This report documents the facile synthesis of molecular brushes, via a grafting onto approach, with potential application as coating binders. Firstly, alternating copolymers of n-butyl vinyl ether (n-BVE) and maleic anhydride (MAh), i.e. n-BVEMAh, were synthesized via conventional radical polymerization. The anhydride reactive handle was subsequently utilised to access molecular brushes, via a grafting onto method, by imidizing the MAh repeat units with amine end-functional poly(ethylene glycol) oligomers, with 12 repeating units (PEG12NH2). The product n-BVEMI-PEG12 brushes were viscous liquids at room temperature, hence we termed them liquid molecular brushes (LMBs). The LMBs displayed Newtonian flow behaviour at shear rates below 1000 s-1. We evaluated the applicability of this molecular brush system as coating binder, by grafting varying fractions of linoleamide (Lin) side chains, which has oxidative crosslinking ability, along with the PEG12 onto n-BVEMAh, to access n-BVEMI-PEG12/Lin. The n-BVEMI-PEG12/Lin binders underwent oxidative crosslinking at 50 °C in the presence of a drier. The challenges associated with the current binder system are highlighted.
Available online 14 March 2018