The influence of a contaminant in commercial PMMA: A purification method for its removal and its consequences

The influence of a contaminant in commercial PMMA: A purification method for its removal and its... An alkane-like contaminant was isolated from as-received commercial PMMA by forming a conventional urea inclusion compound during the preparation of a PMMA-urea complex. The contaminant, likely a surfactant used in the emulsion polymerization of PMMA, acts as a plasticizer in the commercial PMMA sample. After removing the contaminant, the resultant coalesced-PMMA showed an approximately 30 °C higher glass transition temperature than the as-received PMMA. Forming the PMMA-urea complex and then removing urea and the contaminant together with methanol can purify commercial PMMA and “unmask” its true Tg. Considering the large amount of research performed on PMMA blends, thin films, and nanocomposites, often with inconsistent or conflicting results, we believe the purity of some PMMAs used in past and future studies needs to be examined. Because commercial polystyrene is also obtained by emulsion polymerization and its blends, thin films, and nanocomposites have also been extensively studied, a similar contaminant may be affecting its behavior. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Polymer Elsevier

The influence of a contaminant in commercial PMMA: A purification method for its removal and its consequences

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Publisher
Elsevier
Copyright
Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd
ISSN
0032-3861
D.O.I.
10.1016/j.polymer.2017.12.033
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

An alkane-like contaminant was isolated from as-received commercial PMMA by forming a conventional urea inclusion compound during the preparation of a PMMA-urea complex. The contaminant, likely a surfactant used in the emulsion polymerization of PMMA, acts as a plasticizer in the commercial PMMA sample. After removing the contaminant, the resultant coalesced-PMMA showed an approximately 30 °C higher glass transition temperature than the as-received PMMA. Forming the PMMA-urea complex and then removing urea and the contaminant together with methanol can purify commercial PMMA and “unmask” its true Tg. Considering the large amount of research performed on PMMA blends, thin films, and nanocomposites, often with inconsistent or conflicting results, we believe the purity of some PMMAs used in past and future studies needs to be examined. Because commercial polystyrene is also obtained by emulsion polymerization and its blends, thin films, and nanocomposites have also been extensively studied, a similar contaminant may be affecting its behavior.

Journal

PolymerElsevier

Published: Jan 17, 2018

References

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