Online conductivity and stability in the emulsion polymerization of N-butyl methacrylate: Nonreactive versus reactive systems

Authors

  • Funian Zhao,

    1. Emulsion Polymers Institute, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania 18015
    2. Department of Chemical Engineering, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania 18015
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  • E. David Sudol,

    1. Emulsion Polymers Institute, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania 18015
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  • Eric S. Daniels,

    Corresponding author
    1. Emulsion Polymers Institute, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania 18015
    • Emulsion Polymers Institute, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania 18015
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  • Andrew Klein,

    1. Emulsion Polymers Institute, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania 18015
    2. Department of Chemical Engineering, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania 18015
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  • Mohamed S. El-Aasser

    1. Emulsion Polymers Institute, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania 18015
    2. Department of Chemical Engineering, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania 18015
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Abstract

Two different types of conductivity probes, that is, a torroidal probe and a resistance probe, were used as online sensors to monitor conductivity during the course of emulsion polymerizations of n-butyl methacrylate (BMA). These measurements were first applied to a nonreactive system, but the results showed that this method cannot be used to monitor latex stability in this system. Batch emulsion polymerizations of BMA were then carried out using different concentrations (0.6, 1.2, 2.4, and 7.8 mM) of sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) as surfactant. The profiles of the two conductivity curves changed with the variation of the SLS concentration. Because deposition of polymers on the surfaces of the electrodes of the resistance probe can reduce the measured conductivity values obtained from this probe (R) such that they are lower than the true values, as measured by the torroidal probe (T), the final conductivity ratio (R/T) between the two conductivity curves was chosen as a parameter to correlate the conductivity measurements to latex stability, which was estimated using blender tests and turbidity measurements. A linear relationship between them was found, indicating that the online conductivity measurements could be used to predict latex stability in the BMA emulsion polymerization system. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2012

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