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Polymers and Polymer Composites

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Title: Evaluation of a smart polymer nanosphere for potential use in anticancer drug delivery
Page Range: p.753-762
Author(s): Rubini Vimalarasa; Foot P J S; Gianpiero Calabrese
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Journal: Polymers and Polymer Composites
Issue Year: ppc
Volume: 22
Issue No: No.9

Abstract
Polypyrrole-chitosan (ppy-chit) hollow nanospheres have been synthesised using a simple route wherein dispersion polymerisation of pyrrole was followed by treatment with aqueous ammonia, centrifugation and dialysis. Ppy-chit hollow nanospheres were characterised by techniques including transmission electron microscopy, atomic force microscopy, powder x-ray diffractometry and UV-visible spectrophotometry. The particle size and stability were assessed by using a Zetasizer. A model anticancer drug, Nile blue chloride, was loaded into the ppy-chit hollow nanospheres by adsorption, and the desorption profile showed that 88% of the dye was released at a typical physiological pH over a period of 5 hours. The combined molecular properties of chitosan and polypyrrole were beneficial to the drug delivery. 20 Refs.

Title: Effect of weathering on the properties of wood-polypropylene composites containing minerals
Page Range: p.763-770
Author(s): Svetlana Butylina; Timo Karki
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Journal: Polymers and Polymer Composites
Issue Year: ppc
Volume: 22
Issue No: No.9

Abstract
The effect of UV-exposure on the properties of wood-polypropylene composites containing mineral fillers weathered in natural and accelerated conditions was studied. The changes in the colour of the composites after weathering were evaluated by spectrophotometry, and the changes of Charpy impact strength were measured with an impact tester. The outdoor weathering compared to accelerated weathering resulted in a greater colour change of the reference composite and composites containing calcium carbonate and wollastonite. The talc-containing composite, having low susceptibility to moisture, showed a greater colour change in the accelerated weathering test. The accelerated weathering resulted in severe degradation of the polymeric surface layer of the composites. The impact strength of a weathered composite depends on the type of weathering and the properties of the filler. 21 Refs.

Title: Preparation of core-shell composite particles containing a dye powder by a droplet coalescence method
Page Range: p.771-778
Author(s): Yoshinari Taguchi; Yu Isono; Kiyomi Fuchigami; Isao Kimura; Masato Tanaka
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Journal: Polymers and Polymer Composites
Issue Year: ppc
Volume: 22
Issue No: No.9

Abstract
It was attempted to prepare core-shell composite particles containing a hydrophilic dye powder by a droplet coalescence method using liquid-liquid dispersion. Core particles composed of dye powder and oleic acid have been forced to coalesce with styrene monomer droplets, and then suspension polymerisation has been performed to form the polystyrene shell. In the experiment, the number and diameter of styrene monomer droplets were mainly changed stepwise to promote coalescence between the core particles and the monomer droplets and to control the shell thickness. It was found that the core shell composite particles could be prepared by increasing the monomer droplet number at the constant impeller speed, because the coalescence frequency between the monomer droplets and the core particles increased with the monomer droplet number at the constant impeller speed. Moreover, the diameter and shell thickness of the core shell composite particles increased with the diameter of monomer droplets. 8 Refs.

Title: Poly(vinyl alcohol)/pullulan blend nanofibres prepared from aqueous solutions using electrospinning method
Page Range: p.779-786
Author(s): Shahidul Islam; Mohammad Mahbub Rabbani; Seong Baek Yang; Woo Seok Choi; Jin Hyun Choi; Weontae Oh; Jae Cheon Shin; Jin Tae Lee; Jeong Hyun Yeum
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Journal: Polymers and Polymer Composites
Issue Year: ppc
Volume: 22
Issue No: No.9

Abstract
Poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA)/pullulan (PULL) blend nanofibres were prepared from their aqueous solutions by electrospinning method. Polymer solutions with different concentrations and blend ratios were used to investigate the effect of polymer concentrations and blend ratios on the morphologies and properties of PVA/PULL nanofibres. At a fixed blend ratio, the total polymer concentrations were also adjusted to find suitable electrospinning condition for preparing uniform and bead-free nanofibres. The as-prepared nanofibres were characterised by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), X-ray diffraction (XRD), and Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy. Their mechanical properties were also studied by measuring their tensile strength. The results showed that polymer concentrations and blend ratios have direct influence on the morphologies and properties of PVA/PULL nanofibres. 12 wt.% total polymer concentration and higher PVA contents have been found to be favourable for obtaining uniform and bead free PVA/PULL blend nanofibres with improved mechanical and thermal properties. 36 Refs.

Title: Polypropylene fibre reinforced polymer concrete: effect of gamma irradiation
Page Range: p.787-792
Author(s): Martinez-Barrera G; Martinez-Hernandez A L; Velasco-Santos C; Martinez-Lopez M; Ortiz-Espinoza J; Laredo dos Reis J M
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Journal: Polymers and Polymer Composites
Issue Year: ppc
Volume: 22
Issue No: No.9

Abstract
Design of polymer concrete involves extensive studies on their materials in order to get improved properties; specifically on the physicochemical properties of both polymer resin and mineral aggregates, including size and shape of the last one. Alternative studies are focusing on using different materials or methods to obtain such improvements. In this work, polymer concrete was elaborated with unsaturated polyester resin, marble particles and polypropylene fibres, after it was modified by using gamma radiation to achieve a complete polymerisation. The results show improvements in the compressive strength and in the modulus of elasticity with 0.2 vol.% of polypropylene fibres and irradiation at a dose of 250 KGy. However, lower compressive strains were obtained when using gamma radiation. 22 Refs.

Title: Isothermal decomposition kinetic analysis of polymethylphenylsilsesquioxane/epoxy resin systems
Page Range: p.793-798
Author(s): Jiangbo Wang; Yongyou Li; Yi Jin; Zhiqiang Wang
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Journal: Polymers and Polymer Composites
Issue Year: ppc
Volume: 22
Issue No: No.9

Abstract
The decomposition kinetics of polymethylphenylsilsesquioxane/epoxy resin (PMPSQ/EP) systems under isothermal conditions was investigated by thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), and the isothermal kinetics equation was used to describe the thermal decomposition process. The results showed that the activation energy in the case of isothermal decomposition was first raised and then quickly decreased with increasing degree of conversion, both for EP and PMPSQ/EP (FREP) systems. Moreover, the activation energy of FREP in any degree of conversion was lower than that of pure EP. It was caused by the addition of PMPSQ, which accelerated thermal decomposition and promoted the formation of an insulating carbon layer. Thus, the flame-retardant performance of EP system containing PMPSQ was improved. 17 Refs.

Title: Enhanced application properties of EPDM/montmorillonite composites
Page Range: p.799-808
Author(s): Zhao Yi; Wang Jincheng; Du Youcheng; Pan Chen; Zhao Wen
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Journal: Polymers and Polymer Composites
Issue Year: ppc
Volume: 22
Issue No: No.9

Abstract
The aim of this work was to study the effect of montmorillonite (MMT) on the flame-retardant and mechanical properties of ethylene-propylene-diene monomer (EPDM). EPDM/MMT composites were prepared by conventional compounding of EPDM matrix with MMT. The cure characteristics, tensile properties, wear resistance, thermal stabilities, and flame-retardancy were researched and compared. Optimal dispersion of this clay was observed for 10 phr of MMT filled composite, which resulted in the best mechanical performance with an increase of 85% in tensile strength, 300% in elongation at break, and 50% decrease in abrasion loss, 35 s for the prolonged vertical burning time, and the improved thermal stability, compared to that of the pure matrix. A mechanism for reinforcing and flame-retardancy was proposed. The 'anchor' effect caused by the MMT may have reduced the number and size of voids in the EPDM matrix, and thus increased the crack path during tensile drawing. Meanwhile, the flame-retardant effect of MMT could increase the amount of carbonaceous layers, and thus inhibited the pyrolysis degree of EPDM matrix during burning. 27 Refs.

Title: Removal of methyl violet and cationic gold yellow from aqueous with porous magnetic polymer microspheres and its adsorption kinetics
Page Range: p.809-816
Author(s): Kai Liang; Qingquan Liu; Yue Ding
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Journal: Polymers and Polymer Composites
Issue Year: ppc
Volume: 22
Issue No: No.9

Abstract
Porous magnetic polymer microspheres (PMPMs) were used as an adsorbent to removal of methyl violet (MV) from wastewater. Ethanol/water co-solvent mixtures in combination with various inorganic salts were used as eluents to regenerate PMPMs. The desorption capacity of the eluents were systematically investigated. The results showed that when ethanol/water co-solvents were used as the eluent, the desorption efficiency increased with the ethanol concentration. Incorporation of inorganic salts into the co-solvents greatly improved the desorption efficiency of the eluents. Among the eluents, a mixture of ethanol/water (8/2, v/v) in combination with 0.1M KCl exhibited excellent ability for recovering cationic dyes and regenerating PMPMs, which was again demonstrated during treatment of wastewater containing cationic golden yellow. Furthermore, the adsorption kinetics of methyl violet by PMPMs was also studied. It was found that the adsorption capacity depended on the initial concentration of dyes, and the pseudo-second-order model was more suitable to describe adsorption kinetics of methyl violet than the pseudo-first-order model. 26 Refs.

Title: Prediction of elastic constants on 3D four-directional braided composites
Page Range: p.817-824
Author(s): Liang Dao Zhou; Zhuo Zhuang
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Journal: Polymers and Polymer Composites
Issue Year: ppc
Volume: 22
Issue No: No.9

Abstract
In this paper, a finite element model with a prestressed unit cell is proposed to predict the elastic constants of 3D four-directional braided composites. Firstly, a finite element unit cell model with damage constitutive for 3D four-directional braided composites is established to investigate the influence of the prestresses in the unit cell. Secondly, the elastic constants of 3D four-directional braided composites are predicted with and without the prestresses in the unit cell. Finally, the influences of the braided direction and fibre content on the elastic constants of 3D four-directional braided composites are discussed. The results will provide an important guidance for designing and evaluating the mechanical properties of 3D four-directional braided composites. 12 Refs.

Title: Effects of preheating temperature of the mould on the properties of rapid-curing carbon fibre composites fabricated by vacuum-assisted resin infusion moulding
Page Range: p.825-836
Author(s): Kaomin Zhang; Yizhuo Gu; Shaokai Wang; Mi Li; Zuoguang Zhang
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Journal: Polymers and Polymer Composites
Issue Year: ppc
Volume: 22
Issue No: No.9

Abstract
Shortening the curing time is critical to improve the processing efficiency of composites. In this paper, unidirectional carbon fibre-reinforced rapid curing epoxy composite laminates were fabricated by vacuum assisted resin injection moulding (VARIM). Different rapid curing processes (namely P80, P85, and P90) were employed, which preheating temperatures were 80, 85 and 90 deg C, respectively. Different preheating temperatures of mould and fibre preform were conducted, to demonstrate the effects on the properties and processing time of the composites. In addition, a slow curing process (N80) was investigated to verify the effect of rapid curing on the mechanical properties of the composites. The relationships among preheating temperature, curing cycle and properties of the composites were analysed. The results showed that the preheating temperature had obvious effects on the total cycle time and properties of the composites. The cycle time of the P80 process was 947 s, whereas that of the P90 process was 702 s. However, nonuniformity of the mechanical properties along the resin flow direction was more obvious for the P90 process, and more voids formed in the resin outlet region. Composites fabricated by the P80 process showed comparable mechanical properties and processing quality to those from the N80 process. It is suggested that a rapid curing process with proper preheating temperature is acceptable to improve the processing efficiency. 24 Refs.

Title: Effect of ammonium polyphosphate modified with 3-(methylacryloxyl) propyltrimethoxy silane on the flammability and thermal degradation of pine-needles
Page Range: p.837-842
Author(s): Liping Li; Hongdan Hu; Haiqing Hu
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Journal: Polymers and Polymer Composites
Issue Year: ppc
Volume: 22
Issue No: No.9

Abstract
This paper investigated the influence of ammonium polyphosphate (APP) and ammonium polyphosphate modified with 3-(methylacryloxyl) propyltrimethoxy silane (M-APP) on flame retardancy and thermal degradation of pine needles. The presence of M-APP increased the char residue and decreased the pyrolysis temperature of pine needles observed by TGA. The addition of M-APP shifted the degradation peaks of pine needles to lower temperatures observed by DTG. The cone calorimetry test results showed that the situation of HRR, THR, SPR, TSP and the mass loss (%) on pine needles treated with M-APP was sharply less than the other samples. On the other hand, M-APP prolonged the ignition time (TTI) compared with the other samples. Therefore, M-APP has an overall better performance than APP on pine needles. 29 Refs.

Title: Manufacturing of transparent composites using vacuum infusion process
Page Range: p.843-850
Author(s): Menta V G K; Vuppalapati R R; Chandrashekhara K; Schuman T
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Journal: Polymers and Polymer Composites
Issue Year: ppc
Volume: 22
Issue No: No.9

Abstract
A novel optically-transparent glass fibre reinforced polymer matrix composite has been developed by infusing a clear epoxy resin system of matching refractive index into a conventional E-glass fabric preform. Transparent composites are manufactured using a low cost, environmentally friendly vacuum infusion process. Physical and mechanical tests have been conducted. Transparent composites manufactured using the modified vacuum infusion process had a fibre volume fraction of 40%. Tensile strength and tensile modulus of these composites were 374.9 MPa and 31.74 GPa respectively. The results indicate that the transparent composites possess good physical and mechanical properties. These transparent composites form a good base for developing new generation transparent armour systems. 23 Refs.

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