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Title:
AQUEOUS COMPOSITIONS THICKENED WITH ACRYLATE-BASED POLYMERIC RHEOLOGY MODIFIERS
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/1998/006757
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The present invention relates to aqueous compositions having pH of less than or equal to about 11 and which contain a thickening amount of an acrylate-based rheology modifier, which modifier contains an emulsion which is prepared by single-stage emulsion polymerization of a C�2?-C�6?alkyl ester of acrylic acid and/or C�1?-C�6?alkyl ester of methacrylic acid, a monomer chosen from a vinyl-substituted heterocyclic compound containing at least one of a nitrogen or sulfur atom, (meth)acrylamide, a mono- or di-(C�1?-C�4?)alkylamino (C�1?-C�4?)alkyl (meth)acrylate, a mono or di-(C�1?-C�4?)alkylamino (C�1?-C�4?)alkyl (meth)acrylamide, and optionally cross-linking monomers and/or associative monomers, in the presence of water, a first surfactant, a free-radical initiator and an alcohol selected from C�2?-C�12? linear or branched alcohols, ethylene glycol, propylene glycol and glycerol, or mixtures thereof, and essentially in the absence of a polymeric colloidal stabilizer such as polyvinyl alcohol, and which compositions further contain an active ingredient selected from the group consisting of an acid and a second surfactant which may be the same as or different than the first surfactant.

Inventors:
Verstrat, Daniel W. (9220 Hopi Trail, Ooltewah, TN, 37363, US)
Barron, Milagros C. (526 Forrester White Drive, Hixson, TN, 37343, US)
Wilkerson III, John M. (2113 Ashley Lane, Hixson, TN, 37343, US)
Application Number:
PCT/US1997/014317
Publication Date:
February 19, 1998
Filing Date:
August 14, 1997
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
NATIONAL STARCH AND CHEMICAL INVESTMENT HOLDING CORPORATION (3411 Silverside Road, Wilmington, DE, 19850, US)
International Classes:
C11D3/20; A61K8/23; A61K8/36; A61K8/365; A61K8/46; A61K8/81; A61K8/86; A61Q5/02; A61Q5/10; A61Q5/12; A61Q15/00; A61Q19/00; A61Q19/10; C08F2/22; C08F2/24; C08F220/12; C08F220/54; C08F226/06; C08L33/06; C08L33/24; C08L39/04; C09D5/02; C09D7/45; C09D11/10; C09J133/08; C11D3/37; C11D17/00; (IPC1-7): C08F2/24; C11D3/37; C09D7/00
Foreign References:
FR2353576A11977-12-30
EP0671157A11995-09-13
US5102936A1992-04-07
US5294692A1994-03-15
EP0055801A21982-07-14
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Dec, Ellen T. (National Starch and Chemical Company, 10 Finderne Avenue Bridgewater, NJ, 08807, US)
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Claims:
What is claim
1. ed: An aqueous composition having a pH of less than or equal to about 11 , comprising a thickening amount of a stable emulsion of a polymer, said emulsion prepared by singlestage emulsion polymerization of monomers selected from the group consisting of from about 5 to about 80 weight percent of an acrylate monomer (a) selected from the group consisting of a C2C6 alkyl ester of acrylic acid and a C.C6 alkyl ester of methacrylic acid, from about 5 to about 80 weight percent of a monomer (b) selected from the group consisting of a vinylsubstituted heterocychc compound containing at least one of a nitrogen or sulfur atom, (meth)acrylamιde, a mono or di (C,C4)alkylamιno (C,C4)alkyl (meth)acrylate, a mono or dι(C.C4)alkylamιno (C,C4)alkyl (meth)acrylamιde, 0 to about 2 weight percent of a crosslinking monomer (c), and 0 to about 30 weight percent of an associative monomer (d), all percentages based on the total weight of monomer, wherein said emulsion polymerization is conducted in the presence of water, a first surfactant in amounts effective to emulsify the polymer in the water, a freeradical initiator and from about 0 5 to about 20 weight percent of an alcohol selected from the group consisting of a C2C12 linear or branched monohydric alcohol and a nonpolymeric polyhydnc alcohol, based on the total weight of said emulsion, wherein said singlestage emulsion polymerization is conducted essentially in the absence of a polymeric colloidal stabilizer, and a minimum effective amount of an active ingredient selected from the group consisting of an acid and a second surfactant 2 The composition of Claim 1 wherein said emulsion comprises from about 15 to about 40 weight percent of said polymer, based on the total weight of said emulsion .
2. The composition of Claim 1 wherein said emulsion comprises from about 0 1 to about 5 weight percent of said first surfactant, based on the total weight of monomer, said first surfactant selected from the group consisting of anionic, cationic, nonionic, amphoteπc and zwitteπonic surfactants.
3. The composition of Claim 1 wherein said crosslinking monomer is selected from the group consisting of multivinylsubstituted aromatic monomers, alicychc monomers selected from the group consisting of cycloparrafins and cycloolefins, difunctional esters of phthalic acid, di functional esters of methacryhc acid, multifunctional esters of acrylic acid, dienes, tπenes, tetraenes, and NmethyleneBisacrylamide.
4. The composition of Claim 4 wherein said emulsion comprises from about 0 1 to about 1 weight percent of said crosslinking monomer, based on the total weight of monomer.
5. The composition of Claim 1 wherein said associative monomer is selected from the group consisting of urethane reaction products of a monoethylenically unsaturated isocyanate and nonionic surfactants comprising C C4 alkoxyterminated, block copolymers of 1 ,2butylene oxide and 1 ,2ethylene oxide an ethylenically unsaturated copolymeπzable surfactant monomer obtained by condensing a nonionic surfactant with methylenesuccimc, a surfactant monomer selected from the urea reaction product of a monoethylenically unsaturated monoisocyanate with a nonionic surfactant having amine functionality), and a nonionic urethane monomer which is the urethane reaction product of a monohydric nonionic surfactant with a monoethylenically unsaturated isocyanate.
6. The composition of Claim 6 wherein said emulsion comprises from about 0 1 to about 10 weight percent of said associative monomer, based on total weight of monomer.
7. The composition of Claim 1 wherein the monomer (b) is selected from the group consisting of N,Ndιmethylamιno ethyl methacrylate, N,N diethylamino ethyl acrylate, N,Ndιethylamιno ethyl methacrylate, Nt butylamino ethyl acrylate, Ntbutylamino ethyl methacrylate N,N dimethylamino propyl acrylamide, N Ndimethylamino propyl methacrylamide, N,N diethylammo propyl acrylamide and N Ndiethylamino propyl methacrylamide.
8. The composition of Claim 1 wherein said second surfactant is selected from the group consisting of anionic and nonionic surfactants.
9. The composition of Claim 9 wherein the second surfactant is present in a minimum cleansing amount, up to about 95 active weight percent, based on the total weight of said composition.
10. The composition of Claim 10 comprising from about 2 to about 95 active weight percent of said second surfactant, based on total weight of the thickened composition.
11. The composition of Claim 1 comprising from about 0 1 to about 95 active weight percent of said second surfactant, based on total weight of the thickened composition.
12. The composition of Claim 1 wherein the acid is present in a minimum cleansing amount, up to about 50 active weight percent, based on the total weight of said composition.
13. The composition of Claim 13 comprising from about 2 to about 50 active weight percent of said acid, based on the total weight of said composition.
14. The composition of Claim 13 comprising said second surfactant in amounts effective to improve the thickening efficiency of said emulsion.
15. The composition of Claim 1 comprising from about 0 1 to about 50 active weight percent of said acid, based on the total weight of said composition.
16. The composition of Claim 1 comprising from about 0 5 to about 20 dry weight percent of said polymer, based on total weight of said composition.
17. The composition of Claim 1 wherein said acid is selected from the group consisting of citric, sulfuric, hydrochloric, phosphoric, acetic, hydroxyacetic and sulfamic acids.
18. The composition of Claim 1 wherein said second surfactant is selected from the group consisting of sodium lauryl sulfate, (dι)alkylsulfosuccιnates, alkyl sulfonates, alkyl phosphates, alkyl ethoxylates and alkylaryl ethoxylates.
19. A composition for use as a rheology modifier in aqueous systems having pH of less than or equal to 11 , said composition comprising a stable emulsion of a polymer, said emulsion prepared by single stage emulsion polymerization of monomers selected from the group consisting of from about 5 to about 80 weight percent of an acrylate monomer (a) selected from the group consisting of a C2C6 alkyl esters of acrylic acid and a C.C6 alkyl ester of methacryhc acid, from about 5 to about 80 weight percent of a monomer (b) selected from the group consisting of a vinylsubstituted heterocychc compound containing at least one of a nitrogen or sulfur atom, (meth)acrylamιde, a mono or di (C*C4)alkylamιno (C,C4)alkyl (meth)acrylate, a mono or dι(C.C4)aikylamιno (C.C,)alkyl (meth)acrylamιde, 0 to about 2 weight percent of a crosslinking monomer (c), and 0 to about 30 weight percent of an associative monomer (d), all percentages based on the total weight of monomer, wherein said emulsion polymerization is conducted in the presence of water, a surfactant in amounts effective to emulsify the polymer in the water, a free radical initiator, and from about 0 5 to about 20 weight percent of an alcohol selected from the group consisting of a C2C12 linear or branched monohydric alcohol and a nonpolymeric polyhydric alcohol, based on the total weight of said emulsion, wherein said emulsion polymerization is conducted essentially in the absence of a polymeric colloidal stabilizer .
20. The composition of Claim 20 wherein said emulsion comprises from about 15 to about 40 weight percent of said polymer, based on the total weight of said emulsion.
21. The composition of Claim 20 wherein said emulsion comprises from about 0 1 to about 5 weight percent of said surfactant, based on the total weight of monomer, said surfactant selected from the group consisting of anionic, cationic, nonionic, amphoteπc and zwittenonic surfactants.
22. The composition of Claim 20 wherein said crosslinking monomer is selected from the group consisting of multivinylsubstituted aromatic monomers, alicychc monomers selected from the group consisting of cycloparrafins and cycloolefins, difunctional esters of phthalic acid, di functional esters of methacryhc acid, multifunctional esters of acrylic acid, dienes, tπenes, tetraenes, and NmethyleneBisacrylamide 25 The composition of Claim 23 wherein said emulsion comprises from about 0 1 to about 1 weight percent of said crosslinking monomer, based on the total weight of monomer 26 The composition of Claim 20 wherein said associative monomer is selected from the group consisting of urethane reaction products of a monoethylenically unsaturated isocyanate and nonionic surfactants comprising C.C4 alkoxyterminated, block copolymers of 1 ,2butylene oxide and 1 ,2ethylene oxide an ethylenically unsaturated copolymenzable surfactant monomer obtained by condensing a nonionic surfactant with methylenesuccmic, a surfactant monomer selected from the urea reaction product of a monoethylenically unsaturated monoisocyanate with a nonionic surfactant having amine functionality), and a nonionic urethane monomer which is the urethane reaction product of a monohydric nonionic surfactant with a monoethylenically unsaturated monoisocyanate 27 The composition of Claim 20 wherein said emulsion comprises from about 0 1 to about 10 weight percent of said associative monomer, based on total weight of monomer 28 The composition of Claim 20 wherein the monomer (b) is selected from the group consisting of N,Ndιmethylamιno ethyl methacrylate, N,N diethylamino ethyl acrylate, N,Ndιethylamιno ethyl methacrylate, Nt butylamino ethyl acrylate, Ntbutylamino ethyl methacrylate, N,N dimethylamino propyl acrylamide, N Ndimethylammo propyl methacrylamide, N,N diethylamino propyl acrylamide and N Ndiethylamino propyl methacrylamide 29 The composition of Claim 20 consisting essentially of said stable emulsion.
Description:
Aqueous Compositions Thickened With Acrylate-Based Polymeric Rheology Modifiers

The present invention is related to acid- and/or surfactant-containing aqueous compositions having pH of less or equal to about 11 , more particularly from about 0 4 to about 10 5, which have been thickened with an aery late-based polymeric rheology modifier

Rheology modifiers are used generally to adjust or modify the rheological properties of aqueous compositions Such properties include, without limitation, viscosity, flow rate, stability to viscosity change over time, and the ability to suspend particles in such aqueous compositions The particular type of modifier used will depend on the particular aqueous composition to be modified and on the particular end-use of that modified aqueous composition Examples of conventional rheology modifiers include thickeners such as cellulosic derivatives, polyvinyl alcohol, sodium polyacrylate, and other water-soluble macromolecules, and copolymeπc emulsions in which monomers with acid groups have been introduced onto the main chain Such thickeners are used widely in fiber treatment and adhesives

It has been reported that when thickeners such as cellulosic derivatives and polyvinyl alcohol are mixed with aqueous emulsions, the thickened emulsion tends to exhibit poor stability to viscosity change over time The celluiosics are said to result in a substantial decline in viscosity over time It also has been reported that large quantities of polyvinyl alcohol are required in order to thicken aqueous emulsions When such thickened

aqueous emulsions are used in, for example, adhesives and coatings, the high levels of polyvinyl alcohol result in a loss of adhesive and/or cohesive properties as well as a loss in water resistance in the films formed therefrom Another class of rheology modifiers known to thicken aqueous emulsions is one typically referred to as associative modifiers Such associative modifiers are reported in U S Patent Nos 4,743,698, 4,600,761 , RE 33,156, 4,792,343, 4,384,096,3,657,175, 5,102,936 and 5,294,692 As noted, these thickeners become effective upon the addition of base, thereby raising the pH of the thickened composition to alkaline, but the thickeners are not designed to thicken aqueous compositions having a pH less than 7

Other rheology modifiers which are "activated" by the addition of acid to aqueous compositions which contain the modifiers also have been reported As reported, emulsions are prepared via free-radical emulsion polymerization utilizing colloidal stabilizers The emulsions are mixed with the composition to be thickened and then acid is added to the mix, thereby lowering the pH of the system to 6 5 to 0 5 These thickeners are reported to be effective at thickening certain acidic aqueous compositions, but are not effective at thickening aqueous compositions having basic pH

It would be desirable to develop a rheology modifier which is stable to change in viscosity and phase separation over time, which does not detrimentally affect film properties such as adhesive/cohesive properties and water resistance, and which advantageously may be used to thicken both acidic and basic aqueous compositions

The present invention relates to thickened aqueous compositions which have a pH of less than or equal to about 11 , preferably from about 0 4

to about 10 5, which compositions comprise a thickening amount of an acrylate-based polymeric rheology modifier in the form of a stable, aqueous emulsion, and an active ingredient selected from the group consisting of an acid and a surfactant said active ingredient being present in amounts effective to provide to said thickened composition the performance characteristics required for the particular end-use thereof The stable emulsion of the acrylate-based polymeric rheology modifier is prepared by single-stage emulsion polymerization of from about 5 to about 80 weight percent of an acrylate monomer (a) selected from the group consisting of a C 2 -C 6 alkyl ester of acrylic acid and a C*-C 6 alkyl ester of methacrylic acid, from about 5 to about 80 weight percent of a monomer (b) selected from the group consisting of a vinyl-substituted heterocyclic compound containing at least one of a nitrogen or sulfur atom, (meth)acrylamιde, a mono- or di- (C.- C 4 )alkylamιno (C.-C)alkyl (meth)acrylate, a mono or dι-(C.-C 4 )alkylamιno (C.- C,,)alkyl (meth)acrylamιde, 0 to about 2 weight percent of a cross-linking monomer (c), and 0 to about 30 weight percent of an associative monomer (d), all percentages based on the total weight of monomer The emulsion polymerization is conducted in the presence of water, a first surfactant in amounts effective to emulsify the polymer in the water, a free-radical initiator, and from about 0 5 to about 20 weight percent of an alcohol selected from the group consisting of a C 2 -C 12 linear or branched monohydπc alcohol and non- polymeric polyhydnc alcohols, such as ethylene glycol, propylene glycol and glycerol, based on the total weight of the stable emulsion The emulsion polymerization is conducted essentially in the absence of a polymeric colloidal stabilizer

Exemplary thickened aqueous compositions of the present invention include, without limitation, cleansers such as toilet bowl cleaners, hard surface cleaners and liquid hand dishwashing detergents, drilling fluid additives, saturants for corrugated paper manufacture, adhesives, paints, inks, dyes and anti-stat coatings for paper The emulsions are stable meaning that no appreciable phase separation or change in viscosity is noted over time, for example one to five days at standard temperature and pressure, such that the emulsions may not be used to thicken aqueous compositions having pH of less than or equal to about 11 The acrylate monomers (a) are selected from the group consisting of esters prepared from acrylic acid and C 2 -C 6 alcohols, such as ethyl or propyl alcohol, and esters prepared from methacryhc acid and C r C 6 alcohols (Meth)acrylιc acid is used herein to denote both acrylic acid and methacryhc acid Preferred acrylate monomers comprise C 2 -C 6 alkyl esters of acrylic acid Even more preferred, the acrylate monomer is ethyl acrylate From about 5 to about 80 weight percent of the acrylate monomer are used in preparing the composition of the present invention, based on total weight of monomer Preferably from about 15 to about 70 weight percent of the acrylate monomer are used, based on total weight of monomer More preferably, from about 40 to about 70 weight percent of the acrylate monomer are used

Methyl acrylate should not be used in preparing the emulsions and is not included within the metes and bounds of this invention, as it has been found to result in emulsions which are unstable with respect to viscosity change over time It was unexpected that polymers prepared in the absence

of a polymeric colloidal stabilizer with ethyl acrylate provided stability to viscosity change over time when compared to polymers prepared in the absence of a polymeric colloidal stabilizer with methyl acrylate, as emulsions prepared with methyl acrylate were found to be unstable to viscosity change In addition to the acrylate ester (a), polymerized therewith is a monomer (b)selected from the group consisting of a vinyl-substituted heterocyclic compound containing at least one of a nitrogen or sulfur atom, (meth)acrylamιde, a mono- or di- (C,-C 4 )alkylamιno (C*-C 4 )alkyl (meth)- acrylate, a mono or dι-(C,-C 4 )alkylamιno (C.-C 4 )alkyl (meth)acrylamιde Exemplary monomers include N,N-dιmethylamιno ethyl methacrylate, N,N- diethylamino ethyl acrylate, N,N-dιethylamιno ethyl methacrylate, N-t- butylamino ethyl acrylate, N-t-butylamino ethyl methacrylate, N,N-dιmethyl- amino propyl acrylamide, N,N-dιmethylamιno propyl methacrylam.de, N,N- diethylammo propyl acrylamide and N,N-dιethylamιno propyl methacryl- amide From about 5 to about 80 weight percent of the monomer are used in preparing the modifiers of the present invention, based on total weight of monomer Preferably, from about 10 to about 70 weight percent of the monomer are used, based on total weight of monomer More preferably, from about 20 to about 60 weight percent of the monomer are used In addition to the required monomers, monomers which provide cross-linking in the polymer may also be utilized in relatively low amounts, up to about 3 weight percent, based on the total weight of monomer When used, the cross-linking monomers preferably are used at levels of from about 0 1 to about 3 weight percent, based on total weight of monomer Cross- linking monomers include multi-vinyl-substituted aromatic monomers, a cyclic

monomers selected from the group consisting of cycloparrafins and cycloolefins, di-functional esters of phthalic acid, di-functional esters of methacryhc acid, multi-functional esters of acrylic acid, dienes, tπenes, tetraenes, and N-methylene-Bis-acrylamide Exemplary cross-linking monomers include divinylbenzene, trivinylbenzene, 1 2,4-trιcιnylcyclohexane, 1 ,5-hexadιene, 1 ,5,9-decatrιene, 1 ,9-decadιene, and 1 ,5-heptadιene, di-allyl phthalate, ethylene glycol dimethacrylate, polyethylene glycol dimeth-acrylate, penta- and tetra-acrylates, and N-methylene-Bis-acrylamide The polyethylene glycol dimethacrylates are particularly preferred for thickening in acid aqueous compositions, as they tend to minimize turbidity

In certain preferred embodiments, an associative monomer may be used to prepare the rheology modifiers, in amounts up to about 30 weight percent, based on total weight of monomer When used the associative monomers preferably are used at levels ranging from about 0 1 to about 10 weight percent, based on total weight of monomer Such monomers include those disclosed in U S patent Nos 3,657,175, 4,384,096 4,616,074, 4,743,698, 4,792,343, 5,011 ,978, 5,102,936, 5,294,692, and Re 33,156, the contents of all which are hereby incorporated herein as if set forth in their entirety Preferred associative monomers include the urethane reaction products of a monoethylenically unsaturated isocyanate and non-ionic surfactants comprising C.-C, alkoxy-termmated, block copolymers of 1 ,2- butylene oxide and 1 ,2-ethylene oxide, as disclosed in U S Patent No 5,294,692 (Barron et al ), an ethylenically unsaturated copolymeπzable surfactant monomer obtained by condensing a nonionic surfactant with methylenesuccinic acid (also known as itaconic acid) as disclosed in U S

4,616,074 (Ruffner), a surfactant monomer selected from the urea reaction product of a monoethylenically unsaturated monoisocyanate with a nonionic surfactant having amine functionality as disclosed in U S 5,011 ,978 (Barron et al ), and a nonionic urethane monomer which is the urethane reaction product of a monohydric nonionic surfactant with a monoethylenically unsaturated monoisocyanate, preferably one lacking ester groups such as alpha, alpha-dimethyl-m-iso-propenyl benzyl isocyanate as disclosed in U S Re 33,156 (Shay et al ) Particularly preferred are the ethylenically unsaturated copolymeπzable surfactant monomers obtained by condensing a nonionic surfactant with methylenesucαnic acid Methods for preparing such monomers are disclosed in detail in the various patents incorporated herein above

The rheology modifier is prepared first by forming an emulsion utilizing single-stage emulsion polymerization techniques Monomer, water, free-radical initiator, a first surfactant in amounts effective to disperse the polymer in the water upon polymerization of the monomers, and from about 0 5 to about 20 weight percent of an alcohol selected from the group consisting of a C 2 -C 1? linear or branched monohydric alcohol and a non- polymeric polyhydπc alcohol, such as ethylene glycol, propylene glycol and glycerol, based on total weight of the emulsion, are combined in a polymerization reactor and maintained at a desired temperature and for a period of time which are effective to polymerize the monomers, thereby forming a polymeric emulsion comprising the copolymer of monomers (a) and (b), water, surfactant and alcohol

The contents of the polymerization vessel preferably are maintained at a temperature and for a period of time effective to cause polymerization of the monomers Preferably the polymerization reaction is initiated at about 30 degrees Centπgrade, with the contents of the polymerization vessel attaining a temperature of about 60 degrees Centigrade The reaction time will be from about 1 to about 6 hours One skilled in the art of emulsion polymerization will be able to ascertain readily exactly what conditions of temperature and time are required, as both are well within the knowledge of one skilled in the art

Preferably, from about 1 to about 10 weight percent of the alcohol are used and, more preferably, from about 1 to about 5 weight percent of the alcohol are used, based on the total weight of the emulsion If no alcohol, or an insufficient amounts of the alcohol, is used in preparing the emulsion, the resultant emulsion will not be stable to change in viscosity over time It is desirable to minimize the level of alcohol used The maximum amount of alcohol used may be limited practically by factors such as cost, flammabihty and volatile organic compound environmental concerns Other than those factors, amounts of alcohol in excess of 20 weight percent conceivably may used

It is essential that polymeric colloidal stabilizers such as polyvinyl alcohol not be used during preparation of the emulsion via emulsion polymerization in any amount which materially alters the properties of the emulsion, particularly the emulsion stability Preferably, no polymeric colloidal stabilizer is used during emulsion preparation It was discovered surprisingly that use of such polymeric colloidal stabilizers results in emulsions which are not stable to changes in viscosity or phase separation over time Accordingly,

the emulsions and rheology modifiers comprising the emulsions essentially are free and more preferably are free of polymeric colloidal stabilizers

Thickened aqueous compositions according to the present invention, in addition to containing a thickening amount of the acrylate-based, stable aqueous emulsion, that is, an amount effective to thicken the aqueous composition compared to a comparable composition which does not contain the acrylate-based emulsion, will also comprise a minimum effective amount of an active ingredient selected from the group consisting of an acid and a second surfactant Preferably, the thickened composition will comprise enough of the emulsion such that the thickened composition comprises greater than about 0 5 dry weight percent of the emulsion polymer on a dry weight basis, based on total weight of the thickened aqueous composition, and more preferably from about 0 5 to about 20 dry weight percent of the polymer based on total weight of the thickened composition Most preferably, the thickened composition will comprise from about 1 to about 10 dry weight percent of the emulsion polymer, based on total weight of the thickened composition

By minimum effective amount, it is meant that the active ingredient will be present in the thickened aqueous composition in a minimum amount effective to provide the thickened aqueous composition with the particular performance characteristics required for the particular end-use of the thickened composition For example, where the thickened composition is a cleanser, the composition must provide cleaning performance, as described below In some cases, the surfactant may be used to enhance the thickening efficiency of the acrylate-based emulsion, for instance in an ink paste base or

in an acid-containing cleanser. Accordingly, the thickened composition may comprise from about 0 1 to about 95 active weight percent of surfactant and/or from about 0 1 to about 50 active weight percent acid, based on total weight of the thickened composition, with the balance being polymer and water, as well as possibly other optional conventional ingredients utilized in thickened compositions described herein

The actual active ingredient and the actual minimum effective amount will be determined by the actual product/application in which the thickened composition is to be used For example, where the end-use is a cleaning composition such as a toilet bowl cleaner, a hard surface cleaner or a liquid hand dishwashing detergent, the active ingredient is selected from the group consisting of an acid and a second surfactant, present at a minimum amount effective to achieve minimum cleansing performance By minimum cleansing performance, it is meant that the active ingredient is present in minimum amounts effective to clean or remove deposits from the surface of substrates to which the thickened aqueous compositions have been applied For example, where the composition is applied to toilet bowls, an acid will be present in minimum amounts effective to remove salts and stains caused by continuous and/or repeated exposure to water, for example iron salts such as rust and the like In this case, the thickened composition may comprise from about 0.1 to about 50 active weight percent of the acid, more preferably from about 2 to about 50 active weight percent of acid, based on total weight of the thickened composition

Where the compositions are applied in the form of a liquid hand dishwashing detergent to, for instance, dishes and plates, a second surfactant

will be present in minimum amounts effective to remove deposits such as oils and fatty substances emanating from food products, dried food products themselves, dirt, and so forth Preferably, such cleaning composition will comprise from about 2 to about 95 active weight percent of the second surfactant, more preferably from about 5 to about 95 active weight percent of the second surfactant, based on total weight of the thickened aqueous composition

Exemplary acids used in compositions of the present invention include, without limitation, citric, sulfuπc, hydrochloric, phosphoric acetic hydroxyacetic, and sulfamic acids Synergistic thickening of compositions comprising an amount of an acid required for a desired performance have been surprisingly noted where a second surfactant selected from the group consisting of a nonionic and anionic surfactant is added to the composition In those cases, the addition of the second surfactant has been found to improve thickening efficiency by as much as eighty fold, depending on the amount of surfactant added to the aqueous composition which comprises an acid In these cases, the second surfactant need not be present at a level greater than that necessary to impart synergistic thickenening of the composition, as the acid performs the primary application function and the second surfactant serves to improve the thickening efficiency of the acrylate- based emulsion

Thickened aqueous compositions according to the invention also include those compositions which comprise a second surfactant in minimum cleansing amounts Such thickened compositions include, for example, liquid hand dishwashing detergents Exemplary second surfactants which may be

used in the thickened aqueous compositions include, without limitation, sodium lauryl sulfate, (dι)alkylsulfosuccιnates alkyl sulfonates, alkyl phosphates, alkyl ethoxylates, and alkylaryl ethoxylates It should be noted that the second surfactant is in addition to the first surfactant, which will be present in the aqueous composition due to its presence in the acrylate-based emulsion Accordingly, the second surfactant may be formulated or blended into the aqueous composition after the emulsion has been prepared, and should not be confused with the first surfactant While the second surfactant may be the same as the first surfactant, it is preferred that the second surfactant be selected from the group consisting of anionic and nonionic surfactants and thus may be different than the first surfactant used to prepare the emulsion

In addition to the above essential elements of the invention the thickened aqueous compositions may further comprise conventional ingredients known to be used therein

The following examples are set forth merely to exemplify the invention and are not intended to limit the metes and bounds of the invention, which is set forth by the claims appended hereto

Example 1 Acid Thickening

Two emulsions were prepared according to procedures set forth herein above and designated Emulsions 1A and 1 B respectively Each emulsion was prepared at twenty (20) weight percent polymer solids, based on total weight of the emulsion, utilizing acrylate-ester and alkylamino (meth)acrylate monomers Each emulsion was incorporated into an acid-

containing solution at a level such that the polymer solids, based on total weight of the thickened composition, are as set forth in Table 1

TABLE 1

Emulsion sample m Brookfield Viscosity (cPs)

PH initial 1 day 5 day 35 day

Emulsion 1A (20% 8 2 50 60 66 92 polymer solids)

3% 1A ιn 5% citric acid 2 2 3200 6000 6000 5300

3% 1A ιn 5% 2 2 2200 4500 4000 4400 hydroxyacetic / 5% sulfamic acid blend

4% 1A in 9% 04 740 2060 1900 hydrochloric acid

Emulsion 1B (20% 8 2 108 280 310 1550 polymer solids)

3% 1B in 5% citric acid 2 2 6000 8000 8700 8550

3% 1 B in 5% 2 3 4150 7000 6800 6800 hydroxyacetic / 5% sulfamic acid blend

[1] Brookfield viscometer model RVDVII+ , All measurements obtained with spindle #2 @ 20 rpm, 21 * C

[2] All values are listed in dry weight % on total composition weight, e g 3 % 1A polymer solids and 5 % citric acid solids, based on total weight of thickened composition

Example 2 Surfactant Thickening

Stable emulsion 1A was added at the noted polymer solids to a blend of anionic and nonionic surfactants (2(a)) typical of commercially available liquid hand dishwashing detergents The pH and Brookfield viscosity of the surfactant blend were recorded both prior to and after addition of the stable emulsion The surfactant composition pH was then adjusted with addition of

50% sodium hydroxide solution to a pH 10 and the resulting Brookfield viscosity was recorded Again, the stable emulsion product unexpectedly provided a significant increase in the viscosity of the surfactant blend at pH 8 4 as well as pH 10 Additional samples of anionic and non-ionic surfactants were selected for investigation of the ability of the stable emulsion thickener representative of this invention to thicken aqueous compositions comprising a second surfactant as the active ingredient It is significant to note that the compositions of this example contain no acidic components, and no acid substances are added as neutralizing agents, compatibihzers, stabhzers, or the like The data contained in TABLE 2 includes as-is viscosity and pH measurements for an anionic surfactant (sodium lauryl sulfate, 2(d)) and a non-ionic surfactant (nonylphenol 4 mole ethoxylate (2(f)) The table also provides the resulting viscosity and pH of the referenced surfactant samples after addition of a noted level of the stable emulsion thickener 1A of this invention, demonstrating the ability of the stable emulsion thickener to provide an unexpected and substantial increase in the surfactant viscosity at an alkaline pH

TABLE 2

Sample # Description pH Brookfield Viscosity |2 > (cPs)

2(a) Commercial Anionic / Nonionic 8 2 540 surfactant blend

2(b) Sample 2(a) with 1 2 % 8 4 1270 Emulsion 1 A added m

2(c) Sample 2(b) with added 10 0 930 sodium hydroxide

2(d) Sodium lauryl sulfate (30 % 8 6 94 active in water)

2(e) Sample 2(d) with 1 25 % 1A 9 3 738 emulsion added

2(f) Nonylphenol ethoxylate 9 3 386

2(g) Sample 2(f) with 2 2 % 1A 8 1 1060 emulsion added |1]

[1] dry polymer weight % on total composition weight [2] spindle #2 @ 20 rpm, 21 ° C

Example 3 Thickening Surfactant Containing Acidic Systems

Evaluation of the interaction of the stable emulsion product in an acidic system containing surfactant provided the data in TABLE 3, below A solution containing 5 active weight % of citric acid was prepared Addition of the stable emulsion product at a level of 2 % dry polymer on total solution weight yielded a significant increase in the citric acid solution Brookfield viscosity To the thickened acid solution was added, in 2 gram increments, an ethoxylated alkylphenol surfactant (HLB 8 8) Viscosity response to the incremental addition of the nonionic surfactant was recorded and demonstrates the ability of the stable emulsion product to thicken systems containing both acid and surfactant increasing the HLB of the added

surfactant over the surfactant referenced in TABLE 3 is expected to provide an initial increase in the system viscosity that will more rapidly decrease with continued addition of the surfactant versus the referenced TABLE 3 viscosity data

TABLE 3

Sample # Sample Description Brookfield

Viscosity

(cPs) 111

3(a) 5 % Citric acid 121 solution <10

3(b) 3(a) + 2 %1 A emulsion 121 216

3(c) 3(b) + 2 grams nonionic surfactant 4460

3(d) 3(b) + 4 grams nonionic surfactant 6200

3(e) 3(b) + 6 grams nonionic surfactant 8000

3(f) 3(b) + 8 grams nonionic surfactant 11200

3(g) 3(b) + 10 grams nonionic surfactant 16000

3(h) 3(b) + 12 grams nonionic surfactant 16000

3(0 3(b) + 14 grams nonionic surfactant 9500

30) 3(b) + 16 grams nonionic surfactant 7200

3(k) 3(b) + 18 grams nonionic surfactant 6110

3(1) 3(b) + 20 grams nonionic surfactant 5000

[1] Brookfield Viscometer model RVDVII+, All measurements obtained with spindle #2 @ 20 rpm, 21 ° C

[2] Solids weight percent based on total weight of solution