New, radiation-curable coatings will be developed based on new photo-reactive monomers. These new monomers will be synthesized to produce high-performance coatings and adhesives with absolutely no volatile organic compounds (VOC's). This proposed research area represents a combined chemistry and characterization effort aimed at improving the efficiency and environmental appropriateness of the UV radiation curing process, broadening the appeal of this polymer processing technique for the coatings industry. [McCoy, 2000 #2015; Weiss, 1997 #3032] The primarwill be reducing the emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from an expanding industry in the US and designing/testing new materials for biodegradable coatings.
The principal advantages for ultraviolet (UV) radiation curing include: 1. High processing speed (millisecond);.2. High spatial resolution; 3. Accommodation of unusual geometry (even 3-D); 4. Processing can take place at ambient temperature; 5. Environmentally friendly, based on a 100% solid formulation having no toxic byproducts.
Synthesis of New Environmentally Friendly Radiation Curable Materials - Most solutions proposed to date have focused on the introduction of large substituents on the ester group of the acrylate moiety. Acceptable reactivities are generally maintained, but this approach requires the use of acrylic acid to synthesize the monomer. Although still used in the US, this line of investigation is not entirely reasonable since these monomers will soon be banned in Europe due to EC environmental and safety regulations. Expanding on previous studies, we propose to further investigate whether -substituted acrylates, potentially much less toxic than currently available candidates, can be utilized as coating materials. We propose, in particular, to evaluate the efficiency of four related classes of captodative monomers: -alkoxyacrylates (1), siloxyacrylates (2), -acyloxyacrylates (3), and dehydroalanine derivatives (4). All of these monomers have already been shown to be polymerizable under free-radical conditions. Their use as reactive diluents in UV-curing has not yet been investigated.