Synthesis and characterization of multi-hollow opaque polymer pigments

Asmaoğlu, Serdar
In the present work, a new generation opaque polymer pigment with multihollow structure was synthesized by suspension polymerization of “Water-in-Oil-in-Water” (W/O/W) emulsion system. Oil phase was methyl methacrylate and ethylene glycol dimethacrylate monomer mixture at 1:1 weight ratio. The dimension and distribution of hollows inside polymer particles are dependent on the size of water droplets which are encapsulated in micelles. For Water-in-Oil (W/O) assembly, a hydrophobic surfactant and hydrophilic co-surfactant (Span 80-Tween 80) combination with a hydrophilic/lipophilic balance (HLB) value between 5-8 was used. The effects of surfactant and co-surfactant composition on the stability of the W/O emulsion and also on the size of water droplets were studied. In addition, the effect of the ultrasonication on the average size of water droplets was investigated. The hollow size distribution which may possibly give the maximum scattering efficiency was predicted by a mathematical model based on the Mie scattering. The optimum size distribution for W/O emulsion was obtained at the monomer/surfactant/water ratio of 75.5/9.4/15.1 after ultrasonication for 30 seconds at 80 W power. The W/O/W emulsion was prepared by dispersing the W/O emulsion in aqueous solution of hydrophilic Triton X-405. The influence of surfactant concentration and mechanical mixing on monomer droplets was investigated by size measurement and optical microscopy. After stabilizing with 1 %w/w polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) solution, the W/O/W emulsion was polymerized at 55 °C for 20 h. The surface morphology of synthesized polymer pigments was analyzed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and the inner hollow structure was confirmed by transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The analysis indicated that multihollow opaque polymer pigments were successfully synthesized. The opacity, the L*a*b* color, and the gloss properties of polymer pigments were examined by spectrophotometer and glossmeter. The opacity values were assessed by contrast ratio measurements, and the synthesized polymer pigments provided up to 97.3 % opacity (50 %v/v solid content). In addition, the pigments exhibited low gloss values, and yielded matt films.
Citation Formats
S. Asmaoğlu, “Synthesis and characterization of multi-hollow opaque polymer pigments,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2012.