Visualization of interfacial urethane polymerizations by means of a new microstage reactor

Steven D. Fields*, Edwin L. Thomas, Julio M. Ottino

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Mixing activated polymerizations, such as RIM urethane polymerizations, may evolve from an imperfectly mixed state; this can drastically modify the characteristics of the polymer formed. Here we focus on the basic building block of the unmixed state: a single interface between reactive monomers. We present a reactor which allows the visualization of the inerface by using an optical microscope and use it to document a variety of phenomena for two and three component urethane polymerizations: (1) the interface may or may not be stable, producing fingering, roll cells, or spontaneous generation of interfacial area, (2) different types of domains (e.g. crystalline or phase-separated) may be formed on opposite sides of the interface, and (3) hard and soft domains may be segregated for the three component polymerization due to diffusional effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1423-1432
Number of pages10
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1986


  • instabilities
  • interfacial polymerization
  • polyurethane reactions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Organic Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry


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