Methacrylonitrile - An Overview

Asahi Kasei began the world's first volume production of methacrylonitrile monomer (MAN) in 1984, and is today the world's only producer of MAN for the commercial market.

MAN readily forms copolymers with acrylonitrile, butadiene, styrene, acrylic and methacrylic acids and esters, and other monomers, resulting in MAN-copolymers which show enhanced heat stability, solvent resistance, gas barrier properties, physical strength and cohesion.

With these characteristics, MAN holds the potential for broad and growing adoption as a comonomer in the production of an expanding range of resins and plastics, paints and coatings, and other new copolymer products and applications.

Basic reaction of MAN production

Tertiary Butyl Alcohol + Ammonia
->Methacyronitrile (CH2=C(CH3)-CN)

Basic role and effects of MAN in MAN-copolymers

  • In copolymers containing MAN (MAN-copolymers), the effects of the MAN are governed largely by the properties of its CN group and its alpha-position CH3 group.

  • The high polarity of the CN group tends to immobilize the MAN-copolymer, resulting in increased cohesion and strength, solvent resistance, gas barrier, and adhesion to other polar surfaces.

  • In itsalphaposition, the CH3 group tends to block close packing between adjacent MAN-copolymer chains. In comparison with acrylonitrile copolymers (AN-copolymers), this results in enhanced thermoplastic properties and increased thermal color stability, as well as greater creep resistance and higher heat-distortion temperatures.

  • The steric protection of the CN group by CH3 group, and its balancing effect on the electron attraction of the CN group, contribute to the stability of MAN-copolymers.

Typical current applications and benefits of MAN-copolymers

Applications Key benefits
SB Latex -Resistance to tacking for coating roll
-Resistance to hydrolysis, alkali attack
-Color stability
-Heat stability
Vinylidene Latex -Barrier to gas passage
-Resistance to hydrolysis, alkali attack
-Color stability
-Heat stability
Microcapsules for printing inks,
wall papers and other products
-Barrier to gas passage

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