Science and Technology of Polymer Colloids: Characterization, Stabilization and Application Properties

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Science and Technology of Polymer Colloids G. W. Poehlein, R. H. Ottewill, J. W. Goodwin (editors) Polymer colloids, more commonly known as latexes, are important in the manufacture of synthetic elastomers, commodity polymers, surface coatings, adhesive and numerous specialty products. The significant growth of the commercial production of polymer latexes during the past decade has been due to a number of factors. First, water-based systems, especially paints and coatings, avoid many of the environ- mental problems associated with the solvent-based systems. Second, polymer colloid products can be custom designed to meet a wide range of application requirements. Third, large scale emulsion polymeri- zation proceeds smoothly and controllably with a wide range of monomers to produce stable polymer colloids of high molecular weight Polymer colloids are also important in functional scientific studies This importance arises from the spherical shape of the particles, range of attainable particle diameters and the uniformity of their size distribution, and the possibility of controlling and character- izing the particle surface. Polymer colloids are useful as size standards in microscopy and in instrument calibration, and as carriers in antibody-enzyme diagnosti, tests. As suspensions of uniform spherical particles, they are idea. experimental systems to test the series of colloidal phenomena as stability and coagulation, electric kinetic or rheological proper- ties, and light scattering. In recent years, polymer colloids have received attention as models for many-body molecular phenomena, including the order-disorder transitions and the mechanics of crystalline phases.