Carbomer, which contains a variety of cross-linked acrylic polymers and copolymers, is one of the basic ingredients in many daily products, from cosmetic to personal care products to printing inks, paint adhesives and industrial supplies.Since the development and production of carbomer, many industries have relied on carbomer to increase the viscosity of products,form gels,stable emulsions and suspended particles. In addition, it has the characteristics of improving product quality and improving long-term stability of shelf products. Carbomer is also known as the "best friend of formulator's ".
The main component of carbomer is poly acrylic acid,which is synthesized by free-radical precipitation polymerization in organic solvents. The solvent of this process makes monomers, initiators and other additives soluble in the reaction medium, but the reacted polymerization product is insoluble. According to the record, benzene was used as the preferred solvent for the synthesis of carbomers, but it was unfavorable to health and safety concerns.Now alternative solvent systems such as a mixture of ethyl acetate and cyclohexane are used.
Preparation method of carbomer:
1.Dissolve acrylic acid and a small amount of TAPE and potassium carbonate (K2CO3) in ethyl acetate or cyclohexane co-solvent.K2CO3 is added to the acrylic acid to neutralize a small fraction of the acrylic acid groups to help facilitate precipitation of the reacted polymer in the co-solvent system.
2. Heat the mixture to 50°C under a nitrogen atmosphere and slowly add a peroxy initiator such as bis(2-ethylhexyl) peroxydicarbonate to the reaction vessel within 6 hours .
3. With the progress of the polymerization reaction, the insoluble carbomer product is precipitated from the solvent to form a slurry of carbomer particles in the solvent.
4. After the reaction is complete, the carbomer is separated from the slurry and the polymer solids are dried to yield the carbomer product in powder form.
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