Regulation of molecular weight of styrene–butadiene rubber. III. Choice of regulator from the homologous series of aliphatic mercaptans


  • Prod. No. 1586


The regulating efficiency of four aliphatic mercaptans was studied in emulsion copolymerization of butadiene with styrene, at +5°C. with the use of the redox system, diisopropylbenzene hydroperoxide–complexed ferrous iron–sodium formaldehyde sulfoxylate as an initiator and the sodium soap of disproportionated rosin as an emulsifier. The apparent transfer constants C of tertiary mercaptans decreased logarithmically with increasing length of molecule. This tendency is connected with the analogous dependency of solubilities of these compounds in water. The mercaptans did not affect the rate of polymerization. The value of C is independent of the amount of regulator used. With the value of C, the amount of regulator, and the conversion known, it is possible to predict the molecular weight of the polymers, except for the region of poor regulation, where the deteriorative influence of termination and crosslinking reactions takes place. The apparent transfer constant of tertiary dodecyl mercaptan decreased with increasing rate of polymerization. After elimination of diffuse processes, the value of the actual relative transfer constant was calculated. The tertiary dodecyl mercaptan has been selected as the most convenient molecular weight regulator for emulsion copolymerization of butadiene with styrene of all compounds studied for the system mentioned.