Special Issue "High-Performance Polyethylene"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2021).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Alexey I. Salimon
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Center for Energy Science and Technology, Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology, 121205 Moscow, Russia
Interests: quasicrystals; mechanical fusion; nanomaterials; biomimetism; engineering polymers; hierarchical structures; information-analytical systems in materials science
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Alexander M. Korsunsky
E-Mail Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
MBLEM, Department of Engineering Science, University of Oxford, Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3PJ, UK
Interests: fatigue and fracture; dislocations and other defects in solids; residual stresses and eigenstrain theory; surfaces, coatings, (nano)indentation; (synchrotron) X-ray methods (diffraction, imaging, spectroscopy); advanced multimodal microscopy; biological materials and tissues; hierarchically structured materials (HSM)
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

It is my pleasure to invite you to contribute in the Special Issue of the MDPI journal Polymers (IF 3.426), entitled ‘’High-Performance Polyethylene’’. This collection of contributed articles will summarize recent advances in the development of polyethylene materials and related products, and the advancement of relevant technologies.

The following topics will be specifically addressed in the Special Issue: polyethylene fibers; composites, hybrids, and blends; metamaterials; thin films and membranes; biomedical, energy storage, tribological, structural, and smart applications; additive, low-cost, and eco-compliant technological approaches; and long-term durability and fatigue resistance. Submissions devoted to multidisciplinary issues such as novel techniques of structure and property characterization; micromechanics; interaction with living objects; recycling and ocean pollution remediation and management will be particularly welcome.

Prof. Alexei I. Salimon
Prof. Alexander M. Korsunsky
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Polymers is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • composites and hybrids
  • polyethylene fibers and thin films
  • metamaterials
  • micromechanics
  • eco-impact

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

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Article
Low-Temperature Mechanical Properties of High-Density and Low-Density Polyethylene and Their Blends
Polymers 2021, 13(11), 1821; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13111821 - 31 May 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 696
Abstract
Low-temperature properties of high-density polyethylene (HDPE), low-density polyethylene (LDPE), linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE), and their blends were studied. The analyzed low-temperature mechanical properties involve the deformation resistance and impact strength characteristics. HDPE is a bimodal ethylene/1-hexene copolymer; LDPE is a branched ethylene homopolymer [...] Read more.
Low-temperature properties of high-density polyethylene (HDPE), low-density polyethylene (LDPE), linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE), and their blends were studied. The analyzed low-temperature mechanical properties involve the deformation resistance and impact strength characteristics. HDPE is a bimodal ethylene/1-hexene copolymer; LDPE is a branched ethylene homopolymer containing short-chain branches of different length; LLDPE is a binary ethylene/1-butene copolymer and an ethylene/1-butene/1-hexene terpolymer. The samples of copolymers and their blends were studied by gel permeation chromatography (GPC), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), 13C NMR spectroscopy, and dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA) using testing machines equipped with a cryochamber. It is proposed that such parameters as “relative elongation at break at −45 °C” and “Izod impact strength at −40 °C” are used instead of the ductile-to-brittle transition temperature to assess frost resistance properties because these parameters are more sensitive to deformation and impact at subzero temperatures for HDPE. LLDPE is shown to exhibit higher relative elongation at break at −45 °C and Izod impact strength at −20 ÷ 60 °C compared to those of LDPE. LLDPE terpolymer added to HDPE (at a content ≥ 25 wt.%) simultaneously increases flow properties and improves tensile properties of the blend at −45 °C. Changes in low-temperature properties as a function of molecular weight, MWD, crystallinity, and branch content were determined for HDPE, LLDPE, and their blends. The DMA data prove the resulting dependences. The reported findings allow one to understand and predict mechanical properties in the HDPE–LLDPE systems at subzero temperatures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue High-Performance Polyethylene)
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Article
On the Structural Peculiarities of Self-Reinforced Composite Materials Based on UHMWPE Fibers
Polymers 2021, 13(9), 1408; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13091408 - 27 Apr 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 485
Abstract
The structure of self-reinforced composites (SRCs) based on ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) was studied by means of Wide-Angle X-ray Scattering (WAXS), X-ray tomography, Raman spectroscopy, Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and in situ tensile testing in combination with advanced processing tools to determine [...] Read more.
The structure of self-reinforced composites (SRCs) based on ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) was studied by means of Wide-Angle X-ray Scattering (WAXS), X-ray tomography, Raman spectroscopy, Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and in situ tensile testing in combination with advanced processing tools to determine the correlation between the processing conditions, on one hand, and the molecular structure and mechanical properties, on the other. SRCs were fabricated by hot compaction of UHMWPE fibers at different pressure and temperature combinations without addition of polymer matrix or softener. It was found by WAXS that higher compaction temperatures led to more extensive melting of fibers with the corresponding reduction of the Herman’s factor reflecting the degree of molecular orientation, while the increase of hot compaction pressure suppressed the melting of fibers within SRCs at a given temperature. X-ray tomography proved the absence of porosity while polarized light Raman spectroscopy measurements for both longitudinal and perpendicular fiber orientations showed qualitatively the anisotropy of SRC samples. SEM revealed that the matrix was formed by interlayers of molten polymer entrapped between fibers in SRCs. Moreover, in situ tensile tests demonstrated the increase of Young’s modulus and tensile strength with increasing temperature. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue High-Performance Polyethylene)
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Article
Multi-Scale Digital Image Correlation Analysis of In Situ Deformation of Open-Cell Porous Ultra-High Molecular Weight Polyethylene Foam
Polymers 2020, 12(11), 2607; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12112607 - 06 Nov 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1132
Abstract
Porous ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) is a high-performance bioinert polymer used in cranio-facial reconstructive surgery in procedures where relatively low mechanical stresses arise. As an alternative to much stiffer and more costly polyether-ether-ketone (PEEK) polymer, UHMWPE is finding further wide applications in [...] Read more.
Porous ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) is a high-performance bioinert polymer used in cranio-facial reconstructive surgery in procedures where relatively low mechanical stresses arise. As an alternative to much stiffer and more costly polyether-ether-ketone (PEEK) polymer, UHMWPE is finding further wide applications in hierarchically structured hybrids for advanced implants mimicking cartilage, cortical and trabecular bone tissues within a single component. The mechanical behaviour of open-cell UHMWPE sponges obtained through sacrificial desalination of hot compression-moulded UHMWPE-NaCl powder mixtures shows a complex dependence on the fabrication parameters and microstructural features. In particular, similarly to other porous media, it displays significant inhomogeneity of strain that readily localises within deformation bands that govern the overall response. In this article, we report advances in the development of accurate experimental techniques for operando studies of the structure–performance relationship applied to the porous UHMWPE medium with pore sizes of about 250 µm that are most well-suited for live cell proliferation and fast vascularization of implants. Samples of UHMWPE sponges were subjected to in situ compression using a micromechanical testing device within Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) chamber, allowing the acquisition of high-resolution image sequences for Digital Image Correlation (DIC) analysis. Special masking and image processing algorithms were developed and applied to reveal the evolution of pore size and aspect ratio. Key structural evolution and deformation localisation phenomena were identified at both macro- and micro-structural levels in the elastic and plastic regimes. The motion of pore walls was quantitatively described, and the presence and influence of strain localisation zones were revealed and analysed using DIC technique. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue High-Performance Polyethylene)
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Article
Application of Artificial Neural Networks for Producing an Estimation of High-Density Polyethylene
Polymers 2020, 12(10), 2319; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12102319 - 10 Oct 2020
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 783
Abstract
Polyethylene as a thermoplastic has received the uppermost popularity in a vast variety of applied contexts. Polyethylene is produced by several commercially obtainable technologies. Since Ziegler–Natta catalysts generate polyolefin with broad molecular weight and copolymer composition distributions, this type of model was utilized [...] Read more.
Polyethylene as a thermoplastic has received the uppermost popularity in a vast variety of applied contexts. Polyethylene is produced by several commercially obtainable technologies. Since Ziegler–Natta catalysts generate polyolefin with broad molecular weight and copolymer composition distributions, this type of model was utilized to simulate the polymerization procedure. The EIX (ethylene index) is the critical controlling variable that indicates product characteristics. Since it is difficult to measure the EIX, estimation is a problem causing the greatest challenges in the applicability of production. To resolve such problems, ANNs (artificial neural networks) are utilized in the present paper to predict the EIX from some simply computed variables of the system. In fact, the EIX is calculated as a function of pressure, ethylene flow, hydrogen flow, 1-butane flow, catalyst flow, and TEA (triethylaluminium) flow. The estimation was accomplished via the Multi-Layer Perceptron, Radial Basis, Cascade Feed-forward, and Generalized Regression Neural Networks. According to the results, the superior performance of the Multi-Layer Perceptron model than other ANN models was clearly demonstrated. Based on our findings, this model can predict production levels with R2 (regression coefficient), MSE (mean square error), AARD% (average absolute relative deviation percent), and RMSE (root mean square error) of, respectively, 0.89413, 0.02217, 0.4213, and 0.1489. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue High-Performance Polyethylene)
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Article
Study on the Structure and Dielectric Properties of Zeolite/LDPE Nanocomposite under Thermal Aging
Polymers 2020, 12(9), 2108; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12092108 - 16 Sep 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 605
Abstract
Nanodoping is an effective way to improve the dielectric properties and the aging resistance of polyethylene. Nano-zeolite has a nano-level porous structure and larger specific surface area than ordinary nano-inorganic oxide, which can be used to improve dielectric properties of low-density polyethylene (LDPE) [...] Read more.
Nanodoping is an effective way to improve the dielectric properties and the aging resistance of polyethylene. Nano-zeolite has a nano-level porous structure and larger specific surface area than ordinary nano-inorganic oxide, which can be used to improve dielectric properties of low-density polyethylene (LDPE) nanocomposite. The zeolite/LDPE nanocomposites were prepared and subjected to thermal aging treatment to obtain samples with different aging time. Using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and the differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) test to study the microscopic and structure characteristics, it was found that nano-zeolite doping can effectively reduce the thermal aging damage to the internal structure of the nanocomposite; carbonyl and hydroxyl decreased significantly during the thermal aging time, and the crystallinity effectively improved. Nano-zeolite doping significantly improved the morphology and strengthened the aging resistance of the nanocomposite. In the dielectric strength test, it was found that nanodoping can effectively improve the direct current (DC) and alternating current (AC) breakdown field strength and the stability after the thermal aging. The dielectric constant of nanocomposite can be reduced, and the dielectric loss had no obvious change during the aging process. Moreover, the zeolite/LDPE nanocomposite with the doping concentration of 1 wt % had the best performance, for the nano-zeolite was better dispersed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue High-Performance Polyethylene)
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Article
Durability of LDPE/UHMWPE Composites under Accelerated Degradation
Polymers 2020, 12(6), 1241; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12061241 - 29 May 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 805
Abstract
This study presents a detailed analysis of thermal and radiation resistances of low density polyethylene (LDPE)/ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) blends containing hydroxyapatite as functional filler and rosemary acting as antioxidant against oxidative degradation. Three main procedures, chemiluminescence (CL), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy [...] Read more.
This study presents a detailed analysis of thermal and radiation resistances of low density polyethylene (LDPE)/ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) blends containing hydroxyapatite as functional filler and rosemary acting as antioxidant against oxidative degradation. Three main procedures, chemiluminescence (CL), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), were applied for the determination of the degree of degradation when these materials are subjected to heat and radiation action. The crystallinity was also assessed for the characterization of diffusion peculiarities. The contributions of the mixing components are discussed based on their oxidation strength. The activation energies required for the oxidative degradation of the studied formulations were calculated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue High-Performance Polyethylene)
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Article
Synchrotron X-ray Scattering Analysis of Nylon-12 Crystallisation Variation Depending on 3D Printing Conditions
Polymers 2020, 12(5), 1169; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12051169 - 20 May 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 937
Abstract
Nylon-12 is an important structural polymer in wide use in the form of fibres and bulk structures. Fused filament fabrication (FFF) is an extrusion-based additive manufacturing (AM) method for rapid prototyping and final product manufacturing of thermoplastic polymer objects. The resultant microstructure of [...] Read more.
Nylon-12 is an important structural polymer in wide use in the form of fibres and bulk structures. Fused filament fabrication (FFF) is an extrusion-based additive manufacturing (AM) method for rapid prototyping and final product manufacturing of thermoplastic polymer objects. The resultant microstructure of FFF-produced samples is strongly affected by the cooling rates and thermal gradients experienced across the part. The crystallisation behaviour during cooling and solidification influences the micro- and nano-structure, and deserves detailed investigation. A commercial Nylon-12 filament and FFF-produced Nylon-12 parts were studied by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and wide-angle X-ray scattering (WAXS) to examine the effect of cooling rates under non-isothermal crystallisation conditions on the microstructure and properties. Slower cooling rates caused more perfect crystallite formation, as well as alteration to the thermal properties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue High-Performance Polyethylene)
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Review

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Review
Review of Cementitious Composites Containing Polyethylene Fibers as Repairing Materials
Polymers 2020, 12(11), 2624; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12112624 - 07 Nov 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 745
Abstract
Polyethylene (PE) is an important polymeric material which is widely used in civil engineering. Recently, engineered cementitious composites (ECCs) have adopted PE fibers in structural repairing. ECC with polyethylene fibers (PE-ECC) has excellent tensile properties, ductility, strain-hardening behavior, thermal performance and durability. In [...] Read more.
Polyethylene (PE) is an important polymeric material which is widely used in civil engineering. Recently, engineered cementitious composites (ECCs) have adopted PE fibers in structural repairing. ECC with polyethylene fibers (PE-ECC) has excellent tensile properties, ductility, strain-hardening behavior, thermal performance and durability. In this paper, a systematic review of the cementitious composites with PE fibers is summarized to facilitate the application of PE-ECC. The influence of PE fibers on the properties of ECC, such as compressive strength, flexural behavior, shear properties, impact resistance and tensile properties, is presented. Meanwhile, the properties of PE-ECC repaired structures, such as beams, walls and columns, are described. Further, the self-repairing properties of PE-ECC are presented. Finally, some suggestions for future research are provided in order to apply PE-ECC to practical repairing cases. The review exhibits that PE-ECC is of notable significance to the repairing of structures and clarifies its application scope. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue High-Performance Polyethylene)
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