Document Type



Master of Science


Polymer Science and Engineering

First Adviser

Raymond Pearson


Rheology modifiers play an important role in formulating personal care products by providing rheology to the components it is added to. Most skin care formulations are oil in water systems which require rheology modifiers that are hydrophilic in nature such as polymeric rheology modifiers. Some of the polymeric rheology modifiers provide rheology through associations whereas others impart thickening efficiency through hydrodynamic volume increase. There is a potential in developing polymeric rheology modifiers through combination of different chemistries such as Polyacrylate based comonomers copolymerized with modified sulfonic acid chemistry. In this case study, gels prepared from three polyacrylate and 2-acrylamido-2-methyl-propanosulfonic acid (AMPS) based copolymers in aqueous solution are evaluated for their swelling efficiency. The comonomer chemistry, monomer ratio and cross-linking density present in the copolymers influence properties provided by these copolymer such as polymer-solvent interactions, kinetics and degree of swelling, solvent compatibility, thickening efficiency and viscoelastic properties. The assessment of rheology and viscoelastic properties of the copolymers using rotational rheometer will help determine the viscosity efficiency and gel structure strength (elastic and viscous moduli) of the polymer. The three copolymers synthesized from acrylate based comonomers and AMPS chemistry showed thickening efficiency as well as viscoelastic property in polar solvents indicating their potential in being a rheology modifier for the personal care industry.