(19)
(11)EP 3 390 474 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
04.11.2020 Bulletin 2020/45

(21)Application number: 16826503.1

(22)Date of filing:  09.12.2016
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
C08F 265/06(2006.01)
C08L 51/00(2006.01)
C08L 27/06(2006.01)
(86)International application number:
PCT/US2016/065830
(87)International publication number:
WO 2017/106037 (22.06.2017 Gazette  2017/25)

(54)

THERMOPLASTIC COMPOSITIONS CONTAINING MULTI-STAGE COPOLYMERS AS MELT STRENGTH PROCESS AIDS WITH LUBRICATION PROPERTIES

THERMOPLASTISCHE ZUSAMMENSETZUNGEN ENTHALTEND MEHRSTUFIGE COPOLYMERE ALS GLEITMITTEL UND VERARBEITUNGSHILFSMITTEL ZUR VERBESSERUNG DER SCHMELZFESTIGKEIT

COMPOSITIONS THERMOPLASTIQUES COMPRENANT DES COPOLYMÈRES MULTI-ÉTAGES COMME DES AGENTS D'AIDE À L'EXTRUSION AVEC DES PROPRIÉTÉS LUBRIFIANTES


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 18.12.2015 US 201562269161 P

(43)Date of publication of application:
24.10.2018 Bulletin 2018/43

(73)Proprietor: Rohm and Haas Company
Philadelphia, PA 19106 (US)

(72)Inventors:
  • PETR, Michael T.
    Collegeville, PA 19426 (US)
  • VAN RHEENEN, Paul R.
    Warminster, PA 18974 (US)

(74)Representative: Houghton, Mark Phillip 
Patent Outsourcing Limited Corner House 1 King Street
Bakewell Derbyshire DE45 1DZ
Bakewell Derbyshire DE45 1DZ (GB)


(56)References cited: : 
EP-A1- 1 045 004
WO-A1-2015/155185
WO-A1-2015/155180
  
  • HAWORTH B ET AL: "Elongational deformation and rupture of rigid PVC compounds for foam extrusion", PLASTICS, RUBBER & COMPOSITES: MACROMOLECULAR ENGINEERING, MANEY PUBLISHING, LEEDS, GB, vol. 22, 1 January 1994 (1994-01-01), pages 159-169, XP008159240, ISSN: 1465-8011
  
Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


Description


[0001] The present invention relates to compositions comprising (i) a vinyl halide polymer, such as polyvinyl chloride (PVC), and (ii) a multi-stage, preferably, a two-stage acrylic copolymer polymeric additive, preferably, in the form of a powder, having a first stage polymer and a second stage polymer, (A) the first stage polymer of, in copolymerized form, (a) at least one C1 to C6 alkyl methacrylate or a C1 to C4 alkyl acrylate, preferably, methyl methacrylate, (b) from 0 to 75 wt.% of one or more and other polar vinyl monomers, and (c) no more than 10 wt.% of vinyl aromatic monomers, all monomer proportions, based on the total weight of monomers used to make the first stage polymer, the first stage polymer having a weight average molecular weight as measured by gel permeation chromatography (GPC) against polystyrene standards of from 1 x 106 to 10 x 106 g/mol and a calculated Tg of from 70 to 105 °C; and (B) a second stage polymer of, in copolymerized form, (d) at least one C4 to C18 alkyl acrylate or C8 to C18 alkyl methacrylate (c) from 0 to 75 wt.% of total vinyl aromatic monomers, and (b) the remainder of one or more polar vinyl monomers, all monomer proportions based on the total weight of monomers used to make the second stage polymer, the second stage polymer having a weight average molecular weight (Mw) as measured by GPC against polystyrene standards of from 1,000 to 100,000 g/mol and having a calculated Tg of from -65 to 45°C, the solids weight ratio of the first stage polymer (A) to the second stage polymer (B) ranging from 1:3 to 7:1.

[0002] In PVC thermoplastic processing as well as in processing for other polyvinyl halides, polycarbonates, polyolefins, and polystyrenics, process aids are used to add melt strength, and separate internal lubricants are used to decrease melt viscosity to facilitate processing into sheets. On the other hand, external lubricants other than polymeric external lubricants are not desirable in PVC thermoplastic processing because they have the potential to decrease light transmission and clarity of a PVC sheet. However, two stage polymeric external lubricants, such as Paraloid™ K-175 polymer (The Dow Chemical Company) enable the production of clear PVC because its refractive index is matched to that of the PVC matrix phase. Still, two stage polymeric melt strength process aids, such as Paraloid™ K-120P, K-130P and K-125P polymers (Dow), only provide melt strength, whereas the Paraloid™ K-175 polymer (Dow) only provides lubrication. Both melt strength process aids and external lubricant products are made, sold, and used as separate products. The drawback to having such separate polymeric additive products is that, in each product, one polymer stage performs the function of the additive and one polymer stage exists solely to facilitate isolation of the polymer from its aqueous polymerization medium. In the case of the melt strength process aids, the majority of the polymeric additive comprises a high molecular weight and high Tg polymer stage for melt strength, and the remaining portion comprises a low molecular weight and low Tg polymer stage to enable coagulation and removal of water. In the case of the Paraloid™ K-175 polymer lubrication process aid, the majority of the polymer comprises a low molecular weight and low Tg polymer stage for lubrication, and the remaining polymer stage is high Tg to enable, for example, spray drying.

[0003] U.S. patent no. 4086296, to Carty et al. discloses a blend of a multiphase acrylic copolymer and a thermoplastic polymer wherein multiphase acrylic copolymer comprises a first non-crosslinked phase having a molecular weight of from about 7,500 to 50,000 made from at least 25 weight percent of at least one alkyl acrylate, wherein the alkyl group has 1 to 18 carbon atoms, and a final rigid thermoplastic phase made from acrylic and/or styrene and having a molecular weight of about 400,000 to 5 x 106. Carty discloses polyvinyl chloride (PVC) as the thermoplastic polymer. However, the compositions in the Carty reference lack a hard first polymer stage or phase and fail to provide thermoplastic compositions having both improved melt strength and lubrication.

[0004] EP-A1-1045004 discloses a processing aid for vinyl chloride resin. WO 2015/155185 relates to a multistage polymeric processing aid in the form of a non-dusty powder. WO 2015/155180 relates to a non-dusty polymer powder composed of aggregated latex particles prepared by a multistage polymerization process.

[0005] The present inventors have endeavored to provide a polymeric additive that provides both melt strength and lubrication and which can be isolated by coagulation, and thermoplastics containing the polymeric additive.

STATEMENT OF THE INVENTION



[0006] In accordance with the present invention, compositions for use in thermoplastic processing comprise (i) a vinyl halide polymer, such as polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and (ii) from 0.1 to 12 phr (parts solids per hundred weight parts solids of vinyl chloride polymer), or, preferably, from 0.5 to 5 phr of a multi-stage acrylic copolymer, preferably, as a powder, having (A) a first stage polymer and a second stage polymer, preferably, a two-stage acrylic copolymer, the first stage polymer of from 25 to 78.5 wt.%, or, preferably, from 50 to 67 wt.% of, in copolymerized form, (a) at least one C1 to C6 alkyl methacrylate or C1 to C4 alkyl acrylate, preferably, methyl methacrylate or, preferably, methyl methacrylate and either of a C2 to C6 alkyl methacrylate or a C1 to C4 alkyl acrylate, or, preferably, methyl methacrylate and butyl (meth)acrylate, from 0 to 75 wt.% of (b) one or more other polar vinyl monomers, such as hydroxyalkyl (meth)acrylates and alkyl (meth)acrylates other than the monomers (a), and no more than 10 wt.% or, preferably, 5 wt.% or less, or, more preferably, 2 wt.% or less, of (c) vinyl aromatic monomers, all monomer proportions, based on the total weight of monomers used to make the first stage polymer, the first stage polymer having a weight average molecular weight as measured by gel permeation chromatography (GPC) against polystyrene standards of from 1 x 106 to 10 x 106 g/mol or, preferably 1.4 x 106 to 4 x 106 g/mol, and having a glass transition temperature as calculated by the Fox Equation (calculated Tg) of from 70 to 105 °C or, preferably, from 78 to 98 °C; and (B) a second stage polymer of, in copolymerized form, (d) at least one C4 to C18 alkyl acrylate or C8 to C18 alkyl methacrylate, preferably, any of butyl acrylate, ethylhexyl acrylate, lauryl methacrylate, mixtures thereof, or mixtures thereof with butyl acrylate, from 0 to 75 wt.% or, preferably, from 20 to 60 wt.% in total of (c) vinyl aromatic monomers, such as styrene or α-methyl styrene, preferably styrene, and the remainder of (b) one or more polar vinyl monomers, such as hydroxyl functional (meth)acrylates and alkyl (meth)acrylates other than the monomers (d), all monomer proportions based on the total weight of monomers used to make the second stage polymer, the second stage polymer having a weight average molecular weight (Mw) as measured by GPC against polystyrene standards of from 1,000 to 100,000 g/mol or, preferably, from 10,000 to 65,000 g/mol, and having a calculated Tg of from -65 to 45 °C, or, preferably, from -10 to 45°C, or, preferably, from 10 to 30 °C, the solids weight ratio of the first stage polymer (A) to the second stage polymer (B) ranging from 1:3 to 7:1, or, preferably, from 1:2 to 3:1, or, preferably, from 4:5 to 5:2, or, more preferably, from 0.9:1 to 2.3:1, wherein the multistage acrylic copolymer is substantially free of, or, preferably, is free of added acid group functional monomers and such monomers in copolymerized form.

[0007] In accordance with the present invention the (ii) multi-stage acrylic copolymer is preferably substantially free of, or, preferably, is free of added graftlinking monomers or crosslinking monomers, such as diethylenically or polyethylenically unsaturated vinyl monomers, and such monomers in copolymerized form.

[0008] The (i) vinyl halide polymer is a vinyl chloride polymer, wherein the vinyl chloride polymer is preferably a homopolymer or a copolymer of vinyl chloride with up to 20 wt.%, or, preferably, 10 wt.% or less, of, in copolymerized form, nonionic acrylic or vinyl comonomers, or, preferably, polar nonionic acrylic or vinyl comonomers.

[0009] The (i) vinyl chloride polymer has preferably a K value of from 49 (28,000 g/mol) to 73 (92,000 g/mol), or, preferably, from 52 (34,000 g/mol) to 65.2 (61,000 g/mol).

[0010] The first stage polymer of the (ii) multi-stage acrylic copolymer preferably has a calculated Tg that is from 25 to 100 °C more than the calculated Tg of the second stage polymer, or, preferably, 40 to 90 °C, or, preferably, 55 to 75 °C more than the calculated Tg of the second stage polymer.

[0011] A method of making a thermoplastic composition having a single polymeric additive comprises polymerizing in a reactor at a starting temperature of from 5 to 40 °C or, preferably, from 10 to 30 °C, in the presence of an initiator or a redox pair a first monomer mixture in water or an aqueous medium of from 25 to 78.5 wt.%, or, preferably, from 50 to 67 wt.% of (a) at least one C1 to C6 alkyl methacrylate or C1 to C4 alkyl acrylate, preferably, methyl methacrylate or, preferably, methyl methacrylate and either of a C2 to C6 alkyl methacrylate or a C1 to C4 alkyl acrylate, or, preferably, methyl methacrylate and butyl (meth)acrylate, from 0 to 75 wt.% of (b) one or more and other polar vinyl monomers, such as hydroxyalkyl (meth)acrylates and alkyl (meth)acrylates other than the monomers (a), and no more than 10 wt.% or, preferably, 5 wt.% or less, or, more preferably, 2 wt.% or less, of (c) vinyl aromatic monomers, all monomer proportions, based on the total weight of monomers in the first monomer mixture, to form a first stage polymer (A) having a weight average molecular weight as measured by gel permeation chromatography (GPC) against polystyrene standards of from 1 x 106 to 10 x 106 g/mol or, preferably 1.4 x 106 to 4 x 106 g/mol and having a glass transition temperature as calculated by the Fox Equation (calculated Tg) of from 70 to 105 °C or, preferably, from 78 to 98 °C; and, sequentially polymerizing in the presence of the first stage polymer a second monomer mixture of (d) at least one a C4 to C18 alkyl acrylate or C8 to C18 alkyl methacrylate, preferably, any of butyl acrylate, ethylhexyl acrylate, lauryl methacrylate, mixtures thereof, or mixtures thereof with methyl methacrylate from 0 to 75 wt.% or, preferably, from 20 to 60 wt.% in total of (c) vinyl aromatic monomers, such as styrene or α-methyl styrene, and the remainder of (b) one or more polar vinyl monomers, such as hydroxyl functional (meth)acrylates and alkyl (meth)acrylates other than the monomers (d), all monomer proportions based on the total weight of monomers in the second monomer mixture, to form a second stage polymer (B) having a weight average molecular weight (Mw) as measured by GPC against polystyrene standards of from 1,000 to 100,000 g/mol or, preferably, from 10,000 to 65,000 g/mol, and having a calculated Tg of from -65 to 45°C, or, preferably, -10 to 45°C, or, preferably, from 0 to 45°C or, more preferably, from 10 to 30 °C, the total solids weight ratio of the first monomer mixture to the second monomer mixture ranging from 1:3 to 7:1, or, preferably, from 1:2 to 3:1, or, preferably, from 4:5 to 5:2, or, more preferably, from 0.9:1 to 2.3:1, wherein the first and second monomer mixture is substantially free of and has 0.1 wt.% or less or, preferably, from 500 ppm or less, of acid group functional monomers;
drying the thus formed polymer to form a powder, preferably, after coagulation, such as at a temperature of from 45°C and 90°C, drying and dewatering, to form a multi-stage, or, preferably, a two-stage, acrylic copolymeric additive powder; and,
providing (i) a vinyl halide polymer or, preferably, vinyl chloride polymer, and blending it with the multi-stage acrylic copolymeric additive powder, such as by dry blending or melt mixing, to form a thermoplastic polymer composition.

[0012] Polymerisation of the first monomer mixture preferably takes place in the presence of 0 to 1 wt.% or, preferably, 0 to 0.1 wt.% of any chain transfer agent and from 0.001 to 5 wt.% or, preferably, 0.5 to 1.5 wt.% of total emulsifiers.

[0013] The first and second monomer mixtures preferably contain less than 0.1 wt.%, or, preferably, less than 500 ppm of total graftlinking monomers and crosslinking monomers, such as diethylenically or polyethylenically unsaturated vinyl monomers, and such monomers in copolymerized form.

[0014] The (i) vinyl chloride polymer is preferably a homopolymer or a copolymer of vinyl chloride with up to 20 wt.%, or, preferably, 10 wt.% or less, of, in copolymerized form, nonionic acrylic or vinyl comonomers, or, preferably, polar nonionic acrylic or vinyl comonomers.

[0015] In polymerizing the first monomer mixture, the first monomer mixture is preferably added as a shot to the reactor.

[0016] As used herein, the phrase "acrylic" shall mean (meth)acrylic acid, (meth)alkyl acrylate, (meth)acrylamide, (meth)acrylonitrile and modified forms thereof, such as, for example, hydroxyalkyl (meth)acrylate.

[0017] As used herein, the phrase "aqueous" shall mean water or water mixed with 50 wt.% or less, based on the weight of the mixture, of water-miscible solvent.

[0018] As used herein, the term "ASTM" refers to publications of ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA).

[0019] As used herein, the phrase "compatible" shall mean that an additive or polymer itself is capable of forming a homogeneous blend with another polymer.

[0020] As used herein, the phrase "copolymer" shall mean copolymers, terpolymers, tetrapolymers, pentapolymers, hexapolymers, or any polymer made from two or more monomers, and also to random, block and graft copolymers.

[0021] As used herein, unless otherwise indicated, the phrase "weight average molecular weight" or "Mw" refers to the weight average molecular weight of a polymer as measured by gel permeation chromatography (GPC), for acrylic polymers against polystyrene calibration standards following ASTM D5296-11 (2011), and using tetrahydrofuran (THF) as the mobile phase and diluent.

[0022] As used herein, unless otherwise indicated, the term "K value" represents a measure of molecular weight of a thermoplastic polymer and is the quantity determined by measuring the relative viscosity of a 0.01g/mL solution of a given polymer in cyclohexanone at 25°C (Fikentscher, Cellulose Chem. 13.60 (1932)).

[0023] As used herein, the phrase "non-tacky" shall refer to compositions which, when applied and dried to form a film are not sticky to the touch.

[0024] As used herein, the phrase "nonionic monomer" means a copolymerized monomer residue that does not bear an ionic charge at a pH of from 2 to 13.

[0025] As used herein, the phrase "acid group functional monomer" means monomer or a copolymerized monomer residue that contains an organic or inorganic acid group, such as a carboxylic acid, a carboxylate, sulfate, sulphonate, or phosphate containing acid group.

[0026] As used herein, unless otherwise indicated, the phrase "calculated Tg" shall mean the glass transition temperature as calculated based on the monomeric compositions using the Fox Equation (Rosen, Stephen L., Fundamental Principles of Polymeric Materials, 1993, p. 109). Reference Calculated values for given polymerizable monomers can be found at Sigma-Aldrich, Reference: Polymer Properties, http://www.sigmaaldrich.com/content/dam/sigma-aldrich/docs/Aldrich/General_Information/thermal_transitions_of_homopolymers. pdf.

[0027] As used herein, the phrase "phr" means per hundred parts resin or polymer solids, and, unless otherwise indicated, refers to the vinyl chloride polymer.

[0028] As used herein, the phrase "polymer" shall include resins and copolymers.

[0029] As used herein, the phrase "resin" shall include polymers and copolymers.

[0030] As used herein, the phrase "substantially free of" anything, such as copolymerized hydroxyl group containing monomers or diethylenically or polyethylenically unsaturated vinyl monomers, refers to a composition in which none of the thing is added to the composition or is used in the making of the composition or a composition that contains as solids less than 0.1 wt.% of the copolymerized monomers used to make a given polymer stage.

[0031] As used herein, the phrase "total solids" refers to any material, such as resin, polymer, colorant, pigment, or additive which does not volatilize under ambient temperature and standard pressure conditions. Water, volatile solvents or volatile organic compounds and ammonia are not considered solids.

[0032] As used herein, the phrase "vinyl" or "vinyl monomer" shall mean acrylic, vinyl ester, vinyl ether, monovinyl aromatic compounds, such as styrene and α-methyl styrene, and vinyl halides.

[0033] As used herein, the phrase "wt. %" shall mean percent by weight.

[0034] All ranges recited are inclusive and combinable. For example, a weight average molecular weight of from 1 x 106 to 10 x 106 g/mol or, preferably 1.4 x 106 to 4 x 106 g/mol or more, will include ranges of from 1 x 106 to 1.4 x 106 g/mol, or 1 x 106 to 10 x 106 g/mol or 1.4 x 106 to 10 x 106 g/mol or 4 x 106 to 10 x 106 g/mol or, preferably, 1.4 x 106 to 4 x 106 g/mol.

[0035] Unless otherwise indicated, all temperature and pressure units are standard temperature and pressure (STP).

[0036] All phrases comprising parenthesis denote either or both of the included parenthetical matter and its absence. For example, the phrase "(co)polymer" includes, in the alternative, polymer, copolymer and mixtures thereof; and the phrase "(meth)acrylate" includes acrylate, methacrylate and mixtures thereof.

[0037] The thermoplastic compositions of the present invention provide a multi-stage acrylic copolymeric additive for thermoplastics like vinyl chloride polymers that provides both melt strength and lubrication. In the multi-stage acrylic copolymer, the first stage polymer provides melt strength and the second stage polymer provides lubrication. The present invention enables one to use a single additive polymer rather than two as in the art. Because of the combination of high and low glass transition temperature (Tg) polymer stages where the second stage polymer is the low Tg polymer stage, this multi-stage acrylic copolymeric additive of the present invention can be coagulated and dried. Further, because both stages are functional, no part of the multi-stage acrylic copolymer is wasted in isolating it. Still further, because the first stage polymer is a high molecular weight polymer, the polymerization to make the multi-stage acrylic copolymer of the present invention can be performed without any added heat or thermal energy; at, for example, room temperature, polymerization of the monomer mixture results in a higher molecular weight polymer and an exotherm which can then be used to make the second stage polymer without any added heat or thermal energy.

[0038] In thermoplastic polymer compositions, useful amounts of the multi-stage acrylic copolymer of the present invention range from 0.1 to 12 phr or, preferably, from 0.5 to 5 phr. If too much of the multi-stage acrylic copolymer is used, then the composition can become tacky from too much of the lubricant second stage polymer or it may not disperse well in the thermoplastic polymer matrix, resulting in wavy or rough surfaces in products made therefrom.

[0039] In the multi-stage acrylic copolymer of the present invention, the first stage polymer blends in to a melt of the thermoplastic or vinyl chloride polymer; whereas the second stage polymer needs to migrate to the surface of articles made with the thermoplastic polymer. Accordingly, the first stage polymer must be compatible with the thermoplastic polymer matrix; and some incompatibility between the second stage of the multi-stage acrylic copolymeric additive and the thermoplastic polymer is desirable to enable migration of that stage.

[0040] For use in making the first stage polymer of the present invention, suitable copolymerizable monoethylenically-unsaturated monomers (a) may include, for example, at least one C1 to C6 alkyl methacrylate or C1 to C4 alkyl acrylate, preferably, methyl methacrylate or methyl methacrylate and butyl (meth)acrylate . Such monomers are compatible with the vinyl chloride polymer of the present invention.

[0041] The first stage polymer of the present invention may further comprise, in copolymerized form, one or more and other polar vinyl monomers, (b) such as hydroxyalkyl (meth)acrylates like hydroxyethyl methacrylate, and alkyl (meth)acrylates other than the monomers (a). Polar monomers may contain ester or amide groups, such as alkyl (meth)acrylamides, or nitrile groups, such as (meth)acrylonitrile.

[0042] The first stage polymer of the present invention comprises, in copolymerized form, less than 10 wt.% or, preferably, less than 5 wt.% or, preferably, less than 2 wt.% , based on the total weight of the monomer mixture used to make the first stage polymer, of vinyl aromatic monomers. Such monomers are not compatible with the matrix thermoplastic polymer.

[0043] Suitable first stage polymers of the present invention are those having a high weight average molecular weight as measured by gel permeation chromatography (GPC) against polystyrene standards of from 1 x 106 to 10 x 106 g/mol or, preferably 1.4 x 106 to 4 x 106 g/mol, and having a glass transition temperature as calculated by the Fox Equation (calculated Tg) of from 70 to 105 °C or, preferably, from 78 to 98 °C.

[0044] The second stage polymer of the present invention comprises, in copolymerized form, (d) at least one C4 to C18 alkyl acrylate or C8 to C18 alkyl methacrylate, preferably, butyl acrylate, ethylhexyl acrylate, lauryl methacrylate, mixtures thereof, or mixtures thereof with methyl methacrylate, (c) from 0 to 75 wt.% or, preferably, from 20 to 60 wt.% of total vinyl aromatic monomers, such as styrene or α-methyl styrene, and (b) the remainder of one or more polar vinyl monomers, such as hydroxyl functional (meth)acrylates and alkyl (meth)acrylates other than the monomers (d), all monomer proportions based on the total weight of monomers used to make the second stage polymer.

[0045] Polar monomers may include hydroxyl and ester group containing monomers, such as alkyl (meth)acrylates, hydroxyalkyl acrylates, hydroxylalkyl methacrylates, and allyl alcohols, preferably, hydroxyethyl methacrylate.

[0046] In the second stage polymers of the present invention, copolymerized vinyl aromatic monomers help in the production of transparent articles, such as films for packaging or shower curtains.

[0047] Suitable second stage polymers of the present invention are those having a weight average molecular weight (Mw) as measured by GPC against polystyrene standards of from 1,000 to 100,000 g/mol or, preferably, from 10,000 to 65,000 g/mol, and having a calculated Tg of from -65 to 45 °C, or, preferably, from -10 to 45°C, or, more preferably, from 10 to 30 ºC. The calculated Tg is high enough to insure that compositions containing the second stage polymer are not tacky. The low molecular weight helps the second stage polymer of the present invention migrate to the surface of thermoplastic polymer articles containing them in the melt.

[0048] The multistage acrylic copolymer of the present invention is substantially free of (≤0.1 wt.% on total monomer solids used to make the copolymer), or, preferably, is free of added or copolymerized acid group functional monomers. Such monomers may degrade vinyl chloride polymers.

[0049] Further, the multi-stage acrylic copolymer of the present invention is invention is substantially free of (≤0.1 wt.% on total monomer solids used to make the copolymer), or, preferably, is free of added or copolymerized crosslinking, graftlinking or diethylenically unsaturated monomers. The presence of such monomers eliminates the lubricant plastic additive effect of the multi-stage acrylic copolymers of the present invention because the resulting second stage polymers cannot spread on or migrate to the surface of the thermoplastic polymer in the melt.

[0050] Suitable nonionic monomers for use in making the multi-stage acrylic copolymer or the vinyl chloride polymer of the present invention include acrylic and vinyl nonionic monomers. In general, acrylic nonionic monomers may include, for example, alkyl (meth)acrylates, such as C1-30 alkyl (meth)acrylates, C5-30 cycloalkyl (meth)acrylates, or C5-30 (alkyl)aryl (meth)acrylates, including, for example, butyl acrylate, and isodecyl methacrylate. Vinyl nonionic monomers may include, for example, vinyl acetate or other vinyl esters; and other vinyl monomers, such as vinylidene chloride. In making the multi-stage acrylic copolymers of the present invention, the polar monomers (b) are nonionic monomers other than the monomers (a), monomers (c) and monomers (d).

[0051] Suitable low Tg or soft monomers for use in making the second stage polymer of the present invention include but are not limited to ethyl acrylate (EA), butyl acrylate (BA), 2-ethylhexyl acrylate (2-EHA), lauryl acrylate, lauryl methacrylate, cetyl (meth)acrylate, eicosyl (meth)acrylate, behenyl (meth)acrylate.

[0052] Preferably, the first stage polymer of the present invention comprises (co)polymers which are the polymerization product of one or more monomers chosen from MMA, EA, and BA.

[0053] In the multi-stage acrylic copolymers of the present invention, the solids weight ratio of the first stage polymer to the second stage polymer may range from 1:3 to 7:1, or, preferably, from 1:2 to 3:1, or, preferably, from 4:5 to 5:2, or, more preferably, from 0.9:1 to 2.3:1.

[0054] Preferably, to insure that it is thoroughly distributed in a melt of a thermoplastic polymer matrix, the first stage polymer comprises, in copolymerized form, 50 wt.% or more of the monomers used to make the multi-stage acrylic copolymer of the present invention

[0055] The term "crosslinking monomers" refers generally to diethylenically or polyethylenically unsaturated vinyl monomers copolymerizable with acrylic or vinyl monomers, such as, for example, divinylbenzene (DVB); glycol di- and tri-(meth)acrylates, such as, for example,1,4-butylene glycol dimethacrylate, 1,2-ethylene glycol dimethacrylate, and 1,6-hexanediol diacrylate; triol tri(meth)crylates, diallyl phthalate and allyl methacrylate.

[0056] The term "graftlinking monomers" generally are diethylenically or polyethylenically unsaturated vinyl monomers copolymerizable with acrylic or vinyl monomers and having sufficiently low reactivity of the unsaturated groups to allow significant residual unsaturation to remain in a polymer, such as a first stage polymer, subsequent to its polymerization. These may be, for example, allyl methacrylate (ALMA), allyl acrylate, diallyl maleate and allyl acryloxypropionate.

[0057] In general, the multi-stage acrylic copolymers are formed by aqueous emulsion or suspension polymerization in the presence of an initiator, such as a thermal initiator like a peracid, e.g. persulfate, or a peroxide, or a redox pair, such as a peracid or peroxide and a reducing agent like a bisulfite or an organic sulfoxylate. Such polymerization methods are conventional in the art such as, for example, U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,325,856, 4,654,397, and 4,814,373. In multi-stage polymerization processes, at least two stages differing in composition are formed in a sequential fashion and, in the present invention, are formed with the first stage polymer and then the second stage polymer.

[0058] In emulsion or suspension polymerization, monomer mixture(s) may be added neat or as an emulsion in water. In suspension polymerization, no surfactant or emulsifier is used. Such monomer mixtures may be added as a shot or fed, as in gradual addition polymerization. A monomer mixture may be added in one or more additions and may be added continuously over all or part the reaction period or not continuously, such as over all or part of the reaction period. One or more monomer mixture can be added linearly, such as in the case of gradual addition (grad add), or not, such as, for example, in semi-continuous polymerization or addition all at once as a "shot", or in any combination thereof.

[0059] In emulsion polymerization, conventional surfactants may be used such as, for example, anionic and/or nonionic emulsifiers such as, for example, alkali metal or ammonium salts of alkyl, aryl, or alkylaryl sulfates, sulfonates or phosphates; alkyl sulfonic acids, sulfosuccinate salts; fatty acids; ethylenically unsaturated surfactant monomers; and ethoxylated alcohols or phenols. The amount of surfactant used is usually 0.1% to 6% by weight, based on the weight of monomer, or higher to make a higher Mw polymer stage. The same surfactants and amounts thereof are used in both single stage and in multi-stage emulsion polymerization processes.

[0060] Either thermal or redox initiation processes may be used in either single stage or multi-stage emulsion polymerization processes. Known free radical initiators such as, for example, peroxides, ammonium and/or alkali persulfates or redox pairs, may be used at a level of from 0.01 to 3.0 wt.%, based on the weight of total monomer, or lower to make a higher Mw polymer stage. Redox systems using the same initiators may be coupled with a suitable reductant such as, for example, (iso)ascorbic acid, alkali metal and ammonium salts of sulfur-containing acids, such as sodium sulfite, bisulfite, formadinesulfinic acid, hydroxymethanesulfonic acid, sodium sulfoxylate formaldehyde, 2-hydroxy-2-sulfinatoacetic acid, 2-hydroxy-2-sulfonatoacetic acid, amines such as ethanolamine, glycolic acid, glyoxylic acid hydrate, lactic acid, glyceric acid, malic acid, tartaric acid and salts of the preceding acids. Mercaptans, such as mercaptopropionic acid or methyl-3-mercaptopropionate, also find use as chain transfer agents and so can be used in the present invention in the making of just the second stage polymer (B).

[0061] To make higher Mw polymers or polymer stages, one or more monomer mixtures should be added as a "shot" to the reactor or initially charged in the reactor at the beginning of one or more reaction stage.

[0062] Preferably, to make a high Mw polymer stage, one can start the polymerization reaction cold or at room temperature, use a compatible seed polymer, lower the concentration of initiator, raise the concentration of surfactants or emulsifiers, use a redox pair as a radical initiator, or any combination thereof. More preferably, one starts the polymerization reaction cold or at room temperature and either uses shot polymerization and/or a redox initiator.

[0063] Chain transfer agents may be used to lower the molecular weight of the formed polymer of the second polymer stage and may be added in one or more additions or continuously, linearly or not, over most or all of the entire reaction period or during limited portion(s) of the reaction period. Suitable chain transfer agents may include, for example, halogen compounds such as tetrabromomethane; allyl compounds; and, preferably, mercaptans, such as alkyl thioglycolates, alkyl mercaptoalkanoates, and C4 -C22 linear or branched alkyl mercaptans, and, more preferably, methyl 3-mercaptopropionate, butyl 3-mercaptopropionate, n-hexylmercaptan, n-dodecyl mercaptan, tert-dodecyl mercaptan, and mixtures thereof. Suitable amounts of chain transfer agents may range up to 15 wt.%, preferably, from 0.1 to 5 wt.%, based on the total solids weight of all monomers used to make the given second stage polymer.

[0064] The multi-stage acrylic copolymers are dried by coagulation or spray drying to form a powder. Coagulation can be carried out by various coagulation methods known in the art, such as aqueous electrolyte (salt) coagulation using an aqueous solution of a salt of an inorganic acid, such as sodium chloride, magnesium acetate, calcium hypophosphite. Preferably, the electrolyte solution is prepared with a salt containing a divalent cation, such as calcium chloride (CaCl2). Coagulation with a water soluble, or partially water soluble solvent, such as methanol ("methanol-coagulation") is also possible.

[0065] Preferably, in aqueous electrolyte coagulation, the aqueous electrolyte solution has a concentration of from 0.01 and 2.0, preferably from 0.1 to 0.5 wt.%. It is also important to control the coagulation temperature because too high a coagulation temperature results in excessively large particles causing poor dispersion. In contrast, too low a temperature results in excessively small particles resulting in a wide particle size span and excessive dust. Coagulation temperature may range of from 40° C to 85° C., but preferably less than 70° C. The resulting coagulated slurry should have a percent solids weight fraction in the range of from 10% to 90%, preferably from 40% to 75%, and most preferably from 50% to 65%.

[0066] The resulting coagulated slurry is dried to less than 5 weight percent water to form a free-flowing powder. Various methods of drying particle slurries are readily known to those skilled in the art and are described in Chemical Engineer's Handbook, 5th Ed., Perry and Chilton, Eds. 1973 which relates to the drying of solid-liquid particle dispersions. The preferred drying methods include fluidized bed dryers, rotary dryers, spray dryers, continuous or batch tray dryers, flash dryers, and pneumatic conveying dryers. During the drying step it is important to control the drying temperature so that the slurry particles do not fuse among themselves, for example by keeping the temperature of the slurry particles above the Tg of the first stage polymer of the polymer particles. If the drying temperature is too high then the individual polymer particles may fuse together in the powder particles which may hinder their subsequent dispersion into thermoplastic matrices. A free-flowing, low-dust polymeric additive powder is achieved when the water content is less than 5 wt.%, preferably less than 3 wt.%, most preferably less than 1 wt.% of the powder.

[0067] Another variation of the present invention includes adding one or more other known multi-stage acrylic copolymer compositions, in either powder or aqueous slurry form. These additives can be blended into the composition after the final coagulation step or formation of wetcake using standard equipment such as highspeed mixers, blenders, kneaders, extruders and fluidized drying beds as mixing equipment.

[0068] Other ingredients typically blended in thermoplastic formulations, such as lubricants, thermal stabilizers, waxes, dyes, pigments and fillers may each have an aqueous solution, liquid, powdered, or pellet form, and may be included in the present invention using this mixing equipment.

[0069] The polymeric additive powders of the present invention may be used in various ways, including preparation of thermoplastic resin blends. The thermoplastic resin blends of the present invention contain a thermoplastic resin, e.g. vinyl halide polymer, and the polymeric additive powder of the present invention. These blends are readily prepared by melt-blending methods that are known in the art of plastics processing. For example, the polymeric additive powders of the present invention can be blended with thermoplastic resin powders or pellets and melt processed using an extruder.

[0070] The multi-stage acrylic copolymers of the present invention find use in processing of thermoplastic polymers, including vinyl halide polymers or, preferably, vinyl chloride polymers, as well as chlorinated poly(vinyl chloride), poly(methyl methacrylate), so-called "barrier resins" containing, in copolymerized form, vinylidene chloride, acrylonitrile, as well as cellulose acetate butyrate, polypropylene, and high density polyethylene, to name but a few.

[0071] The vinyl halide polymer thermoplastic polymers of the present invention can be obtained by conventional bulk addition polymerization or in solution polymerization in the presence of initiators.

[0072] The thermoplastic resin blends of the present invention can also be blended with higher amounts of the polymeric additives powders of the present invention for preparing concentrated pellets of the polymeric additive powders of the present invention.

[0073] The thermoplastic polymer compositions of the present invention may also be formed into pellets by the steps of blending, extruding and pelletizing using conventional plastics processing equipment. Such pellets may readily contain the dry multi-stage acrylic copolymer powders of the present invention and one or more thermoplastic resins in the weight ratio of multi-stage acrylic copolymer to thermoplastic polymer matrix can be in the range of from 12:88 to 50:50.

[0074] The thermoplastic polymer compositions of the present invention have many uses, including calendered sheet, thermoformed sheet, injection molded articles, blowmolded articles and extruded articles. When the component monomers of the multi-stage acrylic copolymer are added in a way that the refractive indices of the multi-stage acrylic copolymer are carefully matched to the thermoplastic polymer matrix, the resulting polymers are useful in applications requiring transparency.

[0075] The multi-stage acrylic copolymers of the present invention are preferably blended into poly(vinyl chloride) ("PVC") and chlorinated PVC ("CPVC"). The multi-stage acrylic copolymers of the present invention are especially useful for manufacturing PVC siding, window profiles, and other exterior building products where both efficient processing, melt strength, melt elasticity, lubrication, and weatherability of the PVC product are needed. The multi-stage acrylic copolymers find use in preparing PVC siding, with the multi-stage acrylic copolymer present in the PVC formulation in the range of from 0.1 to 12 phr.

[0076] The multi-stage acrylic copolymer powders of the present invention are also envisioned to be useful for preparing PVC foam.

[0077] EXAMPLES: In the following examples, unless otherwise indicated, all units of temperature are room temperature and all units of pressure are standard pressure (1 atm or 760 mBar).

[0078] In the following examples, the abbreviations have the following meanings:
EA= ethyl acrylate; BA= butyl acrylate; AN= acrylonitrile; AA= acrylic acid; EHA= 2-ethylhexyl acrylate; HEMA= 2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate; MAA= methacrylic acid; MMA= methyl methacrylate; STY = styrene.

[0079] In the following Examples, the following materials were used:
Synthesis: Synthesis of acrylic multi-stage polymer Polymer 1: The polymeric additive in Inventive Example 1 was synthesized via a conventional aqueous emulsion polymerization in a 5 L glass reactor equipped under nitrogen gas sparging, with stirring, along with a 24 wt.%, sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) surfactant solution in water and, as redox initiator, sodium formaldehyde sulfoxylate (SFS), tert-butyl hydroperoxide (tBHP), and chelated iron. In polymerization to make the first stage polymer, all of the monomers indicated in Table 1, below was charged in one shot. No heat was supplied to the kettle, and the temperature was allowed to rise to its maximum point, after which it did not rise for 5 minutes. At this time the reactor was cooled to begin the second stage. In the polymerization of the second stage polymer, the indicated monomer mixture was fed continuously via gradual addition; separately fed during the monomer feed was the redox initiator SFS and tBHP. After polymerization, more SFS and tBHP were fed to reduce the residual monomer. The resulting polymer had a 35 wt.% solids content; and the polymer and its stages had the weight average molecular weight indicated in Table 1, below.

Synthesis of multi-stage acrylic Polymer 2:



[0080] The synthesis of Polymer 2 was carried out in the same manner as the synthesis of Polymer 1, above, for the indicated monomer compositions indicated in Table 1, below, except that the Stage 1 solids content was 29% and the ratio of the Stage 1 polymer to the Stage 2 polymer was 2:1. Further, in the first stage polymer polymerization, the monomer was charged in two equal shots.

[0081] In the comparative examples, Comparative Example 1 comprises a Paraloid ™ K-130P polymer (The Dow Chemical Company), a commercial three-stage BA/MMA copolymer melt strength process aid having a high Tg second stage and a low Tg third stage. Comparative Example 2 comprises a Paraloid™ K-175 polymer (Dow), a commercial lubricant having a low Tg first stage and a high Tg second stage. Each of Comparative Examples 3 and 4 comprise a physical blend of the two polymeric additives in Comparative Examples 1 and 2. Table 1, below, shows the polymer synthesis makeup, the weight average molecular weights (Mw) and the glass transition temperatures (Tg), of all of Polymers 1 and 2.
Table 1: Composition of Polymers 1 and 2
ExamplePolymer 1Polymer 2
Description50% Stage 233% Stage 2
Stage 1 MMA 93% 93%
BA 7% 7%
BMA    
Styrene    
Mw (g/mol) 2.4x106 1.8x106
Tg (°C) 87 87
Stage 2 MMA 4% 4%
BA 39% 39%
BMA    
Styrene 57% 57%
Mw (g/mol) 3.0x104 3.1x104
Tg (°C) 20 20


[0082] The following Test Methods were used in the Examples, below:
Gel Permeation Chromatography: Used to determine weight average molecular weight and performed as defined above.

[0083] Rheotens Melt Strength Test: A Göttfert Rheotens melt tensile tester (Göttfert Inc., Beijing, China) was used to measure melt strength using a method wherein formulated PVC blends with a 3 phr polymeric additive loading were melted in a capillary rheometer having a 3mm diameter, a 4.5mm length, and a 150/155/165/175/175°C temperature profile and a strand of the melted material was extended 75mm from the capillary rheometer to the counter-rotating wheels in the Rheotens separated by 0.6mm and rotating at 10rpm. After a stable force measurement was achieved, the molten polymer strand was accelerated at 120mm/s2 until it broke. An acceptable result is a velocity at break of > 200 mm/s (Rheotens).

[0084] Milling Time to Stick Test: The milling time to stick test quantitatively measures stickiness and lubrication. In the test was carried out with 165g of the formulated PVC with the indicated polymeric additive using an electric Collin Roll Mill (Collin, Norcross, GA). To carry out the stick test, the formulated material was applied to the mill at 200°C with the mill rolls stationary and closed tight, corresponding to about a 0.15mm (0.006 inch) gap. Then, the rolls were turned on to low speed at 5 and 4 rpm on the front and back rolls, respectively. At this point, the timer was started, and after one rotation on the rolls, the speed was increased to 26 and 20 rpm on the front and back rolls, respectively. As the rolls turned, the sample that fell through was collected and added back to the rolls until all the material fused and wrapped around the rolls. Upon fusion, the gap was opened to about 0.38mm (0.015 inches) so that the rolling bank of fused sample was about 10.2mm (0.4 inches) thick. For the next two minutes, four cuts per minute were made with brass knife to ensure proper mixing. At the end of the two minutes, the rolls were stopped, and a 76.2mm (3 inch) wide strip was cut across the front roll and pulled from left to right checking for a full release from roll. If the strip came off, it was returned to the rolls and checked again for release after another minute, and this cut and pull procedure was repeated every minute up to 20 minutes until sticking occurred. If a strip did stick, another strip was immediately cut and checked for release. If that second strip stuck as well, this time was recorded as the time to stick. If at the end of 20 minutes, the sample did not stick, the test ended, and 20 minutes was recorded as the maximum time to stick. Finally, purge material was applied to the mill and mixed in with formulated material to facilitate final release in order to clean the mill and proceed to the next sample. At a 1phr loading of the polymeric additive in PVC, an acceptable milling time to stick is > 3 minutes, or, preferably, ≥ 4 minutes.

[0085] Formulations of thermoplastic polymer compositions were formed from the indicated compositions in Table 2 and 3, below. Table 4 shows the application properties for the Inventive and Comparative Examples. The Velocity at Break is a measure of melt strength, and the milling time to stick is a measure of lubrication. One way to look at it is that the Inventive Examples have melt strengths above or close to K-130P, but they also provide some lubrication above that of K-130P. Another way to look at it is that the Inventive Examples have higher melt strength than their corresponding Comparative Example physical blends with similar lubrication, as follows:
Table 2: Formulations for Rheotens melt strength test
MaterialLoading (phr)Material Description
PVC WS-800S 100 poly(vinyl chloride) resin (K = 60-62 as per manufacturer, Formosa Industries, TW)
TM-950F 2 methyl tin thermal stabilizer
Advawax™-165 0.4 Paraffin wax external lubricant
CaSt 0.3 calcium stearate external lubricant
Loxiol™ G-60 0.6 ester internal lubricant (Emery Oleochemicals, Cincinnati, OH)
AC-316A 0.2 oxidized polyethylene internal lubricant (Honeywell Friction Materials LLC, Green Island, NY)
Paraloid™ K-175P 1 polymeric external lubricant (Dow)
TiO2 R-105 2.5 titanium dioxide white color
CaCO3 5 calcium carbonate filler
Polymeric additive 3 Examples
Total 115  
Table 3: Formulation for milling time to stick test
MaterialLoading (phr)Material Description
PVC Formosa 614 100 poly(vinyl chloride) resin (K = 58 per manufacturer, Formosa)
TM 181 2 methyl tin thermal stabilizer
Advalube™ F-1005 0.8 ester internal lubricant (PMC Group, Mt. Laurel, NJ)
Loxiol™ G78V 0.2 calcium stearate external lubricant (Emery Oleochemicals
Polymeric additive 1 examples
Total 104  
Table 4: Test Results
Applications PropertiesVelocity at Break (mm/s)Milling Time to Stick (min)
Example 1 50 wt.% second stage polymer 254.4 6
Example 2 33 wt.% second stage polymer 263.3 4
Comparative Example 1 K-130P polymer 256.0 3
Comparative Example 2 K-175 polymer 172.8 20
Comparative Example 3 50 wt.% K-130P polymer 50 wt.% K-175P polymer 221.8 6
Comparative Example 4 67 wt.% K-130P polymer, 33 wt.% K-175P polymer 251.9 5


[0086] As shown in Table 4, above, the Inventive Examples 1 and 2 containing the multi-stage acrylic copolymers of the present invention provided acceptable melt strength and lubrication properties. In contrast, to achieve the same melt strength and lubrication properties in the Comparative Examples, a physical blend of 2/3 of the K130P melt strength polymeric additive and 1/3 of the K-175P lubricant polymeric additive was required to match the properties of the inventive multi-stage acrylic copolymer.


Claims

1. A thermoplastic polymer composition comprising (i) a vinyl halide polymer, and (ii) from 0.1 to 12 phr (parts solids per hundred weight parts solids of vinyl halide polymer) of a multi-stage acrylic copolymer having a first stage polymer and a second stage polymer, (A) the first stage polymer of from 25 to 78.5 wt.%, of, in copolymerized form, (a) at least one C1 to C6 alkyl methacrylate or C1 to C4 alkyl acrylate, from 0 to 75 wt.% of (b) one or more other polar vinyl monomers, and no more than 10 wt.% of (c) vinyl aromatic monomers, all monomer proportions, based on the total weight of monomers used to make the first stage polymer, the first stage polymer having a weight average molecular weight as measured by gel permeation chromatography (GPC) against polystyrene standards of from 1 x 106 to 10 x 106 g/mol and having a glass transition temperature as calculated by the Fox Equation (calculated Tg) of from 70 to 105 °C; and (B) a second stage polymer of, in copolymerized form, (d) at least one C4 to C18 alkyl acrylate or C8 to C18 alkyl methacrylate, from 0 to 75 wt.% total of (c) one or more vinyl aromatic monomers, and the remainder of (b) one or more polar vinyl monomers, all monomer proportions based on the total weight of monomers used to make the second stage polymer, the second stage polymer having a weight average molecular weight (Mw) as measured by GPC against polystyrene standards of from 1,000 to 100,000 g/mol, and having a calculated Tg of from -65 to 45°C, the solids weight ratio of the first stage polymer (A) to the second stage polymer (B) ranging from 1:3 to 7:1, wherein the multistage acrylic copolymer is substantially free of added acid group functional monomers and such monomers in copolymerized form.
 
2. The thermoplastic polymer composition as claimed in claim 1, wherein the multi-stage acrylic copolymer is a two-stage acrylic copolymer.
 
3. The thermoplastic polymer composition as claimed in claim 1, wherein the first stage polymer (A) comprises, in copolymerized form, methyl methacrylate, butyl acrylate, ethyl acrylate, mixtures thereof, or mixtures thereof with methyl methacrylate as the (a) at least one C1 to C6 alkyl methacrylate or C1 to C4 alkyl acrylate.
 
4. The thermoplastic polymer composition as claimed in claim 1, wherein the first stage polymer (A) comprises, in copolymerized form, 2.5 wt.% or less, of vinyl aromatic monomers (c).
 
5. The thermoplastic polymer composition as claimed in claim 1, wherein the second stage polymer (B) comprises, in copolymerized form, as the (d) at least one C4 to C18 alkyl acrylate or C8 to C18 alkyl methacrylate, any of butyl acrylate, ethylhexyl acrylate, lauryl methacrylate, mixtures thereof, or mixtures thereof with methyl methacrylate.
 
6. The thermoplastic polymer composition as claimed in claim 1, wherein the solids weight ratio of the first stage polymer (A) to the second stage polymer (B) ranges from 4:5 to 5:2.
 
7. The thermoplastic polymer composition as claimed in claim 1, wherein the (ii) multi-stage acrylic copolymer is substantially free of added graftlinking monomers and crosslinking monomers and such monomers in copolymerized form.
 
8. The thermoplastic polymer composition as claimed in claim 1, wherein the (i) vinyl halide polymer is a vinyl chloride polymer having a K value of from 49 to 73.
 
9. A method of making a thermoplastic composition having a single polymeric additive comprises:

polymerizing in a reactor at a starting temperature of from 5 to 40 °C, in the presence of an initiator or a redox pair a first monomer mixture in water or an aqueous medium of (a) from 25 to 78.5 wt.% of at least one C1 to C6 alkyl methacrylate or C1 to C4 alkyl acrylate, (b) from 0 to 75 wt.% of one or more other polar vinyl monomers, and (c) no more than 10 wt.% of vinyl aromatic monomers, all monomer proportions, based on the total weight of monomers in the first monomer mixture, to form a first stage polymer (A) having a weight average molecular weight as measured by gel permeation chromatography (GPC) against polystyrene standards of from 1 x 106 to 10 x 106 g/mol and having a glass transition temperature as calculated by the Fox Equation (calculated Tg) of from 70 to 105 °C; and, sequentially polymerizing in the presence of the first stage polymer a second monomer mixture of (d) at least one C4 to C18 alkyl acrylate or C8 to C18 alkyl methacrylate, (c) from 0 to 75 wt.% of total vinyl aromatic monomers, and (b) the remainder of one or more other polar vinyl monomers, all monomer proportions based on the total weight of monomers in the second monomer mixture, to form a second stage polymer (B) having a weight average molecular weight (Mw) as measured by GPC against polystyrene standards of from 1,000 to 100,000 g/mol, and having a calculated Tg of from -65 to 45°C, the total solids weight ratio of the first monomer mixture to the second monomer mixture ranging from 1:3 to 7:1, wherein the first and second monomer mixture is substantially free of and has 0.1 wt.% or less of acid group functional monomers;

drying the thus formed polymer to form a multi-stage acrylic copolymeric additive powder; and,

providing (i) a vinyl halide polymer and blending it with the multi-stage acrylic copolymeric additive to form a thermoplastic polymer composition.


 
10. The thermoplastic polymer composition as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 7, or the method as claimed in claim 9, wherein the (i) vinyl halide polymer is a vinyl chloride polymer, and wherein the vinyl chloride polymer is a homopolymer or a copolymer of vinyl chloride with up to 20 wt.%, of, in copolymerized form, nonionic acrylic or vinyl comonomers.
 
11. The thermoplastic polymer composition as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 7, or the method as claimed in claim 9, wherein the vinyl halide polymer is polyvinyl chloride (PVC).
 


Ansprüche

1. Eine thermoplastische Polymerzusammensetzung, die Folgendes beinhaltet: (i) ein Vinylhalogenidpolymer und (ii) zu 0,1 bis 12 phr (Teile Feststoffe pro hundert Gewichtsteile Feststoffe von Vinylhalogenidpolymer) ein mehrstufiges Acrylcopolymer, das ein Erststufenpolymer und ein Zweitstufenpolymer aufweist, (A) das Erststufenpolymer zu 25 bis 78,5 Gew.-% von, in copolymerisierter Form, (a) mindestens einem C1- bis C6-Alkylmethacrylat oder C1- bis C4-Alkylacrylat, zu 0 bis 75 Gew.-% von (b) einem oder mehreren anderen polaren Vinylmonomeren und nicht mehr als 10 Gew.-% von (c) aromatischen Vinylmonomeren, alle Monomeranteile bezogen auf das Gesamtgewicht der Monomere, die zum Herstellen des Erststufenpolymers verwendet werden, wobei das Erststufenpolymer ein Gewichtsmittel des Molekulargewichts, wie durch Gelpermeationschromatographie (GPC) gegen Polystyrolstandards gemessen, von 1 x 106 bis 10 x 106 g/mol aufweist und eine Glasübergangstemperatur, wie durch die Fox-Gleichung (berechnete Tg) berechnet, von 70 bis 105 °C aufweist; und (B) ein Zweitstufenpolymer von, in copolymerisierter Form, (d) mindestens einem C4- bis C18-Alkylacrylat oder C8- bis C18-Alkylmethacrylat, zu 0 bis 75 Gew.-% insgesamt von (c) einem oder mehreren aromatischen Vinylmonomeren und dem Rest von (b) einem oder mehreren polaren Vinylmonomeren, alle Monomeranteile bezogen auf das Gesamtgewicht der Monomere, die zum Herstellen des Zweitstufenpolymers verwendet werden, wobei das Zweitstufenpolymer ein Gewichtsmittel des Molekulargewichts (MG), wie durch GPC gegen Polystyrolstandards gemessen, von 1 000 bis 100 000 g/mol aufweist und eine berechnete Tg von -65 bis 45 °C aufweist, wobei das Feststoffegewichtsverhältnis des Erststufenpolymers (A) zu dem Zweitstufenpolymer (B) in dem Bereich von 1 : 3 bis 7 : 1 liegt, wobei das mehrstufige Acrylpolymer im Wesentlichen frei von hinzugegebenen funktionellen Säuregruppenmonomeren und solchen Monomeren in copolymerisierter Form ist.
 
2. Thermoplastische Polymerzusammensetzung gemäß Anspruch 1, wobei das mehrstufige Acrylcopolymer ein zweistufiges Acrylcopolymer ist.
 
3. Thermoplastische Polymerzusammensetzung gemäß Anspruch 1, wobei das Erststufenpolymer (A) in copolymerisierter Form Methylmethacrylat, Butylacrylat, Ethylacrylat, Mischungen davon oder Mischungen davon mit Methylmethacrylat als das (a) mindestens eine C1- bis C6-Alkylmethacrylat oder C1- bis C4-Alkylacrylat beinhaltet.
 
4. Thermoplastische Polymerzusammensetzung gemäß Anspruch 1, wobei das Erststufenpolymer (A) in copolymerisierter Form zu 2,5 Gew.-% oder weniger ein aromatisches Vinylmonomer (c) beinhaltet.
 
5. Thermoplastische Polymerzusammensetzung gemäß Anspruch 1, wobei das Zweitstufenpolymer (B) in copolymerisierter Form als das (d) mindestens eine C4- bis C18-Alkylacrylat oder C8- bis C18-Alkylmethacrylat ein beliebiges von Butylacrylat, Ethylhexylacrylat, Laurylmethacrylat, Mischungen davon oder Mischungen davon mit Methylmethacrylat beinhaltet.
 
6. Thermoplastische Polymerzusammensetzung gemäß Anspruch 1, wobei das Feststoffegewichtsverhältnis des Erststufenpolymers (A) zu dem Zweitstufenpolymer (B) im Bereich von 4 : 5 bis 5 : 2 liegt.
 
7. Thermoplastische Polymerzusammensetzung gemäß Anspruch 1, wobei das (ii) mehrstufige Acrylcopolymer im Wesentlichen frei von hinzugegebenen pfropfvernetzenden Monomeren und vernetzenden Monomeren und solchen Monomeren in copolymerisierter Form ist.
 
8. Thermoplastische Polymerzusammensetzung gemäß Anspruch 1, wobei das (i) Vinylhalogenidpolymer ein Vinylchloridpolymer ist, das einen K-Wert von 49 bis 73 aufweist.
 
9. Ein Verfahren zum Herstellen einer thermoplastischen Zusammensetzung, die einen einzelnen polymeren Zusatzstoff aufweist, beinhaltet Folgendes:

Polymerisieren, in Wasser oder einem wässrigen Medium, in einem Reaktor bei einer Anfangstemperatur von 5 bis 40 °C in Gegenwart eines Initiators oder eines Redoxpaares, einer ersten Monomermischung von (a) zu 25 bis 78,5 Gew.-% mindestens einem C1- bis C6-Alkylmethacrylat oder C1- bis C4-Alkylacrylat, (b) zu 0 bis 75 Gew.-% einem oder mehreren anderen polaren Vinylmonomeren und (c) nicht mehr als 10 Gew.-% aromatischen Vinylmonomeren, alle Monomeranteile bezogen auf das Gesamtgewicht an Monomeren in der ersten Monomermischung, um ein Erststufenpolymer (A) zu bilden, das ein Gewichtsmittel des Molekulargewichts, wie durch Gelpermeationschromatographie (GPC) gegen Polystyrolstandards gemessen, von 1 x 106 bis 10 x 106 g/mol aufweist und eine Glasübergangstemperatur, wie durch die Fox-Gleichung (berechnete Tg) berechnet, von 70 bis 105 °C aufweist; und

sequentielles Polymerisieren, in Gegenwart des Erststufenpolymers, einer zweiten Monomermischung von (d) mindestens einem C4- bis C18-Alkylacrylat oder C8- bis C18-Alkylmethacrylat, (c) zu 0 bis 75 Gew.-% aromatischen Gesamtvinylmonomeren und (b) dem Rest von einem oder mehreren anderen polaren Vinylmonomeren, alle Monomeranteile bezogen auf das Gesamtgewicht an Monomeren in der zweiten Monomermischung, um ein Zweitstufenpolymer (B) zu bilden, das ein Gewichtsmittel des Molekulargewichts (MG), wie durch GPC gegen Polystyrolstandards gemessen, von 1 000 bis 100 000 g/mol aufweist und eine berechnete Tg von -65 bis 45 °C aufweist, wobei das Gesamtfeststoffegewichtsverhältnis der ersten Monomermischung zu der zweiten Monomermischung im Bereich von 1 : 3 bis 7 : 1 liegt, wobei die erste und die zweite Monomermischung im Wesentlichen frei ist von und zu 0,1 Gew.-% oder weniger funktionelle Säuregruppenmonomere aufweist;

Trocknen des so gebildeten Polymers, um ein mehrstufiges Acrylcopolymerzusatzstoffpulver zu bilden; und

Bereitstellen (i) eines Vinylhalogenidpolymers und Vermischen davon mit dem mehrstufigen Acrylcopolymerzusatzstoff, um eine thermoplastische Polymerzusammensetzung zu bilden.


 
10. Thermoplastische Polymerzusammensetzung gemäß einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 7 oder das Verfahren gemäß Anspruch 9, wobei das (i) Vinylhalogenidpolymer ein Vinylchloridpolymer ist und wobei das Vinylchloridpolymer ein Homopolymer oder ein Copolymer von Vinylchlorid mit bis zu 20 Gew.-% von nichtionischen Acryl- oder Vinylcomonomeren in copolymerisierter Form ist.
 
11. Thermoplastische Polymerzusammensetzung gemäß einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 7 oder das Verfahren gemäß Anspruch 9, wobei das Vinylhalogenidpolymer Polyvinylchlorid (PVC) ist.
 


Revendications

1. Une composition de polymère thermoplastique comprenant (i) un polymère d'halogénure de vinyle, et (ii) de 0,1 à 12 pce (parties de solides pour cent parties en poids de parties de solides de polymère d'halogénure de vinyle) d'un copolymère acrylique à phases multiples ayant un polymère de première phase et un polymère de deuxième phase, (A) le polymère de première phase étant constitué de 25 à 78,5 % en poids, sous forme copolymérisée, (a) d'au moins un méthacrylate d'alkyle en C1 à C6 ou acrylate d'alkyle en C1 à C4, de 0 à 75 % en poids (b) d'un ou de plusieurs monomères vinyliques polaires, et pas plus de 10 % en poids (c) de monomères aromatiques vinyliques, toutes des proportions de monomère étant rapportées au poids total de monomères utilisés pour fabriquer le polymère de première phase, le polymère de première phase ayant une masse moléculaire moyenne en poids telle que mesurée par chromatographie par perméation sur gel (GPC) par rapport à des étalons de polystyrène allant de 1 x 106 à 10 x 106 g/mol et ayant une température de transition vitreuse telle que calculée par l'Équation de Fox (Tg calculée) allant de 70 à 105 °C ; et (B) un polymère de deuxième phase, sous forme copolymérisée, (d) d'au moins un acrylate d'alkyle en C4 à C18 ou méthacrylate d'alkyle en C8 à C18, de 0 à 75 % en poids total (c) d'un ou de plusieurs monomères aromatiques vinyliques, et le restant (b) d'un ou de plusieurs monomères vinyliques polaires, toutes les proportions de monomère étant rapportées au poids total de monomères utilisés pour fabriquer le polymère de deuxième phase, le polymère de deuxième phase ayant une masse moléculaire moyenne en poids (Mw) telle que mesurée par GPC par rapport à des étalons de polystyrène allant de 1 000 à 100 000 g/mol, et ayant une Tg calculée allant de -65 à 45 °C, le rapport en poids de solides du polymère de première phase (A) au polymère de deuxième phase (B) étant compris dans la gamme allant de 1/3 à 7/1, où le copolymère acrylique à phases multiples est substantiellement dépourvu de monomères fonctionnels de groupe acide ajoutés et de tels monomères sous forme copolymérisée.
 
2. La composition de polymère thermoplastique telle que revendiquée dans la revendication 1, où le copolymère acrylique à phases multiples est un copolymère acrylique à deux phases.
 
3. La composition de polymère thermoplastique telle que revendiquée dans la revendication 1, où le polymère de première phase (A) comprend, sous forme copolymérisée, du méthacrylate de méthyle, de l'acrylate de butyle, de l'acrylate d'éthyle, des mélanges de ceux-ci, ou des mélanges de ceux-ci avec du méthacrylate de méthyle en tant que (a) l'au moins un méthacrylate de méthyle en C1 à C6 ou acrylate d'alkyle en C1 à C4.
 
4. La composition de polymère thermoplastique telle que revendiquée dans la revendication 1, où le polymère de première phase (A) comprend, sous forme polymérisée, 2,5 % en poids ou moins, de monomères aromatiques vinyliques (c).
 
5. La composition de polymère thermoplastique telle que revendiquée dans la revendication 1, où le polymère de deuxième phase (B) comprend, sous forme copolymérisée, en tant que (d) l'au moins un acrylate d'alkyle en C4 à C18 ou méthacrylate d'alkyle en C8 à C18, un composant quelconque parmi de l'acrylate de butyle, de l'acrylate d'éthylhexyle, du méthacrylate de lauryle, des mélanges de ceux-ci, ou des mélanges de ceux-ci avec du méthacrylate de méthyle.
 
6. La composition de polymère thermoplastique telle que revendiquée dans la revendication 1, où le rapport en poids de solides du polymère de première phase (A) au polymère de deuxième phase (B) est compris dans l'intervalle allant de 4/5 à 5/2.
 
7. La composition de polymère thermoplastique telle que revendiquée dans la revendication 1, où (ii) le copolymère acrylique à phases multiples est substantiellement dépourvu de monomères de liaison par greffage et de monomères de réticulation ajoutés et de tels monomères sous forme copolymérisée.
 
8. La composition de polymère thermoplastique telle que revendiquée dans la revendication 1, où (i) le polymère d'halogénure de vinyle est un polymère de chlorure de vinyle ayant une valeur K allant de 49 à 73.
 
9. Un procédé de fabrication d'une composition thermoplastique ayant un adjuvant polymère unique comprend :

la polymérisation dans un réacteur à une température de départ allant de 5 à 40 °C, en présence d'un amorceur ou d'une paire redox, d'un premier mélange de monomères dans de l'eau ou un milieu aqueux (a) de 25 à 78,5 % en poids d'au moins un méthacrylate d'alkyle en C1 à C6 ou acrylate d'alkyle en C1 à C4, (b) de 0 à 75 % en poids d'un ou de plusieurs autres monomères vinyliques polaires, et (c) pas plus de 10 % en poids de monomères aromatiques vinyliques, toutes des proportions de monomère étant rapportées au poids total de monomères dans le premier mélange de monomères, afin de former un polymère de première phase (A) ayant une masse moléculaire moyenne en poids telle que mesurée par chromatographie par perméation sur gel (GPC) par rapport à des étalons de polystyrène allant de 1 x 106 à 10 x 106 g/mol et ayant une température de transition vitreuse telle que calculée par l'Équation de Fox (Tg calculée) allant de 70 à 105 °C ; et la polymérisation séquentielle en présence du polymère de première phase d'un deuxième mélange de monomères (d) d'au moins un acrylate d'alkyle en C4 à C18 ou méthacrylate d'alkyle en C8 à C18, (c) de 0 à 75 % en poids de monomères aromatiques vinyliques totaux, et (b) le restant d'un ou de plusieurs autres monomères vinyliques polaires, toutes les proportions de monomère étant rapportées au poids total de monomères dans le deuxième mélange de monomères, afin de former un polymère de deuxième phase (B) ayant une masse moléculaire moyenne en poids (Mw) telle que mesurée par GPC par rapport à des étalons de polystyrène allant de 1 000 à 100 000 g/mol, et ayant une Tg calculée allant de -65 à 45 °C, le rapport en poids de solides total du premier mélange de monomères au deuxième mélange de monomères étant compris dans l'intervalle allant de 1/3 à 7/1, où le premier et le deuxième mélange de monomères sont substantiellement dépourvus de et ont 0,1 % en poids ou moins de monomères fonctionnels de groupe acide ;

le séchage du polymère ainsi formé afin de former une poudre d'adjuvant copolymère acrylique à phases multiples ; et,

la fourniture (i) d'un polymère d'halogénure de vinyle et le mélange homogène de celui-ci avec l'adjuvant copolymère acrylique à phases multiples afin de former une composition de polymère thermoplastique.


 
10. La composition de polymère thermoplastique telle que revendiquée dans n'importe laquelle des revendications 1 à 7, ou le procédé tel que revendiqué dans la revendication 9, où (i) le polymère d'halogénure de vinyle est un polymère de chlorure de vinyle, et où le polymère de chlorure de vinyle est un homopolymère ou un copolymère de chlorure de vinyle présentant jusqu'à 20 % en poids, sous forme copolymérisée, de comonomères vinyliques ou acryliques non ioniques.
 
11. La composition de polymère thermoplastique telle que revendiquée dans n'importe laquelle des revendications 1 à 7, ou le procédé tel que revendiqué dans la revendication 9, où le polymère d'halogénure de vinyle est un chlorure de polyvinyle (PVC).
 






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