BlocBuilder® Controlled Radical Polymerization Technology an Exclusive Arkema Technology Offering

15 Feb 2008 • by Natalie Aster

Arkema developed and is promoting a unique technology based on controlled radical polymerization using nitroxides. This technology, trademarked as BlocBuilder®, is used to produce copolymers with controlled architectures using standard industrial equipment.

BlocBuilder® technology consists of an initiating species and a nitroxide polymerization controller combined into one molecule. When copolymerizing two or more monomers with traditional radical initiators, the resultant polymers have a random structure and the properties are an average of the monomers used. BlocBuilder® provides a straightforward and robust method to produce novel block copolymers from two or more monomers (the composition of each polymer segment is controlled) and this controlled material preserves the inherent properties of each polymer segment combining them into one composite material. BlocBuilder® technology offers many other advantages including, process flexibility (bulk, solvent, and aqueous), broad selection of monomer types (styrenic, acrylic, methacrylic, functional, etc.), and the absence of metallic and sulfur by-products.

BlocBuilder® controlled radical polymerization technology enables the design of compounds with very different architectures and compositions, including block copolymers, functionalized copolymers, gradient copolymers, hybrid organic/inorganic systems, star polymers, polymer brushes, and many others.

The potential uses of BlocBuilder® are varied and can include: modification of thermoplastic and thermoset polymers (impact strength, improvement of optical qualities), dispersants for paint and ink, latex for paint, adhesives, encapsulation and controlled release of active compounds, oil and lubricant additives, dispersion stabilizers, modification of surface properties and many others.

The US magazine Nanotech Briefs® recently announced BlocBuilder® as a winner of the third annual Nano 50 awards, which recognizes the top 50 technologies and product innovations that are expected to impact significantly the state of the art in nanotechnology, by helping them move into key mainstream markets.

A global chemical player, Arkema consists of 3 coherent and related business segments: Vinyl Products, Industrial Chemicals, and Performance Products. Present in over 40 countries with 17,000 employees, Arkema achieves sales of 5.7 billion euros. With its 6 research centers in France, the United States and Japan, and internationally recognized brands, Arkema holds leadership positions in its principal markets.

Source: Arkema