Cationic vs. Anionic Polymers
A Quick Overview
Emulsion acrylic polymers are a versatile and vital part of paints, coatings, and inks, and other diverse applications in industries ranging from engineering to avionics to biomedical and drug delivery systems. The most common categories of polymers found in real-world applications, and the most common ones that Gellner works with, are cationic and anionic polymers.
Gellner offers a wide range of products for all your acrylic polymer needs. However, we know that choosing the right polymer can be a difficult task with all the different products out there. While both categories of polymers have their advantages and disadvantages, and the applications that they are best suited for.
Here are some quick facts so that you can better get to know these two major types of polymers so that you can better understand what polymers will be best for your final product
Cationic polymers are created through the similarly named cationic polymerization. In this reaction, a cation (an ion with a positive charge) transfers its charge to a monomer to form the positively-charged polymer, which consequently grows by reacting with other monomers.
Cationic polymers are not used as widespread, because there are only a few polymers that can successfully execute cationic polymerization.
Because they are cationic or positively charged, cationic polymers can adhere to many surfaces in the world that the more common anionic polymers cannot adhere to.
Well suited for alkali resistance and adhesion to non-porous substances.
Gellner’s cationic polymers, such as Ottopol KO, has freeze/thaw stability of five cycles.
Anionic polymers are created through a similar chain growth reaction called anionic polymerization. The process is the same, but in this case a negatively charged ion, called an anion, reacts with a neutral monomer to form the consequent polymer.
Anionic polymers are more widespread, as there are many polymers out there that can execute anionic polymerization.
Many surfaces in the world are anionic or negatively charged, so Anionic polymers have less ability to adhere to these surfaces.
Versatile and used in high pigment ink, printing, and have fairly good adherence to a variety of surfaces.
Some types of anionic polymers like epoxys cannot be used outdoors due to their poor UV resistance which causes yellowing.
Overall, cationic polymers tend to be more versatile for acrylics than anionic polymers due to their positive charge and properties. Gellner’s newest product, Ottopol KO, is a cationic polymer with excellent stain-blocking properties, as well as the ability to adhere to most surfaces. It can block a number of different stains as well as be applied to damp walls, sealing in water damage. To learn more about Ottopol KO or the other polymers that we develop, check out our website or contact us here for more information!