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Solubility and diffusivity of methylmethacrylate and butylacrylate monomers in a MMA-BA copolymer
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Mutual diffusion coefficients and sorption isotherms of methyl methacrylate (MMA) and butyl acrylate (BA) monomers in methyl methacrylate-butyl acrylate copolymer (MMA-BA) have been measured by gravimetric sorption. MMA is found to have higher solubility and diffusion rates in the copolymer than BA. Sorption data for MMA were interpreted using classical Flory-Huggins thermodynamic theory with a constant interaction parameter (χ). A modified version of this theory has been applied to correlate the sorption data of BA, which exhibit a temperature and concentration-dependent χ parameter. For MMA, the isotherm data reveal enhanced polymer-solvent interactions with increasing temperature, while for BA the data indicate a drive toward phase separation with increasing temperature. Despite the difference in thermodynamic behavior, both monomers are found to exhibit Fickian diffusion and the diffusivity data are correlated reasonably well with the Vrentas-Duda free volume theory. Some deviation between the free-volume correlation and the experimental data is observed at the lowest temperature and BA concentration examined.