Unsteady Propagation of Reaction Fronts in Frontal Polymerization

Dr. Dmitry Golovaty and Dr. Kevin Kreider

Frontal polymerization is a self-sustaining exothermic chemical reaction in which monomers suspended in a liquid react to form a solid polymer in a narrow reaction zone.  A heat source is applied at one point, and the reaction zone propagates throughout the concentration.  For low activation energies, the velocity of the front is uniform, but as the activation energy increases, the velocity becomes unsteady.  The goal is to understand the unsteady front velocity analytically and to predict the front behavior numerically.