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Polymers, Volume 11, Issue 1 (January 2019)

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Open AccessArticle Morphology Evolution and Rheological Behaviors of PP/SR Thermoplastic Vulcanizate
Polymers 2019, 11(1), 175; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11010175 (registering DOI)
Received: 11 December 2018 / Revised: 24 December 2018 / Accepted: 17 January 2019 / Published: 19 January 2019
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Abstract
The thermoplastic vulcanizates (TPVs) of polypropylene (PP)/silicone rubber (SR) were prepared by dynamic vulcanization (DV) technology. The mixing torque, morphology, viscoelasticity, and creep response of PP/SR TPVs were investigated by torque rheometer, scanning electron microscope (SEM), transmission electron microscope (TEM), rotational rheometer, and
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The thermoplastic vulcanizates (TPVs) of polypropylene (PP)/silicone rubber (SR) were prepared by dynamic vulcanization (DV) technology. The mixing torque, morphology, viscoelasticity, and creep response of PP/SR TPVs were investigated by torque rheometer, scanning electron microscope (SEM), transmission electron microscope (TEM), rotational rheometer, and dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA). A mixing-torque study showed that torque change and dynamic-vulcanization time increased with SR content increasing in the DV process, but DV rate was independent of SR content. TEM images indicated that the phase inversion of PP/SR-60 TPV from bicontinuous to a sea–island structure took place in the DV process, and a hot press would break the rubber aggregates and shrink a large SR phase. Dynamic-strain measurement demonstrated that PP/SR TPVs exhibit a distinct “Payne effect”, which can be attributed to the destruction and reconstruction of SR physical networks. Complex viscosity indicated that SR content did not affect the processability of PP/SR TPVs at high shear rates. Furthermore, the creep deformation and recovery of PP/SR TPVs at solid and melt states were studied, respectively. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Biocompatibility of Small-Diameter Vascular Grafts in Different Modes of RGD Modification
Polymers 2019, 11(1), 174; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11010174 (registering DOI)
Received: 20 December 2018 / Revised: 15 January 2019 / Accepted: 15 January 2019 / Published: 18 January 2019
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Abstract
Modification with Arg-Gly-Asp (RGD) peptides is a promising approach to improve biocompatibility of small-calibre vascular grafts but it is unknown how different RGD sequence composition impacts graft performance. Here we manufactured 1.5 mm poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate)/poly(ε-caprolactone) grafts modified by distinct linear or cyclic
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Modification with Arg-Gly-Asp (RGD) peptides is a promising approach to improve biocompatibility of small-calibre vascular grafts but it is unknown how different RGD sequence composition impacts graft performance. Here we manufactured 1.5 mm poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate)/poly(ε-caprolactone) grafts modified by distinct linear or cyclic RGD peptides immobilized by short or long amine linker arms. Modified vascular prostheses were tested in vitro to assess their mechanical properties, hemocompatibility, thrombogenicity and endothelialisation. We also implanted these grafts into rat abdominal aortas with the following histological examination at 1 and 3 months to evaluate their primary patency, cellular composition and detect possible calcification. Our results demonstrated that all modes of RGD modification reduce ultimate tensile strength of the grafts. Modification of prostheses does not cause haemolysis upon the contact with modified grafts, yet all the RGD-treated grafts display a tendency to promote platelet aggregation in comparison with unmodified counterparts. In vivo findings identify that cyclic Arg-Gly-Asp-Phe-Lys peptide in combination with trioxa-1,13-tridecanediamine linker group substantially improve graft biocompatibility. To conclude, here we for the first time compared synthetic small-diameter vascular prostheses with different modes of RGD modification. We suggest our graft modification regimen as enhancing graft performance and thus recommend it for future use in tissue engineering. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functional Polymers for Biomedicine)
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Open AccessCommunication Towards Detection of Glycoproteins Using Molecularly Imprinted Nanoparticles and Boronic Acid-Modified Fluorescent Probe
Polymers 2019, 11(1), 173; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11010173 (registering DOI)
Received: 17 December 2018 / Revised: 7 January 2019 / Accepted: 11 January 2019 / Published: 18 January 2019
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Abstract
Glycoproteins represent a group of important biomarkers for cancer and other life-threatening diseases. Selective detection of specific glycoproteins is an important step for early diagnosis. Traditional glycoprotein assays are mostly based on lectins, antibodies, and enzymes, biochemical reagents that are costly and require
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Glycoproteins represent a group of important biomarkers for cancer and other life-threatening diseases. Selective detection of specific glycoproteins is an important step for early diagnosis. Traditional glycoprotein assays are mostly based on lectins, antibodies, and enzymes, biochemical reagents that are costly and require special cold chain storage and distribution. To address the shortcomings of the existing glycoprotein assays, we propose a new approach using protein-imprinted nanoparticles to replace the traditional lectins and antibodies. Protein-imprinted binding sites were created on the surface of silica nanoparticles by copolymerization of dopamine and aminophenylboronic acid. The imprinted nanoparticles were systematically characterized by dynamic light scattering, scanning and transmission electron microscopy, thermogravimetric analysis, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, and elemental analysis. A boronic acid-modified fluorescent probe was used to detect the target glycoprotein captured by the imprinted nanoparticles. Using horseradish peroxidase as a model glycoprotein, we demonstrated that the proposed method can be applied to detect target protein containing multiple glycosylation sites. Because of their outstanding stability and low cost, imprinted nanoparticles and synthetic probes are attractive replacements of traditional biochemical reagents to develop simpler, faster, and more cost-effective analytical methods for glycoproteins. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Controllable Crimpness of Animal Hairs via Water-Stimulated Shape Fixation for Regulation of Thermal Insulation
Polymers 2019, 11(1), 172; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11010172
Received: 19 December 2018 / Revised: 14 January 2019 / Accepted: 15 January 2019 / Published: 18 January 2019
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Abstract
Animals living in extremely cold plateau areas have shown amazing ability to maintain their bodies warmth, a benefit of their hair’s unique structures and crimps. Investigation of hair crimps using a water-stimulated shape fixation effect would control the hair’s crimpness with a specific
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Animals living in extremely cold plateau areas have shown amazing ability to maintain their bodies warmth, a benefit of their hair’s unique structures and crimps. Investigation of hair crimps using a water-stimulated shape fixation effect would control the hair’s crimpness with a specific wetting-drying process thereafter, in order to achieve the regulation of hair thermal insulation. The mechanism of hair’s temporary shape fixation was revealed through FTIR and XRD characterizations for switching on and off the hydrogen bonds between macromolecules via penetration into and removal of aqueous molecules. The thermal insulation of hairs was regulated by managing the hair temporary crimps, that is, through managing the multiple reflectance of infrared light by hair hierarchical crimps from hair root to head. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Shape Memory Polymers III)
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Open AccessArticle Patterned Polyvinyl Alcohol Hydrogel Dressings with Stem Cells Seeded for Wound Healing
Polymers 2019, 11(1), 171; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11010171
Received: 30 December 2018 / Revised: 15 January 2019 / Accepted: 15 January 2019 / Published: 18 January 2019
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Abstract
Polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) hydrogel and stem cell therapy have been widely used in wound healing. However, the lack of bioactivity for PVA and security of stem therapy limited their application. In this study, an adipose-derived stem cells (ADSCs)-seeded PVA dressing (ADSCs/PVA) was prepared
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Polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) hydrogel and stem cell therapy have been widely used in wound healing. However, the lack of bioactivity for PVA and security of stem therapy limited their application. In this study, an adipose-derived stem cells (ADSCs)-seeded PVA dressing (ADSCs/PVA) was prepared for wound healing. One side of the PVA dressing was modified with photo-reactive gelatin (Az-Gel) via ultraviolet (UV) irradiation ([email protected]), and thus ADSCs could adhere, proliferate on the PVA dressings and keep the other side of the dressings without adhering to the wound. The structure and mechanics of [email protected] were determined by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and material testing instruments. Then, the adhesion and proliferation of ADSCs were observed via cell counts and live-dead staining. Finally, in vitro and in vivo experiments were utilized to confirm the effect of ADSCs/PVA dressing for wound healing. The results showed that Az-Gel was immobilized on the PVA and showed little effect on the mechanical properties of PVA hydrogels. The surface-modified PVA could facilitate ADSCs adhesion and proliferation. Protein released tests indicated that the bioactive factors secreted from ADSCs could penetrated to the wound. Finally, in vitro and in vivo experiments both suggested the ADSCs/PVA could promote the wound healing via secreting bioactive factors from ADSCs. It was speculated that the ADSCs/PVA dressing could not only promote the wound healing, but also provide a new way for the safe application of stem cells, which would be of great potential for skin tissue engineering. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functional Polymers for Biomedicine)
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Open AccessArticle Analysis and Identification of the Mechanism of Damage and Fracture of High-Filled Wood Fiber/Recycled High-Density Polyethylene Composites
Polymers 2019, 11(1), 170; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11010170
Received: 24 December 2018 / Revised: 10 January 2019 / Accepted: 14 January 2019 / Published: 18 January 2019
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Abstract
The damage and fracture of fiber reinforced polymer composites are vital constraints in their applications. To understand the mechanism of damage of wood fiber (WF) reinforced high density polyethylene (HDPE) composites, we used waste WF and recycled HDPE (Re-HDPE) as the raw materials
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The damage and fracture of fiber reinforced polymer composites are vital constraints in their applications. To understand the mechanism of damage of wood fiber (WF) reinforced high density polyethylene (HDPE) composites, we used waste WF and recycled HDPE (Re-HDPE) as the raw materials and prepared high-filled WF/Re-HDPE composites via extrusion. The damage and fracture mode and failure mechanism of the composites with different WF contents (50%, 60%, and 70%) was studied under a three-point bending test by combining the acoustic emission (AE) technique and scanning electron microscope (SEM) analysis. The results show that AE technology can better assist in understanding the progress of damage and fracture process of WF/Re-HDPE composites, and determine the damage degree, damage accumulation, and damage mode. The damage and fracture process of the composites presents three main stages: the appearance of initial damage, damage accumulation, and destructive damage to fracture. The matrix deformation, fiber breakage, interface delamination, fiber-matrix debonding, fiber pull-out, and matrix cracking were the dominant modes for the damage of high-filled WF/Re-HDPE composites under bending load, and the AE signal changed in different damage stages and damage modes. In addition, the WF content and repeated loading had a significant influence on the composite’s damage and fracture. The 50% and 60% WF/Re-HDPE composites produced irreversible damage when repeated load exceeded 75% of the maximum load, while 25% of the maximum load could cause irreversible damage for 70% WF/Re-HDPE composites. The damage was accumulated owing to repeated loading and the mechanical properties of the composites were seriously affected. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Preparation of a Water-Based Photoreactive Azosulphonate-Doped Poly(Vinyl Alcohol) and the Investigation of Its UV Response
Polymers 2019, 11(1), 169; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11010169
Received: 14 December 2018 / Revised: 8 January 2019 / Accepted: 11 January 2019 / Published: 18 January 2019
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Abstract
Two different azosulphonate dyes were synthesised and purified for the preparation of a water-based photoreactive azosulphonate-doped poly(vinyl alcohol). The aim was the investigation of a novel azosulphonate-poly(vinyl alcohol) photoresist with decreased water solubility after illumination, setting a focus on environmentally benign substances. The
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Two different azosulphonate dyes were synthesised and purified for the preparation of a water-based photoreactive azosulphonate-doped poly(vinyl alcohol). The aim was the investigation of a novel azosulphonate-poly(vinyl alcohol) photoresist with decreased water solubility after illumination, setting a focus on environmentally benign substances. The electron distribution of the aromatic rings of the two different azosulphonate molecules were changed by the UV-induced cleavage of the –N=N–SO3 groups, which was evidenced by UV spectroscopy. The formation of ester groups was detected by Fourier-transform infrared and 13C nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. UV–Vis spectroscopy was used to investigate the photoreactivity of the prepared films. Photolithographic experiments demonstrated the applicability of these newly produced materials as photoresist materials. In addition, these materials provide high thermal stability. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Influence of the Characteristics of Expandable Graphite on the Morphology, Thermal Properties, Fire Behaviour and Compression Performance of a Rigid Polyurethane Foam
Polymers 2019, 11(1), 168; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11010168
Received: 5 December 2018 / Revised: 4 January 2019 / Accepted: 10 January 2019 / Published: 18 January 2019
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Abstract
Three types of expandable graphite (EG) differing in particle size and expansion volume, are compared as flame retardant additives to rigid polyurethane foams (RPUFs). In this paper we discuss microstructure, thermal stability, fire behavior, and compression performance. We find that ell size distributions
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Three types of expandable graphite (EG) differing in particle size and expansion volume, are compared as flame retardant additives to rigid polyurethane foams (RPUFs). In this paper we discuss microstructure, thermal stability, fire behavior, and compression performance. We find that ell size distributions were less homogeneous and cell size was reduced. Furthermore, thermal conductivity increased along with EG loading. Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) showed that EG only increased residue yield differently. The results indicate that a higher expansion of EG increased the limiting oxygen index (LOI) value, whereas a bigger particle size EG improved the rating of the vertical burning test (UL94). Results from the cone calorimeter test showed that a bigger particle size EG effectively reduced peak of heat release rate (pHRR). Furthermore, a higher expansion, led to a decrease in smoke production (TSP). The combination of both characteristics gives extraordinary results. The physical–mechanical characterization of the EG/RPUF foams revealed that their compression performance decreased slightly, mostly due to the effect of a bigger size EG. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Multi-functional Polymer Composites and Structures)
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Open AccessReview Recent Advances in Organic Thermoelectric Materials: Principle Mechanisms and Emerging Carbon-Based Green Energy Materials
Polymers 2019, 11(1), 167; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11010167
Received: 24 December 2018 / Revised: 9 January 2019 / Accepted: 10 January 2019 / Published: 18 January 2019
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Abstract
Thermoelectric devices have recently attracted considerable interest owing to their unique ability of converting heat to electrical energy in an environmentally efficient manner. These devices are promising as alternative power generators for harvesting electrical energy compared to conventional batteries. Inorganic crystalline semiconductors have
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Thermoelectric devices have recently attracted considerable interest owing to their unique ability of converting heat to electrical energy in an environmentally efficient manner. These devices are promising as alternative power generators for harvesting electrical energy compared to conventional batteries. Inorganic crystalline semiconductors have dominated the thermoelectric material fields; however, their application has been restricted by their intrinsic high toxicity, fragility, and high cost. In contrast, organic thermoelectric materials with low cost, low thermal conductivity, easy processing, and good flexibility are more suitable for fabricating thermoelectric devices. In this review, we briefly introduce the parameters affecting the thermoelectric performance and summarize the most recently developed carbon-material-based organic thermoelectric composites along with their preparation technologies, thermoelectric performance, and future applications. In addition, the p- and n-type carbon nanotube conversion and existing challenges are discussed. This review can help researchers in elucidating the recent studies on carbon-based organic thermoelectric materials, thus inspiring them to develop more efficient thermoelectric devices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Conducting Polymers)
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Open AccessArticle Mechanical and Water-Resistant Properties of Eco-Friendly Chitosan Membrane Reinforced with Cellulose Nanocrystals
Polymers 2019, 11(1), 166; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11010166
Received: 28 December 2018 / Revised: 15 January 2019 / Accepted: 16 January 2019 / Published: 18 January 2019
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Abstract
Environmentally benign and biodegradable chitosan (CS) membranes have disadvantages such as low mechanical strength, high brittleness, poor heat resistance and poor water resistance, which limit their applications. In this paper, home-made cellulose nanocrystals (CNC) were added to CS to prepare CNC/CS composite membranes
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Environmentally benign and biodegradable chitosan (CS) membranes have disadvantages such as low mechanical strength, high brittleness, poor heat resistance and poor water resistance, which limit their applications. In this paper, home-made cellulose nanocrystals (CNC) were added to CS to prepare CNC/CS composite membranes through mechanical mixing and solution casting approaches. The effects of CNC dispersion patterns and CNC contents on the properties of composite membranes were studied. The analysis of the surface and cross-section morphology of the membranes showed that the dispersion performance of the composite membrane was better in the case that CNC was dissolved in an acetic acid solution and then mixed with chitosan by a homogenizer (Method 2). CNC had a great length-diameter ratio and CNC intensely interacted with CS. The mechanical properties of the composite membrane prepared with Method 2 were better. With a CNC content of 3%, the tensile strength of the composite membrane reached 43.0 MPa, 13.2% higher than that of the CNC-free membrane. The elongation at break was 41.6%, 56.4% higher than that of the CNC-free membrane. Thermogravimetric, contact angle and swelling analysis results showed that the addition of CNC could improve the heat and water resistance of the chitosan membrane. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Processing and Molding of Polymers)
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Open AccessArticle Layer-by-Layer Assembly and Electrochemical Study of Alizarin Red S-Based Thin Films
Polymers 2019, 11(1), 165; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11010165
Received: 4 December 2018 / Revised: 21 December 2018 / Accepted: 2 January 2019 / Published: 18 January 2019
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Abstract
Electroactive organic dyes incorporated in layer-by-layer (LbL) assemblies are of great interest for a variety of applications. In this paper, Alizarin Red S (ARS), an electroactive anthraquinone dye, is employed to construct LbL (BPEI/ARS)n films with branched poly(ethylene imine) (BPEI) as the
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Electroactive organic dyes incorporated in layer-by-layer (LbL) assemblies are of great interest for a variety of applications. In this paper, Alizarin Red S (ARS), an electroactive anthraquinone dye, is employed to construct LbL (BPEI/ARS)n films with branched poly(ethylene imine) (BPEI) as the complementary polymer. Unconventional LbL methods, including co-adsorption of ARS and poly(4-styrene sulfonate) (PSS) with BPEI to assemble (BPEI/(ARS+PSS))n, as well as pre-complexation of ARS with BPEI and further assembly with PSS to fabricate ((BPEI+ARS)/PSS)n, are designed for investigation and comparison. Film growth patterns, UV–Vis spectra and surface morphology of the three types of LbL assemblies are measured and compared to reveal the formation mechanism of the LbL films. Electrochemical properties including cyclic voltammetry and spectroelectrochemistry of (BPEI/ARS)120, (BPEI/(ARS+PSS))120 and ((BPEI+ARS)/PSS)120 films are studied, and the results show a slight color change due to the redox reaction of ARS. ((BPEI+ARS)/PSS)120 shows the best stability among the three samples. It is concluded that the manner of dye- incorporation has a great effect on the electrochemical properties of the resultant films. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Electrospun Graphene Nanosheet-Filled Poly(Trimethylene Terephthalate) Composite Fibers: Effects of the Graphene Nanosheet Content on Morphologies, Electrical Conductivity, Crystallization Behavior, and Mechanical Properties
Polymers 2019, 11(1), 164; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11010164
Received: 19 November 2018 / Revised: 13 January 2019 / Accepted: 15 January 2019 / Published: 17 January 2019
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Abstract
In this study the effects of increased graphene nanosheet (GNS) concentration on variations in the structure and properties of electrospun GNS-filled poly(trimethylene terephthalate) (PTT/GNS) composite fiber, such as its morphologies, crystallization behavior, mechanical properties, and electrical conductivity, were investigated. The effects of GNS
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In this study the effects of increased graphene nanosheet (GNS) concentration on variations in the structure and properties of electrospun GNS-filled poly(trimethylene terephthalate) (PTT/GNS) composite fiber, such as its morphologies, crystallization behavior, mechanical properties, and electrical conductivity, were investigated. The effects of GNS addition on solution rheology and conductivity were also investigated. GNSs were embedded in the fibers and formed protrusions. The PTT cold crystallization rate of PTT/GNS composite fibers increased with the gradual addition of GNSs. A PTT mesomorphic phase was formed during electrospinning, and GNSs could induce the PTT mesomorphic phase significantly during PTT/GNS composite fiber electrospinning. The PTT/GNS composite fiber mats (CFMs) became ductile with the addition of GNSs. The elastic recoveries of the PTT/GNS CFMs with 170 °C annealing were better than those of the as-spun PTT/GNS CFMs. Percolation scaling laws were applied to the magnitude of conductivity to reveal the percolation network of electrospun PTT/GNS CFMs. The electrical conductivity mechanism of the PTT/GNS CFMs differed from that of the PTT/GNS composite films. Results showed that the porous structure of the PTT CFMs influenced the performance of the mats in terms of electrical conductivity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Graphene-Polymer Composites II)
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Open AccessArticle Micelle Structure Details and Stabilities of Cyclic Block Copolymer Amphiphile and Its Linear Analogues
Polymers 2019, 11(1), 163; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11010163
Received: 16 December 2018 / Revised: 8 January 2019 / Accepted: 14 January 2019 / Published: 17 January 2019
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Abstract
In this study, we investigate structures and stabilities of the micelles of a cyclic amphiphile (c-PBA-b-PEO) composed of poly(-n-butyl acrylate) (PBA) and poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO) blocks and its linear diblock and triblock analogues (l-PBA-b-PEO and
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In this study, we investigate structures and stabilities of the micelles of a cyclic amphiphile (c-PBA-b-PEO) composed of poly(-n-butyl acrylate) (PBA) and poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO) blocks and its linear diblock and triblock analogues (l-PBA-b-PEO and -l-PBA--b-PEO-b-PBA) by using synchrotron X-ray scattering and quantitative data analysis. The comprehensive scattering analysis gives details and insights to the micellar architecture through structural parameters. Furthermore, this analysis provides direct clues for structural stabilities in micelles, which can be used as a good guideline to design highly stable micelles. Interestingly, in water, all topological polymers are found to form ellipsoidal micelles rather than spherical micelles; more interestingly, the cyclic polymer and its linear triblock analog make oblate-ellipsoidal micelles while the linear diblock analog makes a prolate-ellipsoidal micelle. The analysis results collectively inform that the cyclic topology enables more compact micelle formation as well as provides a positive impact on the micellar structural integrity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cyclic Polymers)
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Open AccessArticle Role of Molecular Weight in Polymer Wrapping and Dispersion of MWNT in a PVDF Matrix
Polymers 2019, 11(1), 162; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11010162
Received: 30 November 2018 / Revised: 8 January 2019 / Accepted: 13 January 2019 / Published: 17 January 2019
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Abstract
The thermal and electrical properties of a polymer nanocomposite are highly dependent on the dispersion of the CNT filler in the polymer matrix. Non-covalent functionalisation with a PVP polymer is an excellent driving force towards an effective dispersion of MWNTs in the polymer
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The thermal and electrical properties of a polymer nanocomposite are highly dependent on the dispersion of the CNT filler in the polymer matrix. Non-covalent functionalisation with a PVP polymer is an excellent driving force towards an effective dispersion of MWNTs in the polymer matrix. It is shown that the PVP molecular weight plays a key role in the non-covalent functionalisation of MWNT and its effect on the thermal and electrical properties of the polymer nanocomposite is reported herein. The dispersion and crystallisation behaviour of the composite are also evaluated by a combination of scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanotechnology of Polymers and Biomaterials)
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Open AccessArticle Differential Colonization Dynamics of Marine Biofilm-Forming Eukaryotic Microbes on Different Protective Coating Materials
Polymers 2019, 11(1), 161; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11010161
Received: 2 December 2018 / Revised: 15 January 2019 / Accepted: 15 January 2019 / Published: 17 January 2019
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Abstract
In this study, the actual anti-biofouling (AF) efficacy of three protective coatings, including a chlorinated rubber-based coating (C0) and two polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS)-based coatings (P0 and PF), were estimated via the static field exposure assays. The surface properties of
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In this study, the actual anti-biofouling (AF) efficacy of three protective coatings, including a chlorinated rubber-based coating (C0) and two polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS)-based coatings (P0 and PF), were estimated via the static field exposure assays. The surface properties of these protective coatings, including surface wettability and morphology features, were characterized using the static water contact angle (WCA) and scanning electron microscope (SEM). The colonization and succession dynamics of the early-adherent biofilm-forming eukaryotic microbial communities occupied on these protective coatings were explored using the Single-stranded Conformation Polymorphism (SSCP) technique. The field data clearly revealed that coating P0 and PF performed better in the long-term static submergence, as compared with the C0 surface, while coating PF showed excellent AF efficacy in the field. Fingerprinting analysis suggested that the diversity, abundance, the clustering patterns, and colonization dynamics of the early-colonized eukaryotic microbes were significantly perturbed by these protective coatings, particularly by the PF surfaces. These differential AF efficacy and perturbation effects would be largely ascribed to the differences in the wettability and surface nanostructures between the C0, P0 and PF surfaces, as evidenced by WCA and SEM analysis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biofouling and Antifouling)
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Open AccessArticle Effect of Thermal Ageing on the Impact Damage Resistance and Tolerance of Carbon-Fibre-Reinforced Epoxy Laminates
Polymers 2019, 11(1), 160; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11010160
Received: 18 December 2018 / Revised: 12 January 2019 / Accepted: 15 January 2019 / Published: 17 January 2019
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Abstract
Composite structures are particularly vulnerable to impact, which drastically reduces their residual strength, in particular, at high temperatures. The glass-transition temperature (Tg) of a polymer is a critical factor that can modify the mechanical properties of the material, affecting its
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Composite structures are particularly vulnerable to impact, which drastically reduces their residual strength, in particular, at high temperatures. The glass-transition temperature (Tg) of a polymer is a critical factor that can modify the mechanical properties of the material, affecting its density, hardness and rigidity. In this work, the influence of thermal ageing on the low-velocity impact resistance and tolerance of composites is investigated by means of compression after impact (CAI) tests. Carbon-fibre-reinforced polymer (CFRP) laminates with a Tg of 195 °C were manufactured and subjected to thermal ageing treatments at 190 and 210 °C for 10 and 20 days. Drop-weight impact tests were carried out to determine the impact response of the different composite laminates. Compression after impact tests were performed in a non-standard CAI device in order to obtain the compression residual strength. Ultrasonic C-scanning of impacted samples were examined to assess the failure mechanisms of the different configurations as a function of temperature. It was observed that damage tolerance decreases as temperature increases. Nevertheless, a post-curing process was found at temperatures below the Tg that enhances the adhesion between matrix and fibres and improves the impact resistance. Finally, the results obtained demonstrate that temperature can cause significant changes to the impact behaviour of composites and must be taken to account when designing for structural applications. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Solubility Difference between Pectic Fractions from Creeping Fig Seeds
Polymers 2019, 11(1), 159; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11010159
Received: 4 January 2019 / Revised: 12 January 2019 / Accepted: 12 January 2019 / Published: 17 January 2019
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Abstract
Crude water-extracted pectin (WEP) isolated from creeping fig seeds were mainly fractionated into WEP-0.3 and WEP-0.4 fractions. Fractions were confirmed to be nonstarch, nonreducing sugars, nonpolyphenols and protein-unbounded acidic polysaccharides. Interestingly, a significant difference in solubility was found between WEP-0.3 (higher solubility than
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Crude water-extracted pectin (WEP) isolated from creeping fig seeds were mainly fractionated into WEP-0.3 and WEP-0.4 fractions. Fractions were confirmed to be nonstarch, nonreducing sugars, nonpolyphenols and protein-unbounded acidic polysaccharides. Interestingly, a significant difference in solubility was found between WEP-0.3 (higher solubility than WEP) and WEP-0.4 (remarkably insoluble), which was consistent with the amorphous and porous sponge-like structure of WEP-0.3 as well as the crystalline and dense rod-like state of WEP-0.4. However, the result of the FT-IR spectra was contradicted by the solubility of WEP-0.4, which possessed the lowest degree of methoxylation and ought to possess the highest solubility. Through mineral analysis, a considerably high content of Ca2+ was found in WEP-0.4, suggesting that the low solubility of WEP-0.4 was probably attributable to the formation of microgels during dialysis. Therefore, metal divalent cations in the dialysate were suggested to be depleted for the dialysis of low methoxyl pectin. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polysaccharides)
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Open AccessArticle Sol–Gel-Processed Organic–Inorganic Hybrid for Flexible Conductive Substrates Based on Gravure-Printed Silver Nanowires and Graphene
Polymers 2019, 11(1), 158; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11010158
Received: 24 December 2018 / Revised: 14 January 2019 / Accepted: 16 January 2019 / Published: 17 January 2019
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Abstract
In this study, an organic–inorganic (O–I) nanohybrid obtained by incorporating an alkoxysilane-functionalized amphiphilic polymer precursor into a SiO2–TiO2 hybrid network was successfully utilized as a buffer layer to fabricate a flexible, transparent, and stable conductive substrate for solution-processed silver nanowires
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In this study, an organic–inorganic (O–I) nanohybrid obtained by incorporating an alkoxysilane-functionalized amphiphilic polymer precursor into a SiO2–TiO2 hybrid network was successfully utilized as a buffer layer to fabricate a flexible, transparent, and stable conductive substrate for solution-processed silver nanowires (AgNWs) and graphene under ambient conditions. The resulting O–I nanohybrid sol (denoted as AGPTi) provided a transmittance of the spin-coated AgNWs on an AGPTi-coated glass of 99.4% and high adhesion strength after a 3M tape test, with no visible changes in the AgNWs. In addition, AGPTi acted as a highly functional buffer layer, absorbing the applied pressure between the conductive materials, AgNWs and graphene, and rigid substrate, leading to a significant reduction in sheet resistance. Furthermore, gravure-printed AgNWs and graphene on the AGPTi-based flexible substrate had uniform line widths of 490 ± 15 and 470 ± 12 µm, with 1000-cycle bending durabilities, respectively. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Synthesis of Propylene-co-Styrenic Monomer Copolymers via Arylation of Chlorinated PP and Their Compatibilization for PP/PS Blend
Polymers 2019, 11(1), 157; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11010157
Received: 4 December 2018 / Revised: 24 December 2018 / Accepted: 2 January 2019 / Published: 17 January 2019
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Abstract
A series of propylene-co-styrenic monomer copolymers were synthesized using the Friedel–Crafts alkylation reaction between chlorinated PP and substituted benzene, and the effects of these copolymers on a PP/PS (80/20) blend were investigated by using the impact test, morphology observation, thermo- and
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A series of propylene-co-styrenic monomer copolymers were synthesized using the Friedel–Crafts alkylation reaction between chlorinated PP and substituted benzene, and the effects of these copolymers on a PP/PS (80/20) blend were investigated by using the impact test, morphology observation, thermo- and dynamic mechanical analysis, and rheology measurements. The results showed that the compatibilization efficiency varied as the variation of the substitute on the benzene ring of the styrenic monomer unit was incorporated in the PP chain in an order of methyl > ethyl > methoxyl. The copolymers bearing a crystalline isotactic polypropylene chain sequence and rubbery propylene-co-styrene-like unit chain segments may prepossess imaginable applications, giving an example for the synthesis and applications of PP-based copolymers, initiating a new way to broaden the polyolefin-based material family. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Preparation of PVDF/Hyperbranched-Nano-Palygorskite Composite Membrane for Efficient Removal of Heavy Metal Ions
Polymers 2019, 11(1), 156; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11010156
Received: 21 December 2018 / Revised: 7 January 2019 / Accepted: 9 January 2019 / Published: 17 January 2019
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Abstract
In this work, three kinds of hyperbranched polyamidoamine-palygorskite (PAMAM-Pal) were designed and synthesized by grafting the first generation polyamidoamine (G1.0 PAMAM), G2.0 PAMAM and G3.0 PAMAM onto Pal surfaces, respectively. Then, these PAMAM-Pals were used as additives to prepare polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF)/hyperbranched polyamidoamine-palygorskite
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In this work, three kinds of hyperbranched polyamidoamine-palygorskite (PAMAM-Pal) were designed and synthesized by grafting the first generation polyamidoamine (G1.0 PAMAM), G2.0 PAMAM and G3.0 PAMAM onto Pal surfaces, respectively. Then, these PAMAM-Pals were used as additives to prepare polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF)/hyperbranched polyamidoamine-palygorskite bicomponent composite membranes. The structures of the composite membranes were characterized by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), thermo gravimetric analysis (TEM), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), field-emission scanning electronmicroscopy (SEM), atomic force microscope (AFM) and Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). The adsorption properties of composite membranes to heavy metal ions was studied, and the results found that the maximum adsorption capacities for Cu(II), Ni(II) and Cd(II) could reach 155.19 mg/g, 124.28 mg/g and 125.55 mg/g, respectively, for the PVDF/G3.0 PAMAM-Pal membrane, while only 23.70 mg/g, 17.74 mg/g and 14.87 mg/g could be obtained for unmodified membranes in the same conditions. The high adsorption capacity can be ascribed to the large number of amine-terminated groups, amide groups and carbonyl groups of the composite membrane. The above results indicated that the prepared composite membrane has a high adsorption capacity for heavy metal ions removal in water treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydrogen Bonding in Polymeric Materials)
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Open AccessArticle Hierarchical Ag Nanostructures Fabricated from Silver Coordination Polymers for Antibacterial Surface
Polymers 2019, 11(1), 155; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11010155
Received: 21 December 2018 / Revised: 11 January 2019 / Accepted: 12 January 2019 / Published: 17 January 2019
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Abstract
A hierarchical silver nanostructure with improved antibacterial property was fabricated utilizing silver coordination polymer. Octadecanethiolate–silver polymer was synthesized to have a layered structure and was coated on silicon wafer by drop-casting method utilizing hydrophobic–hydrophobic interaction. Thus, the silver coordination polymer was calcined under
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A hierarchical silver nanostructure with improved antibacterial property was fabricated utilizing silver coordination polymer. Octadecanethiolate–silver polymer was synthesized to have a layered structure and was coated on silicon wafer by drop-casting method utilizing hydrophobic–hydrophobic interaction. Thus, the silver coordination polymer was calcined under reductive condition to produce zero-valent silver with a hierarchical nanostructure. X-ray diffraction patterns revealed that layered silver coordination polymer successfully transformed to hexagonal silver upon calcination. According to scanning electron and atomic force microscopy, silver coordination polymer with ~145.5 nm size was homogeneously coated on the surface before calcination, and it evolved micrometer-sized lumps and grooves which were composed of ~58.8 nm sized Ag nanoparticles. The hierarchical structure—micrometer lump/groove consisting of Ag nanoparticles—would be advantageous to kill bacteria; micrometer-grooves provide physical condition (pocket for bacteria capture) and the Ag nanoparticles from the neighboring lump endow chemical condition (antibacterial property of released Ag+). The antibacterial activity test on Escherichia coli via colony forming inhibitory assay indeed exhibited an improved antibacterial activity of hierarchical Ag nanostructure compared with the surface simply coated with Ag nanoparticles. From the line profile of atomic force microscopy, the bacterium trapped in the hierarchical Ag nanostructure was shown to interact intimately with Ag surface. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Coordination Polymers)
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Open AccessArticle Orientation and Dispersion Evolution of Carbon Nanotubes in Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene Composites under Extensional-Shear Coupled Flow: A Dissipative Particle Dynamics Study
Polymers 2019, 11(1), 154; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11010154
Received: 19 December 2018 / Revised: 13 January 2019 / Accepted: 14 January 2019 / Published: 17 January 2019
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Abstract
The property of carbon nanotubes (CNTs)-based composites are significantly dependent on the orientation and dispersion evolution of CNTs in the polymer matrix. In this work, the dissipative particle dynamics (DPD) simulations are employed to discover the orientation and dispersion evolution of CNTs in
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The property of carbon nanotubes (CNTs)-based composites are significantly dependent on the orientation and dispersion evolution of CNTs in the polymer matrix. In this work, the dissipative particle dynamics (DPD) simulations are employed to discover the orientation and dispersion evolution of CNTs in ultra–high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) under extensional–shear coupled flow conditions for the first time. In this paper, we investigate the roles of the increasing extensional-shear coupled rate in morphology of CNTs/UHMWPE composites by varying CNTs concentration and observe that the system under consideration lies in the same evolution morphologies. When comparing our results for various morphologies, we notice that the orientation is affected more significantly by changing the extensional-shear coupled rates. A good alignment appears with an increase of extensional-shear coupled rates, which transform it into ordered morphology. In addition, a higher extensional-shear coupled rate does not necessarily contribute to better dispersion even though CNTs concentration varies, as shown by the mean square displacement (MSD) and the relative concentration distribution functions of CNTs in CNTs/UHMWPE composites. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer-CNT Nanocomposites)
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Open AccessArticle A Comparative Study on the Characterization of Nanofibers with Cellulose I, I/II, and II Polymorphs from Wood
Polymers 2019, 11(1), 153; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11010153
Received: 19 November 2018 / Revised: 8 January 2019 / Accepted: 14 January 2019 / Published: 17 January 2019
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Abstract
Polymorphic changes in cellulose nanofibers (CNFs) are closely related to their properties and applications, and it is of interest to investigate how polymorphic changes influence their properties. A comparative study on the properties of CNFs with cellulose I, I/II, and II polymorphs from
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Polymorphic changes in cellulose nanofibers (CNFs) are closely related to their properties and applications, and it is of interest to investigate how polymorphic changes influence their properties. A comparative study on the properties of CNFs with cellulose I, I/II, and II polymorphs from wood was conducted herein. CNFs were obtained by chemical extraction combined with a simple and efficient mechanical treatment (one pass through a grinder). This process resulted in a relatively high yield of 80–85% after a simple grinding treatment. The polymorphic changes in the CNFs and the chemical composition, morphology, tensile performances, and thermal properties were systematically characterized and compared. The X-ray diffraction and FTIR analyses verified the existence of three types of purified pulps and CNFs with cellulose I, cellulose I/II, and cellulose II polymorphs (CNF-I, CNF-I/II, CNF-II). Morphological observations presented that these three types of CNFs all exhibited high aspect ratios and entangled structures. Tensile testing showed that the CNF films all exhibited high tensile strengths, and the fracture strains of the CNF-I/II (11.8%) and CNF-II (13.0%) films were noticeably increased compared to those of the CNF-I film (6.0%). If CNF-II is used as reinforcing material, its larger fracture strain can improve the mechanical performance of the CNF composites, such as fracture toughness and impact strength. In addition, CNF-I, CNF-I/II, and CNF-II films showed very low thermal expansion in the range 20–150 °C, with the coefficient of thermal expansion values of 9.4, 17.1, and 17.3 ppm/K, respectively. Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) revealed that the degradation temperature of CNF-I and CNF-II was greater than that of CNF-I/II, which was likely due to increased α-cellulose content. This comparative study of the characterization of CNF-I, CNF-I/II, and CNF-II provides a theoretical basis for the application of CNFs with different polymorphs and could broaden the applications of CNFs. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Resistance to Cleavage of Core–Shell Rubber/Epoxy Composite Foam Adhesive under Impact Wedge–Peel Condition for Automobile Structural Adhesive
Polymers 2019, 11(1), 152; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11010152
Received: 17 December 2018 / Revised: 14 January 2019 / Accepted: 14 January 2019 / Published: 17 January 2019
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Abstract
Epoxy foam adhesives are widely used for weight reduction, watertight property, and mechanical reinforcement effects. However, epoxy foam adhesives have poor impact resistance at higher expansion ratios. Hence, we prepared an epoxy composite foam adhesive with core–shell rubber (CSR) particles to improve the
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Epoxy foam adhesives are widely used for weight reduction, watertight property, and mechanical reinforcement effects. However, epoxy foam adhesives have poor impact resistance at higher expansion ratios. Hence, we prepared an epoxy composite foam adhesive with core–shell rubber (CSR) particles to improve the impact resistance and applied it to automotive structural adhesives. The curing behavior and pore structure were characterized by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and X-ray computed tomography (CT), respectively, and impact wedge–peel tests were conducted to quantitatively evaluate the resistance to cleavage of the CSR/epoxy composite foam adhesives under impact. At 5 and 10 phr CSR contents, the pore size and expansion ratio increased sufficiently due to the decrease in curing rate. However, at 20 phr CSR content, the pore size decreased, which might be due to the steric hindrance effect of the CSR particles. Notably, at 0 and 0.1 phr foaming agent contents, the resistance to cleavage of the adhesives under the impact wedge–peel condition significantly improved with increasing CSR content. Thus, the CSR/epoxy composite foam adhesive containing 0.1 phr foaming agent and 20 phr CSR particles showed high impact resistance (EC = 34,000 mJ/cm2) and sufficient expansion ratio (~148%). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymeric Foams)
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Open AccessArticle The Improvement Effect and Mechanism of Longitudinal Ultrasonic Vibration on the Injection Molding Quality of a Polymeric Micro-Needle Array
Polymers 2019, 11(1), 151; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11010151
Received: 14 December 2018 / Revised: 12 January 2019 / Accepted: 13 January 2019 / Published: 17 January 2019
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Abstract
A polymeric micro-needle array with high quality has been fabricated using a longitudinal ultrasonic-assisted micro-injection molding (LUμIM) method. To realize the practicability and stability in actual industrial processing, this paper is aimed at studying the improvement mechanism of ultrasonic vibration on the molding
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A polymeric micro-needle array with high quality has been fabricated using a longitudinal ultrasonic-assisted micro-injection molding (LUμIM) method. To realize the practicability and stability in actual industrial processing, this paper is aimed at studying the improvement mechanism of ultrasonic vibration on the molding quality. The melt-filling process in the micro-needle array cavity is simulated, and the improvement effect of ultrasonic vibration is discussed. The enhancement effect of ultrasonic vibration on material properties of polypropylene and polymethylmethacrylate parts are experimentally investigated. The results show that in the manufacturing of the micro-needle array part using LUμIM, the mold-filling quality is improved by the enhanced melt filling capability and pressure compensation effect, which are caused by the increased corner viscosity gradient, reduced the filling time and melt viscosity under ultrasonic vibration. Material properties of both the semi-crystalline polymer and amorphous polymer could be enhanced by the transformation of micromorphology. It is proved that for a semi-crystalline polymer, this novel method could be employed as a material properties enhancement method, and an optimal excitation voltage of ultrasonic vibration is obtained to achieve the best material properties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Materials and Methods for New Technologies in Polymer Processing)
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Open AccessEditorial Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Polymers in 2018
Polymers 2019, 11(1), 150; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11010150
Published: 16 January 2019
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Abstract
Rigorous peer-review is the corner-stone of high-quality academic publishing [...] Full article
Open AccessArticle Impact Energy Release Characteristics of PTFE/Al/CuO Reactive Materials Measured by a New Energy Release Testing Device
Polymers 2019, 11(1), 149; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11010149
Received: 14 December 2018 / Revised: 13 January 2019 / Accepted: 15 January 2019 / Published: 16 January 2019
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Abstract
Metal/polymer reactive materials have been studied and applied in a wide range of ways in recent years. This type of material is insensitive under normal conditions but reacts violently and releases a large amount of chemical energy under high-speed impact or high strain
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Metal/polymer reactive materials have been studied and applied in a wide range of ways in recent years. This type of material is insensitive under normal conditions but reacts violently and releases a large amount of chemical energy under high-speed impact or high strain rate loading conditions. Compared with conventional explosives, it has better mechanical properties, and its unit mass energy is several times that of TNT. In this paper, PTFE/Al/CuO reactive materials are the main research objects, and we assess the impact energy release abilities of this type of reactive material through experimental research. To this end, eight sets of material formulations are designed, and the effects of particle size, the ratio of PTFE/Al and Al/CuO materials, and sintering on the energy release ability of the reactive materials are investigated. All experiments are carried out based on a self-designed new energy release testing device. The experimental device can measure the pressure time history curve generated by the reactive materials, and the rationality of the pressure time history curve can also be verified by the displacement time curve of the piston. The results show that with an increase in the Al/CuO thermite content, the energy release rate of the reactive material clearly increases, which is attributed to the reaction threshold of Al/CuO being low and because the heat generated can promote the reaction of PTFE/Al. The energy release rate of the nano-scale reactive materials is higher than that of the micron-scale reactive materials because the reduction in particle size results in a larger specific surface area. Thus, the energy required for ignition is lower. The energy release rate of sintered reactive materials is higher than that of unsintered reactive materials, which can be explained by the interfacial area between Al particles and PTFE particles in sintered reactive materials being larger, which makes the reaction more sufficient. The self-designed energy release testing device for the reactive materials and the conclusions obtained in this paper have clear significance for guiding engineering applications. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Surface Modification of Aluminum Nitride to Fabricate Thermally Conductive poly(Butylene Succinate) Nanocomposite
Polymers 2019, 11(1), 148; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11010148
Received: 12 December 2018 / Revised: 15 January 2019 / Accepted: 15 January 2019 / Published: 16 January 2019
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Abstract
Biodegradable polymers and their composites are considered promising materials for replacing conventional polymer plastics in various engineering fields. In this study, poly(butylene succinate) (PBS) composites filled with 5% aluminum nitride nanoparticles were successfully fabricated. The aluminum nitride nanoparticles were surface-modified to improve their
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Biodegradable polymers and their composites are considered promising materials for replacing conventional polymer plastics in various engineering fields. In this study, poly(butylene succinate) (PBS) composites filled with 5% aluminum nitride nanoparticles were successfully fabricated. The aluminum nitride nanoparticles were surface-modified to improve their interaction with the PBS matrix. Field-emission scanning electron microscopy revealed that the nanocomposites with surface-modified nanoparticles had better interface interaction and dispersion in the polymer matrix than those with untreated nanoparticles. The PBS/modified AlN nanocomposites exhibited maximal thermal conductivity enhancement, 63.7%, compared to the neat PBS. In addition, other thermomechanical properties of the PBS nanocomposites were investigated in this study. The nanocomposites also showed a superior storage modulus compared to the neat PBS matrix. In this work, a PBS nanocomposite with suitable thermal conductivity that can be used in various electronic fields was fabricated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Engineering Plastics)
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Open AccessArticle Improving the Performances of Perovskite Solar Cells via Modification of Electron Transport Layer
Polymers 2019, 11(1), 147; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11010147
Received: 9 January 2019 / Accepted: 14 January 2019 / Published: 16 January 2019
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Abstract
The commonly used electron transport material (6,6)-phenyl-C61 butyric acid methyl ester (PCBM) for perovskite solar cells (PSC) with inverted planar structures suffers from properties such as poor film-forming. In this manuscript, we demonstrate a simple method to improve the film-forming properties of PCBM
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The commonly used electron transport material (6,6)-phenyl-C61 butyric acid methyl ester (PCBM) for perovskite solar cells (PSC) with inverted planar structures suffers from properties such as poor film-forming. In this manuscript, we demonstrate a simple method to improve the film-forming properties of PCBM by doping PCBM with poly(9,9-dioctylfluorene-co-benzothiadiazole) (F8BT) as the electron transport layer (ETL), which effectively enhances the performance of CH3NH3PbI3 based solar cells. With 5 wt % F8BT in PCBM, the short circuit current (JSC) and fill factor (FF) of PSC both significantly increased from 17.21 ± 0.15 mA·cm−2 and 71.1 ± 0.07% to 19.28 ± 0.22 mA·cm−2 and 74.7 ± 0.21%, respectively, which led to a power conversion efficiency (PCE) improvement from 12.6 ± 0.24% to 15 ± 0.26%. The morphology investigation suggested that doping with F8BT facilitated the formation of a smooth and uniform ETL, which was favorable for the separation of electron-hole pairs, and therefore, an improved performance of PSC. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Synthesis and Application of Conjugated Polymers)
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Open AccessArticle Anatase TiO2-Decorated Graphitic Carbon Nitride for Photocatalytic Conversion of Carbon Dioxide
Polymers 2019, 11(1), 146; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11010146
Received: 7 December 2018 / Revised: 7 January 2019 / Accepted: 8 January 2019 / Published: 16 January 2019
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Abstract
Three types of graphitic carbon nitride (gCN) nanosheets were derived from direct thermal condensation of urea, melamine, and dicyandiamide, respectively. As the sample (uCN) synthesized from urea exhibited porous morphology and highest surface area among other gCN, anatase TiO2 nanoparticles were then
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Three types of graphitic carbon nitride (gCN) nanosheets were derived from direct thermal condensation of urea, melamine, and dicyandiamide, respectively. As the sample (uCN) synthesized from urea exhibited porous morphology and highest surface area among other gCN, anatase TiO2 nanoparticles were then in-situ deposited on uCN via solvothermal process without further calcination. The resultant Ti/uCN_x samples remained with higher surface area and exhibited visible-light activity. The derived band structure of each sample also confirmed its ability to photoreduce CO2. XPS results revealed surface compositions of each sample. Those functional groups governed adsorption of reactant, interfacial interaction, electron transfer rate, and consequently influenced the yield of products. Carbon monoxide and methanol were detected from LED-lamp illuminated samples under appropriate moisture content. Samples with higher ratio of terminal amine groups produced more CO. The presence of hydroxyl groups promoted the initial conversion of methanol. The obtained Ti/uCN_0.5 and Ti/uCN_1.5 samples exhibited better quantum efficiency toward CO2 conversion and demonstrated stability to consistently produce CO under cycling photoreaction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymeric Photocatalysts and Gas Sensors)
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