Miniemulsion Polymerization of Vegetable Oil Macromonomers

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Polymers and High Performance Materials


The Thames Research Group developed vegetable oil macromonomer (VOMM) technology to combine the advantages of oil-modified polyesters and waterborne systems, and reduce volatile organic compounds in waterbome coatings. VOMMs offer the advantage of temporary plasticization with the potential for crosslinking after film formation. However, incorporating VOMMs into emulsions is challenging because the highly hydrophobic nature of VOMMs restricts their diffusion through the water phase. Miniemulsion polymerization has been used to incorporate highly hydrophobic monomers in waterbome systems. Diffusion limitations are avoided by polymerizing inside the monomer droplets, and to ensure this, droplet stabilization is required. In our study, a soybean oil-based VOMM was used as a copolymerizable hydrophobe in miniemulsion polymerization. Monomer droplets were stabilized prior to polymerization via catastrophic phase inversion to form stable and small droplets (100 nm). Dynamic light scattering analysis was used to confirm miniemulsion stability. A coagulum-free latex was obtained after polymerization. Surface tension studies and light scattering techniques were used to confirm that monomer droplet nucleation was the dominant mechanism. Gel content studies indicated the formation of a highly branched or crosslinked network upon film application. The miniemulsion technique permitted VOMM incorporation as high as 35 wt% into the polymer backbone. (c) 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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Progress In Organic Coatings





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