Hydrogels of dimethylaminoethyl acrylate methyl chloride quaternary salt (Q9) have been synthesized with different monomer ratio by copolymerization of this poorly studied monomer either with acrylic acid or with 2-methylene bu-tane-1,4-dioic acid. Hydrogel swelling was measured as a function of the composition of the hydrogel and of the crosslinking agent ratio. High values of swelling have been obtained at very high crosslinking values (< 14 wt %) and the equilibrium swelling was reached at very low time (less than 15 minutes). The swelling isotherms consisted of a steep initial portion and then levelled off as asymptotically to the equilibrium swelling limit. The experimental data suggest clearly that the swelling process obeys second-order kinetics. According to this, the kinetics rate constant and the equilibrium water content were determined at different comonomer composition and crosslinker concentration. The calculated kinetic constants ranged from 0.48 to 3.76 × 10-2 min-1 for poly (acrylic acid-co-Q9) hydrogels and from 0.68 to 4.0 × 10-2 min-1 for poly (2-methylene butane-1,4-dioic acid-co-Q9) hydrogels depending on the hydrogels composition. The diffusion process was evaluated for each hydrogel showing a non-Fickian type diffusion. In all cases was observed a considerable increase in diffusion coefficient as Q9 content increases.
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