Special Issue "Synthesis–Processing–Structure–Property Interrelationship of Multifunctional Polymer Nanocomposites"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2019.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Mohammad Arjmand
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
The University of British Columbia, School of Engineering, Kelowna, Canada
Interests: synthesis of multifunctional conductive and magnetic nanomaterials, polymer processing and forming, multifunctional polymer nanocomposites, gas sensors, 3D printed polymer nanocomposites
Dr. Amir Ameli
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Washington State University, Pullman, United States
Interests: multifunctional polymer nanocomposites, additive manufacturing, bioproducts, smart materials and structures, advanced polymer-based foams, mechanics of materials

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Polymers offer remarkable physical properties such as their light weight, low cost, easy processability, corrosion resistance, improved design options, etc. These properties distinguish polymers from their traditional rivals such as ceramics and metals. Nonetheless, in order to employ polymers as the next generation of advanced materials, their physical properties must be significantly improved. This can be carried out via incorporating multifunctional nanomaterials into the polymer matrices.

Despite the outstanding physical properties of different types of nanomaterials, the full exploitation of their physical properties toward the development of multifunctional polymer nanocomposites is still a challenge, due to their synthesis challenges, agglomeration, poor affinity toward polymers, nanofiller-polymer processing challenges, etc. This Special Issue aims to address partial or full coverage of the diamond of Synthesis–Processing–Structure–Property toward the development of multifunctional polymer nanocomposites containing various types of nanomaterials. Covering the diamond will generate a platform to achieve a better understanding of the physical properties of polymer nanocomposites and their relationship with nanofiller synthesis, nanofiller structure, nanofiller–polymer processing, and nanocomposite morphology.

In this regard, this Special Issue aims to create an interdisciplinary forum of discussion on applications and advancements in the area of the development of multifunctional polymer nanocomposites holding various types of nanomaterials. This Issue accepts high-quality research articles as well as review articles that will illustrate and stimulate the continuing effort to understand the area of multifunctional nanomaterial/polymer nanocomposites.

Potential topics include but are not limited to the following:

  • Design and Engineering of Various Types of Multifunctional Nanomaterials
  • Synthesis;
  • Surface modification and functionalization;
  • Characterization of physical and structural properties.
  • Fabrication of Nanocomposites
  • Melt mixing and solution mixing;
  • Injection molding;
  • Extrusion;
  • Compression molding;
  • Electrospinning;
  • Foaming;
  • 3D Printing.
  • Structure of Nanocomposites
  • Characterization (microscopy, spectroscopy, etc.);
  • Hybrid nanocomposites and blends;
  • Nanofiller localization.
  • Properties of Nanocomposites
  • Electrical conductivity;
  • Electromagnetic interference shielding;
  • Dielectric;
  • Thermoelectric;
  • Piezoresistive and piezoelectric;
  • Thermal;
  • Mechanical;
  • Rheological;
  • Tribological;
  • Barrier.

Dr. Mohammad Arjmand
Dr. Amir Ameli
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 monthly 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 1500 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

  • Multifunctional nanomaterials
  • Synthesis
  • Polymer processing
  • Structure
  • Polymer nanocomposites
  • Electrical conductivity
  • Electromagnetic interference shielding
  • Mechanical properties
  • Thermal properties
  • Dielectric properties
  • Thermoelectric
  • Piezoelectric
  • Piezoresistive
  • Tribological properties
  • Barrier

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Nanofiller Dispersion, Morphology, Mechanical Behavior, and Electrical Properties of Nanostructured Styrene-Butadiene-Based Triblock Copolymer/CNT Composites
Polymers 2019, 11(11), 1831; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11111831 - 07 Nov 2019
Abstract
A nanostructured linear triblock copolymer based on styrene and butadiene with lamellar morphology is filled with multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) of up to 1 wt% by melt compounding. This study deals with the dispersability of the MWCNTs within the nanostructured matrix and its [...] Read more.
A nanostructured linear triblock copolymer based on styrene and butadiene with lamellar morphology is filled with multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) of up to 1 wt% by melt compounding. This study deals with the dispersability of the MWCNTs within the nanostructured matrix and its consequent impact on block copolymer (BCP) morphology, deformation behavior, and the electrical conductivity of composites. By adjusting the processing parameters during melt mixing, the dispersion of the MWCNTs within the BCP matrix are optimized. In this study, the morphology and glass transition temperatures (Tg) of the hard and soft phase are not significantly influenced by the incorporation of MWCNTs. However, processing-induced orientation effects of the BCP structure are reduced by the addition of MWCNT accompanied by a decrease in lamella size. The stress-strain behavior of the triblock copolymer/MWCNT composites indicate higher Young’s modulus and pronounced yield point while retaining high ductility (strain at break ~ 400%). At a MWCNT content of 1 wt%, the nanocomposites are electrically conductive, exhibiting a volume resistivity below 3 × 103 Ω·cm. Accordingly, the study offers approaches for the development of mechanically flexible functional materials while maintaining a remarkable structural property profile. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Adsorption of Pb2+ from Aqueous Solutions Using Novel Functionalized Corncobs via Atom Transfer Radical Polymerization
Polymers 2019, 11(10), 1715; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11101715 - 19 Oct 2019
Abstract
The present study developed novel functionalized corncobs introducing brushes with dense and active carboxyl groups (–COOH), named MC-g-PAA, for the highly efficient adsorption of Pb2+ from aqueous solutions. MC-g-PAA were synthesized via atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP) and characterized by Fourier transform [...] Read more.
The present study developed novel functionalized corncobs introducing brushes with dense and active carboxyl groups (–COOH), named MC-g-PAA, for the highly efficient adsorption of Pb2+ from aqueous solutions. MC-g-PAA were synthesized via atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP) and characterized by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The amount of Pb2+ adsorbed on MC-g-PAA by hydrolysis with t-BuOK was 2.28 times greater than that with NaOH, attributed to the larger steric effect of t-BuOK, which reduced the hydrolysis of the bromo-ester groups. The influence of different parameters including the solid/liquid ratio, working solution pH, sorption temperature, and initial concentration and sorption time on the adsorption of Pb2+ were investigated in detail in batch experiments. Thermodynamic studies have shown that the adsorption process was spontaneous, endothermic, and accompanied by an increase in randomness. A better fit for the isotherm data was obtained using the Langmuir model than for the other four models and the maximum amount ( q max ) of Pb2+ adsorbed on MC-g-PAA was 342.47 mg/g, which is 21.11 times greater when compared with that of pristine corncobs (16.22 mg/g). The adsorption of Pb2+ on MC-g-PAA was very fast and followed the pseudo-second-order kinetic equation with a correlation coefficient of 0.99999. This monolayer adsorption process was dominated by chemical adsorption, and may proceed according to complexation and electrostatic interactions between Pb2+ and the carboxylate groups. This study indicated that MC-g-PAA could be successfully used as an adsorbent for the removal of Pb2+ from aqueous solutions due to its excellent efficiency. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Selective Localization of Carbon Black in Bio-Based Poly (Lactic Acid)/Recycled High-Density Polyethylene Co-Continuous Blends to Design Electrical Conductive Composites with a Low Percolation Threshold
Polymers 2019, 11(10), 1583; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11101583 - 27 Sep 2019
Abstract
The electrically conductive poly (lactic acid) (PLA)/recycled high-density polyethylene (HDPE)/carbon black (CB) composites with a fine co-continuous micro structure and selective localization of CB in the HDPE component were fabricated by one-step melt processing via a twin-screw extruder. Micromorphology analysis, electrical conductivity, thermal [...] Read more.
The electrically conductive poly (lactic acid) (PLA)/recycled high-density polyethylene (HDPE)/carbon black (CB) composites with a fine co-continuous micro structure and selective localization of CB in the HDPE component were fabricated by one-step melt processing via a twin-screw extruder. Micromorphology analysis, electrical conductivity, thermal properties, thermal stability, and mechanical properties were investigated. Scanning electron microscope (SEM) images indicate that a co-continuous morphology is formed, and CB is selectively distributed in the HDPE component. With the introduction of CB, the phase size of the PLA component and the HDPE component in PLA/HDPE blends is reduced. In addition, differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and thermos gravimetric analysis (TGA) results show that the introduction of CB promotes the crystallization behavior of the PLA and HDPE components, respectively, and improves the thermal stability of PLA70/30HDPE/CB composites. The electrically conductive percolation threshold of the PLA70/30HDPE/CB composites is around 5.0 wt %, and the electrical conductivity of PLA70/30HDPE/CB composites reaches 1.0 s/cm and 15 s/cm just at the 10 wt % and 15 wt % CB loading, respectively. Further, the tensile and impact tests show that the PLA70/30HDPE/CB composites have good mechanical properties. The excellent electrical conductivity and good mechanical properties offer the potential to broaden the application of PLA/HDPE/CB composites. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Tensile and Interfacial Loading Characteristics of Boron Nitride-Carbon Nanosheet Reinforced Polymer Nanocomposites
Polymers 2019, 11(6), 1075; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11061075 - 21 Jun 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
The discovery of hybrid boron nitride–carbon (BN–C) nanostructures has triggered enormous research interest in the design and fabrication of new generation nanocomposites. The robust design of these nanocomposites for target applications requires their mechanical strength to be characterized with a wide range of [...] Read more.
The discovery of hybrid boron nitride–carbon (BN–C) nanostructures has triggered enormous research interest in the design and fabrication of new generation nanocomposites. The robust design of these nanocomposites for target applications requires their mechanical strength to be characterized with a wide range of factors. This article presents a comprehensive study, with the aid of molecular dynamics analysis, of the tensile loading mechanics of BN–C nanosheet reinforced polyethylene (PE) nanocomposites. It is observed that the geometry and lattice arrangement of the BN–C nanosheet influences the tensile loading characteristics of the nanocomposites. Furthermore, defects in the nanosheet can severely impact the tensile loading resistance, the extent of which is determined by the defect’s location. This study also found that the tensile loading resistance of nanocomposites tends to weaken at elevated temperatures. The interfacial mechanics of the BN–C nanocomposites are also investigated. This analysis revealed a strong dependency with the carbon concentration in the BN–C nanosheet. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Thermal Conductivity and Electrical Resistivity of Melt-Mixed Polypropylene Composites Containing Mixtures of Carbon-Based Fillers
Polymers 2019, 11(6), 1073; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11061073 - 21 Jun 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Melt-mixed composites based on polypropylene (PP) with various carbon-based fillers were investigated with regard to their thermal conductivity and electrical resistivity. The composites were filled with up to three fillers by selecting combinations of graphite nanoplatelets (GNP), carbon fibers (CF), carbon nanotubes (CNT), [...] Read more.
Melt-mixed composites based on polypropylene (PP) with various carbon-based fillers were investigated with regard to their thermal conductivity and electrical resistivity. The composites were filled with up to three fillers by selecting combinations of graphite nanoplatelets (GNP), carbon fibers (CF), carbon nanotubes (CNT), carbon black (CB), and graphite (G) at a constant filler content of 7.5 vol%. The thermal conductivity of PP (0.26 W/(m·K)) improved most using graphite nanoplatelets, whereas electrical resistivity was the lowest when using multiwalled CNT. Synergistic effects could be observed for different filler combinations. The PP composite, which contains a mixture of GNP, CNT, and highly structured CB, simultaneously had high thermal conductivity (0.5 W/(m·K)) and the lowest electrical volume resistivity (4 Ohm·cm). Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Carbon Nanotube versus Graphene Nanoribbon: Impact of Nanofiller Geometry on Electromagnetic Interference Shielding of Polyvinylidene Fluoride Nanocomposites
Polymers 2019, 11(6), 1064; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11061064 - 20 Jun 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
The similar molecular structure but different geometries of the carbon nanotube (CNT) and graphene nanoribbon (GNR) create a genuine opportunity to assess the impact of nanofiller geometry (tube vs. ribbon) on the electromagnetic interference (EMI) shielding of polymer nanocomposites. In this regard, GNR [...] Read more.
The similar molecular structure but different geometries of the carbon nanotube (CNT) and graphene nanoribbon (GNR) create a genuine opportunity to assess the impact of nanofiller geometry (tube vs. ribbon) on the electromagnetic interference (EMI) shielding of polymer nanocomposites. In this regard, GNR and its parent CNT were melt mixed with a polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) matrix using a miniature melt mixer at various nanofiller loadings, i.e., 0.3, 0.5, 1.0 and 2.0 wt%, and then compression molded. Molecular simulations showed that CNT would have a better interaction with the PVDF matrix in any configuration. Rheological results validated that CNTs feature a far stronger network (mechanical interlocking) than GNRs. Despite lower powder conductivity and a comparable dispersion state, it was interestingly observed that CNT nanocomposites indicated a highly superior electrical conductivity and EMI shielding at higher nanofiller loadings. For instance, at 2.0 wt%, CNT/PVDF nanocomposites showed an electrical conductivity of 0.77 S·m−1 and an EMI shielding effectiveness of 11.60 dB, which are eight orders of magnitude and twofold higher than their GNR counterparts, respectively. This observation was attributed to their superior conductive network formation and the interlocking ability of the tubular nanostructure to the ribbon-like nanostructure, verified by molecular simulations and rheological assays. Full article
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