What is Ethyl Acrylate?

Ethyl acrylate is an acrylate monomer with a molecular formula of C5H8O2.  It is a clear and volatile liquid which is slightly soluble in water and completely soluble in alcohols, ethers and almost all organic solvents.  It is a very flammable liquid (fire hazard rating 3) with a flashpoint of 9° C and has a sharp acrid odour.  It is easily miscible with other organic solvents and is readily polymerized with other monomer molecules to create polymer chains.

Ethyl Acrylate Chemical Structure

How is it produced?

Ethyl acrylate can be chemically manufactured using several industrial methods.  The most prominent method is to cause a reaction between acrylonitrile and ethanol using sulphuric acid as the catalyst.  Additionally, manufacturers may also use phenollic type inhibitors, soluble manganese or cerium salts to aid its production.  Other chemicals used in this reaction are  acetylene, carbon monoxide and ethanol.

How is it stored and distributed?

A chemical distributor would have a bulk storage facility to maintain the product’s stability.  Storage would be in a cool, dry and well ventilated facility.  It should also be stored out of direct sunlight and kept separate from oxidisers, polymerises and strong alkalises.  Solvents such as ethyl acrylate should be stored in drummed containers, such as isotanks made of stainless steel, aluminium or carbon steel.  This product readily polymerizes unless an inhibitor such as hydroquinone is added.

A solvent exporter would normally distribute this solvent in bulk vessels or tank trucks.  For transportation purposes, ethyl acrylate is classed as a flammable liquid as it has a fire hazard rating of 3.  This product contains an inhibitor (hydroquinone) to stabilise it during transportation.  This is an essential product when a chemical distributor exports throughout regions such as the UK, Europe, Africa and America.  This product is packing group 2.

What is Ethyl Acrylate used for?

Ethyl acrylate is primarily used in the production of emulsion-base polymers.  Manufacturers produce acrylic resins which can then be used as paints, coatings or latex products.  It is mainly used in polyacrylate elastomers, acrylic rubber, textiles, acrylic fibres, leather products and denture materials.  It can be used as a coating on most household items such as books, magazines, frozen food packaging, fragrance additive and an adhesive on for envelopes and labels.  The primary end user markets are the plastics, leather, paints, packaging, paper and textiles industries

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