Special Issue "Polymers for Modern and Advanced Engineering Applications"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 September 2018).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Ravin Narain
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering, Donadeo Innovation Centre for Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6G 1H9, Canada
Tel. +1-780-4921736; Fax: +1-780-4922881
Interests: advanced polymeric materials; biomaterials; carbohydrate science; drug and gene delivery; nanotechnology
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The field of polymer science and engineering has evolved significantly over the last few decades. With advances in modern polymerization techniques and advanced characterization methods, access to a wide range of polymeric materials with unique properties for specific applications has become more realistic. For instance, controlled -radical polymerizations have allowed rapid access to well-defined polymers with varying architectures and compositions, which are essential characteristics for both fundamental and applied aspects. Although significant challenges still exist in the large-scale synthesis of, for instance, sequence controlled polymers and ultra-high molecular weight polymers with narrow polydispersities, significant progress on many levels has been achieved for the rapid exploitation of engineered polymers.

This Special Issue entitled “Polymers for Modern and Advanced Engineering Applications” will therefore cover the development and use of precisely engineered polymers for a wide range of advanced engineering applications. Engineered polymers for the topics listed below will be considered in this Special Issue but submissions are not limited to those applications only. Contributions from both original research studies and comprehensive reviews will be considered.

Prof. Dr. Ravin Narain
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

  • Engineered Polymers for advanced Membrane
  • Engineered Polymers for Flocculation and Dewatering
  • Engineered Polymers for Drag Reduction
  • Engineered Polymers for Oil Recovery
  • Engineered Polymers for 3D printing
  • Engineered Polymers for Biomedical Applications
  • Engineered Polymers for Solar Cells

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Effect of Matrix and Graphite Filler on Thermal Conductivity of Industrially Feasible Injection Molded Thermoplastic Composites
Polymers 2019, 11(1), 87; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11010087 - 08 Jan 2019
Cited by 7
Abstract
To understand how the thermal conductivity (TC) of virgin commercial polymers and their composites with low graphite filler amounts can be improved, the effect of material choice, annealing and moisture content is investigated, all with feasible industrial applicability in mind focusing on injection [...] Read more.
To understand how the thermal conductivity (TC) of virgin commercial polymers and their composites with low graphite filler amounts can be improved, the effect of material choice, annealing and moisture content is investigated, all with feasible industrial applicability in mind focusing on injection molding. Comparison of commercial HDPE, PP, PLA, ABS, PS, and PA6 based composites under conditions minimizing the effect of the skin-core layer (measurement at half the sample thickness) allows to deduce that at 20 m% of filler, both the (overall) in- and through-plane TC can be significantly improved. The most promising results are for HDPE and PA6 (through/in-plane TC near 0.7/4.3 W·m−1K−1 for HDPE and 0.47/4.3 W·m−1K−1 for PA6 or an increase of 50/825% and 45/1200% respectively, compared to the virgin polymer). Testing with annealed and nucleated PA6 and PLA samples shows that further increasing the crystallinity has a limited effect. A variation of the average molar mass and moisture content is also almost without impact. Intriguingly, the variation of the measuring depth allows to control the relative importance of the TC of the core and skin layer. An increased measurement depth, hence, a higher core-to-skin ratio measurement specifically indicates a clear increase in the through-plane TC (e.g., factor 2). Therefore, for basic shapes, the removal of the skin layer is recommendable to increase the TC. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymers for Modern and Advanced Engineering Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of Domain Structure of Segmented Poly(urethane-imide) Membranes with Polycaprolactone Soft Blocks on Dehydration of n-Propanol via Pervaporation
Polymers 2018, 10(11), 1222; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10111222 - 03 Nov 2018
Abstract
Segmented poly(urethane-imide)s (PUIs) were synthesized by polyaddition reaction and applied for preparation of membranes. Tolylene-2,4-diisocyanate, pyromellitic dianhydride, and m-phenylenediamine for chain extension were used to form hard aromatic blocks. Polycaprolactone diols with molecular weights equal to 530 and 2000 g mol−1 [...] Read more.
Segmented poly(urethane-imide)s (PUIs) were synthesized by polyaddition reaction and applied for preparation of membranes. Tolylene-2,4-diisocyanate, pyromellitic dianhydride, and m-phenylenediamine for chain extension were used to form hard aromatic blocks. Polycaprolactone diols with molecular weights equal to 530 and 2000 g mol−1 were chosen as soft segments. The effect of the length of soft segments on the structure, morphology, and transport properties of segmented poly(urethane-imide) membranes were studied using atomic force microscopy, small-angle and wide-angle X-ray scattering, and pervaporation experiments. It was found that a copolymer with a shorter soft segment (530 g mol−1) consists of soft domains in a hard matrix, while the introduction of polycaprolactone blocks with higher molecular weight (2000 g mol−1) leads to the formation of hard domains in a soft matrix. Additionally, the introduction of hard segments prevents crystallization of polycaprolactone. Transport properties of membranes based on segmented PUIs containing soft segments of different length were tested for pervaporation of a model mixture of propanol/water with 20 wt % H2O content. It was found that a membrane based on segmented PUIs containing longer soft segments demonstrates higher flux (8.8 kg μm m−2 h−1) and selectivity (179) toward water in comparison with results for pure polycaprolactone reported in literature. The membrane based on segmented PUIs with 530 g mol−1 soft segment has a lower flux (5.1 kg μm m−2 h−1) and higher selectivity (437). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymers for Modern and Advanced Engineering Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
Design and Optimization of a Hyper-Branched Polyimide Proton Exchange Membrane with Ultra-High Methanol-Permeation Resistivity for Direct Methanol Fuel Cells Applications
Polymers 2018, 10(10), 1175; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10101175 - 22 Oct 2018
Cited by 4
Abstract
A hyper-branched sulfonated polyimide (s-PI) was synthesized successfully and composited with polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) to achieve ultra-high methanol-permeation resistive for direct methanol fuel cell application. The optimized s-PI-PVDF composite membrane exhibited methanol resistivity low to 1.80 × 10−8 cm [...] Read more.
A hyper-branched sulfonated polyimide (s-PI) was synthesized successfully and composited with polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) to achieve ultra-high methanol-permeation resistive for direct methanol fuel cell application. The optimized s-PI-PVDF composite membrane exhibited methanol resistivity low to 1.80 × 10−8 cm2/s, two orders of magnitude lower than the value of the commercial Nafion 117 membrane (60 × 10−7 cm2/s). At the same time, the tensile strength of the composite membrane is 22 MPa, which is comparable to the value of the Nafion 117 membrane. Therefore, the composite membrane is promising for application in direct methanol fuel cell. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymers for Modern and Advanced Engineering Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
Impact of Endometallofullerene on P84 Copolyimide Transport and Thermomechanical Properties
Polymers 2018, 10(10), 1108; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10101108 - 07 Oct 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
Novel polymer composite materials, including unique nanoparticles, contribute to the progress of modern technologies. In this work, the endohedral fullerene C60 with incapsulated iron atom (endometallofullerene [email protected]60) is used for modification of P84 copolyimide. The impact of 0.1, 0.5, and [...] Read more.
Novel polymer composite materials, including unique nanoparticles, contribute to the progress of modern technologies. In this work, the endohedral fullerene C60 with incapsulated iron atom (endometallofullerene [email protected]60) is used for modification of P84 copolyimide. The impact of 0.1, 0.5, and 1 wt % endometallofullerene on the structure and physicochemical properties of polymer films is studied through scanning electron microscopy, thermogravimetric analysis, and thermomechanical tests. Transport properties are estimated through sorption and pervaporation techniques toward methanol and methyl acetate mixture. The inclusion of endometallofullerene into the copolyimide matrix improves membrane permeability and selectivity in the separation of methanol—methyl acetate mixtures. The maximal effect is achieved with a composite containing 0.5 wt % [email protected]60. The developed composites are effective for energy and resource saving purification of methyl acetate by pervaporation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymers for Modern and Advanced Engineering Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
Replication of Overmolded Orthopedic Implants with a Functionalized Thin Layer of Biodegradable Polymer
Polymers 2018, 10(7), 707; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10070707 - 26 Jun 2018
Cited by 3
Abstract
The present paper reports on the development of a biodegradable overmolded orthopedic implant: a metal bone fixing screw, which has been overmolded with a functionalized thin layer of biodegradable polymer to enhance cell adhesion during the healing process. The main challenges were to [...] Read more.
The present paper reports on the development of a biodegradable overmolded orthopedic implant: a metal bone fixing screw, which has been overmolded with a functionalized thin layer of biodegradable polymer to enhance cell adhesion during the healing process. The main challenges were to integrate precise, high-throughput and repeatable solutions to achieve a thin, defect-free structured polymer layer and to ensure a high and consistent implant quality. The work carried out entailed determining proper materials (Purasorb PDLG 5010) for the biodegradable overmolding layer and its economical substitute (NaKu PLA 100HF) to be used during initial tool and process development, designing the surface structure of the overmolded polymer layer, development of injection molding tools, as well as feeding and handling procedures. The injection overmolding process of Purasorb PDLG 5010 polymer was controlled, and the process parameters were optimized. In particular, the dominant process parameters for the overmolding, namely injection pressure, barrel temperature and mold temperature, were experimentally examined using a circumscribed three-factor central composite design and two quality marks; overmolding roughness and mass of polymer. The analysis of the experimental results shows that the mass of the overmolding is not feasible for use as the quality mark. However, the optimal parameters for the overmolding of a metallic implant screw with a thin, micro-structured polymer layer with a predefined roughness of the surface texture have been identified successfully. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymers for Modern and Advanced Engineering Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
Cargo Release from Polymeric Vesicles under Shear
Polymers 2018, 10(3), 336; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10030336 - 19 Mar 2018
Abstract
In this paper we study the release of cargo from polymeric nano-carriers under shear. Vesicles formed by two star block polymers— A 12 B 6 C 2 ( A B C ) and A 12 B 6 A 2 ( A B A [...] Read more.
In this paper we study the release of cargo from polymeric nano-carriers under shear. Vesicles formed by two star block polymers— A 12 B 6 C 2 ( A B C ) and A 12 B 6 A 2 ( A B A )—and one linear block copolymer— A 14 B 6 ( A B ), are investigated using dissipative particle dynamics (DPD) simulations. A - and C -blocks are solvophobic and B -block is solvophilic. The three polymers form vesicles of different structures. The vesicles are subjected to shear both in bulk and between solvophobic walls. In bulk shear, the mechanisms of cargo release are similar for all vesicles, with cargo travelling through vesicle membrane with no preferential release location. When sheared between walls, high cargo release rate is only observed with A B C vesicle after it touches the wall. For A B C vesicle, the critical condition for high cargo release rate is the formation of wall-polymersome interface after which the effect of shear rate in promoting cargo release is secondary. High release rate is achieved by the formation of solvophilic pathway allowing cargo to travel from the vesicle cavity to the vesicle exterior. The results in this paper show that well controlled target cargo release using polymersomes can be achieved with polymers of suitable design and can potentially be very useful for engineering applications. As an example, polymersomes can be used as carriers for surface active friction reducing additives which are only released at rubbing surfaces where the additives are needed most. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymers for Modern and Advanced Engineering Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
Preparation and Application of Phosphorylated Xylan as a Flocculant for Cationic Ethyl Violet Dye
Polymers 2018, 10(3), 317; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10030317 - 14 Mar 2018
Cited by 9
Abstract
In this study, phosphorylated birchwood xylan was produced under alkali conditions using trisodium trimetaphosphate. Three single-factor experiments were used to explore the influences of time, temperature, and the molar ratio of trisodium trimetaphosphate to xylan on the degree of substitution (DS) and charge [...] Read more.
In this study, phosphorylated birchwood xylan was produced under alkali conditions using trisodium trimetaphosphate. Three single-factor experiments were used to explore the influences of time, temperature, and the molar ratio of trisodium trimetaphosphate to xylan on the degree of substitution (DS) and charge density of xylan. The response surface methodology was used to explore the interaction of these three factors. Phosphorylated xylan with a maximum DS of 0.79 and a charge density of −3.40 mmol/g was produced under the optimal conditions of 80 °C, 4 h, and a molar ratio of xylan/sodium trimetaphosphate (STMP) of 1/3. Fourier transform infrared (FTIR), ascorbic acid method analyses, and inductively coupled plasma–atomic emission spectrometer (ICP-AES) analyses confirmed that the phosphate groups were successfully attached to xylan. Thermogravimetric analysis confirmed that phosphorylated xylan was less stable than birchwood xylan. Furthermore, the phosphorylated xylan was applied as a flocculant for removing ethyl violet dye from a simulated dye solution. The results indicated that more than 95% of the dye was removed from the solution. The theoretical and experimental values of charge neutralization for the dye removal were close to one another, confirming that charge neutralization was the main mechanism for the interaction of dye and phosphorylated xylan. The impacts of salts on the flocculation efficiency of phosphorylated xylan were also analyzed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymers for Modern and Advanced Engineering Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
Strength of PLA Components Fabricated with Fused Deposition Technology Using a Desktop 3D Printer as a Function of Geometrical Parameters of the Process
Polymers 2018, 10(3), 313; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10030313 - 13 Mar 2018
Cited by 32
Abstract
The current paper studies the influence of geometrical parameters of the fused deposition modeling (FDM)—fused filament fabrication (FFF) 3D printing process on printed part strength for open source desktop 3D printers and the most popular material used for that purpose—i.e., polylactic acid (PLA). [...] Read more.
The current paper studies the influence of geometrical parameters of the fused deposition modeling (FDM)—fused filament fabrication (FFF) 3D printing process on printed part strength for open source desktop 3D printers and the most popular material used for that purpose—i.e., polylactic acid (PLA). The study was conducted using a set of different nozzles (0.4, 0.6, and 0.8 mm) and a range of layer heights from the minimum to maximum physical limits of the machine. To assess print strength, a novel assessment method is proposed. A tubular sample is loaded in the weakest direction (across layers) in a three-point bending fixture. Mesostructure evaluation through scanning electronic microscopy (SEM) scans of the samples was used to explain the obtained results. We detected a significant influence of geometric process parameters on sample mesostructure, and consequently, on sample strength. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymers for Modern and Advanced Engineering Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
Behavior and Three-Dimensional Finite Element Modeling of Circular Concrete Columns Partially Wrapped with FRP Strips
Polymers 2018, 10(3), 253; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10030253 - 01 Mar 2018
Cited by 14
Abstract
Fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) jacketing/wrapping has become an attractive strengthening technique for concrete columns. Wrapping an existing concrete column with continuous FRP jackets with the fiber in the jacket being oriented in the hoop direction is referred to as FRP full wrapping strengthening technique. [...] Read more.
Fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) jacketing/wrapping has become an attractive strengthening technique for concrete columns. Wrapping an existing concrete column with continuous FRP jackets with the fiber in the jacket being oriented in the hoop direction is referred to as FRP full wrapping strengthening technique. In practice, however, strengthening concrete columns with vertically discontinuous FRP strips is also favored and this technique is referred to as FRP partial wrapping strengthening technique. Existing research has demonstrated that FRP partial wrapping strengthening technique is a promising and economical alternative to the FRP full wrapping strengthening technique. Although extensive experimental investigations have hitherto been conducted on partially FRP-confined concrete columns, the confinement mechanics of confined concrete in partially FRP-confined circular columns remains unclear. In this paper, an experimental program consisting of fifteen column specimens was conducted and the test results were presented. A reliable three-dimensional (3D) finite element (FE) approach for modeling of partially FRP-confined circular columns was established. In the proposed FE approach, an accurate plastic-damage model for concrete under multiaxial compression is employed. The accuracy of the proposed FE approach was verified by comparisons between the numerical results and the test results. Numerical results from the verified FE approach were then presented to gain an improved understanding of the behavior of confined concrete in partially FRP-confined concrete columns. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymers for Modern and Advanced Engineering Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of Superabsorbent Polymer on the Properties of Concrete
Polymers 2017, 9(12), 672; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym9120672 - 04 Dec 2017
Cited by 6
Abstract
Incorporating superabsorbent polymer (SAP), which has the abilities of absorption and desorption in concrete can achieve the effect of internal curing. The influences of the volume, particle size and ways of entrained water of SAP on the workability, compressive strength, shrinkage, carbonation resistance [...] Read more.
Incorporating superabsorbent polymer (SAP), which has the abilities of absorption and desorption in concrete can achieve the effect of internal curing. The influences of the volume, particle size and ways of entrained water of SAP on the workability, compressive strength, shrinkage, carbonation resistance and chloride penetration resistance of concrete were analyzed through the macroscopic and microscopic test. The results show that pre-absorbed SAP can increase the slump of the mixture, but SAP without water absorption and pre-absorbed SAP with the deduction of internal curing water from mixing water can reduce the slump. The improvement effects of SAP on compressive strength of concrete increase gradually with the increase of age. Especially from 28 days, the compressive strength of concrete increases obviously. At later age, the compressive strengths of SAP concrete under natural curing environment exceed the strength of reference concrete under natural curing environment and nearly reach the strengths of reference concrete under standard curing environment. SAP effectively reduces the shrinkage of concrete, improves the concrete’s abilities of carbonation resistance and chloride penetration resistance. The microscopic test results show that SAP can effectively improve the micro structure and make the pore structure refined. When SAP is added into concrete, the gel pores and small capillary pores are increased, the size of big capillary pores and air pores are reduced. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymers for Modern and Advanced Engineering Applications)
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