Polymer Engineering Faculty Research

The synthesis of sulfonated polymers by free radical copolymerization. (Poly(butadiene-co-sodium styrene sulfonate).

Robert Weiss, The University of Akron


The copolymerization of butadiene with sodium styrene sulfonate was studied and the copolymer products characterized. In general these copolymers contain 0.5–4 mole% of sulfonated monomer. The effects of the following reaction variables are described: emulsifier type and concentration, monomers feed ratio, chain transfer agent concentration, and reaction conversion. The products were heterogeneous with regard to composition, molecular weight, and solubility behavior. Copolymers prepared under certain conditions exhibited strong intermolecular interactions derived from associations of the ionic species as observed in other ionomers.