Durability and Degradation of Polymeric Materials

A special issue of Polymers (ISSN 2073-4360). This special issue belongs to the section "Polymer Processing and Engineering".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 August 2022) | Viewed by 69955

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department, College of Engineering, United Arab Emirates University, Al-Ain 15551, United Arab Emirates
Interests: materials science and engineering; materials characterization; polymeric and composite materials; biomaterials and tissue engineering; biomechanics; durability and degradation of polymeric and composite materials; welding of metallic and polymeric materials; corrosion; fatigue and fracture mechanics; renewable energy; finite element method
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Starting from the 20th century, the usage of polymers has been exponentially growing, and it has found application in almost all sectors, replacing many conventional materials including metals. However, under the influence of environmental factors such as light, heat and chemicals, degradation of the polymers occur, which alters their material properties. Furthermore, the environmental concerns of the disposal of polymeric materials have turned the scientific world to think about highly durable polymers. Researchers have already produced advanced polymeric materials that can meet a wide range of high-end applications.

This upcoming issue aims to provide a platform for researchers and practitioners to present new research and developments (Research/Review/Case Reports/Short Communication) focusing on the following topics.

  • Production of durable polymers;
  • Chemical degradation;
  • Recycling;
  • Bio/ thermal degradation of polymers;
  • Assessment of durability of polymers;
  • Various studies on degradation of polymers;
  • Environmental impact of polymers;
  • Recycling and upcycling of polymers;
  • Durable designs and polymer engineering.

Prof. Dr. Abdel-Hamid I. Mourad
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • polymer degradation
  • durability
  • service life
  • recycling
  • upcycling
  • environmental impact of polymers
  • lifetime prediction
  • durable designs
  • polymer engineering

Published Papers (24 papers)

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16 pages, 8386 KiB  
Article
Study of Carbon Matrix Composite as Wear-Resistant Plate Material on Improving Wear Resistance and Mixing Effect in Mixing Process
by Yiren Pan, Yihui Chen, Yi Pan, Junxiu Xue, Wenwen Han and Huiguang Bian
Polymers 2022, 14(19), 4207; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14194207 - 7 Oct 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1233
Abstract
Silica and carbon black are the most important reinforcing systems in rubber formula. In the process of continuous optimization of the formula, silica gradually replaces carbon black by its characteristics. In view of the wear problem of the components of the mixer chamber [...] Read more.
Silica and carbon black are the most important reinforcing systems in rubber formula. In the process of continuous optimization of the formula, silica gradually replaces carbon black by its characteristics. In view of the wear problem of the components of the mixer chamber caused by the increase in the proportion of silica in the formula, this research applied carbon matrix composite (CMC) materials to wear-resistant plate materials, and compared them with common wear-resistant (CWR) plate materials to explore the impact of replacing CWR plate with CMC on improving wear resistance and mixing effect. The results showed that compared with the CWR plate, CMC wear-resistant plate showed characteristics of a high friction coefficient and low wear rate (reduced by about 23%) in the mixing process of silica compound. However, the friction behavior of carbon black compound and carbon matrix composite wear-resistant plate showed an opposite trend, where the friction coefficient and wear rate increased simultaneously, especially the wear rate that increased by about 35%. The main reasons for the experimental results were related to the characteristics, elemental composition and surface morphology of carbon matrix composite, silica and carbon black. The experimental results also indicated that the carbon matrix composite wear-resistant plate is more suitable for a silica mixing process, and the increasing friction coefficient with decreasing wear rate of wear-resistant plate can further improve the importance of effective friction in mixing and prolonging the service life of wear-resistant plate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Durability and Degradation of Polymeric Materials)
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11 pages, 2040 KiB  
Article
Polystyrene-Impregnated Glulam Resistance to Subterranean Termite Attacks in a Laboratory Test
by Yusuf Sudo Hadi, Dede Hermawan, Imam Busyra Abdillah, Mahdi Mubarok, Wa Ode Muliastuty Arsyad and Rohmah Pari
Polymers 2022, 14(19), 4003; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14194003 - 24 Sep 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1829
Abstract
This study aimed to enhance tropical fast-growing tree species’ resistance to subterranean termite (Coptotermes curvignathus) attacks through the manufacturing of polystyrene glued-laminated timber (glulam). Three young tropical wood species, namely manii (Maesopsis eminii), mangium (Acacia mangium), and rubber-wood (Hevea brasiliensis), were cut into [...] Read more.
This study aimed to enhance tropical fast-growing tree species’ resistance to subterranean termite (Coptotermes curvignathus) attacks through the manufacturing of polystyrene glued-laminated timber (glulam). Three young tropical wood species, namely manii (Maesopsis eminii), mangium (Acacia mangium), and rubber-wood (Hevea brasiliensis), were cut into laminae. After drying, the laminae were impregnated with styrene monomer, then polymerized using potassium peroxydisulfate as a catalyst and heat. The polystyrene-impregnated laminae were constructed using isocyanate glue and a cold press for three-layered glulam. Untreated or control glulam and solid wood specimens were also prepared. The specimens of each wood species and wood products (solid wood, control glulam, and polystyrene glulam) were exposed to the termite in a laboratory test according to Indonesian standards. The results showed that mangium wood had better resistance to the termite attack than manii and rubber-wood, with both of those woods performing the same. Among the wood products, the glulams were equal and had higher resistance to the termite attack than solid wood. To enhance the termite resistance of polystyrene glulam, we suggest that the polymer loading of polystyrene on each lamina should be increased. In our evaluation of the products’ order of priority, polystyrene glulam emerged as performing best towards subterranean termites attack. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Durability and Degradation of Polymeric Materials)
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16 pages, 6076 KiB  
Article
Durability of Implanted Low-Density Polyacrylamide Hydrogel Used as a Scaffold for Microencapsulated Molecular Probes inside Small Fish
by Ekaterina Shchapova, Evgeniy Titov, Anton Gurkov, Anna Nazarova, Ekaterina Borvinskaya and Maxim Timofeyev
Polymers 2022, 14(19), 3956; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14193956 - 22 Sep 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1844
Abstract
Implantable sensors based on shaped biocompatible hydrogels are now being extensively developed for various physiological tasks, but they are usually difficult to implant into small animals. In this study, we tested the long-term in vivo functionality of pH-sensitive implants based on amorphous 2.7% [...] Read more.
Implantable sensors based on shaped biocompatible hydrogels are now being extensively developed for various physiological tasks, but they are usually difficult to implant into small animals. In this study, we tested the long-term in vivo functionality of pH-sensitive implants based on amorphous 2.7% polyacrylamide hydrogel with the microencapsulated fluorescent probe SNARF-1. The sensor was easy to manufacture and introduce into the tissues of a small fish Danio rerio, which is the common model object in biomedical research. Histological examination revealed partial degradation of the gel by the 7th day after injection, but it was not the case on the 1st day. Using the hydrogel sensor, we were able to trace the interstitial pH in the fish muscles under normal and hypercapnic conditions for at least two days after the implantation. Thus, despite later immune response, amorphous polyacrylamide is fully suitable for preparing implantable sensors for various mid-term physiological experiments on small fishes. The proposed approach can be further developed to create implantable sensors for animals with similar anatomy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Durability and Degradation of Polymeric Materials)
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17 pages, 5971 KiB  
Article
Comparative Study on Thermal Response Mechanism of Two Binders during Slow Cook-Off
by Xinzhou Wu, Jun Li, Hui Ren and Qingjie Jiao
Polymers 2022, 14(17), 3699; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14173699 - 5 Sep 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2310
Abstract
The HTPE (hydroxyl-terminated polyether) propellant had a lower ignition temperature (150 °C vs. 240 °C) than the HTPB (hydroxy-terminated polybutadiene) propellant in the slow cook-off test. The reactions of the two propellants were combustion and explosion, respectively. A series of experiments including the [...] Read more.
The HTPE (hydroxyl-terminated polyether) propellant had a lower ignition temperature (150 °C vs. 240 °C) than the HTPB (hydroxy-terminated polybutadiene) propellant in the slow cook-off test. The reactions of the two propellants were combustion and explosion, respectively. A series of experiments including the changes of colors and the intensity of infrared characteristic peaks were designed to characterize the differences in the thermal response mechanisms of the HTPB and HTPE binder systems. As a solid phase filler to accidental ignition, the weight loss and microscopic morphology of AP (30~230 °C) were observed by TG and SEM. The defects of the propellant caused by the cook-off were quantitatively analyzed by the box counting method. Above 120 °C, the HTPE propellant began to melt and disperse in the holes, filling the cracks, which generated during the decomposition of AP at a low temperature. Melting products were called the “high-temperature self-repair body”. A series of analyses proved that the different thermal responses of the two binders were the main cause of the slow cook-off results, which were likewise verified in the propellant mechanical properties and gel fraction test. From the microscopic point of view, the mechanism of HTPE’s slow cook-off performance superior to HTPB was revealed in this article. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Durability and Degradation of Polymeric Materials)
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15 pages, 3006 KiB  
Article
Degradability and Properties of PBAT-Based Biodegradable Mulch Films in Field and Their Effects on Cotton Planting
by Qi Liu, Yue Wang, Jialei Liu, Xiaowei Liu, Yanyan Dong, Xin Huang, Zhichao Zhen, Jun Lv and Wenqing He
Polymers 2022, 14(15), 3157; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14153157 - 2 Aug 2022
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 2954
Abstract
Biodegradable mulches (BDMs) are considered promising alternative green materials to achieve the substitution of polythene (PE) films to reduce plastic pollution. However, whether the BDMs are sufficiently effective to promote cotton production as PE film is a controversial topic. In this study, laboratory [...] Read more.
Biodegradable mulches (BDMs) are considered promising alternative green materials to achieve the substitution of polythene (PE) films to reduce plastic pollution. However, whether the BDMs are sufficiently effective to promote cotton production as PE film is a controversial topic. In this study, laboratory determination and field experiments were conducted with one pure Poly(butylene adipate-co-terephthalate) (PBAT) film (BDM), two commercial PBAT-based films (BDM1 and BDM2), and one PE film to (ⅰ) compare the degradation behavior, morphology, and property changes during field application, and (ⅱ) reveal their effects on biomass accumulation and cotton yield. Degradation behavior, degradation rate, structure, thermal stability, crystallinity, and molecular weight changes of the films before and after mulching were investigated and characterized. Water vapor transmission rate and mechanical properties of the films and the effects these on soil temperature, crop growth, and cotton yield were discussed. Results show that the three PBAT-based mulch films gradually degraded during mulching. The molecular weight, thermal stability, and crystallinity of BDM1 and BDM2 decreased. Interestingly, BDM showed the opposite characteristics, but the degradation degree was greatest at harvest. PE film showed no significant changes in its microscopic appearance, thermal performance, or properties. These PBAT-based films were positively correlated with the complete coverage period of the films. In-depth studies focused on BDMs with a longer mulching period must be developed to promote the substitution of BDMs into PE to reduce the residual mulch pollution in cotton fields. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Durability and Degradation of Polymeric Materials)
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20 pages, 1857 KiB  
Article
Rutting Behaviour of Geopolymer and Styrene Butadiene Styrene-Modified Asphalt Binder
by Abdulrahman Hamid, Hassan Baaj and Mohab El-Hakim
Polymers 2022, 14(14), 2780; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14142780 - 7 Jul 2022
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 1776
Abstract
Modifying asphalt binders is an effective method of improving the performance of asphalt pavement, such as its resistance to rutting. However, because modification changes the behaviour of binders, substantial laboratory testing is required before field application to determine the best mixtures. This research [...] Read more.
Modifying asphalt binders is an effective method of improving the performance of asphalt pavement, such as its resistance to rutting. However, because modification changes the behaviour of binders, substantial laboratory testing is required before field application to determine the best mixtures. This research aimed to evaluate the impacts of temperature, stresses, polymer type, and modification rate on the rutting behaviour of the asphalt binder modified with fly-ash-based geopolymer (GF), styrene butadiene styrene (SBS), and a combination of SBS and GF. The rheological properties of asphalt binders were investigated using the frequency sweep test at various temperatures. Additionally, the multiple stress creep recovery test was conducted at various temperatures and stresses to calculate the non-recoverable creep compliance (Jnr) and the percent strain recovery (R). The rutting resistance of asphalt mixture was assessed using the Hamburg wheel rut test. The results revealed that the asphalt binder with 8% geopolymer (8%GF) exhibited the best response in terms of complex shear modulus (G*), rutting factor (G*/sinδ), R, and Jnr compared to the 4%GF and 12%GF at different temperatures. Another interesting finding is that GF’s use in the hybrid binder (2%SBS + 8%GF) led to a significant increase in the shear complex modulus and a decrease in the phase angle compared to the binder modified with 2%SBS. The geopolymer decreased the binder’s sensitivity to temperature for both unaged and RTFO asphalt binders. The hybrid binder would also improve strain recovery under high stress and temperatures and the ability to withstand severe traffic loads. Furthermore, there is a crucial relationship between temperature and Jnr, which could help asphalt pavement designers select suitable modifiers considering the local climate and traffic volume. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Durability and Degradation of Polymeric Materials)
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17 pages, 3307 KiB  
Article
Partial Biodegradable Blend with High Stability against Biodegradation for Fused Deposition Modeling
by Muhammad Harris, Hammad Mohsin, Johan Potgieter, Kashif Ishfaq, Richard Archer, Qun Chen, Karnika De Silva, Marie-Joo Le Guen, Russell Wilson and Khalid Mahmood Arif
Polymers 2022, 14(8), 1541; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14081541 - 11 Apr 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2053
Abstract
This research presents a partial biodegradable polymeric blend aimed for large-scale fused deposition modeling (FDM). The literature reports partial biodegradable blends with high contents of fossil fuel-based polymers (>20%) that make them unfriendly to the ecosystem. Furthermore, the reported polymer systems neither present [...] Read more.
This research presents a partial biodegradable polymeric blend aimed for large-scale fused deposition modeling (FDM). The literature reports partial biodegradable blends with high contents of fossil fuel-based polymers (>20%) that make them unfriendly to the ecosystem. Furthermore, the reported polymer systems neither present good mechanical strength nor have been investigated in vulnerable environments that results in biodegradation. This research, as a continuity of previous work, presents the stability against biodegradability of a partial biodegradable blend prepared with polylactic acid (PLA) and polypropylene (PP). The blend is designed with intended excess physical interlocking and sufficient chemical grafting, which has only been investigated for thermal and hydrolytic degradation before by the same authors. The research presents, for the first time, ANOVA analysis for the statistical evaluation of endurance against biodegradability. The statistical results are complemented with thermochemical and visual analysis. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) determines the signs of intermolecular interactions that are further confirmed by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). The thermochemical interactions observed in FTIR and DSC are validated with thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) is also used as a visual technique to affirm the physical interlocking. It is concluded that the blend exhibits high stability against soil biodegradation in terms of high mechanical strength and high mass retention percentage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Durability and Degradation of Polymeric Materials)
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25 pages, 14670 KiB  
Article
Durability and Degradation of PVC-P Roofing Membrane—Example of Dynamic Fatigue Testing
by Andrej Ivanič and Samo Lubej
Polymers 2022, 14(7), 1312; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14071312 - 24 Mar 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2986
Abstract
This paper presents a study of PVC-P waterproofing membrane Specimens. The Specimens were taken from different segments of a flat roof after a service life of 11 years. The reason for analysing the condition of the Specimens was the apparent degradation of the [...] Read more.
This paper presents a study of PVC-P waterproofing membrane Specimens. The Specimens were taken from different segments of a flat roof after a service life of 11 years. The reason for analysing the condition of the Specimens was the apparent degradation of the waterproofing, which no longer guaranteed the watertightness of the roof. The analysis of the performance of the Specimens was based on the control of the mechanical properties, which were compared with the declared values. The mechanical properties of the degraded PVC-P waterproofing membranes with a polyester mesh backing, which are prescribed by the standards, do not usually deviate from the declared properties. This often poses a problem for liability and warranty claims due to the poor quality of the waterproofing membrane. There may be several causes of degradation of PVC-P. For this reason, in this paper, we present the possibility of controlling the properties of PVC-P waterproofing membranes using cyclic dynamic fatigue, microstructure analysis using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS). The results show that the cause of the deterioration of the PVC-P waterproofing membranes is often related to dehydrochlorination of the polymer. However, the deterioration of the mechanical properties of the PVC-P waterproofing membranes can be successfully demonstrated by cyclic dynamic fatigue. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Durability and Degradation of Polymeric Materials)
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13 pages, 4477 KiB  
Article
Accelerated Degradation of Poly(lactide acid)/Poly(hydroxybutyrate) (PLA/PHB) Yarns/Fabrics by UV and O2 Exposure in South China Seawater
by Qi Bao, Wingho Wong, Shirui Liu and Xiaoming Tao
Polymers 2022, 14(6), 1216; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14061216 - 17 Mar 2022
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 2339
Abstract
Marine plastic pollution is emerging as a potential hazard to global ecosystems and human health. Micro-fibers derived from synthetic textiles contribute a considerable proportion of plastic debris. Bio-polymers/bio-plastics have been proposed for the application of apparel products, yet their degradability, fate, durability and [...] Read more.
Marine plastic pollution is emerging as a potential hazard to global ecosystems and human health. Micro-fibers derived from synthetic textiles contribute a considerable proportion of plastic debris. Bio-polymers/bio-plastics have been proposed for the application of apparel products, yet their degradability, fate, durability and related environmental parameters are still elusive and need further exploration. Herein, we report the degradation behavior of poly(lactide acid)/poly(hydroxybutyrate) (PLA/PHB) fabrics, made from PLA/PHB multi-filament yarns, in subtropics marine seawater. The degradation experiments were performed under various parallel conditions including static seawater, aerobic seawater in dark box, aerobic seawater under sunlight, static seawater under ultra-violet light and aerobic seawater under ultra-violet light. Continuous mass loss of PLA/PHB fabrics as the immersion time in the seawater increased was confirmed. The hydrolysis rate of PLA/PHB fabrics accelerated in the presence of UV light and dissolved oxygen in the seawater. Moreover, the tensile strength of the PLA/PHB yarns dropped rapidly by 38.54–68.70% in spite of the mass loss percentage being from 9.57% to 14.48% after 2 weeks’ immersion. All the PLA/PHB fabrics after two weeks’ immersion exhibited similar ATR-IR spectra. Therefore, the degradability of PLA/PHB fabrics, in the marine surface water under the synergistic destructive effect of seawater, UV and dissolved oxygen, provides a pathway for more sustainable textile fibers and apparel products. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Durability and Degradation of Polymeric Materials)
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17 pages, 5579 KiB  
Article
Improved Wear-Resistant Performance of Epoxy Resin Composites Using Ceramic Particles
by Amal Nassar, Mona Younis, Mohamed Ismail and Eman Nassar
Polymers 2022, 14(2), 333; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14020333 - 15 Jan 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2641
Abstract
This work investigated the effects of using a new fabrication technique to prepare polymer composite on the wear-resistant performance of epoxy resin composites under dry friction conditions. Polymer composite samples with different weight contents of silicon carbide (SiC) particles were manufactured. This paper [...] Read more.
This work investigated the effects of using a new fabrication technique to prepare polymer composite on the wear-resistant performance of epoxy resin composites under dry friction conditions. Polymer composite samples with different weight contents of silicon carbide (SiC) particles were manufactured. This paper addresses the wear behavior of the obtained samples. With the suggested technique, the samples were prepared from epoxy/silicon carbide particles using a layer of thin kraft paper to prevent the sedimentation of the ceramic particles and to control the weight content of ceramic in the polymer. Kraft paper was used as a layer in the polymer composite. The hardness, wear resistance, and water absorption capacity of the produced epoxy composite samples prepared using the kraft paper technique were evaluated. The morphology of epoxy composite samples showed a significant improvement in the ceramic distribution and enhancement of interface bonding between ceramic and the polymer. The hardness values of the developed polymer composites were enhanced by up to 42.8%, which was obtained at 18 wt.% SiC particles. Increasing the ceramic content in the epoxy also led to the enhancement of wear resistance compared with pure epoxy. The results of the microstructure study also showed that the kraft paper layers helped in maintaining the distribution of the ceramic particles according to the previously specified content in each layer in the sample. Wear tests showed that the wear rate of the polymer composite decreased with the increase in the ceramic content. This study provides a new recycling method for using old kraft paper in polymer composite manufacturing to improve the distribution of ceramic particles in the polymer matrix. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Durability and Degradation of Polymeric Materials)
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21 pages, 4661 KiB  
Article
The Effects of Iron Rust on the Ageing of Woods and Their Derived Pulp Paper
by Wael A. A. Abo Elgat, Ayman S. Taha, Mohamed Z. M. Salem, Yahia G. D. Fares, Martin Böhm, Mourad F. Mohamed, Ramadan A. Nasser and Vojtěch Pommer
Polymers 2021, 13(20), 3483; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13203483 - 11 Oct 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2380
Abstract
The accelerated ageing of wood in terms of heating or iron rusting has a potential effect on the physio-mechanical, chemical and biological properties of wood. The effects of accelerated ageing on the mechanical, physical and fungal activity properties of some wood materials ( [...] Read more.
The accelerated ageing of wood in terms of heating or iron rusting has a potential effect on the physio-mechanical, chemical and biological properties of wood. The effects of accelerated ageing on the mechanical, physical and fungal activity properties of some wood materials (Schinus terebinthifolius, Erythrina humeana, Tectona grandis, Pinus rigida and Juglans nigra) were studied after several cycles of heating and iron rusting. The fungal activity was assayed against the growth of Aspergillus terreus, Aspergillus niger, Fusarium culmorum and Stemphylium solani. In addition, the mechanical and optical properties of paper sheets produced from those wood pulps by means of Kraft cooking were evaluated. The mechanical and chemical properties of the studied wood species were affected significantly (p < 0.05) by the accelerated ageing, compared to control woods. With Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, we detected an increase in the intensity of the spectra of the functional groups of cellulose in the heated samples, which indicates an increase in cellulose content and decrease in lignin content, compared to other chemical compounds. For pulp properties, woods treated by heating showed a decrease in the pulp yield. The highest significant values of tensile strength were observed in pulp paper produced from untreated, heated and iron-rusted P. rigida wood and they were 69.66, 65.66 and 68.33 N·m/g, respectively; we calculated the tear resistance from pulp paper of untreated P. rigida (8.68 mN·m2/g) and T. grandis (7.83 mN·m2/g) and rusted P. rigida (7.56 mN·m2/g) wood; we obtained the values of the burst strength of the pulp paper of untreated woods of P. rigida (8.19 kPa·m2/g) and T. grandis (7.49 kPa·m2/g), as well as the fold number of the pulp paper of untreated, heated and rusted woods from P. rigida, with values of 195.66, 186.33 and 185.66, respectively. After 14 days from the incubation, no fungal inhibition zones were observed. Accelerated ageing (heated or iron-rusted) produced significant effects on the mechanical and chemical properties of the studied wood species and affected the properties of the produced pulp paper. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Durability and Degradation of Polymeric Materials)
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14 pages, 21000 KiB  
Article
Effect of Processing Techniques on the Microstructure and Mechanical Performance of High-Density Polyethylene
by Edgar Mejia, Nizamudeen Cherupurakal, Abdel-Hamid I. Mourad, Sultan Al Hassanieh and Mohamed Rabia
Polymers 2021, 13(19), 3346; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13193346 - 29 Sep 2021
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2520
Abstract
The versatility of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) makes it one of the most used polymers for vast applications ranging from food packaging to human implants. However, there still is confusion regarding the proper selection of processing techniques to produce HDPE specimens for high-end applications. [...] Read more.
The versatility of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) makes it one of the most used polymers for vast applications ranging from food packaging to human implants. However, there still is confusion regarding the proper selection of processing techniques to produce HDPE specimens for high-end applications. Herein, we compare the processing of HDPE by two relevant techniques: compression and injection molding. The fabricated samples were studied using uniaxial tensile testing to determine their mechanical performance. Furthermore, the microstructure of samples was analyzed using different characterization techniques. Compression-molded specimens recorded a higher degree of crystallinity (DC) using two different characterization techniques such as differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and X-ray diffraction (XRD). With this information, critical processing factors were determined, and a general structure–property relationship was established. It was demonstrated that having a higher DC resulted in higher yield strength and Young’s modulus. Furthermore, premature failure was observed in the injection-molded specimens, resulting in lower mechanical performance. This premature failure was caused due to flow marks observed using scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Therefore, it is concluded that compression molding produces superior samples compared to injection molding. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Durability and Degradation of Polymeric Materials)
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15 pages, 2068 KiB  
Article
Challenges and Opportunities for Recycled Polyethylene Fishing Nets: Towards a Circular Economy
by Rafael Juan, Carlos Domínguez, Nuria Robledo, Beatriz Paredes, Sara Galera and Rafael A. García-Muñoz
Polymers 2021, 13(18), 3155; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13183155 - 17 Sep 2021
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 6917
Abstract
Plastic waste generation has become an important problem that critically affects marine and oceans environments. Fishing nets gear usually have a relatively short lifespan, and are abandoned, discarded and lost, what makes them one of the largest generators of ocean plastic waste. Recycled [...] Read more.
Plastic waste generation has become an important problem that critically affects marine and oceans environments. Fishing nets gear usually have a relatively short lifespan, and are abandoned, discarded and lost, what makes them one of the largest generators of ocean plastic waste. Recycled polyolefin resins from fishing nets (rFN), especially from polyethylene (PE), have poor properties due to the presence of contaminants and/or excessive degradation after its lifetime. These reasons limit the use of these recycled resins. This work aims to study the incorporation of recycled fishing nets PE-made to different grades of virgin PE, in order to evaluate the potential use of these rFN in the development of new products. The recovered fishing nets have been fully characterized to evaluate its properties after the collection and recycling process. Then, different PE virgin resins have been mechanically blended with the recovered fishing nets at different recycling contents to study its feasibility for fishing nets or packaging applications. Critical mechanical properties for these applications, as the elongation at break, impact strength or environmental stress cracking resistance have been deeply evaluated. Results show important limitations for the manufacture of fibers from recycled PE fishing nets due to the presence of inorganic particles from the marine environment, which restricts the use of rFN for its original application. However, it is proved that a proper selection of PE raw resins, to be used in the blending process, allows other possible applications, such as non-food contact bottles, which open up new ways for using the fishing nets recyclates, in line with the objectives pursued by the Circular Economy of Plastics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Durability and Degradation of Polymeric Materials)
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28 pages, 7818 KiB  
Article
Statistical and Machine Learning-Driven Optimization of Mechanical Properties in Designing Durable HDPE Nanobiocomposites
by Anusha Mairpady, Abdel-Hamid I. Mourad and Mohammad Sayem Mozumder
Polymers 2021, 13(18), 3100; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13183100 - 15 Sep 2021
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 3022
Abstract
The selection of nanofillers and compatibilizing agents, and their size and concentration, are always considered to be crucial in the design of durable nanobiocomposites with maximized mechanical properties (i.e., fracture strength (FS), yield strength (YS), Young’s modulus (YM), etc). Therefore, the statistical optimization [...] Read more.
The selection of nanofillers and compatibilizing agents, and their size and concentration, are always considered to be crucial in the design of durable nanobiocomposites with maximized mechanical properties (i.e., fracture strength (FS), yield strength (YS), Young’s modulus (YM), etc). Therefore, the statistical optimization of the key design factors has become extremely important to minimize the experimental runs and the cost involved. In this study, both statistical (i.e., analysis of variance (ANOVA) and response surface methodology (RSM)) and machine learning techniques (i.e., artificial intelligence-based techniques (i.e., artificial neural network (ANN) and genetic algorithm (GA)) were used to optimize the concentrations of nanofillers and compatibilizing agents of the injection-molded HDPE nanocomposites. Initially, through ANOVA, the concentrations of TiO2 and cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) and their combinations were found to be the major factors in improving the durability of the HDPE nanocomposites. Further, the data were modeled and predicted using RSM, ANN, and their combination with a genetic algorithm (i.e., RSM-GA and ANN-GA). Later, to minimize the risk of local optimization, an ANN-GA hybrid technique was implemented in this study to optimize multiple responses, to develop the nonlinear relationship between the factors (i.e., the concentration of TiO2 and CNCs) and responses (i.e., FS, YS, and YM), with minimum error and with regression values above 95%. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Durability and Degradation of Polymeric Materials)
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13 pages, 3119 KiB  
Article
External Marginal Gap Variation and Residual Fracture Resistance of Composite and Lithium-Silicate CAD/CAM Overlays after Cyclic Fatigue over Endodontically-Treated Molars
by Andrea Baldi, Allegra Comba, Riccardo Michelotto Tempesta, Massimo Carossa, Gabriel Kalil Rocha Pereira, Luiz Felipe Valandro, Gaetano Paolone, Alessandro Vichi, Cecilia Goracci and Nicola Scotti
Polymers 2021, 13(17), 3002; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13173002 - 4 Sep 2021
Cited by 27 | Viewed by 2464
Abstract
The purpose of this in vitro study was to evaluate the external marginal gap variation with a 3D quantitative method and the residual fracture resistance after cyclic fatigue in endodontically treated molars restored with overlays of different materials, with and without fiber posts-supported [...] Read more.
The purpose of this in vitro study was to evaluate the external marginal gap variation with a 3D quantitative method and the residual fracture resistance after cyclic fatigue in endodontically treated molars restored with overlays of different materials, with and without fiber posts-supported buildups. Forty-eight human maxillary molars were selected, endodontically treated, prepared with standardized MOD cavities and randomly allocated into 6 study groups considering the “core strategy” (build-up with composite resin; build-up with composite resin supported by a fiber post); and the “restorative material” of the indirect adhesive overlay (GrandioBlocks, Voco; Cerasmart, GC; CeltraDuo, Dentsply). All procedures were executed according with manufacturers guidelines. Micro-CT analysis prior and after cyclic fatigue were executed, followed by scanning electron microscope analysis and fracture resistance test. The Two-Way ANOVA analysis showed that interfacial gap progression was significantly influenced by the “core strategy” (p < 0.01) but not of “restorative material” (p = 0.59). Concerning fracture resistance, “restorative material” was statistically significant (p < 0.01), while “core strategy” (p = 0.63) and the interaction (p = 0.84) were not. In conclusion, the fiber post presence within the build-up promoted a lower interfacial gap opening after fatigue, evaluated through micro-CT scans. In terms of fracture resistance, teeth restored with Cerasmart and Celtra Duo were statistically similar, but superior to GrandioBlocks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Durability and Degradation of Polymeric Materials)
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24 pages, 30840 KiB  
Article
Structural Behavior of High-Strength Concrete Slabs Reinforced with GFRP Bars
by Maher A. Adam, Abeer M. Erfan, Fatma A. Habib and Taha A. El-Sayed
Polymers 2021, 13(17), 2997; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13172997 - 3 Sep 2021
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 2645
Abstract
In this manuscript, structural testing was conducted on high-strength concrete slab specimens to investigate the behavior of such specimens when reinforced with a locally produced GFRP reinforcement. Subsequently, a finite element model (FEM) was constructed and validated against the experimental results. In the [...] Read more.
In this manuscript, structural testing was conducted on high-strength concrete slab specimens to investigate the behavior of such specimens when reinforced with a locally produced GFRP reinforcement. Subsequently, a finite element model (FEM) was constructed and validated against the experimental results. In the experimental phase, a total of eleven specimens (nine were reinforced with GFRP, while two were reinforced with conventional steel) were constructed and tested. The slabs dimensions are 700 mm × 1750 mm with variable thickness from 100 mm to 150 mm and different reinforcement ratios using different diameters. The structural behavior of the tested slabs was investigated in terms of ultimate load, ultimate deflection, load–deflection relationship, and crack pattern. Additionally, a nonlinear finite element model using the software ANSYS 2019-R1 was constructed to simulate the structural behavior of slabs reinforced with GFRP bars. The results obtained from the finite element analysis are compared with experimental results. The outcomes showed that the contribution of GFRP rebars in concrete slabs improved slab ductility and exhibited higher deflection when compared with traditional steel rebars. Good agreement between experimental and nonlinear analysis was obtained. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Durability and Degradation of Polymeric Materials)
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14 pages, 4179 KiB  
Article
An Investigation on the Feasibility of Fabricating Composites Using Outdated Waste Carbon Fibers and Easily Disposable Polyolefin Resins
by Dong-Jun Kwon, Kang Rae Cho and Hyoung-Seock Seo
Polymers 2021, 13(17), 2938; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13172938 - 31 Aug 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2015
Abstract
Outdated-waste-carbon-fiber-reinforced olefin composites (oCFOCs) were fabricated with easily disposable polyolefin resins, polypropylene (PP), high-density polyethylene (HDPE), and low-density polyethylene (LDPE), by compressive molding using a hot press. The flexural and impact strengths of the oCFOCs from each respective resin type and oCF content, [...] Read more.
Outdated-waste-carbon-fiber-reinforced olefin composites (oCFOCs) were fabricated with easily disposable polyolefin resins, polypropylene (PP), high-density polyethylene (HDPE), and low-density polyethylene (LDPE), by compressive molding using a hot press. The flexural and impact strengths of the oCFOCs from each respective resin type and oCF content, ranging from 35 to 70 wt.%, were increased by the aging treatment (120 °C and 95% humidity under a pressure of 0.8 MPa) until an aging time of three days, due to improved resin impregnation. For the oCFOC with PP, the hydrogen bond between PP and developed C-O groups due to the aging treatment and the existing silane layer of oCF is considered to assist cohesion between the resin and oCF. In particular, PP and 45 wt.% oCF content were the most effective conditions for improving the oCFOCs’ mechanical properties, in addition to endowing the oCFOCs with good moldability and dimensional stability. Our results demonstrate that durable recycled composites can be manufactured using oCF and PP. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Durability and Degradation of Polymeric Materials)
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9 pages, 3358 KiB  
Article
Influence of Low-pH Beverages on the Two-Body Wear of CAD/CAM Monolithic Materials
by Nicola Scotti, Andrei Ionescu, Allegra Comba, Andrea Baldi, Eugenio Brambilla, Alessandro Vichi, Cecilia Goracci, Raffaele Ciardiello, Andrea Tridello, Davide Paolino and Daniele Botto
Polymers 2021, 13(17), 2915; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13172915 - 30 Aug 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1787
Abstract
The aim of this in vitro study is to evaluate the effect of different acidic media on volumetric wear and surface roughness of CAD/CAM monolithic materials. Forty-eight rectangular specimens were prepared using different CAD/CAM monolithic materials: nanohybrid composite (Grandio Blocks, Voco), resin-based composite [...] Read more.
The aim of this in vitro study is to evaluate the effect of different acidic media on volumetric wear and surface roughness of CAD/CAM monolithic materials. Forty-eight rectangular specimens were prepared using different CAD/CAM monolithic materials: nanohybrid composite (Grandio Blocks, Voco), resin-based composite (Cerasmart, GC), lithium disilicate (E-Max, Ivoclar), and high-translucency zirconia (Katana STML, Kuraray Noritake). After storage in distilled water at 37 °C for two days, the specimens were tested using a chewing machine with a stainless-steel ball as an antagonist (49N loads, 250,000 cycles). Testing was performed using distilled water, Coca-Cola, and Red Bull as abrasive media. Wear and surface roughness analyses of the CAD/CAM materials were performed using a 3D profilometer and analyzed with two-way analysis of variance and post hoc pairwise comparison procedures. Worn surfaces were examined using scanning electron microscopy. Resin-based materials suffered higher volumetric wear than ceramics (p = 0.00001). Water induced significantly less volumetric wear than the other tested solutions (p = 0.0014), independent of the material tested. High-translucency zirconia showed less surface roughness than all the other materials tested. The selection of monolithic CAD/CAM materials to restore worn dentition due to erosive processes could impact restorative therapy stability over time. Resin-based materials seem to be more influenced by the acidic environment when subjected to a two-body wear test. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Durability and Degradation of Polymeric Materials)
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19 pages, 5200 KiB  
Article
Investigation on the Durability of E-Glass/Epoxy Composite Exposed to Seawater at Elevated Temperature
by Amir Hussain Idrisi, Abdel-Hamid I. Mourad, Beckry M. Abdel-Magid and B. Shivamurty
Polymers 2021, 13(13), 2182; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13132182 - 30 Jun 2021
Cited by 22 | Viewed by 2703
Abstract
In this manuscript, the durability of the E-glass/epoxy composite was determined under a seawater environment. The effect of harsh environment was investigated in terms of seawater absorption, microstructure and degradation in mechanical properties. E-glass epoxy composite specimens were conditioned in gulf seawater at [...] Read more.
In this manuscript, the durability of the E-glass/epoxy composite was determined under a seawater environment. The effect of harsh environment was investigated in terms of seawater absorption, microstructure and degradation in mechanical properties. E-glass epoxy composite specimens were conditioned in gulf seawater at 23 °C, 65 °C and 90 °C for the period of 12 months. It was observed that the mass of the samples increased after the immersion of 12 months at 23 °C and 65 °C whereas it reduced at 90 °C. The salt deposition was observed at the surface of specimens without any crack for the seawater conditioning at 23 °C and 65 °C. The swelling and crack formation were significantly visible on the surface of the specimen immersed for 12 months at 90 °C. It indicates that the degradation mechanism accelerated at elevated temperature results fiber/matrix debonding. The tensile test indicates slight variation in the elastic modulus and reduction in strength of E-glass epoxy composite by 1% and 9% for specimens immersed at 23 °C and 65 °C respectively. However, at 90 °C, the tensile strength sharply decreased to 7% and elastic modulus significantly increased in the exposure of 12 months. A prediction approach based on a time-shift factor (TSF) was used. This model predicted that the strength retention of E-glass/Epoxy composite will be reduced to 7% in 450 years after immersion in seawater at 23 °C. Lastly, the activation energy for the degradation of the composite was calculated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Durability and Degradation of Polymeric Materials)
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14 pages, 3659 KiB  
Article
Impact of Prolonged Exposure of Eleven Years to Hot Seawater on the Degradation of a Thermoset Composite
by Amir Hussain Idrisi, Abdel-Hamid I. Mourad and Muhammad M. Sherif
Polymers 2021, 13(13), 2154; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13132154 - 30 Jun 2021
Cited by 21 | Viewed by 2745
Abstract
This paper presents a long-term experimental investigation of E-glass/epoxy composites’ durability exposed to seawater at different temperatures. The thermoset composite samples were exposed to 23 °C, 45 °C and 65 °C seawater for a prolonged exposure time of 11 years. The mechanical performance [...] Read more.
This paper presents a long-term experimental investigation of E-glass/epoxy composites’ durability exposed to seawater at different temperatures. The thermoset composite samples were exposed to 23 °C, 45 °C and 65 °C seawater for a prolonged exposure time of 11 years. The mechanical performance as a function of exposure time was evaluated and a strength-based technique was used to assess the durability of the composites. The experimental results revealed that the tensile strength of E-glass/epoxy composite was reduced by 8.2%, 29.7%, and 54.4% after immersion in seawater for 11 years at 23 °C, 45 °C, and 65 °C, respectively. The prolonged immersion in seawater resulted in the plasticization and swelling in the composite. This accelerated the rate of debonding between the fibers and matrix. The failure analysis was conducted to investigate the failure mode of the samples. SEM micrographs illustrated a correlation between the fiber/matrix debonding, potholing, fiber pull-out, river line marks and matrix cracking with deterioration in the tensile characteristics of the thermoset composite. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Durability and Degradation of Polymeric Materials)
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11 pages, 3038 KiB  
Article
Facile Synthesis of Hydrophilic Homo-Polyacrylamides via Cu(0)-Mediated Reversible Deactivation Radical Polymerization
by Fehaid M. Alsubaie, Othman Y. Alothman, Basheer A. Alshammari and Hassan Fouad
Polymers 2021, 13(12), 1947; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13121947 - 11 Jun 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2049
Abstract
In this work, copper-mediated reversible deactivation radical polymerization (RDRP) of homo-polyacrylamides was conducted in aqueous solutions at 0.0 °C. Various degrees of polymerization (DP = 20, 40, 60, and 80) of well-defined water-soluble homopolymers were targeted. In the absence of any significant undesirable [...] Read more.
In this work, copper-mediated reversible deactivation radical polymerization (RDRP) of homo-polyacrylamides was conducted in aqueous solutions at 0.0 °C. Various degrees of polymerization (DP = 20, 40, 60, and 80) of well-defined water-soluble homopolymers were targeted. In the absence of any significant undesirable side reactions, the dispersity of polydiethylacrylamide (PDEA) and polydimethylacrylamide (PDMA) was narrow under controlled polymerization conditions. To accelerate the polymerization rate, disproportionation of copper bromide in the presence of a suitable ligand was performed prior to polymerization. Full conversion of the monomer was confirmed by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) analysis. Additionally, the linear evolution of the polymeric chains was established by narrow molecular weight distributions (MWDs). The values of theoretical and experimental number average molecular weights (Mn) were calculated, revealing a good matching and robustness of the system. The effect of decreasing the reaction temperature on the rate of polymerization was also investigated. At temperatures lower than 0.0 °C, the controlled polymerization and the rate of the process were not affected. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Durability and Degradation of Polymeric Materials)
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Review

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16 pages, 2861 KiB  
Review
A Bibliometric Analysis of Research Trends in Biodegradation of Plastics
by Enoch Akinbiyi Akinpelu and Felix Nchu
Polymers 2022, 14(13), 2642; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14132642 - 29 Jun 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2693
Abstract
The rapid growth in the production and application of plastic globally has resulted in plastic pollution with a negative impact on the environment, especially the marine ecosystem. One main disadvantage in the majority of polymers is disposal after a useful life span. Non-degradable [...] Read more.
The rapid growth in the production and application of plastic globally has resulted in plastic pollution with a negative impact on the environment, especially the marine ecosystem. One main disadvantage in the majority of polymers is disposal after a useful life span. Non-degradable polymers create severe difficulty in plastic waste management that might end up in landfills or wash into the ocean. The biodegradation of plastic waste is one solution to this critical problem of pollution. Hence, there is a need to consider the advancement of research in this subject area, in pursuit of a way out of plastic pollution. Thus, this study was designed to map the biodegradation of plastic-related research from 2000 to 2021. Statistical information on the topic was recovered from the Web of Science Core Collection and analysed using the bibliometrix package in RStudio statistical software, while data visualisation was conducted via VOSviewer. Our evaluation indicated that the amount of research on the biodegradation of plastic increased over the last decade, and the annual growth rate of publication trends was 11.84%. The study revealed that 1131 authors wrote the 290 analysed documents, with a collaboration index of 4.04. Cooper DG (n = 11) was the most relevant author, McGill University (n = 21) was the most active university, and the Journal of Polymers and the Environment (n = 19) the leading journal. The outcome of this study can guide prospective research and offer vital information for improving the management of plastic waste. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Durability and Degradation of Polymeric Materials)
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26 pages, 1661 KiB  
Review
Microbial Degradation of Rubber: Actinobacteria
by Ann Anni Basik, Jean-Jacques Sanglier, Chia Tiong Yeo and Kumar Sudesh
Polymers 2021, 13(12), 1989; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13121989 - 17 Jun 2021
Cited by 42 | Viewed by 8231
Abstract
Rubber is an essential part of our daily lives with thousands of rubber-based products being made and used. Natural rubber undergoes chemical processes and structural modifications, while synthetic rubber, mainly synthetized from petroleum by-products are difficult to degrade safely and sustainably. The most [...] Read more.
Rubber is an essential part of our daily lives with thousands of rubber-based products being made and used. Natural rubber undergoes chemical processes and structural modifications, while synthetic rubber, mainly synthetized from petroleum by-products are difficult to degrade safely and sustainably. The most prominent group of biological rubber degraders are Actinobacteria. Rubber degrading Actinobacteria contain rubber degrading genes or rubber oxygenase known as latex clearing protein (lcp). Rubber is a polymer consisting of isoprene, each containing one double bond. The degradation of rubber first takes place when lcp enzyme cleaves the isoprene double bond, breaking them down into the sole carbon and energy source to be utilized by the bacteria. Actinobacteria grow in diverse environments, and lcp gene containing strains have been detected from various sources including soil, water, human, animal, and plant samples. This review entails the occurrence, physiology, biochemistry, and molecular characteristics of Actinobacteria with respect to its rubber degrading ability, and discusses possible technological applications based on the activity of Actinobacteria for treating rubber waste in a more environmentally responsible manner. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Durability and Degradation of Polymeric Materials)
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Other

Jump to: Research, Review

1 pages, 455 KiB  
Erratum
Erratum: Basik et al. Microbial Degradation of Rubber: Actinobacteria. Polymers 2021, 13, 1989
by Ann Anni Basik, Jean-Jacques Sanglier, Chia Tiong Yeo and Kumar Sudesh
Polymers 2021, 13(16), 2700; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13162700 - 13 Aug 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1569
Abstract
The authors wish to make the following changes to the published paper [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Durability and Degradation of Polymeric Materials)
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