Accurate control of particle size at relatively narrow polydispersity remains a key challenge in the production of synthetic polymer particles at scale. A cross-flow membrane emulsification (XME) technique was used here in the preparation of poly(methyl methacrylate) microspheres at a 1-10 l h-1 scale, to demonstrate its application for such a manufacturing challenge. XME technology has previously been shown to provide good control over emulsion droplet sizes with careful choice of the operating conditions. We demonstrate here that, for an appropriate formulation, equivalent control can be gained for a precursor emulsion in a batch suspension polymerization process. We report here the influence of key parameters on the emulsification process; we also demonstrate the close correlation in size between the precursor emulsion and the final polymer particles. Two types of polymer particle were produced in this work: a solid microsphere and an oil-filled matrix microcapsule. This article is part of the themed issue 'Soft interfacial materials: from fundamentals to formulation'.
|Journal||Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences|
|Publication status||Published - 28 Jul 2016|