Polymer composites of core-shell morphology are commonly used in the paint industry as opacity enhancer. These are usually made of block copolymer systems wherein the core is formed from a polymer that swells in the presence of a solvent and surrounded by a high glass transition polymeric shell. Thus, upon drying, the swollen regions turn into voids while leaving a hard shell. Here, composites based on poly(methyl methacrylate-butyl acrylate) [P(MMA-BuA)] (seed stage), poly(methyl methacrylate-methacrylic acid) [P(MMA-MAA)] (second stage), and poly(methyl methacrylate) [PMMA] (third stage) were synthesized through a multistage sequential emulsion polymerization and their opacity was investigated. The second stage formulation of P(MMA-MAA) system was varied by changing the methyl methacrylate (MMA): methacrylic acid (MAA) mole composition, and the dried films of these composite latexes were characterized by infrared spectroscopy (IR), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), and atomic force microscopy (AFM). The AFM images and ammonium hydroxide (NH4 OH) swelling studies confirmed the successful incorporation of the seed (first) stage with the second and third stage polymerization with PMMA. The differences in PMAA concentrations among the second stage polymer compositions were determined from the IR spectra and glass transition temperature (Tg ) data. Investigations on the opacity and hiding power of these polymer composites were done using optical densitometry. The results show increasing absorbance, indicating increasing opacity, with increasing polymethacrylic acid (PMAA) concentration in the second stage composition.
Dy, J., Enriquez, E., & Yu, G. (2011). Opacity of P(MMA-MAA)-PMMA Composite Latex System with Varying MAA Concentration. Philippine Journal of Science, 140 (2), 221-230.