DuPont Industrial Cellulosics by ChemPoint | Applications

PVC Suspension Polymerization

PVC Suspension Polymerization

A suspension agent that provides consistent performance during the polymerization process yielding PVC with a tailored specification.

An important characteristic of polyvinylchloride (PVC) is its ability to absorb additives, such as plasticizers, stabilizers, and pigments, quickly and in sufficient quantities. To achieve this goal a defined level of porosity is required which is often obtained at the expense of bulk density. The balance of porosity and bulk density is a constant issue for the suspension PVC producer, who is striving for the best compromise.

The particle morphology of PVC is partly influenced by polymerization conditions (temperature, reactor size, stirring conditions, etc.). The largest influencer is the selection of the surface-active suspending agent.

Suspending agents reduce interfacial tension and facilitate the dispersion of vinyl chloride monomer droplets. The suspending agent also reduces droplet size and encapsulates them in a protective film, preventing the droplets from coalescing during polymerization.

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Given the need for high purity and consistent properties, METHOCEL™ cellulose ethers have been used for many years as suspending agents for the polymerization of vinyl chloride. They provide particle size control, uniform particle size distribution, and porosity that can be optimized for many PVC end-uses.

Low-viscosity METHOCEL™ cellulose ethers are most suitable for PVC polymerization. A broad range of substitution levels helps choosing the right METHOCEL™ for specific PVC polymerization conditions and applications. For example, one can choose a specific METHOCEL™ for rigid PVC with low porosity or flexible PVC with high porosity.

The broad range of low-viscosity METHOCEL™ cellulose ethers allows for selection of an ideal suspending agent, yielding a PVC to help you meet your demanding specifications.


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