The Challenge: Reaction Calorimetry Under Difficult Conditions
“Unfortunately, our highly exotherm reactions are not always easy to handle”, says Günter Reinsch, head of process optimization and safety at Hexion™ Specialty Chemicals.
In the synthesis of resins and their preliminary stages, many effects occur that obstruct calorimetric measurement according to classical methods, such as heat flow calorimetry. Typically, reactions are accompanied by a strong viscosity increase. Often, there are several immiscible phases involved, which form during the reaction. In many cases, more complex processes are to be examined in a series of reactions. Hence, proper calorimetric calibrations may become extremely difficult. Until recently, the evaluation of the measured data was extraordinarily demanding and many assumptions had to be made to obtain results.
The Solution: A New Measuring Technique
After hearing of the new measuring technique RTCal™ for the RC1e™ reaction calorimeter, Hexion was immediately interested. This technology provides heat flow data for the first time in real time, but also solves many daily problems. Calorimetric calibrations are not required any longer, which does not only save time in the lab, but also eliminates assumption-based interpolations of calibration data. This increases the confidence in the gained information even further and the measurement of calorimetric data develops from an “art”, exclusively performed by experts, to a simple and reliable routine method.
Hexion™ Specialty Chemicals is one of the global market leaders for thermally curing resins – particularly in the fields of formaldehyde resins and epoxy resins. At the Hexion Duisburg, Germany location, the RC1e™ reaction calorimeter had been employed successfully for years. The RC1e™ reaction calorimeter has now been upgraded with the innovative and unique measuring mode RTCal™ to obtain a profound understanding of reaction procedures in a faster, simpler and more reliable way.