This is a first report of the synthesis and characterization of acrylic copolymers from methyl methacrylate (MMA) and butyl acrylate (BA) with hyperbranched architecture. The copolymers were synthesized using a free radical polymerization (Strathclyde method) in emulsion technique. Divinyl benzene was used as the brancher which acted as a comonomer and 1-dodecanethiol was used as a chain terminating agent. A linear copolymer from MMA and BA was also synthesized for comparison. The hyperbranched architecture was established from spectroscopic and rheological measurements. The gel permeation chromatography showed all hyperbranched copolymers were low molecular weight with lower polydispersity index (PDI) ( 23,000, PDI ∼2.00) compared to the linear grade ( 93,000, PDI ∼2.20). They were more spherical and achieved lower viscosity (yet higher solubility, >90%) than the linear grade (<50%) which was mostly open ended. Lower viscosity at equivalent solid content made the hyperbranched polymers a potential binder for adhesive and coating application.
© 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Appl. Polym. Sci. 2017, 134, 45356.