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Polymer Library

Articles, announcements and product news related to water-based specialty polymers. Stay informed by signing up for our newsletter.

Recent Posts

The Next Generation of Polymer-Modified Concrete

As explained in the “Introduction to Polymer-Modified Concrete,” when polymers are added to concrete, the resulting material is known as polymer-modified concrete (PMC), polymer cement concrete (PCC) or, when it’s used specifically on bridge decking, as latex-modified concrete (LMC). The many advantages of using PMC, PCC...

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What is the Difference Between Carboxylated and Non-Carboxylated?

Choosing a polymer for your project: carboxylated or non-carboxylated?

Carboxylated latexes are the most widely used of all commercial latexes. When selecting the best emulsion polymer for your project, however, why would you choose a carboxylated polymer over a non-carboxylated polymer? It comes down to one property:...

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Acrylic Polymers

What Are Acrylic Polymers and How Are They Used?

Acrylic polymer emulsions are one of the great success stories of modern industrial chemistry. The science behind this versatile class of polymers was perfected just after World War II, driven by an unprecedented housing boom and the demand for more versatile, more...

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Styrene-acrylic Polymers

Styrene-acrylic emulsion polymers are based on a group of chemicals that are true workhorses in the field of polymer chemistry. Known as acrylates, this group includes acrylic acid and its esters — methyl acrylate, butyl acrylate, ethyl acrylate, and 2-ethylhexyl acrylate. All of these acrylic monomers are highly reactive...

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What is tack, peel, & shear?

If you lift the corner of a removable film, such as a protective coating applied to a mobile phone screen, it should pull away cleanly and easily. Try the same on a shipping label, and it should adhere stubbornly to the package. Both are adhesive applications, yet the needs are very different. The way an adhesive performs...

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Diversifying Your Supplier Network in Uncertain Times

Over the last year, as the COVID-19 pandemic has extended from days to weeks to months, many organizations have been thinking about business resilience. One vulnerability exposed by the pandemic has been the fragility of complex supply chains, which was manifested by petrochemical supply-side issues and diversion of...

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What are Synthetic Emulsion Polymers? 

Synthetic Emulsion Polymers: Chemistry and Applications

A synthetic emulsion polymer is a milky liquid that is used to manufacture many products we encounter every day. From barrier coatings on food wrappers to the pressure-sensitive adhesive of a sticky note to the liquid applied waterproofing membrane under shower tiles,...

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Explaining the Glass Transition Temperature


Hard and brittle? Soft and pliable? Or somewhere in between? The properties of polymers can vary greatly, and those properties can be tuned to meet a specific customer need. Whether you are considering a polymer for outdoor house paint or for the undercoating of an automobile, its behavior at the different temperatures...

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Emulsion Polymers for Automotive and Transportation Coatings

With problem-detecting sensors, wireless connections, cloud-based security and real-time navigation, it’s easy to think that the high-tech features in today’s hot rides are all electronic. That, however, would be overlooking some of the most remarkable technologies that are making cars safer, quieter, less expensive and...

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An Introduction to Vinyl Acetate-Based Polymers

Vinyl acetate monomers (VAM) are essential building blocks for a large number of water-based polymers. Vinyl acetate is prepared from ethylene by reacting it with oxygen and acetic acid over a palladium catalyst. The basic chemical reaction is shown below, along with the chemical structure of vinyl acetate monomer.

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What Are Nitrile Elastomers

Nitrile elastomers are emulsion polymers produced using rubber polymerization techniques. Also known as nitrile emulsions or nitrile latexes, these are dispersions of acrylonitrile and butadiene — or sometimes styrene — in water. Nitrile elastomers are true colloids, defined as a homogenous amorphous substance consisting...

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Amorphous vs. Crystalline Polymers

Polymers are unlike other types of materials because of their high molecular weight. Molecular weight is the value used to express the size of a molecule. Water, for example, has a molecular weight of 18 atomic mass units. Polymers are much larger, with molecular weights ranging from tens of thousands up to several million...

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