Correlating Molecular Structure to the Behavior of Linear Styrene- Butadiene Viscosity Modifiers

US Ramasamy and M Len and A Martini, TRIBOLOGY LETTERS, 65, 147 (2017).

DOI: 10.1007/s11249-017-0926-5

The effect of linear styrene-butadiene polymer structure on the temperature-viscosity behavior of model polymer-base oil solutions is investigated using molecular dynamics simulations. Simulations of alternating, random, and block styrene-butadiene polymers in a dodecane solvent are used to calculate viscosity at 40 and 100 degrees C, reference temperatures for characterizing their function as viscosity modifiers. Mechanisms underlying this function are explored by quantifying the radius of gyration and intramolecular interactions of the polymers at the same reference temperatures. The block styrene- butadiene configuration exhibits the least change in viscosity with temperature, characteristic of a good viscosity modifier or viscosity index improver, and the behavior is correlated to the ability of this structure to form smaller coils with more intramolecular interactions at lower temperatures and then expand as temperature is increased. The results indicate that there is a correlation between styrene-butadiene polymer structure, additive function, and the mechanisms underlying that function.

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