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Abstract

The preparation of miscible systems containing poly(methyl methacrylate) and cupric nitrate, manganese chloride, praseodymium chloride, and uranyl nitrate is described. The salt was dissolved in the monomer, which was subsequently polymerized. The heavy metal salts impart radiopacity to these plastics and this renders them useful for X-ray imaging in applications such as medical implants. The polymer–salt systems are characterized on the basis of their infrared spectra, thermal, and radiographic properties, and the formation of complexes between the cations and the carbonyl function of the polymer is discussed. The glass transition temperatures of the salt-containing polymers are higher than those of the salt-free polymers, the elevation being dependent on the nature and concentration of the metal salt. Miscible PMMA–uranyl nitrate systems are transparent, glassy plastics and approximately 11 wt % of uranyl nitrate hexahydrate imparts a radiopacity equivalent to that of aluminum.