Special Issue "Polymer Processing and Surfaces"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 April 2020.

Special Issue Editor

Assoc. Prof. Michal Sedlačík
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Centre of Polymer Systems, University Institute, Tomas Bata University in Zlín, Zlín, Czech Republic
Interests: rubber compounds; polymer processing; rheology; smart systems including electrorheological and magnetorheological systems; chemical modifications; UV chemistry Photo
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue focuses on fundamental and applied research on polymer processing and its effect on the final surface as the optimization of polymer surface properties results in the unique applicability of these over other materials.

The development and testing of the next generation of polymeric and composite materials will be of particular interest. Special attention will be given to polymer surface modification, external stimuli-responsive surfaces, coatings, adhesion, polymer and composites fatigue analysis, evaluation of the surface quality and microhardness, processing parameter optimization, and characterization techniques, among others.

Papers are sought that discuss the latest research in this fascinating area. Original regular papers, reviews or communications are all welcome for this Special Issue. The official deadline for submission is 30 April 2020. We look forward to receiving your most recent results for the “Polymer Processing and Surfaces” Special Issue in Polymers.

Assoc. Prof. Michal Sedlačík
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

  • Polymer processing
  • Surface quality
  • Composites
  • Fatigue analysis
  • Modification
  • Stimuli-responsive materials

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
PA6 and Halloysite Nanotubes Composites with Improved Hydrothermal Ageing Resistance: Role of Filler Physicochemical Properties, Functionalization and Dispersion Technique
Polymers 2020, 12(1), 211; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12010211 - 15 Jan 2020
Abstract
Polyamide 6 (PA6) suffers from fast degradation in humid conditions due to hydrolysis of amide bonds, which limits its durability. The addition of nanotubular fillers represents a viable strategy for overcoming this issue, although the additive/polymer interface at high filler content can become [...] Read more.
Polyamide 6 (PA6) suffers from fast degradation in humid conditions due to hydrolysis of amide bonds, which limits its durability. The addition of nanotubular fillers represents a viable strategy for overcoming this issue, although the additive/polymer interface at high filler content can become privileged site for moisture accumulation. As a cost-effective and versatile material, halloysite nanotubes (HNT) were investigated to prepare PA6 nanocomposites with very low loadings (1–45% w/w). The roles of the physicochemical properties of two differently sourced HNT, of filler functionalization with (3-aminopropyl)triethoxysilane and of dispersion techniques (in situ polymerization vs. melt blending) were investigated. The aspect ratio (5 vs. 15) and surface charge (−31 vs. −59 mV) of the two HNT proved crucial in determining their distribution within the polymer matrix. In situ polymerization of functionalized HNT leads to enclosed and well-penetrated filler within the polymer matrix. PA6 nanocomposites crystal growth and nucleation type were studied according to Avrami theory, as well as the formation of different crystalline structures (α and γ forms). After 1680 h of ageing, functionalized HNT reduced the diffusion of water into polymer, lowering water uptake after 600 h up to 90%, increasing the materials durability also regarding molecular weights and rheological behavior. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Processing and Surfaces)
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Open AccessArticle
The Effect of the Preparation Method and the Dispersion and Aspect Ratio of CNTs on the Mechanical and Electrical Properties of Bio-Based Polyamide-4,10/CNT Nanocomposites
Polymers 2019, 11(12), 2059; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11122059 - 11 Dec 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Bio-based polymeric nanocomposites (NCs) with enhanced electrical conductivity and rigidity were obtained by adding multi-walled carbon nanotubes (CNTs) to a commercial bio-based polyamide 4,10 (PA410). Two different types of commercial CNTs (Cheap Tubes and Nanocyl NC7000TM) and two different preparation methods [...] Read more.
Bio-based polymeric nanocomposites (NCs) with enhanced electrical conductivity and rigidity were obtained by adding multi-walled carbon nanotubes (CNTs) to a commercial bio-based polyamide 4,10 (PA410). Two different types of commercial CNTs (Cheap Tubes and Nanocyl NC7000TM) and two different preparation methods (using CNTs in powder form and a PA6-based masterbatch, respectively) were used to obtain melt-mixed PA410/CNT NCs. The effect of the preparation method as well as the degree of dispersion and aspect ratio of the CNTs on the electrical and mechanical properties of the processed NCs was studied. Superior electrical and mechanical behavior was observed in the Nanocyl CNTs-based NCs due to the enhanced dispersion and higher aspect ratio of the nanotubes. A much more significant reduction in aspect ratio was observed in the Cheap Tubes CNTs than in the Nanocyl CNTs. This was attributed to the fact that the shear stress applied during melt processing reduced the length of the CNTs to similar lengths in all cases, which pointed to the diameter of the CNTs as the key factor determing the properties of the NCs. The PA6 in the ternary PA410/PA6/CNT system led to improved Young’s modulus values because the reinforcing effect of CNTs was greater in PA6 than in PA410. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Processing and Surfaces)
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Open AccessArticle
Pressure Field Assisted Polycondensation Nonaqueous Precipitation Synthesis of Mullite Whiskers and Their Application as Epoxy Resin Reinforcement
Polymers 2019, 11(12), 2007; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11122007 - 04 Dec 2019
Abstract
Mullite whiskers were novelty prepared via pressure field assisted polycondensation nonaqueous precipitation method. The precipitate phase transition in heating process, phase compositions and microstructure of samples calcined at different temperatures, effect of pressure field on precursors polycondensation and AlF3 amount on sample [...] Read more.
Mullite whiskers were novelty prepared via pressure field assisted polycondensation nonaqueous precipitation method. The precipitate phase transition in heating process, phase compositions and microstructure of samples calcined at different temperatures, effect of pressure field on precursors polycondensation and AlF3 amount on sample morphology, the structure and the growth mechanism of whiskers were investigated. The results indicate that pressure field caused by kettle treatment promotes the polycondensation reaction between AlF3 and tetraethyl orthosilicate (TEOS), the excess aluminum fluoride coordinates with the precipitate skeleton of the =Al–O–Si≡, which brings about the low mullitization temperature (900 °C). The sample prepared with the optimal amount of aluminum fluoride (1.3 of the theoretical amount) calcined at 1100 °C presents high yield and aspect ratio (>15, 100 nm in diameter) of mullite whiskers. Growth of whiskers prepared via pressure field assisted polycondensation nonaqueous precipitation method is attributed to a vapor-solid (VS) mechanism with the inducement of screw. These mullite whiskers with the structure of multi-needle whiskers connected in the same center can be distributed evenly in epoxy resin, which greatly improves the mechanical properties of epoxy resin. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Processing and Surfaces)
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Open AccessArticle
Investigation on the Synthesis Process of Bromoisobutyryl Esterified Starch and Its Sizing Properties: Viscosity Stability, Adhesion and Film Properties
Polymers 2019, 11(12), 1936; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11121936 - 25 Nov 2019
Abstract
To confirm the suitable synthesis process parameters of preparing bromoisobutyryl esterified starch (BBES), the influences of the synthesis process parameters—amount of 2-bromoisobutyryl bromide (BIBB), amount of catalyst (DMAP), reaction temperature and reaction time—upon the degree of substitution (DS) were investigated. Then, to produce [...] Read more.
To confirm the suitable synthesis process parameters of preparing bromoisobutyryl esterified starch (BBES), the influences of the synthesis process parameters—amount of 2-bromoisobutyryl bromide (BIBB), amount of catalyst (DMAP), reaction temperature and reaction time—upon the degree of substitution (DS) were investigated. Then, to produce a positive effect on the properties of graft copolymers of BBES prepared in the near future, a series of BBES samples were successfully prepared, and their sizing properties, such as apparent viscosity and viscosity stability, adhesion, and film properties, were examined. The BBES granules were characterized by Fourier transform infra-red spectroscopy and scanning electron microscopy. The adhesion was examined by determining the bonding forces of the sized polylactic acid (PLA) and polyester roving. The film properties were investigated in terms of tensile strength, breaking elongation, degree of crystallinity, and cross-section analysis. The results showed that a suitable synthesis process of BBES was: reaction time of 24 h, reaction temperature of 40 °C, and 0.23 in the molar ratio of 4-dimethylaminopyridine to 2-bromoisobutyryl bromide. The bromoisobutyryl esterification played the important roles in the properties of the starch, such as paste stabilities of above 85% for satisfying the requirement in the stability for sizing, improvement of the adhesion to polylactic acid and polyester fibers, and reduction of film brittleness. With rising DS, bonding forces of BBES to the fibers increased and then decreased. BBES (DS = 0.016) had the highest force and breaking elongation of the film. Considering the experimental results, BBES (DS = 0.016) showed potential in the PLA and polyester sizing, and will not lead to a negative influence on the properties of graft copolymers of BBES. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Processing and Surfaces)
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Open AccessArticle
Improvement of the Space Charge Suppression and Hydrophobicity Property of Cellulose Insulation Pressboard by Surface Sputtering a ZnO/PTFE Functional Film
Polymers 2019, 11(10), 1610; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11101610 - 03 Oct 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Oil-impregnated cellulose insulation polymer (oil-paper/pressboard insulation) has been widely used in power transformers. Establishing effective ways of improving the physical and chemical properties of the cellulose insulation polymer is currently a popular research topic. In order to improve the charge injection inhibition and [...] Read more.
Oil-impregnated cellulose insulation polymer (oil-paper/pressboard insulation) has been widely used in power transformers. Establishing effective ways of improving the physical and chemical properties of the cellulose insulation polymer is currently a popular research topic. In order to improve the charge injection inhibition and hydrophobic properties of the cellulose insulation polymer used in power transformers, nano-structure zinc oxide (ZnO) and polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) films were fabricated on a cellulose insulation pressboard surface via reactive radio frequency (RF) magnetron sputtering. Before the fabrication of their composite film, Accelrys Materials Studio (MS) software was applied to simulate the interaction between the nanoparticles and cellulose molecules to determine the depositing sequence. Simulation results show that the ZnO nanoparticle has a better adhesion strength with cellulose molecules than the PTFE nanoparticle, so ZnO film should be sputtered at first to fabricate the ZnO/PTFE composite film for better film quality. The sputtered, thin films were characterized by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and X-ray diffraction (XRD). The space charge injection behavior and the hydrophobicity performance of the untreated pressboard; and the cellulose insulation pressboard with sputtered nano-structure ZnO, PTFE, and the ZnO/PTFE functional films were compared with each other. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy results showed that ZnO, PTFE, and ZnO/PTFE functional films were all successfully fabricated on the cellulose insulation pressboard surface. Scanning electron microscopy and XRD results present the nano-structure of the sputtered ZnO, PTFE, and ZnO/PTFE functional films and their amorphous states, respectively. The ZnO/PTFE composite functional film shows an apparent space charge suppression effect and hydrophobicity. The amount of the accumulated space charge in the pressboard sputtered ZnO/PTFE composite functional film decreased by about 40% compared with that in untreated cellulose insulation pressboard, and the water contact angle (WCA) increased from 0° to 116°. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Processing and Surfaces)
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Open AccessArticle
Balanced Viscoelastic Properties of Pressure Sensitive Adhesives Made with Thermoplastic Polyurethanes Blends
Polymers 2019, 11(10), 1608; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11101608 - 03 Oct 2019
Abstract
Pressure sensitive adhesives made with blends of thermoplastic polyurethanes (TPUs PSAs) with satisfactory tack, cohesion, and adhesion have been developed. A simple procedure consisting of the physical blending of methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) solutions of two thermoplastic polyurethanes (TPUs) with very different properties—TPU1 [...] Read more.
Pressure sensitive adhesives made with blends of thermoplastic polyurethanes (TPUs PSAs) with satisfactory tack, cohesion, and adhesion have been developed. A simple procedure consisting of the physical blending of methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) solutions of two thermoplastic polyurethanes (TPUs) with very different properties—TPU1 and TPU2—was used, and two different blending procedures have been employed. The TPUs were characterized by infra-red spectroscopy in attenuated total reflectance mode (ATR-IR spectroscopy), differential scanning calorimetry, thermal gravimetric analysis, and plate-plate rheology (temperature and frequency sweeps). The TPUs PSAs were characterized by tack measurement, creep test, and the 180° peel test at 25 °C. The procedure for preparing the blends of the TPUs determined differently their viscoelastic properties, and the properties of the TPUs PSAs as well, the blending of separate MEK solutions of the two TPUs imparted higher tack and 180° peel strength than the blending of the two TPUs in MEK. TPU1 + TPU2 blends showed somewhat similar contributions of the free and hydrogen-bonded urethane groups and they had an almost similar degree of phase separation, irrespective of the composition of the blend. Two main thermal decompositions at 308–317 °C due to the urethane hard domains and another at 363–373 °C due to the soft domains could be distinguished in the TPU1 + TPU2 blends, the weight loss of the hard domains increased and the one of the soft domains decreased by increasing the amount of TPU2 in the blends. The storage moduli of the TPU1 + TPU2 blends were similar for temperatures lower than 20 °C and the moduli at the cross over of the moduli were lower than in the parent TPUs. The improved properties of the TPU1 + TPU2 blends derived from the creation of a higher number of hydrogen bonds upon removal of the MEK solvent, which lead to a lower degree of phase separation between the soft and the hard domains than in the parent TPUs. As a consequence, the properties of the TPU1 + TPU2 PSAs were improved because good tack, high 180° peel strength, and sufficient cohesion were obtained, particularly in 70 wt% TPU1 + 30 wt% TPU2 PSA. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Processing and Surfaces)
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