All issues / Volume 9 (2015) / Issue 8 (August)
This is an editorial article. It has no abstract.
In order to analyze the influence of the lateral size of graphene oxide (GO) on the properties of natural rubber/graphene oxide (NR/GO) nanocomposites, three different sized graphene oxide sheets, namely G1, G2 and G3 were used to fabricate a series of NR/GO nanocomposites by latex mixing. The results indicate that adding GO can remarkably increase the modulus of NR. The enhancement of modulus is strongly dependent on the size of GO sheets incorporated. G1 with smallest sheet size gives the maximum reinforcement effect compared with G2 and G3. Dynamic mechanical measurement and swelling ratios (Qf/Qg) indicate that G1 has stronger interfacial interaction with NR. XRD shows G1 is more effective in accelerating the strain-induced crystallization (SIC) of NR. The strong interfacial interaction facilitates the stress transfer and strain-induced crystallization, both of which lead to the improved modulus.
Denatured proteins, natural macromolecules are very attractive for advanced nanocomposites owing to their multiple functional chemical groups. However, denaturation processes were only successfully conducted in an aqueous environment, limiting their broad applications in hydrophobic polymers. In this study, we report an effective approach of denaturing soy protein at nanoscale in an organic solvent. Further, the denatured soy protein was found to be able to infiltrate between the graphite nanoplatelet (GNP) layers to reduce the thickness of GNPs and improve the dispersion of the nanoparticles in either the suspension or the final polymeric nanocomposites. As a result, remarkable improvements in transparency and electrical conductivity have been achieved for the nanocomposites with the GNPs treated by the denatured soy protein.
The non-isothermal cure kinetics of polymer silicate layered nanocomposites based on a tri-functional epoxy resin has been investigated by differential scanning calorimetry. From an analysis of the kinetics as a function of the clay content, it can be concluded that the non-isothermal cure reaction can be considered to consist of four different processes: the reaction of epoxy groups with the diamine curing agent; an intra-gallery homopolymerisation reaction which occurs concurrently with the epoxy-amine reaction; and two extra-gallery homopolymerisation reactions, catalysed by the onium ion of the organically modified clay and by the tertiary amines resulting from the epoxy-amine reaction. The final nanostructure displays a similar quality of exfoliation as that observed for the isothermal cure of the same nanocomposite system. This implies that the intra-gallery reaction, which is responsible for the exfoliation, is not significantly inhibited by the extra-gallery epoxy-amine cross-linking reaction.
In this work liquid-crystalline polymer (LCP) nanocomposites reinforced with in-situ reduced graphene oxide are investigated. Graphene oxide (GO) was first synthesized by the Hummers method, and the kinetics of its thermal reduction was assessed. GO layers were then homogeneously dispersed in a thermotropic liquid crystalline polymer matrix (Vectran®), and an in-situ thermal reduction of GO into reduced graphene oxide (rGO) was performed. Even at low rGO amount, the resulting nanocomposites exhibited an enhancement of both the mechanical properties and the thermal stability. Improvements of the creep stability and of the thermo-mechanical behavior were also observed upon nanofiller incorporation. Furthermore, in-situ thermal reduction of the insulating GO into the more electrically conductive rGO led to an important surface resistivity decrease in the nanofilled samples.
This paper aims at improving the mechanical behavior of biobased brittle amorphous polylactide (PLA) by extrusion melt-blending with biobased semi-crystalline polyamide 11 (PA11) and addition of halloysite nanotubes (HNT). The morphological analysis of the PLA/PA11/HNT blends shows a strong interface between the two polymeric phases due to hydrogen bonding, and the migration of HNTs towards PA11 phase inducing their selective localization in one of the polymeric phases of the blend. A ‘salami-like’ structure is formed revealing a HNTs-rich tubular-like (fibrillar) PA11 phase. Moreover, HNTs localized in the dispersed phase act as nucleating agents for PA11. Compared to neat PLA, this leads to a remarkable improvement in tensile and impact properties (elongation at break is multiplied by a factor 43, impact strength by 2, whereas tensile strength and stiffness are almost unchanged). The toughening mechanism is discussed based on the combined effect of resistance to crack propagation and nanotubes load bearing capacity due to the existence of the fibrillar structure. Thus, blending brittle PLA with PA11 and HNT nanotubes results in tailor-made PLA-based compounds with enhanced ductility without sacrificing stiffness and strength.
Polyaniline (PANI)-coated iron oxide (Fe3O4) sphere particles were fabricated and applied to a dual stimuliresponsive material under electric and magnetic fields, respectively. Sphere Fe3O4 particles were synthesized by a solvothermal process and protonated after acidification. The aniline monomer tended to surround the surface of the Fe3O4 core due to the electrostatic and hydrogen bond interactions. A core-shell structured product was finally formed by the oxidation polymerization of PANI on the surface of Fe3O4. The formation of Fe3O4@PANI particles was examined by scanning electron microscope and transmission electron microscope. The bond between Fe3O4 and PANI was confirmed by Fourier transform-infrared spectroscope and magnetic properties were analyzed by vibration sample magnetometer. A hybrid of a conducting and magnetic particle-based suspension displayed dual stimuli-response under electric and magnetic fields. The suspension exhibited typical electrorheological and magnetorheological behaviors of the shear stress, shear viscosity and dynamic yield stress, as determined using a rotational rheometer. Sedimentation stability was also compared between Fe3O4 and Fe3O4@PANI suspension.
Triallyl L-alanine (A3A) and triallyl L-phenylalanine (A3F) were synthesized by reactions of L-alanine and L-phenylalanine with allyl bromide in the presence of sodium hydroxide, respectively. Thiol-ene thermal polymerization of A3A or A3F with pentaerythritol-based primary tetrathiol (pS4P) or pentaerythritol-based secondary tetrathiol (S4P) at allyl/SH 1/1 in the presence of 2,2'-azobis(isobutyronitrile) produced an amino acid-incorporated polymer network (A3ApS4P, A3A-S4P or A3F-S4P). Although the thermally cured resins were homogeneous and flat films, the corresponding thiol-ene photopolymerization did not give a successful result. Degree of swelling for each thermally cured film in N,Ndimethylformamide was much higher than that in water. The glass transition and 5% weight loss temperatures (Tg and T5) of A3F-pS4P and A3F-S4P were higher than those of A3A-pS4P and A3A-S4P, respectively. Also, A3F-pS4P and A3F-S4P exhibited much higher tensile strengths and moduli than A3A-pS4P and A3A-S4P did, respectively. Consequently, A3FpS4P displayed the highest Tg (38.7°C), T5 (282.0°C), tensile strength (9.5 MPa) and modulus (406 MPa) among all the thermally cured resins.