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Polymers and Polymer Composites

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Title: CHARACTERIZATION OF CARBON NANOFIBRE REINFORCED EPOXY COMPOSITE USING NANOINDENTATION AND AFM/UFM TECHNIQUES
Page Range: p.549-562
Author(s): Lee H; Mall S; Nalladega V; Sathish S; Roy A; Lafdi K
File size: 371K
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Journal: Polymers and Polymer Composites
Issue Year: ppc
Volume: 14
Issue No: No. 6

Abstract
The characterisation of carbon nanofibre-reinforced epoxy composites by the use of Nanoindentation, atomic force microscopy and ultrasonic force microscopy is described. These tests were supplemented with ultrasonic wave propagation and three-point bend test methods. The carbon nanofibres were functionalised with oxygen to improve dispersion and adhesion in the epoxy matrix. Improvements in modulus and hardness were found with the carbon nanofibre-reinforced epoxy as compared to the neat epoxy resin. These were dependent o the functionalisation treatment time. However, the increase was of a different magnitude when measured by the three methods of Nanoindentation, wave propagation and three-point bend tests. The indentation test technique is claimed to be capable of providing mechanical property data from a limited size and/or quantity of nanocomposites. The atomic force microscopy and ultrasonic force microscopy were able to characterise the behaviour of carbon nanofibres in nanocomposites, with the latter providing clearer information than the former. It is concluded that atomic force microscopy and ultrasonic force microscopy have the potential to provide a technique for the analysis of nanocomposites at nanoscale and for the mapping of the local surface stiffness at nanoscale. 27 refs.

Title: PROCESSING-INDUCED MORPHOLOGY: ITS RELATIONSHIP WITH TENSILE-IMPACT BEHAVIOUR IN INJECTION-MOULDED POLYPROPYLENE
Page Range: p.563-576
Author(s): LaFranche E; Brassart G; Krawczak P
File size: 296K
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Journal: Polymers and Polymer Composites
Issue Year: ppc
Volume: 14
Issue No: No. 6

Abstract
The main parameters influencing the tensile-impact strength of injection moulded propylene during high volume manufacturing of automotive parts, have been identified. A Taguchi Design of Experiments analysis showed that the key parameters n both flow and transverse directions were the polymer melt and mould temperatures, and the volumetric flow rate. differences in high-speed mechanical behaviour are explained on the basis of an investigation of the processing-induced morphology/tensile-impact behaviour relationship. An through-the-thickness analysis was made of the microstructure of parts manufactured under two extreme sets of moulding conditions by means of microscopy and crystallinity measurement, molecular orientation and thermal expansion. It was found that the brittleness of the injection moulded part depended on the skin layer's morphology, the main influential parameters being the skin/core ratio and the crystalline structure. The crack initiation energy increased wit the oriented skin layer thickness, whereas the brittleness increased with the crystallinity level and the spherulite size. 30 refs.

Title: NEW BIODEGRADABLE BLENDS FROM ALIPHATIC POLYCARBONATE AND POLY(VINYL ALCOHOL)
Page Range: p.577-584
Author(s): Cao Y X; Du F G; Wang X L; Meng Y Z
File size: 184K
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Journal: Polymers and Polymer Composites
Issue Year: ppc
Volume: 14
Issue No: No. 6

Abstract
Blends of biodegradable polymers based on polypropylene carbonate and polyvinyl alcohol were prepared by solution casting. Various blend ratios were investigated with reference to thermal and mechanical properties and morphology. Thermogravimetric analysis, DSC, static mechanical measurements, SEM and FTIR techniques were used to characterise the blends. Polypropylene carbonate/polyvinyl alcohol blends (PPC/PVA) with a 10% PVA and 40% PVA ratio were found to be miscible systems, but PPC/20% PVA and PPC/30% PVA blends were found to be two-phase systems. Both tensile strength and modulus increased with increasing PVA content due to a strong interaction between the PPC and PVA phases through hydrogen bonding. Blending PVA with PPC was shown to provide an effective way to increase both the thermal stability and mechanical properties of polypropylene carbonate. 16 refs.

Title: INCREASING THE INTERFACIAL ADHESION IN POLY(METHYL METHACRYLATE)/CARBON FIBRE COMPOSITES BY LASER SURFACE TREATMENT
Page Range: p.585-589
Author(s): Nematollahzadeh A; Mousavi S A; Tilaki R M; Frounchi M
File size: 178K
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Journal: Polymers and Polymer Composites
Issue Year: ppc
Volume: 14
Issue No: No. 6

Abstract
PMMA is the most widely used denture base material because of its appearance and processability. However, it has unsatisfactory impact and fatigue strength. Reinforcement with carbon fibres was carried out to improve these properties, and surface treatment of the carbon fibre by Nd:YAG pulse laser irradiation was performed in order to improve interfacial bonding of the reinforcing fibre and polymer matrix. Laser light intensity was adjusted at 1—mJ per pulse in order to change the fibre surface roughness and avoid rupture of the fibre. The increased surface roughness improved the interfacial adhesion. This was verified by scanning electron microscopy and a tear-off method. It was also established that use of laser irradiation enhanced the wettability of the fibres by introducing active sites onto the fibre surfaces which react with the resin and lead to stronger interfacial adhesion. 14 refs.

Title: PREPARATION AND CHARACTERIZATION OF NOVEL ORGANIC MONTMORILLONITE-REINFORCED BLOCK POLYURETHANE NANOCOMPOSITES
Page Range: p.591-601
Author(s): Wang Jincheng; Chen Yuehui C; Yanquing W
File size: 251K
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Journal: Polymers and Polymer Composites
Issue Year: ppc
Volume: 14
Issue No: No. 6

Abstract
A proprietary process has been developed to manufacture organic montmorillonite (OMMT)-reinforced and isocyanate (-NCO)-blocked pouring-type polyurethane (BPPU) nanocomposites. The BPPU polymer was prepared from phenol-blocked blends of TDI, polyethylene glycol and dichlorodiamidodiphenylmethane (MOCA). The physical and mechanical properties of OMMT reinforced BPPU composites were studied and those containing 4 phr OMMT were found to exhibit good mechanical properties doe to the exfoliation and intercalation of the organic silicate layers. 23 refs.

Title: EFFECT OF COMPATIBILISER AND FIBRE CONTENT ON JUTE FIBRE REINFORCED HDPE/EPDM COMPOSITES
Page Range: p.603-610
Author(s): Sarkhel G; Banerjee A; Bhattacharya P
File size: 237K
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Journal: Polymers and Polymer Composites
Issue Year: ppc
Volume: 14
Issue No: No. 6

Abstract
Polyolefins can be modified with EPDM elastomer to improve impact strength. However, improvements in toughness can be accompanied by a decrease in stiffness. To overcome this reinforcing fibres can be added to increase the stiffness. In this article, the use of jute reinforcing fibres is investigated in HDPE/EPDM blends. Since jute is predominantly polar and HDPE non-polar, a compatibiliser is investigated needed to improve their interaction. The mechanical and morphological properties of jute fibre-reinforced HDPE/EPDM composites were studied as a function of fibre and compatibiliser content. Improvements were found with respect to tensile, flexural and impact strengths with the addition of 2% compatibiliser. With increasing fibre content, tensile and flexural strengths increased, but impact strength declined on account of crack initiation caused by the presence of too many fibre ends. SEM indicated that better interaction and distribution of fibres in the matrix was achieved in the compatibilised systems compared to the uncompatibilised one. 26 refs.

Title: PREPARATION AND PROPERTIES OF LLDPE/PMVS BLENDS
Page Range: p.611-622
Author(s): Jihui He; Hua Ye; Shumei Liu; Jianqing Zhao
File size: 285K
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Journal: Polymers and Polymer Composites
Issue Year: ppc
Volume: 14
Issue No: No. 6

Abstract
LLDPE and silicone rubber containing vinyl group (PMVS) were reactive blended by melt mixing to obtain grafted and crosslinked blends. Two methods were used to prepare the blends, one involving the use of free radicals generated from thermomechanical shear and the other by peroxide decomposition. Experimental results indicated that the reactive blending improved the interfacial adhesion between the two phases, and that peroxide decomposition had a higher initiation efficiency with respect to grafting and crosslinking compared with thermomechanical shear. TGA was used to demonstrate that reactive blending with PMVS improved the thermal stability of LLDPE. Dynamic rheological behaviour and melt flow rate results suggested that grafting and crosslinking between the two components increased the viscoelasticity of the blends, and the addition of PMVS improved the processability of the LLDPE. Peroxide crosslinking produced a higher tensile strength than thermomechanical shear, but a lower elongation at break. The limiting oxygen index test indicated that the flame retardancy of the blends increased with increasing amounts of PMVS. 31 refs.

Title: PROPERTIES OF ALUMINIUM FILLED POLYPROPYLENE COMPOSITES
Page Range: p.623-633
Author(s): Osman A F; Mariatti M
File size: 358K
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Journal: Polymers and Polymer Composites
Issue Year: ppc
Volume: 14
Issue No: No. 6

Abstract
Aluminium filled PP composites provide cost-effective, lightweight electrically conducting materials which are corrosion resistant. In this study, different filler particle shapes and filler loadings, varying from 0% to 55% by volume were prepared, and the effect of the filler loading and filler particle shape was evaluated. The density, voids and modulus increased with increasing filler loading. Percolation concentrations were found to be between 15% and 30% by volume for flaky aluminium filled PP, whereas with spherical aluminium particles, percolation concentrations of between 30% and 45% by volume were achieved. A decrease in electrical resistivity and tensile strength and elongation at break was found on addition of the metal filler for all systems tested. Thermal characterisation studies showed that the addition of the aluminium reduced the crystallinity of the PP and slightly retarded its thermal degradation. 16 refs.

Title: RECYCLING OF POLYETHYLENE/POLY(ETHYLENE TEREPHTHALATE) POST-CONSUMER OIL POUCHES USING COMPATIBILISER
Page Range: p.635-646
Author(s): Choudhury A; Mukherjee M; Adhikari B
File size: 275K
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Journal: Polymers and Polymer Composites
Issue Year: ppc
Volume: 14
Issue No: No. 6

Abstract
A study is made into the effectiveness of using compatibilisers in the recycling of post-consumer multi-component edible oil pouches. The main objective was to determine to what extent the morphology, melt flow index, rheological, thermal and mechanical properties of the recycled oil pouch material, a LDPE/LLDPE/PETP multilayer mixture, could be upgraded by the addition of either Surlyn ionomer or Fusabond as compatibilising agent. The addition of 5 wt% Fusabond (polyethylene graft maleic anhydride) or Surlyn ionomer (zinc salt of ethylene methacrylic acid copolymer) was shown to improve all the mechanical and thermal properties of the recycled polymer due to enhancement of the interfacial adhesion between the PE matrix and the dispersed PETP. 50 refs.

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