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Special Issue "Smart Polymers and Polymeric Structures"

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A special issue of Materials (ISSN 1996-1944). This special issue belongs to the section "Structure Analysis and Characterization".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 July 2013)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Reza Montazami

Department of Mechanical Engineering at Iowa State University, IA 50011, USA
Website | E-Mail
Phone: 5152948733
Interests: smart materials; functional thin-films; ionic polymer membranes; electro-fuels; polymeric nanostructures

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Smart materials exhibit a fast, repeatable, reversible and significant change in at least one of their physical properties in response to an external stimulus. It is important to emphasize on repeatable and significant, otherwise all materials can fall under the category of smart materials. Changes in physical properties may occur in form of change in optical properties, physical dimensions, geometry, net electric charge, to name a few, in response to an external stimuli such as electric field, temperature, stress, strain, pH, etc. Smart materials and structures can be found in form of solid solution, compound and composite; and can be characterized under three main categories of smart-polymers, smart-metals, and smart-ceramics. Smart structures consist of smart and/or other materials and/or elements.

This special issue aims to gather original research on materials, with focus on smart materials and structures, including but not limited to electromechanical, electrochromic, mechanoelectric, shape-memory, and thermomechanical polymers, metals and ceramics.

Experimental and numerical research on design, fabrication, characterization, properties, case studies, and applications of smart materials and structures are welcomed.

Some topics of interest are experimental and numerical research on:

  • Ionic/electric properties of smart polymers
  • Electromechanical materials (polymer/ceramic/metal)
  • Electrochromic materials (polymer/metal-oxide)
  • Thermomechanical materials
  • Piezoelectric materials

Dr. Reza Montazami
Guest Editor

Submission

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Materials is an international peer-reviewed Open Access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs).

Keywords

  • smart polymers
  • smart structures
  • functional materials
  • stimuli responsive materials
  • electromechanical materials
  • electrochromic materials

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Characterization of Thermo-Mechanical and Fracture Behaviors of Thermoplastic Polymers
Materials 2014, 7(1), 375-398; doi:10.3390/ma7010375
Received: 28 October 2013 / Revised: 14 December 2013 / Accepted: 16 December 2013 / Published: 13 January 2014
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (2961 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this paper the effects of the strain rate on the inelastic behavior and the self-heating under load conditions are presented for polymeric materials, such as polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA), polycarbonate (PC), and polyamide (PA66). By a torsion test, it was established that the
[...] Read more.
In this paper the effects of the strain rate on the inelastic behavior and the self-heating under load conditions are presented for polymeric materials, such as polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA), polycarbonate (PC), and polyamide (PA66). By a torsion test, it was established that the shear yield stress behavior of PMMA, PC, and PA66 is well-described by the Ree-Eyring theory in the range of the considered strain rates. During the investigation, the surface temperature was monitored using an infrared camera. The heat release appeared at the early stage of the deformation and increased with the strain and strain rate. This suggested that the external work of deformation was dissipated into heat so the torsion tests could not be considered isothermal. Eventually, the effect of the strain rate on the failure modes was analyzed by scanning electron microscopy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart Polymers and Polymeric Structures)
Open AccessArticle Epoxy/Polycaprolactone Systems with Triple-Shape Memory Effect: Electrospun Nanoweb with and without Graphene Versus Co-Continuous Morphology
Materials 2013, 6(10), 4489-4504; doi:10.3390/ma6104489
Received: 31 July 2013 / Revised: 6 September 2013 / Accepted: 27 September 2013 / Published: 9 October 2013
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (1411 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Triple-shape memory epoxy (EP)/polycaprolactone (PCL) systems (PCL content: 23 wt %) with different structures (PCL nanoweb embedded in EP matrix and EP/PCL with co-continuous phase structure) were produced. To set the two temporary shapes, the glass transition temperature (Tg) of
[...] Read more.
Triple-shape memory epoxy (EP)/polycaprolactone (PCL) systems (PCL content: 23 wt %) with different structures (PCL nanoweb embedded in EP matrix and EP/PCL with co-continuous phase structure) were produced. To set the two temporary shapes, the glass transition temperature (Tg) of the EP and the melting temperature (Tm) of PCL served during the shape memory cycle. An attempt was made to reinforce the PCL nanoweb by graphene nanoplatelets prior to infiltrating the nanoweb with EP through vacuum assisted resin transfer molding. Morphology was analyzed by scanning electron microscopy and Raman spectrometry. Triple-shape memory characteristics were determined by dynamic mechanical analysis in tension mode. Graphene was supposed to act also as spacer between the nanofibers, improving the quality of impregnation with EP. The EP phase related shape memory properties were similar for all systems, while those belonging to PCL phase depended on the structure. Shape fixity of PCL was better without than with graphene reinforcement. The best shape memory performance was shown by the EP/PCL with co-continuous structure. Based on Raman spectrometry results, the characteristic dimension of the related co-continuous network was below 900 nm. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart Polymers and Polymeric Structures)
Figures

Open AccessArticle A Hybrid Methacrylate-Sodium Carboxymethylcellulose Interpolyelectrolyte Complex: Rheometry and in Silico Disposition for Controlled Drug Release
Materials 2013, 6(10), 4284-4308; doi:10.3390/ma6104284
Received: 4 July 2013 / Revised: 13 August 2013 / Accepted: 16 August 2013 / Published: 26 September 2013
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (861 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The rheological behavioral changes that occurred during the synthesis of an interpolyelectrolyte complex (IPEC) of methacrylate copolymer and sodium carboxymethylcellulose were assessed. These changes were compared with the rheological behavior of the individual polymers employing basic viscosity, yield stress, stress sweep, frequency sweep,
[...] Read more.
The rheological behavioral changes that occurred during the synthesis of an interpolyelectrolyte complex (IPEC) of methacrylate copolymer and sodium carboxymethylcellulose were assessed. These changes were compared with the rheological behavior of the individual polymers employing basic viscosity, yield stress, stress sweep, frequency sweep, temperature ramp as well as creep and recovery testing. The rheological studies demonstrated that the end-product of the complexation of low viscous methacrylate copolymer and entangled solution of sodium carboxymethylcellulose generated a polymer, which exhibited a solid-like behavior with a three-dimensional network. Additionally, the rheological profile of the sodium carboxymethylcellulose and methacrylate copolymer with respect to the effect of various concentrations of acetic acid on the synthesis of the IPEC was elucidated using molecular mechanics energy relationships (MMER) by exploring the spatial disposition of carboxymethylcellulose and methacrylate copolymer with respect to each other and acetic acid. The computational results corroborated well with the experimental in vitro drug release data. Results have shown that the IPEC may be suitable polymeric material for achieving controlled zero-order drug delivery. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart Polymers and Polymeric Structures)
Open AccessArticle Thermally Activated Composite with Two-Way and Multi-Shape Memory Effects
Materials 2013, 6(9), 4031-4045; doi:10.3390/ma6094031
Received: 11 July 2013 / Revised: 1 August 2013 / Accepted: 2 September 2013 / Published: 12 September 2013
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (755 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The use of shape memory polymer composites is growing rapidly in smart structure applications. In this work, an active asymmetric composite called “controlled behavior composite material (CBCM)” is used as shape memory polymer composite. The programming and the corresponding initial fixity of the
[...] Read more.
The use of shape memory polymer composites is growing rapidly in smart structure applications. In this work, an active asymmetric composite called “controlled behavior composite material (CBCM)” is used as shape memory polymer composite. The programming and the corresponding initial fixity of the composite structure is obtained during a bending test, by heating CBCM above thermal glass transition temperature of the used Epoxy polymer. The shape memory properties of these composites are investigated by a bending test. Three types of recoveries are conducted, two classical recovery tests: unconstrained recovery and constrained recovery, and a new test of partial recovery under load. During recovery, high recovery displacement and force are produced that enables the composite to perform strong two-way actuations along with multi-shape memory effect. The recovery force confirms full recovery with two-way actuation even under a high load. This unique property of CBCM is characterized by the recovered mechanical work. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart Polymers and Polymeric Structures)
Open AccessArticle Fabrication of Super-Hydrophobic Microchannels via Strain-Recovery Deformations of Polystyrene and Oxygen Reactive Ion Etch
Materials 2013, 6(8), 3610-3623; doi:10.3390/ma6083610
Received: 26 July 2013 / Revised: 13 August 2013 / Accepted: 14 August 2013 / Published: 19 August 2013
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (759 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this article, we report a simple approach to generate micropillars (whose top portions are covered by sub-micron wrinkles) on the inner surfaces of polystyrene (PS) microchannels, as well as on the top surface of the PS substrate, based on strain-recovery deformations of
[...] Read more.
In this article, we report a simple approach to generate micropillars (whose top portions are covered by sub-micron wrinkles) on the inner surfaces of polystyrene (PS) microchannels, as well as on the top surface of the PS substrate, based on strain-recovery deformations of the PS and oxygen reactive ion etch (ORIE). Using this approach, two types of micropillar-covered microchannels are fabricated. Their widths range from 118 μm to 132 μm, depths vary from 40 μm to 44 μm, and the inclined angles of their sidewalls are from 53° to 64°. The micropillars enable these microchannels to have super-hydrophobic properties. The contact angles observed on the channel-structured surfaces are above 162°, and the tilt angles to make water drops roll off from these channel-structured substrates can be as small as 1°. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart Polymers and Polymeric Structures)
Open AccessArticle Spinnability and Characteristics of Polyvinylidene Fluoride (PVDF)-based Bicomponent Fibers with a Carbon Nanotube (CNT) Modified Polypropylene Core for Piezoelectric Applications
Materials 2013, 6(7), 2642-2661; doi:10.3390/ma6072642
Received: 26 March 2013 / Revised: 5 June 2013 / Accepted: 14 June 2013 / Published: 3 July 2013
Cited by 16 | PDF Full-text (1536 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This research explains the melt spinning of bicomponent fibers, consisting of a conductive polypropylene (PP) core and a piezoelectric sheath (polyvinylidene fluoride). Previously analyzed piezoelectric capabilities of polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) are to be exploited in sensor filaments. The PP compound contains a 10
[...] Read more.
This research explains the melt spinning of bicomponent fibers, consisting of a conductive polypropylene (PP) core and a piezoelectric sheath (polyvinylidene fluoride). Previously analyzed piezoelectric capabilities of polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) are to be exploited in sensor filaments. The PP compound contains a 10 wt % carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and 2 wt % sodium stearate (NaSt). The sodium stearate is added to lower the viscosity of the melt. The compound constitutes the fiber core that is conductive due to a percolation CNT network. The PVDF sheath’s piezoelectric effect is based on the formation of an all-trans conformation β phase, caused by draw-winding of the fibers. The core and sheath materials, as well as the bicomponent fibers, are characterized through different analytical methods. These include wide-angle X-ray diffraction (WAXD) to analyze crucial parameters for the development of a crystalline β phase. The distribution of CNTs in the polymer matrix, which affects the conductivity of the core, was investigated by transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Thermal characterization is carried out by conventional differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). Optical microscopy is used to determine the fibers’ diameter regularity (core and sheath). The materials’ viscosity is determined by rheometry. Eventually, an LCR tester is used to determine the core’s specific resistance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart Polymers and Polymeric Structures)
Open AccessArticle Accelerated Thermal Cycling Test of Microencapsulated Paraffin Wax/Polyaniline Made by Simple Preparation Method for Solar Thermal Energy Storage
Materials 2013, 6(5), 1608-1620; doi:10.3390/ma6051608
Received: 14 February 2013 / Revised: 1 April 2013 / Accepted: 7 April 2013 / Published: 29 April 2013
Cited by 22 | PDF Full-text (2424 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Microencapsulated paraffin wax/polyaniline was prepared using a simple in situ polymerization technique, and its performance characteristics were investigated. Weight losses of samples were determined by Thermal Gravimetry Analysis (TGA). The microencapsulated samples with 23% and 49% paraffin showed less decomposition after 330 °C
[...] Read more.
Microencapsulated paraffin wax/polyaniline was prepared using a simple in situ polymerization technique, and its performance characteristics were investigated. Weight losses of samples were determined by Thermal Gravimetry Analysis (TGA). The microencapsulated samples with 23% and 49% paraffin showed less decomposition after 330 °C than with higher percentage of paraffin. These samples were then subjected to a thermal cycling test. Thermal properties of microencapsulated paraffin wax were evaluated by Differential Scanning Calorimeter (DSC). Structure stability and compatibility of core and coating materials were also tested by Fourier transform infrared spectrophotometer (FTIR), and the surface morphology of the samples are shown by Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscopy (FESEM). It has been found that the microencapsulated paraffin waxes show little change in the latent heat of fusion and melting temperature after one thousand thermal recycles. Besides, the chemical characteristics and structural profile remained constant after one thousand thermal cycling tests. Therefore, microencapsulated paraffin wax/polyaniline is a stable material that can be used for thermal energy storage systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart Polymers and Polymeric Structures)

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