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All issues / Volume 12 (2018) / Issue 4 (April)

Potential of ultrasound technology for the preparation of microdevices
J. Puiggali
Vol. 12., No.4., Pages 284-284, 2018
DOI: 10.3144/expresspolymlett.2018.25
This is an editorial article. It has no abstract.
Preparation and property investigation of multi-walled carbon nanotube (MWCNT)/epoxy composite films as high-performance electric heating (resistive heating) element
F. X. Wang, W. Y. Liang, Z. Q. Wang, B. Yang, L. He, K. Zhang
Vol. 12., No.4., Pages 285-295, 2018
DOI: 10.3144/expresspolymlett.2018.26
A series of multi-walled carbon nanotube (MWCNT)/epoxy composite films with a thickness of ~700 µm is prepared by a sequential process of premixing, post dispersing, film casting, and thermal curing. The effects of the physical shear dispersion on the properties of conductive polymer composites as the electric heating element are investigated. The scanning electron microscope (SEM) images show that highly efficient conductive networks form with shear dispersions of MWCNTs in the polymer matrix. The electrical resistivity decreases sharply from ~1015 Ω·cm for the neat epoxy resin to ~102 Ω·cm for the composite film with 2.0 wt% MWCNTs in accordance with the percolation behaviour, and a low percolation threshold of ~0.018 wt% is fitted. The electric heating behaviour of the composite film is observed at a low MWCNT content of 0.05 wt% due to the high electrical conductivity. For the composite film with 2.0 wt% MWCNTs, an equilibrium temperature of 115 °C is reached at an applied voltage of 40 V within 30 s. The excellent electric heating behaviour, including the rapid temperature response, electric heating efficiency, and operational stability, is primarily related to the conductive two-dimensional networks consisting of MWCNTs and the thermodynamically stable polymer matrix.
A review of extractions of seaweed hydrocolloids: Properties and applications
H. P. S. Abdul Khalil, T. K. Lai, Y. Y. Tye, S. Rizal, E. W. N. Chong, S. W. Yap, A. A. Hamzah, M. R. Nurul Fazita, M. T. Paridah
Vol. 12., No.4., Pages 296-317, 2018
DOI: 10.3144/expresspolymlett.2018.27
The term hydrocolloid generally refers to substances that form gels or provide viscous dispersion in the presence of water. Alginate, agar, and carrageenan are three commercially valuable hydrocolloids derived from certain brown and red seaweed and each has their distinct physicochemical properties (i.e. functional and bioactive). Various applications of these seaweed hydrocolloids as thickeners, stabilizers, coagulants and salves (in the wound and burn dressings) and materials to produce bio-medical impressions in the food, pharmaceutical, and biotechnology industries are highlighted in this review. Although the existing industrial methods of extraction for these seaweed hydrocolloids are well-established, still growing demand has exposed certain limitations of those methods, notably efficiency and product consistency. In order to achieve targeted hydrocolloids for specific purposes and functionalities, some novel and green extraction methods have also been proposed and discussed. Microwave-assisted extraction (MAE), ultrasound-assisted extraction (UAE), enzyme-assisted extraction (EAE), supercritical fluid extraction (SFE), pressurized solvent extractions (PSE), reactive extrusion and photobleaching process are selectively presented as highly promising candidates that can avoid the use of chemicals and provide novel means of access to seaweed hydrocolloids with both economic and environmental benefits. However, this review does not provide the ‘best’ method or procedure as many are still under development. Hence, the review gives ‘food for thought’as to new processes which might be adopted industrially and concluded that further research is required in order to contribute additional new knowledge and refinement to this field of study.
Electrospun nanofiber tubes with elastomagnetic properties for biomedical use
V. Guarino, G. Ausanio, V. Iannotti, L. Ambrosio, L. Lanotte
Vol. 12., No.4., Pages 318-329, 2018
DOI: 10.3144/expresspolymlett.2018.28
Electrospinning technique has been successfully used to produce composite nanofibers combining magnetic nanoparticles with polymer matrices. Process conditions to assembly nanofibers in tubular systems, as well as their morphological and elastomagnetic properties, have been explored. A volume percentage of magnetic charge close to 30% has been achieved. The optimization of the fabrication method ensures that the particles are completely covered by a thin polymer shell, so safe-guarding bio-compatibility. In particular, the deformation induced by the direct elastomagnetic effect, applying a static or a pulsed magnetic field, has been investigated. Resultant devices exhibit good elastomagnetic stretchability at room temperature-longitudinal relative strain/exciting field ~4·10–3/(1.5·104 A/m) –, thus suggesting their potential use for applications in biomedical field as magneto-active components, as well as sensors and actuators.
Kinetics of oriented crystallization of polymers in the linear stress-orientation range in the series expansion approach
L. Jarecki, R. B. Pecherski
Vol. 12., No.4., Pages 330-348, 2018
DOI: 10.3144/expresspolymlett.2018.29
An analytical formula is derived for the oriented crystallization coefficient governing kinetics of oriented crystallization under uniaxial amorphous orientation in the entire temperature range. A series expansion approach is applied to the free energy of crystallization in the Hoffman-Lauritzen kinetic model of crystallization at accounting for the entropy of orientation of the amorphous chains. The series expansion coefficients are calculated for systems of Gaussian chains in linear stress-orientation range. Oriented crystallization rate functions are determined basing on the ‘proportional expansion’ approach proposed by Ziabicki in the steady-state limit. Crystallization kinetics controlled by separate predetermined and sporadic primary nucleation is considered, as well as the kinetics involving both nucleation mechanisms potentially present in oriented systems. The involvement of sporadic nucleation in the transformation kinetics is predicted to increase with increasing amorphous orientation. Example computations illustrate the dependence of the calculated functions on temperature and amorphous orientation, as well as qualitative agreement of the calculations with experimental results.
Multifunctional glass fiber/polyamide composites with thermal energy storage/release capability
G. Fredi, A. Dorigato, A. Pegoretti
Vol. 12., No.4., Pages 349-364, 2018
DOI: 10.3144/expresspolymlett.2018.30
Thermoplastic composite laminates with thermal energy storage (TES) capability were prepared by combining a glass fabric, a polyamide 12 (PA12) matrix and two different phase change materials (PCMs), i.e. a paraffinic wax microencapsulated in melamine-formaldehyde shells and a paraffin shape stabilized with carbon nanotubes. The melt flow index of the PA12/PCM blends decreased with the PCM concentration, especially in the systems with shape stabilized wax. Differential scanning calorimetry showed that, for the matrices with microcapsules, the values of enthalpy were approximately the 70% of the theoretical values, which was attributed to the fracture of some microcapsules. Nevertheless, most of the energy storage capability was preserved. On the other hand, much lower relative enthalpy values were measured on the composites with shape stabilized wax, due to a considerable paraffin leakage or degradation. The subsequent characterization of the glass fabric laminates highlighted that the fiber and void volume fractions were comparable for all the laminates except for that with the higher amount of shape stabilized wax, where the high viscosity of the matrix led to a low fiber volume fraction and higher void content. The mechanical properties of the laminates were only slightly impaired by PCM addition, while a more sensible drop of the elastic modulus, of the stress at break and of the interlaminar shear strength could be observed in the shape stabilized wax systems.
Novel electrospun polyvinylidene fluoride-graphene oxide-silver nanocomposite membranes with protein and bacterial antifouling characteristics
C. Liu, J. Shen, C. Z. Liao, K. W. K. Yeung, S. C. Tjong
Vol. 12., No.4., Pages 365-382, 2018
DOI: 10.3144/expresspolymlett.2018.31
We developed and fabricated novel polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF)-(0.5–2%)Ag and PVDF-(0.5–2%)Ag-1% graphene oxide (GO) nanocomposite membranes with antifouling properties through electrospinning. Silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) were in situ synthesized from silver nitrate precursor directly. The tensile properties, wetting, antifouling characteristics of pristine PVDF and its nanocomposite membranes were studied. Tensile tests showed that the addition of 0.5–2% AgNPs to PVDF improves its elastic modulus and tensile strength markedly. A further increase in both tensile modulus and strength of PVDF were obtained by hybridizing AgNPs with 1% GO. Water contact angle measurements revealed that the incorporation of AgNPs or AgNPs/GO nanofillers into PVDF decreases its degree of hydrophobicity. This led to the nanocomposite membranes having higher water flux permeation. In addition, AgNPs and AgNPs/GO fillers played a crucial role against protein and bacterial fouling of the resulting composite membranes. The antibacterial activities of electrospun nanocomposite membranes were assessed against Gram-negative Escherichia coli and Gram-positive Staphylococcus aureus. On the basis of water contact angle, water permeation flux and antifouling results, electrospun PVDF-2% Ag-GO composite membrane was found to exhibit excellent filtration performance, protein antifouling and bactericidal activities. Thus such a fibrous nanocomposite is considered as a high-potential membrane for water purification and disinfection applications.
Local elongation of stretched filled rubber surface
I. A. Morozov, R. I. Izumov, O. K. Garishin
Vol. 12., No.4., Pages 383-394, 2018
DOI: 10.3144/expresspolymlett.2018.32
Local elongation of the surface of a stretched rubber is estimated by comparing the stiffness of stretched filled (30 or 50 phr of silicica) styrene-butadiene vulcanizate and the results of finite element simulation of the indentation of the unfilled elastomer. The local strain exceeds the macroscopic value, yet the weakly loaded areas are also present. As the macroscopic elongation increases, the oriented polymer strands are formed, whose strain is particularly high. An increase in the filler content significantly increases the number and local elongation of strands. The highest tensile loads of the filled matrix occur in the gaps with the initial size of 100 nm. The limitations of the dynamic indentation of stretched elastomers are shown.
Published by:

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