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Abstract

Vinyl acetate (VAc) was polymerized by a seeded semicontinuous heterogeneous process. Stable latexes with a polymer/surfactant weight ratio of 65 were obtained, which is comparable with the highest value reported in the literature for emulsion polymerization but with the advantage of obtaining smaller particles (average diameter, Dp = 53 nm) which are similar to those obtained by microemulsion polymerization. The surfactant (sodium dodecylsulfate, SDS) concentration used in the recipe (0.32 wt%) is much lower than those typically used in microemulsion polymerization. Although molar masses increased during the continuous monomer addition period, they were small at the end of the reaction (Mn = 69 × 103 g·mol–1) and this was attributed to bimolecular termination inside the particles. The values of polymerization rate (Rp) and monomer addition rate (Fm) were nearly the same, indicating that polymerization was performed under monomer starved conditions. POLYM. ENG. SCI., 2013. © 2013 Society of Plastics Engineers