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Title: Direct synthesis of P3HT/CdS nanocomposites with endfunctionalized P3HT as the template
Page Range: p.435-442
Author(s): Haihong Ma; Hong Gao; Zhengfa Zhou; Weibing Xu; Fengmei Ren
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Journal: Polymers and Polymer Composites
Issue Year: ppc
Volume: 23
Issue No: No.7

Abstract
In this article, we report a direct synthetic route to prepare P3HT/CdS nanocomposites with cadmium acetate dihydrate (Cd(OOCCH3)2.2H2O) used as the cadmium source, sulphur powder (S) as the sulphur source, dichlorobenzene (DCB) and dimethyl sulphoxide (DMSO) as cosolvents, phosphonic ester end-functionalised P3HT as a conjugated polymer template. The as-prepared P3HT/CdS nanocomposites were characterised by Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, proton nuclear magnetic resonance (1H NMR) spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction (XRD) patterns, transmission electron microscope (TEM), ultraviolet-visible (UV-vis) and photoluminescence (PL) spectra. The results showed that the size and distribution of CdS nanocrystals were not only temperature-dependent, but also greatly influenced by the S/Cd molar ratio. CdS nanocrystals were dispersed uniformly in the P3HT/CdS nanocomposites, which indicated that end-functionalised P3HT could be used as a template to prevent CdS from aggregating effectively. The occurrence of charge transfer at the P3HT/ CdS interface was evident from UV-vis absorption and PL studies, which indicated that ionic bonding between CdS nanocrystals and phosphonic ester end-functionalised P3HT can promote the transfer of charge in P3HT/ CdS nanocomposites. Therefore, it is a promising method to simplify the procedure for large-scale synthesis of organic-inorganic nanocomposites used in solar cells with high photoelectric conversion efficiency. 25 Refs.

Title: Modification of POE with EVA in melt through statistical approach-formation of double network hybrids
Page Range: p.443-450
Author(s): Rumiya Pervin; Luna Goswami; Vijayabaskar V; Abhijit Bandyopadhyay
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Journal: Polymers and Polymer Composites
Issue Year: ppc
Volume: 23
Issue No: No.7

Abstract
Polar monomers are often grafted onto poly(ethylene-co-octene) [POE] to expand its application spectrum. However, the process frequently involves cautious handling of reactive monomers and hazardous solvents. On the contrary, the present work deals with similar modification but using a polymer, poly(ethylene-co-vinyl acetate) [EVA] in the melt through the formation of a double network hybrid using an external crosslinker. POE is an important new generation elastomer having great balance between physical and mechanical properties but its polarity needs to be improved for furthering its uses in industrial oil resistant applications and surface adhesion with other agents. The POE (major component)-EVA (minor component) hybrid compositions were designed using Taguchi statistical technique for optimisation. Physico-mechanical properties like tensile, stress relaxation, hysteresis, rheological properties like pseudoplastic index, die swell and solvent swelling kinetics were investigated. The results were found depended on the network morphology of the hybrids. One composition was finally selected which produced better balance between all physico-rheological properties. 11 Refs.

Title: Effect of clay types on the properties of silane compatibilzied metallocene polyethylene/clay nanocomposites
Page Range: p.451-460
Author(s): Chen W C; Lai S M; Chen-Hau Yang; Shi-Xian Tang; Zong-Ching Liao
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Journal: Polymers and Polymer Composites
Issue Year: ppc
Volume: 23
Issue No: No.7

Abstract
The interaction between the intercalant within clay and the compatibiliser is essential to the properties of nanocomposites, and the compatibiliser properties are often neglected. In this work, we have deliberately used a low crystallinity polyolefin elastomer as a compatibiliser to investigate if the inferior mechanical properties of the compatibiliser compared with those of the matrix would counteract the effects of high dispersion of clay in the mPE/clay systems. Melt-mixed mPE (metallocene polyethylene)/clay nanocomposites were thus prepared using a low-crystallinity polyolefin elastomer (mPE-g-silane) as a compatibiliser under two different types of commercial clay (Cloisite 20A and 30B) with different organic affinities to mPE-g-silane, to investigate both intercalant and compatibiliser effects. According to X-ray diffraction and transmission electron microscopy analyses, all 20A-filled nanocomposites showed fairly well-dispersed clay within the mPE matrix in comparison with 30B-filled cases due to a larger d-spacing of 20A for easier access of the compatibiliser, even though a higher affinity between 30B and the compatibiliser was expected. Measurable gel content was observed for 20A-filled systems, but not for 30B-filled systems. Tensile properties and tear strength of 20A-filled samples were higher than those of 30B-filled samples, again due to the high dispersion effect in 20A-filled samples. Thus, the affinity of 20A clay with silane agent was quite essential for these compatibilised mPE/clay systems, despite of the weak mechanical properties of the compatibiliser. Clearly, a subtle balance of the interfacial interaction, interface properties and clay dispersion is essential to attain the good mechanical properties of mPE/clay nanocomposites. 36 Refs.

Title: Production and characterization of flame retardant all-polyamide composites by a film-stacking method
Page Range: p.461-466
Author(s): Hatice Seyhoglu; Mehmet Dogan
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Journal: Polymers and Polymer Composites
Issue Year: ppc
Volume: 23
Issue No: No.7

Abstract
The aim of this study was to produce flame retardant all-polyamide (PA) composites with acceptable tensile properties. Firstly, the effect of consolidation temperature on tensile properties of composites was investigated to find the optimum processing temperature. Flame retardant composites were produced at the optimum consolidation temperature (240 degC). Aluminium diethyl phosphinate (AlPi) and its mixture with melamine polyphosphate and zinc borate were used for producing flame retardant all-PA composites. The flammability properties of the composites were investigated by limiting oxygen index (LOI) and UL-94 standards. According to the flammability test results, AlPi was more effective than its mixture and 10 wt.% AlPi containing composite showed V0 rating with a LOI value of 27.6. As well as the flammability properties, the addition of both types of flame retardant additives increased the tensile strength and Young's modulus values with respect to the pristine all-PA composite. 29 Refs.

Title: Synthesis of sodium alginate graft poly (acrylic acid-co-acrylamide)/kaolin composite hydrogel and the study on its sorption of rhodamine B
Page Range: p.467-474
Author(s): Yaoji Tang; Qiang Wang; Bin Zhou; Dong Ma; Ze Ma; Linhui Zhu
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Journal: Polymers and Polymer Composites
Issue Year: ppc
Volume: 23
Issue No: No.7

Abstract
Sodium alginate graft poly(acrylic acid-co-acrylamide)/kaolin composite hydrogel was synthesised using ammonium persulphate (APS) as an initiator and N,N'-methylenebisacrylamide (MBA) as a crosslinker. The hydrogel was characterised by infrared spectroscopy, x-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy and thermogravimetric analysis. It was used to remove rhodamine B from aqueous solutions. Effects of the adsorbing conditions, including initial concentration of dyestuff, contact time, the dosage of hydrogel, pH value as well as the ionic strength of the solution, on the adsorption capacities were investigated. The adsorption thermodynamics and kinetics were also discussed. The results suggest that the composite hydrogel offers a good potential for rhodamine B removal from water. 20 Refs.

Title: Elastic properties of carbon fibre-reinforced epoxy composites
Page Range: p.475-482
Author(s): Hossein Rahmani; Heydar Mahmoudi Najafi S; Alireza Ashori; Mahdi Golriz
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Journal: Polymers and Polymer Composites
Issue Year: ppc
Volume: 23
Issue No: No.7

Abstract
The aim of this work was to investigate the prediction of the elastic constants of carbon fibre-reinforced epoxy laminated composites using a simple mathematical approach. For this purpose, a Matlab Calculation Code (MCC) has been developed in MATLAB, which provides sufficient capabilities for analysis of the mechanical behaviour of composite materials. The MATLAB code enables a variety of fibre orientation angles to be generated and a wide variety of fibre volume fractions to be analysed under mechanical loading. In order to validate the accuracy of prediction results, a commercial grade epoxy resin (Araldite LY-5052) and unidirectional carbon fibre (Torayca T700) were used to fabricate some samples of laminated composites with cross-ply configuration using the hand lay-up method. Experimental results such as elastic modulus, tensile strength as well as elongation at break were compared with the theoretical data extracted from MCC. The theoretical analysis were verified with experimental results for the same type of composites. Although the values were different, excellent agreement in the trends of the changes was found for the two approaches. Therefore, it was concluded that the MCC is capable of predicting the elastic constants of laminated composites with a high level of confidence for a wide range of fabricating conditions. The results also showed that the tensile properties of composites made with 3-layer were generally greater than those of the other evaluated composites. This kind of behaviour may be explained by bondline defects, which adversely influence the mechanical properties. 18 Refs.

Title: Non-isothermal crystallization behaviour and kinetics of LLDPE/REDMUD blends
Page Range: p.483-494
Author(s): Chaofeng He; Xinxin Cao; Guoyang Huo; Sihai Luo; Xiaofang He
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Journal: Polymers and Polymer Composites
Issue Year: ppc
Volume: 23
Issue No: No.7

Abstract
The non-isothermal crystallisation behaviour of pure LLDPE and LLDPE/REDMUD blends was investigated by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), and the crystallisation kinetics was analysed by three methods, namely the Jeziorny, the Mo and the Ozawa. The results show that an optimal content of REDMUD (lower than10 wt.%) can enhance the kinetic crystallisability of the system because of heterogeneous nucleation, but excessive REDMUD, by physical hindrance, would impair the kinetic crystallisability. In non-isothermal crystallisation kinetics, the Ozawa model did not fit well with the crystallisation behaviour of these systems, while the Jeziorny and Mo models were found to be applicable. Furthermore, the activation energy (DELTA)E calculated by the Kissinger method for the transport of macromolecular segments to the growing surface of crystal nucleus indicates that REDMUD could significantly reduce the crystallisation migration activation energy of these blends. 32 Refs.

Title: Effect of natural rubber/epoxidized natural rubber (90/10) on dielectric properties and crystallization of metallocene linear low density polyethylene
Page Range: p.495-502
Author(s): Alwaan I M; Hassan A; Piah M A M
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Journal: Polymers and Polymer Composites
Issue Year: ppc
Volume: 23
Issue No: No.7

Abstract
The effects of different amounts of natural rubber/epoxidised natural rubber (90/10 NR/ENR-50) blended with metallocene linear low density polyethylene (mLLDPE) with HVA-2 compatibiliser on the permittivity, dielectric loss, breakdown and volume resistivity at frequency of 50 Hz were investigated. Increasing the voltage with a range 1-5 kV increased the permittivity of both virgin mLLDPE and its blends. The permittivity, dielectric loss and breakdown of mLLDPE continuously decreased with increasing rubber content, but the AC volume resistivity of mLLDPE continuously increased with the rubber content. The degree of crystallinity of the mLLDPE composites was determined by differential scanning calorimetry. The lowest crystallinity and the maximum density of physical cross-links were observed in 10% rubber/mLLDPE blend. Increasing the proportion of rubber decreased the melting points of the blends. The FTIR showed that the epoxy groups and double bonds were absent from all the blends while the carbonyl group appeared in all cases. 39 Refs.

Title: Preparation and in-vitro biocompatibility of gelatin/SA/HYA composite scaffold for tissue engineering
Page Range: p.503-508
Author(s): Zhenzhong Ouyang; Shan Bai
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Journal: Polymers and Polymer Composites
Issue Year: ppc
Volume: 23
Issue No: No.7

Abstract
Novel gelatin/sodium alginate (SA) porous scaffolds containing hyaluronic acid (HYA) were fabricated via freeze-drying technique and their in-vitro biocompatibility was investigated. It was demonstrated that the gelatin/ SA/HYA composite scaffolds had highly homogeneous and interconnected pores with average pore size ranging from 50 to 400 (mu)m. The extracts of gelatin/SA/HYA with various contents of 1-ethyl-3-(3-dimethyl aminopropyl) carbodiimide (EDC) showed no toxicity due to easy removal of excess EDC. Fibroblastic cells attached to the culture plate and showed normal morphology when cultured in the extract of gelatin/SA/HYA hydrogel. The introduction of HYA into the gelatin/SA matrix facilitated the adhesion of fibroblasts in the gelatin/SA/HYA scaffolds. The haemolytic test indicated that the gelatin/SA/HYA composite hydrogel showed no haemolysis. Therefore, the gelatin/SA/HYA composite scaffolds would be suitable for cell adhesion and growth and could offer new and important options for tissue engineering applications. 27 Refs.

Title: The stability of Ag/polyamidoamine nanocomposites in aqueous solutions
Page Range: p.509-514
Author(s): Zheng Peng; Junchai Zhao; Jianmin Zhang; Xiuguo Sun; Yanting Li
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Journal: Polymers and Polymer Composites
Issue Year: ppc
Volume: 23
Issue No: No.7

Abstract
Dendritic polyamidoamine (PAMAM) has been used as a template to synthesise metal nanocomposites, but the retention time of the nanocomposites in aqueous solutions has rarely been reported. In this paper, using the 5.5 generation of polyamidoamine (PAMAM) with ester-terminated groups as a template, the retention time for which the Ag ions were kept in the PAMAM aqueous solution was investigated by UV-Visible spectroscopy. It was found that the Ag/polyamidoamine nanocomposites showed high stability in the G5.5 solution even over 28 weeks. The results of TEM, TGA and DSC analyses also proved that smaller and more stable nanocomposites were formed in the solution. Thus, it can be concluded that the PAMAM may act as a good stabilising agent for synthesising Ag nanocomposites in aqueous solution. 18 Refs.

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