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A Reactive Molecular Dynamics Model of Thermal Decomposition in Polymers: I.Poly(methyl methacrylate)



S I. Stoliarov, P R. Westmoreland, Marc R. Nyden, Glenn P. Forney


The theory and implementation of Reactive Molecular Dynamics (RMD) are presented in the context of providing an overview of our own RMD computer code, MD_REACT. The capabilities of RMD and its potential use as a tool for investigating the mechanisms of thermal transformations in materials are demonstrated by presenting results from simulations of the thermal degradation of poly(methyl methacrylate). While it is known that depolymerization must be the major decomposition channel for PMMA, there are unanswered questions about the nature of the initiation reactions and the relative reactivities of the tertiary and primary radicals that are formed as a result of scissions of the polymer backbone. The results of our simulations are consistent with available experimental information and provide new insights into the mechanism of the thermally induced conversion of this polymer into its constituent monomers.
Journal of the American Chemical Society
No. 3


fire research, molecular dynamics, PMMA, polymer degradation


Stoliarov, S. , Westmoreland, P. , Nyden, M. and Forney, G. (2002), A Reactive Molecular Dynamics Model of Thermal Decomposition in Polymers: I.Poly(methyl methacrylate), Journal of the American Chemical Society, [online], (Accessed May 27, 2024)


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Created November 30, 2002, Updated October 12, 2021