Synthesis and Processing of Functional Polymer Materials

A special issue of Polymers (ISSN 2073-4360). This special issue belongs to the section "Smart and Functional Polymers".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 September 2024 | Viewed by 2302

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Center of Molecular and Macromolecular Research of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Lodz, Poland
Interests: polymers; nanocomposites; polymer blends; plastics engineering; materials science; polymer structure analysis; physics of solid state; shape memory effect; severe plastic deformation; lattice structure; injection molding; extrusion; additive manufacturing; finite element analysis

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Guest Editor
Department of Industrial Engineering, Universita degli Studi di Roma Tor Vergata, Roma, Italy
Interests: functional polymers; shape memory polymer composites; innovative materials and processes; industrial sustainability

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Until the 1980s, polymers were mainly considered the basis for the production of structural materials with unique physical and mechanical properties that could not be achieved with low molecular weight chemical compounds. In the last two decades of the XX century, polymers began to be used as functional materials in medicine, lighting, electrical engineering, electronics, energy, etc. At the turn of the century XX–XXI. the concept of “smart materials” was formulated, which can reversibly change their behavior when external conditions such as temperature and humidity change or when exposed to mechanical, electrical, magnetic and other fields. Nowadays, functional and "smart" polymeric materials are used in almost all areas of technology. In addition, many new polymeric substances with excellent thermal, mechanical, chemical and electrical properties have been synthesized. Functional polymers include electrically conductive polymer materials, liquid crystal polymers, polymer gels, shape memory polymers and so on. The strategy for the development of functional polymers includes: the design of organic molecules, the development of formulae to control complex reactions that allow the molecular structures of organic compounds to be freely modified; the development of directed synthesis methods; the modification of polymers and materials based on them with a specific structure (including nanostructure) and morphology. The aim of this special issue is to present in a comprehensive and updated fashion new advances in the synthesis and processing of functional polymer materials.

Prof. Dr. Iurii Vozniak
Prof. Dr. Loredana Santo
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • electrically conductive polymer materials
  • liquid crystal polymers
  • polymer gels
  • shape memory polymers
  • directed synthesis
  • process for preparing functional polymers

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

12 pages, 3092 KiB  
Article
Monitoring of the Homogeneity of Primer Layers for Ink Jet Printing on Polyester Fabrics by Hyperspectral Imaging
by Olesya Daikos and Tom Scherzer
Polymers 2024, 16(13), 1909; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym16131909 - 4 Jul 2024
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Abstract
Untreated polyester films and fibers can be hardly printed or coated, in particular if aqueous inks or lacquers have to be applied. Therefore, an adequate primer layer has to be applied first. A cationic polymer formulation based on poly(dimethylamine-co-epichlorohydrin-co-ethylenediamine) (PDEHED) was used as [...] Read more.
Untreated polyester films and fibers can be hardly printed or coated, in particular if aqueous inks or lacquers have to be applied. Therefore, an adequate primer layer has to be applied first. A cationic polymer formulation based on poly(dimethylamine-co-epichlorohydrin-co-ethylenediamine) (PDEHED) was used as primer layer for digital printing on polyester fabrics. Because of the exceedingly high requirements on the homogeneity of such layers, hyperspectral imaging was used for qualitative and quantitative monitoring of the distribution of the primer layer on the textiles. Multivariate data analysis methods based on the PLS algorithm were applied for quantification of the NIR reflection spectra using gravimetry as a reference method. Optimization of the calibration method resulted in various models with prediction errors of about 1.2 g/m2. The prediction performance of the models was proven in external validations using independent samples. Moreover, a special ink jet printing technology was tested for application of the aqueous primer formulation itself. Since possible clogging of jet nozzles in the print head might lead to inhomogeneity in the coatings such as missing tracks, the potential of hyperspectral imaging to detect such defects was investigated. It was demonstrated that simulated missing tracks can be clearly detected. Consequently, hyperspectral imaging has been proven to be a powerful analytical tool for in-line monitoring of the quality of printability improvement layers and similar systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Synthesis and Processing of Functional Polymer Materials)
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17 pages, 2226 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of PLA-Based Composite Films Filled with Cu2(OH)3NO3 Nanoparticles as an Active Material for the Food Industry: Biocidal Properties and Environmental Sustainability
by Xiomara Santos, Gabriela Domínguez, Juana Rodríguez, Javier Pozuelo, Manuel Hernández, Olga Martín and Carmen Fajardo
Polymers 2024, 16(13), 1772; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym16131772 - 23 Jun 2024
Viewed by 483
Abstract
The globalization of markets has diversified the food supply, but it has also made the distribution chain more difficult, increasing the risk of microbial contamination. One strategy to obtain safer food and extend its shelf life is to develop active packaging with antimicrobial [...] Read more.
The globalization of markets has diversified the food supply, but it has also made the distribution chain more difficult, increasing the risk of microbial contamination. One strategy to obtain safer food and extend its shelf life is to develop active packaging with antimicrobial properties that prevent the growth of pathogenic microorganisms or spoilage in food products. In this context, and in line with the growing social awareness about the environmental impact generated by plastic waste, this work evaluated the effectiveness of polylactic acid (PLA) films loaded with different concentrations of copper (II) hydroxynitrate nanoparticles (CuHS) against the microbiota of fresh foods (chicken, fish and cheese). The results showed that the developed films containing 1, 3 and 5% w/w of CuHS in the polymeric matrix caused a decrease in the microbial abundance equal to or higher than 3 logarithmic units in all foods tested. Moreover, the mechanical and thermal properties of the formulated composites showed that the added CuHS concentrations did not substantially modify these properties compared to the PLA films. Taking into account the results obtained for antimicrobial activity, Cu (II) migration levels and the cytotoxicity of the films formulated, the PLA composite loaded with 1% CuHS (w/w) was the most suitable for its potential use as food packaging material. In addition, the biodegradation of this composite film was studied under conditions simulating intensive aerobic composting, demonstrating that almost 100% disintegration after 14 days of testing was achieved. Therefore, the innovative PLA-based films developed represent a promising strategy for the fabrication of packaging and active surfaces to increase food shelf life while maintaining food safety. Moreover, their biodegradable character will contribute to efficient waste management, turning plastic residues into a valuable resource. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Synthesis and Processing of Functional Polymer Materials)
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21 pages, 9940 KiB  
Article
Phosphorus-Based Flame-Retardant Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene Copolymer with Enhanced Mechanical Properties by Combining Ultrahigh Molecular Weight Silicone Rubber and Ethylene Methyl Acrylate Copolymer
by Farnaz Ghonjizade-Samani, Laia Haurie, Ramón Malet, Marc Pérez and Vera Realinho
Polymers 2024, 16(7), 923; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym16070923 - 27 Mar 2024
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Abstract
The present work proposes to investigate the effect of an ultrahigh molecular weight silicone rubber (UHMW-SR) and two ethylene methyl acrylate copolymers (EMA) with different methyl acrylate (MA) content on the mechanical and fire performance of a fireproof acrylonitrile butadiene styrene copolymer (ABS) [...] Read more.
The present work proposes to investigate the effect of an ultrahigh molecular weight silicone rubber (UHMW-SR) and two ethylene methyl acrylate copolymers (EMA) with different methyl acrylate (MA) content on the mechanical and fire performance of a fireproof acrylonitrile butadiene styrene copolymer (ABS) composite, with an optimum amount of ammonium polyphosphate (APP) and aluminum diethyl phosphinate (AlPi). ABS formulations with a global flame retardant weight content of 20 wt.% (ABS P) were melt-compounded, with and without EMA and UHMW-SR, in a Brabender mixer. During this batch process, ABS P formulations with UHMW-SR and/or EMA registered lower torque values than those of ABS P. By means of scanning electron microscopy (SEM), it was possible to observe that all ABS composites exhibited a homogenous structure without phase separation or particle agglomeration. Slightly improved interfacial interaction between the well-dispersed flame-retardant particles in the presence of EMA and/or UHMW-SR was also noticed. Furthermore, synergies in mechanical properties by adding both EMA and UHMW-SR into ABS P were ascertained. An enhancement of molecular mobility that contributed to the softening of ABS P was observed under dynamic mechanical thermal analysis (DMTA). An improvement of its flexibility, ductility and toughness were also registered under three-point-bending trials, and even more remarkable synergies were noticed in Charpy notched impact strength. Particularly, a 212% increase was achieved when 5 wt.% of EMA with 29 wt.% of MA and 2 wt.% of UHMW-SR in ABS P (ABS E29 S P) were added. Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) showed that the presence of EMA copolymers in ABS P formulations did not interfere with its thermal decomposition, whereas UHMW-SR presence decreased its thermal stability at the beginning of the decomposition. Although the addition of EMA or UHMW-SR, as well as the combination of both in ABS P increased the pHRR in cone calorimetry, UL 94 V-0 classification was maintained for all flame-retarded ABS composites. In addition, through SEM analysis of cone calorimetry sample residue, a more cohesive surface char layer, with Si-O-C network formation confirmed by Fourier transform infrared (FTIR), was shown in ABS P formulations with UHMW-SR. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Synthesis and Processing of Functional Polymer Materials)
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