The concentrated emulsion copolymerization of butyl acrylate and vinyl acetate with an ammonium persulfate/sodium hydrogen sulfate mixture as a redox initiator, with a sodium dodecyl sulfate/cetyl alcohol mixture as a compound surfactant, and with poly(vinyl alcohol) as a liquid film reinforcer was carried out at lower temperature. In less than 3 h, the polymerization conversion was greater than 95%. The effects of the surfactant, the initiator, the volume fraction of the monomer, and the temperature on the stability of the concentrated emulsion, the kinetic process, and the average size of the latices were examined. The morphology of the polymer particles was observed by transmission electron microscopy, and the average size and distribution of the particle diameter were measured by photon correlation spectroscopy. The kinetic equation was Rp = k[M]0.38[I]0.89[E]−0.80 at 30°C (where Rp is the polymerization rate, [I] is the initiator concentration, [M] is the monomer concentration, and [E] is the concentration of the compound surfactant), and the apparent activation energy was 22.69 kJ/mol. The thin-layer polymerization of the concentrated emulsions, which enabled the removal of the heat of polymerization, was performed first. In comparison with test-tube polymerization, thin-layer polymerization provided a more regular morphology of the polymer particles. © 2003 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci 91: 570–576, 2004
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