Stable, high performance polymer compositions including polybenzimidazole (PBI) and a melamine-formaldehyde polymer, such as methylated, poly(melamine-co-formaldehyde), for forming structures such as films, fibers and bulky structures. The polymer compositions may be formed by combining polybenzimidazole with the melamine-formaldehyde polymer to form a precursor. The polybenzimidazole may be reacted and/or intertwined with the melamine-formaldehyde polymer to form the polymer composition. For example, a stable, free-standing film having a thickness of, for example, between about 5 .mu.m and about 30 .mu.m may be formed from the polymer composition. Such films may be used as gas separation membranes and may be submerged into water for extended periods without crazing and cracking. The polymer composition may also be used as a coating on substrates, such as metal and ceramics, or may be used for spinning fibers. Precursors for forming such polymer compositions are also disclosed.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT
This invention was made with government support under Contract Number DE-AC07-05ID14517 awarded by the United States Department of Energy. The government has certain rights in the invention.