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All issues / Volume 9 (2015) / Issue 4 (April)

Where micro- and nano-worlds meet: multiscale polymer composites
A. Pegoretti
Vol. 9., No.4., Pages 329-329, 2015
DOI: 10.3144/expresspolymlett.2015.30
This is an editorial article. It has no abstract.
Effect of phosphorous-containing modified poly(vinyl alcohol) on the mechanical and flame retardant properties of polypropylene
S. Sauca, M. Giamberini, P. Cerruti, M. Malinconico, J. A. Reina
Vol. 9., No.4., Pages 330-343, 2015
DOI: 10.3144/expresspolymlett.2015.31
Blends of polypropylene (PP) and different phosphorous-modified poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) derivatives synthesized on purpose, were prepared by both solvent and melt mixing, and fully characterized. Thermogravimetric analysis showed that the addition of the phosphorous-modified PVAs significantly increased thermal stability and charring of PP, probably due to their dehydration and the subsequent formation of a protective layer onto PP. SEM analysis demonstrated poor phase compatibility between PP and the polymeric additives, however acceptable dispersion of the polymeric additives was obtained. It was also observed that grafting of the modified PVA on PP occurred due to radical reactions arising during melt processing. Mechanical characterization showed that the elastic behavior of the blends was not altered with respect to neat PP, while ductility was reduced; on the other hand, impact resistance was considerably improved by blending. Slightly higher LOI values were obtained for the blends even with phosphorous content as small as 1 wt%; reduced dripping was also observed during the burning tests for the blend samples. Moreover, cone calorimeter test results showed that heat release rate, total heat release, and fire growth rate decreased compared with PP, in particular for the blends containing residual –OH groups on the PVA backbone. Therefore, these blends can find application where the combination of toughness and fire retardancy is required, such as in the automotive industry.
Tailoring the mechanical and thermal properties of dicyclopentadiene polyHIPEs with the use of a comonomer
E. H. Mert, C. Slugovc, P. Krajnc
Vol. 9., No.4., Pages 344-353, 2015
DOI: 10.3144/expresspolymlett.2015.32
The effect of adding a comonomer to dicyclopentadiene in high internal phase emulsions (HIPEs) on the properties of ring-opening metathesis polymerisation (ROMP) derived polyHIPEs has been investigated. With this aim, dicylopentadiene was copolymerised with norbornene in surfactant stabilized high internal phase emulsions. Morphological, mechanical and thermal properties of the resulting materials were investigated with regard to the monomer ratio. The interconnected pore structure was observed for the resulting poly(dicylopentadiene-<Í>co-norbornene) polyHIPEs. Furthermore, the new polyHIPE copolymers were found to have an improved thermal stability compared to the poly(dicylopentadiene) homopolymer.
Effect of injection molded micro-structured polystyrene surfaces on proliferation of MC3T3-E1 cells
G. Lucchetta, M. Sorgato, E. Zanchetta, G. Brusatin, E. Guidi, R. Di Liddo, M. T. Conconi
Vol. 9., No.4., Pages 354-361, 2015
DOI: 10.3144/expresspolymlett.2015.33
In this work, osteoinductive micro-pillared polystyrene surfaces were mass-produced for bone replacement applications, by means of the micro injection molding process. Firstly, the molding process parameters were optimized with a two-level, three-factor central composite face-centered plan to increase the quality of polystyrene micro pillars replication and to maximize the pillars height uniformity over the molded part. Secondly, osteoblastic MC3T3-E1 cells adhesion and proliferation on the replicated substrates were assessed as a function of micro topography parameters, such as pillars diameter, aspect ratio and spacing. Cell morphology and proliferation were evaluated through MTS test after 1, 3 and 7 days from seeding. The experimental results showed that cells adhesion and proliferation is more positively promoted on micro-pillared surfaces compared to flat surfaces, but no correlations were observed between cell proliferation and pillar diameter and spacing.
Investigation of fatigue and mechanical properties of the pipe grade poly(vinyl chloride) using recycled scraps
J-M. Lee, J-S. Moon, H. Lee, B-H. Choi
Vol. 9., No.4., Pages 362-371, 2015
DOI: 10.3144/expresspolymlett.2015.34
In this paper, the effect of using pre-consumer PVC scraps on static and long-term mechanical properties is studied. The degradation characteristics of mixing virgin PVC with crushed pre-consumer and PVC pipe scraps are analyzed using various tools including Gel Permeation Chromatography (GPC), Thermogravimetric Analysis (TGA), X-ray fluorescence (XRF) and Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy. The variation of static mechanical properties as a function of adding pre-consumer PVC pipe scraps is investigated using the degradation analyses of recycled PVC scraps. In addition, fatigue tests are executed to evaluate the long-term durability of blending virgin PVC and recycled PVC scraps, and the fracture surface is investigated in detail to reveal the variation of the fracture mechanisms.
A new PDMS-b-PPO block copolymer membrane with novel non-perforated structure towards high flux for alcohol permselective pervaporation
W. Liu, H. X. Guo, S. L. Ji, H. J. Niu, J. R. Li
Vol. 9., No.4., Pages 372-383, 2015
DOI: 10.3144/expresspolymlett.2015.35
The effective permselective pervaporation of alcohol is one of key technology for bio-alcohol industrial production. In this work, a new polydimethylsiloxane-block-polyphenylene oxide (PDMS-b-PPO) copolymer was first synthesized by a bridge reagent technique. Based on the copolymer structure confirmation, the asymmetric PDMS-b-PPO membrane was subsequently prepared by phase-inversion method in order to improve the anti-swelling capacity of PDMS. SEM observation indicated that the morphology of as-prepared membrane exhibited a ‘non-perforated’ structure, resulting from the phase-inversion and micro-phase separation of the PDMS-b-PPO copolymer in the membrane forming process. Furthermore, the structure changes of the membranes with different ratio of PDMS to PPO were investigated. This non-perforated structure in the membrane favored to reduce the diffusion resistance, together with the affinity of PDMS segment to alcohol during pervaporation process. Thus, the prepared PDMS-b-PPO membrane showed dramatically increased flux, in pervaporation separation of alcohol/water mixture. The flux of the PDMS-b-PPO membrane (PDMS content of 42.4%) can reach 3816.8 g/(m2h), along with 8.53 of separation factor in pervaporation of 5 wt% alcohol/water mixture (60°C). This work may provide a new strategy to design and fabricate new copolymer membranes for improving alcohol permselective pervaporation.
Inverse effect in simultaneous thermal and radiation aging of EVA insulation
G. Przybytniak, J. Boguski, V. Placek, L. Verardi, D. Fabiani, E. Linde, U. W. Gedde
Vol. 9., No.4., Pages 384-393, 2015
DOI: 10.3144/expresspolymlett.2015.36
Poly(ethylene-co-vinyl acetate) (EVA) insulation of the cable applied in nuclear power plants was accelerated aged by gamma-rays at two various temperatures, namely 55 and 85°C. Radiation degradation in the dose range of 0–1500 kGy was monitored using a Differential Scanning Calorimetry method by measuring oxidative induction temperature (OITp), gel fraction, mechanical and electrical tests. It was confirmed that a dose rate effect in the range of 420–1500 Gy/h was negligible whereas progress of degradation with increasing dose was strongly temperature dependent. For the insulation accelerated aged at 85°C the OITp and permittivity measurements confirmed lower degradation than for the specimens radiation treated at 55°C at the same dose rates. It was postulated that an inverse thermal effect resulted from radiation induced cross-linking facilitated by melting of EVA crystallites at 85°C.
The analysis of injection molding defects caused by gate vestiges
T. Tabi, A. Suplicz, F. Szabo, N. K. Kovacs, B. Zink, H. Hargitai, J. G. Kovacs
Vol. 9., No.4., Pages 394-400, 2015
DOI: 10.3144/expresspolymlett.2015.37
Issues of product safety are the most serious problems of an injection molded product due to their risk to human health. Such a safety problem can be the needle-shaped vestige at the gate zone of injection molded products, called a gate vestige. Only observations of the formation of gate vestiges can be found in the literature, but the processing parameters influencing their dimensions, especially their height have not been studied yet. Our goal was to study the effect of various injection molding processing parameters and gate constructions on gate vestige formation.
Published by:

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