The polymerization of VCM

- May 14, 2019-

The polymerization of VCM is started by compounds called initiators that are mixed into the droplets. These compounds break down to start the radical chain reaction. Typical initiators include dioctanoyl peroxide and dicetyl peroxydicarbonate, both of which have fragile O-O bonds. Some initiators start the reaction rapidly but decay quickly, and other initiators have the opposite effect. A combination of two different initiators is often used to give a uniform rate of polymerization. After the polymer has grown by about 10 times, the short polymer precipitates inside the droplet of VCM, and polymerization continues with the precipitated, solvent-swollen particles. The weight average molecular weights of commercial polymers range from 100,000 to 200,000, and the number average molecular weights range from 45,000 to 64,000.