty of early references to Pyromellitic dianhydride, known as PMDA, but it has been BTDA that has provided a true performance edge.
What are the challenges that BTDA is well placed to solve?
Well, due to the increasing design complexity of electronics and related materials, formulators are regularly challenged to meet the demands of in-service thermal and dielectric properties of epoxy systems.
We take great pride in the long track record that BTDA has established in this field, and its applications have expanded to include polyimide synthesis as well.
However, epoxy chemistry is the foundation, and in recent years, it’s become quite apparent that BTDA's value has been overlooked - BTDA is unmatched for achieving sustained high-temperature properties for epoxies over long periods.
So why isn’t BTDA used more often for these applications?
The problem comes when you consider processing. BTDA is a solid, supplied as a fine or micronized powder. For those well-versed in epoxy formulating, the use of BTDA in dry mixes, for example in electrostatic spray or fluidized bed processes, is well-known and practiced daily.
But in liquid preparations, BTDA may not be incorporated into formulations without adequate mixing, heating and dissolution of the primary particles. Formulators prefer instead to work with liquid monoanhydrides for process efficiency.
Can the liquid monoanhydrides perform as well as BTDA?
Some may claim so, but we know otherwise, especially due to the long-standing support of our established customers. They have never wavered from formulations that showcase the benefits derived from the correct loading and usage of BTDA.
The best illustration of this is glass transition temperature (Tg) development, whereby epoxy-BTDA systems can improve Tg by up to 20 – 30°C.
In some cases, blends of BTDA with monoanhydrides have served to address dosing while enhancing performance.
So how do you plan to raise awareness of BTDA’s capabilities?
We’ve undertaken several new initiatives, including digital media, to reach a wider audience of established and new formulator-customers
Our website, www.jayhawkchem.com/, facilitates learning via literature and video downloads.
We have also devoted our Twitter account to current topics in epoxy-dianhydride and polyimide chemistry, and have become active in various industry organizations including SAMPE, JEC and TRFA to better interface with industry professionals on the benefits of our proven technology.
We've also coupled our dianhydrides business with our custom manufacturing competence to offer new products to customers with sourcing challenges.
Whether interest is in a new molecule for research and development, or in securing the supply chain, customers have looked to Jayhawk as a reliable supplier of boutique dianhydrides, and we intend to expand these offerings.
Custom packaging is another area, whereby customers can have bag weights matched to their exact processing requirements.
Wherever we can provide customers with a competitive edge, we are pleased to offer our products and services.
About Borys Schafran
Borys Schafran serves as product manager for JAYHAWK™ dianhydrides portfolio. He has 30 years of experience with specialty chemicals in multiple applications.
Schafran holds BS and MS degrees in Chemical Engineering from NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering, Brooklyn, NY. He is the Chair of the NJ Chapter of SAMPE.
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