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Polymers and Polymer Composites

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Title: Hybrid Pu/synthetic talc/organic clay ternary nanocomposites: thermal, mechanical and morphological properties
Page Range: p.127-140
Author(s): Guilherme Dias; Manoela Prado; Rosane Ligabue; Poirier M; Le Roux C; Micoud P; Martin F; Einloft S
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Journal: Polymers and Polymer Composites
Issue Year: ppc
Volume: 26
Issue No: No.2

Abstract
Polyurethane (PU) nanocomposites filled with inorganic particles, aiming at the improvement of mechanical and thermal properties, are well known. Unlike previous work we describe here the combination of two fillers, synthetic talc (silico-metallic mineral particles-SSMMP) with distinct hydrothermal processes (SSMMP 7 h and 24 h) and organically-modified commercial clay (SPR), aiming towards development of new polyurethane ternary nanocomposites by in situ polymerisation. Fillers were added 3 wt.% of the mass of pristine polymer, with a ranging of weight proportions (75:25/25:75) of SSMMP and SPR. Results were compared to those for nanocomposites containing pure SSMMP and SPR fillers. Dispersion degrees and filler interactions with the polyurethane matrix were followed by FTIR, XRD, SEM, TEM and AFM techniques. Results showed that the fillers presented a good dispersion and were exfoliated/ well dispersed in the polyurethane matrix. Thermal and mechanical properties of nanocomposites were evaluated in comparison to the binary nanocomposites (PU/SSMMP 7 h, PU/SSMMP 24 h and PU/ SPR). All nanocomposites presented superior values of Young's modulus to that of pristine PU. Results evidenced that the blend of SSMMP and SPR fillers is an interesting strategy to improve thermal and mechanical properties of nanocomposites. 57 refs.

Title: Functionalization and chemical linking of reduced graphene oxide or graphite onto polyurethane and the impact on the tensile strength and sheet resistance of polymer composites
Page Range: p.141-154
Author(s): Yong-Chan Chung; Ho-Sung Kim; Byoung Chul Chun
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Journal: Polymers and Polymer Composites
Issue Year: ppc
Volume: 26
Issue No: No.2

Abstract
Reduced graphene oxide (RGO) or graphite is functionalised with hydroxyl groups for linking to the sides of polyurethane (PU) chains. Blended PU with RGO or graphite is prepared as a control for comparison. The PU composites are compared with respect to their spectroscopic, thermal, mechanical, shape memory, and sheet resistance properties. Scanning electron microscopy images demonstrate the good distribution of functionalised graphene oxide (FGO) or functionalised graphite (FG) particles on the inner surface of the PU. The linking of FGO or FG onto PU does not significantly affect the thermal behaviour or shape memory properties but sharply improves the tensile strength of the PU composites without a noticeable decrease in tensile strain. The shape recovery of PU composites remains at approximately 90%, regardless of the FGO or FG content. The FG-linked PU composites exhibit a sharp decrease in sheet resistance as the FG content increases, whereas the sheet resistance of the FGO-linked PU composites does not decrease with increasing FGO content. The control PU composites with blended RGO or graphite show significant reductions in their sheet resistance. Considering the ease of functionalisation of the graphite surface and the significant improvement in tensile strength, linking FG onto PU is advantageous for the development of PU composites with low sheet resistance. 47 refs.

Title: A microlens array with different focal lengths fabricated by roll-to-roll UV lithography
Page Range: p.155-160
Author(s): Huichun Ye; Lianguan Shen; Mujun Li; Likai Li
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Journal: Polymers and Polymer Composites
Issue Year: ppc
Volume: 26
Issue No: No.2

Abstract
A simple, highly efficient and low cost roll-to-roll (R2R) UV imprinting lithography facility was achieved for fabricating micro-structures. Firstly, a novel microlens array with focuses distributed on a curved surface was designed and analysed by an optical software ZEMAX. Then an ultra-precision diamond machine was applied to generate the freeform microlens array features on the master mould, and a belt type polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) mould with a microlens array pattern was prepared from the machined master mould. The R2R process was employed to replicate the microlens arrays, followed by an evaluation of their profiles and optical properties. Our experiments demonstrate that the applied method is reliable and efficient for producing the polymeric microlens arrays. 17 refs.

Title: Removal of methyl orange from aqueous solution by adsorption onto a hydrogel composite
Page Range: p.161-168
Author(s): Yaoji Tang; Rui Yang; Dong Ma; Bin Zhou; Linhui Zhu; Jing Yang
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Journal: Polymers and Polymer Composites
Issue Year: ppc
Volume: 26
Issue No: No.2

Abstract
Poly(acrylic acid-co-2-acrylamide-2-methyl-1-propanesulphonic acid)/kaolin hydrogel composite was synthesised using acrylic acid (AA), 2-acrylamide-2-methyl-1-propanesulphonic acid (AMPS) and kaolin (KL) as main materials. The composite was characterised and used to remove methyl orange (MO) from aqueous solutions. Effect of adsorption conditions, including initial concentration of MO, contact time, pH values and ionic strength, on the adsorption capacities was studied. Maximal adsorption capacity was 506 mg/g as the initial concentration of MO was 1000 mg/L. It showed that the adsorption process was spontaneous, and the isotherms and kinetics were in good agreement with the Freundlich isotherm model and pseudo-second-order equation, respectively. 21 refs.

Title: Study on the crystallization activation energy of poly (l-lactic acid) nucleated with p-tert-butylcalix[8]arene
Page Range: p.169-176
Author(s): Yaoqi Shi; Liang Wen; Zhong Xin
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Journal: Polymers and Polymer Composites
Issue Year: ppc
Volume: 26
Issue No: No.2

Abstract
The crystallisation activation energy (DE) of a polymer comprises the nucleation activation energy DF and the transport activation energy DE

Title: Electrically conductive polyaniline/silk fibroin composite for ammonia and acetaldehyde sensing
Page Range: p.177-188
Author(s): Sharique Ahmad; Adil Sultan; Faiz Mohammad
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Journal: Polymers and Polymer Composites
Issue Year: ppc
Volume: 26
Issue No: No.2

Abstract
In this study, camphorsulphonic acid-doped conducting polyaniline/silk fibroin (Pani/SF) composites were prepared by in-situ polymerisation. The Pani/SF composite fibres were characterised by using Attenuated total reflectance-Fourier transform infrared (ATR-FTIR) spectroscopy, thermogravimetric analysis, scanning electron microscopy and digital photographs. Results indicated that the Pani was successfully coated on silk fibroin. The electrical properties of Pani/SF composite fibres were influenced by the extent of loading of aniline monomers. The as-prepared material was studied as a sensing material by observing the change in their electrical conductivity on exposure to ammonia and acetaldehyde, followed by ambient air at room temperature. It was found that the composite fibres showed good reversibility and conductivity decreased on exposure to higher concentration of ammonia and acetaldehyde vapours at room temperature. 29 refs.

Title: Mechanical properties and failure analysis of short kenaf fibre reinforced composites processed by resin casting and vacuum infusion methods
Page Range: p.189-204
Author(s): Mohan T P; Kanny K
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Journal: Polymers and Polymer Composites
Issue Year: ppc
Volume: 26
Issue No: No.2

Abstract
Modified and unmodified short kenaf fibre reinforced epoxy composites were processed with different short fibre lengths and fibre concentrations by resin casting (RC) and vacuum-assisted resin infusion (VARIM) methods. Three types of kenaf fibres were reinforced in epoxy polymer, namely, untreated kenaf fibre, mercerised and nanoclay-infused kenaf fibres. The mechanical properties such as tensile, flexural and impact properties of composites were studied. Nanoclay infused kenaf fibres have shown better tensile, flexural and impact properties than those of untreated and mercerised fibres. The composites processed by VARIM possess improved tensile and flexural properties when compared with RC composites, whereas the impact properties were better in RC composites than those of VARIM processed composites. The results showed that the mechanical properties of composites depend on the short fibre length and fibre concentration, irrespective of the processing conditions. Improved water barrier properties were also obtained in nanoclay-treated banana fibre composites. 48 refs.

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