Special Issue "Reinforced Polymer Composites"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 March 2020.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Victor Tcherdyntsev
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Center for Composite Materials,National University of Science and Technology “MISIS”, 119049, Leninskii prosp, 4, Moscow, Russia
Interests: thermoplastics; ultra high molecular weight polyethylene; polysulfone; ball milling; carbon fibers; quasicrystals; mechanical properties; tribology; structure; surface modifying

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue focuses on the recent advances in reinforced polymer composites. Polymer materials are widely used in human life, medicine, industry, and so on. However, polymers have a lot of disadvantages, such as insufficient strength, stiffness, creep, and low usage temperature. That is why reinforcing fillers are widely used to improve polymer properties. The following factors should be taken into account to reach high mechanical properties when nanofillers are used: (a) Uniform distribution of the filler in the polymer matrix of a bulk sample will result in a composite physical and chemical properties uniformity over its volume; (b) filler should not agglomerate inside the polymer bulk sample because it might act as stress concentrator; and (c) interaction between fillers and polymer matrix should result in a composite supramolecular structure improvement. Strong interfacial interaction between polymer matrix and filler surface can improve load transfer from matrix to reinforcing filler.

This Special Issue covers all the fields related to the reinforced polymer composites, but special attention will be given to the following aspects:

  • Effect of polymer-filler interfaces interaction on the composite properties;
  • Carbon fillers for polymers, including fibers, nanotubes, graphene, etc.;
  • Solid-state technique for polymer composite formation, such as ball-milling, extrusion, molding, etc.;
  • Polymer composites by additive manufacturing;
  • Using of recycling materials in polymer composites.

Authors are welcome to submit their latest research in the form of original full articles, communications, or reviews on this topic.

Prof. Dr. Victor Tcherdyntsev
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

  • composites
  • reinforcers
  • interfaces
  • surfactants
  • carbon
  • thermoplastics
  • thermosets
  • agglomeration
  • orientation
  • additive manufacturing
  • recycling

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Effect of Na2CO3 on the Microstructure and Macroscopic Properties and Mechanism Analysis of PVA/CMC Composite Film
Polymers 2020, 12(2), 453; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12020453 (registering DOI) - 14 Feb 2020
Abstract
Polyvinyl alcohol (PVA)/carboxyl methyl cellulose sodium (CMC)/Na2CO3 composite films with different contents of Na2CO3 were prepared by blending and solution-casting. The effect of Na2CO3 on the microstructure of PVA/CMC composite film was analyzed by [...] Read more.
Polyvinyl alcohol (PVA)/carboxyl methyl cellulose sodium (CMC)/Na2CO3 composite films with different contents of Na2CO3 were prepared by blending and solution-casting. The effect of Na2CO3 on the microstructure of PVA/CMC composite film was analyzed by Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction (XRD), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), and atomic force microscopy (AFM). Its macroscopic properties were analyzed by water sorption, solubility, and dielectric constant tests. The results show that the microstructure of PVA/CMC/Na2CO3 composite films was different from that of PVA and PVA/CMC composite films. In addition, compared to PVA and PVA/CMC composite films, the water sorption of PVA/CMC/Na2CO3 composite films relatively increased, the solubility in water significantly decreased, and the dielectric properties significantly improved. All these results indicate that the hydrogen bonding interaction between PVA and CMC increased and the crystallinity of PVA decreased after the addition of Na2CO3. This was also a direct factor leading to increased water sorption, decreased solubility, and enhanced dielectric properties. The reaction mechanism of PVA, CMC, and Na2CO3 is proposed to further evaluate the effect of Na2CO3 on the microstructure and macroscopic properties of PVA/CMC/Na2CO3 composite films. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reinforced Polymer Composites)
Open AccessArticle
Effect of Various Surface Treatments on the Performance of Jute Fibers Filled Natural Rubber (NR) Composites
Polymers 2020, 12(2), 369; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12020369 - 07 Feb 2020
Abstract
In the present study, the suitability of various chemical treatments to improve the performance of jute fibers (JFs) filled natural rubber (NR) composites was explored. The surface of JFs was modified by three different surface treatments, namely, alkali treatment, combined alkali/stearic acid treatment [...] Read more.
In the present study, the suitability of various chemical treatments to improve the performance of jute fibers (JFs) filled natural rubber (NR) composites was explored. The surface of JFs was modified by three different surface treatments, namely, alkali treatment, combined alkali/stearic acid treatment and combined alkali/silane treatment. Surface modified JFs were characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD) pattern, Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy and field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM). The reinforcing effect of untreated and surface treated JFs in NR composites was comparatively evaluated in terms of cure, mechanical, morphological and thermal properties. Combined alkali/silane treated JFs filled NR composite showed considerably higher torque difference, tensile modulus, hardness and tensile strength as compared to either untreated or other surface treated JFs filled NR systems. A crosslink density measurement suggested effective rubber-fibers interaction in combined alkali/silane treated JFs filled NR composite. Morphological analysis confirmed the improvement in the interfacial bonding between NR matrix and JFs due to combined alkali/silane treatment allowing an efficient “stress-transfer” mechanism. As a whole, combined alkali/silane treatment was found to be most efficient surface treatment method to develop strong interfacial adhesion between NR matrix and JFs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reinforced Polymer Composites)
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Open AccessArticle
Structure and Properties of Polysulfone Filled with Modified Twill Weave Carbon Fabrics
Polymers 2020, 12(1), 50; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12010050 - 30 Dec 2019
Abstract
Carbon fabrics are widely used in polymer based composites. Nowadays, most of the advanced high-performance composites are based on thermosetting polymer matrices such as epoxy resin. Thermoplastics have received high attention as polymer matrices due to their low curing duration, high chemical resistance, [...] Read more.
Carbon fabrics are widely used in polymer based composites. Nowadays, most of the advanced high-performance composites are based on thermosetting polymer matrices such as epoxy resin. Thermoplastics have received high attention as polymer matrices due to their low curing duration, high chemical resistance, high recyclability, and mass production capability in comparison with thermosetting polymers. In this paper, we suggest thermoplastic based composite materials reinforced with carbon fibers. Composites based on polysulfone reinforced with carbon fabrics using polymer solvent impregnation were studied. It is well known that despite the excellent mechanical properties, carbon fibers possess poor wettability and adhesion to polymers because of the fiber surface chemical inertness and smoothness. Therefore, to improve the fiber–matrix interfacial interaction, the surface modification of the carbon fibers by thermal oxidation was used. It was shown that the surface modification resulted in a noticeable change in the functional composition of the carbon fibers’ surface and increased the mechanical properties of the polysulfone based composites. Significant increase in composites mechanical properties and thermal stability as a result of carbon fiber surface modification was observed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reinforced Polymer Composites)
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Open AccessArticle
Pinned Hybrid Glass-Flax Composite Laminates Aged in Salt-Fog Environment: Mechanical Durability
Polymers 2020, 12(1), 40; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12010040 - 26 Dec 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
The aim of the present paper is to study the mechanical performance evolution of pinned hybrid glass-flax composite laminates under environment aging conditions. Hybrid glass-flax fibers/epoxy pinned laminates were exposed to salt-spray fog environmental conditions up to 60 days. With the purpose of [...] Read more.
The aim of the present paper is to study the mechanical performance evolution of pinned hybrid glass-flax composite laminates under environment aging conditions. Hybrid glass-flax fibers/epoxy pinned laminates were exposed to salt-spray fog environmental conditions up to 60 days. With the purpose of assessing the relationship between mechanical performances and failure mechanisms at increasing aging time, single lap joints at varying joint geometry (i.e., hole diameter D and hole distance E from free edge) were characterized after 0 days (i.e., unaged samples), 30 days, and 60 days of salt-fog exposition. Based on this approach, the property–structure relationship of the composite laminates was assessed on these critical environmental conditions. In particular, a reduction of failure strength for long-aging-time-aged samples was observed in the range 20–30% compared to unaged one. Due to the natural fiber degradation in a salt-fog environment, premature catastrophic fractures mode due to shear-out and net-tension were found, related to reduced joint fracture strength. This behavior identifies that this type of joint requires a careful design in order to guarantee an effective mechanical stability of the composite hybrid joint under long-term operating conditions in an aggressive environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reinforced Polymer Composites)
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Open AccessArticle
Investigation on the Fiber Orientation Distributions and Their Influence on the Mechanical Property of the Co-Injection Molding Products
Polymers 2020, 12(1), 24; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12010024 - 20 Dec 2019
Abstract
In recent years, due to the rapid development of industrial lightweight technology, composite materials based on fiber reinforced plastics (FRP) have been widely used in the industry. However, the environmental impact of the FRPs is higher each year. To overcome this impact, co-injection [...] Read more.
In recent years, due to the rapid development of industrial lightweight technology, composite materials based on fiber reinforced plastics (FRP) have been widely used in the industry. However, the environmental impact of the FRPs is higher each year. To overcome this impact, co-injection molding could be one of the good solutions. But how to make the suitable control on the skin/core ratio and how to manage the glass fiber orientation features are still significant challenges. In this study, we have applied both computer-aided engineering (CAE) simulation and experimental methods to investigate the fiber feature in a co-injection system. Specifically, the fiber orientation distributions and their influence on the tensile properties for the single-shot and co-injection molding have been discovered. Results show that based on the 60:40 of skin/core ratio and same materials, the tensile properties of the co-injection system, including tensile stress and modulus, are a little weaker than that of the single-shot system. This is due to the overall fiber orientation tensor at flow direction (A11) of the co-injection system being lower than that of the single-shot system. Moreover, to discover and verify the influence of the fiber orientation features, the fiber orientation distributions (FOD) of both the co-injection and single-shot systems have been observed using micro-computerized tomography (μ-CT) technology to scan the internal structures. The scanned images were further utilizing Avizo software to perform image analyses to rebuild the fiber structure. Specifically, the fiber orientation tensor at flow direction (A11) of the co-injection system is about 89% of that of the single-shot system in the testing conditions. This is because the co-injection part has lower tensile properties. Furthermore, the difference of the fiber orientation tensor at flow direction (A11) between the co-injection and the single-shot systems is further verified based on the fiber morphology of the μ-CT scanned image. The observed result is consistent with that of the FOD estimation using μ-CT scan plus image analysis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reinforced Polymer Composites)
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Open AccessArticle
Surface Modification of PET Fiber with Hybrid Coating and Its Effect on the Properties of PP Composites
Polymers 2019, 11(10), 1726; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11101726 - 21 Oct 2019
Abstract
Surface modification fundamentally influences the morphology of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) fibers produced from abandoned polyester textiles and improve the compatibility between the fiber and the matrix. In this study, PET fiber was modified through solution dip-coating using a novel synthesized tetraethyl orthosilicate (TEOS)/KH550/ [...] Read more.
Surface modification fundamentally influences the morphology of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) fibers produced from abandoned polyester textiles and improve the compatibility between the fiber and the matrix. In this study, PET fiber was modified through solution dip-coating using a novel synthesized tetraethyl orthosilicate (TEOS)/KH550/ polypropylene (PP)-g-MAH (MPP) hybrid (TMPP). The PET fiber with TMPP modifier was exposed to the air. SiO2 particles would be hydrolyzed from TEOS and become the crystalline cores of MPP. Then, the membrane formed by MPP, SiO2 and KH550 covered the surface of the PET fiber. TMPP powder was investigated and characterized by fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, scanning electron microscope (SEM) and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). TMPP-modified PET fiber was researched by X-ray diffraction and SEM. Furthermore, tensile strength of single fiber was also tested. PET fiber/PP composites were studied through dynamic mechanical analysis and SEM. Flexural properties of composites were also measured. The interfacial properties of PET fiber and PP matrix were indirectly represented by contact angle analysis. Results showed that the addition of TEOS is helpful in homogenizing the distribution of PP-g-MAH. Furthermore, TMPP generates an organic-inorganic ‘armor’ structure on PET fiber, which can make up for the damage areas on the surface of PET fiber and strengthen each single-fiber by 14.4%. Besides, bending strength and modulus of TMPP-modified PET fiber-reinforced PP composite respectively, increase by 10 and 800 MPa. The compatibility between PET fiber and PP was also confirmed to be increased by TMPP. Predictably, this work supplied a new way for PET fiber modification and exploited its potential applications in composites. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reinforced Polymer Composites)
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Open AccessArticle
Evaluation of the Compatibility of Organosolv Lignin-Graphene Nanoplatelets with Photo-Curable Polyurethane in Stereolithography 3D Printing
Polymers 2019, 11(10), 1544; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11101544 - 23 Sep 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
In this study, lignin has been extracted from oil palm empty fruit bunch (EFB) fibers via an organosolv process. The organosolv lignin obtained was defined by the presence of hydroxyl-containing molecules, such as guaiacyl and syringyl, and by the presence of phenolic molecules [...] Read more.
In this study, lignin has been extracted from oil palm empty fruit bunch (EFB) fibers via an organosolv process. The organosolv lignin obtained was defined by the presence of hydroxyl-containing molecules, such as guaiacyl and syringyl, and by the presence of phenolic molecules in lignin. Subsequently, the extracted organosolv lignin and graphene nanoplatelets (GNP) were utilized as filler and reinforcement in photo-curable polyurethane (PU), which is used in stereolithography 3D printing. The compatibility as well as the characteristic and structural changes of the composite were identified through the mechanical properties of the 3D-printed composites. Furthermore, the tensile strength of the composited lignin and graphene shows significant improvement as high as 27%. The hardness of the photo-curable PU composites measured by nanoindentation exhibited an enormous improvement for 0.6% of lignin-graphene at 92.49 MPa with 238% increment when compared with unmodified PU. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reinforced Polymer Composites)
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Open AccessArticle
Preparation and Properties of Rubber Blends for High-Damping-Isolation Bearings
Polymers 2019, 11(8), 1374; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11081374 - 20 Aug 2019
Abstract
To improve the energy dissipation capacity of rubber isolation bearings, it is important to find a new rubber material with good applicability and high damping properties. Two types of blends were prepared using nitrile rubber (NBR), brominated butyl rubber (BIIR) and ethylene-vinyl acetate [...] Read more.
To improve the energy dissipation capacity of rubber isolation bearings, it is important to find a new rubber material with good applicability and high damping properties. Two types of blends were prepared using nitrile rubber (NBR), brominated butyl rubber (BIIR) and ethylene-vinyl acetate copolymer (EVA): NBR/BIIR and NBR/BIIR/EVA. The vulcanization, mechanical and damping properties of the blends were analyzed. The results show that both blends exhibit excellent vulcanization plateaus and mechanical properties. For NBR/BIIR, as the BIIR content increases, the complementary effects of NBR and BIIR afforded by blending are enhanced. Two damping peaks appeared in the tanδ-T curve and shifted toward lower and higher temperatures, respectively, which clearly widened the effective damping temperature range. However, the damping value in the valley of the tanδ-T curve was as low as 0.39. For NBR/BIIR/EVA, the addition of EVA greatly increased damping in the valley of the tanδ-T curve to approximately 0.54. EVA was observed to be the optimal polymer for improving the compatibility of the NBR/BIIR blend. Moreover, hot air thermal aging tests showed that both blends demonstrated good stability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reinforced Polymer Composites)
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of Formation Route on the Mechanical Properties of the Polyethersulfone Composites Reinforced with Glass Fibers
Polymers 2019, 11(8), 1364; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11081364 - 19 Aug 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Interfacial interaction is one of the most important factors that affect the mechanical properties of the fiber reinforced composites. The effect of fabrics′ sizing removal from glass fibers’ surface by thermal treatment on the mechanical characteristics of polyethersulfone based composites at different fiber [...] Read more.
Interfacial interaction is one of the most important factors that affect the mechanical properties of the fiber reinforced composites. The effect of fabrics′ sizing removal from glass fibers’ surface by thermal treatment on the mechanical characteristics of polyethersulfone based composites at different fiber to polymer weight ratios was investigated. Three fiber to polymer weight ratios of 50/50, 60/40, and 70/30 were studied. Flexural and shear tests were carried out to illustrate the mechanical properties of the composites; the structure was studied using Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy and scanning electron microscopy. It was shown that solution impregnation of glass fabrics with polyethersulfone before compression molding allows to achieve good mechanical properties of composites. The thermal treatment of glass fabrics before impregnation results in an increase in flexural and shear strength for all the composites due to the improvement of fiber–matrix interaction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reinforced Polymer Composites)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Fiber-Reinforced Polymer Composites: Manufacturing, Properties, and Applications
Polymers 2019, 11(10), 1667; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11101667 - 12 Oct 2019
Cited by 6
Abstract
Composites have been found to be the most promising and discerning material available in this century. Presently, composites reinforced with fibers of synthetic or natural materials are gaining more importance as demands for lightweight materials with high strength for specific applications are growing [...] Read more.
Composites have been found to be the most promising and discerning material available in this century. Presently, composites reinforced with fibers of synthetic or natural materials are gaining more importance as demands for lightweight materials with high strength for specific applications are growing in the market. Fiber-reinforced polymer composite offers not only high strength to weight ratio, but also reveals exceptional properties such as high durability; stiffness; damping property; flexural strength; and resistance to corrosion, wear, impact, and fire. These wide ranges of diverse features have led composite materials to find applications in mechanical, construction, aerospace, automobile, biomedical, marine, and many other manufacturing industries. Performance of composite materials predominantly depends on their constituent elements and manufacturing techniques, therefore, functional properties of various fibers available worldwide, their classifications, and the manufacturing techniques used to fabricate the composite materials need to be studied in order to figure out the optimized characteristic of the material for the desired application. An overview of a diverse range of fibers, their properties, functionality, classification, and various fiber composite manufacturing techniques is presented to discover the optimized fiber-reinforced composite material for significant applications. Their exceptional performance in the numerous fields of applications have made fiber-reinforced composite materials a promising alternative over solitary metals or alloys. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reinforced Polymer Composites)
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