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Polymers and Polymer Composites

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Title: Deconsolidation and its interdependent mechanisms of fibre reinforced polypropylene
Page Range: p.515-524
Author(s): Brzeski M; Mitschang P
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Journal: Polymers and Polymer Composites
Issue Year: ppc
Volume: 23
Issue No: No.8

Abstract
Thermoplastic composites offer the possibility of post processing by re-melting of the polymer, but this can lead to a loss of consolidation. The aim of this study is to investigate and quantify the mechanisms leading to deconsolidation. A model is introduced based on the first law of thermodynamics including the following mechanisms: decompaction of the fibre reinforcement network affected by the stored energy during compaction, void evolution due to the surface tension and the gas expansion, moisture in the polymer, and external pressure. These deconsolidation mechanisms are interdependent and have a significant effect on deconsolidation. The modelling approach predicts the deconsolidated state with good agreement to physical measurements. 31 Refs.

Title: High performance phenolic resin based on untreated natural herbaceous lignin
Page Range: p.525-534
Author(s): Hajime Kimura; Keiko Ohtsuka; Akihiro Matsumoto; Takeshi Ougi; Yoshiaki Ishibashi; Kohji Yamano
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Journal: Polymers and Polymer Composites
Issue Year: ppc
Volume: 23
Issue No: No.8

Abstract
In this study, the aim was to prepare a high performance phenolic resin based on natural lignin and to reveal its characteristics. Generally, even though natural lignin is simply added to phenolic resins, and since the reactivity of lignin with the thermal fluidity is low, modification of phenolic resin by such lignin does not proceed sufficiently. Therefore, natural herbaceous lignin which is reactive with phenolic resins was used as the natural lignin, and the preparation and properties of the phenolic resin based on herbaceous lignin were investigated. The properties of the phenolic resin modified with herbaceous lignin were determined and compared to the same phenolic resin with normal woody lignin and without any lignin. It was found that the phenolic resin modified with herbaceous lignin showed good heat resistance, mechanical properties, dimensional stability and electrical insulation properties compared with those of the phenolic resin with the woody lignin and without lignin. 19 Refs.

Title: Optimizing the performance of natural fiber reinforced plastics composites: influence of combined optimization paths on microstructure and mechanical properties
Page Range: p.535-544
Author(s): Toupe J L; Desire Yomeni Chimeni; Trokourey A; Rodrigue D
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Journal: Polymers and Polymer Composites
Issue Year: ppc
Volume: 23
Issue No: No.8

Abstract
This study investigated the combination of two different optimisation paths (phase compatibilisation and manufacturing process optimisation) on the microstructure (fibre dimensions, matrix crystallinity and matrix molecular properties) and mechanical properties (flexural and tensile moduli, impact strength, and tensile stress at yield) of flax fibre/postconsumer recycled plastic composites. A two-step optimisation methodology was adopted. First, the material composition was optimised by phase compatibilisation using maleic anhydride grafted polypropylene (MAPP) and maleic anhydride grafted ethylene octene metallocene copolymer (EO-gMAH) as additives. Then, the manufacturing process (extrusion followed by injection) was optimised in terms of temperature profile and screw speed for extrusion, as well as barrel temperature profile, mould temperature, injection speed, injection pressure, injection time and back pressure for injection. The results showed that, besides good fibre-matrix interfacial adhesion, the combination of both optimisation paths promoted an optimum balance between components degradation and composite homogeneity (good fibre and additives dispersion in the matrix), leading to better mechanical properties. It is shown that this optimisation procedure was able to improve all the mechanical properties of the composites, as well as being effective in terms of performance and costs. 57 Refs.

Title: Study on thermal stability and non-isothermal crystallization behaviour of polyethylene/clay nanocomposites
Page Range: p.545-554
Author(s): Fu-An He; Li-Ming Zhang
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Journal: Polymers and Polymer Composites
Issue Year: ppc
Volume: 23
Issue No: No.8

Abstract
In this work, thermal stability and non-isothermal crystallisation behaviour of polyethylene/clay nanocomposites prepared by in-situ polymerisation were studied. The thermal degradation kinetics of polyethylene/clay nanocomposites in nitrogen was investigated by a pseudo-first order method indicating that the addition of clay filler in polyethylene matrix could improve the thermal stability of nanocomposites. The Ozawa, Avrami, and modified Avrami-Ozawa methods were applied to study the non-isothermal crystallisation behaviour of polyethylene/clay nanocomposite. It was found that the clay filler not only acted as a heterogeneous nucleation for the crystallisation of polyethylene but also hindered the transport of the polyethylene molecule chains at the same time, resulting in a decrease of the crystallisation growth rate of polyethylene with clay loading. In addition, the nucleation activity and the activation energy for the crystallisation of polyethylene/clay nanocomposites were also estimated. 39 Refs.

Title: Effect of aluminium nitrate hydrate on the crystalline, thermal and mechanical properties of poly(vinyl alcohol) film
Page Range: p.555-562
Author(s): Yong Luo; Xiancai Jiang; Weiying Zhang; Xiao Li
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Journal: Polymers and Polymer Composites
Issue Year: ppc
Volume: 23
Issue No: No.8

Abstract
The effect of aluminium nitrate hydrate (Al(NO3)3(.)9H2O) on the crystalline, thermal and mechanical properties of PVA was studied in this paper. The interaction between Al(NO3)3(.)9H2O and PVA was investigated by Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy. The influence of Al(NO3)3(.)9H2O on the crystalline, thermal, and mechanical properties of PVA was studied by X-ray diffraction (XRD), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), and tensile testing, respectively. The results indicated that Al(NO3)3(.)9H2O could form interaction with the hydroxyl group on PVA chain. The XRD studies revealed that the crystallites of PVA were destroyed by Al(NO3)3(.)9H2O. DSC studies showed that Al(NO3)3(.)9H2O could increase the flexibility of PVA chains and decrease the Tg of PVA. Tensile testing showed that after the addition of Al(NO3)3(.)9H2O the tensile strength of PVA film decreased and elongation at break increased. All these results show that Al(NO3)3(.)9H2O has a high plasticising efficiency for PVA. However, Al(NO3)3(.)9H2O is a Lewis acid and the acidic property of Al(NO3)3(.)9H2O would cause the significant decrease of the thermal stability of PVA. 23 Refs.

Title: A correlation between reinforcing effect and antibacterial performance of carbon black and silica filled natural rubber vulcanizates containing HPQM-based neusilin
Page Range: p.563-574
Author(s): Chitsupree Katathikankul; Sirichai Kanking; Piyaporn Niltui; Ekachai Wimolmala; Narongrit Sombatsompop; Khokhwan Isarangkura
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Journal: Polymers and Polymer Composites
Issue Year: ppc
Volume: 23
Issue No: No.8

Abstract
This work pursued, for the first time, a correlation between antibacterial performance and mechanical properties of natural rubber (NR) compounds reinforced with commercial fillers, i.e. precipitated silica (PSi) and carbon black (CB), using 2-hydroxypropyl-3-piperazinyl-quinoline carboxylic acid methacrylate (HPQM)-based Neusilin as an antibacterial agent against Escherichia coli (E. coli) ATCC 25922 and Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) ATCC 25923. Antibacterial efficacy was determined by the inhibition zone from a halo test and by the percentage reduction of bacteria using the plate count agar (PCA) method. The results suggested that the optimum loadings of PSi and CB in NR compounds were 20 and 40 phr, respectively. HPQM-based Neusilin could be used simultaneously as a co-activator and antibacterial agent in the NR compounds. The overall mechanical properties of the NR vulcanisates were not affected by the addition of HPQM-based Neusilin, which was more effective for killing E. coli. It could be concluded that the antibacterial efficacy was conversely associated with the reinforcement level of the NR vulcanisates by the PSi and CB fillers: the higher the reinforcement level, the poorer the antibacterial efficacy. At the optimum loadings of PSi and CB fillers, the antibacterial efficacy of PSi-filled vulcanisates was better than that of CB-filled vulcanisates. 26 Refs.

Title: Synthesis and characterization of poly(amideimide)s from AB monomers by direct polycondensation using triphenyl phosphite
Page Range: p.575-582
Author(s): Rajasekar S; Venkatesan D
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Journal: Polymers and Polymer Composites
Issue Year: ppc
Volume: 23
Issue No: No.8

Abstract
Poly(amideimide)s were prepared by the reaction of two new AB monomers, N-(4-aminophenyl)-4-(p-carboxyphenoxy) phthalimide and N-(3-aminophenyl)-4-(p-carboxyphenoxy)phthalimide. The monomers were synthesised by nucleophilic displacement reaction of the corresponding nitrophthalimides with p-hydroxybenzoic acid. The monomers were characterised by IR and NMR. Poly(amideimide)s were prepared from AB monomers by direct polycondensation using triphenyl phosphite. The polymers obtained had high inherent viscosities. The polymers showed high solubility in polar aprotic solvents. The polymers showed good thermal stability and had high glass transition temperatures. X-ray diffraction pattern of the polymers indicate amorphous nature of these polymers. 26 Refs.

Title: Fatigue, resilience, hardness, and swelling behaviour of natural rubber/recycled acrylonitrile-butadiene rubber (NR/NBRr) blends
Page Range: p.583-588
Author(s): Hanafi Ismail; Hazwani Syaza Ahmad; Rashid A A
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Journal: Polymers and Polymer Composites
Issue Year: ppc
Volume: 23
Issue No: No.8

Abstract
In the present study, the fatigue, resilience, hardness, and swelling behaviour of natural rubber and recycled acrylonitrile-butadiene rubber (NR/NBRr) blends were studied in the concentration range from 5 to 35 phr of recycled NBR. NBR gloves have excellent resistance to punctures, tear and many types of chemicals, while NR has good physical and mechanical properties. Blending NBRr into the rubber blends improved the processability, stiffness and resilience and conferred excellent oil resistance. The fatigue life of NR/NBRr blends decreased as the NBRr content increased, due to the incompatibility and poor dispersion of NBRr in the NR matrix. However, increasing NBRr content gave NR/NBRr blends better resistance towards swelling and hardness. Both properties increased due to the improvement in crosslink density when more NBRr was added, but the resilience properties exhibited an opposite trend. Scanning electron microscopy study indicated that the recycled NBR shows a coarser and poor dispersion in NR matrix particularly when more NBRr content was used, which leads to lower fatigue life of the NR/NBRr blends. 20 Refs.

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