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Polymers, Volume 8, Issue 9 (September 2016)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) Using bio-based polymers to replace polymers from petrochemicals in the manufacture of fibers is a [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle
A New Flexible Soy-Based Adhesive Enhanced with Neopentyl Glycol Diglycidyl Ether: Properties and Application
Polymers 2016, 8(9), 346; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym8090346
Received: 19 June 2016 / Revised: 10 August 2016 / Accepted: 14 September 2016 / Published: 21 September 2016
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3026 | PDF Full-text (4921 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Soy-based adhesives inherently possess low water resistance and brittleness, which limit their application on plywood fabrication. This investigation involves using a long chain cross-linker, neopentyl glycol diglycidyl ether (NGDE), to produce an intrinsic toughening effect to reduce the brittleness and improve the water [...] Read more.
Soy-based adhesives inherently possess low water resistance and brittleness, which limit their application on plywood fabrication. This investigation involves using a long chain cross-linker, neopentyl glycol diglycidyl ether (NGDE), to produce an intrinsic toughening effect to reduce the brittleness and improve the water resistance of a soybean meal–based adhesive. The solids content, viscosity, functional groups, fracture surface micrographs, and thermal stability of the adhesives were measured. Three-layer plywood was fabricated using the resultant adhesive, and the tensile shear strength of the plywood was measured. All adhesive properties were compared with a soybean meal/polyamidoamine-epichlorohydrin (PAE) adhesive and commercial melamine urea formaldehyde resin. The results showed that adding 6 g NGDE improved the water resistance of the soybean meal-based adhesive by 12.5%. This improvement is attributed to the following reasons: (1) a dense cross-linked network is formed by the chemical reaction between NGDE and protein molecules; (2) the toughness of the adhesive increases and a smooth and homogeneous fracture surface is created, which effectively prevents moisture intrusion; (3) the addition of NGDE increases the thermostability of the cured adhesive. The tensile shear strength of the plywood bonded with the soybean meal-based adhesive with 6 g NGDE was 286.2% higher than that without NGDE and attained 1.12 MPa, which was attributed to the reduction in the adhesive’s viscosity, and the improvement in the water resistance and toughness of the adhesive. The tensile shear strength of the plywood bonded with 6 g NGDE was 19.1% higher than that with 6 g PAE and was similar to the MUF resin, which validated the novel adhesive being suitable for use as an industrial plywood adhesive. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Renewable Polymeric Adhesives)
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Open AccessArticle
Nanoindentation Investigation of Temperature Effects on the Mechanical Properties of Nafion® 117
Polymers 2016, 8(9), 344; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym8090344
Received: 12 June 2016 / Revised: 25 July 2016 / Accepted: 14 September 2016 / Published: 20 September 2016
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1889 | PDF Full-text (1594 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Operating temperature can be a limiting factor in reliable applications of Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cells. Nanoindentation tests were performed on perfluorosulfonic acid (PFSA) membranes (Nafion® 117) in order to study the influence of the temperature condition on their mechanical properties. [...] Read more.
Operating temperature can be a limiting factor in reliable applications of Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cells. Nanoindentation tests were performed on perfluorosulfonic acid (PFSA) membranes (Nafion® 117) in order to study the influence of the temperature condition on their mechanical properties. The hardness and reduced modulus of Nafion® 117 were measured within a certain temperature range, from 10 to 70 °C. The results indicate that both hardness and elastic modulus show non-monotonic transition with the increase of the test temperature, with reaching peak values of 0.143 and 0.833 GPa at 45 °C. It also found that the membranes have a shape memory effect and a temperature dependent shape recovery ratio. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Microwave-Assisted Hydrothermal Synthesis of Cellulose/Hydroxyapatite Nanocomposites
Polymers 2016, 8(9), 316; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym8090316
Received: 11 July 2016 / Revised: 9 August 2016 / Accepted: 15 August 2016 / Published: 20 September 2016
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2808 | PDF Full-text (7896 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this paper, we report a facile, rapid, and green strategy for the synthesis of cellulose/hydroxyapatite (HA) nanocomposites using an inorganic phosphorus source (sodium dihydrogen phosphate dihydrate (NaH2PO4·2H2O)), or organic phosphorus sources (adenosine 5′-triphosphate disodium salt (ATP), [...] Read more.
In this paper, we report a facile, rapid, and green strategy for the synthesis of cellulose/hydroxyapatite (HA) nanocomposites using an inorganic phosphorus source (sodium dihydrogen phosphate dihydrate (NaH2PO4·2H2O)), or organic phosphorus sources (adenosine 5′-triphosphate disodium salt (ATP), creatine phosphate disodium salt tetrahydrate (CP), or D-fructose 1,6-bisphosphate trisodium salt octahydrate (FBP)) through the microwave-assisted hydrothermal method. The effects of the phosphorus sources, heating time, and heating temperature on the phase, size, and morphology of the products were systematically investigated. The experimental results revealed that the phosphate sources played a critical role on the phase, size, and morphology of the minerals in the nanocomposites. For example, the pure HA was obtained by using NaH2PO4·2H2O as phosphorus source, while all the ATP, CP, and FBP led to the byproduct, calcite. The HA nanostructures with various morphologies (including nanorods, pseudo-cubic, pseudo-spherical, and nano-spherical particles) were obtained by varying the phosphorus sources or adjusting the reaction parameters. In addition, this strategy is surfactant-free, avoiding the post-treatment procedure and cost for the surfactant removal from the product. We believe that this work can be a guidance for the green synthesis of cellulose/HA nanocomposites in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanocomposites of Polymers and Inorganic Particles 2016)
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Open AccessArticle
Particle-Based Modeling of Living Actin Filaments in an Optical Trap
Polymers 2016, 8(9), 343; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym8090343
Received: 13 July 2016 / Revised: 19 August 2016 / Accepted: 6 September 2016 / Published: 19 September 2016
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Abstract
We report a coarse-grained molecular dynamics simulation study of a bundle of parallel actin filaments under supercritical conditions pressing against a loaded mobile wall using a particle-based approach where each particle represents an actin unit. The filaments are grafted to a fixed wall [...] Read more.
We report a coarse-grained molecular dynamics simulation study of a bundle of parallel actin filaments under supercritical conditions pressing against a loaded mobile wall using a particle-based approach where each particle represents an actin unit. The filaments are grafted to a fixed wall at one end and are reactive at the other end, where they can perform single monomer (de)polymerization steps and push on a mobile obstacle. We simulate a reactive grand canonical ensemble in a box of fixed transverse area A, with a fixed number of grafted filaments N f , at temperature T and monomer chemical potential μ 1 . For a single filament case ( N f = 1 ) and for a bundle of N f = 8 filaments, we analyze the structural and dynamical properties at equilibrium where the external load compensates the average force exerted by the bundle. The dynamics of the bundle-moving-wall unit are characteristic of an over-damped Brownian oscillator in agreement with recent in vitro experiments by an optical trap setup. We analyze the influence of the pressing wall on the kinetic rates of (de)polymerization events for the filaments. Both static and dynamic results compare reasonably well with recent theoretical treatments of the same system. Thus, we consider the proposed model as a good tool to investigate the properties of a bundle of living filaments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Semiflexible Polymers)
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Open AccessArticle
Factors for Consideration in an Open-Flame Test for Assessing Fire Blocking Performance of Barrier Fabrics
Polymers 2016, 8(9), 342; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym8090342
Received: 14 July 2016 / Revised: 24 August 2016 / Accepted: 6 September 2016 / Published: 19 September 2016
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Abstract
The main objective of the work reported here is to assess factors that could affect the outcome of a proposed open flame test for barrier fabrics (BF-open flame test). The BF-open flame test characterizes barrier effectiveness by monitoring the ignition of a flexible [...] Read more.
The main objective of the work reported here is to assess factors that could affect the outcome of a proposed open flame test for barrier fabrics (BF-open flame test). The BF-open flame test characterizes barrier effectiveness by monitoring the ignition of a flexible polyurethane foam (FPUF) layer placed in contact with the upper side of the barrier fabric, exposed to a burner flame from below. Particular attention is given to the factors that influence the ignitibility of the FPUF, including thermal resistance, permeability, and structural integrity of the barrier fabrics (BFs). A number of barrier fabrics, displaying a wide range of the properties, are tested with the BF-open flame test. Visual observations of the FPUF burning behavior and BF char patterns, in addition to heat flux measurements on the unexposed side of the barrier fabrics, are used to assess the protective performance of the BF specimen under the open flame test conditions. The temperature and heat transfer measurements on the unexposed side of the BF and subsequent ranking of BFs for their thermal protective performance suggest that the BF-open flame test does not differentiate barrier fabrics based on their heat transfer properties. A similar conclusion is reached with regard to BF permeability characterized at room temperature. However, the outcome of this BF-open flame test is found to be heavily influenced by the structural integrity of thermally degraded BF. The BF-open flame test, in its current form, only ignited FPUF when structural failure of the barrier was observed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Flame Retardancy of Textile Related Products)
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Open AccessArticle
Tailoring the Static and Dynamic Mechanical Properties of Tri-Block Copolymers through Molecular Dynamics Simulation
Polymers 2016, 8(9), 335; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym8090335
Received: 8 June 2016 / Revised: 22 August 2016 / Accepted: 31 August 2016 / Published: 19 September 2016
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2451 | PDF Full-text (8635 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Although the research of the self-assembly of tri-block copolymers has been carried out widely, little attention has been paid to study the mechanical properties and to establish its structure-property relation, which is of utmost significance for its practical applications. Here, we adopt molecular [...] Read more.
Although the research of the self-assembly of tri-block copolymers has been carried out widely, little attention has been paid to study the mechanical properties and to establish its structure-property relation, which is of utmost significance for its practical applications. Here, we adopt molecular dynamics simulation to study the static and dynamic mechanical properties of the ABA tri-block copolymer, by systematically varying the morphology, the interaction strength between A-A blocks, the temperature, the dynamic shear amplitude and frequency. In our simulation, we set the self-assembled structure formed by A-blocks to be in the glassy state, with the B-blocks in the rubbery state. With the increase of the content of A-blocks, the spherical, cylindrical and lamellar domains are formed, respectively, exhibiting a gradual increase of the stress-strain behavior. During the self-assembly process, the stress-strain curve is as well enhanced. The increase of the interaction strength between A-A blocks improves the stress-strain behavior and reduces the dynamic hysteresis loss. Since the cylindrical domains are randomly dispersed, the stress-strain behavior exhibits the isotropic mechanical property; while for the lamellar domains, the mechanical property seems to be better along the direction perpendicular to than parallel to the lamellar direction. In addition, we observe that with the increase of the dynamic shear amplitude and frequency, the self-assembled domains become broken up, resulting in the decrease of the storage modulus and the increase of the hysteresis loss, which holds the same conclusion for the increase of the temperature. Our work provides some valuable guidance to tune the static and dynamic mechanical properties of ABA tri-block copolymer in the field of various applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Computational Modeling and Simulation in Polymer)
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Open AccessArticle
Modification of Thermal and Mechanical Properties of PEG-PPG-PEG Copolymer (F127) with MA-POSS
Polymers 2016, 8(9), 341; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym8090341
Received: 14 August 2016 / Revised: 7 September 2016 / Accepted: 8 September 2016 / Published: 15 September 2016
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2675 | PDF Full-text (2065 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Pluronic F127 exhibits thermogelling behaviour at 20–30 °C via a micelle packing mechanism. Disruption of the micelle packing increases the sol-gel temperature, but results in the decrease of modulus. Herein, we reported a method to modify F127 with polyhedral oligosilsesquioxane (POSS) to impart [...] Read more.
Pluronic F127 exhibits thermogelling behaviour at 20–30 °C via a micelle packing mechanism. Disruption of the micelle packing increases the sol-gel temperature, but results in the decrease of modulus. Herein, we reported a method to modify F127 with polyhedral oligosilsesquioxane (POSS) to impart a higher gelling temperature without yielding the property and strength of the thermogel. The thermal degradation temperature was enhanced to 15 °C after POSS incorporation and the gelling temperature shifted 10 °C higher, without sacrificing the modulus of the gel. Rheological studies supported the claim that the gel property was reinforced after POSS incorporation. F127-POSS copolymer matrix stored more energy from POSS reinforcement, which saw larger Lissajous curve areas before the collapse of the microstructure for the same amount of stress applied. These results indicated that modification with POSS would raise the sol-gel transition temperature without sacrificing the modulus of the gel. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hybrid Polymeric Materials)
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Open AccessArticle
Organosolv Lignin-Based Wood Adhesive. Influence of the Lignin Extraction Conditions on the Adhesive Performance
Polymers 2016, 8(9), 340; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym8090340
Received: 19 April 2016 / Revised: 30 August 2016 / Accepted: 7 September 2016 / Published: 14 September 2016
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2650 | PDF Full-text (1942 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Ethanol organosolv alfa grass lignins were extracted in the presence of sulfuric acid or Lewis acids (Sc(OTf)3, FeCl3) as catalysts and subjected to a comprehensive structural characterization by solid state 13C NMR, GPC, MALDI-TOF, and ASAP-MS/MS. The impact [...] Read more.
Ethanol organosolv alfa grass lignins were extracted in the presence of sulfuric acid or Lewis acids (Sc(OTf)3, FeCl3) as catalysts and subjected to a comprehensive structural characterization by solid state 13C NMR, GPC, MALDI-TOF, and ASAP-MS/MS. The impact of the severity of the treatment and of the nature of the acid catalyst on the recovered lignin structure was investigated. The lignins isolated at high severity were highly recondensed and partly composed of regular structures composed of furan-like rings. The alfa (Stipa tenacissima L.) organosolv lignins were used for the preparation of formaldehyde-free adhesives which were characterized by TMA and used for the preparation of particleboard without any addition of synthetic resin. It has been demonstrated for the first time that: (1) the addition of 10% to 30% of organosolv alfa lignin in a tannin-based adhesive improved the adhesive performance; and (2) the conditions of the lignin extraction strongly impact the lignin-based adhesive performances. The highly recondensed lignin extracted with sulfuric acid as a catalyst allowed the production of resins with improved performances. Formulations composed of 50% glyoxalated alfa lignin and 50% of Aleppo Pine tannins yielded good internal bond strength results for the panels (IB = 0.45 MPa) and satisfied relevant international standard specifications for interior-grade panels. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Renewable Polymeric Adhesives)
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Open AccessReview
Scattering and Gaussian Fluctuation Theory for Semiflexible Polymers
Polymers 2016, 8(9), 301; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym8090301
Received: 31 May 2016 / Revised: 5 August 2016 / Accepted: 8 August 2016 / Published: 13 September 2016
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Abstract
The worm-like chain is one of the best theoretical models of the semiflexible polymer. The structure factor, which can be obtained by scattering experiment, characterizes the density correlation in different length scales. In the present review, the numerical method to compute the static [...] Read more.
The worm-like chain is one of the best theoretical models of the semiflexible polymer. The structure factor, which can be obtained by scattering experiment, characterizes the density correlation in different length scales. In the present review, the numerical method to compute the static structure factor of the worm-like chain model and its general properties are demonstrated. Especially, the chain length and persistence length involved multi-scale nature of the worm-like chain model are well discussed. Using the numerical structure factor, Gaussian fluctuation theory of the worm-like chain model can be developed, which is a powerful tool to analyze the structure stability and to predict the spinodal line of the system. The microphase separation of the worm-like diblock copolymer is considered as an example to demonstrate the usage of Gaussian fluctuation theory. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Semiflexible Polymers)
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Open AccessArticle
Preparation of a Novel Chitosan Based Biopolymer Dye and Application in Wood Dyeing
Polymers 2016, 8(9), 338; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym8090338
Received: 30 June 2016 / Revised: 22 August 2016 / Accepted: 7 September 2016 / Published: 10 September 2016
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2279 | PDF Full-text (2212 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A novel chitosan-based biopolymer dye possessing antibacterial properties was synthesized by reaction of O-carboxymethyl chitosan and Acid Red GR. The synthesized materials were characterized by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), degree of substitution (DS), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), thermogravimetric analysis (TG), X-ray [...] Read more.
A novel chitosan-based biopolymer dye possessing antibacterial properties was synthesized by reaction of O-carboxymethyl chitosan and Acid Red GR. The synthesized materials were characterized by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), degree of substitution (DS), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), thermogravimetric analysis (TG), X-ray diffraction (XRD), water solubility test, antibacterial property test, and dyeing performance, including dye uptake, color difference, and fastness. Results showed that the synthesized dye was combined by –NH3+ of O-carboxymethyl chitosan and the sulfonic group of Acid Red GR. According to the comprehensive analysis of XRD and water solubility, the introduction of the carboxymethyl group and acid dye molecule changed the structure of the chitosan from compact to loose, which improved the synthesized dye’s water solubility. However, the thermal stability of the synthesized dye was decreased. The antibacterial property of the poplar wood dyed with the synthesized dye was enhanced and its antibacterial rate, specifically against Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli, also increased to a rate of more than 99%. However, the dye uptake of the synthesized dye was lower than that of the original dye. Despite this, though, the dyeing effect of the synthesized dye demonstrated better water-fastness, and light-fastness than the original dye. Therefore, the novel chitosan-based biopolymer dye can be a promising product for wood dyeing. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Stretching a Semiflexible Polymer in a Tube
Polymers 2016, 8(9), 328; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym8090328
Received: 31 May 2016 / Revised: 9 August 2016 / Accepted: 26 August 2016 / Published: 9 September 2016
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2188 | PDF Full-text (1759 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
How the statistical behavior of semiflexible polymer chains may be affected by force stretching and tube confinement is a classical unsolved problem in polymer physics. Based on the Odijk deflection theory and normal mode decomposition in terms of Fourier expansion, we have derived [...] Read more.
How the statistical behavior of semiflexible polymer chains may be affected by force stretching and tube confinement is a classical unsolved problem in polymer physics. Based on the Odijk deflection theory and normal mode decomposition in terms of Fourier expansion, we have derived a new compact formula for the extension of a wormlike chain of finite length strongly confined in a tube and simultaneously stretched by an external force. We have also suggested a new deflection length, which together with the force-extension relation is valid for a very extended range of the tube-diameter/persistence-length ratio comparing to the classic Odijk theory. The newly derived formula has no adjustable fitting parameters for the whole deflection regime; in contrast, the classic Odijk length needs different prefactors to fit the free energy and average extension, respectively. Brownian dynamics simulations based on the Generalized Bead-Rod (GBR) model were extensively performed, which justified the theoretical predictions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Semiflexible Polymers)
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Open AccessArticle
Model-Assisted Control of Flow Front in Resin Transfer Molding Based on Real-Time Estimation of Permeability/Porosity Ratio
Polymers 2016, 8(9), 337; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym8090337
Received: 27 June 2016 / Revised: 29 August 2016 / Accepted: 5 September 2016 / Published: 8 September 2016
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2309 | PDF Full-text (2718 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Resin transfer molding (RTM) is a popular manufacturing technique that produces fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) composites. In this paper, a model-assisted flow front control system is developed based on real-time estimation of permeability/porosity ratio using the information acquired by a visualization system. In [...] Read more.
Resin transfer molding (RTM) is a popular manufacturing technique that produces fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) composites. In this paper, a model-assisted flow front control system is developed based on real-time estimation of permeability/porosity ratio using the information acquired by a visualization system. In the proposed control system, a radial basis function (RBF) network meta-model is utilized to predict the position of the future flow front by inputting the injection pressure, the current position of flow front, and the estimated ratio. By conducting optimization based on the meta-model, the value of injection pressure to be implemented at each step is obtained. Moreover, a cascade control structure is established to further improve the control performance. Experiments show that the developed system successfully enhances the performance of flow front control in RTM. Especially, the cascade structure makes the control system robust to model mismatch. Full article
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Open AccessReview
DNA as a Model for Probing Polymer Entanglements: Circular Polymers and Non-Classical Dynamics
Polymers 2016, 8(9), 336; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym8090336
Received: 21 July 2016 / Revised: 25 August 2016 / Accepted: 25 August 2016 / Published: 7 September 2016
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2810 | PDF Full-text (4553 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Double-stranded DNA offers a robust platform for investigating fundamental questions regarding the dynamics of entangled polymer solutions. The exceptional monodispersity and multiple naturally occurring topologies of DNA, as well as a wide range of tunable lengths and concentrations that encompass the entanglement regime, [...] Read more.
Double-stranded DNA offers a robust platform for investigating fundamental questions regarding the dynamics of entangled polymer solutions. The exceptional monodispersity and multiple naturally occurring topologies of DNA, as well as a wide range of tunable lengths and concentrations that encompass the entanglement regime, enable direct testing of molecular-level entanglement theories and corresponding scaling laws. DNA is also amenable to a wide range of techniques from passive to nonlinear measurements and from single-molecule to bulk macroscopic experiments. Over the past two decades, researchers have developed methods to directly visualize and manipulate single entangled DNA molecules in steady-state and stressed conditions using fluorescence microscopy, particle tracking and optical tweezers. Developments in microfluidics, microrheology and bulk rheology have also enabled characterization of the viscoelastic response of entangled DNA from molecular levels to macroscopic scales and over timescales that span from linear to nonlinear regimes. Experiments using DNA have uniquely elucidated the debated entanglement properties of circular polymers and blends of linear and circular polymers. Experiments have also revealed important lengthscale and timescale dependent entanglement dynamics not predicted by classical tube models, both validating and refuting new proposed extensions and alternatives to tube theory and motivating further theoretical work to describe the rich dynamics exhibited in entangled polymer systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Semiflexible Polymers)
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Open AccessArticle
The Semiflexible Polymer Translocation into Laterally Unbounded Region between Two Parallel Flat Membranes
Polymers 2016, 8(9), 332; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym8090332
Received: 27 June 2016 / Revised: 28 August 2016 / Accepted: 30 August 2016 / Published: 7 September 2016
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1785 | PDF Full-text (3202 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Using the dynamic Monte Carlo method, we investigate dynamics of semiflexible polymer translocation through a nanopore into laterally unbounded region between two parallel flat membranes with separation R in presence of an electric field inside the pore. The average translocation time τ initially [...] Read more.
Using the dynamic Monte Carlo method, we investigate dynamics of semiflexible polymer translocation through a nanopore into laterally unbounded region between two parallel flat membranes with separation R in presence of an electric field inside the pore. The average translocation time τ initially decreases rapidly with increase of R in the range of R < 10 and then almost keeps constant for R ≥ 10, and the decline range increases with increase of dimensionless bending stiffness κ. We mainly study the effect of chain length N, κ and electric field strength E on the translocation process for R = 5. The translocation dynamics is significantly altered in comparison to an unconfined environment. We find τ ~ Nα, where the exponent α increases with increase of E for small κ. α initially increases slowly with increase of E and then keeps constant for moderate κ. α decreases with increase of E for large κ. However, α decreases with increase of κ under various E. In addition, we find τ ~ κβ. β decreases with increase of N under various E. These behaviors are interpreted in terms of the probability distribution of translocation time and the waiting time of an individual monomer segment passing through the pore during translocation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Semiflexible Polymers)
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Open AccessArticle
Enhanced Optoelectronic Properties of PFO/Fluorol 7GA Hybrid Light Emitting Diodes via Additions of TiO2 Nanoparticles
Polymers 2016, 8(9), 334; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym8090334
Received: 2 August 2016 / Revised: 21 August 2016 / Accepted: 31 August 2016 / Published: 6 September 2016
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2100 | PDF Full-text (1547 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The effect of TiO2 nanoparticle (NP) content on the improvement of poly(9,9′-di-n-octylfluorenyl-2,7-diyl) (PFO)/Fluorol 7GA organic light emitting diode (OLED) performance is demonstrated here. The PFO/Fluorol 7GA blend with specific ratios of TiO2 NPs was prepared via a solution blending [...] Read more.
The effect of TiO2 nanoparticle (NP) content on the improvement of poly(9,9′-di-n-octylfluorenyl-2,7-diyl) (PFO)/Fluorol 7GA organic light emitting diode (OLED) performance is demonstrated here. The PFO/Fluorol 7GA blend with specific ratios of TiO2 NPs was prepared via a solution blending method before being spin-coated onto an indium tin oxide (ITO) substrate to act as an emissive layer in OLEDs. A thin aluminum layer as top electrode was deposited onto the emissive layer using the electron beam chamber. Improvement electron injection from the cathode was achieved upon incorporation of TiO2 NPs into the PFO/Fluorol 7GA blend, thus producing devices with intense luminance and lower turn-on voltage. The ITO/(PFO/Fluorol 7GA/TiO2)/Al OLED device exhibited maximum electroluminescence intensity and luminance at 25 wt % of TiO2 NPs, while maximum luminance efficiency was achieved with 15 wt % TiO2 NP content. In addition, this work proved that the performance of the devices was strongly affected by the surface morphology, which in turn depended on the TiO2 NP content. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanocomposites of Polymers and Inorganic Particles 2016)
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Open AccessReview
Dilute Semiflexible Polymers with Attraction: Collapse, Folding and Aggregation
Polymers 2016, 8(9), 333; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym8090333
Received: 1 July 2016 / Revised: 12 August 2016 / Accepted: 15 August 2016 / Published: 6 September 2016
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Abstract
We review the current state on the thermodynamic behavior and structural phases of self- and mutually-attractive dilute semiflexible polymers that undergo temperature-driven transitions. In extreme dilution, polymers may be considered isolated, and this single polymer undergoes a collapse or folding transition depending on [...] Read more.
We review the current state on the thermodynamic behavior and structural phases of self- and mutually-attractive dilute semiflexible polymers that undergo temperature-driven transitions. In extreme dilution, polymers may be considered isolated, and this single polymer undergoes a collapse or folding transition depending on the internal structure. This may go as far as to stable knot phases. Adding polymers results in aggregation, where structural motifs again depend on the internal structure. We discuss in detail the effect of semiflexibility on the collapse and aggregation transition and provide perspectives for interesting future investigations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Semiflexible Polymers)
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Open AccessArticle
PLA with Intumescent System Containing Lignin and Ammonium Polyphosphate for Flame Retardant Textile
Polymers 2016, 8(9), 331; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym8090331
Received: 12 July 2016 / Revised: 26 August 2016 / Accepted: 29 August 2016 / Published: 5 September 2016
Cited by 30 | Viewed by 3824 | PDF Full-text (2747 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Using bio-based polymers to replace of polymers from petrochemicals in the manufacture of textile fibers is a possible way to improve sustainable development for the textile industry. Polylactic acid (PLA) is one of the available bio-based polymers. One way to improve the fire [...] Read more.
Using bio-based polymers to replace of polymers from petrochemicals in the manufacture of textile fibers is a possible way to improve sustainable development for the textile industry. Polylactic acid (PLA) is one of the available bio-based polymers. One way to improve the fire behavior of this bio-based polymer is to add an intumescent formulation mainly composed of acid and carbon sources. In order to optimize the amount of bio-based product in the final material composition, lignin from wood waste was selected as the carbon source. Different formulations of and/or ammonium polyphosphate (AP) were prepared by melt extrusion and then hot-pressed into sheets. The thermal properties (thermogravimetric analyses (TGA) and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC)) and fire properties (UL-94) were measured. The spinnability of the various composites was evaluated. The mechanical properties and physical aspect (microscopy) of PLA multifilaments with lignin (LK) were checked. A PLA multifilament with up to 10 wt % of intumescent formulation was processed, and the fire behavior of PLA fabrics with lignin/AP formulation was studied by cone calorimeter. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Flame Retardancy of Textile Related Products)
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Open AccessArticle
Toxic Combustion Product Yields as a Function of Equivalence Ratio and Flame Retardants in Under-Ventilated Fires: Bench-Large-Scale Comparisons
Polymers 2016, 8(9), 330; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym8090330
Received: 15 June 2016 / Revised: 3 August 2016 / Accepted: 11 August 2016 / Published: 3 September 2016
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2171 | PDF Full-text (2314 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In large-scale compartment fires; combustion product yields vary with combustion conditions mainly in relation to the fuel:air equivalence ratio (Φ) and the effects of gas-phase flame retardants. Yields of products of inefficient combustion; including the major toxic products CO; HCN and organic irritants; [...] Read more.
In large-scale compartment fires; combustion product yields vary with combustion conditions mainly in relation to the fuel:air equivalence ratio (Φ) and the effects of gas-phase flame retardants. Yields of products of inefficient combustion; including the major toxic products CO; HCN and organic irritants; increase considerably as combustion changes from well-ventilated (Φ < 1) to under-ventilated (Φ = 1–3). It is therefore essential that bench-scale toxicity tests reproduce this behaviour across the Φ range. Yield data from repeat compartment fire tests for any specific fuel show some variation on either side of a best-fit curve for CO yield as a function of Φ. In order to quantify the extent to which data from the steady state tube furnace (SSTF [1]; ISO TS19700 [2]) represents compartment fire yields; the range and average deviations of SSTF data for CO yields from the compartment fire best-fit curve were compared to those for direct compartment fire measurements for six different polymeric fuels with textile and non-textile applications and for generic post-flashover fire CO yield data. The average yields; range and standard deviations of the SSTF data around the best-fit compartment fire curves were found to be close to those for the compartment fire data. It is concluded that SSTF data are as good a predictor of compartment fire yields as are repeat compartment fire test data. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Flame Retardancy of Textile Related Products)
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Open AccessReview
Cracks in Polymer Spherulites: Phenomenological Mechanisms in Correlation with Ring Bands
Polymers 2016, 8(9), 329; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym8090329
Received: 18 July 2016 / Revised: 24 August 2016 / Accepted: 30 August 2016 / Published: 2 September 2016
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Abstract
This article reviews possible mechanisms of various crack forms and their likely correlations with interior crystal lamellae and discontinuous interfaces in spherulites. Complex yet periodically repetitive patterns of cracks in spherulites are beyond attributions via differences in thermal expansion coefficients, which would cause [...] Read more.
This article reviews possible mechanisms of various crack forms and their likely correlations with interior crystal lamellae and discontinuous interfaces in spherulites. Complex yet periodically repetitive patterns of cracks in spherulites are beyond attributions via differences in thermal expansion coefficients, which would cause random and irregular cracks in the contract direction only. Cracks in brittle polymers such as poly(l-lactic acid) (PLLA), or poly(4-hydroxyl butyrate) (PHB), or more ductile polymers such as poly(trimethylene terephthalate) (PTT) are examined and illustrated, although for focus and demonstration, more discussions are spent on PLLA. The cracks can take many shapes that bear extremely striking similarity to the ring-band or lamellar patterns in the same spherulites. Crack patterns may differ significantly between the ring-banded and ringless spherulites, suggesting that the cracks may be partially shaped and governed by interfaces of lamellae and how the lamellar crystals assemble themselves in spherulites. Similarly, with some exceptions, most of the cracks patterns in PHB or PTT are also highly guided by the lamellar assembly in either ring-banded spherulites or ringless spherulites. Some exceptions of cracks in spherulites deviating from the apparent crystal birefringence patterns do exist; nevertheless, discontinuous interfaces in the initial lamellae neat the nuclei center might be hidden by top crystal over-layers of the spherulites, which might govern crack propagation. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Featured Mini Reviews in Polymer Science)
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Open AccessArticle
Heat Release Property and Fire Performance of the Nomex/Cotton Blend Fabric Treated with a Nonformaldehyde Organophosphorus System
Polymers 2016, 8(9), 327; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym8090327
Received: 18 June 2016 / Revised: 7 August 2016 / Accepted: 24 August 2016 / Published: 2 September 2016
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Abstract
Blending Nomex® with cotton improves its affordability and serviceability. Because cotton is a highly flammable fiber, Nomex®/cotton blend fabrics containing more than 20% cotton require flame-retardant treatment. In this research, combination of a hydroxyl functional organophosphorus oligmer (HFPO) and 1,2,3,4-butanetetracarboxylic [...] Read more.
Blending Nomex® with cotton improves its affordability and serviceability. Because cotton is a highly flammable fiber, Nomex®/cotton blend fabrics containing more than 20% cotton require flame-retardant treatment. In this research, combination of a hydroxyl functional organophosphorus oligmer (HFPO) and 1,2,3,4-butanetetracarboxylic acid (BTCA) was used for flame retardant finishing of the 65/35 Nomex®/cotton blend woven fabric. The system contains HFPO as a flame retardant, BTCA as a bonding agent, and triethenolamine (TEA) as a reactive additive used to enhance the performance of HFPO/BTCA. Addition of TEA improves the hydrolysis resistance of the HFPO/BTCA crosslinked polymeric network on the blend fabric. Additionally, TEA enhances HFPO’s flame retardant performance by reducing formation of calcium salts and also by providing synergistic nitrogen to the treated blend fabric. The Nomex®/cotton blend fabric treated with the HFPO/BTCA/TEA system shows high flame resistance and high laundering durability at a relatively low HFPO concentration of 8% (w/w). The heat release properties of the treated Nomex®/cotton blend fabric were measured using microscale combustion calorimetry. The functions of BTCA; HFPO and TEA on the Nomex®/cotton blend fabric were elucidated based on the heat release properties, char formation, and fire performance of the treated blend fabric. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Flame Retardancy of Textile Related Products)
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Open AccessReview
Process, Design and Materials for Unidirectionally Tilted Polymeric Micro/Nanohairs and Their Adhesion Characteristics
Polymers 2016, 8(9), 326; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym8090326
Received: 29 June 2016 / Revised: 18 August 2016 / Accepted: 29 August 2016 / Published: 2 September 2016
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Abstract
Recent research in the field of gecko-inspired dry adhesive has focused on modifying the material and structural properties of polymer-based nanohairs. Polymers such as polystyrene (PS), high-density polyethylene (HDPE), ultraviolet curable epoxy (SU-8), polyurethane acrylate (PUA), polycarbonate (PC), and polydimethyl siloxane (PDMS) can [...] Read more.
Recent research in the field of gecko-inspired dry adhesive has focused on modifying the material and structural properties of polymer-based nanohairs. Polymers such as polystyrene (PS), high-density polyethylene (HDPE), ultraviolet curable epoxy (SU-8), polyurethane acrylate (PUA), polycarbonate (PC), and polydimethyl siloxane (PDMS) can fulfill many mechanical property requirements, are easily tunable, and can be produced via large-scale fabrication. However, the fabrication process for tilted structure remains challenging. The tilted structure is a crucial factor in high-degree conformal contact, which facilitates high adhesion, low effective modulus, and directional adhesion properties. Recent studies have attempted to create a tilted structure by applying beam irradiation, mechanical and thermal stress, and magnetic fields. This review provides a comprehensive investigation into advanced strategies for producing tilted polymeric nanostructures and their potential applications in the near future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Renewable Polymeric Adhesives)
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Open AccessArticle
Evaluation of FRP Confinement Models for Substandard Rectangular RC Columns Based on Full-Scale Reversed Cyclic Lateral Loading Tests in Strong and Weak Directions
Polymers 2016, 8(9), 323; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym8090323
Received: 14 July 2016 / Revised: 19 August 2016 / Accepted: 22 August 2016 / Published: 2 September 2016
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Abstract
Although many theoretical and experimental studies are available on external confinement of columns using fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) jackets, as well as numerous models proposed for the axial stress-axial strain relation of concrete confined with FRP jackets, they have not been validated with a [...] Read more.
Although many theoretical and experimental studies are available on external confinement of columns using fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) jackets, as well as numerous models proposed for the axial stress-axial strain relation of concrete confined with FRP jackets, they have not been validated with a sufficient amount and variety of experimental data obtained through full-scale tests of reinforced concrete (RC) columns with different geometrical and mechanical characteristics. Particularly, no systematical experimental data have been presented on full-scale rectangular substandard RC columns subjected to reversed cyclic lateral loads along either their strong or weak axes. In this study, firstly, test results of five full-scale rectangular substandard RC columns with a cross-sectional aspect ratio of two (300 mm × 600 mm) are briefly summarized. The columns were tested under constant axial load and reversed cyclic lateral loads along their strong or weak axes before and after retrofitting with external FRP jackets. In the second stage, inelastic lateral force-displacement relationships of the columns are obtained analytically, making use of the plastic hinge assumption and different FRP confinement models available in the literature. Finally, the analytical findings are compared with the test results for both strong and weak directions of the columns. Comparisons showed that use of different models for the stress-strain relationship of FRP-confined concrete can yield significantly non-conservative or too conservative retrofit designs, particularly in terms of deformation capacity. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Synthesis of Polyaniline-Coated Graphene [email protected]3 Nanocube Nanocomposites for Enhanced Removal of Carcinogenic Dyes from Aqueous Solution
Polymers 2016, 8(9), 305; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym8090305
Received: 11 June 2016 / Revised: 2 August 2016 / Accepted: 4 August 2016 / Published: 2 September 2016
Cited by 26 | Viewed by 3080 | PDF Full-text (5691 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The present investigation highlights the synthesis of polyaniline (PANI)-coated graphene oxide doped with SrTiO3 nanocube nanocomposites through facile in situ oxidative polymerization method for the efficient removal of carcinogenic dyes, namely, the cationic dye methylene blue (MB) and the anionic dye methyl [...] Read more.
The present investigation highlights the synthesis of polyaniline (PANI)-coated graphene oxide doped with SrTiO3 nanocube nanocomposites through facile in situ oxidative polymerization method for the efficient removal of carcinogenic dyes, namely, the cationic dye methylene blue (MB) and the anionic dye methyl orange (MO). The presence of oxygenated functional groups comprised of hydroxyl and epoxy groups in graphene oxide (GO) and nitrogen-containing functionalities such as imine groups and amine groups in polyaniline work synergistically to impart cationic and anionic nature to the synthesised nanocomposite, whereas SrTiO3 nanocubes act as spacers aiding in segregation of GO sheets, thereby increasing the effective surface area of nanocomposite. The synthesised nanocomposites were characterised by field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), X-ray diffraction (XRD), and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). The adsorption efficiencies of graphene oxide (GO), PANI homopolymer, and SrTiO3 nanocubes-doped nanocomposites were assessed by monitoring the adsorption of methylene blue and methyl orange dyes from aqueous solution. The adsorption efficiency of nanocomposites doped with SrTiO3 nanocubes were found to be of higher magnitude as compared with undoped nanocomposite. Moreover, the nanocomposite with 2 wt % SrTiO3 with respect to graphene oxide demonstrated excellent adsorption behaviour with 99% and 91% removal of MB and MO, respectively, in a very short duration of time. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Additive Manufacture of Three Dimensional Nanocomposite Based Objects through Multiphoton Fabrication
Polymers 2016, 8(9), 325; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym8090325
Received: 25 May 2016 / Revised: 27 July 2016 / Accepted: 4 August 2016 / Published: 1 September 2016
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Abstract
Three-dimensional structures prepared from a gold-polymer composite formulation have been fabricated using multiphoton lithography. In this process, gold nanoparticles were simultaneously formed through photoreduction whilst polymerisation of two possible monomers was promoted. The monomers, trimethylopropane triacrylate (TMPTA) and pentaerythritol triacrylate (PETA) were mixed [...] Read more.
Three-dimensional structures prepared from a gold-polymer composite formulation have been fabricated using multiphoton lithography. In this process, gold nanoparticles were simultaneously formed through photoreduction whilst polymerisation of two possible monomers was promoted. The monomers, trimethylopropane triacrylate (TMPTA) and pentaerythritol triacrylate (PETA) were mixed with a gold salt, but it was found that the addition of a ruthenium(II) complex enhanced both the geometrical uniformity and integrity of the polymerised/reduced material, enabling the first production of 3D gold-polymer structures by single step multiphoton lithography. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Three-Dimensional Structures: Fabrication and Application)
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Open AccessArticle
Performance Analysis of a Fiber Reinforced Plastic Oil Cooler Cover Considering the Anisotropic Behavior of the Fiber Reinforced PA66
Polymers 2016, 8(9), 312; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym8090312
Received: 30 June 2016 / Revised: 6 August 2016 / Accepted: 9 August 2016 / Published: 1 September 2016
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Abstract
In this paper, a simulation method based on an orthogonal anisotropic material is proposed. A numerical example using a simple plate is presented to show the difference in the static performance between the orthogonal anisotropic and the isotropic models. Comparing with the tested [...] Read more.
In this paper, a simulation method based on an orthogonal anisotropic material is proposed. A numerical example using a simple plate is presented to show the difference in the static performance between the orthogonal anisotropic and the isotropic models. Comparing with the tested modal data of a diesel engine oil cooler cover made by glass fiber reinforced polyamide 66 (PA66), the proposed simulation method was confirmed to be much closer to reality than the general isotropic model. After that, a comprehensive performance comparison between the plastic oil cooler covers with the orthogonal anisotropic and the isotropic fiber orientations was carried out including a static deformation and stress analysis under a pressure-temperature coupled load, a forced response analysis, and an acoustic analysis under real operating conditions. The results show that the stress, the deformation, the peak vibration velocity, and the overall sound power level of the orthogonal anisotropic model are different from that obtained with the isotropic model. More importantly, the proposed method can provide a much more detailed frequency content compared to the isotropic model. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Milk Protein Polymer and Its Application in Environmentally Safe Adhesives
Polymers 2016, 8(9), 324; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym8090324
Received: 26 June 2016 / Revised: 22 August 2016 / Accepted: 23 August 2016 / Published: 31 August 2016
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Abstract
Milk proteins (caseins and whey proteins) are important protein sources for human nutrition; in addition, they possess important natural polymers. These protein molecules can be modified by physical, chemical, and/or enzymatic means. Casein is one of the oldest natural polymers, used for adhesives, [...] Read more.
Milk proteins (caseins and whey proteins) are important protein sources for human nutrition; in addition, they possess important natural polymers. These protein molecules can be modified by physical, chemical, and/or enzymatic means. Casein is one of the oldest natural polymers, used for adhesives, dating back to thousands years ago. Research on milk-protein-based adhesives is still ongoing. This article deals with the chemistry and structure of milk protein polymers, and examples of uses in environmentally-safe adhesives. These are promising routes in the exploration of the broad application of milk proteins. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Renewable Polymeric Adhesives)
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Open AccessArticle
Flame Retardancy of Sorbitol Based Bioepoxy via Combined Solid and Gas Phase Action
Polymers 2016, 8(9), 322; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym8090322
Received: 7 June 2016 / Revised: 6 July 2016 / Accepted: 24 August 2016 / Published: 30 August 2016
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Abstract
Flame-retarded bioepoxy resins were prepared with the application of commercially available sorbitol polyglycidyl ether (SPE). The additive-type flame retardancy of the cycloaliphatic amine-cured SPE was investigated. Three-percent phosphorus (P)-containing samples were prepared with the application of the liquid resorcinol bis(diphenyl phosphate) (RDP), the [...] Read more.
Flame-retarded bioepoxy resins were prepared with the application of commercially available sorbitol polyglycidyl ether (SPE). The additive-type flame retardancy of the cycloaliphatic amine-cured SPE was investigated. Three-percent phosphorus (P)-containing samples were prepared with the application of the liquid resorcinol bis(diphenyl phosphate) (RDP), the solid ammonium polyphosphate (APP), and by combining them. Synergistic effect was found between the inorganic APP and the organophosphorus RDP, when applied in combination: formulations applying RDP or APP alone showed increased limiting oxygen index (LOI) values, however, their UL-94 standard ratings remained HB. When the same amount of P originated from the two additives, V-0, self-extinguishing rating and LOI value of 34% (v/v) was reached. By the combined approach the heat release rate of SPE could be lowered by approximately 60%. The assumed balanced solid and gas phase mechanism was confirmed by thermogravimetric analysis, Fourier transform infrared spectrometry (FTIR) analysis (of the gases formed during laser pyrolysis), attenuated total reflection-infrared spectrometry (ATR-IR) analysis (of the charred residues), as well as by mechanical testing (of the char obtained after combustion). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Flame Retardancy of Textile Related Products)
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Open AccessArticle
Bactericidal Effect of Lauric Acid-Loaded PCL-PEG-PCL Nano-Sized Micelles on Skin Commensal Propionibacterium acnes
Polymers 2016, 8(9), 321; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym8090321
Received: 17 February 2016 / Revised: 14 August 2016 / Accepted: 22 August 2016 / Published: 27 August 2016
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Abstract
Acne is the over growth of the commensal bacteria Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes) on human skin. Lauric acid (LA) has been investigated as an effective candidate to suppress the activity of P. acnes. Although LA is nearly insoluble in water, [...] Read more.
Acne is the over growth of the commensal bacteria Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes) on human skin. Lauric acid (LA) has been investigated as an effective candidate to suppress the activity of P. acnes. Although LA is nearly insoluble in water, dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) has been reported to effectively solubilize LA. However, the toxicity of DMSO can limit the use of LA on the skin. In this study, LA-loaded poly(ɛ-caprolactone)-poly(ethylene glycol)-poly(ɛ-caprolactone) micelles (PCL-PEG-PCL) were developed to improve the bactericidal effect of free LA on P. acnes. The block copolymers mPEG-PCL and PCL-PEG-PCL with different molecular weights were synthesized and characterized using 1H Nuclear Magnetic Resonance spectroscopy (1H NMR), Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), Gel Permeation Chromatography (GPC), and Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC). In the presence of LA, mPEG-PCL diblock copolymers did not self-assemble into nano-sized micelles. On the contrary, the average particle sizes of the PCL-PEG-PCL micelles ranged from 50–198 nm for blank micelles and 27–89 nm for LA-loaded micelles. The drug loading content increased as the molecular weight of PCL-PEG-PCL polymer increased. Additionally, the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) and the minimum bactericidal concentration (MBC) of free LA were 20 and 80 μg/mL, respectively. The MICs and MBCs of the micelles decreased to 10 and 40 μg/mL, respectively. This study demonstrated that the LA-loaded micelles are a potential treatment for acne. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functional Polymers for Medical Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
Potential Biomedical Application of Enzymatically Treated Alginate/Chitosan Hydrosols in Sponges—Biocompatible Scaffolds Inducing Chondrogenic Differentiation of Human Adipose Derived Multipotent Stromal Cells
Polymers 2016, 8(9), 320; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym8090320
Received: 12 May 2016 / Revised: 30 July 2016 / Accepted: 12 August 2016 / Published: 26 August 2016
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2828 | PDF Full-text (8570 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Current regenerative strategies used for cartilage repair rely on biomaterial functionality as a scaffold for cells that may have potential in chondrogenic differentiation. The purpose of the research was to investigate the biocompatibility of enzymatically treated alginate/chitosan hydrosol sponges and their suitability to [...] Read more.
Current regenerative strategies used for cartilage repair rely on biomaterial functionality as a scaffold for cells that may have potential in chondrogenic differentiation. The purpose of the research was to investigate the biocompatibility of enzymatically treated alginate/chitosan hydrosol sponges and their suitability to support chondrogenic differentiation of human adipose derived multipotent stromal cells (hASCs). The alginate/chitosan and enzyme/alginate/chitosan sponges were formed from hydrosols with various proportions and were used as a biomaterial in this study. Sponges were tested for porosity and wettability. The porosity of each sponge was higher than 80%. An equal dose of alginate and chitosan in the composition of sponges improved their swelling ability. It was found that equal concentrations of alginate and chitosan in hydrosols sponges assure high biocompatibility properties that may be further improved by enzymatic treatment. Importantly, the high biocompatibility of these biomaterials turned out to be crucial in the context of hydrosols’ pro-chondrogenic function. After exposure to the chondrogenic conditions, the hASCs in N/A/C and L/A/C sponges formed well developed nodules and revealed increased expression of collagen type II, aggrecan and decreased expression of collagen type I. Moreover, in these cultures, the reactive oxygen species level was lowered while superoxide dismutase activity increased. Based on the obtained results, we conclude that N/A/C and L/A/C sponges may have prospective application as hASCs carriers for cartilage repair. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Tannic Acid as a Bio-Based Modifier of Epoxy/Anhydride Thermosets
Polymers 2016, 8(9), 314; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym8090314
Received: 22 June 2016 / Revised: 8 August 2016 / Accepted: 11 August 2016 / Published: 26 August 2016
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 3258 | PDF Full-text (2960 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Toughening an epoxy resin by bio-based modifiers without trade-offs in its modulus, mechanical strength, and other properties is still a big challenge. This paper presents an approach to modify epoxy resin with tannic acid (TA) as a bio-based feedstock. Carboxylic acid-modified tannic acid [...] Read more.
Toughening an epoxy resin by bio-based modifiers without trade-offs in its modulus, mechanical strength, and other properties is still a big challenge. This paper presents an approach to modify epoxy resin with tannic acid (TA) as a bio-based feedstock. Carboxylic acid-modified tannic acid (TA–COOH) was first prepared through a simple esterification between TA and methylhexahydrophthalic anhydride, and then used as a modifier for the epoxy/anhydride curing system. Owing to the chemical modification, TA–COOH could easily disperse in epoxy resin and showed adequate interface interaction between TA–COOH and epoxy matrix, in avoid of phase separation. The use of TA–COOH in different proportions as modifier of epoxy/anhydride thermosets was studied. The results showed that TA–COOH could significantly improve the toughness with a great increase in impact strength under a low loading amount. Moreover, the addition of TA–COOH also simultaneously improved the tensile strength, elongation at break and glass transition temperature. The toughening and reinforcing mechanism was studied by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA) and thermal mechanical analysis (TMA), which should be owned to the synergistic effect of good interface interaction, aromatic structure, decreasing of cross linking density and increasing of free volume. This approach allows us to utilize the renewable tannic acid as an effective modifier for epoxy resin with good mechanical and thermal properties. Full article
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