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Redox initiated free radical polymerization of 4-methylstyrene

Mortamet, A. C. and Pethrick, R. A. (2012) Redox initiated free radical polymerization of 4-methylstyrene. Journal of Applied Polymer Science, 123 (3). pp. 1539-1547. ISSN 0021-8995

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Studies of the thermally initiated polymerization of 4-methylstyrene using alkylperoxide in conjunction with cobalt and tertiary amine catalysts are reported. Addition of cobalt salts leads to a facile low temperature initiation of the polymerization process. The polymerization process was investigated using differential scanning calorimetry [DSC] and vibrating probe rheological measurements. Color changes which occur when the cobalt complex and peroxide are combined were studied using UV-visible spectroscopy. The kinetics of polymerization was investigated using two different cobalt complexes. The initiation step in the polymerization is the conversion of the cobalt (II) to cobalt (III). The presence of the tertiary amine does not affect the oxidation state of the cobalt complex. The cobalt (III) complex gives a better rate of conversion than the cobalt (II) complex. The polymerization process is discussed in terms of redox reaction between the cobalt complex and the alkyperoxide. At low temperatures, the rate of conversion obeys simple Arrhenius kinetics. At higher temperatures the effects of gelation and catalysts inhibition influence the polymerization process. The polymerization process is sensitive to the level of available oxygen during the initiation step and inhibition by aldehyde is observed.