Free Radical Solution Polymerisation for Polymer Manufacture

The R&D group of an international inkjet supplier developed a new range of products in-house but had no manufacturing facility for free radical solution polymerisation . They looked to Witton as their contract manufacturing partner to scale up and manufacture these materials.

Scale up has involved :-

  • Initial work in the solvent selected by the customer demonstrated that due to the long processing time required this would not give the price that was required by the business unit to successfully launch the product.
  • Identifying an alternative solvent provided a route to manufacture the correct product at the right price.

Subsequently the customer discovered a potential issue with the byproducts of the initiator they chose for the reaction:-

  • To overcome this issue a distillation step has been added to the process to remove the initiator byproducts.
  • This requires the use of a second larger vessel.
  • Analytical testing was developed to demonstrate the removal of the troublesome by-products.

Following further development the distillation was refined and optimized to minimise waste and cost.

A number of related grades have been trialed and scaled up to full scale manufacture.

We have just started to supply a 2nd recently commissioned customer site on another continent. 

We are currently installing a new dedicated manufacturing suite to reduce cost per kilo and to accommodate expected further increases in total worldwide demand.