Butyl acrylate/vinyl acetate copolymer latex synthesis using ultrasound as an initiator

G. Cooper, F. Grieser, S. Biggs

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41 Citations (Scopus)


The polymerization of oil-in-water (o/w) emulsions of monomeric species has been performed at 30°C (±5°C) under ultrasonic irradiation, in the absence of any added chemical initiators. Emulsions of butyl acrylate and vinyl acetate as well as emulsified mixtures of the two monomers have been reacted in this way. In all cases, the radicals formed as a result of the ultrasonic cavitation were sufficient to cause polymerization. Stable blue-white or white dispersions of polymer latex particles were obtained. The kinetics of the copolymerization process were monitored. The data obtained here show that the polymerization rate depends strongly upon the monomer concentration dissolved in the aqueous phase and on its vapor pressure. The more volatile of the monomers examined, vinyl acetate, was seen to have a markedly lower polymerization rate at equivalent monomer concentrations when compared to the butyl acrylate. This was attributed to monomer evaporation into the cavities formed by the ultrasound, causing a dampening of the cavitation process and hence a lower radical density. Data of particle sizes and polymer molecular weights for the latex samples support this hypothesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)52-63
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Colloid and Interface Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1996
Externally publishedYes


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