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Abstract

The presence of nylon 66 during polymerization of methyl methacrylate (MMA) under the influence of azobisisobutyronitrile (AIBN) produces a nylon-PMMA graft copolymer. The copolymerization reaction is greatly influenced by the reaction medium, temperature and time of the reaction, concentration of MMA, and addition of metallic ions. Polymerization in pure organic solvents brings about little or no grafting. Incorporation of water into the polymerization system enhances grafting significantly. A reaction medium of a water/solvent mixture in a ratio of 75:25 constitutes the most favorable medium for the grafting reaction in question. Of the solvents examined, methanol, ethanol, propanol, isopropanol, and acetone work extremely well. Increase in reaction time is accompanied by an increase in the graft yield. The same holds true for the reaction temperature; the graft yield is much higher at 70 than at 50°C and follows the order 70°C > 60°C > 50°C. Increasing MMA concentration also causes considerable enhancement of the graft yield. The presence of 0.01M cupric sulfate in the polymerization system brings about an eightfold increase in the graft yield, whereas the presence of ferric sulfate at the same concentration causes a sixfold increase. The mode of initiation of grafting seems to be different in the presence of metallic ions than in their absence. A mechanism for the reactions involved in the both cases has been proposed.