Synthesis of methacrylate copolymers and their effects as pour point depressants for lubricant oil



In this study, polymethacrylate polymers were synthesized by free-radical polymerization for use as pour point depressants in lubricant oil, and their low-temperature properties were investigated. Four methacrylate monomers were synthesized by the esterification of methyl methacrylate (MMA) with four kinds of fatty alcohols. The purification step was performed to prepare the pure monomers. Two polymerization experiments were carried out with four kinds of methacrylate monomers obtained previously and MMA. Copolymers, which were made from one kind of monomer and MMA, and terpolymers, which were made from two kinds of monomers and MMA, were prepared. The molecular structures of the synthesized methacrylate monomers and polymethacrylate polymers were verified by 1H-NMR, and the molecular weight data were obtained by gel permeation chromatography. The pour points of the base oils containing 0.1 wt % polymethacrylate polymers were measured according to ASTM D 97-93. The pour points of most base oils containing each polymer decreased compared to that of the pure base oil. Particularly, poly(dodecyl methacrylate-co-hexadecyl methacrylate-co-methyl methacrylate), made of dodecyl methacrylate, hexadecyl methacrylate, and MMA at a molar ratio of 3.5 : 3.5 : 3, showed the best low-temperature properties. This terpolymer dropped the pour point of the base oil by as much as 23°C, and its yield was 93.5%. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2011