Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Chemistry and Pharmacology
Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics
Abstract Polyacrylate microgels used as absorbers or viscosifiers in water are known to have these useful qualities reduced in the presence of linear poly-electrolytes. An osmotic deswelling mechanism is postulated whereby the counterions from linear chains sterically excluded from the gel act to draw solvent from the gel phase. This postulate is tested using intrinsic viscosity measurements of Carbopol microgels, made with the linear polyelectrolyte considered as parr of the solvent. The intrinsic viscosity is used to calculate the swollen-to-dry volume ratio for the microgel in the presence or absence of 0.1% linear sodium polyacrylate over a range in ionic strength. Simultaneously, a standard treatment for the free energy of a network of non-Gaussian chains containing fixed charges is modified to include the osmotic effect of the excluded counterions. In the absence of linear polymer, the theory is fit to the data, the fitting parameter being the 3100 monomer units between crosslink sites in the network. In the presence of high (350 000) molecular weight linear polymer, good agreement is found between the observed deswelling and that predicted if the linear chains are totally excluded. Lower molecular weight linear chains are found to give a reduced deswelling which is shown to be self-consistent with their partitioning into the network.
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