Special Issue "Materials and Methods for New Technologies in Polymer Processing"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 January 2019).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Andrea Sorrentino
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute of Polymers, Composites and Biomaterials (IPCB), National Research Council of Italy (CNR), Via Previati 1/C, 23900 Lecco, Italy
Interests: process–properties relashionships; morphology and properties of polymeric materials; polymer processing; injection and compression moulding; nanofunctionalized polymer materials for barrier and electrical applications; polymer (bio/photo)-degradation; bionanocomposites materials; thermomechanical properties; biodegradable materials; high performances composite materials; materials for sensing; materials for drug delivery; self-healing materials
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In the field of polymer processing, new alternative technologies continue to emerge that enable the transformation, combination and functionalization of macromolecules and composite materials. They range from simple variations of traditional processes, such as injection moulding and extrusion, to new and less consolidated techniques, such as electrospinning, laser sintering, additive manufacturing, and microfluidics. The growth in the number and capacity of these techniques is promoted by the continued demand for high performance micro and nanostructured devices. With these techniques, polymeric materials can be processed for new special uses such as film for optoelectronic applications, detection fibers, foams for biomedical use, coatings for surface modification, and solid shapes for a wide variety of uses. Extremely tight dimensional tolerances and precise manipulation of the properties are key aspects of the production of these components. Such a rigorous control requires a systematic examination of the materials and methods used with particular attention to their impact on the geometric and functional characteristics of the products. Some of the current challenges include the development of materials with unusual combinations of properties, greater precision in manipulation, reduced costs and the pursuit of reliable process modelling. Despite the large differences in the machines and the conditions involved in these processing, the product formation is based on the same basic mechanisms. As a consequence, each specific technology could be analyzed in relation to these mechanisms in order to attempt a systematization of the results obtained and to promote future development.

This Special Issue will collect a series of research and review documents that examine “New Technologies in Polymer Processing” from different perspectives, covering materials, machine control, and simulation software with particular attention to the properties of the products obtained. The aim is to represent the state-of-the-art and provide systematic information on process technology, characterization techniques and structure-property relationships. We look forward to receiving contributions dealing with the related research fields. I hope this stimulating initiative will encourage you to participate in the advancement of basic knowledge related to innovative and sustainable processing technologies.

Dr. Andrea Sorrentino
Guest Editor

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 1800 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

  • New polymer processing;
  • Process-properties relationships;
  • Morphology of polymeric materials;
  • Thermo-mechanical and rheological properties;
  • Polymer functionalizations;
  • Bio-nanocomposites materials;
  • Materials for barrier and electronic applications;
  • Filament and fibers production;
  • Foams and lightweight materials;
  • Coatings for surface protection;
  • Micro parts productions;
  • Structured and functional surfaces;
  • Fabrication of drug delivery systems;
  • Capsules and bubbles formations;
  • Materials for sensing and actuation;
  • Electrospinning;
  • Spray coating;
  • Laser sintering;
  • Layer by layer deposition;
  • Additive manufacturing;
  • Microfluidics;
  • Precision injection and compression molding;
  • Extrusion and compounding;
  • Plasma treatment;
  • Ultrasound assisted processes;
  • Freeze and spray dryers.

Published Papers (21 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Open AccessArticle
Polymerization Shrinkage Evaluation of Restorative Resin-Based Composites Using Fiber Bragg Grating Sensors
Polymers 2019, 11(5), 859; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11050859 - 11 May 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to compare the linear polymerization shrinkage of different restorative resin-based composites (RBCs) using fiber Bragg grating (FBG) sensors. Five RBCs were evaluated: Zirconfill® (ZFL); Aura Bulk-Fill (ABF); Tetric® N-Ceram Bulk-Fill (TBF); FiltekTM Bulk-Fill (FBF); [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to compare the linear polymerization shrinkage of different restorative resin-based composites (RBCs) using fiber Bragg grating (FBG) sensors. Five RBCs were evaluated: Zirconfill® (ZFL); Aura Bulk-Fill (ABF); Tetric® N-Ceram Bulk-Fill (TBF); FiltekTM Bulk-Fill (FBF); and Admira Fusion-Ormocer® (ADF). Ten samples per resin were produced in standardized custom-made half-gutter silicone molds. Two optical FBG sensors were used to assess temperature and polymerization shrinkage. Light curing was performed for 40 s and polymerization shrinkage was evaluated at 5, 10, 40, 60, 150, and 300 s. Statistical analysis was accomplished for normal distribution (Shapiro-Wilk, p > 0.05). Two-way repeated measures ANOVA with Greenhouse-Geisser correction followed by Bonferroni′s post-hoc test was used to analyze the linear shrinkage data (p < 0.05). ZFL showed the highest linear shrinkage and ADF the lowest. Shrinkage increased for all RBCs until 300 s, where significant differences were found between ADF and all other resins (p < 0.05). Among bulk-fill RBCs, TBF showed the lowest shrinkage value, but not statistically different from FBF. The ADF presented lower linear shrinkage than all other RBCs, and restorative bulk-fill composites exhibited an intermediate behavior. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Materials and Methods for New Technologies in Polymer Processing)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Carbon-Based Aeronautical Epoxy Nanocomposites: Effectiveness of Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) in Investigating the Dispersion of Different Carbonaceous Nanoparticles
Polymers 2019, 11(5), 832; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11050832 - 08 May 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
The capability of Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) to characterize composite material interfaces can help in the design of new carbon-based nanocomposites by providing useful information on the structure–property relationship. In this paper, the potentiality of AFM is explored to investigate the dispersion and [...] Read more.
The capability of Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) to characterize composite material interfaces can help in the design of new carbon-based nanocomposites by providing useful information on the structure–property relationship. In this paper, the potentiality of AFM is explored to investigate the dispersion and the morphological features of aeronautical epoxy resins loaded with several carbon nanostructured fillers. Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) and thermal investigations of the formulated samples have also been performed. The FTIR results show that, among the examined nanoparticles, exfoliated graphite (EG) with a predominantly two-dimensional (2D) shape favors the hardening process of the epoxy matrix, increasing its reaction rate. As evidenced by the FTIR signal related to the epoxy stretching frequency (907 cm−1), the accelerating effect of the EG sample increases as the filler concentration increases. This effect, already observable for curing treatment of 60 min conducted at the low temperature of 125 °C, suggests a very fast opening of epoxy groups at the beginning of the cross-linking process. For all the analyzed samples, the percentage of the curing degree (DC) goes beyond 90%, reaching up to 100% for the EG-based nanocomposites. Besides, the addition of the exfoliated graphite enhances the thermostability of the samples up to about 370 °C, even in the case of very low EG percentages (0.05% by weight). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Materials and Methods for New Technologies in Polymer Processing)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Ball Milling to Produce Composites Based of Natural Clinoptilolite as a Carrier of Salicylate in Bio-Based PA11
Polymers 2019, 11(4), 634; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11040634 - 07 Apr 2019
Abstract
Antimicrobial packaging systems are recognized as effective approaches to prolong food shelf life. In this context, Bio-based PA11 loaded with a food-grade zeolite were prepared using ball milling technology in the dry state. Zeolite was filled with sodium salicylate, as an antimicrobial agent, [...] Read more.
Antimicrobial packaging systems are recognized as effective approaches to prolong food shelf life. In this context, Bio-based PA11 loaded with a food-grade zeolite were prepared using ball milling technology in the dry state. Zeolite was filled with sodium salicylate, as an antimicrobial agent, and incorporated into the polymer matrix (~50 wt % of salicylate) at different loadings (up to 10 wt %). Structural characterization and an analysis of the physical properties (thermal, barrier, mechanical) were conducted on the composites’ films and compared with the unfilled PA11. The successful entrapment of the antimicrobial molecule into the zeolite’s cavities was demonstrated by the thermal degradation analysis, showing a delay in the molecule’s degradation. Morphological organization, evaluated using SEM analysis, indicated the homogeneous distribution of the filler within the polymer matrix. The filler improves the thermal stability of PA11 and mechanical properties, also enhancing its barrier properties against CO2 and O2. The elongated form of the zeolite particles, evaluated through SEM analysis, was used to model the permeability data. The controlled release of salicylate, evaluated as a function of time and found to depend on the filler loading, was analyzed using the Gallagher‒Corrigan model. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Materials and Methods for New Technologies in Polymer Processing)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Enhanced Insulation Performances of Crosslinked Polyethylene Modified by Chemically Grafting Chloroacetic Acid Allyl Ester
Polymers 2019, 11(4), 592; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11040592 - 01 Apr 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Modified crosslinked polyethylene (XLPE) with appreciably enhanced DC electrical insulation properties has been developed by chemical modification of grafting chloroacetic acid allyl ester (CAAE), exploring the trapping mechanism of charge transport inhibition. The bound state traps deriving from grafted molecule are analyzed by [...] Read more.
Modified crosslinked polyethylene (XLPE) with appreciably enhanced DC electrical insulation properties has been developed by chemical modification of grafting chloroacetic acid allyl ester (CAAE), exploring the trapping mechanism of charge transport inhibition. The bound state traps deriving from grafted molecule are analyzed by first-principles calculations, in combination with the electrical DC conductivity and dielectric breakdown strength experiments to study the underlying mechanism of improving the electrical insulation properties. In contrast to pure XLPE, the XLPE-graft-CAAE represents significantly suppressed space charge accumulation, increased breakdown strength, and reduced conductivity. The substantial deep traps are generated in XLPE-graft-CAAE molecules by polar group of grafted CAAE and accordingly decrease charge mobility and raise charge injection barrier, consequently suppressing space charge accumulation and charge carrier transport. The well agreement of experiments and quantum mechanics calculations suggests a prospective material modification strategy for achieving high-voltage polymer dielectric materials without nanotechnology difficulties as for nanodielectrics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Materials and Methods for New Technologies in Polymer Processing)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
A Novel Approach of Promoting Adhesion of Reinforcing Cord to Elastomers by Plasma Polymerization
Polymers 2019, 11(4), 577; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11040577 - 29 Mar 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Adhesion of cords to elastomers is crucial for many elastomeric products, such as tires and V-belts. The best adhesion system so far is based on a combination of resorcinol, formaldehyde, and a latex (RFL). However, this cord treatment has serious disadvantages in terms [...] Read more.
Adhesion of cords to elastomers is crucial for many elastomeric products, such as tires and V-belts. The best adhesion system so far is based on a combination of resorcinol, formaldehyde, and a latex (RFL). However, this cord treatment has serious disadvantages in terms of processing and toxicity. A promising alternative is a plasma treatment of the cords prior to be embedded in the elastomer. For rayon cords, a plasma polymerization of sulfur-containing precursors results in adhesion levels close to RFL treatment. However, for polyethylene terephthalate (PET) cords, this treatment is not satisfactory. For this type of cords, a water-plasma activation followed by a silane dip is more promising, as 72% of the adhesion level of RFL treatment could be achieved. For rayon, an even higher adhesion level was realized. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Materials and Methods for New Technologies in Polymer Processing)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
Thermal and Mechanical Analysis of Polyethylene Homo-Composites Processed by Rotational Molding
Polymers 2019, 11(3), 528; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11030528 - 20 Mar 2019
Abstract
This work is aimed at studying the suitability of ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) fibers for the production of polyethylene homo-composites processed by rotational molding. Initially pre-impregnated bars were produced by co-extrusion and compression molding of UHMWPE fibers and linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE). [...] Read more.
This work is aimed at studying the suitability of ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) fibers for the production of polyethylene homo-composites processed by rotational molding. Initially pre-impregnated bars were produced by co-extrusion and compression molding of UHMWPE fibers and linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE). A preliminary screening of different processing routes for the production of homo-composite reinforcing bars was performed, highlighting the relevance of fiber impregnation and crystalline structure on the mechanical properties. A combination of co-extrusion and compression molding was found to optimize the mechanical properties of the reinforcing bars, which were incorporated in the LLDPE matrix during a standard rotational molding process. Apart from fiber placement and an increase in processing time, processing of homo-composites did not require any modification of the existing production procedures. Plate bending tests performed on rotational molded homo-composites showed a modulus increase to a value three times higher than that of neat LLDPE. This increase was obtained by the addition of 4% of UHWMPE fibers and a negligible increase of the weight of the component. Dart impact tests also showed an increased toughness compared to neat LLPDE. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Materials and Methods for New Technologies in Polymer Processing)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Online Rheometry Investigation of Flow/Slip Behavior of Powder Injection Molding Feedstocks
Polymers 2019, 11(3), 432; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11030432 - 06 Mar 2019
Abstract
Wall slip in the flow of powder injection molding (PIM) compounds can be the cause of unrealistically low viscosity values, and can lead to a failure of flow simulation approaches. Regardless of its importance, it has been considered only scarcely in the rheological [...] Read more.
Wall slip in the flow of powder injection molding (PIM) compounds can be the cause of unrealistically low viscosity values, and can lead to a failure of flow simulation approaches. Regardless of its importance, it has been considered only scarcely in the rheological models applied to PIM materials. In this paper, an online extrusion rheometer equipped with rectangular slit dies was used to evaluate the slip velocity of commercial as well as in-house-prepared PIM feedstocks based on metallic and ceramic powders at close-to-processing conditions. The tested slit dies varied in their dimensions and surface roughness. The wall-slip effect was quantified using the Mooney analysis of slip velocities. The smaller gap height (1 mm) supported the wall-slip effect. It was shown that both the binder composition and the powder characteristic affect slip velocity. Slip velocity can be reduced by tailoring a powder particle size distribution towards smaller particle fractions. The thickness of the polymer layer formed at the channel wall is higher for water-soluble feedstocks, while in the case of the catalytic polyacetal feedstocks the effect of surface roughness was manifested through lower viscosity at smooth surfaces. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Materials and Methods for New Technologies in Polymer Processing)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
Spray-Formed Layered Polymer Microneedles for Controlled Biphasic Drug Delivery
Polymers 2019, 11(2), 369; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11020369 - 20 Feb 2019
Cited by 5
Abstract
In this study we present polymeric microneedles composed of multiple layers to control drug release kinetics. Layered microneedles were fabricated by spraying poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) and polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) in sequence, and were characterized by mechanical testing and ex vivo skin insertion [...] Read more.
In this study we present polymeric microneedles composed of multiple layers to control drug release kinetics. Layered microneedles were fabricated by spraying poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) and polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) in sequence, and were characterized by mechanical testing and ex vivo skin insertion tests. The compression test demonstrated that no noticeable layer separation occurred, indicating good adhesion between PLGA and PVP layers. Histological examination confirmed that the microneedles were successfully inserted into the skin and indicated biphasic release of dyes incorporated within microneedle matrices. Structural changes of a model protein drug, bovine serum albumin (BSA), in PLGA and PVP matrices were examined by circular dichroism (CD) and fluorescence spectroscopy. The results showed that the tertiary structure of BSA was well maintained in both PLGA and PVP layers while the secondary structures were slightly changed during microneedle fabrication. In vitro release studies showed that over 60% of BSA in the PLGA layer was released within 1 h, followed by continuous slow release over the course of the experiments (7 days), while BSA in the PVP layer was completely released within 0.5 h. The initial burst of BSA from PLGA was further controlled by depositing a blank PLGA layer prior to forming the PLGA layer containing BSA. The blank PLGA layer acted as a diffusion barrier, resulting in a reduced initial burst. The formation of the PLGA diffusion barrier was visualized using confocal microscopy. Our results suggest that the spray-formed multilayer microneedles could be an attractive transdermal drug delivery system that is capable of modulating a drug release profile. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Materials and Methods for New Technologies in Polymer Processing)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Effect of Ultrasonic Vibration on Interlayer Adhesion in Fused Filament Fabrication 3D Printed ABS
Polymers 2019, 11(2), 315; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11020315 - 13 Feb 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
One of the fundamental issues in the Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) additive manufacturing process lies in the mechanical property anisotropy where the strength of the FFF-3D printed part in the build-direction can be significantly lower than that in other directions. The physical phenomenon [...] Read more.
One of the fundamental issues in the Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) additive manufacturing process lies in the mechanical property anisotropy where the strength of the FFF-3D printed part in the build-direction can be significantly lower than that in other directions. The physical phenomenon that governs this issue is the coupled effect of macroscopic thermal mechanical issues associated with the thermal history of the interface, and the microscopic effect of the polymer microstructure and mass transfer across interfaces. In this study it was found that the use of 34.4 kHz ultrasonic vibrations during FFF-3D printing results in an increase of up to 10% in the interlayer adhesion in Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS), comparing the printing in identical thermal conditions to that in conventional FFF printing. This increase in the interlayer adhesion strength is attributed to the increase in polymer reptation due to ultrasonic vibration-induced relaxation of the polymer chains from secondary interactions in the interface regions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Materials and Methods for New Technologies in Polymer Processing)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
3D Printing with the Commercial UV-Curable Standard Blend Resin: Optimized Process Parameters towards the Fabrication of Tiny Functional Parts
Polymers 2019, 11(2), 292; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11020292 - 09 Feb 2019
Abstract
Stereolithography 3D printing is today recognized as an effective rapid prototyping technique in the field of polymeric materials, which represents both the strengths and the weaknesses of this technique. The strengths relate to their easy handling and the low energy required for processing, [...] Read more.
Stereolithography 3D printing is today recognized as an effective rapid prototyping technique in the field of polymeric materials, which represents both the strengths and the weaknesses of this technique. The strengths relate to their easy handling and the low energy required for processing, which allow for the production of structures down to the sub-micrometric scale. The weaknesses are a result of the relatively poor mechanical properties. Unfortunately, the choice of the right material is not sufficient, as the printing parameters also play a crucial role. For this reason, it is important to deepen and clarify the effect of different printing conditions on final product characteristics. In this paper, the behavior of commercial Standard Blend (ST Blend) acrylic resin printed with stereolithography (SL) apparatus is reported, investigating the influence of printing parameters on both the tensile properties of the printed parts and the build accuracy. Twenty-four samples were printed under different printing conditions, then dimensional analyses and tensile tests were performed. It was possible to find out the optimum printing setup to obtain the best result in terms of mechanical resistance and printing accuracy for this kind of resin. Finally, a micrometric spring was printed under the optimal conditions to demonstrate the possibility of printing accurate and tiny parts with the commercial and inexpensive STBlend resin. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Materials and Methods for New Technologies in Polymer Processing)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
A Facile Way to Prepare Hydrophilic Homogeneous PES Hollow Fiber Membrane via Non-Solvent Assisted Reverse Thermally Induced Phase Separation (RTIPS) Method
Polymers 2019, 11(2), 269; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11020269 - 05 Feb 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Sulfonated polyethersulfone (SPES) was used as an additive to prepare hydrophilic poly(ethersulfone) (PES) hollow fiber membranes via non-solvent assisted reverse thermally induced phase separation (RTIPS) process. The PES/SPES/N,N-dimethylacetamide (DMAc)/ polyethylene glycol 200 (PEG200) casting solutions are lower critical solution [...] Read more.
Sulfonated polyethersulfone (SPES) was used as an additive to prepare hydrophilic poly(ethersulfone) (PES) hollow fiber membranes via non-solvent assisted reverse thermally induced phase separation (RTIPS) process. The PES/SPES/N,N-dimethylacetamide (DMAc)/ polyethylene glycol 200 (PEG200) casting solutions are lower critical solution temperature (LCST) membrane forming systems. The LCST and phase separation rate increased with the increase of SPES concentrations, while the casting solutions showed shear thinning. When the membrane forming temperature was higher than the LCST, membrane formation mechanism was controlled by non-solvent assisted RTIPS process and the also membranes presented a more porous structure on the surface and a bi-continuous structure on the cross section. The membranes prepared by applying SPES present higher pure water flux than that of the pure PES membrane. The advantages of the SPES additive are reflected by the relatively high flux, good hydrophilicity and excellent mechanical properties at 0.5 wt.% SPES content. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Materials and Methods for New Technologies in Polymer Processing)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
Comparative Studies on Two-Electrode Symmetric Supercapacitors Based on Polypyrrole:Poly(4-styrenesulfonate) with Different Molecular Weights of Poly(4-styrenesulfonate)
Polymers 2019, 11(2), 232; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11020232 - 01 Feb 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Poly(4-styrenesulfonate)-conducting polymer (PSS-CP) is advantageous for thin-film electrode manufacturing due to its high conductivity, high charge storage, structural stability, and excellent ink dispersion. In this work, comparative studies of two-electrode symmetric supercapacitors using Polypyrrole:Poly(4-styrenesulfonate) (PPy:PSS), with different molecular weights (Mw’s) [...] Read more.
Poly(4-styrenesulfonate)-conducting polymer (PSS-CP) is advantageous for thin-film electrode manufacturing due to its high conductivity, high charge storage, structural stability, and excellent ink dispersion. In this work, comparative studies of two-electrode symmetric supercapacitors using Polypyrrole:Poly(4-styrenesulfonate) (PPy:PSS), with different molecular weights (Mw’s) of Poly(4-styrenesulfonate) (PSS) as the electrodes, were performed. PPy:PSS can be easily prepared using a simple solution process that enables the mass production of thin-film electrodes with improved electrical and electrochemical properties. As-prepared PPy:PSS, with different PSS molecular weights, were assembled into two-electrode supercapacitors based on coin cell structures. It was confirmed that the electrical and electrochemical properties of PPy:PSS were improved with increasing PSS molecular weight. The coin cell, using PPy:PSS with a PSS molecular weight of 1.0 × 106 g/mol, exhibited higher areal capacitance (175.3 mF/cm2), higher volumetric capacitance (584.2 F/cm3), and longer cycling stability (86.3% after 5000 cycles) compared to those of PPy:PSS with PSS molecular weights of 2.0 × 105 and 7.0 × 104 g/mol. This work provides an efficient approach for producing cost-effective and miniaturized supercapacitors with high conductivity and high specific capacitance for practical applications in a variety of electronic devices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Materials and Methods for New Technologies in Polymer Processing)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
The Improvement Effect and Mechanism of Longitudinal Ultrasonic Vibration on the Injection Molding Quality of a Polymeric Micro-Needle Array
Polymers 2019, 11(1), 151; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11010151 - 17 Jan 2019
Abstract
A polymeric micro-needle array with high quality has been fabricated using a longitudinal ultrasonic-assisted micro-injection molding (LUμIM) method. To realize the practicability and stability in actual industrial processing, this paper is aimed at studying the improvement mechanism of ultrasonic vibration on the molding [...] Read more.
A polymeric micro-needle array with high quality has been fabricated using a longitudinal ultrasonic-assisted micro-injection molding (LUμIM) method. To realize the practicability and stability in actual industrial processing, this paper is aimed at studying the improvement mechanism of ultrasonic vibration on the molding quality. The melt-filling process in the micro-needle array cavity is simulated, and the improvement effect of ultrasonic vibration is discussed. The enhancement effect of ultrasonic vibration on material properties of polypropylene and polymethylmethacrylate parts are experimentally investigated. The results show that in the manufacturing of the micro-needle array part using LUμIM, the mold-filling quality is improved by the enhanced melt filling capability and pressure compensation effect, which are caused by the increased corner viscosity gradient, reduced the filling time and melt viscosity under ultrasonic vibration. Material properties of both the semi-crystalline polymer and amorphous polymer could be enhanced by the transformation of micromorphology. It is proved that for a semi-crystalline polymer, this novel method could be employed as a material properties enhancement method, and an optimal excitation voltage of ultrasonic vibration is obtained to achieve the best material properties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Materials and Methods for New Technologies in Polymer Processing)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
Additive Manufacturing of Polypropylene: A Screening Design of Experiment Using Laser-Based Powder Bed Fusion
Polymers 2018, 10(12), 1293; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10121293 - 22 Nov 2018
Cited by 5
Abstract
The use of commodity polymers such as polypropylene (PP) is key to open new market segments and applications for the additive manufacturing industry. Technologies such as powder-bed fusion (PBF) can process PP powder; however, much is still to learn concerning process parameters for [...] Read more.
The use of commodity polymers such as polypropylene (PP) is key to open new market segments and applications for the additive manufacturing industry. Technologies such as powder-bed fusion (PBF) can process PP powder; however, much is still to learn concerning process parameters for reliable manufacturing. This study focusses in the process–property relationships of PP using laser-based PBF. The research presents an overview of the intrinsic and the extrinsic characteristic of a commercial PP powder as well as fabrication of tensile specimens with varying process parameters to characterize tensile, elongation at break, and porosity properties. The impact of key process parameters, such as power and scanning speed, are systematically modified in a controlled design of experiment. The results were compared to the existing body of knowledge; the outcome is to present a process window and optimal process parameters for industrial use of PP. The computer tomography data revealed a highly porous structure inside specimens ranging between 8.46% and 10.08%, with porosity concentrated in the interlayer planes in the build direction. The results of the design of experiment for this commercial material show a narrow window of 0.122 ≥ Ev ≥ 0.138 J/mm3 led to increased mechanical properties while maintaining geometrical stability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Materials and Methods for New Technologies in Polymer Processing)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
Research on the Methods for the Mass Production of Multi-Scale Organs-On-Chips
Polymers 2018, 10(11), 1238; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10111238 - 07 Nov 2018
Cited by 2
Abstract
The success of labs- and organs-on-chips as transformative technologies in the biomedical arena relies on our capacity of solving some current challenges related to their design, modeling, manufacturability, and usability. Among present needs for the industrial scalability and impact promotion of these bio-devices, [...] Read more.
The success of labs- and organs-on-chips as transformative technologies in the biomedical arena relies on our capacity of solving some current challenges related to their design, modeling, manufacturability, and usability. Among present needs for the industrial scalability and impact promotion of these bio-devices, their sustainable mass production constitutes a breakthrough for reaching the desired level of repeatability in systematic testing procedures based on labs- and organs-on-chips. The use of adequate biomaterials for cell-culture processes and the achievement of the multi-scale features required, for in vitro modeling the physiological interactions among cells, tissues, and organoids, which prove to be demanding requirements in terms of production. This study presents an innovative synergistic combination of technologies, including: laser stereolithography, laser material processing on micro-scale, electroforming, and micro-injection molding, which enables the rapid creation of multi-scale mold cavities for the industrial production of labs- and organs-on-chips using thermoplastics apt for in vitro testing. The procedure is validated by the design, rapid prototyping, mass production, and preliminary testing with human mesenchymal stem cells of a conceptual multi-organ-on-chip platform, which is conceived for future studies linked to modeling cell-to-cell communication, understanding cell-material interactions, and studying metastatic processes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Materials and Methods for New Technologies in Polymer Processing)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
Influence of Processing Parameters on Tensile Properties of SLS Polymer Product
Polymers 2018, 10(11), 1208; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10111208 - 31 Oct 2018
Cited by 8
Abstract
Polymer products manufactured by additive processes are today increasingly flooding the market. Given that they have broad application ranging from various consumer products to medicine and automotive industry, the products must satisfy certain mechanical properties. In the past studies of selective laser sintering [...] Read more.
Polymer products manufactured by additive processes are today increasingly flooding the market. Given that they have broad application ranging from various consumer products to medicine and automotive industry, the products must satisfy certain mechanical properties. In the past studies of selective laser sintering (SLS) for polymer materials, the processing parameter of energy density has been confirmed which affects the tensile properties. Energy density depends on the laser beam speed, laser power and hatch distance; however, in this paper the existing mathematical model has been expanded by the overlay ratio and tests have been conducted how on the basis of the new mathematical model a product with good tensile properties (tensile strength, tensile strength at break, tensile modulus, tensile strain at break) can be manufactured. However, in parameter selection as well, the layer thickness and the manufacturing strategy also play a role, and they may shorten the time and reduce the cost necessary to manufacture a new product from the initial concept to production. The paper also provides a proposal of processing parameters (laser beam speed, laser power and energy density) depending on the manufacturing strategy and layer thickness. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Materials and Methods for New Technologies in Polymer Processing)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
A 3D Printable Thermal Energy Storage Crystalline Gel Using Mask-Projection Stereolithography
Polymers 2018, 10(10), 1117; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10101117 - 09 Oct 2018
Cited by 4
Abstract
Most of the phase change materials (PCMs) have been limited to use as functional additions or sealed in containers, and extra auxiliary equipment or supporting matrix is needed. The emergence of 3D printing technique has dramatically advanced the developments of materials and simplified [...] Read more.
Most of the phase change materials (PCMs) have been limited to use as functional additions or sealed in containers, and extra auxiliary equipment or supporting matrix is needed. The emergence of 3D printing technique has dramatically advanced the developments of materials and simplified production processes. This study focuses on a novel strategy to model thermal energy storage crystalline gels with three-dimensional architecture directly from liquid resin without supporting materials through light-induced polymerization 3D printing technique. A mask-projection stereolithography printer was used to measure the 3D printing test, and the printable characters of crystalline thermal energy storage P(SA-DMAA) gels with different molar ratios were evaluated. For the P(SA-DMMA) gels with a small fraction of SA, the 3D fabrication was realized with higher printing precision both on milli- and micro- meter scales. As a comparison of 3D printed samples, P(SA-DMAA) gels made by other two methods, post-UV curing treatment after 3D printing and UV curing using conventional mold, were prepared. The 3D printed P(SA-DMAA) gels shown high crystallinity. Post-UV curing treatment was beneficial to full curing of 3D printed gels, but did not lead to the further improvement of the crystal structure to get higher crystallinity. The P(SA-DMAA) crystalline gel having the highest energy storage enthalpy was developed, which reached 69.6 J·g−1. Its good thermoregulation property in the temperature range from 25 to 40 °C was proved. The P(SA-DMAA) gels are feasible for practical applications as one kind of 3D printing material with thermal energy storage and thermoregulation functionality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Materials and Methods for New Technologies in Polymer Processing)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
Effect of Calcium Chloride as a Coagulant on the Properties of ESBR/Silica Wet Masterbatch Compound
Polymers 2018, 10(10), 1116; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10101116 - 09 Oct 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
When designing rubber compounds for high-performance tires, increasing the silica content can improve the wet traction performance but decreases the fuel efficiency. This trade-off relation makes it difficult to improve the two factors simultaneously. One approach is the development of silica wet masterbatch [...] Read more.
When designing rubber compounds for high-performance tires, increasing the silica content can improve the wet traction performance but decreases the fuel efficiency. This trade-off relation makes it difficult to improve the two factors simultaneously. One approach is the development of silica wet masterbatch (WMB) technology for producing compounds containing a high silica content with good dispersion. The technology involves a step to mix surface-modified silica and rubber latex. The technique requires a coagulant to break up the micelles of the rubber latex and cause the surface-modified silica and the rubber molecules to co-coagulate due to van der Waals forces. In this study, the effect of coagulant type on the characteristics of silica surface, and the mechanical properties of the emulsion styrene-butadiene rubber (ESBR)/silica WMB compounds was investigated, as well as the abrasion properties and the viscoelastic properties of the vulcanizates. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Materials and Methods for New Technologies in Polymer Processing)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
Fabrication of High Quality, Large Wet Lay-Up/Vacuum Bag Laminates by Sliding a Magnetic Tool
Polymers 2018, 10(9), 992; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10090992 - 05 Sep 2018
Cited by 2
Abstract
This study presents a novel method to fabricate high-quality, large composite parts which can be used in a wet lay-up/vacuum bag (WLVB) process. The new method utilizes a commercial lifting magnet, which is commonly used for transporting ferrous plates, to apply a magnetic [...] Read more.
This study presents a novel method to fabricate high-quality, large composite parts which can be used in a wet lay-up/vacuum bag (WLVB) process. The new method utilizes a commercial lifting magnet, which is commonly used for transporting ferrous plates, to apply a magnetic consolidation pressure on the WLVB composite lay-up. The pressure is applied on a large area of the laminate by slowly sliding the magnet over the vacuum bag surface, which leads to an improved laminate quality. When further improvement is desirable, multiple passes of the magnet can be performed, where each pass successively compacts the lay-up. To explore the feasibility of implementing this technique, random mat and plain weave glass/epoxy laminates were fabricated, and their properties compared to conventional WLVB laminates. The effects of the number of moving passes of the lifting magnet on the laminate microstructure and properties are also investigated. As a result of multiple passes, the fiber volume fraction in random mat and plain weave laminates increases to 34% and 53%, representing 80% and 16% improvements, respectively. In addition, the void volume fraction reduces almost by 60% to a very low level of 0.7% and 1.1%, respectively. Consequently, the flexural properties considerably enhance by 20–81%, which demonstrates the potential of the proposed method to produce WLVB parts with substantially higher quality. It is also shown that there exists an optimal number of passes, depending on the fabric type where additional passes induce new voids as a result of excessive resin removal. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Materials and Methods for New Technologies in Polymer Processing)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
Preparation of Polypropylene Micro and Nanofibers by Electrostatic-Assisted Melt Blown and Their Application
Polymers 2018, 10(9), 959; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10090959 - 29 Aug 2018
Cited by 4
Abstract
In this paper, a novel electrostatic-assisted melt blown process was reported to produce polypropylene (PP) microfibers with a diameter as fine as 600 nm. The morphology, web structure, pore size distribution, filtration efficiency, and the stress and strain behavior of the PP nonwoven [...] Read more.
In this paper, a novel electrostatic-assisted melt blown process was reported to produce polypropylene (PP) microfibers with a diameter as fine as 600 nm. The morphology, web structure, pore size distribution, filtration efficiency, and the stress and strain behavior of the PP nonwoven fabric thus prepared were characterized. By introducing an electrostatic field into the conventional melt-blown apparatus, the average diameter of the melt-blown fibers was reduced from 1.69 to 0.96 μm with the experimental setup, and the distribution of fiber diameters was narrower, which resulted in a filter medium with smaller average pore size and improved filtration efficiency. The polymer microfibers prepared by this electrostatic-assisted melt blown method may be adapted in a continuous melt blown process for the production of filtration media used in air filters, dust masks, and so on. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Materials and Methods for New Technologies in Polymer Processing)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
Preparation of a PANI/ZnO Composite for Efficient Photocatalytic Degradation of Acid Blue
Polymers 2018, 10(9), 940; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10090940 - 23 Aug 2018
Cited by 11
Abstract
Polyaniline/zinc oxide (PANI/ZnO) composite photocatalysts were prepared from neutral media by in situ chemical oxidation of aniline (ANI) in the presence of different amounts of diethylene glycol (DEG). The PANI/ZnO composite photocatalysts were synthesized to efficiently remove organic dye (acid blue, AB25) from [...] Read more.
Polyaniline/zinc oxide (PANI/ZnO) composite photocatalysts were prepared from neutral media by in situ chemical oxidation of aniline (ANI) in the presence of different amounts of diethylene glycol (DEG). The PANI/ZnO composite photocatalysts were synthesized to efficiently remove organic dye (acid blue, AB25) from model wastewater. The PANI/ZnO composite photocatalysts were studied with the intention of efficient removal of organic dye (acid blue, AB25) from wastewater to obtain low-cost heterogeneous catalysts that offer high catalytic activity and stability. The conductive PANI polymer, which absorbs Vis irradiation, was used in this work as ZnO absorbs only ultraviolet (UV) irradiation; thus, the composite photocatalysts’ activity was broadened into the Vis region. Characterization of the composite photocatalysts was done by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, thermogravimetric analysis, scanning electron microscopy, electric conductivity, UV-Vis spectroscopy, and by specific surface area (SBET) measurements. The composites’ photocatalytic activity under solar irradiation was validated by monitoring degradation of the AB25 dye. This study presented that it was possible both to prepare PANI and to prevent ZnO dissolution if in situ polymerization starts from neutral media with the addition of DEG. Additionally, efficient removal of AB25 dye, about 90% in 60 min, was achieved. The first-order rate constants of the photodegradation of AB25 by PANI/ZnO 0.02/0.024/0.04 DEG (and pure ZnO)) were computed to be 0.0272/0.0281/0.0325 (and 0.0062) min−1, indicating that the morphology and surface of the photocatalysts have significantly influenced the catalytic activity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Materials and Methods for New Technologies in Polymer Processing)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Back to TopTop