Plastics Technology and Engineering (Closed)

A topical collection in Polymers (ISSN 2073-4360). This collection belongs to the section "Polymer Processing and Engineering".

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Institute of Polymers, Composites and Biomaterials (IPCB), National Research Council of Italy (CNR), Via Previati 1/C, 23900 Lecco, Italy
Interests: process–properties relashionships; morphology and properties of polymeric materials; polymer processing; injection and compression moulding; nanofunctionalized polymer materials for barrier and electrical applications; polymer (bio/photo)-degradation; bionanocomposites materials; thermomechanical properties; biodegradable materials; high performances composite materials; materials for sensing; materials for drug delivery; self-healing materials
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Topical Collection Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Topic Collection will cover the fundamentals, manufacturing methods, properties, and applications of polymer-based materials. Polymeric materials and related composites are treated from many different points of view.

From the synthesis of these materials to the different end-of-life options that can be applied, polymer-based materials will be analyzed and discussed in this Special Issue. Every type of experimental characterization as well as every possible treatment will be examined. The most unusual aspects, as well as the most important applications, will be analyzed. All aspects concerning traditional manufacturing processes will be presented. The most recent developments of the various processing technologies will also be reported. Every possible category, from thermoplastics to thermosets, from composites to blends, from foams to gels and soft materials, from fibers to coatings, will be studied in every aspect. An updated overview of the most recent developments will be provided, with particular attention to engineering aspects and applicative implications.

This Special Issue aims to be an interdisciplinary platform that covers all aspects related to Plastics Technology and Engineering. I hope it will serve as reference point for advancements and the fundamental investigation of process–properties relationships regarding polymeric materials.

Dr. Andrea Sorrentino
Collection Editor

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Published Papers (7 papers)

2023

Jump to: 2022

20 pages, 5674 KiB  
Article
Improving the Integrated Fabrication of Insulation Systems in Electric Drives by Injection Molding of Thermosets Due to Processing Conditions and Slot Design
by Uta Rösel, Maximilian Kneidl, Jörg Franke and Dietmar Drummer
Polymers 2023, 15(5), 1165; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15051165 - 25 Feb 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1348
Abstract
The expanding demand for electro mobility in general and specifically for electrified vehicles requires the expansion of electro mobility technology with respect to variations in the requirements of the process and the application. Within the stator, the electrical insulation system has a high [...] Read more.
The expanding demand for electro mobility in general and specifically for electrified vehicles requires the expansion of electro mobility technology with respect to variations in the requirements of the process and the application. Within the stator, the electrical insulation system has a high impact on the application properties. So far, limitations, such as the identification of suitable materials for the stator insulation or high costs in the processes, have hindered the implementation of new applications. Therefore, a new technology that allows integrated fabrication via the injection molding of thermosets is founded in order to expand the applications of stators. The possibility of the integrated fabrication of insulation systems to meet the demands of the application can be improved by the processing conditions and the slot design. Within this paper, two epoxy (EP) types with different fillers are investigated to show the impact of the fabrication process in terms of different parameters; these include the holding pressure or the temperature setup, as well as the slot design and with that the flow conditions. To evaluate the improvement in the insulation system of electric drives, a single slot sample, consisting of two parallel copper wires, was used. Then, the two parameters of the average partial discharge (PD) and the partial discharge extinction voltage (PDEV), as well as the full encapsulation detected by microscopy images, were analyzed. It was shown that both characteristics (electric properties—PD and PDEV; full encapsulation) could be improved in terms of an increase in the holding pressure (up to 600 bar) or a reduction in the heating time (around 40 s), as well as the injection speed (down to 15 mm/s). Further, an improvement in the properties can be reached by increasing the space between the wires, as well as the wire and the stack, due to a higher slot depth or by implementing flow-improving grooves that have a positive effect on the flow conditions. With that, the optimization of the integrated fabrication of insulation systems in electric drives via the injection molding of thermosets was enabled with respect to the process conditions and the slot design. Full article
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15 pages, 5837 KiB  
Article
Preliminary Stiffness-Driven Redesign of a Laminated Prosthetic Component Using Additive Manufacturing
by Luca Michele Martulli, Riccardo Sala, Gennaro Rollo, Milutin Kostovic, Marino Lavorgna, Andrea Sorrentino, Emanuele Gruppioni and Andrea Bernasconi
Polymers 2023, 15(2), 346; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15020346 - 9 Jan 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1185
Abstract
Three-dimensional printed polymers offer unprecedented advantages for prosthetic applications, namely in terms of affordability and customisation. This work thus investigates the possibility of designing an additively manufactured prosthetic foot using continuous fibre-reinforced polymers as an alternative to composite laminate ones. A numerical approach [...] Read more.
Three-dimensional printed polymers offer unprecedented advantages for prosthetic applications, namely in terms of affordability and customisation. This work thus investigates the possibility of designing an additively manufactured prosthetic foot using continuous fibre-reinforced polymers as an alternative to composite laminate ones. A numerical approach was thus proposed and validated as a possible design tool for additively manufactured composite feet. This approach was based on explicit separate simulations of the infill, aiming to capture its homogenised engineering constants. The approach was validated on simple sandwich specimens with a different infill geometry: stiffness predictions were within the experimental standard deviation for 3D simulations. Such an approach was thus applied to redesign a laminated component of a foot prosthesis inspired by a commercial one with new additive technology. The new component was about 83% thicker than the reference one, with 1.6 mm of glass fibre skins out of about 22 mm of the total thickness. Its stiffness was within 5% of the reference laminated one. Overall, this work showed how additive manufacturing could be used as a low-cost alternative to manufacturing affordable prosthetic feet. Full article
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2022

Jump to: 2023

20 pages, 5802 KiB  
Article
Synthesis, Characterization, and Soil Burial Degradation of Biobased Polyurethanes
by Alessio Zuliani, Marco Rapisarda, David Chelazzi, Piero Baglioni and Paola Rizzarelli
Polymers 2022, 14(22), 4948; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14224948 - 16 Nov 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2756
Abstract
There is an urgent need for developing degradable polymeric systems based on bio-derived and sustainable materials. In recent years, polyurethanes derived from castor oil have emerged due to the large availability and sustainable characteristics of castor oil. However, these polymers are normally prepared [...] Read more.
There is an urgent need for developing degradable polymeric systems based on bio-derived and sustainable materials. In recent years, polyurethanes derived from castor oil have emerged due to the large availability and sustainable characteristics of castor oil. However, these polymers are normally prepared through tedious and/or energy-intensive procedures or using high volatile and/or toxic reagents such as volatile isocyanates or epoxides. Furthermore, poor investigation has been carried out to design castor oil derived polyurethanes with degradable characteristics or thorough specifically sustainable synthetic procedures. Herein, castor oil-derived polyurethane with more than 90% biomass-derived carbon content and enhanced degradable features was prepared through a simple, eco-friendly (E-factor: 0.2), and scalable procedure, employing a recently developed commercially available biomass-derived (61% bio-based carbon content) low-volatile polymeric isocyanate. The novel material was compared with a castor oil derived-polyurethane prepared with a commercially available fossil-based isocyanate counterpart. The different castor oil-derived polyurethanes were investigated by means of water uptake, soil burial degradation, and disintegration tests in compost. Characterization analyses, including thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), attenuated total reflection Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM), were carried out both prior to and after degradation tests. The results suggest potential applications of the degradable castor oil-derived polyurethane in different fields, such as mulch films for agricultural purposes. Full article
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11 pages, 3179 KiB  
Article
One-Pot Terpolymerization of Macrolactones with Limonene Oxide and Phtalic Anhydride to Produce di-Block Semi-Aromatic Polyesters
by Ilaria D’Auria, Sara D’Aniello, Gianluca Viscusi, Elena Lamberti, Giuliana Gorrasi, Mina Mazzeo and Daniela Pappalardo
Polymers 2022, 14(22), 4911; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14224911 - 14 Nov 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1911
Abstract
The synthesis of novel block copolymers, namely poly(limonene-phthalate)-block-poly(pentadecalactone) and poly(limonene-phthalate)-block-poly(pentadecalactone) is here described. To achieve this synthesis, a bimetallic aluminum based complex (1) was used as catalyst in the combination of two distinct processes: the ring-opening polymerization [...] Read more.
The synthesis of novel block copolymers, namely poly(limonene-phthalate)-block-poly(pentadecalactone) and poly(limonene-phthalate)-block-poly(pentadecalactone) is here described. To achieve this synthesis, a bimetallic aluminum based complex (1) was used as catalyst in the combination of two distinct processes: the ring-opening polymerization (ROP) of macrolactones such as ω-pentadecalactone (PDL) and ω-6-hexadecenlactone (HDL) and the ring-opening copolymerization (ROCOP) of limonene oxide (LO) and phthalic anhydride (PA). The synthesis of di-block polyesters was performed in a one-pot procedure, where the semi-aromatic polyester block was firstly formed by ROCOP of LO and PA, followed by the polyethylene like portion produced by ROP of macrolactones (PDL or HDL). The obtained di-block semiaromatic polyesters were characterized by NMR and GPC. The structural organization was analyzed through XRD. Thermal properties were evaluated using differential thermal analysis (DSC) and thermogravimetric measurements (TGA) either in air or in nitrogen atmosphere. Full article
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15 pages, 4489 KiB  
Article
Performance Analysis of PLA Material Based Micro-Turbines for Low Wind Speed Applications
by Belqasem Aljafari, Devakirubakaran Samithas, Praveen Kumar Balachandran, Sambandam Anandan and Thanikanti Sudhakar Babu
Polymers 2022, 14(19), 4180; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14194180 - 5 Oct 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2039
Abstract
Various studies have been conducted in recent years to find solutions to the issues in wind energy conversion systems. A 100W horizontal axis micro wind turbine is built for low wind speed applications in this work. The Blade Element Momentum theory approach was [...] Read more.
Various studies have been conducted in recent years to find solutions to the issues in wind energy conversion systems. A 100W horizontal axis micro wind turbine is built for low wind speed applications in this work. The Blade Element Momentum theory approach was used to design the 100W micro wind turbine blade. The wind turbine blade 3D model was created using the CREO CAD 3.0 software. Based on the aerodynamic studies, the airfoil S9000 is chosen among others for generating high power at low wind speed. The density, Young’s modulus, and the Poisson ratio of the proposed wind turbine blade model with acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) and polylactic acid (PLA) materials were compared. ABS and PLA materials were investigated using a 0.33 mm layer of infill ranging from 10% to 100%. PLA and ABS output values were compared in terms of deformation, equivalent stress, and equivalent strain. PLA materials, on the other hand, have less deformation and greater structural properties than ABS materials. The wind blade structural analysis was performed in ANSYS 15 software, and the details of experimental and simulated results are presented in this paper. Full article
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11 pages, 6611 KiB  
Article
Effects of Fumed Silica on Thixotropic Behavior and Processing Window by UV-Assisted Direct Ink Writing
by Fengze Jiang, Mingyong Zhou and Dietmar Drummer
Polymers 2022, 14(15), 3107; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14153107 - 30 Jul 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2045
Abstract
In this research, the effects of fumed silica (FS) on the Ultraviolet (UV)-ink rheological behavior and processing windows were discussed. Objects using different concentrations of FS inks were printed by the modified UV-Direct ink writing (DIW) printer. The function of fumed silica in [...] Read more.
In this research, the effects of fumed silica (FS) on the Ultraviolet (UV)-ink rheological behavior and processing windows were discussed. Objects using different concentrations of FS inks were printed by the modified UV-Direct ink writing (DIW) printer. The function of fumed silica in the ink-based system has been verified, and the processing scope has been expended with a suitable amount of FS combined with the UV light. The results show that the combination of a suitable amount of FS with the UV-DIW system reaches fast and accurate printing with a larger processing window compared to the non-UV system. However, an excessively high concentration of FS will increase the yield stress of the ink, which also increases the requirement of extrusion unit and the die-swelling effects. Full article
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15 pages, 5997 KiB  
Article
A Phosphorus-Nitrogen-Carbon Synergistic Nanolayered Flame Retardant for Polystyrene
by Wen-Jie Yuan, Wei Zhao, Gang Wu and Hai-Bo Zhao
Polymers 2022, 14(10), 2055; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14102055 - 18 May 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1948
Abstract
Polymers are widely used in our daily life; however, most of them are highly flammable. Once modified with flame retardants (FRs), polymers always have deteriorative properties in mechanical strength aspects. As a countermeasure, a novel unified phosphorus and nitrogen-containing organic nano-layered flame retardant [...] Read more.
Polymers are widely used in our daily life; however, most of them are highly flammable. Once modified with flame retardants (FRs), polymers always have deteriorative properties in mechanical strength aspects. As a countermeasure, a novel unified phosphorus and nitrogen-containing organic nano-layered flame retardant (BA-MA) was synthesized by the assembly of biphenyl-4,4′-diphosphonic acid (BA) and melamine (MA), which was used as an additive flame retardant for polystyrene (PS) resin. The chemical structure and morphology of BA-MA were characterized, and a possible growth mechanism of the nanolayered structure was presented in detail. The resulting BA-MA with a thickness of about 60 nm can be uniformly dispersed in the PS resin, thus maintaining the mechanical properties of the material. Remarkably, under only 1 wt% loading of BA-MA, the flammability of PS can be largely reduced with a 68% reduction in the peak heat release rate. Additionally, the smoke release was also significantly inhibited. The research on flame retardant mechanisms shows that BA-MA mainly produces incombustible gas to dilute the concentration of combustibles and promote the formation of aromatic carbon layers to isolate oxygen transmission and heat transfer. Full article
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