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With this method, radical polymerization of acrylic monomers is carried out in an organic solvent such as toluene or ethyl acetate using an azo or peroxide type initiator that produces radicals under heat in order to synthesize adhesive.
Adhesive with the desired properties is synthesized by selecting the comonomer (to control properties) or the monomer containing the required functional group (to provide the cross-linking point) and determining the amount to be blended at the same time as the acrylic monomer (the main monomer).
With solution polymerization, the molecular weight distribution and molecular weight of the acrylic adhesive to be synthesized changes greatly according to polymerization conditions (the solvent used, monomer concentration, amount of initiator, initiator addition method, polymerization temperature, polymerization time) and influences the properties of the adhesive. Normally, when adhesion is a priority, molecular weight is kept relatively low (Mw: 200,000~400,000) and when heat resistance is a priority the molecular weight is kept relatively high (Mw: 400,000~800,000).
Emulsion-type acrylic adhesives have advantages over solvent-type acrylic adhesives, as well as having their disadvantages. As polymerization of acrylic monomers takes place in water a surfactant is used, meaning that resistance to humidity and water is inferior. On the other hand, this method has advantages in terms of both cost and safety. It is also possible to obtain polymers with a high molecular weight that have a high concentration of solids while still maintaining high levels of drying and adhesion performance.
In recent years with the emphasis on resource and energy conservation as well as environmental issues, there has been a move towards processes that do not require the use of solvents. Emulsion polymerization also offers advantages in terms of the cost and range of equipment required.
With this method, prepolymers are produced without the use of solvents or water by adding a initiator that produces radicals when exposed to light to an acrylic monomer, which is then irradiating with UV light. Next, a substrate is coated with these prepolymers before once again being exposed to UV light to produce an acrylic polymer (adhesive).
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