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Enhanced water barrier properties of surfactant-free polymer films obtained by macroRAFT-mediated emulsion polymerization

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journal contribution
posted on 03.05.2018, 14:30 by Ignacio Martin-Fabiani, Jennifer Lesage de la Haye, Malin Schulz, Yang Liu, Michelle Lee, Brendan Duffy, Franck D'Agosto, Muriel Lansalot, Joseph L. Keddie
The presence of low-molar-mass surfactants in latex films results in detrimental effects on their water permeability, gloss, and adhesion. For applications such as coatings, there is a need to develop formulations that do not contain surfactants and have better water barrier properties. Having previously reported the synthesis of surfactant-free latex particles in water using low amounts ( < 2 wt %) of chains synthesized by controlled radical polymerization (Lesage de la Haye et al. Macromolecules 2017, 50, 9315-9328), here we study the water barrier properties of films made from these particles and their application in anticorrosion coatings. When films cast from aqueous dispersions of acrylate copolymer particles stabilized with poly(sodium 4-styrenesulfonate) (PSSNa) were immersed in water for 3 days, they sorbed only 4 wt % water. This uptake is only slightly higher than the value predicted for the pure copolymer, indicating that the negative effects of any particle boundaries and hydrophilic-stabilizing molecules are minimal. This sorption of liquid water is 5 times lower than what is found in films cast from particles stabilized with the same proportion of poly(methacrylic acid) (PMAA), which is more hydrophilic than PSSNa. In water vapor with 90% relative humidity, the PSSNa-based film had an equilibrium sorption of only 4 wt %. A small increase in the PMAA content has a strong and negative impact on the barrier properties. Nuclear magnetic resonance relaxometry on polymer films after immersion in water shows that water clusters have the smallest size in the films containing PSSNa. Furthermore, these films retain their optical clarity during immersion in liquid water for up to 90 min, whereas all other compositions quickly develop opacity ("water whitening") as a result of light scattering from sorbed water. This implies a remarkably complete coalescence and a very small density of defects, which yields properties matching those of some solvent-borne films. The latex stabilized with PSSNa is implemented as the binder in a paint formulation for application as an anticorrosive barrier coating on steel substrates and evaluated in accelerated weathering and corrosion tests. Our results demonstrate the potential of self-stabilized latex particles for the development of different applications, such as waterborne protective coatings and pressure-sensitive adhesives.

Funding

This work was funded by the European Union Seventh Framework Programme BARRIER-PLUS project (FP7-SME2012-2, no. 304758).

History

School

  • Aeronautical, Automotive, Chemical and Materials Engineering

Department

  • Materials

Published in

ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces

Volume

10

Issue

13

Pages

11221 - 11232

Citation

MARTIN-FABIANI, I. ... et al., 2018. Enhanced water barrier properties of surfactant-free polymer films obtained by MacroRAFT-mediated emulsion polymerization. ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces, 10 (13), pp. 11221 - 11232.

Publisher

© American Chemical Society.

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Acceptance date

08/03/2018

Publication date

2018-03-08

Notes

This document is the Accepted Manuscript version of a Published Work that appeared in final form in ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces, copyright © American Chemical Society after peer review and technical editing by the publisher. To access the final edited and published work see http://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acsami.8b01040.

ISSN

1944-8244

eISSN

1944-8252

Language

en