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All issues / Volume 6 (2012) / Issue 12 (December)

Hype about High Internal Phase Emulsion templating: Adding particles makes all the difference
A. Bismarck
Vol. 6., No.12., Pages 953-953, 2012
DOI: 10.3144/expresspolymlett.2012.100
This is an editorial article. It has no abstract.
High performance polyethylene nanocomposite fibers
M. D'Amato, A. Dorigato, L. Fambri, A. Pegoretti
Vol. 6., No.12., Pages 954-964, 2012
DOI: 10.3144/expresspolymlett.2012.101
A high density polyethylene (HDPE) matrix was melt compounded with 2 vol% of dimethyldichlorosilane treated fumed silica nanoparticles. Nanocomposite fibers were prepared by melt spinning through a co-rotating twin screw extruder and drawing at 125°C in air. Thermo-mechanical and morphological properties of the resulting fibers were then investigated. The introduction of nanosilica improved the drawability of the fibers, allowing the achievement of higher draw ratios with respect to the neat matrix. The elastic modulus and creep stability of the fibers were remarkably improved upon nanofiller addition, with a retention of the pristine tensile properties at break. Transmission electronic microscope (TEM) images evidenced that the original morphology of the silica aggregates was disrupted by the applied drawing.
Facile synthesis of polypyrrole nanofiber and its enhanced electrochemical performances in different electrolytes
S. Sahoo, S. Dhibar, C. K. Das
Vol. 6., No.12., Pages 965-974, 2012
DOI: 10.3144/expresspolymlett.2012.102
A porous nanocomposite based on polypyrrole (PPy) and sodium alginate (SA) has been synthesized by easy, inexpensive, eco-friendly method. As prepared nanocomposite showed fibrillar morphology in transmission electron microscopic (TEM) analysis. The average diameter of ~100 nm for the nanofibers was observed from scanning electron microscopic (SEM) analysis. As prepared nanofiber, was investigated as an electrode material for supercapacitor application in different aqueous electrolyte solutions. PPy nanofiber showed enhanced electrochemical performances in 1M KCl solution as compared to 1M Na2SO4 solution. Maximum specific capacitance of 284 F/g was found for this composite in 1 M KCl electrolyte. It showed 76% specific capacitance retention after 600 cycles in 1 M KCl solution. Electrochemical Impedance Spectra showed moderate capacitive behavior of the composite in both the electrolytes. Further PPy nanofiber demonstrated higher thermal stability as compared to pure PPy.
Epoxy/PCL nanocomposites: Effect of layered silicate on structure and behavior
J. Rotrekl, L. Matejka, L. Kapralkova, A. Zhigunov, J. Hromadkova, I. Kelnar
Vol. 6., No.12., Pages 975-986, 2012
DOI: 10.3144/expresspolymlett.2012.103
The effect of clay-induced morphological transitions on the structure formed in the course of reactively induced phase separation (RIPS) and its impact on the properties of epoxy/polycaprolactone (PCL) nanocomposites were studied. The effect of organophilized montmorillonite on the behavior of epoxy containing 5–30% PCL was strongly dependent on the epoxy/PCL system composition. With a supercritical 20% PCL content, the increasing amounts of clay led to changes in the morphology that produced phase inversion, causing radical changes in the mechanical behavior. The main effect of the clay, which was located preferentially in the epoxy, was to influence the significant dynamic asymmetry (and thus the phase behavior). The simultaneous pinning effect of the clay on the phase separation changed the composition and parameters of the coexisting phases. The evaluation of the structure-properties relationship indicated the significant potential for nanoclays to control the behavior of thermoplastic- modified epoxy systems.
Estimating the creep strain to failure of PP at different load levels based on short term tests and Weibull characterization
L. M. Vas, P. Bakonyi
Vol. 6., No.12., Pages 987-996, 2012
DOI: 10.3144/expresspolymlett.2012.104
The short and long term creep behavior is one of the most important properties of polymers used for engineering applications. In order to study this kind of behavior of PP tensile and short term creep measurements were performed and analyzed using long term creep behavior estimating method based on short term tensile and creep tests performed at room temperature, viscoelastic behavior, and variable transformations. Applying Weibull distribution based approximations for the measured curves predictions for the creep strain to failure depending on the creep load were determined and the parameters were found by fitting the measurements. The upper, mean, and lower estimations as well as the confidence interval for the means give a possibility for designers' calculations at arbitrary creep load levels.
Phenyl hepta cyclopentyl – polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxane (ph,hcp-POSS)/Polystyrene (PS) nanocomposites: the influence of substituents in the phenyl group on the thermal stability
I. Blanco, L. Abate, M. L. Antonelli, F. A. Bottino, P. Bottino
Vol. 6., No.12., Pages 997-1006, 2012
DOI: 10.3144/expresspolymlett.2012.105
Some new Polystyrene (PS) nanocomposites were prepared by using two Polyhedral Oligomeric Silsesquioxanes (POSSs), namely RR’7(SiO1.5)8 (where R = 4-methoxyphenyl or 2,4-difluorophenyl and R’ = cyclopentyl), as fillers, and their degradation was studied to investigate the effect of the electron-donor or electron-withdrawing character of the phenyl group substituents on thermal stability. Nanocomposites were synthesized by in situ polymerization of styrene in the presence of various concentrations of POSS. Proton nuclear magnetic resonance (1H NMR) spectra indicated that the POSS content in the obtained nanocomposites was higher than that in reactant mixtures. Inherent viscosity (ηinh) and glass transition temperature (Tg) determinations indicated that the average molar mass of polymer in 4-methoxynanocomposites was the same than neat PS, while it was much lower in 2,4-difluoro derivatives. Degradations were carried out in both flowing nitrogen and static air atmospheres, in the scanning mode, at various heating rates, and temperature at 5% mass loss (T5%) and the activation energy (Ea) of degradation of various nanocomposites were determined. The values obtained for 4-methoxyderivatives were higher than unfilled PS thus indicating higher thermal stability. Conversely, the values found for 2,4-difluoro derivatives were lower, in some cases even than those of neat PS. The results were discussed and interpreted.
Investigation of polymer electrolyte based on agar and ionic liquids
R. Leones, F. Sentanin, L. C. Rodrigues, I. M. Marrucho, J. M. S. S. Esperanca, A. Pawlicka, M. M. Silva
Vol. 6., No.12., Pages 1007-1016, 2012
DOI: 10.3144/expresspolymlett.2012.106
The possibility to use natural polymer as ionic conducting matrix was investigated in this study. Samples of agarbased electrolytes with different ionic liquids were prepared and characterized by physical and chemical analyses. The ionic liquids used in this work were 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium ethylsulfate, [C2mim][C2SO4], 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium acetate, [C2mim][OAc] and trimethyl-ethanolammonium acetate, [Ch][OAc]. Samples of solvent-free electrolytes were prepared and characterized by ionic conductivity measurements, thermal analysis, electrochemical stability, X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy and Fourier Transform infrared spectroscopy. Electrolyte samples are thermally stable up to approximately 190°C. All the materials synthesized are semicrystalline. The electrochemical stability domain of all samples is about 2.0 V versus Li/Li+. The preliminary studies carried out with electrochromic devices (ECDs) incorporating optimized compositions have confirmed that these materials may perform as satisfactory multifunctional component layers in the field of ‘smart windows’, as well as ECD-based devices.
Enhancement of dispersion and bonding of graphene-polymer through wet transfer of functionalized graphene oxide
M. Moazzami Gudarzi, F. Sharif
Vol. 6., No.12., Pages 1017-1031, 2012
DOI: 10.3144/expresspolymlett.2012.107
Dispersion of nanomaterials in polymeric matrices plays an important role in determining the final properties of the composites. Dispersion in nano scale, and especially in single layers, provides best opportunity for bonding. In this study, we propose that by proper functionalization and mixing strategy of graphene its dispersion, and bonding to the polymeric matrix can be improved. We then apply this strategy to graphene-epoxy system by amino functionalization of graphene oxide (GO). The process included two phase extraction, and resulted in better dispersion and higher loading of graphene in epoxy matrix. Rheological evaluation of different graphene-epoxy dispersions showed a rheological percolation threshold of 0.2 vol% which is an indication of highly dispersed nanosheets. Observation of the samples by optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and atomic force microscopy (AFM), showed dispersion homogeneity of the sheets at micro and nano scales. Study of graphene-epoxy composites showed good bonding between graphene and epoxy. Mechanical properties of the samples were consistent with theoretical predictions for ideal composites indicating molecular level dispersion and good bonding between nanosheets and epoxy matrix.
Influence of chemical treatment on the tensile properties of kenaf fiber reinforced thermoplastic polyurethane composite
Y. A. El-Shekeil, S. M. Sapuan, A. Khalina, E. S. Zainudin, O. M. Al-Shuja'a
Vol. 6., No.12., Pages 1032-1040, 2012
DOI: 10.3144/expresspolymlett.2012.108
In this study, the effect of polymeric Methylene Diphenyl Diisocyanate (pMDI) chemical treatment on kenaf (Hibiscus cannabinus) reinforced thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU/KF) was examined using two different procedures. The first consisted of treating the fibers with 4% pMDI, and the second involved 2% NaOH + 4% pMDI. The composites were characterized according to their tensile properties, Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM). The treatment of the composite with 4% pMDI did not significantly affect its tensile properties, but the treatment with 2% NaOH + 4% pMDI significantly increased the tensile properties of the composite (i.e., 30 and 42% increases in the tensile strength and modulus, respectively). FTIR also showed that treatment with 2% NaOH + 4% pMDI led to the strongest H-bonding. Additionally, the surface morphology of specimens after tensile fracture confirmed that the composite treated with 2% NaOH + 4% pMDI had the best adhesion and wettability.
Published by:

Budapest University of Technology and Economics,
Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Department of Polymer Engineering