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Book Review Thermal Stability of Polymers Vol. 1. By R. T

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In the other articles an attempt has been made to adapt the
material so that related topics are brought together, Over
half of the 35 principal authors are subject specialists who
are new to this task. This, and the consideration of recent
developments, has led to considerable changes in places.
The overall field is broken down into the following articles:
Volume 1 : Lines of development of chemical technology
( Winnacker and Biener, 45 pages); Water (Greiner, 31 pages);
The potassium industry (Autenrieth, 85 pages); Technology
of boron compounds (Heinerth, 12 pages); Common salt,
soda, and potash (Heuse and Wilsing, 51 pages); Chlorine
and its inorganic compounds (Hund and Zirngiebl, 97 pages); Fluorine and its inorganic compounds (Weise, 17 pages) ; Phosphorus and its inorganic compounds (Hnrnisch
and Saenger, 79 pages); Carbide, calcium nitride, and silicon carbide (Ritter and Krause, 40 pages); Electrolytic
graphite and artificial carbon (Dunges and Vohler,47 pages);
Peroxo compounds (Pistor, 81 pages); Nitrogen and its
inorganic compounds (Mundo, 117 pages).
Volume 2: Sulfur and its inorganic compounds (Diinges,
Saenger and WOK84 pages); Chromium compounds (Dilthey and Weise, 35 pages); Manganese compounds (Preisler,
19 pages); Inorganic pigments (Hund and Schultz, 53 pages); Rare earths (Greinacher, 29 pages) ;Binders in building
work (Wittekindt, 56 pages); Ceramics (Kienow, 60 pages);
Glass (Trier, 65 pages); Liquefaction and separation of
gases (Baldus,Knapp and Schlutterer, 101 pages); Materials
of high surface area (Bratzler, 46pages); Problems of
chemical technology in nuclear technology (Kiichler, 93
There is no need to read further than the article on water
to see how favorable an influence the new treatment can
exert on both form and content. However, it is surprising
that waste water purification is no longer dealt with in a
separate section. In this connection, the question arises
whether air, which like water is used as a raw material and
as a coolant and is burdened with waste materials, does not
deserve a more thorough treatment than it receives in the
article on gas separation.
All the articles on classical inorganic technology have been
rewritten and brought up to date as far as possible. Statistical data and literature references are considered up to 1968.
New developments have caused large changes, particularly
in the electrochemical processes used in chlorine chemistry. The articles on graphite and on nuclear technology
are new.
From the earliest days graphite electrodes have been of
decisive importance in the great electrochemical and electrothermal processes of inorganic chemistry. The arrival
of more and more new applications, particularly in apparatus construction, in nuclear technology, and most recently
in the field of fibers, justifies the treatment of this topic as a
subject in its own right.
Nuclear technology is beginning to make a significant contribution to power supplies, and it is high time that is was
included in the normal realm of technology. From the production of fissionable material with the use of minimum
separation factors to the performance of radiochemical
reactions in chemical nuclear reactors and the processing
of nuclear fuels under conditions necessitating extreme
purity and safety requirements, many problems of chemical
technology are involved. Kiichler and his associates have
summarized them very successfully.
It is a difficult task to cover so vast a field as that of inorganic
chemistry while on the one hand presenting a comprehensive picture and on the other hand preserving the unity of
the presentation by keeping it as far as possible to a limited
space. The participation of a large number of authors may
lead to a sharing but not a simplification of this task. The
editor and publisher have overcome the problems with
great success in the first two volumes of the third edition
of this work. It is to be hoped that the remaining volumes
will soon be published, so that the complete work can take
its place in our libraries.
Ulrich Wagner [NB 997 IE]
Thermal Stability of Polymers, Vol. 1. By R. T. Conley.
Marcel Dekker Inc., New York 1970. 1st ed., x, 644 pp.,
numerous figures, bound S 44.50.
The two-volume work, which is being published in the
series “Monographs in Macromolecular Chemistry”, and
of which this is the first volume, reviews the most important
literature on heat-resistant plastics.
The opening chapters are devoted to the polymer properties
and the structural characteristics that influence the thermal
stability of polymers. The broad concept of the “thermal
stability” of polymers is first explained and discussed with
reference to general criteria such as molecular structure
and crystallinity, kinetics and mechanism of the thermal
depolymerization, the basic theory of random degradation
processes, and fundamental problems relating to oxidation
products. Separate chapters are devoted to the thermal or
oxidative degradation of various important classes of substances, e. g. polyolefins, rubber, vinyl and vinylidene polymers, polyfluorohydrocarbons, polyamides, polyesters,
polyethers, formaldehyde-based thermosets, epoxy resins,
cellulose derivatives, and some heterocyclic ring systems.
The last chapter deals with inorganic polymers based on
boron, silicon, phosphorus, and sulfur. The possible reactions of the various classes when heated in the presence and
in the absence of oxygen are discussed in detail.
Since the book draws on the specialized experience of several authors, it cannot and does not claim to be complete in
its coverage of polymers and to give equal treatment to all.
The present first volume unfortunately contains no table
of contents for Volume 2, which is in preparation. Consequently. no final judgment can be made on this point at
The keyword index is regrettably not sufficiently comprehensive, since many of the facts and classes of substances
treated are mentioned only superficially. For example,
polysulfides are mentioned on p. 181, but do not appear in
the subject index. More information on the practical use
of members of the classes of substances discussed and of
the effects described would have been of special interest to
the industrial chemist.
A few technical shortcomings must be mentioned. Temperatures in “C and in O F are indiscriminately mixed. As a
result of many errors, e. g. missing or displaced double and
single bonds and H atoms, as well as tetravalent phosphorous or tetravalent boron, some of the formulas are
almost incomprehensible.
Despite these faults, the book should be of use to any
chemist who is concerned with the degradation of polymers
and who requires information beyond that normally available.
RudolfMerten [NB 1000 IE]
Angew. Chem. inrernat. Edit. / Vol. 10 (1971) / No. 12
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