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Title: INFLUENCE OF CARBON NANOFIBER CONTENT AND SURFACE TREATMENT ON MECHANICAL PROPERTIES OF VINYL ESTER
Page Range: p.405-413
Author(s): Plaseied A; Fatemi A; Coleman M R
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Journal: Polymers and Polymer Composites
Issue Year: ppc
Volume: 16
Issue No: No.7

Abstract
The effects of surface treatments of carbon nanofibre and of the carbon nanofibre volume fraction on the mechanical properties of thermoset vinyl ester polymer nanocomposites were examined under tensile and flexural loadings. Highly graphitic carbon nanofibres with surface functional groups provided stronger composites compared with conventional composites as a result of better bonding between fibres and the polymer matrix. Addition of up to 1 wt% of functionalised carbon nanofibres gave a greater increase in mechanical properties compared with the addition of larger volume fraction of carbon nanofibres. Nanocomposites containing oxidised carbon fibres showed a similar stiffness to functionalised fibres at higher temperatures, but the ductility and tensile strength of the former were lower than those of the latter, possibly as a result of poor adhesion between the nanofibres and the matrix. 18 refs.

Title: COMPARISON OF ALUMINIUM HYDROXIDE AND MAGNESIUM HYDROXIDE AS FLAME RETARDANTS IN SEBS-BASED COMPOSITES
Page Range: p.415-422
Author(s): Xiao W; Kibble K A
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Journal: Polymers and Polymer Composites
Issue Year: ppc
Volume: 16
Issue No: No.7

Abstract
The flame retardancy and mechanical properties of composites consisting of blends of oil-filled styrene-ethylene/butylene-styrene block copolymer (SEBS) and polypropylene (PP) containing aluminium hydroxide (ATH) or magnesium hydroxide (MH) as flame-retardant fillers were examined. The limiting oxygen indices (LOIs) of the filled composites increased markedly with increasing ATH or MH content. The LOIs of the ATH system were higher than those of the corresponding MH-containing systems. When MH was introduced progressively into ATH-filled composites at a constant combined filler loading of 65 wt%, the LOI decreased only when MH/ATH ratio exceeded 40%. The tensile strength and elongation at break (EAB) of composites containing less than 50 wt% of filler decreased with increasing filler content; the EAB of composites filled with MH were slightly higher than those of composites containing ATH, but there was little difference in their tensile strengths. At filler loadings of more than greater than 50 wt%, the tensile strength levelled off, but the elongation was markedly reduced. For a combined filler loading of 65 wt%, the elongation at break increases from around 180 to 200% for a progressive increase in the MH/ATH ratio up to 40%, and there was a large increase in the EAB to around 300% when the MH ratio reached 55-60%; thereafter the EAB fell. ATH and MH were also shown to increase the thermal stability of the SEBS-based composites. 26 refs.

Title: MECHANICAL PROPERTIES AND FLAME RETARDANCY OF SEBS-BASED COMPOSITES FILLED WITH ALUMINIUM HYDROXIDE
Page Range: p.423-430
Author(s): Kibble K A; Xiao W
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Journal: Polymers and Polymer Composites
Issue Year: ppc
Volume: 16
Issue No: No.7

Abstract
The flame retardancy and mechanical properties of composites consisting of blends of oil-filled styrene-ethylene/butylene-styrene block copolymer (SEBS) and polypropylene (PP) containing aluminium hydroxide (ATH) or ATH treated with a silane coupling agent (m-ATH) as a flame-retardant filler were examined. A maleic anhydride-grafted SEBS (MA-SEBS) was used as a polymer modifier in some cases. The flame retardancy of the composites improved whereas their tensile strength and elongation at break (EAB) fell with increasing contents of ATH or m-ATH. When the oil-filled SEBS (O-SEBS) was partially replaced with MA-SEBS, the tensile strength of the composites increased but their EAB decreased. Simultaneous replacements of O-SEBS with MA-SEBS and of ATH with m-ATH improved the tensile strength of the composites significantly. Scanning electron microscopy studies showed that the bonding at the particle-matrix interface was improved by the addition of MA-SEBS. 22 refs.

Title: TENSILE AND FLEXURAL PROPERTIES OF GLASS-FIBRE-REINFORCED CYANATE ESTER SYNTACTIC FOAMS
Page Range: p.431-438
Author(s): John B; Nair C P R; Ninan K N
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Journal: Polymers and Polymer Composites
Issue Year: ppc
Volume: 16
Issue No: No.7

Abstract
Attempts were made to improve the tensile and flexural properties of cyanate ester syntactic foams by reinforcing them with glass fibres. The effects of the concentration and lengths of fibres on flexural and tensile properties of the composites were examined. When the length of fibre was fixed at 5 mm and the concentration of fibre was varied from 5 to 20 wt%, the tensile and flexural strength increased with fibre concentration up to a maximum at a fibre concentration of 16.6 wt%, and then decreased on further addition as a result of poor wetting of fibre by resin. When the fibre length was varied from 5 to 25 mm and the ratio of cyanate ester to microballoons to glass fibres was kept constant at 1:1:0.5 by weight, the optimal tensile and flexural properties were achieved at a fibre length of 20 mm. 26 refs.

Title: MECHANICAL PROPERTIES OF COST-EFFECTIVE POLYPROPYLENE COMPOSITES FILLED WITH RED-MUD PARTICLES
Page Range: p.439-446
Author(s): Akinci A; Akbulut H; Yilmaz F
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Journal: Polymers and Polymer Composites
Issue Year: ppc
Volume: 16
Issue No: No.7

Abstract
The use of red mud, an industrial waste material, as a filler for isotactic polypropylene (iPP) was examined. The tensile strength, three-point flexural strength and hardness were measured for the unreinforced polymer and for composites containing 10, 20, 30, 40 or 50 wt% of red mud. Fractures surfaces after three-point flexural tests were examined by scanning electron microscopy. The tensile and flexural strength decreased and the hardness increased with increasing red mud. 32 refs.

Title: INFLUENCE OF EPOXY NATURE ON THE PROPERTIES OF AN EPOXY-DIALLYLBISPHENOL A-BISMALEIMIDE MATRIX SYSTEM
Page Range: p.447-455
Author(s): Devi K A; Nair C P R; Sadhana R; Ninan K N
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Journal: Polymers and Polymer Composites
Issue Year: ppc
Volume: 16
Issue No: No.7

Abstract
The effects were examined of variations in the structure of the epoxy resin on the thermal, physical, and mechanical properties of ternary blends of an epoxy resin, diallylbisphenol A, and bisphenol A bismaleimide (EPB). Three epoxy resin systems were examined: a novolac epoxy (E1), bisphenol A diglycidyl ether (E2), and tris(4-glycidyloxyphenyl)methane) (E3). The cure characteristics of the reactive blends were examined by means of IR spectroscopy, differential scanning calorimetry, and rheological analysis. The thermal stability of the blends in terms of the onset temperature for decomposition increased in the order EPB-E3, EPB-E1 and EPB-E2. The compressive, flexural, and interlaminar shear strength properties of glass composites based on the EPB matrices depended on the epoxy structure. The higher crosslink density of the trifunctional epoxy (E3) resulted in an improvement in the high-temperature properties of the system. The ternary system served as a very good adhesive, and its strength and retention at high temperature increased in proportion to the functionality of the resin. In general, the highest strength was obtained with systems containing the novolac epoxy. 12 refs.

Title: VALIDATION OF THE FINITE ELEMENT METHOD APPLIED TO ISOTACTIC POLYPROPYLENE HOMOPOLYMERS
Page Range: p.457-464
Author(s): Martin J; Malon H; Castejon L
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Journal: Polymers and Polymer Composites
Issue Year: ppc
Volume: 16
Issue No: No.7

Abstract
The structural responses of impact-absorbing systems built from isotactic polypropylene and intended to improve the safety of motor cyclists in crashes with guardrails were examined experimentally by using a free-fall tower. The experimental results were used to validate calculations previously made by the finite-element method (FEM). The comparison validated the FEM method, as the difference between the empirical and numerical results was never more than 9.84%. 7 refs.

Title: PREPARATION AND CHARACTERISATION OF EPOXY COMPOSITES FILLED WITH SILICA NANOPARTICLES
Page Range: p.465-469
Author(s): Cheng-Fang Ou; Ming-Chin Shiu
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Journal: Polymers and Polymer Composites
Issue Year: ppc
Volume: 16
Issue No: No.7

Abstract
A series of epoxy-silica composites containing 0.5, 1, 3, 5 or 7 wt% of silica nanoparticles were prepared by solution blending. Differential scanning calorimetric studies showed that the glass-transition temperatures of the composites were higher than that of the pure epoxy, and that they increased with increasing silica content. The decomposition temperatures the composites were also higher than that of the pure epoxy, a maximum increase of 20.8 deg.C being achieved in the presence of 5 wt% of silica. The light transmittance of all the composites was more 80%. The permeability of the composites to water decreased with increasing silica content, and the decrease in permeability reached a maximum value of 56.3% at 7 wt% of silica. Scanning electron microscopy studies showed that fine particles of silica were dispersed without agglomeration in the epoxy matrix. 25 refs.

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