Next Issue
Previous Issue

E-Mail Alert

Add your e-mail address to receive forthcoming issues of this journal:

Journal Browser

Journal Browser

Table of Contents

Polymers, Volume 6, Issue 7 (July 2014), Pages 1877-2081

  • Issues are regarded as officially published after their release is announced to the table of contents alert mailing list.
  • You may sign up for e-mail alerts to receive table of contents of newly released issues.
  • PDF is the official format for papers published in both, html and pdf forms. To view the papers in pdf format, click on the "PDF Full-text" link, and use the free Adobe Readerexternal link to open them.
View options order results:
result details:
Displaying articles 1-12
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Jump to: Review

Open AccessArticle Stimuli-Responsive Polyelectrolyte Brushes As a Matrix for the Attachment of Gold Nanoparticles: The Effect of Brush Thickness on Particle Distribution
Polymers 2014, 6(7), 1877-1896; doi:10.3390/polym6071877
Received: 16 April 2014 / Revised: 23 June 2014 / Accepted: 24 June 2014 / Published: 27 June 2014
Cited by 13 | PDF Full-text (1259 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The effect of brush thickness on the loading of gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) within stimuli-responsive poly-(N,N-(dimethylamino ethyl) methacrylate) (PDMAEMA) polyelectrolyte brushes is reported. Atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP) was used to grow polymer brushes via a “grafting from” approach. The brush thickness was [...] Read more.
The effect of brush thickness on the loading of gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) within stimuli-responsive poly-(N,N-(dimethylamino ethyl) methacrylate) (PDMAEMA) polyelectrolyte brushes is reported. Atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP) was used to grow polymer brushes via a “grafting from” approach. The brush thickness was tuned by varying the polymerization time. Using a new type of sealed reactor, thick brushes were synthesized. A systematic study was performed by varying a single parameter (brush thickness), while keeping all other parameters constant. AuNPs of 13 nm in diameter were attached by incubation. X-ray reflectivity, electron scanning microscopy and ellipsometry were used to study the particle loading, particle distribution and interpenetration of the particles within the brush matrix. A model for the structure of the brush/particle hybrids was derived. The particle number densities of attached AuNPs depend on the brush thickness, as do the optical properties of the hybrids. An increasing particle number density was found for increasing brush thickness, due to an increased surface roughness. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polyelectrolytes 2014)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Salt Effect on Osmotic Pressure of Polyelectrolyte Solutions: Simulation Study
Polymers 2014, 6(7), 1897-1913; doi:10.3390/polym6071897
Received: 21 March 2014 / Revised: 24 June 2014 / Accepted: 26 June 2014 / Published: 4 July 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1079 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Abstract: We present results of the hybrid Monte Carlo/molecular dynamics simulations of the osmotic pressure of salt solutions of polyelectrolytes. In our simulations, we used a coarse-grained representation of polyelectrolyte chains, counterions and salt ions. During simulation runs, we alternate Monte [...] Read more.
Abstract: We present results of the hybrid Monte Carlo/molecular dynamics simulations of the osmotic pressure of salt solutions of polyelectrolytes. In our simulations, we used a coarse-grained representation of polyelectrolyte chains, counterions and salt ions. During simulation runs, we alternate Monte Carlo and molecular dynamics simulation steps. Monte Carlo steps were used to perform small ion exchange between simulation box containing salt ions (salt reservoir) and simulation box with polyelectrolyte chains, counterions and salt ions (polyelectrolyte solution). This allowed us to model Donnan equilibrium and partitioning of salt and counterions across membrane impermeable to polyelectrolyte chains. Our simulations have shown that the main contribution to the system osmotic pressure is due to salt ions and osmotically active counterions. The fraction of the condensed (osmotically inactive) counterions first increases with decreases in the solution ionic strength then it saturates. The reduced value of the system osmotic coefficient is a universal function of the ratio of the concentration of osmotically active counterions and salt concentration in salt reservoir. Simulation results are in a very good agreement with osmotic pressure measurements in sodium polystyrene sulfonate, DNA, polyacrylic acid, sodium polyanetholesulfonic acid, polyvinylbenzoic acid, and polydiallyldimethylammonium chloride solutions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polyelectrolytes 2014)
Open AccessArticle Sulfonation Process and Desalination Effect of Polystyrene/PVDF Semi-Interpenetrating Polymer Network Cation Exchange Membrane
Polymers 2014, 6(7), 1914-1928; doi:10.3390/polym6071914
Received: 12 March 2014 / Revised: 3 June 2014 / Accepted: 25 June 2014 / Published: 7 July 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (2330 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
With the classical sulfonation method of polystyrene-based strongly acidic cation exchange resins, polystyrene/polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) alloy particles were sulfonated to obtain a cation exchange resin, which was then directly thermoformed to prepare a semi-interpenetrating polymer network (semi-IPN) cation exchange membrane. The effects [...] Read more.
With the classical sulfonation method of polystyrene-based strongly acidic cation exchange resins, polystyrene/polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) alloy particles were sulfonated to obtain a cation exchange resin, which was then directly thermoformed to prepare a semi-interpenetrating polymer network (semi-IPN) cation exchange membrane. The effects of the swelling agent, sulfonation time and temperature and the relative contents of polystyrene and divinylbenzene (DVB) in the alloy particles on the feasibility of the membrane formation are discussed. The results indicate that a favorable sulfonation degree above 80% and a suitable ion exchange capacity of 1.5–2.4 mmol/g can be gained, with concentrated sulfuric acid as the sulfonation agent and 1,2-dichloroethane as the swelling agent. The running electrical resistance and desalination effect of the prepared cation exchange membrane were measured in a pilot-scale electrodialyser and not only obviously exceeded a commercial heterogeneous cation exchange membrane, but was also very close to a commercial homogenous membrane. In this way, the authors have combined the classical sulfonation method of polystyrene-based cation exchange resins with the traditional thermoforming manufacturing process of heterogeneous cation exchange membranes, to successfully develop a novel, low-price, but relatively high-performance polystyrene/PVDF cation exchange membrane with the semi-IPN structure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interpenetrating Polymer Networks)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Influence of Functionalization Degree on the Rheological Properties of Isocyanate-Functionalized Chitin- and Chitosan-Based Chemical Oleogels for Lubricant Applications
Polymers 2014, 6(7), 1929-1947; doi:10.3390/polym6071929
Received: 30 May 2014 / Revised: 27 June 2014 / Accepted: 28 June 2014 / Published: 8 July 2014
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (418 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This work deals with the influence of functionalization degree on the thermogravimetric and rheological behaviour of NCO-functionalized chitosan- and chitin-based oleogels. Chitosan and chitin were functionalized using different proportions of 1,6-hexamethylene diisocyanate (HMDI) and subsequently dispersed in castor oil to promote the [...] Read more.
This work deals with the influence of functionalization degree on the thermogravimetric and rheological behaviour of NCO-functionalized chitosan- and chitin-based oleogels. Chitosan and chitin were functionalized using different proportions of 1,6-hexamethylene diisocyanate (HMDI) and subsequently dispersed in castor oil to promote the chemical reaction between the –NCO group of the modified biopolymer and the –OH group located in the ricinoleic fatty acid chain of castor oil, thus resulting in different oleogels with specific thermogravimetric and rheological characteristics. Biopolymers and oleogels were characterized through Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). Small-amplitude oscillatory shear (SAOS) measurements were performed on the oleogels. Oleogels presented suitable thermal resistance, despite the fact that the inclusion of HMDI moieties in the polymer structure led to a reduction in the onset temperature of thermal degradation. The insertion of low amounts of HMDI in both chitin and chitosan produces a drastic reduction in the values of oleogel viscoelastic functions but, above a critical threshold, they increase with the functionalization degree so that isocyanate functionalization results in a chemical tool to modulate oleogel rheological response. Several NCO-functionalized chitosan- and chitin-based oleogel formulations present suitable thermal resistance and rheological characteristics to be proposed as bio-based alternatives to traditional lubricating greases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chitin and Chitosans)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Effect of Mannitol on Hyaluronic Acid Stability in Two in Vitro Models of Oxidative Stress
Polymers 2014, 6(7), 1948-1957; doi:10.3390/polym6071948
Received: 3 May 2014 / Revised: 20 June 2014 / Accepted: 23 June 2014 / Published: 8 July 2014
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (356 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this paper, we propose the evaluation of the mannitol’s ability to reduce hyaluronic acid (HA) degradation using two different models of oxidative stress. Firstly, a solution of hyaluronan and a solution of the same HA including mannitol in PBS buffer were [...] Read more.
In this paper, we propose the evaluation of the mannitol’s ability to reduce hyaluronic acid (HA) degradation using two different models of oxidative stress. Firstly, a solution of hyaluronan and a solution of the same HA including mannitol in PBS buffer were submitted to an oxidative stress generated by the addition of xanthine + xanthine oxidase generating oxygen free radicals. Different enzyme concentrations were used and the HA properties were studied after 24 h of contact at ambient temperature. Decreases of the viscosity of the solution were assessed by rheometry (viscous and elastic module) and that of HA molecular weight was determined by steric exclusion chromatography. Rheologic behavior was assessed on identical HA solutions subjected to another model of oxidative stress imposed by addition of hydrogen peroxide. The influence of mannitol concentration on HA degradation was also demonstrated. Whatever the stress applied, it appears very clearly that mannitol protects hyaluronic acid from mediated oxygen free radicals degradation. These in vitro results suggest that mannitol could be a simple way to significantly increase the intra-articular residence time of the injected hyaluronic acid and therefore might improve viscosupplementation effectiveness. Full article
Figures

Open AccessArticle On the Use of CFRP Sheets for the Seismic Retrofitting of Masonry Walls and the Influence of Mechanical Anchorage
Polymers 2014, 6(7), 1972-1998; doi:10.3390/polym6071972
Received: 9 April 2014 / Revised: 25 June 2014 / Accepted: 1 July 2014 / Published: 10 July 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (3480 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This work reports the outcomes of an extensive experimental campaign on the retrofitting of masonry walls by means of carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) sheets, carried out at University of Applied Sciences (UAS) Fribourg. In the first stage, static-cyclic shear tests were [...] Read more.
This work reports the outcomes of an extensive experimental campaign on the retrofitting of masonry walls by means of carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) sheets, carried out at University of Applied Sciences (UAS) Fribourg. In the first stage, static-cyclic shear tests were conducted on the masonry walls, followed by a second stage of tensile tests on alternative configurations of mechanical anchorage so as to assess the effects on the structural response and to identify the associated limits. In the static-cyclic shear tests, it was found that the resistance of masonry walls retrofitted with CFRP sheets was improved by up to 70%, and the deformability was improved by up to 10% in comparison to the un-retrofitted specimens. The experimental tests conducted on alternate configurations of mechanical anchorages indicate that the tested materials and configurations rely heavily on details. The sensitivity of CFRP sheets to edges, non-uniformities on any adherend, and bonding defects can cause premature CFRP failure and, hence, pose problems for the efficient design of a retrofitting scheme. As indicated by the results of this investigation, effective anchorage can be achieved when eccentric loading of the mechanical anchorage is avoided and a smooth bonding surface is guaranteed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fiber-Reinforced Polymer Composites in Structural Engineering)
Open AccessArticle Lipid Monolayers with Adsorbed Oppositely Charged Polyelectrolytes: Influence of Reduced Charge Densities
Polymers 2014, 6(7), 1999-2017; doi:10.3390/polym6071999
Received: 30 April 2014 / Revised: 26 June 2014 / Accepted: 27 June 2014 / Published: 10 July 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (801 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Polyelectrolytes in dilute solutions (0.01 mmol/L) adsorb in a two-dimensional lamellar phase to oppositely charged lipid monolayers at the air/water interface. The interchain separation is monitored by Grazing Incidence X-ray Diffraction. On monolayer compression, the interchain separation decreases to a factor of [...] Read more.
Polyelectrolytes in dilute solutions (0.01 mmol/L) adsorb in a two-dimensional lamellar phase to oppositely charged lipid monolayers at the air/water interface. The interchain separation is monitored by Grazing Incidence X-ray Diffraction. On monolayer compression, the interchain separation decreases to a factor of two. To investigate the influence of the electrostatic interaction, either the line charge density of the polymer is reduced (a statistic copolymer with 90% and 50% charged monomers) or mixtures between charged and uncharged lipids are used (dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine (DPPC)/ dioctadecyldimethylammonium bromide (DODAB)) On decrease of the surface charge density, the interchain separation increases, while on decrease of the linear charge density, the interchain separation decreases. The ratio between charged monomers and charged lipid molecules is fairly constant; it decreases up to 30% when the lipids are in the fluid phase. With decreasing surface charge or linear charge density, the correlation length of the lamellar order decreases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polyelectrolytes 2014)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Casein Films: The Effects of Formulation, Environmental Conditions and the Addition of Citric Pectin on the Structure and Mechanical Properties
Polymers 2014, 6(7), 2018-2036; doi:10.3390/polym6072018
Received: 1 October 2013 / Revised: 12 June 2014 / Accepted: 30 June 2014 / Published: 14 July 2014
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (2628 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Thin casein films for food packaging applications reportedly possess good strength and low oxygen permeability, but low elasticity and high sensitivity to moisture. Modifying the films to target specific behaviors depending on environmental conditions can enable a variety of commercial applications for [...] Read more.
Thin casein films for food packaging applications reportedly possess good strength and low oxygen permeability, but low elasticity and high sensitivity to moisture. Modifying the films to target specific behaviors depending on environmental conditions can enable a variety of commercial applications for casein-based films. The mechanical properties of solvent-cast (15% solids) calcium-caseinate/glycerol films (CaCas:Gly ratio of 3:1) were characterized as a function of processing and environmental conditions, including film thickness, solution formulation and ambient humidity (from 22% to 70% relative humidity (RH) at ~20 °C). At constant RH, the elongation at break (EAB) had a strong positive dependence on the film thickness. When RH increased, the tensile strength (TS) and modulus (E) decreased approximately linearly, while EAB increased. From 0.05% to 1% (w/w) of citric pectin (CP) was then incorporated into CaCas/Gly films following seven different formulations (mixing sequences), to alter the protein network and to evaluate the effects of CP on the tensile properties of CaCas/Gly/CP films. At constant film thickness and ~60% RH, the addition of 0.1% or 1.0% CP to the films considerably increased or decreased EAB, TS and E in different directions and to different extents, depending on the formulation, while optical micrographs also showed vastly differing network configurations, suggesting complex formulation- and stoichiometry-dependent casein-pectin interactions within the dried films. Depending on the desired film properties and utilization conditions, pectin may be a useful addition to casein film formulations for food packaging applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Polymers 2014)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Comparison of in Situ and ex Situ Methods for Synthesis of Two-Photon Polymerization Polymer Nanocomposites
Polymers 2014, 6(7), 2037-2050; doi:10.3390/polym6072037
Received: 30 April 2014 / Revised: 25 June 2014 / Accepted: 7 July 2014 / Published: 14 July 2014
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (4002 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Correction
Abstract
This article reports about nanocomposites, which refractive index is tuned by adding TiO2 nanoparticles. We compare in situ/ex situ preparation of nanocomposites. Preparation procedure is described, properties of nanocomposites are compared, and especially we examine the applicability of two-photon [...] Read more.
This article reports about nanocomposites, which refractive index is tuned by adding TiO2 nanoparticles. We compare in situ/ex situ preparation of nanocomposites. Preparation procedure is described, properties of nanocomposites are compared, and especially we examine the applicability of two-photon polymerization (2PP) of synthesized nanocomposites. All prepared samples exhibit suitable optical transparency at specific laser wavelengths. Three-dimensional structures were generated by means of two-photon polymerization effect induced by a femtosecond laser. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Patterning and Photosensitive Polymers)
Figures

Open AccessArticle FRP-RC Beam in Shear: Mechanical Model and Assessment Procedure for Pseudo-Ductile Behavior
Polymers 2014, 6(7), 2051-2064; doi:10.3390/polym6072051
Received: 13 May 2014 / Revised: 26 June 2014 / Accepted: 1 July 2014 / Published: 18 July 2014
PDF Full-text (862 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This work deals with the development of a mechanics-based shear model for reinforced concrete (RC) elements strengthened in shear with fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) and a design/assessment procedure capable of predicting the failure sequence of resisting elements: the yielding of existing transverse steel [...] Read more.
This work deals with the development of a mechanics-based shear model for reinforced concrete (RC) elements strengthened in shear with fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) and a design/assessment procedure capable of predicting the failure sequence of resisting elements: the yielding of existing transverse steel ties and the debonding of FRP sheets/strips, while checking the corresponding compressive stress in concrete. The research aims at the definition of an accurate capacity equation, consistent with the requirement of the pseudo-ductile shear behavior of structural elements, that is, transverse steel ties yield before FRP debonding and concrete crushing. For the purpose of validating the proposed model, an extended parametric study and a comparison against experimental results have been conducted: it is proven that the common accepted rule of assuming the shear capacity of RC members strengthened in shear with FRP as the sum of the maximum contribution of both FRP and stirrups can lead to an unsafe overestimation of the shear capacity. This issue has been pointed out by some authors, when comparing experimental shear capacity values with the theoretical ones, but without giving a convincing explanation of that. In this sense, the proposed model represents also a valid instrument to better understand the mechanical behavior of FRP-RC beams in shear and to calculate their actual shear capacity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fiber-Reinforced Polymer Composites in Structural Engineering)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Long-Term Bending Creep Behavior of Thin-Walled CFRP Tendon Pretensioned Spun Concrete Poles
Polymers 2014, 6(7), 2065-2081; doi:10.3390/polym6072065
Received: 5 May 2014 / Revised: 3 July 2014 / Accepted: 16 July 2014 / Published: 23 July 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1835 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper discusses the long-term behavior of a series of highly-loaded, spun concrete pole specimens prestressed with carbon fiber-reinforced polymer (CFRP) tendons, which were subjected to outdoor four-point bending creep tests since 1996 in the frame of collaboration with the Swiss precast [...] Read more.
This paper discusses the long-term behavior of a series of highly-loaded, spun concrete pole specimens prestressed with carbon fiber-reinforced polymer (CFRP) tendons, which were subjected to outdoor four-point bending creep tests since 1996 in the frame of collaboration with the Swiss precast concrete producer, SACAC (Società Anonima Cementi Armati Centrifugati). The 2 m span cylindrical beams studied are models for lighting poles produced for the last 10 years and sold on the European market. Five thin-walled pole specimens were investigated (diameter: 100 mm; wall-thickness: 25–27 mm). All specimens were produced in a pretensioning and spinning technique and were prestressed by pultruded CFRP tendons. Initially, two reference pole specimens were tested in quasi-static four-point bending to determine the short-term failure moment and to model the short-term flexural behavior. Then, three pole specimens were loaded to different bending creep moments: while the lowest loaded specimen was initially uncracked, the second specimen was loaded with 50% of the short-term bending failure moment and exhibited cracking immediately after load introduction. The highest loaded pole specimen sustained a bending moment of 72% of the short-term bending failure moment for 16.5 years before failing in July 2013, due to the bond failure of the tendons, which led to local crushing of the high-performance spun concrete (HPSC). Besides this, long-term monitoring of the creep tests has shown a limited time- and temperature-dependent increase of the deflections over the years, mainly due to the creep of the concrete. A concrete creep-based model allowed for the calculation of the long-term bending curvatures with reasonable accuracy. Furthermore, the pole specimens showed crack patterns that were stable over time and minimal slippage of the tendons with respect to the pole’s end-faces for the two lower load levels. The latter proves the successful and durable anchorage of these novel CFRP prestressing tendons in thin-walled, precast concrete members under realistic long-term service loads. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fiber-Reinforced Polymer Composites in Structural Engineering)

Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview Function and Autonomous Behavior of Self-Oscillating Polymer Systems
Polymers 2014, 6(7), 1958-1971; doi:10.3390/polym6071958
Received: 28 April 2014 / Revised: 16 June 2014 / Accepted: 23 June 2014 / Published: 9 July 2014
PDF Full-text (4542 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A novel gel undergoes the Belousov-Zhabotinsky (BZ) reaction in strong-acid-free conditions. Under such conditions, the gel can switch the BZ reaction on or off in conventional self-oscillating gels that undergo self-oscillation only in aqueous solutions with strong acids, such as HNO3 [...] Read more.
A novel gel undergoes the Belousov-Zhabotinsky (BZ) reaction in strong-acid-free conditions. Under such conditions, the gel can switch the BZ reaction on or off in conventional self-oscillating gels that undergo self-oscillation only in aqueous solutions with strong acids, such as HNO3 or H2SO4. The self-oscillation of the polymer chain can be controlled by varying the temperature, owing to its thermoresponsive property. Moreover, the polymer chain undergoes viscosity self-oscillations in strong-acid-free conditions. In this review, the direct observation of self-oscillations in polymer chains attached to glass or gold surfaces, by using scanning probe microscopy and quartz crystal microbalances with dissipation monitoring, is discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomimetic Polymers)

Journal Contact

MDPI AG
Polymers Editorial Office
St. Alban-Anlage 66, 4052 Basel, Switzerland
polymers@mdpi.com
Tel. +41 61 683 77 34
Fax: +41 61 302 89 18
Editorial Board
Contact Details Submit to Polymers
Back to Top