Fluid dynamics of the phase inversion process in the bulk polymerization of high impact polystyrene

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2021
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Maffi, Juan M.
Estenoz, Diana
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"In the synthesis of HIPS, phase inversion (PI) is the critical point at which a dispersed PS-rich phase becomes a continuous matrix, leaving behind a PB-rich phase as dispersed particles that may contain occluded PS-rich droplets inside (occlusions). The size and shape of these particles essentially determine the mechanical properties of the material, which makes PI a critical point during the reaction. In this work, the most popular mechanism for PI – an imbalance between coalescence and break-up of dispersed particles – is assessed through a population balance model, coupled with a heterogeneous polymerization model. Results are adjusted and discussed with experimental evidence gathered from TEM images."
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