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All issues / Volume 10 (2016) / Issue 7 (July)

(Multi)functional polymers and composites via Diels-Alder reactions
J. Karger-Kocsis
Vol. 10., No.7., Pages 525-525, 2016
DOI: 10.3144/expresspolymlett.2016.49
This is an editorial article. It has no abstract.
Novel method of polymer/low-melting-point metal alloy/light metal fiber composite fabrication
J. Park, K. S. Shin
Vol. 10., No.7., Pages 526-536, 2016
DOI: 10.3144/expresspolymlett.2016.50
A novel method of polymer/low-melting-point metal alloy (LMA)/light metal fiber composite fabrication is proposed to solve problems of polymer/metal composites. The first step is mixing light metal particles with LMA at a temperature above the melting point of the LMA. The second step is cold extrusion of the LMA/light metal particles to fabricate LMA/light metal fibers. Thus, the LMA/light metal fibers with a density of ~4.5 g/cm3 were obtained. The last step is compounding a polymer with the LMA/light metal fibers at the processing temperature of the polymer above the melting points of the LMA. The effects of the length and the cross-sectional shape of light metal fiber on the morphology of the LMA/light metal fibers in the polymer matrix were studied, as were electrical conductivities and mechanical properties of the composites. As the length and/or the cross-sectional aspect ratio of the fibers was increased, the domains of LMA/light metal fibers formed more networks so that the electrical conductivity increased, and specific surface area of the domains increased so that notched Izod impact strength was improved. Thus, the polymer/LMA/light metal fiber composites were fabricated without degrading processability even at 60 vol% loading and the electrical conductivities over 103 S/cm were achieved.
Characterization and kinetic study of Diels-Alder reaction: Detailed study on N-phenylmaleimide and furan based benzoxazine with potential self-healing application
Z. Stirn, A. Rucigaj, M. Krajnc
Vol. 10., No.7., Pages 537-547, 2016
DOI: 10.3144/expresspolymlett.2016.51
The Diels-Alder reaction between N-phenylmaleimide and benzoxazine bearing furan group was investigated for the purpose of successful appliance of self-healing in benzoxazine polymer networks. The reaction as a function of temperature/time was performed in molten state and in a solution, where also the kinetic study was performed. The Diels-Alder reaction leads to a mixture of two diastereomers: endo presented at lower cyclo-reversion temperature and exo at higher. Therefore, the conversion rates and exo/endo ratio were studied in detail for both systems. For instance, in molten state the Diels-Alder reaction was triggered by the temperature of the melting point at 60 °C with exo/endo ratio preferable to the endo adduct. The study of the kinetics in a solution revealed that the Diels-Alder reaction followed typical bimolecular reversible second-order reaction. The activation energies were close to the previous literature data; 48.4 and 51.9 kJ·mol–1 for Diels-Alder reaction, and 91.0 and 102.3 kJ·mol–1 for retro-Diels-Alder reaction, in acetonitrile and chloroform, respectively. The reaction equilibrium in a solution is much more affected by the retro-Diels-Alder reaction than in a molten state. This study shows detailed investigation of DA reaction and provides beneficial knowledge for further use in self-healing polymer networks.
Polyether from a biobased Janus molecule as surfactant for carbon nanotubes
V. Barbera, S. Musto, A. Citterio, L. Conzatti, M. Galimberti
Vol. 10., No.7., Pages 548-558, 2016
DOI: 10.3144/expresspolymlett.2016.52
A new polyether (PE) was prepared from a biobased Janus molecule, 2-(2,5-dimethyl-1H-pyrrol-1-yl)-1,3-propanediol (serinol pyrrole, SP). SP was synthesized with very high yield (about 96%) and high atom efficiency (about 80%) by reacting a biosourced molecule, such as serinol, with 2,5-hexanedione in the absence of solvent or catalyst. The reaction of SP with 1,6-dibromohexane led to PE oligomers, that were used as surfactants for multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT), in ecofriendly polar solvents such as acetone and ethyl acetate. The synergic interaction of aromatic rings and oxyalkylene sequences with the carbon allotrope led to dramatic improvement of surfactant efficiency: only 24% of SP based PE was extracted with ethyl acetate from the adduct with MWCNT, versus 98% of a typical pluronic surfactant. Suspensions of MWCNT-PE adducts in ethyl acetate were stable for months. High resolution transmission electron microscopy revealed a film of oligomers tightly adhered to MWCNT surface.
Recycling of poly(ethylene terephthalate) – A review focusing on chemical methods
B. Geyer, G. Lorenz, A. Kandelbauer
Vol. 10., No.7., Pages 559-586, 2016
DOI: 10.3144/expresspolymlett.2016.53
Recycling of poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET) is of crucial importance, since worldwide amounts of PETwaste increase rapidly due to its widespread applications. Hence, several methods have been developed, like energetic, material, thermo-mechanical and chemical recycling of PET. Most frequently, PET-waste is incinerated for energy recovery, used as additive in concrete composites or glycolysed to yield mixtures of monomers and undefined oligomers. While energetic and thermo-mechanical recycling entail downcycling of the material, chemical recycling requires considerable amounts of chemicals and demanding processing steps entailing toxic and ecological issues. This review provides a thorough survey of PET-recycling including energetic, material, thermo-mechanical and chemical methods. It focuses on chemical methods describing important reaction parameters and yields of obtained reaction products. While most methods yield monomers, only a few yield undefined low molecular weight oligomers for impaired applications (dispersants or plasticizers). Further, the present work presents an alternative chemical recycling method of PET in comparison to existing chemical methods.
Improving the interfacial and mechanical properties of short glass fiber/epoxy composites by coating the glass fibers with cellulose nanocrystals
A. Asadi, M. Miller, R. J. Moon, K. Kalaitzidou
Vol. 10., No.7., Pages 587-597, 2016
DOI: 10.3144/expresspolymlett.2016.54
In this study, the interfacial and mechanical properties of cellulose nanocrystals (CNC) coated glass fiber/epoxy composites were investigated as a function of the CNC content on the surface of glass fibers (GF). Chopped GF rovings were coated with CNC by immersing the GF in CNC (0–5 wt%) aqueous suspensions. Single fiber fragmentation (SFF) tests showed that the interfacial shear strength (IFSS) increased by ~69% in composites produced with CNC coated GF as compared to uncoated GF, suggesting an enhancement of stress transfer across the GF/matrix interface. The role of CNC coatings on the tensile, flexural, and thermo-mechanical properties of the CNC-coated GF/epoxy composites was investigated. Incorporation of 0.17 wt% CNC in the composite resulted in increases of ~10% in both elastic modulus and tensile strength, and 40 and 43 % in flexural modulus and strength respectively. In conclusion CNC coatings on GF alter the GF/matrix interface resulting in improvement of the mechanical performance of the corresponding composites.
Multifunctional e-spun colloidal nanofiber structures from various dispersed blends of PVA/ODA-MMT with PVP/ODA-MMT, poly(VP-alt-MA) and AgNPs incorporated polymer complexes as electro-active platforms
U. Bunyatova, Z. M. O. Rzayev, M. Simsek
Vol. 10., No.7., Pages 598-616, 2016
DOI: 10.3144/expresspolymlett.2016.55
This work presented a new approach to fabricate polymer nanocomposites films with nanofiber structures from solution blends of poly(vinyl alcohol) + octadecyl amine-montmorillonite (ODA-MMT) (matrix) with poly(N-vinylpyrrolidone) + ODA-MMT (partner-1), poly(N-vinylpyrrolidone-alt-maleic anhydride) ((poly(VP-alt-MA)) + (ODA-MMT) (partner-2) and their silver (Ag)-carrying polymer complexes by electrospinning. Chemical and physical structures, surface morphologies, thermal behaviors, electrical conductivity and thermal resistance parameters of nanofiber structures were investigated. Poly(VP-alt-MA) was used both as a crosslinker and a donor of the hydrophilic groups such as ‒COOH and ‒NH–C=O amide from pyrrolidone ring. Reactive poly(VP-alt-MA), in situ generated Ag nanoparticles (AgNPs) and original partner polymer had an significant effect on the morphology and diameter distribution of nanofibers. High and excellent conductive behaviors were observed for the homopolymer and copolymer of VP based fiber structures, respectively. Upon successive chemical cross-linking of the nanofiber structures by reactive partner copolymer, the conductivity of nanofiber films as electro-active platforms dramatically increased to 3.90·10–2 S·cm–1 at room temperature. Comparative analysis results also indicated that electrical properties strongly depended on the loaded reactive organoclay and in situ generated AgNPs.
Study on an amine-containing benzoxazine: Homo- and copolymerization with epoxy resin
L. Zhang, M. Wang, J. Wu
Vol. 10., No.7., Pages 617-626, 2016
DOI: 10.3144/expresspolymlett.2016.56
An amine-containing benzoxazine (P-deta) based homopolymer and its epoxy (Ep) copolymers are investigated in this study. The structure of benzoxazine, prepared from phenol, diethylenetriamine and formalin, is confirmed by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR). The viscosity of P-deta is much lower than that of commercialized benzoxazine monomers. The curing profiles of P-deta with various Ep ratios are studied by deconvolution and the related mechanism is clarified. Epoxy will not increase the curing temperature of P-deta, instead, it helps P-deta overcome the conversion limitation and promotes the curing rate. The thermal and viscoelastic properties were determined and compared. The copolymer of P-deta/Ep = 50/50 (wt/wt) shows the highest glass transition temperature, higher than both individual homopolymers and other copolymers. Increasing benzoxazine fraction enhances modulus at room temperature but deteriorates the crosslink density. It can also enhances the char yield, but deteriorates the thermal stability of the copolymers.
Published by:

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