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Temperature Distribution Effects During Polymerization of Methacrylate-Based Monoliths

I. Mihelič, T. Koloini, A. Podgornik

Journal of Applied Polymer Science, Vol. 87, 2326-2334 (2003)

Monolithic stationary phases are becoming increasingly important in the field of liquid chromatography. Methacrylate-based monoliths are produced via free-radical bulk polymerization. The preparation of large-volume monoliths is a major problem because the intensive heat released during polymerization causes distortion of the porous monolithic structure. This work presents experimental measurements of temperature distributions during polymerization in moulds of different sizes and at various experimental conditions. A mathematical model for the prediction of temporal and spatial temperature distribution during the polymerization of methacrylate-based monolithic columns is introduced. The polymerization is described by an unsteady-state heat conduction equation with the generation of heat related to the general kinetics of polymerization. Predictions from the mathematical model are in good agreement with the experimental measurements at different experimental conditions. A method for construction of large-volume monolithic columns is presented and an attempt is made to adopt the developed mathematical model in annular geometry.

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