Synthesis and friction properties of copper/PMMA composites by soapless emulsion polymerization



Copper (Cu)-doped polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) composites were prepared by soapless emulsion polymerization. In this process, copper nanoparticles were modified by sodium oleate (SOA) and the surface property of Cu nanoparticles changed from hydrophilic to hydrophobic. The hydrophobic Cu nanoparticles could not only avoid the oxidation of Cu in air but also improve the compatibility between Cu nanoparticles and PMMA. The TEM micrographs revealed that Cu nanoparticles were encapsulated in PMMA polymer microspheres. In addition, the uniform Cu/PMMA composite microspheres could be synthesized in such a soapless emulsion polymerization process. It was worth mentioning that the friction property in oil was well improved when little nanocomposites were added into the base oil, which indicated that the composites can be widely used in lubricating oil. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2011