A short review of the effect of pressure on copolymerization kinetics shows the necessity of simple models for a better understanding of activation volumes. Therefore, a simple concept, possibly generally valid for free-radical polymerization, is proposed, based on the assumption that molar volumes of activation can be expressed as an addition of a characteristic radical and a monomer contribution, regardless of the combination involved. The scheme may facilitate the visualization of the transition state and contribute to the understanding of reaction mechanisms of radical polymerizations. Ethylene-vinyl acetate copolymerization at 62°C with tert-butyl alcohol as solvent agrees with the proposed scheme, appearing from the pressure independence of the product of reactivity ratios at the different levels (35,600, and 1200 kg/cm2). Implicitly it can be shown that an ethylene monomer contributes about 2 cm3/mole more to the activation volumes of the propagation reactions than does the vinyl acetate monomer, whereas for the radicals the difference of the respective contributions to the activation volumes is opposite in sign.
|Journal of Polymer Science, Polymer Chemistry Edition
|Published - 1977