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Polymers, Volume 13, Issue 18 (September-2 2021) – 183 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): The antioxidant power of a product is a highly desired function in the food, biomedical, and cosmetic industries. The front cover depicts FucoPol, a biodegradable, bio-based, non-cytotoxic, fucose-rich polysaccharide of bacterial origin, capable of reducing iron (III) oxidant species and protecting epithelial cells against acute hydrogen peroxide exposure. Not only is FucoPol able to interfere with damaging Fenton reactions by avoiding ROS accumulation, but it also promotes cell growth and proliferation after the oxidative event. Thus, it shows great promise as an antioxidant supplement, with widespread envisioned uses, such as sunscreens, anti-aging cosmetics, cryopreservation solutions, and food packaging films. View this paper
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12 pages, 3121 KiB  
Article
Effect of Interpenetrating Polymer Network (IPN) Thermoplastic Resin on Flexural Strength of Fibre-Reinforced Composite and the Penetration of Bonding Resin into Semi-IPN FRC Post
by Minori Hatta, Akikazu Shinya, Harunori Gomi, Pekka K. Vallittu, Eija Säilynoja and Lippo V. J. Lassila
Polymers 2021, 13(18), 3200; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13183200 - 21 Sep 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2507
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of interpenetrating polymer network (IPN) thermoplastic resin on the flexural strength of fibre-reinforced composite (FRC) with different IPN polymer compositions. The penetration of bonding resin into semi-IPN FRC posts was also evaluated. The [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of interpenetrating polymer network (IPN) thermoplastic resin on the flexural strength of fibre-reinforced composite (FRC) with different IPN polymer compositions. The penetration of bonding resin into semi-IPN FRC posts was also evaluated. The IPN thermoplastic resin used was UDMA-MMA monomer with either PMMA (0.5%, 2%, 5%) or PMMA-copolymer (0.5%, 2%). A no added IPN polymer resin was also made. Mixed resin was impregnated to S- and E-glass fibre rovings. These resins and resin impregnated fibres were used for flexural strength (FS) test. To evaluate the penetration of bonding resin into semi-IPN post, SEM observation was done with various impregnation time and polymerization mehods (hand-light- and oven-cure). The result of FS was recorded from 111.7 MPa (no-IPN polymer/no-fibre-reinforcement) to 543.0 MPa (5% PMMA/S-glass FRC). ANOVA showed that there were significant differences between fibre-reinforcement and no-fibre-reinforcement (p < 0.01) both in S- and E-glass fibre groups, and between 0.5% PMMA and 5% PMMA in the S-glass FRC group. SEM micrographs showed that the penetration layers of bonding resin into hand-light cured semi-IPN posts were different according to impregnation time. Fibre reinforcement is effective to improve flexural strength. The depth of penetration layer of bonding resin into semi-IPN matrix resin was improved when a hand-light cure was used. Full article
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19 pages, 4837 KiB  
Article
Copper Rich Composite Materials Based on Carboxylic Cation Exchangers and Their Thermal Transformation
by Elżbieta Kociołek-Balawejder, Ewa Stanisławska, Irena Jacukowicz-Sobala and Igor Mucha
Polymers 2021, 13(18), 3199; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13183199 - 21 Sep 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2612
Abstract
The effect of a cupric deposit (Cu2+, CuO) on the thermal decomposition of carboxylic cation exchangers (CCEs) is not known, and such studies may have practical significance. CCEs have a very high ion exchange capacity, so an exceptionally large amount of [...] Read more.
The effect of a cupric deposit (Cu2+, CuO) on the thermal decomposition of carboxylic cation exchangers (CCEs) is not known, and such studies may have practical significance. CCEs have a very high ion exchange capacity, so an exceptionally large amount of CuO (which is a catalyst) can be precipitated inside them. Two CCEs, macroreticular (Amberlite IRC50) and gel-like (Amberlite IRC86), served as a polymeric support to obtain copper-rich hybrid ion exchangers. Composites with CuO particles inside a polyacrylic matrix (up to 35.0 wt% Cu) were obtained. Thermal analyses under air and under N2 were performed for CCEs in the H+ and Cu2+ form with and without a CuO deposit. The results of sixteen experiments are discussed based on the TG/DTG curves and XRD patterns of the solid residues. Under air, the cupric deposit shifted the particular transformations and the ultimate polymeric matter decomposition (combustion) toward lower temperatures (even about 100–150 °C). Under N2, the reduction of the cupric deposit to metallic copper took place. Unique composite materials enriched in carbonaceous matter were obtained, as the products of polymeric matrix decomposition (free radicals and hydrogen) created an additional amount of carbon char due to the utilization of a certain amount of hydrogen to reduce Cu (II) to Cu0. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Multifunctional Smart Polymers and Polymeric Composites)
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17 pages, 5764 KiB  
Article
Determination of Strain Limits for Dimensioning Polyurethane Components
by Michael Stanko, Peter Lehmenkühler and Markus Stommel
Polymers 2021, 13(18), 3198; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13183198 - 21 Sep 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2243
Abstract
Within the scope of this contribution, a method for the determination of a strain limit for designing components made of elastomeric polyurethane systems is presented. The knowledge of a material-specific strain limit is essential for the structural-mechanical calculation of plastic components in the [...] Read more.
Within the scope of this contribution, a method for the determination of a strain limit for designing components made of elastomeric polyurethane systems is presented. The knowledge of a material-specific strain limit is essential for the structural-mechanical calculation of plastic components in the context of component design. Compared to a commonly used component design, based on a simplified dimensioning approach taking only linear viscoelastic deformations into account, the strain limit determined in this study allows an improved utilisation of lightweight construction potential in the dimensioning of technical components made of polyurethanes through the consideration of permissible nonlinear viscoelastic deformations. The test method comprises a sequence of quasi-static loading and unloading cycles, with a subsequent load-free recovery phase, allowing the relaxation of the viscoelastic forces. Standardised tensile and simple shear test specimens and a dynamic mechanical thermal analyser (DMTA) are used within the tests. The strain limit is determined by means of the so-called residual energy ratio, which is a characteristic quantity for the evaluation of hystereses of load–unload cycles. These hystereses are increasingly formed by deformations outside the range of linear viscoelastic deformations. The residual energy ratio relates the proportion of deformation energy recovered during unloading to the deformation work that is applied. In this contribution, the residual energy ratio is successfully used to detect a significant evolution of loss energy under increasing load and to correlate this transition to a characteristic strain. The latter is used as a dimensioning parameter for the design of components made of elastomeric polyurethane materials for quasi-static load cases. The determination of this strain limit is performed under consideration of the criterion of reversibility of deformation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Polymer Processing and Engineering)
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16 pages, 5034 KiB  
Article
pH-Responsive Succinoglycan-Carboxymethyl Cellulose Hydrogels with Highly Improved Mechanical Strength for Controlled Drug Delivery Systems
by Younghyun Shin, Dajung Kim, Yiluo Hu, Yohan Kim, In Ki Hong, Moo Sung Kim and Seunho Jung
Polymers 2021, 13(18), 3197; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13183197 - 21 Sep 2021
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 4034
Abstract
Carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC)-based hydrogels are generally superabsorbent and biocompatible, but their low mechanical strength limits their application. To overcome these drawbacks, we used bacterial succinoglycan (SG), a biocompatible natural polysaccharide, as a double crosslinking strategy to produce novel interpenetrating polymer network (IPN) hydrogels [...] Read more.
Carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC)-based hydrogels are generally superabsorbent and biocompatible, but their low mechanical strength limits their application. To overcome these drawbacks, we used bacterial succinoglycan (SG), a biocompatible natural polysaccharide, as a double crosslinking strategy to produce novel interpenetrating polymer network (IPN) hydrogels in a non-bead form. These new SG/CMC-based IPN hydrogels significantly increased the mechanical strength while maintaining the characteristic superabsorbent property of CMC-based hydrogels. The SG/CMC gels exhibited an 8.5-fold improvement in compressive stress and up to a 6.5-fold higher storage modulus (G′) at the same strain compared to the CMC alone gels. Furthermore, SG/CMC gels not only showed pH-controlled drug release for 5-fluorouracil but also did not show any cytotoxicity to HEK-293 cells. This suggests that SG/CMC hydrogels could be used as future biomedical biomaterials for drug delivery. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Polymers for Biomedical Applications)
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16 pages, 2437 KiB  
Article
Influence of the Mold Material on the Injection Molding Cycle Time and Warpage Depending on the Polymer Processed
by Thomas Lucyshyn, Lara-Vanessa Des Enffans d’Avernas and Clemens Holzer
Polymers 2021, 13(18), 3196; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13183196 - 21 Sep 2021
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2736
Abstract
The thermal properties of the mold influence the cooling situation in the injection molding process. While there are experimental studies investigating the influence of special mold materials, they are limited to few polymers. In this work, an extensive parameter study with the simulation [...] Read more.
The thermal properties of the mold influence the cooling situation in the injection molding process. While there are experimental studies investigating the influence of special mold materials, they are limited to few polymers. In this work, an extensive parameter study with the simulation software Autodesk Moldflow Insight was performed to analyze the influence of the polymer itself on the impact of the mold steel on cycle time and warpage. The investigated part was a box with two thickness variations. A conventional mold steel was compared with a steel grade featuring approximately double the thermal conductivity. Simulations were performed with 18 polymers covering the most common material families. The main finding of this study was that the influence of the higher mold conductivity on cycle time ranged from an almost negligible reduction (3%) up to a strong effect (24%), depending mainly on the used polymers, but also on the part thickness. For the cycle time reduction, a correlation was found, with the melt, mold and ejection temperature being the dominant influencing factors of the polymers. With this correlation, it was possible to estimate the potential of cycle time reduction for other polymers. The simulations also showed a positive influence of the higher mold thermal conductivity on part warpage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Polymer Processing and Engineering)
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10 pages, 3572 KiB  
Article
Water-Soluble Visible Light Sensitive Photoinitiating System Based on Charge Transfer Complexes for the 3D Printing of Hydrogels
by Hong Chen, Mehdi Vahdati, Pu Xiao, Frédéric Dumur and Jacques Lalevée
Polymers 2021, 13(18), 3195; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13183195 - 21 Sep 2021
Cited by 30 | Viewed by 2586
Abstract
The development of visible-light 3D printing technology by using water-soluble initiating systems has attracted widespread attention due to their potential applications in the manufacture of hydrogels. Besides, at present, the preparation of water-soluble photoinitiators suitable for visible light irradiation (such as LEDs) still [...] Read more.
The development of visible-light 3D printing technology by using water-soluble initiating systems has attracted widespread attention due to their potential applications in the manufacture of hydrogels. Besides, at present, the preparation of water-soluble photoinitiators suitable for visible light irradiation (such as LEDs) still remains a challenge. Therefore, this work is devoted to developing water-soluble photoinitiators (PI)/photoinitiating systems (PIS) upon irradiation with a LED @ 405 nm. In detail, a new water-slightly-soluble chalcone derivative dye [(E)-3-(4-(dimethylamino) phenyl)-1-(4-(2-(2-(2-methoxyethoxy) ethoxy) ethoxy) phenyl) prop-2-en-1-one] was synthesized here and used as a PI with a water-soluble coinitiator, i.e., triethanolamine (TEA) which was also used as an electron donor. When combined together, a charge transfer complex (CTC) formed immediately which exhibited excellent initiating ability for the free radical photopolymerization of poly(ethyleneglycol)diacrylate (PEG-DA). In light of the powerful CTC effect, the [dye-TEA] CTC could not only exhibit enhanced water solubility and mechanical properties but could also be effectively applied for 3D printing. This CTC system is environmentally friendly and cost-saving which demonstrates a great potential to prepare hydrogels via photopolymerization. Full article
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18 pages, 8434 KiB  
Article
Low-Velocity Impact Analysis of Pineapple Leaf Fiber (PALF) Hybrid Composites
by Muhammad Imran Najeeb, Mohamed Thariq Hameed Sultan, Ain Umaira Md Shah, Siti Madiha Muhammad Amir, Syafiqah Nur Azrie Safri, Mohammad Jawaid and Mohamad Rabaie Shari
Polymers 2021, 13(18), 3194; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13183194 - 21 Sep 2021
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 3489
Abstract
The low-velocity impact behaviour of pineapple leaf fiber, PALF reinforce epoxy composite (P), PALF hybrid (GPG), and four-layer woven glass fiber (GGGG) composite was investigated. As for post-impact analysis, the damage evaluation was assessed through photographic images and X-ray computed tomography, using CT [...] Read more.
The low-velocity impact behaviour of pineapple leaf fiber, PALF reinforce epoxy composite (P), PALF hybrid (GPG), and four-layer woven glass fiber (GGGG) composite was investigated. As for post-impact analysis, the damage evaluation was assessed through photographic images and X-ray computed tomography, using CT scan techniques. The key findings from this study are that a positive hybrid effect of PALF as a reinforcement was seen where the GPG shows the delayed time taken for damage initiation and propagation through the whole sample compared to GGGG. This clearly shows that the addition of fibers does have comparable composite properties with a fully synthetic composite. Through the visual inspection captured by photographic image, the presence of woven fiber glass mat in GPG presents a different damage mode compared to P. Moreover, CT scan results show extended internal damage at the cross-section of all impacted composite. Full article
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20 pages, 5546 KiB  
Article
Development of Novel Thin Polycaprolactone (PCL)/Clay Nanocomposite Films with Antimicrobial Activity Promoted by the Study of Mechanical, Thermal, and Surface Properties
by Sylva Holešová, Karla Čech Barabaszová, Marianna Hundáková, Michaela Ščuková, Kamila Hrabovská, Kamil Joszko, Magdalena Antonowicz and Bożena Gzik-Zroska
Polymers 2021, 13(18), 3193; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13183193 - 21 Sep 2021
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 3408
Abstract
Infection with pathogenic microorganisms is of great concern in many areas, especially in healthcare, but also in food packaging and storage, or in water purification systems. Antimicrobial polymer nanocomposites have gained great popularity in these areas. Therefore, this study focused on new approaches [...] Read more.
Infection with pathogenic microorganisms is of great concern in many areas, especially in healthcare, but also in food packaging and storage, or in water purification systems. Antimicrobial polymer nanocomposites have gained great popularity in these areas. Therefore, this study focused on new approaches to develop thin antimicrobial films based on biodegradable polycaprolactone (PCL) with clay mineral natural vermiculite as a carrier for antimicrobial compounds, where the active organic antimicrobial component is antifungal ciclopirox olamine (CPX). For possible synergistic effects, a sample in combination with the inorganic antimicrobial active ingredient zinc oxide was also prepared. The structures of all the prepared samples were studied by X-ray diffraction, FTIR analysis and, predominantly, by SEM. The very different structure properties of the prepared nanofillers had a fundamental influence on the final structural arrangement of thin PCL nanocomposite films as well as on their mechanical, thermal, and surface properties. As sample PCL/ZnOVER_CPX possessed the best results for antimicrobial activity against examined microbial strains, the synergic effect of CPX and ZnO combination on antimicrobial activity was proved, but on the other hand, its mechanical resistance was the lowest. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biopolymers for Food Packaging Films and Coatings)
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24 pages, 6644 KiB  
Article
A Finite Element Study to Investigate the Mechanical Behaviour of Unidirectional Recycled Carbon Fibre/Glass Fibre–Reinforced Epoxy Composites
by Sankar Karuppannan Gopalraj and Timo Kärki
Polymers 2021, 13(18), 3192; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13183192 - 21 Sep 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 4731
Abstract
Recycled carbon fibre–reinforced epoxy (rCF/EP) composites and recycled glass fibre–reinforced epoxy (rGF/EP) composites were numerically investigated to examine their mechanical properties, such as uniaxial tensile and impact resistance, using finite element (FE) methods. The recycled composites possess unidirectional, long and continuous fibre arrangements. [...] Read more.
Recycled carbon fibre–reinforced epoxy (rCF/EP) composites and recycled glass fibre–reinforced epoxy (rGF/EP) composites were numerically investigated to examine their mechanical properties, such as uniaxial tensile and impact resistance, using finite element (FE) methods. The recycled composites possess unidirectional, long and continuous fibre arrangements. A commercially available Abaqus/CAE software was used to perform an explicit non-linear analysis with a macroscale modelling approach, assuming the recycled composites as both homogenous and isotropic hardening. Five composite types were subjected to a numerical study based on the recycled fibre’s volume fraction (40 and 60%) of rCF/EP and rGF/EP, along with (100%) fibreless cured epoxy samples. The materials were defined as elastoplastic with a continuum ductile damage (DUCTCRT) model. The experimental tensile test results were processed and calibrated as primary input data for the developed FE models. The numerical tensile results, maximum principal stress and logarithmic strain were validated with their respective experimental results. The stress–strain curves of both results possess a high accuracy, supporting the developed FE model. The numerical impact tests examined the von Mises stress distribution and found an exponential decrease in the stiffness of the composite types as their strength decreased, with the 60% rCF/EP sample being the stiffest. The model was sensitive to the mesh size, hammer velocity and simulation time step. Additionally, the total internal energy and plastic dissipation energy were measured, but were higher than the experimentally measured energies, as the FE models eliminated the defects from the recycled process, such as a poor fibre wettability to resin, fibre bundle formation in rCFs and char formation in rGFs. Overall, the developed FE models predicted the results for a defect-free rCF/EP and rGF/EP composite. Hence, the adopted modelling techniques can validate the experimental results of recycled composites with complex mechanical properties and damage behaviours in tensile and impact loading conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Composites for Structural Applications)
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15 pages, 3124 KiB  
Article
Polyurethane-Nanolignin Composite Foam Coated with Propolis as a Platform for Wound Dressing: Synthesis and Characterization
by Zari Pahlevanneshan, Mohammadreza Deypour, Amirhosein Kefayat, Mohammad Rafienia, Paweł Sajkiewicz, Rasoul Esmaeely Neisiany and Mohammad Saeid Enayati
Polymers 2021, 13(18), 3191; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13183191 - 20 Sep 2021
Cited by 26 | Viewed by 3759
Abstract
This piece of research explores porous nanocomposite polyurethane (PU) foam synthesis, containing nanolignin (NL), coated with natural antimicrobial propolis for wound dressing. PU foam was synthesized using polyethylene glycol, glycerol, NL, and 1, 6-diisocyanato-hexane (NCO/OH ratio: 1.2) and water as blowing agent. The [...] Read more.
This piece of research explores porous nanocomposite polyurethane (PU) foam synthesis, containing nanolignin (NL), coated with natural antimicrobial propolis for wound dressing. PU foam was synthesized using polyethylene glycol, glycerol, NL, and 1, 6-diisocyanato-hexane (NCO/OH ratio: 1.2) and water as blowing agent. The resultant foam was immersed in ethanolic extract of propolis (EEP). PU, NL-PU, and PU-NL/EEP foams were characterized from mechanical, morphological, and chemical perspectives. NL Incorporation into PU increased mechanical strength, while EEP coating showed lower strength than PU-NL/EEP. Morphological investigations confirmed an open-celled structure with a pore diameter of 150–200 μm, a density of nearly 0.2 g/cm3,, and porosity greater than 85%, which led to significantly high water absorption (267% for PU-NL/EEP). The hydrophilic nature of foams, measured by the contact angle, proved to be increased by NL addition and EEP coating. PU and PU-NL did not show important antibacterial features, while EEP coating resulted in a significant antibacterial efficiency. All foams revealed high biocompatibility toward L929 fibroblasts, with the highest cell viability and cell attachment for PU-NL/EEP. In vivo wound healing using Wistar rats’ full-thickness skin wound model confirmed that PU-NL/EEP exhibited an essentially higher wound healing efficacy compared with other foams. Hence, PU-NL/EEP foam could be a promising wound dressing candidate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymeric Biomaterials of Natural and Synthetic Origin)
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31 pages, 1107 KiB  
Review
Advances in the Methods for the Synthesis of Carbon Dots and Their Emerging Applications
by Areeba Khayal, Vinars Dawane, Mohammed A. Amin, Vineet Tirth, Virendra Kumar Yadav, Ali Algahtani, Samreen Heena Khan, Saiful Islam, Krishna Kumar Yadav and Byong-Hun Jeon
Polymers 2021, 13(18), 3190; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13183190 - 20 Sep 2021
Cited by 54 | Viewed by 8519
Abstract
Cutting-edge technologies are making inroads into new areas and this remarkable progress has been successfully influenced by the tiny level engineering of carbon dots technology, their synthesis advancement and impressive applications in the field of allied sciences. The advances of science and its [...] Read more.
Cutting-edge technologies are making inroads into new areas and this remarkable progress has been successfully influenced by the tiny level engineering of carbon dots technology, their synthesis advancement and impressive applications in the field of allied sciences. The advances of science and its conjugation with interdisciplinary fields emerged in carbon dots making, their controlled characterization and applications into faster, cheaper as well as more reliable products in various scientific domains. Thus, a new era in nanotechnology has developed into carbon dots technology. The understanding of the generation process, control on making processes and selected applications of carbon dots such as energy storage, environmental monitoring, catalysis, contaminates detections and complex environmental forensics, drug delivery, drug targeting and other biomedical applications, etc., are among the most promising applications of carbon dots and thus it is a prominent area of research today. In this regard, various types of carbon dot nanomaterials such as oxides, their composites and conjugations, etc., have been garnering significant attention due to their remarkable potential in this prominent area of energy, the environment and technology. Thus, the present paper highlights the role and importance of carbon dots, recent advancements in their synthesis methods, properties and emerging applications. Full article
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20 pages, 10949 KiB  
Article
Electrospinning Mechanism of Nanofiber Yarn and Its Multiscale Wrapping Yarn
by Taohai Yan, Yajing Shi, Huimin Zhuang, Yu Lin, Dongdong Lu, Shengbin Cao and Lvtao Zhu
Polymers 2021, 13(18), 3189; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13183189 - 20 Sep 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2493
Abstract
To analyze the feasibility of electrospinning nanofiber yarn using a wrapping yarn forming device, electrospun nanofiber-wrapped yarns and multiscale yarns were prepared by self-made equipment. The relationship between the surface morphology and properties of yarn and its preparation process was studied. The process [...] Read more.
To analyze the feasibility of electrospinning nanofiber yarn using a wrapping yarn forming device, electrospun nanofiber-wrapped yarns and multiscale yarns were prepared by self-made equipment. The relationship between the surface morphology and properties of yarn and its preparation process was studied. The process parameters were adjusted, and it was found that some nanofibers formed Z-twisted yarns, while others showed exposed cores. To analyze the forming mechanism of electrospun nanofiber-wrapped yarn, the concept of winding displacement difference in the twisted yarn core A was introduced. The formation of nanofiber-wrapped structural yarns was discussed using three values of A. The starting point of each twist was the same position when A = 0 with a constant corner angle β. However, the oriented nanofiber broke or was pulled out from the gripping point when it was twisted, and it appeared disordered. The forming process of electrospun nanofiber-wrapped yarn displayed some unique phenomena, including the emission of directional nanofibers during collection, fiber non-continuity, and twist angle non-uniformity. The conclusions of this research have theoretical and practical value to guide the industrial preparation of nanofiber yarns and their wrapped yarns. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Polymer Fibers)
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13 pages, 5469 KiB  
Article
Low-Mass Liquid Crystalline Materials Blended in Recycled Thermoplastic Polyester Elastomer for Corrosion Inhibitor Application
by Chun-Jui Chen, Bo-Wei Huang, Po-Jung Tseng, Zhi-Yu Yang, Xiang Huang, Syang-Peng Rwei and Hsiu-Hui Chen
Polymers 2021, 13(18), 3188; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13183188 - 20 Sep 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2378
Abstract
In this work, the development and application of multicomponents obtained from recycled polyethylene terephthalate (r-PET) waste and monotropic liquid crystals as anticorrosion coatings are reported. The r-PET raw material was alcoholyzed and reproduced as a thermoplastic polyester elastomer (TPEE) with [...] Read more.
In this work, the development and application of multicomponents obtained from recycled polyethylene terephthalate (r-PET) waste and monotropic liquid crystals as anticorrosion coatings are reported. The r-PET raw material was alcoholyzed and reproduced as a thermoplastic polyester elastomer (TPEE) with different amounts (n%, n = 0, 1, 3, and 5) of 1,6-hexanediamine (HDA). Then, a fluorine-containing liquid crystal (4-cyano-3-fluorophenyl 4-ethylbenzoate (4CFE)) was incorporated into the TPEE mixture via solvent blending to modify and enhance the water resistance. The adhesion behavior of the coating on glass and iron substrates was evaluated by cross-cut tests and immersion tests in aqueous NaCl. In the corrosion resistance measurements, all of the coating samples fabricated with 10 ± 1 mm thickness were less active toward electrochemical corrosion (PEF% > 99%) than the bare iron plate, indicating that our work provided better protection against corrosion of the iron plate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer-Based Materials in Liquid Crystals)
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19 pages, 6986 KiB  
Article
The Effect of Pore Directionality of Collagen Scaffolds on Cell Differentiation and In Vivo Osteogenesis
by Miguelangel Moncayo-Donoso, Gustavo A. Rico-Llanos, Diego A. Garzón-Alvarado, José Becerra, Rick Visser and Marta R. Fontanilla
Polymers 2021, 13(18), 3187; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13183187 - 20 Sep 2021
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2959
Abstract
Although many bone substitutes have been designed and produced, the development of bone tissue engineering products that mimic the microstructural characteristics of native bone remains challenging. It has been shown that pore orientation within collagen scaffolds influences bone matrix formation by the endochondral [...] Read more.
Although many bone substitutes have been designed and produced, the development of bone tissue engineering products that mimic the microstructural characteristics of native bone remains challenging. It has been shown that pore orientation within collagen scaffolds influences bone matrix formation by the endochondral route. In addition, that the unidirectional orientation of the scaffolds can limit the growth of blood vessels. However, a comparison between the amount of bone that can be formed in scaffolds with different pore orientations in addition to analyzing the effect of loading osteogenic and proangiogenic factors is still required. In this work we fabricated uni- and multidirectional collagen sponges and evaluated their microstructural, physicochemical, mechanical and biological characteristics. Although the porosity and average pore size of the uni- and multidirectional scaffolds was similar (94.5% vs. 97.1% and 260 µm vs. 269 µm, respectively) the unidirectional sponges had a higher tensile strength, Young’s modulus and capacity to uptake liquids than the multidirectional ones (0.271 MPa vs. 0.478 MPa, 9.623 MPa vs. 3.426 MPa and 8000% mass gain vs. 4000%, respectively). Culturing of rat bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells demonstrated that these scaffolds support cell growth and osteoblastic differentiation in the presence of BMP-2 in vitro, although the pore orientation somehow affected cell attachment and differentiation. The evaluation of the ability of the scaffolds to support bone growth when loaded with BMP-2 or BMP-2 + VEGF in an ectopic rat model showed that they both supported bone formation. Histological analysis and quantification of mineralized matrix revealed that the pore orientation of the collagen scaffolds influenced the osteogenic process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymeric Scaffolds for Tissue Engineering)
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14 pages, 3338 KiB  
Article
The Role of Structure and Interactions in Thermoplastic Starch–Nanocellulose Composites
by Emília Csiszár, Dávid Kun and Erika Fekete
Polymers 2021, 13(18), 3186; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13183186 - 20 Sep 2021
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 3519
Abstract
Composite films were fabricated by using cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) as reinforcement up to 50 wt% in thermoplastic starch (TPS). Structure and interactions were modified by using different types (glycerol and sorbitol) and different amounts (30 and 40%) of plasticizers. The structure of the [...] Read more.
Composite films were fabricated by using cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) as reinforcement up to 50 wt% in thermoplastic starch (TPS). Structure and interactions were modified by using different types (glycerol and sorbitol) and different amounts (30 and 40%) of plasticizers. The structure of the composites was characterized by visible spectroscopy, Haze index measurements, and scanning electron microscopy. Tensile properties were determined by tensile testing, and the effect of CNC content on vapor permeability was investigated. Although all composite films are transparent and can hardly be distinguished by human eyes, the addition of CNCs somewhat decreases the transmittance of the films. This can be related to the increased light scattering of the films, which is caused by the aggregation of nanocrystals, leading to the formation of micron-sized particles. Nevertheless, strength is enhanced by CNCs, mostly in the composite series prepared with 30% sorbitol. Additionally, the relatively high water vapor permeability of TPS is considerably decreased by the incorporation of at least 20 wt% CNCs. Reinforcement is determined mostly by the competitive interactions among starch, nanocellulose, and plasticizer molecules. The aging of the films is caused by the additional water uptake from the atmosphere and the retrogradation of starch. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Design and Modification of Bio-Based Polymers, Blends and Composites)
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20 pages, 5205 KiB  
Review
Current Status of Research on the Modification of Thermal Properties of Epoxy Resin-Based Syntactic Foam Insulation Materials
by Zhongyuan Zhang, Xiaohan Dai, Le Li, Songsong Zhou, Wei Xue, Yunpeng Liu and Hechen Liu
Polymers 2021, 13(18), 3185; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13183185 - 19 Sep 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 4075
Abstract
As a lightweight and highly insulating composite material, epoxy resin syntactic foam is increasingly widely used for insulation filling in electrical equipment. To avoid core burning and cracking, which are prone to occur during the casting process, the epoxy resin-based syntactic foam insulation [...] Read more.
As a lightweight and highly insulating composite material, epoxy resin syntactic foam is increasingly widely used for insulation filling in electrical equipment. To avoid core burning and cracking, which are prone to occur during the casting process, the epoxy resin-based syntactic foam insulation materials with high thermal conductivity and low coefficient of thermal expansion are required for composite insulation equipment. The review is divided into three sections concentrating on the two main aspects of modifying the thermal properties of syntactic foam. The mechanism and models, from the aspects of thermal conductivity and coefficient of thermal expansion, are presented in the first part. The second part aims to better understand the methods for modifying the thermal properties of syntactic foam by adding functional fillers, including the addition of thermally conductive particles, hollow glass microspheres, negative thermal expansion filler and fibers, etc. The third part concludes by describing the existing challenges in this research field and expanding the applicable areas of epoxy resin-based syntactic foam insulation materials, especially cross-arm composite insulation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Multiple Application for Novel and Advanced Materials)
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12 pages, 4289 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of Electromechanical Properties and Conversion Efficiency of Piezoelectric Nanocomposites with Carbon-Fiber-Reinforced Polymer Electrodes for Stress Sensing and Energy Harvesting
by Yaonan Yu and Fumio Narita
Polymers 2021, 13(18), 3184; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13183184 - 19 Sep 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2285
Abstract
Wireless sensor networks are the future development direction for realizing an Internet of Things society and have been applied in bridges, buildings, spacecraft, and other areas. Nevertheless, with application expansion, the requirements for material performance also increase. Although the development of carbon-fiber-reinforced polymer [...] Read more.
Wireless sensor networks are the future development direction for realizing an Internet of Things society and have been applied in bridges, buildings, spacecraft, and other areas. Nevertheless, with application expansion, the requirements for material performance also increase. Although the development of carbon-fiber-reinforced polymer (CFRP) to achieve these functions is challenging, it has attracted attention because of its excellent performance. This study combined the CFRP electrode with epoxy resin containing potassium sodium niobate piezoelectric nanoparticles and successfully polarized the composite sample. Furthermore, a three-point bending method was applied to compare the bending behavior of the samples. The peak output voltage produced by the maximum bending stress of 98.4 MPa was estimated to be 0.51 mV. Additionally, a conversion efficiency of 0.01546% was obtained. The results showed that the piezoelectric resin with CFRPs as the electrode exhibited stress self-inductance characteristics. This study is expected to be applied in manufacturing self-sensing piezoelectric resin/CFRP composite materials, paving the way for developing stable and efficient self-sensing structures and applications. Full article
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20 pages, 1945 KiB  
Article
Green Banana (Musa acuminata AAA) Wastes to Develop an Edible Film for Food Applications
by Diego Salazar, Mirari Arancibia, Santiago Casado, Andrés Viteri, María Elvira López-Caballero and María Pilar Montero
Polymers 2021, 13(18), 3183; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13183183 - 19 Sep 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 5520
Abstract
In this study, edible packaging based on discarded green banana (Musa acuminata AAA) flour (whole banana and banana peel flours) was developed for food applications. Films were characterized in terms of film-forming ability, mechanical, barrier, thermal, microbiological, and sensory properties. The [...] Read more.
In this study, edible packaging based on discarded green banana (Musa acuminata AAA) flour (whole banana and banana peel flours) was developed for food applications. Films were characterized in terms of film-forming ability, mechanical, barrier, thermal, microbiological, and sensory properties. The film forming solutions were studied for rheological properties. Two formulations were selected based on their film-forming ability: whole banana flour (2.5%), peel flour (1.5%) and glycerol (1.0 %, F-1.0 G or 1.5%, F-1.5 G). Adding 1.5% plasticizer, due to the hygroscopic effect, favored the water retention of the films, increasing the density, which also resulted in a decrease in lightness and transparency. Water activity shows no difference between the two formulations, which were water resistant for at least 25 h. DSC results showed a similar melting temperature (Tm) for both films, around 122 °C. Both films solutions showed a viscoelastic behavior in the frequency spectrum, being the elastic modulus greater in F-1.0 G film than F-1.5 G film at low frequency. F-1.0 G film was less firm, deformable and elastic, with a less compact structure and a rougher surface as confirmed by AFM, favoring a higher water vapor permeability with respect to F.1.5 G film. Microorganisms such as Enterobacteria and Staphylococcus aureus were not found in the films after a period of storage (1 year under ambient conditions). The F-1.0 G film with added spices (cumin, oregano, garlic, onion, pepper, and nutmeg) was tested for some food applications: as a snack (with or without heat treatment) and as a wrap for grilled chicken. The performance of the seasoned film during chilled storage of chicken breast was also studied. Sensory evaluation showed good overall acceptability of all applications. In addition, the chicken breast wrapped with the seasoned film registered lower counts (1-log cycle) than the control (covered with a polystyrene bag) and the film without spices. Green banana flour is a promising material to develop edible films for food applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymeric Blend Films Used in Food Packaging)
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13 pages, 2626 KiB  
Article
Tailoring the Random Lasing Properties by Controlled Phase Separation Process in PMMA:PVK Dye-Doped Polymeric Blends
by Konrad Cyprych and Lech Sznitko
Polymers 2021, 13(18), 3182; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13183182 - 19 Sep 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2201
Abstract
This article describes the random lasing (RL) phenomenon obtained in a dye-doped, polymeric double-phase system composed of PMMA and PVK polymers. It shows how relative concentrations between mentioned macromolecules can influence lasing parameters of the resulting blends, including obtained emission spectra and threshold [...] Read more.
This article describes the random lasing (RL) phenomenon obtained in a dye-doped, polymeric double-phase system composed of PMMA and PVK polymers. It shows how relative concentrations between mentioned macromolecules can influence lasing parameters of the resulting blends, including obtained emission spectra and threshold conditions. We describe the influence of lasers’ composition on their morphologies and link them with particular RL properties. Our studies reveal that the disorder caused by phase separation can support the RL phenomenon both in the waveguiding and quasi-waveguiding regimes. Changing the relative concentration of polymers enables one to switch between both regimes, which significantly influences threshold conditions, spectral shift, number of lasing modes, and ability to support extended and/or localized modes. Finally, we show that a simple phase separation technique can be used to fabricate efficient materials for RL. Moreover, it enables the tailoring of lasing properties of materials in a relatively wide range at the stage of the laser material fabrication process in a simple way. Therefore, this technique can be seen as a fast, cheap, and easy to perform way of random lasers fabrication. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymers and Lasers – Processing, Development and Applications)
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17 pages, 50330 KiB  
Article
Design and Ductile Behavior of Torsion Configurations in Material Extrusion to Enhance Plasticizing and Melting
by Ranran Jian, Weimin Yang, Mohini Sain, Chuanwei Zhang and Lupeng Wu
Polymers 2021, 13(18), 3181; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13183181 - 19 Sep 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2019
Abstract
In the present work, the ductile formation mechanism of a newly proposed torsion configuration has been investigated. One of the unique attributes of this paper is the first-time disclosure of the design and fabrication of a novel prototype screw with torsional flow character [...] Read more.
In the present work, the ductile formation mechanism of a newly proposed torsion configuration has been investigated. One of the unique attributes of this paper is the first-time disclosure of the design and fabrication of a novel prototype screw with torsional flow character validating the orthogonal test model experimentally. The torsional spiral flow patterns that occurred in the torsion channel cause a ductile deformation of polymer in the form of a spiral, which in turn enhances the radial convection, achieving an effective mass transfer of material from the top region to the bottom region and vice versa. Furthermore, the characteristic parameters of torsion configuration have a significant influence on the plasticizing and melting capability of polymer. By range analysis and weight matrix analysis, the best factor and level combination was obtained. Results indicated that the aspect ratio of the torsion channel is almost equal to 1, and the plasticizing and melting capability of polymer is optimal. This novel design innovation offers a paradigm shift in the energy-efficient plasticization of polymer compounds. Full article
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20 pages, 6397 KiB  
Article
The Effect of Graphene Oxide and SEBS-g-MAH Compatibilizer on Mechanical and Thermal Properties of Acrylonitrile-Butadiene-Styrene/Talc Composite
by Fatin Najwa Joynal Abedin, Hamidah Abdul Hamid, Abbas F. M. Alkarkhi, Salem S. Abu Amr, Nor Afifah Khalil, Ahmad Naim Ahmad Yahaya, Md. Sohrab Hossain, Azman Hassan and Muzafar Zulkifli
Polymers 2021, 13(18), 3180; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13183180 - 19 Sep 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2385
Abstract
In this study, acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS)/talc/graphene oxide/SEBS-g-MAH (ABS/Talc/GO/SEBS-g-MAH) and acrylonitrile butadiene styrene/graphene oxide/SEBS-g-MAH (ABS/GO/SEBS-g-MAH) composites were isolated with varying graphene oxide (0.5 to 2.0 phr) as a filler and SEBS-g-MAH as a compatibilizer (4 to 8 phr), with an ABS:talc ratio of [...] Read more.
In this study, acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS)/talc/graphene oxide/SEBS-g-MAH (ABS/Talc/GO/SEBS-g-MAH) and acrylonitrile butadiene styrene/graphene oxide/SEBS-g-MAH (ABS/GO/SEBS-g-MAH) composites were isolated with varying graphene oxide (0.5 to 2.0 phr) as a filler and SEBS-g-MAH as a compatibilizer (4 to 8 phr), with an ABS:talc ratio of 90:10 by percentage. The influences of graphene oxide and SEBS-g-MAH loading in ABS/talc composites were determined on the mechanical and thermal properties of the composites. It was found that the incorporation of talc reduces the stiffness of composites. The analyses of mechanical and thermal properties of composites revealed that the inclusion of graphene oxide as a filler and SEBS-g-MAH as a compatibilizer in the ABS polymer matrix significantly improved the mechanical and thermal properties. ABS/talc was prepared through melt mixing to study the fusion characteristic. The mechanical properties showed an increase of 30%, 15%, and 90% in tensile strength (TS), flexural strength (FS), and flexural modulus (FM), respectively. The impact strength (IS) resulted in comparable properties to ABS, and it was better than the ABS/talc composite due to the influence of talc in the composite that stiffens and reduces the extensibility of plastic. The incorporation of GO and SEBS-g-MA also shows a relatively higher thermal stability in both composites with and without talc. The finding of the present study reveals that the graphene oxide and SEBS-g-MAH could be utilized as a filler and a compatibilizer in ABS/talc composites to enhance the thermo-mechanical stability because of the superior interfacial adhesion between the matrix and filler. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Composite Analysis and Characterization)
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14 pages, 8637 KiB  
Article
Effect of Material Properties on the Foaming Behaviors of PP-Based Wood Polymer Composites Prepared with the Application of Spherical Cavity Mixer
by Suwei Wang, Ping Xue, Wenxin Zhang, Gazi Hao, Lei Xiao and Wei Jiang
Polymers 2021, 13(18), 3179; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13183179 - 19 Sep 2021
Viewed by 1983
Abstract
For the low weight and high strength, the microcellular extrusion foaming technology was applied in the preparation of polypropylene (PP)-based wood polymer composites, and the spherical cavity mixer was used to construct an experimental platform for the uniform dispersion of wood flour (WF). [...] Read more.
For the low weight and high strength, the microcellular extrusion foaming technology was applied in the preparation of polypropylene (PP)-based wood polymer composites, and the spherical cavity mixer was used to construct an experimental platform for the uniform dispersion of wood flour (WF). The effects of PP molecular configuration on the composite properties and cell morphology of samples were also investigated. The experimental results indicated that the application of a spherical cavity mixer with a cavity radius of 5 mm could effectively improve the mixing quality and avoid the agglomeration of WF. In addition, compared with the branched molecule, the linear molecule not only increased the melting temperature by about 10 °C, but also endowed composites with a higher complex viscosity at a shear rate lower than 100 s−1, which contributed to the cell morphology of more microporous samples. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Foams: Processing and Characterization)
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32 pages, 2181 KiB  
Review
Progress of 3D Bioprinting in Organ Manufacturing
by Dabin Song, Yukun Xu, Siyu Liu, Liang Wen and Xiaohong Wang
Polymers 2021, 13(18), 3178; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13183178 - 18 Sep 2021
Cited by 25 | Viewed by 8336
Abstract
Three-dimensional (3D) bioprinting is a family of rapid prototyping technologies, which assemble biomaterials, including cells and bioactive agents, under the control of a computer-aided design model in a layer-by-layer fashion. It has great potential in organ manufacturing areas with the combination of biology, [...] Read more.
Three-dimensional (3D) bioprinting is a family of rapid prototyping technologies, which assemble biomaterials, including cells and bioactive agents, under the control of a computer-aided design model in a layer-by-layer fashion. It has great potential in organ manufacturing areas with the combination of biology, polymers, chemistry, engineering, medicine, and mechanics. At present, 3D bioprinting technologies can be used to successfully print living tissues and organs, including blood vessels, skin, bones, cartilage, kidney, heart, and liver. The unique advantages of 3D bioprinting technologies for organ manufacturing have improved the traditional medical level significantly. In this article, we summarize the latest research progress of polymers in bioartificial organ 3D printing areas. The important characteristics of the printable polymers and the typical 3D bioprinting technologies for several complex bioartificial organs, such as the heart, liver, nerve, and skin, are introduced. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Polymer Processing and Engineering)
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16 pages, 7090 KiB  
Article
Synthesis of Hydrophilic Poly(butylene succinate-butylene dilinoleate) (PBS-DLS) Copolymers Containing Poly(Ethylene Glycol) (PEG) of Variable Molecular Weights
by Moein Zarei and Miroslawa El Fray
Polymers 2021, 13(18), 3177; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13183177 - 18 Sep 2021
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 3078
Abstract
Polymeric materials have numerous applications from the industrial to medical fields because of their vast controllable properties. In this study, we aimed to synthesize series of poly(butylene succinate-dilinoleic succinate-ethylene glycol succinate) (PBS-DLS-PEG) copolymers, by two-step polycondensation using a heterogeneous catalyst and a two-step [...] Read more.
Polymeric materials have numerous applications from the industrial to medical fields because of their vast controllable properties. In this study, we aimed to synthesize series of poly(butylene succinate-dilinoleic succinate-ethylene glycol succinate) (PBS-DLS-PEG) copolymers, by two-step polycondensation using a heterogeneous catalyst and a two-step process. PEG of different molecular weights, namely, 1000 g/mol and 6000 g/mol, was used in order to study its effect on the surface and thermal properties. The amount of the PBS hard segment in all copolymers was fixed at 70 wt%, while different ratios between the soft segments (DLS and PEG) were applied. The chemical structure of PBS-DLS-PEG was evaluated using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Gel permeation chromatography was used to determine the molecular weight and dispersity index. The results of structural analysis indicate the incorporation of PEG in the macrochain. The physical and thermal properties of the newly synthesized copolymers were also evaluated using water contact angle measurements, differential scanning calorimetry and dynamic thermomechanical analysis. It was found that increasing the amount of PEG of a higher molecular weight increased the surface wettability of the new materials while maintaining their thermal properties. Importantly, the two-step melt polycondensation allowed a direct fabrication of a polymeric filament with a well-controlled diameter directly from the reactor. The obtained results clearly show that the use of two-step polycondensation in the melt allows obtaining novel PBS-DLS-PEG copolymers and creates new opportunities for the controlled processing of these hydrophilic and thermally stable copolymers for 3D printing technology, which is increasingly used in medical techniques. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Green Polymeric Materials for the Medical Sector)
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13 pages, 5458 KiB  
Article
Interfacial Transcrystallization and Mechanical Performance of 3D-Printed Fully Recyclable Continuous Fiber Self-Reinforced Composites
by Manyu Zhang, Xiaoyong Tian and Dichen Li
Polymers 2021, 13(18), 3176; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13183176 - 18 Sep 2021
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2761
Abstract
To fully exploit the preponderance of three-dimensional (3D)-printed, continuous, fiber-reinforced, thermoplastic composites (CFRTPCs) and self-reinforced composites (which exhibit excellent interfacial affinity and are fully recyclable), an approach in which continuous fiber self-reinforced composites (CFSRCs) can be fabricated by 3D printing is proposed. The [...] Read more.
To fully exploit the preponderance of three-dimensional (3D)-printed, continuous, fiber-reinforced, thermoplastic composites (CFRTPCs) and self-reinforced composites (which exhibit excellent interfacial affinity and are fully recyclable), an approach in which continuous fiber self-reinforced composites (CFSRCs) can be fabricated by 3D printing is proposed. The influence of 3D-printing temperature on the mechanical performance of 3D-printed CFSRCs based on homogeneous, continuous, ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) fibers and high-density polyethylene (HDPE) filament, utilized as a reinforcing phase and matrix, respectively, was studied. Experimental results showed a qualitative relationship between the printing temperature and the mechanical properties. The ultimate tensile strength, as well as Young’s modulus, were 300.2 MPa and 8.2 GPa, respectively. Furthermore, transcrystallization that occurred in the process of 3D printing resulted in an interface between fibers and the matrix. Finally, the recyclability of 3D-printed CFSRCs has also been demonstrated in this research for potential applications of green composites. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Composites for 3D Printing)
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16 pages, 6192 KiB  
Article
Revealing the High-Modulus Mechanism of Polyimide Films Prepared with 3,4′-ODA
by Li Zhu, Yinong Li, Shuhao Han, Hongqing Niu, Dezhen Wu and Shengli Qi
Polymers 2021, 13(18), 3175; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13183175 - 18 Sep 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2056
Abstract
To prepare PIs (polyimides) with desirable thermal and mechanical properties is highly demanded due to their widespread applications in flexible optoelectronic devices and printed circuit boards. Here, the PI films of BPDA/4,4′-ODA, BPDA/3,4′-ODA, PMDA/4,4′-ODA, PMDA/3,4′-ODA systems were prepared, and it was found that [...] Read more.
To prepare PIs (polyimides) with desirable thermal and mechanical properties is highly demanded due to their widespread applications in flexible optoelectronic devices and printed circuit boards. Here, the PI films of BPDA/4,4′-ODA, BPDA/3,4′-ODA, PMDA/4,4′-ODA, PMDA/3,4′-ODA systems were prepared, and it was found that the PIs with 3,4′-ODA always exhibit a high modulus compared with the PIs with 4,4′-ODA. To disclose the mechanism of high-modulus PI films with 3,4′-ODA, amorphous PI models and uniaxial drawing PI models were established and calculated based on MD simulation. The PI structural deformations at different length scales, i.e., molecular chain cluster scale and repeat unit scale, under the same stress were detailed and analyzed, including the variation of chain conformation, bond length, bond angle, internal rotation energy, and torsion angle. The results indicate that PIs with 3,4-ODA have higher internal rotation energy and smaller deformation with the same stress, consistent with the high modulus. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functional Polymer Coatings II)
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10 pages, 2078 KiB  
Article
Cerium(III) Nitrate Containing Electrospun Wound Dressing for Mitigating Burn Severity
by Cortes Williams III, Ramanda Chambers-Wilson, Jahnabi Roy, Christine Kowalczewski, Angela R. Jockheck-Clark, Robert Christy and Luis A. Martinez
Polymers 2021, 13(18), 3174; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13183174 - 18 Sep 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1682
Abstract
Thermal injuries pose a risk for service members in prolonged field care (PFC) situations or to civilians in levels of lower care. Without access to prompt surgical intervention and treatment, potentially salvageable tissues are compromised, resulting in increases in both wound size and [...] Read more.
Thermal injuries pose a risk for service members in prolonged field care (PFC) situations or to civilians in levels of lower care. Without access to prompt surgical intervention and treatment, potentially salvageable tissues are compromised, resulting in increases in both wound size and depth. Immediate debridement of necrotic tissue enhances survivability and mitigates the risks of burn shock, multiple organ failure, and infection. However, due to the difficulty of surgical removal of the burn eschar in PFC situations and lower levels of care, it is of utmost importance to develop alternative methods for burn stabilization. Studies have indicated that cerium(III) nitrate may be used to prolong the time before surgical intervention is required. The objective of this study was to incorporate cerium(III) nitrate into an electrospun dressing that could provide burst release. Select dosages of cerium(III) nitrate were dissolved with either pure solvent or polyethylene oxide (PEO) for coaxial or traditional electrospinning set-ups, respectively. The solutions were coaxially electrospun onto a rotating mandrel, resulting in a combined nonwoven mesh, and then compared to traditionally spun solutions. Dressings were evaluated for topography, morphology, and porosity using scanning electron microscopy and helium pycnometry. Additionally, cerium(III) loading efficiency, release rates, and cytocompatibility were evaluated in both static and dynamic environments. Imaging showed randomly aligned polymer nanofibers with fiber diameters of 1161 ± 210 nm and 1090 ± 250 nm for traditionally and coaxially spun PEO/cerium(III) nitrate dressings, respectively. Assay results indicated that the electrospun dressings contained cerium(III) nitrate properties, with the coaxially spun dressings containing 33% more cerium(III) nitrate than their traditionally spun counterparts. Finally, release studies revealed that PEO-based dressings released the entirety of their contents within the first hour with no detrimental cytocompatibility effects for coaxially-spun dressings. The study herein shows the successful incorporation of cerium(III) nitrate into an electrospun dressing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymeric Nanocomposites for Tissue Engineering and Wound Dressing)
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13 pages, 4566 KiB  
Article
Outdoor Wood Mats-Based Engineering Composite: Influence of Process Parameters on Decay Resistance against Wood-Degrading Fungi Trametes versicolor and Gloeophyllum trabeum
by Minzhen Bao, Neng Li, Yongjie Bao, Jingpeng Li, Hao Zhong, Yuhe Chen and Yanglun Yu
Polymers 2021, 13(18), 3173; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13183173 - 18 Sep 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1589
Abstract
The process parameters significantly influence the preparation and final properties of outdoor wood mats-based engineering composite (OWMEC). During outdoor use, wood composites are susceptible to destruction by rot fungi. Herein, the role of process parameters such as density and resin content on OWMEC [...] Read more.
The process parameters significantly influence the preparation and final properties of outdoor wood mats-based engineering composite (OWMEC). During outdoor use, wood composites are susceptible to destruction by rot fungi. Herein, the role of process parameters such as density and resin content on OWMEC resistance to fungal decay was investigated. The poplar OWMEC samples were exposed to white-rot fungus Trametes versicolor and brown-rot fungus Gloeophyllum trabeum for a period of 12 weeks. The chemical composition, crystallinity, and morphology were evaluated to investigate the effect of process parameters on the chemical composition and microstructure of the decayed OWMEC. With an increase in the density and resin content, the mass loss of the decayed OWMEC decreased. The highest antifungal effect against T. versicolor (12.34% mass loss) and G. trabeum (19.43% mass loss) were observed at a density of 1.15 g/m3 and resin content of 13%. As results of the chemical composition and microstructure measurements, the resistance of OWMEC against T. versicolor and G. trabeum fungi was improved remarkably by increasing the density and resin content. The results of this study will provide a technical basis to improve the decay resistance of OWMEC in outdoor environments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Eco Polymeric Materials and Natural Polymer)
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17 pages, 4394 KiB  
Article
Dye Adsorption Mechanism of Glass Fiber-Reinforced Plastic/Clay Ceramics and Influencing Factors
by Hiroyuki Kinoshita, Koya Sasaki, Kentaro Yasui, Yuko Miyakawa, Toshifumi Yuji, Naoaki Misawa and Narong Mungkung
Polymers 2021, 13(18), 3172; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13183172 - 18 Sep 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2341
Abstract
The effective reuse of waste glass fiber-reinforced plastic (GFRP) is desired. We previously produced porous ceramics by firing mixtures of crushed GFRP and clay in a reducing atmosphere and demonstrated their applicability as adsorbents for the removal of basic dyes from dyeing wastewater. [...] Read more.
The effective reuse of waste glass fiber-reinforced plastic (GFRP) is desired. We previously produced porous ceramics by firing mixtures of crushed GFRP and clay in a reducing atmosphere and demonstrated their applicability as adsorbents for the removal of basic dyes from dyeing wastewater. However, the primary influencing factors and the dye adsorption mechanism have not been fully elucidated, and the adsorption of acidic and direct dyes has not been clarified. In this study, adsorption tests were conducted, and the effects of the firing atmosphere, specific surface area, type of dye, and individual components were comprehensively investigated. The results showed that reductively fired ceramics containing plastic carbide residue adsorbed basic dye very well but did not adsorb acidic dye well. The clay structure was the primary factor for the dye adsorption rather than the GFRP carbide. The mechanism for the basic dye adsorption appears to have been an increase in specific surface area due to the plastic carbide residue in the ceramic structure, which increased the ion exchange between the clay minerals and the dye. By adjusting the pH of the aqueous solution, the GFRP/clay ceramic also adsorbed considerable amounts of direct dye, so the mechanism was determined to be ion exchange with the calcium component of the glass fibers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Composites for Separation and Purification)
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21 pages, 7003 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of the Factors Affecting the Disintegration under a Composting Process of Poly(lactic acid)/Poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) (PLA/PHB) Blends
by Magdalena L. Iglesias-Montes, Michelina Soccio, Francesca Luzi, Debora Puglia, Massimo Gazzano, Nadia Lotti, Liliana B. Manfredi and Viviana P. Cyras
Polymers 2021, 13(18), 3171; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13183171 - 18 Sep 2021
Cited by 21 | Viewed by 3001
Abstract
The overall migration behavior and the disintegration under composting conditions of films based on plasticized poly(lactic acid)/poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) (PLA-PHB) blends were studied, with the main aim of determining the feasibility of their application as biodegradable food packaging materials. The role of composition in the [...] Read more.
The overall migration behavior and the disintegration under composting conditions of films based on plasticized poly(lactic acid)/poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) (PLA-PHB) blends were studied, with the main aim of determining the feasibility of their application as biodegradable food packaging materials. The role of composition in the disintegration process was evaluated by monitoring the changes in physical and thermal properties that originated during the degradation process. PLA and PHB were blended in two weight ratios with 15 wt% of tributyrin, using a Haake mixer and then compression molded into ~150 μm films. We found that the migration level of all of the studied blends was below check intended meaning retained in non-polar simulants, while only plasticized blends could withstand the contact with polar solvents. The disintegration of all of the materials in compost at 58 °C was completed within 42 days; the plasticized PHB underwent the fastest degradation, taking only 14 days. The presence of the TB plasticizer speeded up the degradation process. Different degradation mechanisms were identified for PLA and PHB. To evaluate the annealing effect separately from bacteria degradation, the influence of temperature on materials in the absence of a compost environment was also studied. With the increasing time of degradation in compost, both melting temperature and maximum degradation temperature progressively decreased, while the crystallinity degree increased, indicating that the samples were definitely degrading and that the amorphous regions were preferentially eroded by bacteria. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Biobased Polymer Composites)
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