Semicontinuous heterophase copolymerization of vinyl acetate and butyl acrylate



Vinyl acetate (VAc) and butyl acrylate (BuA) were copolymerized in heterophase by a semicontinuous process (unseeded) and compared with the seeded semicontinuous microemulsion polymerization of the same monomers. A mixture of sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) and poly(ethylene oxide) dodecyl ether (Brij-35®) were used as surfactants. The effects of monomer addition rate (Ra) and surfactants concentrations (4 or 1 wt % with respect to the initial mixture of reaction) on polymer and latex properties were studied. High copolymer content latexes (24–36 wt %) with average particle diameters (Dp) from 38 to 55 nm and relatively narrow particle size distributions, high polymerization rates, weight ratios of polymer to surfactant (P/S) from 13.3 to 32.8 were obtained. The number-average molecular weights (Mn) were between 96,000 and 188,000 g/mol. Homogeneous copolymer compositions were obtained throughout the reaction for both, seeded and unseeded processes, which is not possible by the usual batch microemulsion process. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Appl. Polym. Sci., 2013