Solution and latex properties of model alkali-soluble rheology modifiers, synthesized via the reversible addition–fragmentation chain transfer process, and the effects of the ethylene oxide chain length on the rheological properties

Authors

  • Ewan Sprong,

    1. UNESCO Associated Centre for Macromolecules and Materials, Department of Chemistry and Polymer Science, University of Stellenbosch, Stellenbosch, Private Bag X1, De Beers Street, Matieland 7602, South Africa
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  • Deon De Wet-Roos,

    1. Sastech R&D, Sasol Technology (Pty) Limited, PO Box 1, Sasolburg, South Africa
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  • Matthew Tonge,

    1. UNESCO Associated Centre for Macromolecules and Materials, Department of Chemistry and Polymer Science, University of Stellenbosch, Stellenbosch, Private Bag X1, De Beers Street, Matieland 7602, South Africa
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  • Ron Sanderson

    Corresponding author
    1. UNESCO Associated Centre for Macromolecules and Materials, Department of Chemistry and Polymer Science, University of Stellenbosch, Stellenbosch, Private Bag X1, De Beers Street, Matieland 7602, South Africa
    • UNESCO Associated Centre for Macromolecules and Materials, Department of Chemistry and Polymer Science, University of Stellenbosch, Stellenbosch, Private Bag X1, De Beers Street, Matieland 7602, South Africa
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Abstract

Model alkali-soluble rheology modifiers were synthesized through the reversible addition–fragmentation chain transfer polymerization of methyl methacrylate, methacrylic acid, and three different associative macromonomers containing 20, 50, and 100 ethylene oxide spacer units, respectively. The synthesized polymers showed well-controlled molar masses and narrow molar mass distributions. The rheological properties of the model alkali-soluble rheology modifiers were measured in alkali solutions and in the presence of a well-characterized core–shell emulsion. The steady-shear viscosity data for the emulsion solutions, thickened with the associative rheology modifiers, were described by the Carreau model. The rheology modifiers containing the macromonomers with the longest ethylene oxide spacer units produced the highest viscosity in the latex systems but the lowest viscosity in alkali solutions. The highest viscosities in alkali solutions were obtained for the rheology modifiers containing macromonomers with 50 ethylene oxide spacer units. © 2004 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Polym Sci Part B: Polym Phys 42: 2502–2512, 2004

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