Preparation and Application 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: 5 September 2024 | Viewed by 10730

Special Issue Editors

College of Textile and Clothing Engineering, Soochow University, Suzhou, China
Interests: polyurethane; polydimethylsiloxane; coating; leather/synthetic leather; microfiber; textiles

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Guest Editor
Glorious Sun Guangdong School of Fashion, Huizhou University, Huizhou, China
Interests: futional polymers; anti-smudge; coating; funtional textiles

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Functional polymers, due to their  hydrophilic/ hydrophobic, antifouling, self-healing, conductive, electric heating, and electromagnetic shielding properties, among others, have always been a topic of significant interest and are widely applied in our daily lives. The study of the relationship among the composition, structure, properties, processing, and performance of new functional polymer materials has laid the foundation for the more efficient, rational, and economical design of new products while broadening their application fields.

In recognition of the importance of functional polymers research and development, this Special Issue of Polymers is seeking contributions investigating functional polymers, including their molecular design and structural control, new strategies for their development, optimizing the processing methods and parameters of functional polymers, development of environmentally friendly functional polymers, construction of functional polymer theoretical models, etc. The above list is not exhaustive; any research work or review articles on functional polymers are welcome. We hope that these contributions will involve a variety of systems, including linear and nonlinear polymer architectures, polymer solutions, polymer blends, copolymers, semiconducting conjugated polymers, polymer networks, polymer hydrogels, polymer nanocomposites, multicomponent polymer systems, and polymers for textile applications.

Dr. Zhe Sun
Dr. Jiating Wen
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 submissions that pass pre-check are 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 semimonthly 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 2700 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.

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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15 pages, 3508 KiB  
Article
A Red-Light-Responsive DASA–Polymer with High Water Stability for Controlled Release
by Hao Ma, Wan Li, Haojun Fan and Jun Xiang
Polymers 2023, 15(11), 2489; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15112489 - 28 May 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1601
Abstract
Photoresponsive polymers hold vast potential in the realm of drug delivery. Currently, most photoresponsive polymers use ultraviolet (UV) light as the excitation source. However, the limited penetration ability of UV light within biological tissues serves as a significant hindrance to their practical applications. [...] Read more.
Photoresponsive polymers hold vast potential in the realm of drug delivery. Currently, most photoresponsive polymers use ultraviolet (UV) light as the excitation source. However, the limited penetration ability of UV light within biological tissues serves as a significant hindrance to their practical applications. Given the strong penetration ability of red light in biological tissues, the design and preparation of a novel red-light-responsive polymer with high water stability, incorporating the reversible photoswitching compound and donor-acceptor Stenhouse adducts (DASA) for controlled drug release is demonstrated. In aqueous solutions, this polymer exhibits self-assembly into micellar nanovectors (~33 nm hydrodynamic diameter), facilitating the encapsulation of the hydrophobic model drug Nile red (NR) within the micellar core. Upon irradiation by a 660 nm LED light source, photons are absorbed by DASA, leading to the disruption of the hydrophilic–hydrophobic balance of the nanovector and thereby resulting in the release of NR. This newly designed nanovector incorporates red light as a responsive switch, successfully avoiding the problems of photodamage and limited penetration of UV light within biological tissues, thereby further promoting the practical applications of photoresponsive polymer nanomedicines. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Preparation and Application of Functional Polymer Materials)
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15 pages, 5416 KiB  
Article
Tribological Properties of Glass Bead-Filled Polyamide 12 Composite Manufactured by Selective Laser Sintering
by Abdelrasoul Gadelmoula and Saleh Ahmed Aldahash
Polymers 2023, 15(5), 1268; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15051268 - 2 Mar 2023
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1578
Abstract
To enhance the properties of polyamide 12 (PA12/Nylon 12) manufactured by the selective laser sintering (SLS) process, micron-sized glass beads are used as a filler, and the resulting composite is known as glass bead-filled PA12 (PA 3200 GF). Despite PA 3200 GF basically [...] Read more.
To enhance the properties of polyamide 12 (PA12/Nylon 12) manufactured by the selective laser sintering (SLS) process, micron-sized glass beads are used as a filler, and the resulting composite is known as glass bead-filled PA12 (PA 3200 GF). Despite PA 3200 GF basically being a tribological-grade powder, very little has been reported on the tribological properties of laser-sintered objects based on this powder. As the properties of SLS objects are orientation-dependent, this study is devoted to investigating the friction and wear characteristics of the PA 3200 GF composite sliding against the steel disc in the dry-sliding mode. The test specimens were aligned in the SLS build chamber along five different orientations (X-axis, Y-axis, Z-axis, XY-plane, and YZ-plane). Additionally, the interface temperature and the friction-induced noise were measured. The pin-shaped specimens were examined using a pin-on-disc tribo-tester for 45 min to investigate the steady-state tribological characteristics of the composite material. The results revealed that the orientation of build layers relative to the sliding plane was a ruling parameter that determined the dominant wear pattern and the wear rate. Accordingly, where build layers were parallel or inclined to the sliding plane, abrasive wear predominated, and wear rate became 48% higher than that of specimens with perpendicular build layers, for which adhesive wear predominated. Interestingly, a noticeable synchronous variation of adhesion and friction-induced noise was observed. Taken together, the results from this study can efficiently serve the goals of fabricating SLS-functional parts with customized tribological properties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Preparation and Application of Functional Polymer Materials)
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10 pages, 8144 KiB  
Article
A Self-Matting Waterborne Polyurethane Coating for PVC Artificial Leather
by Zhe Sun, Song Ren, Tong Wu, Jiating Wen, Jian Fang and Haojun Fan
Polymers 2023, 15(1), 127; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15010127 - 28 Dec 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2481
Abstract
A type of polyester-based self-matting waterborne polyurethane (ESMWPU) with an excellent matte effect of 0.8° and transmittance of 78.5% for PVC artificial leather was synthesized. The influence of synthesis parameters, including R value, crosslinking and hydrophilic group content, on coating gloss and transmittance [...] Read more.
A type of polyester-based self-matting waterborne polyurethane (ESMWPU) with an excellent matte effect of 0.8° and transmittance of 78.5% for PVC artificial leather was synthesized. The influence of synthesis parameters, including R value, crosslinking and hydrophilic group content, on coating gloss and transmittance was investigated. Meanwhile, the properties necessary for applying water-based resins to plasticized PVC were detailed. The results demonstrated that R value, crosslinking degree and hydrophilic group content synergistically decided the morphological changes of latex particles during their film-forming process in three aspects: particle stiffness, three-dimensional structure and particle size, respectively. With optimized parameters of R = 1.9, TMP = 2 wt% and DMPA = 1.75 wt%, ESMWPU latex particles stabilized their spherical shapes without collapsing in the film-forming process and created a rough surface, resulting in a matte effect. In terms of application performance, good wetting and adhesion for ESMWPU to a plasticized PVC surface was achieved with a 2 wt% leveling agent load. Moreover, due to the high cohesion energy of ester bonds and intermolecular hydrogen bonds, this type of polyester-based ESMWPU also depicted admirable thermal adhesion resistance. All aforementioned results distinctly demonstrate a feasible yet promising paradigm for applying ESMWPU on PVC artificial leather. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Preparation and Application of Functional Polymer Materials)
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15 pages, 5780 KiB  
Article
Fabrication of Multilayered Two-Dimensional Micelles and Fibers by Controlled Self-Assembly of Rod-Coil Block Copolymers
by Rui Qi, Wensheng Qi, Yin Zhang, Baohua Liu, Jian Wang, Hongmei Li, Haimei Yuan and Songzhi Xie
Polymers 2022, 14(19), 4125; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14194125 - 2 Oct 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1145
Abstract
Fabricating hierarchical nanomaterials by self-assembly of rod-coil block copolymers attracts great interest. However, the key factors that affect the formation of the hierarchical nanomaterials have not been thoroughly researched. Herein, we have synthesized two diblock copolymers composed of poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) and polyethylene glycol [...] Read more.
Fabricating hierarchical nanomaterials by self-assembly of rod-coil block copolymers attracts great interest. However, the key factors that affect the formation of the hierarchical nanomaterials have not been thoroughly researched. Herein, we have synthesized two diblock copolymers composed of poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) and polyethylene glycol (PEG). Through a heating, cooling, and aging process, a series of multilayered hierarchical micelles and fibers were prepared in alcoholic solutions. The transition from fibers to hierarchical micelles are strictly influenced by the strength of the π-π stacking interaction, the PEG chain length, and solvent. In isopropanol, the P3HT22-b-PEG43 could self-assemble into hierarchical micelles composed of several two-dimensional (2D) laminar layers, driven by the π-π stacking interaction and van der Waals force. The P3HT22-b-PEG43 could not self-assemble into well-defined nanostructures in methanol and ethanol, but could self-assemble into fibers in isobutanol. However, the P3HT22-b-PEG113 with a longer corona block only self-assembled into fibers in four alcoholic solutions, due to the increase in dissolving capacity and steric hindrance. The sizes and the size distributions of the nanostructures both increased with the increase in polymer concentration and the decrease in solvent polarity. This study shows a method to fabricate the hierarchical micelles. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Preparation and Application of Functional Polymer Materials)
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Review

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21 pages, 2666 KiB  
Review
Biopolymeric Fibrous Aerogels: The Sustainable Alternative for Water Remediation
by Alejandra Romero-Montero, José Luis Valencia-Bermúdez, Samuel A. Rosas-Meléndez, Israel Núñez-Tapia, María Cristina Piña-Barba, Gerardo Leyva-Gómez and María Luisa Del Prado-Audelo
Polymers 2023, 15(2), 262; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15020262 - 4 Jan 2023
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2945
Abstract
The increment in water pollution due to the massive development in the industrial sector is a worldwide concern due to its impact on the environment and human health. Therefore, the development of new and sustainable alternatives for water remediation is needed. In this [...] Read more.
The increment in water pollution due to the massive development in the industrial sector is a worldwide concern due to its impact on the environment and human health. Therefore, the development of new and sustainable alternatives for water remediation is needed. In this context, aerogels present high porosity, low density, and a remarkable adsorption capacity, making them candidates for remediation applications demonstrating high efficiency in removing pollutants from the air, soil, and water. Specifically, polymer-based aerogels could be modified in their high surface area to integrate functional groups, decrease their hydrophilicity, or increase their lipophilicity, among other variations, expanding and enhancing their efficiency as adsorbents for the removal of various pollutants in water. The aerogels based on natural polymers such as cellulose, chitosan, or alginate processed by different techniques presented high adsorption capacities, efficacy in oil/water separation and dye removal, and excellent recyclability after several cycles. Although there are different reviews based on aerogels, this work gives an overview of just the natural biopolymers employed to elaborate aerogels as an eco-friendly and renewable alternative. In addition, here we show the synthesis methods and applications in water cleaning from pollutants such as dyes, oil, and pharmaceuticals, providing novel information for the future development of biopolymeric-based aerogel. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Preparation and Application of Functional Polymer Materials)
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