Progress in Polymer Composites

A special issue of Journal of Composites Science (ISSN 2504-477X). This special issue belongs to the section "Polymer Composites".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2021) | Viewed by 30468

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
1. Biorefining and Advanced Materials Research Centre, SRUC, Edinburgh EH9 3JG, UK
2. Enhanced Composites and Structures Center, School of Aerospace, Transport and Manufacturing, Cranfield University, Bedfordshire MK43 0AL, UK
Interests: biorefining, chemistry, nanotechnology, biomass, and waste; biomedical engineering; composites; sensors; manufacturing of functional materials; aerospace materials; nanomaterials; renewable energy; smart materials; surface engineering; water science and engineering; additive manufacturing of polymers and composites; multifunctional polymer composites and nanocomposites: self-healing, nanoelectronic materials; hydrogels; membranes; nanofibre; composites for extreme environments and manufacturing technology
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Polymer composites are rapidly emerging as novel materials for a number of advanced engineering applications. Polymer composites are materials that are prepared/manufactured via the combination of one or more dissimilar kinds of fillers in a common polymer matrix. In particular, polymer composites materials from different synthetic and natural resources have attracted considerable attraction from research communities all around the globe owing to their unique intrinsic properties, such as flexibility, low cost, easy processing, and impressive physicomechanical properties in comparison to their metallic/ceramic counterparts. A variety of polymer composite materials have been developed using various strategies. Seeing the immense advantages of polymer composites, this Special Issue focuses on the progress of polymer composites.

More specifically, this Special Issue invites innovative contributions in terms of research articles, reviews, communications, and letters from around the globe, with potential topics including but not limited to polymer composites; polymer nanocomposites; polymer synthesis, structural design and novel processing of polymer composites; modeling and simulation of polymer composite materials; design for manufacture of composite materials; and properties and characterisation of composite materials and their applications.

Dr. Vijay Kumar Thakur
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Synthesis of polymer composites (micro/nano) ranging from natural to synthetic
  • Mechanical properties
  • Different composites manufacturing processes
  • Characterisation
  • Modelling of polymer composites
  • Natural/synthetic fibre hybrid composites
  • Additives in polymer composites
  • Green hybrid polymer composites
  • Testing and characterisation of natural/synthetic fibre hybrid polymer composites
  • Mechanics theory of hybrid polymer composites
  • Modelling and simulation of hybrid polymer composites
  • Future directions for developing hybrid polymer composites

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

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16 pages, 7028 KiB  
Article
Improving the Alignment of Dynamic Sheet-Formed Mats by Changing Nozzle Geometry and Their Reinforcement of Polypropylene Matrix Composites
by Tom Sunny, Kim L. Pickering and John McDonald-Wharry
J. Compos. Sci. 2021, 5(9), 226; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs5090226 - 27 Aug 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1841
Abstract
The main objective of this study was to improve the orientation of fibres within the mats produced using dynamic sheet forming (DSF). DSF is used to make fibre mats by forcing a fibre suspension through a nozzle onto a rotating drum. In this [...] Read more.
The main objective of this study was to improve the orientation of fibres within the mats produced using dynamic sheet forming (DSF). DSF is used to make fibre mats by forcing a fibre suspension through a nozzle onto a rotating drum. In this research, the effect of nozzle geometry on the orientation of hemp fibres within DSF mats was investigated. The orientation of fibres within the mats produced was assessed using ImageJ (OrientationJ) and X-ray diffraction. It was found that, as the contraction ratio of the nozzle increased, the orientation of fibres within the fibre mats increased. It was also found that the composite tensile strength increased with increased fibre orientation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Progress in Polymer Composites)
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14 pages, 2020 KiB  
Article
Kinetic Analysis on the Stabilization Effects of Substituted POSS Powders Embedded in γ-Radiolyzed Polypropylene
by Traian Zaharescu, Ignazio Blanco, Tunde Borbath, Istvan Borbath and Marius Mariș
J. Compos. Sci. 2021, 5(5), 124; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs5050124 - 9 May 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1887
Abstract
The present paper proposes a reliable alternative for the increasing stability of polypropylene (PP) by modified polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxanes (POSS). The chemiluminescence measurements and FTIR records point complementarily out the determinant influence of substituents on the progress of oxidation during the accelerated degradation [...] Read more.
The present paper proposes a reliable alternative for the increasing stability of polypropylene (PP) by modified polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxanes (POSS). The chemiluminescence measurements and FTIR records point complementarily out the determinant influence of substituents on the progress of oxidation during the accelerated degradation caused by γ-irradiation. The main kinetic approach of oxidation acting in radiation-induced aging recommends some of the studied structures of modified POSS as appropriate compounds for improving stability of polypropylene at low additive concentration. The analysis of the present results is based on the implication of substituted POSS, whose contribution to the limitation of oxidation is conditioned by the influence of substituents. The delay of the oxidative degradation in studied γ-irradiated polypropylene is the consequence of the interaction between molecular PP fragments and the silanol moieties generated during radiolysis, which are the most vulnerable points of POSS structure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Progress in Polymer Composites)
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13 pages, 8233 KiB  
Article
Development of a Reactive Polyurethane Foam System for the Direct Sandwich Composite Molding (D-SCM) Process
by Felix Behnisch, Viktoria Lichtner, Frank Henning and Philipp Rosenberg
J. Compos. Sci. 2021, 5(4), 104; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs5040104 - 11 Apr 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2402
Abstract
Sandwich structures utilize the geometric stiffening effect by increasing the area moment of inertia. This reduces carbon fiber (CF) material within CF-reinforced plastic (CFRP) components, and thus, the CO2 footprint. A suitable material combination for lightweight design is the use of continuous [...] Read more.
Sandwich structures utilize the geometric stiffening effect by increasing the area moment of inertia. This reduces carbon fiber (CF) material within CF-reinforced plastic (CFRP) components, and thus, the CO2 footprint. A suitable material combination for lightweight design is the use of continuous fiber-reinforced face sheets with a light foam core. CFRP sandwich structures with foam core are manufactured by combining a prefabricated foam core with fiber-reinforced cover layers in a two-step press process. Besides the reduction of the used CFRP material, more efficient manufacturing processes are needed. The aim of this paper is to develop a novel polyurethane foam system to enable the direct sandwich composite molding (D‑SCM) process for the production of CFRP sandwich structures by utilizing the resulting foaming pressure during the reactive polyurethane (PUR) foam system expansion for the impregnation of the CF reinforced face sheets. The developed formulation enables D-SCM structures with 150–250 kg/m3 foam density and 44–47.5% fiber volume content, based on a preliminary evaluation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Progress in Polymer Composites)
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17 pages, 19203 KiB  
Article
Poly(ε-Caprolactone)/Brewers’ Spent Grain Composites—The Impact of Filler Treatment on the Mechanical Performance
by Aleksander Hejna
J. Compos. Sci. 2020, 4(4), 167; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs4040167 - 5 Nov 2020
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 2547
Abstract
Waste lignocellulose materials, such as brewers’ spent grain, can be considered very promising sources of fillers for the manufacturing of natural fiber composites. Nevertheless, due to the chemical structure differences between polymer matrices and brewers’ spent grain, filler treatment should be included. The [...] Read more.
Waste lignocellulose materials, such as brewers’ spent grain, can be considered very promising sources of fillers for the manufacturing of natural fiber composites. Nevertheless, due to the chemical structure differences between polymer matrices and brewers’ spent grain, filler treatment should be included. The presented work aimed to investigate the impact of fillers’ reactive extrusion on the chemical structure and the poly(ε-caprolactone)/brewers’ spent grain composites’ mechanical performance. The chemical structure was analyzed by Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy, while the mechanical performance of composites was assessed by static tensile tests and dynamic mechanical analysis. Depending on the filler pretreatment, composites with different mechanical properties were obtained. Nevertheless, the increase in pretreatment temperature resulted in the increased interface surface area of filler, which enhanced composites’ toughness. As a result, composites were able to withstand a higher amount of stress before failure. The mechanical tests also indicated a drop in the adhesion factor, pointing to enhanced interfacial interactions for higher pretreatment temperatures. The presented work showed that reactive extrusion could be considered an auspicious method for lignocellulose filler modification, which could be tailored to obtain composites with desired properties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Progress in Polymer Composites)
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11 pages, 14720 KiB  
Article
An Innovative Approach for Restoring the Mechanical Properties of Thermoplastic-Matrix Nanocomposite by the Use of Partially Polymerized Cyclic Butylene Terephthalate
by Francesca Ferrari and Antonio Greco
J. Compos. Sci. 2020, 4(4), 146; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs4040146 - 24 Sep 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1834
Abstract
This work is focused on the production of a smart material from cyclic butylene-terephthalate (CBT), characterized by the built-in capability to recover its damage, through the catalyzed ring opening polymerization (ROP) of its oligomers; in particular, molten CBT, after filling the damaged zone, [...] Read more.
This work is focused on the production of a smart material from cyclic butylene-terephthalate (CBT), characterized by the built-in capability to recover its damage, through the catalyzed ring opening polymerization (ROP) of its oligomers; in particular, molten CBT, after filling the damaged zone, can be converted into poly-butylene terephthalate (PBT), thus promoting a join of the broken surfaces and fixing the crack. To obtain a material with self-healing potential, the production of a partially polymerized system is required. For this purpose, two solutions were studied: the first one involved the use of two catalysts with different activation times, whereas the second solution implied the intercalation of the faster catalyst inside the nanoclay lamellae. Since the intercalation allowed slowing the activation of the catalyst, residual CBT can be converted in a second step. Mechanical properties of partially reacted PBT samples and their healing ability were checked by flexural analyses; in order to promote the healing process, samples were notched to simulate partial damage and left in oven for different times and temperatures, to allow the activation of the unreacted catalyst with the consequent ROP of the residual CBT; flexural tests on samples after healing showed a good recovery of mechanical properties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Progress in Polymer Composites)
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14 pages, 8947 KiB  
Article
Strain Rate Sensitivity of Epoxy Composites Reinforced with Varied Sizes of Bagasse Particles
by Sujan Debnath, Tan Ke Khieng, Mahmood Anwar, Animesh Kumar Basak and Alokesh Pramanik
J. Compos. Sci. 2020, 4(3), 110; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs4030110 - 7 Aug 2020
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2193
Abstract
Viscoelastic materials, such as natural fibre-reinforced polymer composites, are strain rate sensitive. In the present investigation, the low strain rate sensitivity (0.00028 s−1, 0.00085 s−1 and 0.0017 s−1) of different sized bagasse particle-reinforced (212 µm and 300 µm) [...] Read more.
Viscoelastic materials, such as natural fibre-reinforced polymer composites, are strain rate sensitive. In the present investigation, the low strain rate sensitivity (0.00028 s−1, 0.00085 s−1 and 0.0017 s−1) of different sized bagasse particle-reinforced (212 µm and 300 µm) epoxy composites was examined using the Weibull analysis method. The filler loading content was optimized at 2 wt.% to achieve better mechanical properties. Based on the experimental results, it was observed that composites with 212 µm filler particles had higher characteristic strengths, more consistent failure strengths and higher energy absorption properties with higher loading speeds, compared to that of 300 µm filler particles. Based on the mathematical models for particle–matrix interactions, improvements in mechanical properties are attributed to proper filler dispersion and a better fibre–matrix interfacial strength. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Progress in Polymer Composites)
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Review

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23 pages, 807 KiB  
Review
Progress of Bio-Calcium Carbonate Waste Eggshell and Seashell Fillers in Polymer Composites: A Review
by Stephen Owuamanam and Duncan Cree
J. Compos. Sci. 2020, 4(2), 70; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs4020070 - 9 Jun 2020
Cited by 110 | Viewed by 16848
Abstract
Disposal of massive amounts of eggshells and seashells from processing industries is a challenge. In recent years, there has been a focus to reuse these waste resources in the production of new thermoplastic and thermoset polymer materials. This paper reviews eggshell and seashell [...] Read more.
Disposal of massive amounts of eggshells and seashells from processing industries is a challenge. In recent years, there has been a focus to reuse these waste resources in the production of new thermoplastic and thermoset polymer materials. This paper reviews eggshell and seashell production by country and provides a perspective on the quantity of bio-calcium carbonate that could be produced annually from these wastes. The achievements obtained from the addition of recycled bio-calcium carbonate fillers (uncoated/unmodified) in polymer composites with a focus on tensile strength, flexural strength and impact toughness are discussed. To improve compatibility between calcium carbonate (mineral and bio-based) fillers and polymers, studies on surface modifiers are reviewed. Knowledge gaps and future research and development thoughts are outlined. Developing novel and innovative composites for this waste material could bring additional revenue to egg and seafood processors and at the same time reduce any environmental impact. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Progress in Polymer Composites)
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