Special Issue "Polymer Nanocomposites"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2017).

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Francesco Paolo La Mantia

Università degli Studi di Palermo; Department of Civil, Environment, Aerospace, Materials Engineering; Palermo, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: polymer processing, mechanical behaviour of polymer-based systems, rheological behaviour of polymer-based systems, green composites, biocomposites, nanocomposites, biodegradable polymers, polymer blends, degradation and recycling of polymer-based systems
Guest Editor
Dr. Maria Chiara Mistretta

Department of Civil, Environmental, Aerospace, Materials Engineering, Università degli Studi di Palermo, Palermo, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: nanocomposites; biopolymers; degradation; photooxidation; recycling

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue is dedicated to the polymer nanocomposites. These new polymeric systems show very interesting properties and behaviours that are drastically different from those of microcomposites. Moreover, these systems can be considered very useful for many industrial applications. However, these polymer systems give rise to new challenges in polymer science and polymer technology because of the nanometric dimensions of the inert fillers. Indeed, despite their interesting properties, there are only a few industrial applications. Morphology, rheology, processing, and degradation behaviour are not yet completely understood. Consequently, this Special Issue aims to reflect the current efforts and progress made in this field.

Prof. Dr. Francesco Paolo La Mantia
Dr. Maria Chiara Mistretta
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Nanocomposites
  • Nanobiocomposites
  • Morphology
  • Processing
  • Rheology
  • Degradation

Published Papers (27 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Effects of Particle Size and Surface Chemistry on the Dispersion of Graphite Nanoplates in Polypropylene Composites
Polymers 2018, 10(2), 222; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10020222
Received: 8 December 2017 / Revised: 14 February 2018 / Accepted: 21 February 2018 / Published: 24 February 2018
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (3809 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Carbon nanoparticles tend to form agglomerates with considerable cohesive strength, depending on particle morphology and chemistry, thus presenting different dispersion challenges. The present work studies the dispersion of three types of graphite nanoplates (GnP) with different flake sizes and bulk densities in a [...] Read more.
Carbon nanoparticles tend to form agglomerates with considerable cohesive strength, depending on particle morphology and chemistry, thus presenting different dispersion challenges. The present work studies the dispersion of three types of graphite nanoplates (GnP) with different flake sizes and bulk densities in a polypropylene melt, using a prototype extensional mixer under comparable hydrodynamic stresses. The nanoparticles were also chemically functionalized by covalent bonding polymer molecules to their surface, and the dispersion of the functionalized GnP was studied. The effects of stress relaxation on dispersion were also analyzed. Samples were removed along the mixer length, and characterized by microscopy and dielectric spectroscopy. A lower dispersion rate was observed for GnP with larger surface area and higher bulk density. Significant re-agglomeration was observed for all materials when the deformation rate was reduced. The polypropylene-functionalized GnP, characterized by increased compatibility with the polymer matrix, showed similar dispersion effects, albeit presenting slightly higher dispersion levels. All the composites exhibit dielectric behavior, however, the alternate current (AC) conductivity is systematically higher for the composites with larger flake GnP. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Nanocomposites)
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Open AccessArticle
Transparent Low Electrostatic Charge Films Based on Carbon Nanotubes and Polypropylene. Homopolymer Cast Films
Polymers 2018, 10(1), 55; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10010055
Received: 25 November 2017 / Revised: 20 December 2017 / Accepted: 3 January 2018 / Published: 9 January 2018
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (5165 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Use of multi-wall carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) in external layers (A-layers) of ABA-trilayer polypropylene films was investigated, with the purpose of determining intrinsic and extrinsic factors that could lead to antistatic behavior of transparent films. The incorporation of 0.01, 0.1, and 1 wt % [...] Read more.
Use of multi-wall carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) in external layers (A-layers) of ABA-trilayer polypropylene films was investigated, with the purpose of determining intrinsic and extrinsic factors that could lead to antistatic behavior of transparent films. The incorporation of 0.01, 0.1, and 1 wt % of MWCTNs in the A-layers was done by dilution through the masterbatch method. Masterbatches were fabricated using isotactic polypropylene (iPP) with different melt flow indexes 2.5, 34, and 1200 g/10 min, and using different ultrasound assist methods. It was found that films containing MWCNTs show surface electrical resistivity of 1012 and 1016 Ω/sq, regardless of the iPP melt flow index (MFI) and masterbatch fabrication method. However, electrostatic charge was found to depend upon the iPP MFI, the ultrasound assist method and MWCNT concentration. A percolation electron transport mechanism was determined most likely responsible for this behavior. Optical properties for films containing MWCNTs do not show significant differences compared to the reference film at MWCNT concentrations below 0.1 wt %. However, an enhancement in brightness was observed, and it was attributed to ordered iPP molecules wrapping the MWCNTs. Bright transparent films with low electrostatic charge were obtained even for MWCNTs concentrations as low as 0.01 wt %. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Nanocomposites)
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Open AccessArticle
Reprocessing of PLA/Graphene Nanoplatelets Nanocomposites
Polymers 2018, 10(1), 18; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10010018
Received: 24 November 2017 / Revised: 20 December 2017 / Accepted: 21 December 2017 / Published: 24 December 2017
Cited by 13 | PDF Full-text (6582 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This work reports a study on the effect of multiple reprocessing on the properties of poly(lactic acid) (PLA) filled with graphene nanoplatelets (GnP) compared to the melt reprocessed neat polymeric matrix. In particular, morphological, X-Ray Diffraction and Micro-Raman analyses, intrinsic viscosity measurements, thermal, [...] Read more.
This work reports a study on the effect of multiple reprocessing on the properties of poly(lactic acid) (PLA) filled with graphene nanoplatelets (GnP) compared to the melt reprocessed neat polymeric matrix. In particular, morphological, X-Ray Diffraction and Micro-Raman analyses, intrinsic viscosity measurements, thermal, rheological and mechanical tests were carried out on materials reprocessed up five times by means of a single screw extruder. The results indicated that the presence of GnP decreased the degradation rate as a function of the reprocessing cycles in comparison with the neat PLA that, on the contrary, showed a more drastic reduction of the molecular weight. Moreover, the reprocessing improved the particle dispersion and reduced the presence of GnP aggregates. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Nanocomposites)
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Open AccessArticle
Morphology, Nucleation, and Isothermal Crystallization Kinetics of Poly(ε-caprolactone) Mixed with a Polycarbonate/MWCNTs Masterbatch
Polymers 2017, 9(12), 709; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym9120709
Received: 23 October 2017 / Revised: 20 November 2017 / Accepted: 8 December 2017 / Published: 13 December 2017
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (11547 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
In this study, nanocomposites were prepared by melt blending poly (ε-caprolactone) (PCL) with a (polycarbonate (PC)/multi-wall carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs)) masterbatch in a twin-screw extruder. The nanocomposites contained 0.5, 1.0, 2.0, and 4.0 wt % MWCNTs. Even though PCL and PC have been reported [...] Read more.
In this study, nanocomposites were prepared by melt blending poly (ε-caprolactone) (PCL) with a (polycarbonate (PC)/multi-wall carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs)) masterbatch in a twin-screw extruder. The nanocomposites contained 0.5, 1.0, 2.0, and 4.0 wt % MWCNTs. Even though PCL and PC have been reported to be miscible, our DSC (Differential Scanning Calorimetry), SAXS (Small Angle X-ray Scattering), and WAXS (Wide Angle X-ray Scattering) results showed partial miscibility, where two phases were formed (PC-rich and PCL-rich phases). In the PC-rich phase, the small amount of PCL chains included within this phase plasticized the PC component and the PC-rich phase was therefore able to crystallize. In contrast, in the PCL-rich phase the amount of PC chains present generates changes in the glass transition temperature of the PCL phase that were much smaller than those predicted by the Fox equation. The presence of two phases was corroborated by SEM, TEM, and AFM observations where a fair number of MWCNTs diffused from the PC-rich phase to the PCL-rich phase, even though there were some MWCNTs agglomerates confined to PC-rich droplets. Standard DSC measurements demonstrated that the MWCNTs nucleation effects are saturated at a 1 wt % MWCNT concentration on the PCL-rich phase. This is consistent with the dielectric percolation threshold, which was found to be between 0.5 and 1 wt % MWCNTs. However, the nucleating efficiency was lower than literature reports for PCL/MWCNTs, due to limited phase mixing between the PC-rich and the PCL-rich phases. Isothermal crystallization experiments performed by DSC showed an increase in the overall crystallization kinetics of PCL with increases in MWCNTs as a result of their nucleating effect. Nevertheless, the crystallinity degree of the nanocomposite containing 4 wt % MWCNTs decreased by about 15% in comparison to neat PCL. This was attributed to the presence of the PC-rich phase, which was able to crystallize in view of the plasticization effect of the PCL component, since as the MWCNT content increases, the PC content in the blend also increases. The thermal conductivities (i.e., 4 wt % MWCNTs) were enhanced by 20% in comparison to the neat material. The nanocomposites prepared in this work could be employed in applications were electrical conductivity is required, as well as lightweight and tailored mechanical properties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Nanocomposites)
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of the GO Reduction Method on the Dielectric Properties, Electrical Conductivity and Crystalline Behavior of PEO/rGO Nanocomposites
Polymers 2017, 9(11), 613; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym9110613
Received: 29 September 2017 / Revised: 29 October 2017 / Accepted: 11 November 2017 / Published: 14 November 2017
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (4359 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The effect of the reduction method to prepare reduced graphene oxide (rGO) on the melt linear viscoelastic properties, electrical conductivity, polymer matrix crystalline behavior and dielectric properties of PEO-rGO nanocomposites was investigated. Reduction was performed chemically with either sodium borohydride (NaBH4) [...] Read more.
The effect of the reduction method to prepare reduced graphene oxide (rGO) on the melt linear viscoelastic properties, electrical conductivity, polymer matrix crystalline behavior and dielectric properties of PEO-rGO nanocomposites was investigated. Reduction was performed chemically with either sodium borohydride (NaBH4) or hydrazine monohydrate (N2H4·H2O) or both reduction agents consecutively as well as thermally at 1000 °C. The different reduction methods resulted in exfoliated rGO sheets with different types and amounts of remaining functional groups, as indicated by FT-IR, Raman, TGA and XRD characterization. Moreover, their electrical conductivity ranged between 10−4 and 10−1 S/cm, with the consecutive use of both chemical reduction agents being far superior. PEO nanocomposites with filler loadings of 0.5 wt %, 1 wt % and 2 wt % were prepared by solvent mixing. The rGO fillers affected the melt linear viscoelastic and crystalline behavior of the PEO matrix and resulted in nanocomposites with a substantially increased electrical conductivity. Despite the wide variability in filler conductivity, the effects on the polymer nanocomposite properties were less distinctive. A correlation was obtained between the reduction of the mobility of the polymer chains (evaluated by the glass transition temperature) and the dielectric strength of the interfacial polarisation originating from the effective entrapment of GO/rGO filler charges at the interface with the less conductive PEO. Thus, favorable interactions of the polar PEO with the filler led to reduced mobility of the PEO chains and thereby a more effective entrapment of the filler charges at the PEO interface. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Nanocomposites)
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Open AccessArticle
Atomistic Molecular Dynamics Simulations of the Initial Crystallization Stage in an SWCNT-Polyetherimide Nanocomposite
Polymers 2017, 9(10), 548; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym9100548
Received: 22 September 2017 / Revised: 13 October 2017 / Accepted: 19 October 2017 / Published: 24 October 2017
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (5702 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Crystallization of all-aromatic heterocyclic polymers typically results in an improvement of their thermo-mechanical properties. Nucleation agents may be used to promote crystallization, and it is well known that the incorporation of nanoparticles, and in particular carbon-based nanofillers, may induce or accelerate crystallization through [...] Read more.
Crystallization of all-aromatic heterocyclic polymers typically results in an improvement of their thermo-mechanical properties. Nucleation agents may be used to promote crystallization, and it is well known that the incorporation of nanoparticles, and in particular carbon-based nanofillers, may induce or accelerate crystallization through nucleation. The present study addresses the structural properties of polyetherimide-based nanocomposites and the initial stages of polyetherimide crystallization as a result of single-walled carbon nanotube (SWCNT) incorporation. We selected two amorphous thermoplastic polyetherimides ODPA-P3 and aBPDA-P3 based on 3,3′,4,4′-oxydiphthalic dianhydride (ODPA), 2,3′,3,4′-biphenyltetracarboxylic dianhydride (aBPDA) and diamine 1,4-bis[4-(4-aminophenoxy)phenoxy]benzene (P3) and simulated the onset of crystallization in the presence of SWCNTs using atomistic molecular dynamics. For ODPA-P3, we found that the planar phthalimide and phenylene moieties show pronounced ordering near the CNT (carbon nanotube) surface, which can be regarded as the initial stage of crystallization. We will discuss two possible mechanisms for ODPA-P3 crystallization in the presence of SWCNTs: the spatial confinement caused by the CNTs and π–π interactions at the CNT-polymer matrix interface. Based on our simulation results, we propose that ODPA-P3 crystallization is most likely initiated by favorable π–π interactions between the carbon nanofiller surface and the planar ODPA-P3 phthalimide and phenylene moieties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Nanocomposites)
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Open AccessArticle
Polyimide Aerogels Cross-Linked with Aminated Ag Nanowires: Mechanically Strong and Tough
Polymers 2017, 9(10), 530; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym9100530
Received: 18 September 2017 / Revised: 11 October 2017 / Accepted: 16 October 2017 / Published: 19 October 2017
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Abstract
In this study, polyimide (PI)/Ag nanowire (AgNW) nanocomposite aerogels with extremely high mechanical performance have been fabricated utilizing amine-modified AgNWs as mechanical nanoreinforcement particulates and crosslinking agents. Initially, AgNWs were fabricated and surface modified by p-aminothiophenol (PATP), then the aminated AgNWs were [...] Read more.
In this study, polyimide (PI)/Ag nanowire (AgNW) nanocomposite aerogels with extremely high mechanical performance have been fabricated utilizing amine-modified AgNWs as mechanical nanoreinforcement particulates and crosslinking agents. Initially, AgNWs were fabricated and surface modified by p-aminothiophenol (PATP), then the aminated AgNWs were dispersed into polyamide acid solution and aerogels were prepared by supercritical CO2 drying. Raman and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) spectrometry were carried out on A-AgNWs (aminated Ag nanowires) to prove the successful modification. This functional nanoparticle greatly enhanced the strength and toughness of aerogels without evident increase in densities. Comparing to pure PI aerogels, samples with 2.0 wt % of A-AgNWs had a 148% increase in compression strength and 223% increase in Young’s modulus, which equates to 2.41 and 27.66 MPa, respectively. Simultaneously, the tensile test indicated that aerogels with 2.0 wt % of A-AgNWs had a breaking energy of 40.18 J/m3, which is 112% higher than pure PI aerogels. The results presented herein demonstrate that aminated AgNWs are an innovative cross-linker for PI aerogels and can improve their strength and toughness. These aerogels have excellent potential as high-duty, lightweight porous materials in many areas of application. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Nanocomposites)
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Open AccessArticle
Morphology, Crystallization and Thermal Behaviors of PLA-Based Composites: Wonderful Effects of Hybrid GO/PEG via Dynamic Impregnating
Polymers 2017, 9(10), 528; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym9100528
Received: 25 September 2017 / Revised: 15 October 2017 / Accepted: 16 October 2017 / Published: 19 October 2017
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (5165 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this paper, a dynamic impregnating device, which can generate supersonic vibration with the vacuum-adsorbing field, was used to prepare the hybrid graphene oxide (GO)/polyethylene glycol (PEG). Interestingly, the hybrid GO/PEG under dynamic impregnating and/or internal mixing was introduced into poly-(lactic acid) (PLA) [...] Read more.
In this paper, a dynamic impregnating device, which can generate supersonic vibration with the vacuum-adsorbing field, was used to prepare the hybrid graphene oxide (GO)/polyethylene glycol (PEG). Interestingly, the hybrid GO/PEG under dynamic impregnating and/or internal mixing was introduced into poly-(lactic acid) (PLA) matrix via melting-compounding, respectively. On one hand, compared with the internal mixing, the hybrid GO/PEG with the different component ratio using dynamic impregnation had a better dispersed morphology in the PLA matrix. On the other hand, compared with the high molecular weight (Mw) of PEG, the hybrid GO/PEG with low Mw of PEG had better an exfoliated morphology and significantly improved the heat distortion temperature (HDT) of the PLA matrix. Binding energies results indicate that low Mw of PEG with GO has excellent compatibility. Dispersed morphologies of the hybrid GO/PEG show that the dynamic impregnating had stronger blending capacity than the internal mixing and obviously improved the exfoliated morphology of GO in the PLA. Crystallization behaviors indicate that the hybrid GO/PEG with the low Mw of PEG based on dynamic impregnating effectively enhanced the crystallinity of PLA, and the cold crystallization character of PLA disappeared in the melting process. Moreover, the storage modulus and loss factor of the PLA-based composites were also investigated and their HDT was improved with the introduction of hybrid GO/PEG. Furthermore, a physical model for the dispersed morphology of the hybrid GO/PEG in the PLA matrix was established. Overall, the unique blending technique of hybrid GO/PEG via dynamic impregnating is an effective approach to enhance the property range of PLA and is suitable for many industrial applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Nanocomposites)
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Open AccessArticle
Polymer Blending as a Novel Approach for Tuning the SPR Peaks of Silver Nanoparticles
Polymers 2017, 9(10), 486; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym9100486
Received: 9 September 2017 / Revised: 29 September 2017 / Accepted: 30 September 2017 / Published: 4 October 2017
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (4529 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In the present work, a novel method is exhibited for tuning the surface plasmon resonance (SPR) peaks of silver nanoparticles based on chitosan-Poly(vinyl alcohol) blend polymer nanocomposites. Silver nanoparticles were synthesized by in situ method through the chitosan host polymer. The absence of [...] Read more.
In the present work, a novel method is exhibited for tuning the surface plasmon resonance (SPR) peaks of silver nanoparticles based on chitosan-Poly(vinyl alcohol) blend polymer nanocomposites. Silver nanoparticles were synthesized by in situ method through the chitosan host polymer. The absence of crystalline peaks of PVA in the blend system indicated the occurrence of miscibility between CS and PVA polymers. The UV–vis spectra of CS:AgNt samples shows SPR bands with weak intensity. Obvious tuning in SPR peaks of silver nanoparticles occurred when different amounts of PVA polymer incorporated to the CS:AgNt system. The appearance of distinguishable crystalline peaks of Ag° nanoparticles at 2θ = 38.6° and 2θ = 44.2° in the blend system reveals the role of polymer blending in the enhancement of SPR peaks of silver nanoparticles. Silver nanoparticles synthesized in this work with enhanced SPR peaks are important in various applications and areas such as optoelectronic devices. The TEM images show dispersed silver nanoparticles. The dielectric constant of PVA is higher than that of chitosan. The result of dielectric constant study validates the Mie model which reveals the fact that the dielectric constant of the surrounding material has a great effect on the SPR peak intensity of nanoparticles. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Nanocomposites)
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of Covalent Functionalization of MWCNTs on the Thermal Properties and Non-Isothermal Crystallization Behaviors of PPS Composites
Polymers 2017, 9(10), 460; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym9100460
Received: 8 August 2017 / Revised: 10 September 2017 / Accepted: 15 September 2017 / Published: 21 September 2017
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (5624 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
In this study, a PPS/MWCNTs composite was prepared with poly(phenylene sulfide) (PPS), as well as pristine and covalent functionalized multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) via melt-blending techniques. Moreover, the dispersion of the MWCNTs on the PPS matrix was improved by covalent functionalization as can [...] Read more.
In this study, a PPS/MWCNTs composite was prepared with poly(phenylene sulfide) (PPS), as well as pristine and covalent functionalized multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) via melt-blending techniques. Moreover, the dispersion of the MWCNTs on the PPS matrix was improved by covalent functionalization as can be seen from a Field-Emission Scanning Electron Microscope (FE-SEM) images. The thermal properties of the PPS/MWCNTs composites were characterized using a thermal conductivity analyzer, and a differential scanning calorimeter (DSC). To analyze the crystallization behavior of polymers under conditions similar with those in industry, the non-isothermal crystallization behaviors of the PPS/MWCNTs composites were confirmed using various kinetic equations, such as the modified Avrami equation and Avrami-Ozawa combined equation. The crystallization rate of PPS/1 wt % pristine MWCNTs composite (PPSP1) was faster because of the intrinsic nucleation effect of the MWCNTs. However, the crystallization rates of the composites containing covalently-functionalized MWCNTs were slower than PPSP1 because of the destruction of the MWCNTs graphitic structure via covalent functionalization. Furthermore, the activation energies calculated by Kissinger’s method were consistently decreased by covalent functionalization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Nanocomposites)
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of the Grafting Reaction of Aluminum Nitride on the Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotubes on the Thermal Properties of the Poly(phenylene sulfide) Composites
Polymers 2017, 9(9), 452; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym9090452
Received: 8 August 2017 / Revised: 12 September 2017 / Accepted: 13 September 2017 / Published: 15 September 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (5242 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
In this study, the PPS/MWCNTs/AlN composite was prepared with poly(phenylene sulfide) (PPS), covalent functionalized multi-walled carbon nanotubes (fMWCNTs), and aluminum nitride (AlN) via melt-blending techniques. The AlN is a fascinating non-oxidizing ceramic material having the highest thermal conductivity among the ceramic materials. In [...] Read more.
In this study, the PPS/MWCNTs/AlN composite was prepared with poly(phenylene sulfide) (PPS), covalent functionalized multi-walled carbon nanotubes (fMWCNTs), and aluminum nitride (AlN) via melt-blending techniques. The AlN is a fascinating non-oxidizing ceramic material having the highest thermal conductivity among the ceramic materials. In order to introduce the functional groups on the surface of the AlN particles, a silane coupling agent was used as it is able to graft with the functional groups on the covalent functionalized MWCNTs. The silanization reaction of the AlN was confirmed qualitatively and quantitatively by FT-IR (Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy), and XPS (X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy). The grafting reaction of the AlN particles on the MWCNTs was confirmed using UV–Vis (Ultraviolet-Visible Spectroscopy), FE-SEM (Field-Emission Scanning Electron Microscopy) and FE-TEM (Field-Emission Transmission Electron Microscopy) images. The grafting reaction was accomplished by observing the change of the transmittance, the morphology of the AlN particle bonded to the MWCNTs. For the morphological changes of the fractured surface of the PPS/MWCNTs/AlN composites by FE-SEM, the hybrid filler was homogeneously dispersed on the PPS matrix when the AlN particle was grafted on the MWCNTs. The homogeneous distribution of the hybrid filler acts as a heat transfer path, which led the higher thermal properties, such as thermal conductivity, thermal resistance, and melting temperature than those of not grafted MWCNTs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Nanocomposites)
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Open AccessArticle
Wax Confinement with Carbon Nanotubes for Phase Changing Epoxy Blends
Polymers 2017, 9(9), 405; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym9090405
Received: 19 July 2017 / Revised: 7 August 2017 / Accepted: 24 August 2017 / Published: 31 August 2017
Cited by 20 | PDF Full-text (8445 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
A paraffin wax was shape stabilized with 10 wt % of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and dispersed in various concentrations in an epoxy resin to develop a novel blend with thermal energy storage capabilities. Thermogravimetric analysis showed that CNTs improve the thermal stability of [...] Read more.
A paraffin wax was shape stabilized with 10 wt % of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and dispersed in various concentrations in an epoxy resin to develop a novel blend with thermal energy storage capabilities. Thermogravimetric analysis showed that CNTs improve the thermal stability of paraffin, while differential scanning calorimetry showed that the paraffin kept its ability to melt and crystallize, with enthalpy values almost proportional to the paraffin fraction. In contrast, a noticeable loss of enthalpy was observed for epoxy/wax blends without CNTs, which was mainly attributed to the partial exudation of paraffin out of the epoxy matrix during the curing phase. Dynamic mechanical thermal analysis contributed to elucidate the effects of the melting of the paraffin phase on the viscoelastic properties of the epoxy blends. Flexural elastic modulus and strength of the blends decreased with the wax/CNT content according to a rule of mixtures, while flexural strain at break values deviate positively from it. These results show the potentialities of the investigated epoxy blends for the development of multifunctional structural composites. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Nanocomposites)
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Open AccessArticle
Interfacially-Located Nanoparticles Anticipate the Onset of Co-Continuity in Immiscible Polymer Blends
Polymers 2017, 9(9), 393; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym9090393
Received: 31 July 2017 / Revised: 22 August 2017 / Accepted: 23 August 2017 / Published: 25 August 2017
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (9082 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The addition of nanoparticles has recently emerged as a clever tool to manipulate the microstructure and, through it, the macroscopic properties of immiscible polymer blends. Despite the huge number of studies in this field, the underlying mechanisms of most of the nanoparticle-induced effects [...] Read more.
The addition of nanoparticles has recently emerged as a clever tool to manipulate the microstructure and, through it, the macroscopic properties of immiscible polymer blends. Despite the huge number of studies in this field, the underlying mechanisms of most of the nanoparticle-induced effects on the blend microstructure remain poorly understood. Among others, the origin of effect of nanoparticles on the transition from distributed (drop-in-matrix) to co-continuous morphology is still controversial. Here we address this issue through a systematic study on a model blend of polystyrene (PS) and poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) filled with small amounts of nanoparticles (organo-modified clay) selectively located at the polymer–polymer interface. Extraction experiments with selective solvents prove that the nanoparticles significantly anticipate the onset of co-continuity with respect to the unfilled blend. Morphological analyses reveal that such an effect is a consequence of the interconnection of nanoparticle-coated polymer domains. Such “ginger-like” clusters get into contact at low content due to their irregular shape, thus anticipating the onset of co-continuity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Nanocomposites)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
The Distribution of Nanoclay Particles at the Interface and Their Influence on the Microstructure Development and Rheological Properties of Reactively Processed Biodegradable Polylactide/Poly(butylene succinate) Blend Nanocomposites
Polymers 2017, 9(8), 350; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym9080350
Received: 6 July 2017 / Revised: 4 August 2017 / Accepted: 7 August 2017 / Published: 9 August 2017
Cited by 13 | PDF Full-text (9599 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The present work investigates the distribution of nanoclay particles at the interface and their influence on the microstructure development and non-linear rheological properties of reactively processed biodegradable polylactide/poly(butylene succinate) blend nanocomposites. Two types of organoclays, one is more hydrophilic (Cloisite®30B (C30B)) [...] Read more.
The present work investigates the distribution of nanoclay particles at the interface and their influence on the microstructure development and non-linear rheological properties of reactively processed biodegradable polylactide/poly(butylene succinate) blend nanocomposites. Two types of organoclays, one is more hydrophilic (Cloisite®30B (C30B)) and another one is more hydrophobic (BetsopaTM (BET)), were used at different concentrations. Surface and transmission electron microscopies were respectively used to study the blend morphology evolution and for probing the dispersion and distribution of nanoclay platelets within the blend matrix and at the interface. The results suggested that both organoclays tended to localize at the interface between the blend’s two phases and encapsulate the dispersed poly(butylene succinate) phase, thereby suppressing coalescence. Using small angle X-ray scattering the probability of finding neighboring nanoclay particles in the blend matrix was calculated using the Generalized Indirect Fourier Transformation technique. Fourier Transform-rheology was utilized for quantifying nonlinear rheological responses and for correlating the extent of dispersion as well as the blend morphological evolution, for different organoclay loadings. The rheological responses were in good agreement with the X-ray scattering and electron microscopic results. It was revealed that C30B nanoparticles were more efficient in stabilizing the morphologies by evenly distributing at the interface. Nonlinear coefficient from FT-rheology was found to be more pronounced in case of blends filled with C30B, indicating better dispersion of C30B compare with BET which was in agreement with the SAXS results. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Nanocomposites)
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Open AccessArticle
Increased Surface Roughness in Polydimethylsiloxane Films by Physical and Chemical Methods
Polymers 2017, 9(8), 331; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym9080331
Received: 15 June 2017 / Revised: 20 July 2017 / Accepted: 25 July 2017 / Published: 2 August 2017
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Abstract
Two methods, the first physical and the other chemical, were investigated to modify the surface roughness of polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) films. The physical method consisted of dispersing multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) and magnetic cobalt ferrites (CoFe2O4) prior to thermal cross-linking, [...] Read more.
Two methods, the first physical and the other chemical, were investigated to modify the surface roughness of polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) films. The physical method consisted of dispersing multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) and magnetic cobalt ferrites (CoFe2O4) prior to thermal cross-linking, and curing the composite system in the presence of a uniform magnetic field H. The chemical method was based on exposing the films to bromine vapours and then UV-irradiating. The characterizing techniques included scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy-dispersive spectroscopy (EDS), Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, optical microscopy, atomic force microscopy (AFM) and magnetic force microscopy (MFM). The surface roughness was quantitatively analyzed by AFM. In the physical method, the random dispersion of MWCNTs (1% w/w) and magnetic nanoparticles (2% w/w) generated a roughness increase of about 200% (with respect to PDMS films without any treatment), but that change was 400% for films cured in the presence of H perpendicular to the surface. SEM, AFM and MFM showed that the magnetic particles always remained attached to the carbon nanotubes, and the effect on the roughness was interpreted as being due to a rupture of dispersion randomness and a possible induction of structuring in the direction of H. In the chemical method, the increase in roughness was even greater (1000%). Wells were generated with surface areas that were close to 100 μm2 and depths of up to 500 nm. The observations of AFM images and FTIR spectra were in agreement with the hypothesis of etching by Br radicals generated by UV on the polymer chains. Both methods induced important changes in the surface roughness (the chemical method generated the greatest changes due to the formation of surface wells), which are of great importance in superficial technological processes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Nanocomposites)
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Open AccessArticle
Biodegradation of Halloysite Nanotubes-Polyester Nanocomposites Exposed to Short Term Seawater Immersion
Polymers 2017, 9(8), 314; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym9080314
Received: 9 June 2017 / Revised: 6 July 2017 / Accepted: 25 July 2017 / Published: 28 July 2017
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Abstract
Halloysite nanotubes (HNTs)-polyester nanocomposites with four different concentrations were produced using solution casting technique and the biodegradation effect of short-term seawater exposure (120 h) was studied. Monolithic polyester was observed to have the highest seawater absorption with 1.37%. At 0.3 wt % HNTs [...] Read more.
Halloysite nanotubes (HNTs)-polyester nanocomposites with four different concentrations were produced using solution casting technique and the biodegradation effect of short-term seawater exposure (120 h) was studied. Monolithic polyester was observed to have the highest seawater absorption with 1.37%. At 0.3 wt % HNTs reinforcement, the seawater absorption dropped significantly to the lowest value of 0.77% due to increase of liquid diffusion path. For samples tested in dry conditions, the Tg, storage modulus, tensile properties and flexural properties were improved. The highest improvement of Tg was from 79.3 to 82.4 °C (increase 3.1 °C) in the case of 0.3 wt % HNTs. This can be associated with the exfoliated HNTs particles, which restrict the mobility of polymer chains and thus raised the Tg. After seawater exposure, the Tg, storage modulus, tensile properties and flexural properties of polyester and its nanocomposites were decreased. The Young’s modulus of 0.3 wt % HNTs-polyester dropped 20% while monolithic polyester dropped up to 24% compared to their values in dry condition. Apart from that, 29% flexural modulus reduction was observed, which was 18% higher than monolithic polyester. In contrast, fracture toughness and surface roughness increased due to plasticization effect. The presence of various microbial communities caused gradual biodegradation on the microstructure of the polyester matrix as also evidently shown by SEM images. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Nanocomposites)
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Open AccessArticle
Photooxidation Behavior of a LDPE/Clay Nanocomposite Monitored through Creep Measurements
Polymers 2017, 9(8), 308; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym9080308
Received: 26 June 2017 / Revised: 17 July 2017 / Accepted: 19 July 2017 / Published: 26 July 2017
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Abstract
Creep behavior of polymer nanocomposites has not been extensively investigated so far, especially when its effects are combined with those due to photooxidation, which are usually studied in completely independent ways. In this work, the photooxidation behavior of a low density polyethylene/organomodified clay [...] Read more.
Creep behavior of polymer nanocomposites has not been extensively investigated so far, especially when its effects are combined with those due to photooxidation, which are usually studied in completely independent ways. In this work, the photooxidation behavior of a low density polyethylene/organomodified clay nanocomposite system was monitored by measuring the creep curves obtained while subjecting the sample to the combined action of temperature, tensile stress, and UV radiation. The creep curves of the irradiated samples were found to be lower than those of the non-irradiated ones and progressively diverging, because of the formation of branching and cross-linking due to photooxidation. This was further proved by the decrease of the melt index and the increase of the intrinsic viscosity; at the same time, the formation of carbonyl groups was observed. This behavior was more observable in the nanocomposite sample, because of its faster photooxidation kinetics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Nanocomposites)
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Open AccessArticle
PES/POSS Soluble Veils as Advanced Modifiers for Multifunctional Fiber Reinforced Composites
Polymers 2017, 9(7), 281; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym9070281
Received: 18 June 2017 / Revised: 8 July 2017 / Accepted: 10 July 2017 / Published: 13 July 2017
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Abstract
Novel polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxanes (POSS)-filled thermoplastic electrospun veils were used to tailor the properties of the interlaminar region of epoxy-based composites. The veils were designed to be soluble upon curing in the epoxy matrix, so that POSS could be released within the interlaminar [...] Read more.
Novel polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxanes (POSS)-filled thermoplastic electrospun veils were used to tailor the properties of the interlaminar region of epoxy-based composites. The veils were designed to be soluble upon curing in the epoxy matrix, so that POSS could be released within the interlaminar region. Three different POSS contents, varying from 1 to 10 wt %, were tested while the percentage of coPolyethersulphone (coPES) dissolved in the epoxy resin was kept to a fixed value of 10 wt %. Good quality veils could be obtained at up to 10 wt % of POSS addition, with the nanofibers’ diameters varying from 861 nm for the coPES to 428 nm upon POSS addition. The feasibility of the soluble veils to disperse POSS in the interlaminar region was proved, and the effect of POSS on phase morphology and viscoelastic properties studied. POSS was demonstrated to significantly affect the morphology and viscoelastic properties of epoxy composites, especially for the percentages 1% and 5%, which enabled the composites to avoid POSS segregates occurring. A dynamic mechanical analysis showed a significant improvement to the storage modulus, and a shift of more than 30 °C due to the POSS cages hindering the motion of the molecular chains and network junctions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Nanocomposites)
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Open AccessArticle
Structure of Composite Based on Polyheteroarylene Matrix and ZrO2 Nanostars Investigated by Quantitative Nanomechanical Mapping
Polymers 2017, 9(7), 268; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym9070268
Received: 23 May 2017 / Revised: 30 June 2017 / Accepted: 2 July 2017 / Published: 6 July 2017
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Abstract
It is known that structure of the interface between inorganic nanoparticles and polymers significantly influences properties of a polymer–inorganic composite. At the same time, amount of experimental researches on the structure and properties of material near the inorganic-polymer interface is low. In this [...] Read more.
It is known that structure of the interface between inorganic nanoparticles and polymers significantly influences properties of a polymer–inorganic composite. At the same time, amount of experimental researches on the structure and properties of material near the inorganic-polymer interface is low. In this work, we report for the first time the investigation of nanomechanical properties and maps of adhesion of material near the inorganic-polymer interface for the polyheteroarylene nanocomposites based on semi-crystalline poly[4,4′-bis (4″-aminophenoxy)diphenyl]imide 1,3-bis (3′,4-dicarboxyphenoxy) benzene, modified by ZrO2 nanostars. Experiments were conducted using quantitative nanomechanical mapping (QNM) mode of atomic force microscopy (AFM) at the surface areas where holes were formed after falling out of inorganic particles. It was found that adhesion of AFM cantilever to the polymer surface is higher inside the hole than outside. This can be attributed to the presence of polar groups near ZrO2 nanoparticle. QNM measurements revealed that polymer matrix has increased rigidity in the vicinity of the nanoparticles. Influence of ZrO2 nanoparticles on the structure and thermal properties of semi-crystalline polyheteroarylene matrix was studied with wide-angle X-ray scattering, scanning electron microscopy, and differential scanning calorimetry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Nanocomposites)
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Open AccessArticle
Morphology Development and Mechanical Properties Variation during Cold-Drawing of Polyethylene-Clay Nanocomposite Fibers
Polymers 2017, 9(6), 235; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym9060235
Received: 17 May 2017 / Revised: 8 June 2017 / Accepted: 15 June 2017 / Published: 20 June 2017
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Abstract
In this work, the influence of composition and cold-drawing on nano- and micro-scale morphology and tensile mechanical properties of PE/organoclay nanocomposite fibers was investigated. Nanocomposites were prepared by melt compounding in a twin-screw extruder, using a maleic anhydride grafted linear low density polyethylene [...] Read more.
In this work, the influence of composition and cold-drawing on nano- and micro-scale morphology and tensile mechanical properties of PE/organoclay nanocomposite fibers was investigated. Nanocomposites were prepared by melt compounding in a twin-screw extruder, using a maleic anhydride grafted linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE–g–MA) and an organomodified montmorillonite (Dellite 67G) at three different loadings (3, 5 and 10 wt %). Fibers were produced by a single-screw extruder and drawn at five draw ratios (DRs): 7.25, 10, 13.5, 16 and 19. All nanocomposites, characterized by XRD, SEM, TEM, and FT-IR techniques, showed an intercalated/exfoliated morphology. The study evidenced that the nanoclay presence significantly increases both elastic modulus (up to +115% for fibers containing 10 wt % of D67G) and drawability of as-spun nanocomposite fibers. Moreover, at fixed nanocomposite composition, the cold-drawing process increases fibers elastic modulus and tensile strength at increasing DRs. However, at high DRs, “face-to-edge” rearrangement phenomena of clay layers (i.e., clay layers tend to rotate and touch each other) arise in fibers at high nanoclay loadings. Finally, nanocomposite fibers show a lower diameter reduction during drawing, with respect to the plain system, and surface feature of adjustable roughness by controlling the composition and the drawing conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Nanocomposites)
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of Interfacial Polarization and Water Absorption on the Dielectric Properties of Epoxy-Nanocomposites
Polymers 2017, 9(6), 195; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym9060195
Received: 20 April 2017 / Revised: 21 May 2017 / Accepted: 23 May 2017 / Published: 28 May 2017
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Abstract
Five types of nanofillers, namely, silica, surface-silylated silica, alumina, surface-silylated alumina, and boron nitride, were tested in this study. Nanocomposites composed of an epoxy/amine resin and one of the five types of nanoparticles were tested as dielectrics with a focus on (i) the [...] Read more.
Five types of nanofillers, namely, silica, surface-silylated silica, alumina, surface-silylated alumina, and boron nitride, were tested in this study. Nanocomposites composed of an epoxy/amine resin and one of the five types of nanoparticles were tested as dielectrics with a focus on (i) the surface functionalization of the nanoparticles and (ii) the water absorption by the materials. The dispersability of the nanoparticles in the resin correlated with the composition (OH content) of their surfaces. The interfacial polarization of the thoroughly dried samples was found to increase at lowered frequencies and increased temperatures. The β relaxation, unlike the interfacial polarization, was not significantly increased at elevated temperatures (below the glass-transition temperature). Upon the absorption of water under ambient conditions, the interfacial polarization increased significantly, and the insulating properties decreased or even deteriorated. This effect was most pronounced in the nanocomposite containing silica, and occurred as well in the nanocomposites containing silylated silica or non-functionalized alumina. The alternating current (AC) breakdown strength of all specimens was in the range of 30 to 35 kV·mm−1. In direct current (DC) breakdown tests, the epoxy resin exhibited the lowest strength of 110 kV·mm−1; the nanocomposite containing surface-silylated alumina had a strength of 170 kV·mm−1. In summary, water absorption had the most relevant impact on the dielectric properties of nanocomposites containing nanoparticles, the surfaces of which interacted with the water molecules. Nanocomposites containing silylated alumina particles or boron nitride showed the best dielectric properties in this study. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Nanocomposites)
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Open AccessArticle
Intensification of Electrochemical Performance of AA7075 Aluminum Alloys Using Rare Earth Functionalized Water-Based Polymer Coatings
Polymers 2017, 9(5), 178; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym9050178
Received: 21 March 2017 / Revised: 28 April 2017 / Accepted: 16 May 2017 / Published: 18 May 2017
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Abstract
This work reports the effect of different amounts of ceria nanoparticles on UV resistance and barrier properties of water-based polyurethane (WPU) on glass and AA7075 aluminum alloy substrates. Hybrid coatings were synthesized from an aliphatic WPU–HDI (1,6-hexamethylene di-isocyanate) and cerium oxide nanoparticles (CeO [...] Read more.
This work reports the effect of different amounts of ceria nanoparticles on UV resistance and barrier properties of water-based polyurethane (WPU) on glass and AA7075 aluminum alloy substrates. Hybrid coatings were synthesized from an aliphatic WPU–HDI (1,6-hexamethylene di-isocyanate) and cerium oxide nanoparticles (CeO2) with an average particle size distribution of about 25 nm. Different nanoceria amounts (1, 3 and 5 wt %), mixing times (30, 60 and 120 min) and methods to disperse the nanostructures into the polymer matrix (magnetic stirring and sonication) were evaluated. Initially, the dispersion of CeO2 nanoparticles embedded in the polymer matrix and displacement in the corrosion potential (Ecorr) were analyzed by confocal scanning laser microscopy (CLSM) and open circuit potential (Eocp) measurements. According to this behavior, the dispersion and water ratio required during the polymerization process were established. Coated samples obtained after the second stage were characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), atomic force microscopy (AFM) and optical light microscopy. In addition, optical measurements on glass substrates were evaluated with UV-vis spectroscopy. The effect of the synthesis parameters on the corrosion behavior of WPU–CeO2/AA7075 systems was investigated with Eocp and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) in a 3 wt % NaCl solution. In addition, the films were subjected to 180 h of accelerated weathering. The results show that the combination of specific nanoceria addition with the optimal synthesis parameters enhances optical transparence of WPU as well as barrier properties. From these, the coated specimens prepared with 3 wt % of ceria content and sonicated for 30 min showed a highly dispersed system, which results in a high charge transfer resistance. The observed properties in clear coats deposited on metallic substrates suggested an improvement in the appearance and less deterioration in UV exposure in comparison with pure WPU, enhancing the protective properties of the AA7075 aluminum alloy when exposed to a corrosive medium. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Nanocomposites)
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Open AccessReview
Spectroscopic Techniques for the Characterization of Polymer Nanocomposites: A Review
Polymers 2018, 10(1), 7; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10010007
Received: 19 November 2017 / Revised: 18 December 2017 / Accepted: 19 December 2017 / Published: 22 December 2017
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Abstract
Due to the growing interest in nanocomposites, a molecular characterization of these materials is essential for the understanding of their properties and for the development of new materials. Spectroscopic techniques that bring information at a molecular level are unavoidable when characterizing polymers, fillers [...] Read more.
Due to the growing interest in nanocomposites, a molecular characterization of these materials is essential for the understanding of their properties and for the development of new materials. Spectroscopic techniques that bring information at a molecular level are unavoidable when characterizing polymers, fillers and composites. Selected examples of the application of fluorescence, solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), infrared and Raman spectroscopies, illustrate the potential of these techniques for the analysis of the filler surface, the evaluation of the state of filler dispersion in the host matrix, the extent of interaction between the polymer and the filler particles or the dynamics of polymer chains at the polymer–filler interface. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Nanocomposites)
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Open AccessReview
Microporous Hyper-Crosslinked Polystyrenes and Nanocomposites with High Adsorption Properties: A Review
Polymers 2017, 9(12), 651; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym9120651
Received: 30 October 2017 / Revised: 21 November 2017 / Accepted: 24 November 2017 / Published: 28 November 2017
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Abstract
Hyper-crosslinked (HCL) polystyrenes show outstanding properties, such as high specific surface area and adsorption capability. Several researches have been recently focused on tailoring their performance for specific applications, such as gas adsorption and separation, energy storage, air and water purification processes, and catalysis. [...] Read more.
Hyper-crosslinked (HCL) polystyrenes show outstanding properties, such as high specific surface area and adsorption capability. Several researches have been recently focused on tailoring their performance for specific applications, such as gas adsorption and separation, energy storage, air and water purification processes, and catalysis. In this review, main strategies for the realization of HCL polystyrene-based materials with advanced properties are reported, including a summary of the synthetic routes that are adopted for their realization and the chemical modification approaches that are used to impart them specific functionalities. Moreover, the most up to date results on the synthesis of HCL polystyrene-based nanocomposites that are realized by embedding these high surface area polymers with metal, metal oxide, and carbon-based nanofillers are discussed in detail, underlining the high potential applicability of these systems in different fields. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Nanocomposites)
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Open AccessReview
Generation of Polymer Nanocomposites through Shear-Driven Aggregation of Binary Colloids
Polymers 2017, 9(11), 619; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym9110619
Received: 27 October 2017 / Revised: 9 November 2017 / Accepted: 12 November 2017 / Published: 15 November 2017
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Abstract
Design of polymer nanocomposites has been an intense research topic in recent decades because hybrid nanomaterials are widely used in many fields. Throughout their development, there has often been a challenging issue how one can uniformly distribute nanoparticles (NPs) in a polymer matrix, [...] Read more.
Design of polymer nanocomposites has been an intense research topic in recent decades because hybrid nanomaterials are widely used in many fields. Throughout their development, there has often been a challenging issue how one can uniformly distribute nanoparticles (NPs) in a polymer matrix, avoiding their agglomeration. In this short review, we first introduce the theory of colloidal aggregation/gelation purely based on intense shear forces. Then, we illustrate a methodology for preparing polymer nanocomposites where the NPs (as fillers) are uniformly and randomly distributed inside a matrix of polymer NPs, based on intense shear-driven aggregation of binary colloids, without using any additives. Its feasibility has been demonstrated using two stable binary colloids composed of (1) poly-methyl methacrylate fillers and polystyrene NPs, and (2) graphene oxide sheets (fillers) and poly-vinylidene fluoride NPs. The mechanism leading to capturing and distribution of the fillers inside the polymer NP matrix has been illustrated, and the advantages of the proposed methodology compared with the other common methods are also discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Nanocomposites)
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Open AccessReview
Polymer Nanocomposites via Click Chemistry Reactions
Polymers 2017, 9(10), 499; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym9100499
Received: 29 September 2017 / Revised: 6 October 2017 / Accepted: 9 October 2017 / Published: 11 October 2017
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Abstract
The emerging areas of polymer nanocomposites, as some are already in use in industrial applications and daily commodities, have the potential of offering new technologies with all manner of prominent capabilities. The incorporation of nanomaterials into polymeric matrix provides significant improvements, such as [...] Read more.
The emerging areas of polymer nanocomposites, as some are already in use in industrial applications and daily commodities, have the potential of offering new technologies with all manner of prominent capabilities. The incorporation of nanomaterials into polymeric matrix provides significant improvements, such as higher mechanical, thermal or electrical properties. In these materials, interface/interphase of components play a crucial role bringing additional features on the resulting nanocomposites. Among the various preparation strategies of such materials, an appealing strategy relies on the use of click chemistry concept as a multi-purpose toolbox for both fabrication and modulation of the material characteristics. This review aims to deliver new insights to the researchers of the field by noticing effective click chemistry-based methodologies on the preparation of polymer nanocomposites and their key applications such as optic, biomedical, coatings and sensor. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Nanocomposites)
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Open AccessReview
Effective Assembly of Nano-Ceramic Materials for High and Anisotropic Thermal Conductivity in a Polymer Composite
Polymers 2017, 9(9), 413; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym9090413
Received: 29 July 2017 / Revised: 31 August 2017 / Accepted: 1 September 2017 / Published: 5 September 2017
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Abstract
Recently, anisotropic heat dissipation and its management have drawn attention as a promising technique for highly integrated electrical devices. Among many potentially challenging materials such as carbon nanotube, graphene, metal particles, and inorganic ceramics commonly used for high thermally conductive fillers in a [...] Read more.
Recently, anisotropic heat dissipation and its management have drawn attention as a promising technique for highly integrated electrical devices. Among many potentially challenging materials such as carbon nanotube, graphene, metal particles, and inorganic ceramics commonly used for high thermally conductive fillers in a composite form, nanoscale ceramic fillers are considered ideal candidates due to their thermal conductivity, electrical insulation, and low thermal expansion coefficient. However, enhancing the thermal conductivity of a randomly dispersed ceramic-polymer composite is limited by its discontinuous filler contact and thermal expansion coefficient mismatch. Thus, recent research has focused on how to assemble and generate highly networked filler contacts to make effective pathways for heat flow, with minimized concentration of the filler in the composite. In this review, we will introduce several essential strategies to assemble fillers with a two- or three-dimensional networked composite for highly enhanced anisotropic heat dissipation. Moreover, this review elucidates filler alignment effects compared to randomly dispersed ceramic composites. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Nanocomposites)
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