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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2015, Article ID 137646, 7 pages
Research Article

Preparation of Associative Polyurethane Thickener and Its Thickening Mechanism Research

1East China University of Science and Technology, Shanghai 200237, China
2Shanghai Institute of Technology, Shanghai 200235, China

Received 24 July 2015; Revised 6 September 2015; Accepted 17 September 2015

Academic Editor: John Zhanhu Guo

Copyright © 2015 Gao Nan et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Associative polyurethane (PU) thickener has been synthesized by preparing the prepolymer with the reaction of polyethylene glycol (PEG) and isophorone diisocyanate (IPDI), which then end-capping with long-chain alkanol. The synthesis process, as well as hydrophilic chain length, theoretical molecular weight, solvent ratio, and thickener percentages, has been researched. The results shows that it reaches the upmost thickening effect when the theoretical molecular weight is under 20000, soft-segment length is under 4000, solvent ratio is 1 : 1, and thickener percentages are controlled at 10%. Furthermore, thickening mechanism of PU thickener has been analyzed detailedly through the measurement of the critical micelle concentration (CMC) of PU thickener and analysis of the influence of PU thickener on the particle size and morphology of PU dispersions. It has been observed from the scanning electron microscopy (SEM) that the PU aqueous dispersions produce a certain degree of flocculation when the PU thickener was added, and this flocculation structure has been proved to be a thixotropic structure through the characterization of the change of particle size before and after the thickener is introduced into the PU aqueous dispersions. The CMC measurement results present that the thickening effect will be apparent when the concentration is controlled in a low range.