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Polymers, Volume 11, Issue 10 (October 2019)

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Open AccessArticle
Nucleation and Crystallization of PA6 Composites Prepared by T-RTM: Effects of Carbon and Glass Fiber Loading
Polymers 2019, 11(10), 1680; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11101680 (registering DOI) - 14 Oct 2019
Abstract
Thermoplastic resin transfer molding (T-RTM) is attracting much attention due to the need for recyclable alternatives to thermoset materials. In this work, we have prepared polyamide-6 (PA6) and PA6/fiber composites by T-RTM of caprolactam. Glass and carbon fibers were employed in a fixed [...] Read more.
Thermoplastic resin transfer molding (T-RTM) is attracting much attention due to the need for recyclable alternatives to thermoset materials. In this work, we have prepared polyamide-6 (PA6) and PA6/fiber composites by T-RTM of caprolactam. Glass and carbon fibers were employed in a fixed amount of 60 and 47 wt.%, respectively. Neat PA6 and PA6 matrices (of PA6-GF and PA6-CF) of approximately 200 kg/mol were obtained with conversion ratios exceeding 95%. Both carbon fibers (CF) and glass fibers (GF) were able to nucleate PA6, with efficiencies of 44% and 26%, respectively. The α crystal polymorph of PA6 was present in all samples. The lamellar spacing, lamellar thickness and crystallinity degree did not show significant variations in the samples with or without fibers as result of the slow cooling process applied during T-RTM. The overall isothermal crystallization rate decreased in the order: PA6-CF > PA6-GF > neat PA6, as a consequence of the different nucleation efficiencies. The overall crystallization kinetics data were successfully described by the Avrami equation. The lamellar stack morphology observed by atomic force microscopy (AFM) is consistent with 2D superstructural aggregates (n = 2) for all samples. Finally, the reinforcement effect of fibers was larger than one order of magnitude in the values of elastic modulus and tensile strength. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Eurofillers Polymer Blends)
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Open AccessArticle
Photothermal Responsive Porous Membrane for Treatment of Infected Wound
Polymers 2019, 11(10), 1679; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11101679 (registering DOI) - 14 Oct 2019
Abstract
Wound infection is a big issue of modern medicine because of multi-drug resistance bacteria; thus, developing an advanced therapy is curial. Photothermal therapy (PTT) is a newly noninvasive strategy that employs PTT agents to transfer near-infrared (NIR) light energy into heat to kill [...] Read more.
Wound infection is a big issue of modern medicine because of multi-drug resistance bacteria; thus, developing an advanced therapy is curial. Photothermal therapy (PTT) is a newly noninvasive strategy that employs PTT agents to transfer near-infrared (NIR) light energy into heat to kill bacterial pathogens. In this work, the PTT agent-containing dressing was developed for the first time to treat the wound infection. Palladium nanoparticles (PdNPs) were chosen as PTT agents because of their high stability, good biocompatibility, excellent photothermal property, and simple-green preparation. With the flexibility and wettability, highly porous membrane chitosan/polyvinyl alcohol (CS/PVA) membrane was chosen as the dressing. The prepared wound dressings exhibited excellent biocompatibility, high porosity, a high degree of swelling, high moisture retention, and high photothermal performance. The treatment of PdNPs loading CS/PVA dressing (CS/PVA/Pd) and laser irradiation killed most of the bacteria in vitro. The proposed PTT agent containing wound dressing introduces a novel strategy for the treatment of wound infection. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Achieving Ultrahigh Cycling Stability and Extended Potential Window for Supercapacitors through Asymmetric Combination of Conductive Polymer Nanocomposite and Activated Carbon
Polymers 2019, 11(10), 1678; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11101678 (registering DOI) - 14 Oct 2019
Abstract
Conducting polymers and carbon-based materials such as graphene oxide (GO) and activated carbon (AC) are the most promising capacitive materials, though both offer charge storage through different mechanisms. However, their combination can lead to some unusual results, offering improvement in certain properties in [...] Read more.
Conducting polymers and carbon-based materials such as graphene oxide (GO) and activated carbon (AC) are the most promising capacitive materials, though both offer charge storage through different mechanisms. However, their combination can lead to some unusual results, offering improvement in certain properties in comparison with the individual materials. Cycling stability of supercapacitors devices is often a matter of concern, and extensive research is underway to improve this phenomena of supercapacitive devices. Herein, a high-performance asymmetric supercapacitor device was fabricated using graphene oxide–polyaniline ([email protected]) nanocomposite as positive electrode and activated carbon (AC) as negative electrode. The device showed 142 F g-1 specific capacitance at 1 A g-1 current density with capacitance retention of 73.94% at higher current density (10 A g-1). Most importantly, the device exhibited very high electrochemical cycling stability. It retained 118.6% specific capacitance of the starting value after 10,000 cycles at 3 Ag-1 and with coulombic efficiency of 98.06 %, indicating great potential for practical applications. Very small solution resistance (Rs, 0.640 Ω) and charge transfer resistance (Rct, 0.200 Ω) were observed hinting efficient charge transfer and fast ion diffusion. Due to asymmetric combination, potential window was extended to 1.2 V in aqueous electrolyte, as a result higher energy density (28.5 Wh kg-1) and power density of 2503 W kg-1 were achieved at the current density 1 Ag-1. It also showed an aerial capacitance of 57 mF cm-2 at current 3.2 mA cm-2. At this current density, its energy density was maximum (0.92 mWh cm-2) with power density (10.47 W cm-2). Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Synthesis of a Carrageenan–Iron Complex and Its Effect on Flame Retardancy and Smoke Suppression for Waterborne Epoxy
Polymers 2019, 11(10), 1677; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11101677 (registering DOI) - 14 Oct 2019
Abstract
A k-carrageenan–iron complex (KC–Fe) was synthesized by complexation between degraded KC and FeCl3. Furthermore, KC–Fe and ammonium polyphosphate (APP) were simultaneously added into waterborne epoxy (EP) to improve its flame retardancy and smoke suppression performance. The structure and properties of KC–Fe [...] Read more.
A k-carrageenan–iron complex (KC–Fe) was synthesized by complexation between degraded KC and FeCl3. Furthermore, KC–Fe and ammonium polyphosphate (APP) were simultaneously added into waterborne epoxy (EP) to improve its flame retardancy and smoke suppression performance. The structure and properties of KC–Fe were assessed using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), ultraviolet (UV) spectroscopy, thermo gravimetric analysis (TGA), and X-ray powder diffraction analysis (XRD). The analysis showed that KC–Fe was successfully synthesized and exhibited good thermal properties with a 49% char residue at 800 °C. The enhanced flame retardancy and smoke suppression performance of waterborne epoxy were evaluated using a limiting oxygen index (LOI) and UL-94. Moreover, the flame retardancy of waterborne epoxy coated on a steel plate was also investigated using cone calorimetry. The results showed that the flame-retardant waterborne epoxy blend exhibited the best flame retardancy when the mass ratio of APP and KC–Fe was 2:1. The total heat release (THR) and total smoke production (TSP) was decreased by 44% and 45%, respectively, which indicated good fire safety performance and smoke suppression properties. Analysis of the residual char using FTIR, SEM, and elemental analysis (EDS) indicated that the action of KC–Fe was promoted by the presence of APP. The formation of a dense thermal stable char layer from an intumescent coating was essential to protect the underlying materials. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Cytocompatible and Antibacterial Properties of Chitosan-Siloxane Hybrid Spheres
Polymers 2019, 11(10), 1676; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11101676 (registering DOI) - 14 Oct 2019
Abstract
Microporous spheres in a hybrid system consisting of chitosan and γ-glycidoxypropyltrimethoxysilane (GPTMS) have advantages in a range of applications, e.g., as vehicles for cell transplantation and soft tissue defect filling materials, because of their excellent cytocompatibility with various cells. In this study, microporous [...] Read more.
Microporous spheres in a hybrid system consisting of chitosan and γ-glycidoxypropyltrimethoxysilane (GPTMS) have advantages in a range of applications, e.g., as vehicles for cell transplantation and soft tissue defect filling materials, because of their excellent cytocompatibility with various cells. In this study, microporous chitosan-GPTMS spheres were prepared by dropping chitosan-GPTMS precursor sols, with or without a cerium chloride, into liquid nitrogen using a syringe pump. The droplets were then freeze dried to give the pores of size 10 to 50 μm. The cell culture tests showed that L929 fibroblast-like cells migrated into the micropores larger than 50 μm in diameter, whereas MG63 osteoblast-like cells proliferated well and covered the granule surfaces. The spheres with cerium chloride showed antibacterial properties against both gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chitin and Chitosan: Properties and Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
Engineering Reactive Clay Systems by Ground Rubber Replacement and Polyacrylamide Treatment
Polymers 2019, 11(10), 1675; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11101675 (registering DOI) - 14 Oct 2019
Abstract
This study investigates the combined performance of ground rubber (GR), the additive, and polyacrylamide (PAM), the binder, as a sustainable solution towards ameliorating the inferior geotechnical attributes of an expansive clay. The first phase of the experimental program examined the effects of PAM [...] Read more.
This study investigates the combined performance of ground rubber (GR), the additive, and polyacrylamide (PAM), the binder, as a sustainable solution towards ameliorating the inferior geotechnical attributes of an expansive clay. The first phase of the experimental program examined the effects of PAM concentration on the soil’s mechanical properties—consistency, sediment volume attributes, compactability, unconfined compressive strength (UCS), reactivity and microstructure features. The second phase investigated the effects of GR content, with and without the optimum PAM concentration. An increase in PAM beyond 0.2 g/L, the identified optimum concentration, caused the excess PAM to act as a lubricant rather than a flocculant. This feature facilitated reduced overall resistance to sliding of soil particles relative to each other, thereby adversely influencing the improvement in stress–strain–strength response achieved for ≤0.2 g/L PAM. This transitional mechanism was further verified by the consistency limits and sediment volume properties, both of which exhibited only minor variations beyond 0.2 g/L PAM. The greater the GR content, the higher the mobilized UCS up to 10% GR, beyond which the dominant GR-to-GR interaction (i.e., rubber-clustering) adversely influenced the stress–strain–strength response. Reduction in the soil’s swell–shrink capacity, however, was consistently in favor of higher GR contents. Addition of PAM to the GR-blended samples amended the soil aggregate–GR connection interface, thereby achieving further improvements in the soil’s UCS and volume change behaviors. A maximum GR content of 20%, paired with 0.2 g/L PAM, managed to satisfy a major decrease in the swell–shrink capacity while improving the strength-related features, and thus was deemed as the optimum choice. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Characteristics of Self-Healable Copolymers of Styrene and Eugenol Terminated Polyurethane Prepolymer
Polymers 2019, 11(10), 1674; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11101674 (registering DOI) - 14 Oct 2019
Abstract
With limited biomass that can be currently utilized as a renewable resource, it is important to develop a method to convert biomass into materials that can replace fossil fuel product. In this paper, eugenol, a bio-based allyl chain-substituted guaiacol, was used to synthesize [...] Read more.
With limited biomass that can be currently utilized as a renewable resource, it is important to develop a method to convert biomass into materials that can replace fossil fuel product. In this paper, eugenol, a bio-based allyl chain-substituted guaiacol, was used to synthesize self-healable copolymers. Eugenol terminated polyurethane prepolymer (ETPU) was synthesized from eugenol and polyurethane prepolymers terminated with isocyanate groups. ETPU contained two allyl groups. Self-healing copolymer networks were obtained by copolymerization of ETPU and styrene monomer via free radical polymerization. Effects of ETPU content on the properties of copolymers were then studied. These copolymers containing ETPU exhibited good thermal stability and mechanical properties. These copolymers showed higher tensile strength and elongation at break than PS. Their maximum tensile strength reached 19 MPa. In addition, these copolymers showed self-healing property at elevated temperature due to the reversible nature of urethane units in ETPU. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Polymer Processing and Performance)
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Open AccessArticle
Potato Starch Hydrogels Produced by High Hydrostatic Pressure (HHP): A First Approach
Polymers 2019, 11(10), 1673; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11101673 (registering DOI) - 14 Oct 2019
Abstract
Starch-based hydrogels have received considerable interest due to their safe nature, biodegradability and biocompatibility. The aim of this study was to verify the possibility of producing natural hydrogels based on potato starch by high hydrostatic pressure (HHP), identifying suitable processing conditions allowing to [...] Read more.
Starch-based hydrogels have received considerable interest due to their safe nature, biodegradability and biocompatibility. The aim of this study was to verify the possibility of producing natural hydrogels based on potato starch by high hydrostatic pressure (HHP), identifying suitable processing conditions allowing to obtain stable hydrogels, as well as to characterize structural and mechanical properties of these products. Sieved (small size granules and medium size granules) and unsieved potato starch samples were used to prepare aqueous suspensions of different concentrations (10–30% w/w) which were processed at 600 MPa for 15 min at different temperatures (25, 40 and 50 °C). Products obtained were characterized by different techniques (light and polarized microscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), rheology and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC)). Results obtained so far demonstrated that potato starch suspensions (20% starch–water concentration (w/w)) with granules mean size smaller than 25 µm treated at 600 MPa for 15 min and 50 °C showed a complete gelatinization and gel-like appearance. Potato HHP hydrogels were characterized by high viscosity, shear-thinning behavior and a highly structured profile (G’ >> G’’). Moreover, their FTIR spectra, similarly to FTIR profiles of thermal gels, presented three absorption bands in the characteristic starch-gel region (950–1200 cm−1), whose intensity increased with decreasing the particle size and increasing the processing temperature. In conclusion, potato starch hydrogels produced by HHP in well-defined processing conditions exhibited excellent mechanical properties, which can be tailored according to the requirements of the different applications envisaged. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Polysaccharides)
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Open AccessArticle
Synthesis, Thermal Properties and Decomposition Mechanism of Poly(Ethylene Vanillate) Polyester
Polymers 2019, 11(10), 1672; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11101672 (registering DOI) - 14 Oct 2019
Abstract
Plastics are perceived as modern and versatile materials, but their use is linked to numerous environmental issues as their production is based on finite raw materials (petroleum or natural gas). Additionally, their low biodegradability results in the accumulation of microplastics. As a result, [...] Read more.
Plastics are perceived as modern and versatile materials, but their use is linked to numerous environmental issues as their production is based on finite raw materials (petroleum or natural gas). Additionally, their low biodegradability results in the accumulation of microplastics. As a result, there is extensive interest in the production of new, environmentally friendly, bio-based and biodegradable polymers. In this context, poly(ethylene vanillate) (PEV) has a great potential as a potentially bio-based alternative to poly(ethylene terephthalate); however, it has not yet been extensively studied. In the present work, the preparation of PEV is reported. The enthalpy and the entropy of fusion of the pure crystalline PEV have been estimated for the first time. Additionally, the equilibrium melting temperature has also been calculated. Furthermore, the isothermal and non-isothermal crystallization behavior are reported in detail, and new insights on the thermal stability and degradation mechanism of PEV are given. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Condensation Polymers and their Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
Multilayer Nanofiber Composite Separator for Lithium-Ion Batteries with High Safety
Polymers 2019, 11(10), 1671; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11101671 (registering DOI) - 14 Oct 2019
Abstract
An original Von Koch curve-shaped tipped electrospinneret was used to prepare a polyimide (PI)-based nanofiber membrane. A multilayer Al2O3@polyimide/polyethylene/Al2O3@polyimide (APEAP) composite membrane was tactfully designed with an Al2O3@ polyimide (AP) membrane [...] Read more.
An original Von Koch curve-shaped tipped electrospinneret was used to prepare a polyimide (PI)-based nanofiber membrane. A multilayer Al2O3@polyimide/polyethylene/Al2O3@polyimide (APEAP) composite membrane was tactfully designed with an Al2O3@ polyimide (AP) membrane as outer shell, imparting high temperature to the thermal run-away separator performance and a core polyethylene (PE) layer imparts the separator with a thermal shut-down property at low temperature (123 °C). An AP electrospun nanofiber was obtained by doping Al2O3 nanoparticles in PI solution. The core polyethylene layer was prepared using polyethylene powder and polyterafluoroethylene (PTFE) miniemulsion through a coating process. The addition of PTFE not only bonds PE power, but also increases the adhesion force between the PE and AP membranes. As a result, the multilayer composite separator has high safety, outstanding electrochemical properties, and better cycling performance as a lithium-ion battery separator. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Antimicrobial Activity and Mechanism of Functionalized Quantum Dots
Polymers 2019, 11(10), 1670; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11101670 (registering DOI) - 14 Oct 2019
Abstract
An essential characteristic of quantum dots (QDs) is their antimicrobial activity. Compared with conventional antibiotics, QDs not only possess photoluminescence properties for imaging and photodynamic therapy but also have high structural stability. To enhance their antimicrobial efficiency, QDs usually are functionalized by polymers, [...] Read more.
An essential characteristic of quantum dots (QDs) is their antimicrobial activity. Compared with conventional antibiotics, QDs not only possess photoluminescence properties for imaging and photodynamic therapy but also have high structural stability. To enhance their antimicrobial efficiency, QDs usually are functionalized by polymers, including poly(ethylene glycol), polyethyleneimine, and poly-l-lysine. Also, QDs conjugated with polymers, such as poly(vinylpyrrolidone) and polyvinylidene fluoride, are prepared as antimicrobial membranes. The main antimicrobial mechanisms of QDs are associated with inducing free radicals, disrupting cell walls/membranes, and arresting gene expression. The different mechanisms from traditional antibiotics allow QDs to play antimicrobial roles in multi-drug-resistant bacteria and fungi. Since the toxicity of the QDs on animal cells is relatively low, they have broad application in antimicrobial research as an effective alternative of traditional antibiotics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antimicrobial Polymers II)
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Open AccessArticle
Aminolysis of Various Aliphatic Polyesters in a Form of Nanofibers and Films
Polymers 2019, 11(10), 1669; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11101669 - 14 Oct 2019
Abstract
Surface functionalization of polymer scaffolds is a method used to improve interactions of materials with cells. A frequently used method for polyesters is aminolysis reaction, which introduces free amine groups on the surface. In this study, nanofibrous scaffolds and films of three different [...] Read more.
Surface functionalization of polymer scaffolds is a method used to improve interactions of materials with cells. A frequently used method for polyesters is aminolysis reaction, which introduces free amine groups on the surface. In this study, nanofibrous scaffolds and films of three different polyesters–polycaprolactone (PCL), poly(lactide-co-caprolactone) (PLCL), and poly(l-lactide) (PLLA) were subjected to this type of surface modification under the same conditions. Efficiency of aminolysis was evaluated on the basis of ninhydrin tests and ATR–FTIR spectroscopy. Also, impact of this treatment on the mechanical properties, crystallinity, and wettability of polyesters was compared and discussed from the perspective of aminolysis efficiency. It was shown that aminolysis is less efficient in the case of nanofibers, particularly for PCL nanofibers. Our hypothesis based on the fundamentals of classical high speed spinning process is that the lower efficiency of aminolysis in the case of nanofibers is associated with the radial distribution of crystallinity of electrospun fiber with more crystalline skin, strongly inhibiting the reaction. Moreover, the water contact angle results demonstrate that the effect of free amino groups on wettability is very different depending on the type and the form of polymer. The results of this study can help to understand fundamentals of aminolysis-based surface modification. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodegradable Polymer Scaffolds for Tissue Engineering)
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Open AccessArticle
Targeted Release of Probiotics from Enteric Microparticulated Formulations
Polymers 2019, 11(10), 1668; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11101668 - 13 Oct 2019
Viewed by 186
Abstract
The development of advanced probiotic delivery systems, which preserve bacteria from degradation of the gastrointestinal tract and achieve a targeted release mediated by pH-independent swelling, is of great interest to improve the efficient delivery of probiotic bacteria to the target tissue. Gram-positive and [...] Read more.
The development of advanced probiotic delivery systems, which preserve bacteria from degradation of the gastrointestinal tract and achieve a targeted release mediated by pH-independent swelling, is of great interest to improve the efficient delivery of probiotic bacteria to the target tissue. Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria models (Lactobacillus acidophilus (Moro) Hansen and Mocquot (ATCC® 4356™) and Escherichia coli S17, respectively) have been successfully encapsulated for the first time in pH-independent microparticulate polymethacrylates (i.e., Eudraguard biotic) used for the targeted delivery of nutraceuticals to the colon. These bacteria have also been encapsulated within the mucoadhesive polymethacrylate Eudragit RS 100 widely used as targeted release formulation for active pharmaceutical ingredients. The enteric microparticles remained unaltered under simulated gastric conditions and released the contained viable microbial cargo under simulated intestinal conditions. Buoyancies of 90.2% and 57.3% for Eudragit and Eudraguard microparticles, respectively, and long-term stability (5 months) for the encapsulated microorganisms were found. Cytotoxicity of the microparticles formulated with both polymers was evaluated (0.5–20 mg/mL) on Caco-2 cells, showing high cytocompatibility. These results underline the suitability of the synthesized materials for the successful delivery of probiotic formulations to the target organ, highlighting for the first time the potential use of Eudraguard biotic as an effective enteric coating for the targeted delivery of probiotics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Polymer Applications)
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Open AccessReview
Fiber-Reinforced Polymer Composites: Manufacturing, Properties, and Applications
Polymers 2019, 11(10), 1667; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11101667 - 12 Oct 2019
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Abstract
Composites have been found to be the most promising and discerning material available in this century. Presently, composites reinforced with fibers of synthetic or natural materials are gaining more importance as demands for lightweight materials with high strength for specific applications are growing [...] Read more.
Composites have been found to be the most promising and discerning material available in this century. Presently, composites reinforced with fibers of synthetic or natural materials are gaining more importance as demands for lightweight materials with high strength for specific applications are growing in the market. Fiber-reinforced polymer composite offers not only high strength to weight ratio, but also reveals exceptional properties such as high durability; stiffness; damping property; flexural strength; and resistance to corrosion, wear, impact, and fire. These wide ranges of diverse features have led composite materials to find applications in mechanical, construction, aerospace, automobile, biomedical, marine, and many other manufacturing industries. Performance of composite materials predominantly depends on their constituent elements and manufacturing techniques, therefore, functional properties of various fibers available worldwide, their classifications, and the manufacturing techniques used to fabricate the composite materials need to be studied in order to figure out the optimized characteristic of the material for the desired application. An overview of a diverse range of fibers, their properties, functionality, classification, and various fiber composite manufacturing techniques is presented to discover the optimized fiber-reinforced composite material for significant applications. Their exceptional performance in the numerous fields of applications have made fiber-reinforced composite materials a promising alternative over solitary metals or alloys. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reinforced Polymer Composites)
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Open AccessArticle
Quantification Methods for Textile-Adhered Bacteria: Extraction, Colorimetric, and Microscopic Analysis
Polymers 2019, 11(10), 1666; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11101666 - 12 Oct 2019
Viewed by 175
Abstract
Quantification of bacteria adhered on porous, multi-layered fibers is a challenging task. The goal of this study is to compare different assessment procedures on counting textile-adhered bacteria, and to guide relevant analytical techniques. Three different methods were compared in measuring the amount of [...] Read more.
Quantification of bacteria adhered on porous, multi-layered fibers is a challenging task. The goal of this study is to compare different assessment procedures on counting textile-adhered bacteria, and to guide relevant analytical techniques. Three different methods were compared in measuring the amount of Escherichia coli (E. coli) adhered to polymeric film and fibrous nonwovens. In the extraction method, the adhered bacteria were released with the assistance of surfactant/enzyme, where the measurement was rather reproducible. For colorimetric method, stained bacteria enabled direct visualization without needing to detach cells from the surface, yet the linearity of color absorbency to cell counts was limited. The microscopic analysis provided direct observation of bacterial distribution over the surface, but accurate quantification was not possible for porous, fibrous surfaces. This study intends to help choosing a suitable test method to accurately quantify the textile-adhered bacteria, as well as broadly impact the research on anti-bioadhesive surfaces. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymeric Materials with Antibacterial Activity)
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Open AccessArticle
π–π Stacking Distance and Phase Separation Controlled Efficiency in Stable All-Polymer Solar Cells
Polymers 2019, 11(10), 1665; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11101665 - 12 Oct 2019
Viewed by 106
Abstract
The morphology of the active layer plays a crucial role in determining device performance and stability for organic solar cells. All-polymer solar cells (All-PSCs), showing robust and stable morphologies, have been proven to give better thermal stability than their fullerene counterparts. However, outstanding [...] Read more.
The morphology of the active layer plays a crucial role in determining device performance and stability for organic solar cells. All-polymer solar cells (All-PSCs), showing robust and stable morphologies, have been proven to give better thermal stability than their fullerene counterparts. However, outstanding thermal stability is not always the case for polymer blends, and the limiting factors responsible for the poor thermal stability in some All-PSCs, and how to obtain higher efficiency without losing stability, still remain unclear. By studying the morphology of poly [2,3-bis (3-octyloxyphenyl) quinoxaline-5,8-diyl-alt-thiophene-2,5-diyl](TQ1)/poly[4,8-bis[5-(2-ethylhexyl)-2-thienyl]benzo[1,2-b:4,5-b′]dithiophene-alt-(4-(2-ethylhexyl)-3-fluorothieno[3,4-b]thiophene-)-2-carboxylate-2-6-diyl]] (PCE10)/PNDI-T10 blend systems, we found that the rearranged molecular packing structure and phase separation were mainly responsible for the poor thermal stability in devices containing PCE10. The TQ1/PNDI-T10 devices exhibited an improved PCE with a decreased π–π stacking distance after thermal annealing; PCE10/PNDI-T10 devices showed a better pristine PCE, however, thermal annealing induced the increased π–π stacking distance and thus inferior hole conductivity, leading to a decreased PCE. Thus, a maximum PCE could be achieved in a TQ1/PCE10/PNDI-T10 (1/1/1) ternary system after thermal annealing resulting from their favorable molecular interaction and the trade-off of molecular packing structure variations between TQ1 and PCE10. This indicates that a route to efficient and thermal stable All-PSCs can be achieved in a ternary blend by using material with excellent pristine efficiency, combined with another material showing improved efficiency under thermal annealing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer-Based Solar Cells)
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Open AccessArticle
Hybrid Silica‐Phytic Acid Coatings: Effect on the Thermal Stability and Flame Retardancy of Cotton
Polymers 2019, 11(10), 1664; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11101664 - 12 Oct 2019
Viewed by 107
Abstract
New hybrid sol–gel coatings based on tetraethoxysilane (TEOS) and phytic acid (PA) were designed and applied to cotton; the flame-retardant properties of the treated fabrics were thoroughly investigated by means of flame-spread and forced-combustion tests. The first goal was to identify the TEOS:PA [...] Read more.
New hybrid sol–gel coatings based on tetraethoxysilane (TEOS) and phytic acid (PA) were designed and applied to cotton; the flame-retardant properties of the treated fabrics were thoroughly investigated by means of flame-spread and forced-combustion tests. The first goal was to identify the TEOS:PA weight ratio that allowed the achievement of the best flame-retardant properties, with the lowest final dry add-on on the fabrics. Therefore, different TEOS:PA sols were prepared and applied to cotton, and the resulting coated fabrics were thoroughly investigated. In particular, solid-state NMR spectroscopy was exploited for assessing the condensation degree during the sol–gel process, even for evaluating the occurrence of possible reactions between phytic acid and the cellulosic substrate or the alkoxy precursor. It was found that a total dry add-on of 16 wt. % together with 70:30 TEOS:PA weight ratio provided cotton with self-extinction, as clearly indicated by flame-spread tests. This formulation was further investigated in forced-combustion tests: a significant reduction of heat release rate (HRR), of the peak of HRR, and of total heat release (THR) was found, together with a remarkable increase of the residues after the test. Unfortunately, the treated fabrics were not resistant to washing cycles, as they significantly lost their flame-retardant properties, consequently to the partial removal of the deposited hybrid coatings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Polymer Analysis)
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Open AccessArticle
Thermoplastic Dynamic Vulcanizates with In Situ Synthesized Segmented Polyurethane Matrix
Polymers 2019, 11(10), 1663; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11101663 - 12 Oct 2019
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Abstract
The aim of this paper was the detailed investigation of the properties of one-shot bulk polymerized thermoplastic polyurethanes (TPUs) produced with different processing temperatures and the properties of thermoplastic dynamic vulcanizates (TDVs) made by utilizing such in situ synthetized TPUs as their matrix [...] Read more.
The aim of this paper was the detailed investigation of the properties of one-shot bulk polymerized thermoplastic polyurethanes (TPUs) produced with different processing temperatures and the properties of thermoplastic dynamic vulcanizates (TDVs) made by utilizing such in situ synthetized TPUs as their matrix polymer. We combined TPUs and conventional crosslinked rubbers in order to create TDVs by dynamic vulcanization in an internal mixer. The rubber phase was based on three different rubber types: acrylonitrile butadiene rubber (NBR), carboxylated acrylonitrile butadiene rubber (XNBR), and epoxidized natural rubber (ENR). Our goal was to investigate the effect of different processing conditions and material combinations on the properties of the resulting TDVs with the opportunity of improving the interfacial connection between the two phases by chemically bonding the crosslinked rubber phase to the TPU matrix. Therefore, the matrix TPU was synthesized in situ during compounding from diisocyanate, diol, and polyol in parallel with the dynamic vulcanization of the rubber mixture. The mechanical properties were examined by tensile and dynamical mechanical analysis (DMTA) tests. The morphology of the resulting TDVs was studied by atomic force microscopy (AFM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and the thermal properties by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). Based on these results, the initial temperature of 125 °C is the most suitable for the production of TDVs. Based on the atomic force micrographs, it can be assumed that phase separation occurred in the TPU matrix and we managed to evenly distribute the rubber phase in the TDVs. However, based on the SEM images, these dispersed rubber particles tended to agglomerate and form a quasi-continuous secondary phase where rubber particles were held together by secondary forces (dipole–dipole and hydrogen bonding) and can be broken up reversibly by heat and/or shear. In terms of mechanical properties, the TDVs we produced are on a par with commercially available TDVs with similar hardness. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functional Polyurethanes – In Memory of Prof. József Karger-Kocsis)
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Open AccessArticle
Polymer Blends for Improved CO2 Capture Membranes
Polymers 2019, 11(10), 1662; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11101662 - 12 Oct 2019
Viewed by 110
Abstract
We investigated the possibility of improving the performance of polysulfone (PSf) membranes to be used in carbon dioxide capture devices by blending PSf with a commercial polyethylene imine, Lupasol G20, previously modified with benzoyl chloride (mG20). Additive amount ranged between 2 and 20 [...] Read more.
We investigated the possibility of improving the performance of polysulfone (PSf) membranes to be used in carbon dioxide capture devices by blending PSf with a commercial polyethylene imine, Lupasol G20, previously modified with benzoyl chloride (mG20). Additive amount ranged between 2 and 20 wt %. Membranes based on these blends were prepared by phase inversion precipitation and exhibited different morphologies with respect to neat PSf. Surface roughness, water contact angles, and water uptake increased with mG20 content. Mass transfer coefficient was also increased for both N2 and CO2; however, this effect was more evident for carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide absorption performance of composite membranes was evaluated for potassium hydroxide solution in a flat sheet membrane contactor (FSMC) in cross flow module at different liquid flow rates. We found that, at the lowest flow rate, membranes exhibit a very similar behaviour to neat PSf; nevertheless, significant differences can be found at higher flow rates. In particular, the membranes with 2 and 5 wt % additive behave more efficiently than neat PSf. In contrast, 10 and 20 wt % additive content has an adverse effect on CO2 capture when compared with neat PSf. In the former case, a combination of additive chemical affinity to CO2 and membrane porosity can be claimed; in the latter case, the remarkably higher wettability and water uptake could determine membrane clogging and consequent loss of efficiency in the capture device. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Polymeric Membranes)
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Open AccessArticle
Effective Heat Transfer Pathways of Thermally Conductive Networks Formed by One-Dimensional Carbon Materials with Different Sizes
Polymers 2019, 11(10), 1661; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11101661 - 11 Oct 2019
Viewed by 193
Abstract
We investigated the heat transfer behavior of thermally conductive networks with one-dimensional carbon materials to design effective heat transfer pathways for hybrid filler systems of polymer matrix composites. Nano-sized few-walled carbon nanotubes (FWCNTs) and micro-sized mesophase pitch-based carbon fibers (MPCFs) were used as [...] Read more.
We investigated the heat transfer behavior of thermally conductive networks with one-dimensional carbon materials to design effective heat transfer pathways for hybrid filler systems of polymer matrix composites. Nano-sized few-walled carbon nanotubes (FWCNTs) and micro-sized mesophase pitch-based carbon fibers (MPCFs) were used as the thermally conductive materials. The bulk density and thermal conductivity of the FWCNT films increased proportionally with the ultrasonication time due to the enhanced dispersibility of the FWCNTs in an ethanol solvent. The ultrasonication-induced densification of the FWCNT films led to the effective formation of filler-to-filler connections, resulting in improved thermal conductivity. The thermal conductivity of the FWCNT-MPCF hybrid films was proportional to the MPCF content (maximum thermal conductivity at an MPCF content of 60 wt %), indicating the synergistic effect on the thermal conductivity enhancement. Moreover, the MPCF-to-MPCF heat transfer pathways in the FWCNT-MPCF hybrid films were the most effective in achieving high thermal conductivity due to the smaller interfacial area and shorter heat transfer pathway of the MPCFs. The FWCNTs could act as thermal bridges between neighboring MPCFs for effective heat transfer. Furthermore, the incorporation of Ag nanoparticles of approximately 300 nm into the FWCNT-MPCF hybrid film dramatically enhanced the thermal conductivity, which was closely related to a decreased thermal interfacial resistance at the intersection points between the materials. Epoxy-based composites loaded with the FWCNTs, MPCFs, FWCNT-MPCF hybrids, and FWCNT-MPCF-Ag hybrid fillers were also fabricated. A similar trend in thermal conductivity was observed in the polymer matrix composite with carbon-based hybrid films. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Impact of Laser Radiation on Polypropylene Molded Pieces Depending on Their Surface Conditions
Polymers 2019, 11(10), 1660; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11101660 - 11 Oct 2019
Viewed by 152
Abstract
The article presents an analysis of the impact of a laser beam interaction (Nd: YVO4) with selected operational parameters on the quality of graphical marks obtained on the surfaces of polypropylene-molded pieces with different surface textures (variable parameters of the surface [...] Read more.
The article presents an analysis of the impact of a laser beam interaction (Nd: YVO4) with selected operational parameters on the quality of graphical marks obtained on the surfaces of polypropylene-molded pieces with different surface textures (variable parameters of the surface layer). Polypropylene test specimens were produced by injection using the original injection mold, which allowed for the obtainment of products with variable surface finish parameters determined by the surface condition of the forming cavity. The presented relationship between the parameters of laser performance, the texture of a molded piece surface, the molded piece’s color, and types of masterbatches supporting the marking process allows for the assessment of the efficiency of graphic symbol application by laser marking. The original evaluation criteria for the conducted process were adopted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Surface Modification and Functionalization of Polymers)
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Open AccessArticle
Reynolds Stress Model for Viscoelastic Drag-Reducing Flow Induced by Polymer Solution
Polymers 2019, 11(10), 1659; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11101659 - 11 Oct 2019
Viewed by 165
Abstract
Viscoelasticity drag-reducing flow by polymer solution can reduce pumping energy of pipe flow significantly. One of the simulation manners is direct numerical simulation (DNS). However, the computational time is too long to accept in engineering. Turbulent model is a powerful tool to solve [...] Read more.
Viscoelasticity drag-reducing flow by polymer solution can reduce pumping energy of pipe flow significantly. One of the simulation manners is direct numerical simulation (DNS). However, the computational time is too long to accept in engineering. Turbulent model is a powerful tool to solve engineering problems because of its fast computational ability. However, its precision is usually low. To solve this problem, we introduce DNS to provide accurate data to construct a high-precision turbulent model. A Reynolds stress model for viscoelastic polymer drag-reducing flow is established. The rheological behavior of the drag-reducing flow is described by the Giesekus constitutive Equation. Compared with the DNS data, mean velocity, mean conformation tensor, drag reduction, and stresses are predicted accurately in low Reynolds numbers and Weissenberg numbers but worsen as the two numbers increase. The computational time of the Reynolds stress model (RSM) is only 1/120,960 of DNS, showing the advantage of computational speed. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Eco-Friendly β-cyclodextrin and Linecaps Polymers for the Removal of Heavy Metals
Polymers 2019, 11(10), 1658; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11101658 - 11 Oct 2019
Viewed by 192
Abstract
Environment-friendly nanosponges, having a high content of carboxyl groups, were synthesized by crosslinking β-cyclodextrin and linecaps, a highly soluble pea starch derivative, with citric acid in water. Additionally, pyromellitic nanosponges were prepared by reacting β-cyclodextrin and linecaps with pyromellitic dianhydride in dimethyl sulfoxide [...] Read more.
Environment-friendly nanosponges, having a high content of carboxyl groups, were synthesized by crosslinking β-cyclodextrin and linecaps, a highly soluble pea starch derivative, with citric acid in water. Additionally, pyromellitic nanosponges were prepared by reacting β-cyclodextrin and linecaps with pyromellitic dianhydride in dimethyl sulfoxide and used in comparison with the citric nanosponges. After ion-exchange of the carboxyl groups H+ with sodium ions, the ability of the nanosponges to sequester heavy metal cations was investigated. At a metal concentration of 500 ppm, the pyromellitate nanosponges exhibited a higher retention capacity than the citrate nanosponges. At lower metal concentrations (≤50 ppm) both the citrate and the pyromellitate nanosponges showed high retention capacities (up to 94% of the total amount of metal), while, in the presence of interfering sea water salts, the citrate nanosponges were able to selectively adsorb a significantly higher amount of heavy metals than the pyromellitate nanosponges, almost double in the case of Cu2+. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cyclodextrin-Containing Polymers)
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Open AccessArticle
Tunable Thermo-Responsive Copolymers from DEGMA and OEGMA Synthesized by RAFT Polymerization and the Effect of the Concentration and Saline Phosphate Buffer on its Phase Transition
Polymers 2019, 11(10), 1657; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11101657 - 11 Oct 2019
Viewed by 125
Abstract
Thermo-responsive polymers and copolymers derivatives of oligo(ethylene glycol) methyl ether methacrylate (Mn = 300 g mol−1) (OEGMA) and di(ethylene glycol) methyl ether methacrylate (DEGMA) have been synthesized by reversible addition fragmentation chain transfer polymerization (RAFT) using 5-amino-4-methyl-4-(propylthiocarbonothioylthio)-5-oxopentanoic acid (APP) [...] Read more.
Thermo-responsive polymers and copolymers derivatives of oligo(ethylene glycol) methyl ether methacrylate (Mn = 300 g mol−1) (OEGMA) and di(ethylene glycol) methyl ether methacrylate (DEGMA) have been synthesized by reversible addition fragmentation chain transfer polymerization (RAFT) using 5-amino-4-methyl-4-(propylthiocarbonothioylthio)-5-oxopentanoic acid (APP) as chain transfer agent (CTA). The monomer conversion was evaluated by hydrogen nuclear magnetic resonance (1H-NMR); number average molecular weights (Mn), weight average molecular weight (Mw), and dispersity (Đ) were obtained by gel permeation chromatography (GPC); glass transition temperature (Tg) was evaluated by modulated differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), cloud point temperature (Tcp) was measured and compared by turbidimetry and dynamic light scattering (DLS). The effect of polymer composition and concentration on the Tcp, either in water or in phosphate buffer saline (PBS), was studied. The values of Tcp using PBS were between 3 and 4 °C lower than using water. Results showed an ideal copolymerization behavior; therefore, the Tcp could be tuned by an adequate monomers feed ratio obtaining polymers which may be used in drug delivery and other applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functionally Responsive Polymeric Materials II)
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Open AccessArticle
Properties and Characterization of a PLA–Chitin–Starch Biodegradable Polymer Composite
Polymers 2019, 11(10), 1656; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11101656 - 11 Oct 2019
Viewed by 126
Abstract
This paper presents a comparison on the effects of blending chitin and/or starch with poly(lactic acid) (PLA). Three sets of composites (PLA–chitin, PLA–starch and PLA–chitin–starch) with 92%, 94%, 96% and 98% PLA by weight were prepared. The percentage weight (wt.%) amount of the [...] Read more.
This paper presents a comparison on the effects of blending chitin and/or starch with poly(lactic acid) (PLA). Three sets of composites (PLA–chitin, PLA–starch and PLA–chitin–starch) with 92%, 94%, 96% and 98% PLA by weight were prepared. The percentage weight (wt.%) amount of the chitin and starch incorporated ranges from 2% to 8%. The mechanical, dynamic mechanical, thermal and microstructural properties were analyzed. The results from the tensile strength, yield strength, Young's modulus, and impact showed that the PLA–chitin–starch blend has the best mechanical properties compared to PLA–chitin and PLA–starch blends. The dynamic mechanical analysis result shows a better damping property for PLA–chitin than PLA–chitin–starch and PLA–starch. On the other hand, the thermal property analysis from thermogravimetry analysis (TGA) shows no significant improvement in a specific order, but the glass transition temperature of the composite increased compared to that of neat PLA. However, the degradation process was found to start with PLA–chitin for all composites, which suggests an improvement in PLA degradation. Significantly, the morphological analysis revealed a uniform mix with an obvious blend network in the three composites. Interestingly, the network was more significant in the PLA–chitin–starch blend, which may be responsible for its significantly enhanced mechanical properties compared with PLA–chitin and PLA–starch samples. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Highly Sensitive Detection of Benzoyl Peroxide Based on Organoboron Fluorescent Conjugated Polymers
Polymers 2019, 11(10), 1655; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11101655 - 11 Oct 2019
Viewed by 103
Abstract
The method capable of rapid and sensitive detection of benzoyl peroxide (BPO) is necessary and receiving increasing attention. In consideration of the vast signal amplification of fluorescent conjugated polymers (FCPs) for high sensitivity detection and the potential applications of boron-containing materials in the [...] Read more.
The method capable of rapid and sensitive detection of benzoyl peroxide (BPO) is necessary and receiving increasing attention. In consideration of the vast signal amplification of fluorescent conjugated polymers (FCPs) for high sensitivity detection and the potential applications of boron-containing materials in the emerging sensing fields, the organoboron FCPs, poly (3-aminophenyl boronic acid) (PABA) is directly synthesized via free-radical polymerization reaction by using the commercially available 3-aminophenyl boronic acid (ABA) as the functional monomer and ammonium persulfate as the initiator. PABA is employed as a fluorescence sensor for sensing of trace BPO based on the formation of charge-transfer complexes between PABA and BPO. The fluorescence emission intensity of PABA demonstrates a negative correlation with the concentration of BPO. And a linear range of 8.26 × 10−9 M–8.26 × 10–4 M and a limit of detection of 1.06 × 10–9 M as well as a good recovery (86.25%–111.38%) of BPO in spiked real samples (wheat flour and antimicrobial agent) are obtained. The proposed sensor provides a promising prospective candidate for the rapid detection and surveillance of BPO. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Polymer Applications)
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Improving the Hydrolysis Rate of the Renewable Poly(hexamethylene sebacate) Through Copolymerization of a Bis(pyrrolidone)-Based Dicarboxylic Acid
Polymers 2019, 11(10), 1654; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11101654 - 11 Oct 2019
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Abstract
In this work, we report on the synthesis of a series of polyesters based on 1,6-hexanediol, sebacic acid, and N,N’-dimethylene-bis(pyrrolidone-4-carboxylic acid) (BP-C2), of which the latter is derived from renewable itaconic acid and 1,2-ethanediamine. Copolymers with a varying [...] Read more.
In this work, we report on the synthesis of a series of polyesters based on 1,6-hexanediol, sebacic acid, and N,N’-dimethylene-bis(pyrrolidone-4-carboxylic acid) (BP-C2), of which the latter is derived from renewable itaconic acid and 1,2-ethanediamine. Copolymers with a varying amount of BP-C2 as dicarboxylic acid are synthesized using a melt-polycondensation reaction with the aim of controlling the hydrolysis rate of the polymers in water or under bioactive conditions. We demonstrate that the introduction of BP-C2 in the polymer backbone does not limit the molecular weight build-up, as polymers with a weight average molecular weight close to 20 kg/mol and higher are obtained. Additionally, as the BP-C2 moiety is excluded from the crystal structure of poly(hexamethylene sebacate), the increase in BP-C2 concentration effectively results in a suppression in both melting temperature and crystallinity of the polymers. Overall, we demonstrate that the BP-C2 moiety enhances the polymer’s affinity to water, effectively improving the water uptake and rate of hydrolysis, both in demineralized water and in the presence of a protease from Bacillus licheniformis. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Sustainable Polymeric Materials from Renewable Resources)
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Open AccessArticle
Superharmonic Resonance in Carbon-Black-Filled Rubber by High-Frequency DMA
Polymers 2019, 11(10), 1653; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11101653 - 11 Oct 2019
Viewed by 118
Abstract
A systematic study of several SBR compounds filled with carbon black of various grades were analysed with the high-frequency Dynamic Mechanical Analyzer (HF DMA) in order to quantify the degree of nonlinearity induced by fillers in rubber compounds. These filler grades indirectly reflect [...] Read more.
A systematic study of several SBR compounds filled with carbon black of various grades were analysed with the high-frequency Dynamic Mechanical Analyzer (HF DMA) in order to quantify the degree of nonlinearity induced by fillers in rubber compounds. These filler grades indirectly reflect different degrees of microdispersion, which seems to be the main influence on the superharmonic resonance phenomenon observed in HF DMA. This statement arises from the comparison of the microdispersion observed in TEM images. In the second part of the paper, a model compound filled with carbon black is enhanced with a standard reinforcing resin, which leads to a more compact filler network. This induces a higher superharmonic resonance response as well as a higher transmissibility behaviour. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Rheology: Fundamentals and Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
Blowing Properties and Functionality of Thermoplastic Polyester Film Using Thermally Expandable Microcapsules
Polymers 2019, 11(10), 1652; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11101652 - 11 Oct 2019
Viewed by 87
Abstract
Blowing film was prepared using a polyester elastomer with thermally expandable microcapsules to investigate its blowing properties and functionality. Film with 11% microcapsule contents showed the lowest specific gravity and the highest blowing efficiency. However, the collapse and merging of blowing cells with [...] Read more.
Blowing film was prepared using a polyester elastomer with thermally expandable microcapsules to investigate its blowing properties and functionality. Film with 11% microcapsule contents showed the lowest specific gravity and the highest blowing efficiency. However, the collapse and merging of blowing cells with 11% microcapsule contents was found by SEM. Therefore, film with 9% microcapsule contents was shown to have better blowing and cell stability than that of film with 11% microcapsule contents. Tensile strength and elongation decreased by increasing microcapsule contents. Film curl and film shrinkage properties were unaffected by microcapsule contents. Water vapor permeability and hydrostatic pressure was decreased by increasing microcapsule contents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovative Functional Textiles)
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Open AccessArticle
Combined Chemical Modification of Bamboo Material Prepared Using Vinyl Acetate and Methyl Methacrylate: Dimensional Stability, Chemical Structure, and Dynamic Mechanical Properties
Polymers 2019, 11(10), 1651; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11101651 - 11 Oct 2019
Viewed by 118
Abstract
Acetylation and in situ polymerization are two typical chemical modifications that are used to improve the dimensional stability of bamboo. In this work, the combination of chemical modification of vinyl acetate (VA) acetylation and methyl methacrylate (MMA) in situ polymerization of bamboo was [...] Read more.
Acetylation and in situ polymerization are two typical chemical modifications that are used to improve the dimensional stability of bamboo. In this work, the combination of chemical modification of vinyl acetate (VA) acetylation and methyl methacrylate (MMA) in situ polymerization of bamboo was employed. Performances of the treated bamboo were evaluated in terms of dimensional stability, wettability, thermal stability, chemical structure, and dynamic mechanical properties. Results show that the performances (dimensional stability, thermal stability, and wettability) of bamboo that was prepared via the combined pretreatment of VA and MMA (VA/MMA-B) were better than those of raw bamboo, VA single-treated bamboo (VA-B), and MMA single-treated bamboo (MMA-B). According to scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) analyses, VA and MMA were mainly grafted onto the surface of the cell wall or in the bamboo cell lumen. The antiswelling efficiency and contact angle of VA/MMA-B increased to maximum values of 40.71% and 107.1°, respectively. From thermogravimetric analysis (TG/DTG curves), the highest onset decomposition temperature (277 °C) was observed in VA/MMA-B. From DMA analysis, the storage modulus (E’) of VA/MMA-B increased sharply from 15,057 Pa (untreated bamboo) to 17,909 Pa (single-treated bamboo), and the glass transition temperature was improved from 180 °C (raw bamboo) to 205 °C (single-treated bamboo). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Wood Composites)
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