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All issues / Volume 9 (2015) / Issue 10 (October)

Interphase engineering in polymer composites: Challenging the devil…
A. Pegoretti, J. Karger-Kocsis
Vol. 9., No.10., Pages 838-838, 2015
DOI: 10.3144/expresspolymlett.2015.78
This is an editorial article. It has no abstract.
A review on electrospun bio-based polymers for water treatment
T. C. Mokhena, V. Jacobs, A. S. Luyt
Vol. 9., No.10., Pages 839-880, 2015
DOI: 10.3144/expresspolymlett.2015.79
Over the past decades, electrospinning of biopolymers down to nanoscale garnered much interest to address most of the millennia issues related to water treatment. The fabrication of these nanostructured membranes added a new dimension to the current nanotechnologies where a wide range of materials can be processed to their nanosize. Electrospinning is a simple and versatile technique to fabricate unique nanostructured membranes with fascinating properties for a wide spectrum of applications such as filtration and others. These nanostructured membranes, fabricated by electrospinning, were found to be of a paramount importance because of their advanced inherited properties such as large surface-to-volume ratio, as well as tuneable porosity, stability, and high permeability. The extensive research conducted on these materials extended the success of electrospinning not only to bio-based polymer nanofibres, but to their hybrids and their derivatives. The technique also created avenues for advanced and massive production of nanofibres. This paper reviews the recent developments in the electrospinning technique. Electrospinning of biopolymers, their blends and functionalization using metals/metal oxides, and the potential applications of electrospun nanofibrous membranes in water filtration are discussed.
The effect of intramolecular donor–acceptor moieties with donor–π-bridge–acceptor structure on the solar photovoltaic performance
T. L. Wang, S. C. Huang, C. H. Yang, Y. Y. Chuang, C. H. Chen
Vol. 9., No.10., Pages 881-893, 2015
DOI: 10.3144/expresspolymlett.2015.80
A series of intramolecular donor–acceptor polymers containing different contents of (E)-1-(2-ethylhexyl)-6,9-dioctyl-2-(2-(thiophen-3-yl)vinyl)-1H-phenanthro[9,10-d]imidazole (thiophene-DOPI) moiety and 4,4-diethylhexylcyclopenta[ 2,1-b:3,4-b']dithiophene (CPDT) unit was synthesized via Grignard metathesis (GRIM) polymerization. The synthesized random copolymers and homopolymer of thiophene-DOPI contain the donor–π-bridge–acceptor conjugated structure to tune the absorption spectra and energy levels of the resultant polymers. UV-vis spectra of the three polymer films exhibit panchromatic absorptions ranging from 300 to 1100 nm and low band gaps from 1.38 to 1.51 eV. It is found that more thiophene-DOPI moieties result in the decrease of band gap and lower the highest occupied molecular orbital (HOMO) and lowest unoccupied molecular orbital (LUMO) values of polymers. Photovoltaic performance results indicate that if the content of the intramolecular donor–acceptor moiety is high enough, the copolymer structure may be better than homopolymer due to more light-harvesting afforded by both monomer units.
Crystalline plasticity in isotactic polypropylene below and above the glass transition temperature
G. Polt, F. Spieckermann, H. Wilhelm, Ch. Fischer, E. Schafler, S. Bernstorff, M. Zehetbauer
Vol. 9., No.10., Pages 894-900, 2015
DOI: 10.3144/expresspolymlett.2015.81
In-situ X-ray diffraction was applied to isotactic polypropylene with a high volume fraction of α-phase (α-iPP) while it has been compressed at temperatures below and above its glass transition temperature Tg. The diffraction patterns were evaluated by the Multi-reflection X-ray Profile Analysis (MXPA) method, revealing microstructural parameters such as the density of dislocations and the size of coherently scattering domains (CSD-size). A significant difference in the development of the dislocation density was found compared to compression at temperatures above Tg, pointing at a different plastic deformation mechanism at these temperatures. Based on the individual evolutions of the dislocation density and CSD-size observed as a function of compressive strain, suggestions for the deformation mechanisms occurring below and above Tg are made.
Influence of the presence of medium-soft paraffin wax on the morphology and properties of iPP/silver nanocomposites
M. P. Molaba, D. Dudic, A. S. Luyt
Vol. 9., No.10., Pages 901-915, 2015
DOI: 10.3144/expresspolymlett.2015.82
The aim of this study was to investigate the presence of wax, different Ag nanoparticle contents, and different cooling rates from the melt, on the morphology, thermal and electrical conductivity, and dynamic mechanical properties of iPP. The Ag particles were well dispersed in the polymer, and formed nucleation centres for the crystallization of iPP. They were also well dispersed in iPP/wax, but they were located in the wax phase which was dispersed between the iPP spherulites. Generally the extent of filler agglomeration increased with increasing filler content. The Ag particles, whether in the iPP or wax phase, had little influence on the crystallinities and melting temperatures of iPP. The presence of Ag particles in iPP had little influence on its modulus, but the presence of both wax and Ag particles significantly improved the modulus of these nanocomposites. The thermal and electrical conductivities of the samples more significantly improved when both wax and Ag were present. With increasing Ag particle contents in both iPP/Ag and iPP/wax/Ag, the thermal conductivities increased, but leveled off at higher filler contents, while the electrical conductivities continuously increased with increasing filler contents. The slowly cooled samples had higher crystallinities than the quenched samples and therefore they were more thermally conductive than the quenched samples.
Effect of surface modified TiO2 nanoparticles on thermal, barrier and mechanical properties of long oil alkyd resin-based coatings
T. S. Radoman, J. V. Dzunuzovic, K. T. Trifkovic, T. Palija, A. D. Marinkovic, B. Bugarski, E. S. Dzunuzovic
Vol. 9., No.10., Pages 916-931, 2015
DOI: 10.3144/expresspolymlett.2015.83
Novel soy alkyd-based nanocomposites (NCs) were prepared using TiO2 nanoparticles (NPs) surface modified with different gallates, and for the first time with imine obtained from 3,4-dihydroxybenzaldehyde and oleylamine (DHBAOA). Unmodified and surface modified anatase TiO2 NPs were characterized by transmission electron microscopy (TEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and ultraviolet-visible (UV-Vis) spectroscopy, while the amount of adsorbed ligands was calculated from thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) results. Surface modification of TiO2 NPs was confirmed by FTIR and UV-Vis spectra. The influence of the TiO2 surface modification on the dispersion of TiO2 NPs in alkyd resin, thermal, barrier and mechanical properties and chemical resistance of alkyd resin/TiO2 NC coatings was investigated. The obtained results revealed that glass transition temperature of all investigated NCs is lower than for pure resin, that the presence of TiO2 NPs surface modified with gallates had no significant influence on the thermooxidative stability of alkyd resin, while TiO2-DHBAOA NPs slightly improved alkyd resin thermooxidative stability. Also, the presence of surface modified TiO2 NPs improved barrier properties, increased stress and strain at break and hardness and chemical resistance and decreased modulus of elasticity and abrasion resistance of alkyd resin.
Assisted heterogeneous multinucleation and bubble growth in semicrystalline ethylene-vinyl acetate copolymer/expanded graphite nanocomposite foams: Control of morphology and viscoelastic properties
O. Yousefzade, F. Hemmati, H. Garmabi, M. Mahdavi
Vol. 9., No.10., Pages 932-944, 2015
DOI: 10.3144/expresspolymlett.2015.84
Nanocomposite foams of ethylene-vinyl acetate copolymer (EVA) reinforced by expanded graphite (EG) were prepared using supercritical nitrogen in batch foaming process. Effects of EG particle size, crosslinking of EVA chains and foaming temperature on the cell morphology and foam viscoelastic properties were investigated. EG sheet surface interestingly provide multiple heterogeneous nucleation sites for bubbles. This role is considerably intensified by incorporating lower loadings of EG with higher aspect ratio. The amorphous and non-crosslinked domains of EVA matrix constitute denser bubble areas. Higher void fraction and more uniform cell structure is achieved for non-crosslinked EVA/EG nanocomposites foamed at higher temperatures. With regard to the structural variation, the void fraction of foam samples decreases with increasing the EG content. Storage and loss moduli were analyzed to study the viscoelastic properties of nanocomposite foams. Surprisingly, the foaming process of EVA results in a drastic reduction in loss and storage moduli regardless of whether the thermoplastic matrix contains EG nanofiller or not. For the EVA/EG foams with the same composition, the nanocomposite having higher void fraction shows relatively lower loss modulus and more restricted molecular movements. The study findings have verified that the dynamics of polymer chains varies after foaming EVA matrix in the presence of EG.
Novel electrically conductive polyurethane/montmorillonite-polypyrrole nanocomposites
S. D. A. S. Ramoa, G. M. O. Barra, C. Merlini, S. Livi, B. G. Soares, A. Pegoretti
Vol. 9., No.10., Pages 945-958, 2015
DOI: 10.3144/expresspolymlett.2015.85
This work describes the production of electrically conductive nanocomposites based on thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) filled with montmorillonite-dodecylbenzenesulfonic acid-doped polypyrrole (Mt-PPy.DBSA) prepared by melt blending in an internal mixer. The electrical conductivity, morphology as well as the rheological properties of TPU/Mt-PPy.DBSA nanocomposites were evaluated and compared with those of TPU nanocomposites containing different conductive fillers, such as polypyrrole doped with hydrochloride acid (PPy.Cl) or dodecylbenzenesulfonic acid (PPy.DBSA) or montmorillonite-hydrochloride acid-doped polypyrrole (Mt-PPy.Cl), prepared with the same procedure. The TPU/Mt-PPy.DBSA nanocomposites display a very sharp insulator-conductor transition and the electrical percolation threshold was about 10 wt% of Mt-PPy.DBSA, which was significantly lower than those found for TPU/Mt-PPy.Cl, TPU/PPy.Cl and TPU/PPy.DBSA. Morphological analysis highlights that Mt-PPy.DBSA filler was better distributed and dispersed in the TPU matrix, forming a denser conductive network when compared to Mt-PPy.Cl, PPy.Cl and PPy.DBSA fillers. This morphology can be attributed to the higher site-specific interaction between TPU matrix and Mt-PPy.DBSA. The present study demonstrated the potential use of Mt-PPy.DBSA as new promising conductive nanofiller to produce highly conductive polymer nanocomposites with functional properties.
Published by:

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