Grafting of styrene onto polybutadiene: Calculation of the molecular macrostructure



The radical-induced grafting of styrene onto polybutadiene at 60°C and in dilute solution is theoretically investigated, with the aim of estimating the detailed molecular macrostructure of the evolving polymer mixture. To this effect, the kinetic mechanism proposed by Brydon et al. [J. Polym. Sci. Polym. Chem. Ed., 11, 3255 (1973) and 12, 1011 (1974)] was extended to evaluate the bivariate weight chain-length distribution (WCLD) for each of different copolymer topologies generated along the polymerization. Each molecular topology is characterized by two integers: the number of grafted styrene chains and the number of incorporated butadiene chains. Apart from the bivariate WCLDs for every topology and for the total copolymer, the molecular weight distributions of the accumulated polystyrene and of the unreacted polybutadiene are calculated. The model predictions of global variables (monomer conversion, polymer production, average molecular weights, grafting efficiencies, and average number of graft sites per reacted polybutadiene molecule) closely match the experimental measurements in the cited publications. © 1993 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.