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Enhanced Water Barrier Properties of Surfactant-Free Polymer Films Obtained by MacroRAFT-Mediated Emulsion Polymerization

Martín-Fabiani, Ignacio, Lesage de la Haye, Jennifer, Schulz, Malin, Liu, Yang, Lee, Michelle, Duffy, Brendan, D’Agosto, Franck, Lansalot, Muriel and Keddie, Joseph (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.

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Abstract

The presence of low molar mass surfactants in latex films results in detrimental effects on their water permeability, gloss and adhesion. For applications as coatings, there is a need to develop formulations that do not contain surfactants and that have better water barrier properties. Having previously reported the synthesis of surfactant-free latex particles in water using low amounts (< 2 wt%) of controlled radical polymer chains (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 anti-corrosion coatings. When films cast from aqueous dispersions of acrylate copolymer particles stabilized with poly(sodium 4-styrenesulfonate) (PSSNa) were immersed in water for three 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 five 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 minutes, 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 anti-corrosive 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.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences > Physics
Authors :
NameEmailORCID
Martín-Fabiani, Ignacio
Lesage de la Haye, Jennifer
Schulz, Malin
Liu, Yangyangliu@surrey.ac.uk
Lee, Michelle
Duffy, Brendan
D’Agosto, Franck
Lansalot, Muriel
Keddie, JosephJ.Keddie@surrey.ac.uk
Date : 8 March 2018
Identification Number : 10.1021/acsami.8b01040
Copyright Disclaimer : Copyright © 2018 American Chemical Society
Uncontrolled Keywords : Surfactant-free; Waterborne; macroRAFT; Adsorption isotherm; Latex; Coatings
Depositing User : Clive Harris
Date Deposited : 13 Mar 2018 14:05
Last Modified : 22 May 2018 08:18
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/845996

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