Polymer Connect: Polymer Science and Composite Materials

A special issue of Polymers (ISSN 2073-4360).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2020) | Viewed by 23290

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
1. Fiber Materials and Environmental Technologies Research Unit (FibEnTech-UBI), University of Beira Interior, Rua Marquês d’Ávila e Bolama, 6201-001 Covilhã, Portugal
2. Chemical Process Engineering and Forest Products Research Centre (CIEPQPF), University of Coimbra, R. Sílvio Lima, Polo II, 3004-531 Coimbra, Portugal
Interests: material and process modeling; multiscale network polymers; biomaterials and structures
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Polytechnic of Leiria, Center for Rapid and Sustainable Product Development, Marinha Grande, 2430-028 Marinha Grande, Portugal
Interests: reaction injection moulding; rapid manufacturing; injection moulding; composites and additive manufacturing
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Innovation & Technology, Borealis AB, SE-444 86 Stenungsund, Sweden
Interests: structure-property relations in amorphous and semicrystalline polymers; polymer thermodynamics; neutron & X-ray scattering; computational modelling; polymer nanocomposites; electrical conductivity mechanisms of highly insulating materials
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The Special Issue is dedicated to the “Polymer Connect, Polymer Science and Composite Materials Conference”, which will take place in Lisbon on 26–28 February 2020.

Polymers and composites are at the forefront of many of the current technological developments improving healthcare and delivering new industrial products, and emerging technologies such as additive manufacturing, smart and intelligent materials, biopolymers, and biocomposites, reducing the carbon footprints of automobiles and aircraft and enhancing food quality and drug delivery systems.

We invite all the participants to submit a manuscript for this conference Special Issue. Full research articles, review articles, communications, letters, etc. are all welcome. Manuscripts from early career researchers are particularly welcome.

Prof. Geoffrey R. Mitchell
Prof. Joana M. R. Curto
Prof. Artur Mateus
Prof. Thomas Gkourmpis
Guest Editors

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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21 pages, 3846 KiB  
Article
The Use of Scattering Data in the Study of the Molecular Organisation of Polymers in the Non-Crystalline State
by Thomas Gkourmpis and Geoffrey R. Mitchell
Polymers 2020, 12(12), 2917; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12122917 - 5 Dec 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2798
Abstract
Scattering data for polymers in the non-crystalline state, i.e., the glassy state or the molten state, may appear to contain little information. In this work, we review recent developments in the use of scattering data to evaluate in a quantitative manner the molecular [...] Read more.
Scattering data for polymers in the non-crystalline state, i.e., the glassy state or the molten state, may appear to contain little information. In this work, we review recent developments in the use of scattering data to evaluate in a quantitative manner the molecular organization of such polymer systems. The focus is on the local structure of chain segments, on the details of the chain conformation and on the imprint the inherent chemical connectivity has on this structure. We show the value of tightly coupling the scattering data to atomistic-level computer models. We show how quantitative information about the details of the chain conformation can be obtained directly using a model built from definitions of relatively few parameters. We show how scattering data may be supplemented with data from specific deuteration sites and used to obtain information hidden in the data. Finally, we show how we can exploit the reverse Monte Carlo approach to use the data to drive the convergence of the scattering calculated from a 3d atomistic-level model with the experimental data. We highlight the importance of the quality of the scattering data and the value in using broad Q scattering data obtained using neutrons. We illustrate these various methods with results drawn from a diverse range of polymers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Connect: Polymer Science and Composite Materials)
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13 pages, 4114 KiB  
Article
Biopolymeric Delivery Systems for Cosmetic Applications Using Chlorella vulgaris Algae and Tea Tree Essential Oil
by Flávia P. Morais, Rogério M. S. Simões and Joana M. R. Curto
Polymers 2020, 12(11), 2689; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12112689 - 14 Nov 2020
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 4152
Abstract
Cosmetic products in which all the skincare compounds are biomolecules, biocompatible and biodegradable constitute a request of an educated consumer corresponding to a premium cosmetic segment. For this purpose, a cellulose-based delivery system was developed to retain biomolecules for dermic applications. The 3D [...] Read more.
Cosmetic products in which all the skincare compounds are biomolecules, biocompatible and biodegradable constitute a request of an educated consumer corresponding to a premium cosmetic segment. For this purpose, a cellulose-based delivery system was developed to retain biomolecules for dermic applications. The 3D matrix was built with microfibrillated cellulose, nanofibrillated cellulose and carboxymethylcellulose combined with a crosslinking agent, the alginate, to obtain a 3D matrix capable of retaining and releasing bioactive components of microalgae Chlorella vulgaris and tea tree essential oil. The porosity and pore dimensions and uniformity of this support matrix were optimized using 3D computational tools. The structures of the biopolymers were characterized using SEM, EDX, FTIR-ATR and DSC techniques. The essential oil and the microalgae components were successfully incorporated in a 3D stable matrix. The results indicate that the polymeric matrix retains and releases the essential oil biomolecules in a controlled way, when compared with tea tree essential oil, which is vaporized from 25 °C to 38 °C, without this 3D polymeric matrix. The microalgae and cellulose-based delivery system proved to be an interesting option for dermic and cosmetic applications because the exposure time of the therapeutic biomolecules was improved, and this factor consists of a competitive benefit for dermic systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Connect: Polymer Science and Composite Materials)
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19 pages, 5079 KiB  
Article
The Influence of Nanofiller Shape and Nature on the Functional Properties of Waterborne Poly(urethane-urea) Nanocomposite Films
by Milena Špírková, Jiří Hodan, Rafał Konefał, Luďka Machová, Pavel Němeček and Aleksandra Paruzel
Polymers 2020, 12(9), 2001; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12092001 - 2 Sep 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2688
Abstract
A series of waterborne polycarbonate-based poly(urethane-urea) nanocomposite films were prepared and characterized. An isocyanate excess of 30 mol% with respect to the hydroxyl groups was used in the procedure, omitting the chain-extension step of the acetone process in the dispersion preparation. The individual [...] Read more.
A series of waterborne polycarbonate-based poly(urethane-urea) nanocomposite films were prepared and characterized. An isocyanate excess of 30 mol% with respect to the hydroxyl groups was used in the procedure, omitting the chain-extension step of the acetone process in the dispersion preparation. The individual steps of the synthesis of the poly(urethane-urea) matrix were followed by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. The nanofillers (1 wt% in the final nanocomposite) differed in nature and shape. Starch, graphene oxide and nanocellulose were used as representatives of organic nanofillers, while halloysite, montmorillonite, nanosilica and hydroxyapatite were used as representatives of inorganic nanofillers. Moreover, the fillers differed in their shape and average particle size. The films were characterized by a set of methods to obtain the tensile, thermal and surface properties of the nanocomposites as well as the internal arrangement of the nanoparticles in the nanocomposite film. The degradation process was evaluated at 37 °C in a H2O2 + CoCl2 solution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Connect: Polymer Science and Composite Materials)
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11 pages, 6783 KiB  
Article
Green Nanocomposites from Rosin-Limonene Copolymer and Algerian Clay
by Hodhaifa Derdar, Geoffrey Robert Mitchell, Vidhura Subash Mahendra, Mohamed Benachour, Sara Haoue, Zakaria Cherifi, Khaldoun Bachari, Amine Harrane and Rachid Meghabar
Polymers 2020, 12(9), 1971; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12091971 - 30 Aug 2020
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 3304
Abstract
Green nanocomposites from rosin-limonene (Ros-Lim) copolymers based on Algerian organophilic-clay named Maghnite-CTA+ (Mag-CTA+) were prepared by in-situ polymerization using different amounts (1, 5 and 10% by weight) of Mag-CTA+ and azobisisobutyronitrile as a catalyst. The Mag-CTA+ is an [...] Read more.
Green nanocomposites from rosin-limonene (Ros-Lim) copolymers based on Algerian organophilic-clay named Maghnite-CTA+ (Mag-CTA+) were prepared by in-situ polymerization using different amounts (1, 5 and 10% by weight) of Mag-CTA+ and azobisisobutyronitrile as a catalyst. The Mag-CTA+ is an organophilic montmorillonite silicate clay prepared through a direct exchange process; the clay was modified by ultrasonic-assisted method using cetyltrimethylammonuim bromide in which it used as green nano-filler.The preparation method of nanocomposites was studied in order to determine and improve structural, morphological, mechanical and thermal properties ofsin.The structure and morphology of the obtained nanocomposites(Ros-Lim/Mag-CTA+) were determined using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, scanning electronic microscopy and transmission electronic microscopy. The analyses confirmed the chemical modification of clay layers and the intercalation of rosin-limonene copolymer within the organophilic-clay sheets. An exfoliated structure was obtained for the lower amount of clay (1% wt of Mag-CTA+), while intercalated structures were detected for high amounts of clay (5 and 10% wt of Mag-CTA+). The thermal properties of the nanocomposites were studied by thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and show a significant improvement inthe thermal stability of the obtained nanocomposites compared to the purerosin-limonene copolymer (a degradation temperature up to 280 °C). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Connect: Polymer Science and Composite Materials)
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Review

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18 pages, 3146 KiB  
Review
Present Status in Polymeric Mouthguards. A Future Area for Additive Manufacturing?
by Ana M. Sousa, Ana C. Pinho, Ana Messias and Ana P. Piedade
Polymers 2020, 12(7), 1490; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12071490 - 3 Jul 2020
Cited by 21 | Viewed by 9129
Abstract
Athletes from contact sports are more prone to orofacial injuries because of the exposure to possible shocks and collisions derived from physical proximity. The use of protector polymeric mouthguards proved to be useful in the prevention of the described injuries. There are different [...] Read more.
Athletes from contact sports are more prone to orofacial injuries because of the exposure to possible shocks and collisions derived from physical proximity. The use of protector polymeric mouthguards proved to be useful in the prevention of the described injuries. There are different types of mouthguards with varying ranges of protection and prices, but they are all made from polymers and share the same propose: to absorb and dissipate the impact energy resulting from the shocks. As they are used inside the mouth, they should not impair breathing and speaking nor compromise the comfort of the athlete. However, the ideal mouthguard is yet to be created. The choice of the most appropriate polymeric material and the standard required properties have not yet been reported. Regardless of the numerous studies in this field, normalized control parameters for both material characterization and mouthguard fabrication are absent. This paper aims to present a review of the current types of available mouthguards and their properties/characteristics. Moreover, a detailed description of the most common polymers for the fabrication of mouthguards, together with the manufacturing techniques, are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Connect: Polymer Science and Composite Materials)
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