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Polymers, Volume 13, Issue 22 (November-2 2021) – 195 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Bio-based epoxy adhesives, which offer desirable adhesion strength, converted controlled removal upon request, and scalability, allow the recyclability of the glass with the attached e-component. In this work, the replacement of bisphenol A in epoxy adhesive was achieved by the incorporation of three different lignin-based aromatic monophenols: guaiacol, cresol, and vanillin. Unlike other hydroxyl phenyls, guaiacol showed successful epoxide production and stability at room temperature. For the production of adhesive, the environmentally acceptable, optimized guaiacol-based epoxy at 20, 50, and 80 wt.% was used. The developed bio-based adhesive will adhere the e-component on the innovative glass e-bottle produced by Steklarna Hrastnik. View this paper
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17 pages, 5777 KiB  
Article
Analysis of the Damage Mechanism around the Crack Tip for Two Rubber-Toughened PLA-Based Blends
by Vito Gigante, Luca Bosi, Paola Parlanti, Mauro Gemmi, Laura Aliotta and Andrea Lazzeri
Polymers 2021, 13(22), 4053; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13224053 - 22 Nov 2021
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 2647
Abstract
The toughening mechanisms of poly(lactic acid; PLA) blended with two different elastomers, namely poly (butylene adipate-co-terephtalate; PBAT) and polyolefin elastomers with grafted glycidyl methacrylate (POE-g-GMA), at 10 and 20 wt.%, were investigated. Tensile and Charpy impact tests showed a general improvement in the [...] Read more.
The toughening mechanisms of poly(lactic acid; PLA) blended with two different elastomers, namely poly (butylene adipate-co-terephtalate; PBAT) and polyolefin elastomers with grafted glycidyl methacrylate (POE-g-GMA), at 10 and 20 wt.%, were investigated. Tensile and Charpy impact tests showed a general improvement in the performance of the PLA. The morphology of the dispersed phases showed that PBAT is in the form of spheres while POE-g-GMA has a dual sphere/fibre morphology. To correlate the micromechanical deformation mechanism with the macroscopical mechanical behaviour, the analysis of the subcritical crack tip damaged zone of double-notched specimens subjected to a four-point bending test (according to the single-edge double-notch four-point bend (SEDN-4PB) technique) was carried out using several microscopic techniques (SEM, polarized TOM and TEM). The damage was mainly generated by shear yielding deformation although voids associated with dilatational bands were observed. Full article
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11 pages, 2054 KiB  
Article
Photoswitchable Zirconium MOF for Light-Driven Hydrogen Storage
by Vera V. Butova, Olga A. Burachevskaya, Vitaly A. Podshibyakin, Evgenii N. Shepelenko, Andrei A. Tereshchenko, Svetlana O. Shapovalova, Oleg I. Il’in, Vladimir A. Bren’ and Alexander V. Soldatov
Polymers 2021, 13(22), 4052; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13224052 - 22 Nov 2021
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 2436
Abstract
Here, we report a new photosensitive metal–organic framework (MOF) that was constructed via the modification of UiO-66-NH2 with diarylethene molecules (DAE, 4-(5-Methoxy-1,2-dimethyl-1H-indol-3-yl)-3-(2,5-dimethylthiophen-3-yl)-4-furan-2,5-dione). The material that was obtained was a highly crystalline porous compound. The photoresponse of the modified MOF was observed via [...] Read more.
Here, we report a new photosensitive metal–organic framework (MOF) that was constructed via the modification of UiO-66-NH2 with diarylethene molecules (DAE, 4-(5-Methoxy-1,2-dimethyl-1H-indol-3-yl)-3-(2,5-dimethylthiophen-3-yl)-4-furan-2,5-dione). The material that was obtained was a highly crystalline porous compound. The photoresponse of the modified MOF was observed via UV–Vis and IR spectroscopy. Most of the DAE molecules inside of the UiO-66-pores had an open conformation after synthesis. However, the equilibrium was able to be shifted further toward an open conformation using visible light irradiation with a wavelength of 520 nm. Conversely, UV-light with a wavelength of 450 nm initiated the transformation of the photoresponsive moieties inside of the pores to a closed modification. We have shown that this transformation could be used to stimulate hydrogen adsorption–desorption processes. Specifically, visible light irradiation increased the H2 capacity of modified MOF, while UV-light decreased it. A similar hybrid material with DAE moieties in the UiO-66 scaffold was applied for hydrogen storage for the first time. Additionally, the obtained results are promising for smart H2 storage that is able to be managed via light stimuli. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Heat and Mass Transfer in Porous Polymers)
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17 pages, 9966 KiB  
Article
Thermal Analysis of a Metal–Organic Framework ZnxCo1-X-ZIF-8 for Recent Applications
by Moustafa Ahmed, Yas M Al-Hadeethi, Ahmed Alshahrie, Arwa T Kutbee, Essam R. Shaaban and Ahmed F. Al-Hossainy
Polymers 2021, 13(22), 4051; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13224051 - 22 Nov 2021
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2207
Abstract
Zeolitic imidazolate frameworks (ZIFs) are interesting materials for use in several aspects: energy storage material, gas sensing, and photocatalysis. The thermal stability and pyrolysis process are crucial in determining the active phase of the material. A deep understanding of the pyrolysis mechanism is [...] Read more.
Zeolitic imidazolate frameworks (ZIFs) are interesting materials for use in several aspects: energy storage material, gas sensing, and photocatalysis. The thermal stability and pyrolysis process are crucial in determining the active phase of the material. A deep understanding of the pyrolysis mechanism is in demand. Therefore, the thermodynamics and combustion process with different heating rates was examined, and the kinetic parameters were computed employing thermogravimetric tests. Based on the TG analysis of combustion, pyrolysis moves to the high-temperature region with an increase in heating rate. The decomposition process can be separated into the dehydration (300–503 K) and the pyrolysis reaction (703–1100 K). Three points of the decomposition process are performed by dynamical analysis owing to shifts of slopes, but the combustion process has only one stage. The Zeolitic imidazolate framework’s structure properties were examined using TDDFT-DFT/DMOl3 simulation techniques. Dynamical parameters, for instance, the possible mechanism, the pre-exponential factor, and the apparent activation energy are obtained through comparison using the Kissinger formula. The thermodynamics analysis of the Zn1-xCox-ZIF-8 materials is an effective way to explore the temperature influence on the process of pyrolysis, which can benefit several environment purifications, photocatalyst, and recent applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functional Polymer Composites: Design, Preparation and Applications)
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16 pages, 3152 KiB  
Article
Synthesis and Characterization of White-Light Luminescent End-Capped Polyimides Based on FRET and Excited State Intramolecular Proton Transfer
by Atsuko Tabuchi, Teruaki Hayakawa, Shigeki Kuwata, Ryohei Ishige and Shinji Ando
Polymers 2021, 13(22), 4050; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13224050 - 22 Nov 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2473
Abstract
N-cyclohexylphthalimide-substituted trifluoroacetylamino (CF3CONH-) group (3TfAPI), which forms an intramolecular hydrogen bond, was synthesized, and it exhibited a bright yellow fluorescence owing to the excited-state intramolecular proton transfer (ESIPT) in the solution and crystalline states. In addition, CF3CONH-substituted phthalic [...] Read more.
N-cyclohexylphthalimide-substituted trifluoroacetylamino (CF3CONH-) group (3TfAPI), which forms an intramolecular hydrogen bond, was synthesized, and it exhibited a bright yellow fluorescence owing to the excited-state intramolecular proton transfer (ESIPT) in the solution and crystalline states. In addition, CF3CONH-substituted phthalic anhydride (3TfAPA) was synthesized, which was attached to the termini of a blue-fluorescent semi-aromatic polyimide (PI) chain. Owing to the efficient Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) occurring from the main chain to the termini and the suppression of deprotonation (anion formation) at the 3TfAPA moiety by H2SO4 doping, the resulting PI films display bright white fluorescence. Moreover, the enhancement of the chain rigidity by substituting the diamine moiety results in an increase in the quantum yield of white fluorescence (Φ) by a factor of 1.7, due to the suppression of local molecular motion. This material design strategy is promising for preparing thermally stable white-light fluorescent PIs applicable to solar spectral convertors, displays, and ICT devices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Polymer Science and Technology in Japan (2021,2022))
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12 pages, 671 KiB  
Article
Temperature Dependence of Conformational Relaxation of Poly(ethylene oxide) Melts
by Hye Sol Kim, Taejin Kwon, Chung Bin Park and Bong June Sung
Polymers 2021, 13(22), 4049; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13224049 - 22 Nov 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2395
Abstract
The time-temperature superposition (TTS) principle, employed extensively for the analysis of polymer dynamics, is based on the assumption that the different normal modes of polymer chains would experience identical temperature dependence. We aim to test the critical assumption for TTS principle by investigating [...] Read more.
The time-temperature superposition (TTS) principle, employed extensively for the analysis of polymer dynamics, is based on the assumption that the different normal modes of polymer chains would experience identical temperature dependence. We aim to test the critical assumption for TTS principle by investigating poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO) melts, which have been considered excellent solid polyelectrolytes. In this work, we perform all-atom molecular dynamics simulations up to 300 ns at a range of temperatures for PEO melts. We find from our simulations that the conformations of strands of PEO chains in melts show ideal chain statistics when the strand consists of at least 10 monomers. At the temperature range of T= 400 to 300 K, the mean-square displacements (Δr2(t)) of the centers of mass of chains enter the Fickian regime, i.e., Δr2(t)t1. On the other hand, Δr2(t) of the monomers of the chains scales as Δr2(t)t1/2 at intermediate time scales as expected for the Rouse model. We investigate various relaxation modes of the polymer chains and their relaxation times (τn), by calculating for each strand of n monomers. Interestingly, different normal modes of the PEO chains experience identical temperature dependence, thus indicating that the TTS principle would hold for the given temperature range. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Computational Modeling of Polymers)
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14 pages, 2139 KiB  
Article
A Wet-Spinning Process for Producing Carbon Nanotube/Polyvinylidene Fluoride Fibers Having Highly Consistent Electrical and Mechanical Properties
by Ki-Weon Kang, Chan-Woong Choi and Ji-Won Jin
Polymers 2021, 13(22), 4048; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13224048 - 22 Nov 2021
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 3166
Abstract
Studies of polymer/carbon nanotube (CNT) fibers typically focus on optimizing the overall properties, and the effects of structural variation on these properties are ignored. Thus, we investigated the longitudinal variation in the properties of CNT/polyvinylidene fluoride (CNT/PVDF) fibers prepared by wet spinning a [...] Read more.
Studies of polymer/carbon nanotube (CNT) fibers typically focus on optimizing the overall properties, and the effects of structural variation on these properties are ignored. Thus, we investigated the longitudinal variation in the properties of CNT/polyvinylidene fluoride (CNT/PVDF) fibers prepared by wet spinning a solution of multi-walled nanotubes, PVDF, and dimethylacetamide. To this end, materials for the CNT/PVDF fiber were selected, and a dope solution was prepared using MWNT, PVDF, and dimethylacetamide (DMAc). To consider the process parameters that would affect the performance of the CNT/PVDF fiber during the wet-spinning process using the dope solution, the initial conditions for wet spinning were selected, including bath concentration, bath temperature, drying temperature, and elongation, and the CNT/PVDF fiber was spun under the corresponding conditions. Additionally, three performance stabilization processes were proposed to improve the initial conditions for wet spinning and manufacturing the fiber. Lastly, to confirm the reliability of the CNT/PVDF fiber in all sections, tensile strength, electrical conductivity, and cross-sectional images were analyzed for the 30 m, 60 m, and 90 m sections of the fiber, and the reliability of the wet-spinning process was verified. Full article
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18 pages, 3228 KiB  
Article
Enhanced Solar Photocatalytic Reduction of Cr(VI) Using a (ZnO/CuO) Nanocomposite Grafted onto a Polyester Membrane for Wastewater Treatment
by Ambreen Ashar, Ijaz Ahmad Bhatti, Asim Jilani, Muhammad Mohsin, Sadia Rasul, Javed Iqbal, Muhammad Bilal Shakoor, Abdullah G. Al-Sehemi, S. Wageh and Ahmed A. Al-Ghamdi
Polymers 2021, 13(22), 4047; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13224047 - 22 Nov 2021
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 2261
Abstract
Among chemical water pollutants, Cr(VI) is a highly toxic heavy metal; solar photocatalysis is a cost-effective method to reduce Cr(VI) to innocuous Cr(III). In this research work, an efficient and economically feasible ZnO/CuO nanocomposite was grafted onto the polyester fabric ZnO/CuO/PF through the [...] Read more.
Among chemical water pollutants, Cr(VI) is a highly toxic heavy metal; solar photocatalysis is a cost-effective method to reduce Cr(VI) to innocuous Cr(III). In this research work, an efficient and economically feasible ZnO/CuO nanocomposite was grafted onto the polyester fabric ZnO/CuO/PF through the SILAR method. Characterization by SEM, EDX, XRD, and DRS confirmed the successful grafting of highly crystalline, solar active nanoflakes of ZnO/CuO nanocomposite onto the polyester fabric. The grafting of the ZnO/CuO nanocomposite was confirmed by FTIR analysis of the ZnO/CuO/PF membrane. A solar photocatalytic reduction reaction of Cr(VI) was carried out by ZnO/CuO/PF under natural sunlight (solar flux 5–6 kW h/m2). The response surface methodology was employed to determine the interactive effect of three reaction variables: initial concentration of Cr(VI), pH, and solar irradiation time. According to UV/Vis spectrophotometry, 97% of chromium was removed from wastewater in acidic conditions after four hours of sunlight irradiation. ZnO/CuO/PF demonstrated reusability for 11 batches of wastewater under natural sunlight. Evaluation of Cr(VI) reduction was also executed by complexation of Cr(VI) and Cr(III) with 1, 5-diphenylcarbazide. The total percentage removal of Cr after solar photocatalysis was carried out by AAS of the wastewater sample. The ZnO/CuO/PF enhanced the reduction of Cr(VI) metal from wastewater remarkably. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Composites for Water Treatment and Desalination)
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15 pages, 1983 KiB  
Review
Applications of 3D-Printed PEEK via Fused Filament Fabrication: A Systematic Review
by Rupak Dua, Zuri Rashad, Joy Spears, Grace Dunn and Micaela Maxwell
Polymers 2021, 13(22), 4046; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13224046 - 22 Nov 2021
Cited by 63 | Viewed by 8018
Abstract
Polyether ether ketone (PEEK) is an organic polymer that has excellent mechanical, chemical properties and can be additively manufactured (3D-printed) with ease. The use of 3D-printed PEEK has been growing in many fields. This article systematically reviews the current status of 3D-printed PEEK [...] Read more.
Polyether ether ketone (PEEK) is an organic polymer that has excellent mechanical, chemical properties and can be additively manufactured (3D-printed) with ease. The use of 3D-printed PEEK has been growing in many fields. This article systematically reviews the current status of 3D-printed PEEK that has been used in various areas, including medical, chemical, aerospace, and electronics. A search of the use of 3D-printed PEEK articles published until September 2021 in various fields was performed using various databases. After reviewing the articles, and those which matched the inclusion criteria set for this systematic review, we found that the printing of PEEK is mainly performed by fused filament fabrication (FFF) or fused deposition modeling (FDM) printers. Based on the results of this systematic review, it was concluded that PEEK is a versatile material, and 3D-printed PEEK is finding applications in numerous industries. However, most of the applications are still in the research phase. Still, given how the research on PEEK is progressing and its additive manufacturing, it will soon be commercialized for many applications in numerous industries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applications of 3D Printing for Polymers)
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24 pages, 4879 KiB  
Article
Fabrication and Characterization of Polypyrrole/Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotubes Thin Films Using Thermal Evaporation
by Alaa Attar, Rima D. Alharthy, Mohammed Zwawi, Mohammed Algarni, Faisal Albatati, Mohamed Bassyouni, Mohamed Helmy Abdel-Aziz, Mohamed Shafick Zoromba and Ahmed F. Al-Hossainy
Polymers 2021, 13(22), 4045; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13224045 - 22 Nov 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2144
Abstract
Polypyrrole/multiwalled carbon nanotubes composites (PPy/MWCNTs) were produced in an acidic solution utilizing an in situ oxidative polymerization method using ferric chloride as an oxidizing agent and sodium dodecyl sulfate as a soft template. Thermal evaporation was used to fabricate thin films from polypyrrole/multiwalled [...] Read more.
Polypyrrole/multiwalled carbon nanotubes composites (PPy/MWCNTs) were produced in an acidic solution utilizing an in situ oxidative polymerization method using ferric chloride as an oxidizing agent and sodium dodecyl sulfate as a soft template. Thermal evaporation was used to fabricate thin films from polypyrrole/multiwalled carbon nanotube composites. The resulting composites were examined by different techniques to explore their morphology, structural and electrical characteristics. The surface morphology analysis revealed that polypyrrole structure is a two-dimensional film with impeded nanoparticles and the thickness of coated PPy around the MWCNTs decreases when increasing the amount of MWCNTs. XRD analysis revealed that the average crystallite size of the prepared composites is 62.26 nm. The direct energy gap for PPy is affected by a factor ranging from 2.41 eV to 1.47 eV depending on the contents of MWCNTs. The thin film’s optical properties were examined using experimental and TDDFT-DFT/DMOl3 simulation techniques. The optical constants and optical conductivity of the composites were calculated and correlated. The structural and optical characteristics of the simulated nanocomposites as single isolated molecules accord well with the experimental results. The nanocomposite thin films demonstrated promising results, making them a viable candidate for polymer solar cell demands. Under optimal circumstances, the constructed planar heterojunction solar cells with a 75 ± 3 nm layer of PPy/MWCNTs had a power conversion efficiency (PCE) of 6.86%. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functional Polymer Composites: Design, Preparation and Applications)
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13 pages, 3129 KiB  
Article
Nanocomposite of Fullerenes and Natural Rubbers: MARTINI Force Field Molecular Dynamics Simulations
by Jiramate Kitjanon, Wasinee Khuntawee, Saree Phongphanphanee, Thana Sutthibutpong, Nattaporn Chattham, Mikko Karttunen and Jirasak Wong-ekkabut
Polymers 2021, 13(22), 4044; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13224044 - 22 Nov 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2370
Abstract
The mechanical properties of natural rubber (NR) composites depend on many factors, including the filler loading, filler size, filler dispersion, and filler-rubber interfacial interactions. Thus, NR composites with nano-sized fillers have attracted a great deal of attention for improving properties such as stiffness, [...] Read more.
The mechanical properties of natural rubber (NR) composites depend on many factors, including the filler loading, filler size, filler dispersion, and filler-rubber interfacial interactions. Thus, NR composites with nano-sized fillers have attracted a great deal of attention for improving properties such as stiffness, chemical resistance, and high wear resistance. Here, a coarse-grained (CG) model based on the MARTINI force field version 2.1 has been developed and deployed for simulations of cis-1,4-polyisoprene (cis-PI). The model shows qualitative and quantitative agreement with the experiments and atomistic simulations. Interestingly, only a 0.5% difference with respect to the experimental result of the glass transition temperature (Tg) of the cis-PI in the melts was observed. In addition, the mechanical and thermodynamical properties of the cis-PI-fullerene(C60) composites were investigated. Coarse-grained molecular dynamics (MD) simulations of cis-PI-C60 composites with varying fullerene concentrations (0–32 parts per hundred of rubber; phr) were performed over 200 microseconds. The structural, mechanical, and thermal properties of the composites were determined. The density, bulk modulus, thermal expansion, heat capacity, and Tg of the NR composites were found to increase with increasing C60 concentration. The presence of C60 resulted in a slight increasing of the end-to-end distance and radius of the gyration of the cis-PI chains. The contribution of C60 and cis-PI interfacial interactions led to an enhancement of the bulk moduli of the composites. This model should be helpful in the investigations and design of effective fillers of NR-C60 composites for improving their properties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Computational Modeling of Polymers)
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17 pages, 5310 KiB  
Article
Hybrid Composite Material Reinforced with Carbon Nanolaminates for Gradient Stiffness: Preparation and Characterization
by Alvaro Rodríguez-Ortiz, Isabel Muriel-Plaza, Cristina Alía-García, Paz Pinilla-Cea and Juan C. Suárez-Bermejo
Polymers 2021, 13(22), 4043; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13224043 - 22 Nov 2021
Viewed by 1610
Abstract
Currently, the procurement of lightweight, tough, and impact resistant materials is garnering significant industrial interest. New hybrid materials can be developed on the basis of the numerous naturally found materials with gradient properties found in nature. However, previous studies on granular materials demonstrate [...] Read more.
Currently, the procurement of lightweight, tough, and impact resistant materials is garnering significant industrial interest. New hybrid materials can be developed on the basis of the numerous naturally found materials with gradient properties found in nature. However, previous studies on granular materials demonstrate the possibility of capturing the energy generated by an impact within the material itself, thus deconstructing the initial impulse into a series of weaker impulses, dissipating the energy through various mechanisms, and gradually releasing undissipated energy. This work focuses on two production methods: spin coating for creating a granular material with composition and property gradients (an acrylonitrile–butadiene–styrene (ABS) polymer matrix reinforced by carbon nanolaminates at 0.10%, 0.25%, and 0.50%) and 3D printing for generating viscoelastic layers. The aim of this research was to obtain a hybrid material from which better behaviour against shocks and impacts and increased energy dissipation capacity could be expected when the granular material and viscoelastic layers were combined. Nondestructive tests were employed for the morphological characterization of the nanoreinforcement and testing reinforcement homogeneity within the matrix. Furthermore, the Voronoï tessellation method was used as a mathematical method to supplement the results. Finally, mechanical compression tests were performed to reveal additional mechanical properties of the material that had not been specified by the manufacturer of the 3D printing filaments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Composites for Structural Applications)
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14 pages, 2482 KiB  
Article
Porous Bilayer Vascular Grafts Fabricated from Electrospinning of the Recombinant Human Collagen (RHC) Peptide-Based Blend
by Thi My Do, Yang Yang and Aipeng Deng
Polymers 2021, 13(22), 4042; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13224042 - 22 Nov 2021
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2521
Abstract
Cardiovascular diseases, including coronary artery and peripheral vascular pathologies, are leading causes of mortality. As an alternative to autografts, prosthetic grafts have been developed to reduce the death rate. This study presents the development and characterization of bilayer vascular grafts with appropriate structural [...] Read more.
Cardiovascular diseases, including coronary artery and peripheral vascular pathologies, are leading causes of mortality. As an alternative to autografts, prosthetic grafts have been developed to reduce the death rate. This study presents the development and characterization of bilayer vascular grafts with appropriate structural and biocompatibility properties. A polymer blend of recombinant human collagen (RHC) peptides and polycaprolactone (PCL) was used to build the inner layer of the graft by electrospinning and co-electrospinning the water-soluble polyethylene oxide (PEO) as sacrificial material together with PCL to generate the porous outer layer. The mechanical test demonstrated the bilayer scaffold’s appropriate mechanical properties as compared with the native vascular structure. Human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) showed enhanced adhesion to the lumen after seeding on nanoscale fibers. Meanwhile, by enhancing the porosity of the microfibrous outer layer through the removal of PEO fibers, rat smooth muscle cells (A7r5) could proliferate and infiltrate the porous layer easily. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Protein-Based Biopolymers)
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12 pages, 12635 KiB  
Article
The Synthesis of Associative Copolymers with Both Amphoteric and Hydrophobic Groups and the Effect of the Degree of Association on the Instability of Emulsions
by Xiaotong Zhang, Gen Li, Yuhao Chen, Keliang Wang and Erlong Yang
Polymers 2021, 13(22), 4041; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13224041 - 22 Nov 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1780
Abstract
The acrylamide (AM)/methacryloyl ethyl sulfobetaine (SPE)/behenyl polyoxyethylene ether methacrylate (BEM) terpolymer (PASB) was synthesized by soap-free emulsion polymerization. Four types of PASBs were synthesized by adjusting the moles of AM and BEM with constant total moles of monomers. The synthesized copolymers were characterized [...] Read more.
The acrylamide (AM)/methacryloyl ethyl sulfobetaine (SPE)/behenyl polyoxyethylene ether methacrylate (BEM) terpolymer (PASB) was synthesized by soap-free emulsion polymerization. Four types of PASBs were synthesized by adjusting the moles of AM and BEM with constant total moles of monomers. The synthesized copolymers were characterized by Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy, thermogravimetry, molecular weight, and viscosity. By measuring the microscopic morphology and backscattered light intensity of the emulsions, the instability process of the emulsions prepared by PASBs was investigated in detail. The main instability processes of the emulsions prepared from PASBs within 45 min were flocculation and coalescence. The intermolecular association of copolymer PASBs was dominated by the behenyl functional groups on the molecular chains. The stability of the emulsions, which were prepared from isoviscosity aqueous solutions controlled by the concentration of the associative copolymers, was increased with the degree of association of copolymers. The hydrophobic association between the copolymer molecules can further slow down the flocculation and coalescence of the emulsion droplets on the basis of the same aqueous solution viscosity, which is one of the reasons for improving the stability of the emulsion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Polymer Chemistry)
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16 pages, 2653 KiB  
Article
A Degradable Inverse Vulcanized Copolymer as a Coating Material for Urea Produced under Optimized Conditions
by Ali Shaan Manzoor Ghumman, Rashid Shamsuddin, Mohamed Mahmoud Nasef, Efrem G. Krivoborodov, Sohaira Ahmad, Alexey A. Zanin, Yaroslav O. Mezhuev and Amin Abbasi
Polymers 2021, 13(22), 4040; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13224040 - 22 Nov 2021
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 2721
Abstract
Global enhancement of crop yield is achieved using chemical fertilizers; however, agro-economy is affected due to poor nutrient uptake efficacy (NUE), which also causes environmental pollution. Encapsulating urea granules with hydrophobic material can be one solution. Additionally, the inverse vulcanized copolymer obtained from [...] Read more.
Global enhancement of crop yield is achieved using chemical fertilizers; however, agro-economy is affected due to poor nutrient uptake efficacy (NUE), which also causes environmental pollution. Encapsulating urea granules with hydrophobic material can be one solution. Additionally, the inverse vulcanized copolymer obtained from vegetable oils are a new class of green sulfur-enriched polymer with good biodegradation and better sulfur oxidation potential, but they possess unreacted sulfur, which leads to void generations. In this study, inverse vulcanization reaction conditions to minimize the amount of unreacted sulfur through response surface methodology (RSM) is optimized. The copolymer obtained was then characterized using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). FTIR confirmed the formation of the copolymer, TGA demonstrated that copolymer is thermally stable up to 200 °C temperature, and DSC revealed the sulfur conversion of 82.2% (predicted conversion of 82.37%), which shows the goodness of the model developed to predict the sulfur conversion. To further maximize the sulfur conversion, 5 wt% diisopropenyl benzene (DIB) as a crosslinker is added during synthesis to produce terpolymer. The urea granule is then coated using terpolymer, and the nutrient release longevity of the coated urea is tested in distilled water, which revealed that only 65% of its total nutrient is released after 40 days of incubation. The soil burial of the terpolymer demonstrated its biodegradability, as 26% weight loss happens in 52 days of incubation. Thus, inverse vulcanized terpolymer as a coating material for urea demonstrated far better nutrient release longevity compared with other biopolymers with improved biodegradation; moreover, these copolymers also have potential to improve sulfur oxidation. Full article
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13 pages, 49978 KiB  
Article
Fabrication of Micro-Groove on the Surface of CFRP to Enhance the Connection Strength of Composite Part
by Bin Xu, Meng-Yang Wei, Xiao-Yu Wu, Lian-Yu Fu, Feng Luo and Jian-Guo Lei
Polymers 2021, 13(22), 4039; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13224039 - 22 Nov 2021
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2040
Abstract
Carbon fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP) has the advantages of being light weight, high strength, and corrosion resistant. At present, it is widely used in the lightweight design of automobile parts. The manufacturing of lightweight parts inevitably involves the connection between CFRP and the polymer [...] Read more.
Carbon fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP) has the advantages of being light weight, high strength, and corrosion resistant. At present, it is widely used in the lightweight design of automobile parts. The manufacturing of lightweight parts inevitably involves the connection between CFRP and the polymer material. The connection strength between CFRP and the polymer material significantly affects the service life of the composite parts. Taking CFRP and polyamide 6 (PA6) injection-molded composite parts as an example, this paper proposed a technological method to enhance the connection strength between CFRP and PA6. The proposed method was to fabricate micro-groove structures on the CFRP surface by compression molding. These micro-groove structures effectively increased the injection-molding area of the composite parts, thus enhancing the connection strength between CFRP and PA6. This paper presented a detailed study on the compression-molding process of micro-grooves on the CFRP surface, and successfully obtained the appropriate parameters. Finally, PA6 was used for injection molding on the CFRP with micro-grooves at an injection pressure of 8 MPa, an injection temperature of 240 °C, a holding pressure of 5 MPa, and a holding time of 2.5 s. The experimental results show that the micro-groove array structures on the CFRP surface could effectively improve the tensile strength of the connection interface in the composite parts. Compared with the composite part without micro-grooves, the tensile strength of the composite part with micro-grooves was increased by 80.93%. The composite parts prepared in this paper are mainly used in automobile interiors and the research results of this paper meet the actual needs of the enterprise. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Processing and Surfaces II)
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19 pages, 38912 KiB  
Article
Experimental and Statistical Analysis of Saw Mill Wood Waste Composite Properties for Practical Applications
by Muhammad Usman Khan, Muhammad Abas, Sahar Noor, Bashir Salah, Waqas Saleem and Razaullah Khan
Polymers 2021, 13(22), 4038; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13224038 - 22 Nov 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2562
Abstract
The utilization of composite materials is increasing at a growing rate in almost all types of products, due to their strength-to-stiffness ratio. From this perspective, natural waste composites, i.e., wood waste composites, have also been investigated for their effective and sustainable employment. This [...] Read more.
The utilization of composite materials is increasing at a growing rate in almost all types of products, due to their strength-to-stiffness ratio. From this perspective, natural waste composites, i.e., wood waste composites, have also been investigated for their effective and sustainable employment. This paper deals with the application of hard and soft wood waste (i.e., acacia and cedar wood) with epoxy resin polymer to develop high strength and thermally stable wood composites. Mechanical (tensile, flexural, impact, and hardness) and thermal properties of samples are studied using Differential Scanning Calorimeter (DSC) and Thermo Gravimetric Analysis (TGA), respectively. The properties are evaluated by varying the type of wood waste and its percentage by weight. Based on the Taguchi Orthogonal Array Mixture Design, eighteen experiments are investigated. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) results show that wood waste type and wood waste content have a significant effect on all mechanical properties. From the TGA analysis, it is predicted that both types of wood waste composites exhibit similar thermal-induced degradation profiles in terms of the initial and final degradation temperatures. From the DSC results, higher glass transition temperature Tg is detected in 10% of the hardwood waste composite, and a reducing tendency of glass transition temperature Tg is observed with exceeding wood waste content. Moreover, hardwood waste at 10% demonstrated improved decomposition temperature Td, due to strong adhesion between waste and matrix. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Composites for Structural Applications)
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17 pages, 5648 KiB  
Article
Dynamic Mechanical Analysis of Thermally Aged Fique Fabric-Reinforced Epoxy Composites
by Michelle Souza Oliveira, Fernanda Santos da Luz, Fabio da Costa Garcia Filho, Artur Camposo Pereira, Vinícius de Oliveira Aguiar, Henry Alonso Colorado Lopera and Sergio Neves Monteiro
Polymers 2021, 13(22), 4037; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13224037 - 22 Nov 2021
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2634
Abstract
Dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA) is one of the most common methods employed to study a material’s viscoelastic properties. The effect of thermal aging on plain epoxy and a fique fabric-reinforced epoxy composite was investigated by comparing the mass loss, morphologies, and DMA properties [...] Read more.
Dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA) is one of the most common methods employed to study a material’s viscoelastic properties. The effect of thermal aging on plain epoxy and a fique fabric-reinforced epoxy composite was investigated by comparing the mass loss, morphologies, and DMA properties of aged and unaged samples. In fact, thermal aging presents a big challenge for the high-temperature applications of natural fiber composites. In this work, both plain epoxy and fique fabric-reinforced epoxy composite were found to have different molecular mobility. This leads to distinct transition regions, with different changes in intensity caused by external loadings from time-aging. Three exponentially modified Gauss distribution functions (EMGs) were applied to loss factor curves of fique fabric-reinforced epoxy composite and plain epoxy, which allowed identifying three possible mobility ranges. From these results it was proposed that the thermal degradation behavior of natural fibers, especially fique fiber and their composites, might be assessed, based on their structural characteristics and mechanical properties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Polymer Applications)
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33 pages, 2826 KiB  
Review
Recent Advancement in Chitosan-Based Nanoparticles for Improved Oral Bioavailability and Bioactivity of Phytochemicals: Challenges and Perspectives
by Syed Sarim Imam, Sultan Alshehri, Mohammed M. Ghoneim, Ameeduzzafar Zafar, Omar Awad Alsaidan, Nabil K. Alruwaili, Sadaf Jamal Gilani and Md. Rizwanullah
Polymers 2021, 13(22), 4036; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13224036 - 22 Nov 2021
Cited by 32 | Viewed by 3202
Abstract
The excellent therapeutic potential of a variety of phytochemicals in different diseases has been proven by extensive studies throughout history. However, most phytochemicals are characterized by a high molecular weight, poor aqueous solubility, limited gastrointestinal permeability, extensive pre-systemic metabolism, and poor stability in [...] Read more.
The excellent therapeutic potential of a variety of phytochemicals in different diseases has been proven by extensive studies throughout history. However, most phytochemicals are characterized by a high molecular weight, poor aqueous solubility, limited gastrointestinal permeability, extensive pre-systemic metabolism, and poor stability in the harsh gastrointestinal milieu. Therefore, loading of these phytochemicals in biodegradable and biocompatible nanoparticles (NPs) might be an effective approach to improve their bioactivity. Different nanocarrier systems have been developed in recent decades to deliver phytochemicals. Among them, NPs based on chitosan (CS) (CS-NPs), a mucoadhesive, non-toxic, and biodegradable polysaccharide, are considered the best nanoplatform for the oral delivery of phytochemicals. This review highlights the oral delivery of natural products, i.e., phytochemicals, encapsulated in NPs prepared from a natural polymer, i.e., CS, for improved bioavailability and bioactivity. The unique properties of CS for oral delivery such as its mucoadhesiveness, non-toxicity, excellent stability in the harsh environment of the GIT, good solubility in slightly acidic and alkaline conditions, and ability to enhance intestinal permeability are discussed first, and then the outcomes of various phytochemical-loaded CS-NPs after oral administration are discussed in detail. Furthermore, different challenges associated with the oral delivery of phytochemicals with CS-NPs and future directions are also discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Biomolecules from Food By-Products: Chitosan and Gelatine)
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13 pages, 6855 KiB  
Article
Synthesis, Characterization and Evaluation of Supercapacitive Response of Dodecylbenzenesulphonic Acid (DBSA) Doped Polypyrrole/Zirconium Dioxide Composites
by Rizwan Ullah, Mehtab Khan, Rozina Khattak, Nadia Khan, Muhammad Sufaid Khan and Yaser A. El-Badry
Polymers 2021, 13(22), 4035; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13224035 - 22 Nov 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2058
Abstract
An in-situ chemical oxidative method was used to effectively synthesize a promising supercapacitor material based on PPy/ZrO2 composites. The synthesized materials were characterized by different analytical techniques, such as UV/visible (UV/Vis) spectroscopy, Fourier-transform infra-red spectroscopy (FTIR), X-ray diffraction (XRD), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), [...] Read more.
An in-situ chemical oxidative method was used to effectively synthesize a promising supercapacitor material based on PPy/ZrO2 composites. The synthesized materials were characterized by different analytical techniques, such as UV/visible (UV/Vis) spectroscopy, Fourier-transform infra-red spectroscopy (FTIR), X-ray diffraction (XRD), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The inclusion of ZrO2 into the PPy matrix was verified by vibrational spectra and structural analyses. The (TGA) results showed that incorporating ZrO2 into the polymeric matrix improved its thermal stability. In addition, the electrochemical properties of the synthesizedmaterials were investigated byusing cyclic voltammetry (CV) and galvanostatic charge/discharge (GCD). The PPy/ZrO2 composite demonstrated excellent super capacitive performance, and high specific capacity of 337.83 F/g, with an exceedingly high energy density of 187.68 Wh/kg at a power density of 1000 W/kg. The composite materials maintain good stability after 1000 charge and discharge cycles, with 85% capacitance retention. The PPy/ZrO2 possesses a high capacitance, an attractive micro-morphology, and a simple synthesis method. The findings indicate that the PPy/ZrO2 composite could be a promising electrode material for high-performance supercapacitor applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Composites for Structural Applications)
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13 pages, 28157 KiB  
Article
Development and Characterization of Eudragit-RL-100-Based Aceclofenac Sustained-Release Matrix Pellets Prepared via Extrusion/Spheronization
by Mohamed Abbas Ibrahim and Doaa Hasan Alshora
Polymers 2021, 13(22), 4034; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13224034 - 21 Nov 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2055
Abstract
Aceclofenac (AC) is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug used in the treatment of chronic pain in conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, with frequent administration during the day. The formulation of sustained release matrix pellets can provide a promising alternative dosage form that controls the [...] Read more.
Aceclofenac (AC) is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug used in the treatment of chronic pain in conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, with frequent administration during the day. The formulation of sustained release matrix pellets can provide a promising alternative dosage form that controls the release of the drug, with less blood fluctuation and side effects—especially those related to the gastric system. The extrusion/spheronization technique was used to formulate AC matrix pellets. The response surface methodology (version 17.2.02.; Statgraphics Centurion) was used to study the impacts of Eudragit RL 100 and PVP K90 binder solution concentrations on the pellets’ wet mass peak torque, pellet size, and the release of the drug. Statistically, a significant synergistic effect of PVP K90 concentration on the peak torque and pellet size was observed (p = 0.0156 and 0.031, respectively), while Eudragit RL 100 showed significant antagonistic effects (p = 0.042 and 0.013, respectively). The peak torque decreased from 0.513 ± 0.022 to 0.41 ± 0.021 when increasing the Eudragit RL 100 from 0 to 20%, and the pellet size decreased from 0.914 ± 0.047 to 0.789 ± 0.074 nm. The tested independent factors did not significantly affect the drug release in the acidic medium within 2 h, but these pellet formulae maintained the drug release at less than 10% in the acidic medium (pH 1.2), which may decrease gastric irritation side effects. In contrast, a highly significant synergistic effect of Eudragit and highly antagonistic effect of the PVP solution on drug release in the alkaline-pH medium were observed (p = 0.002 and 0.007, respectively). The optimized pellet formula derived from the statistical program, composed of 3.21% Eudragit and 5% PVP solution, showed peak torque of 0.861 ± 0.056 Nm and pellet size of 1090 ± 85 µm, and resulted in a significant retardation effect on the release after 8 h compared to the untreated drug. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Intelligent Polymeric Delivery System for Biomedical Applications)
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8 pages, 2934 KiB  
Article
Viscosity Analysis of Battery Electrode Slurry
by Alex Cushing, Tianyue Zheng, Kenneth Higa and Gao Liu
Polymers 2021, 13(22), 4033; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13224033 - 21 Nov 2021
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 5404
Abstract
We report the effects of component ratios and mixing time on electrode slurry viscosity. Three component quantities were varied: active material (graphite), conductive material (carbon black), and polymer binder (carboxymethyl cellulose, CMC). The slurries demonstrated shear-thinning behavior, and suspension properties stabilized after a [...] Read more.
We report the effects of component ratios and mixing time on electrode slurry viscosity. Three component quantities were varied: active material (graphite), conductive material (carbon black), and polymer binder (carboxymethyl cellulose, CMC). The slurries demonstrated shear-thinning behavior, and suspension properties stabilized after a relatively short mixing duration. However, micrographs of the slurries suggested their internal structures did not stabilize after the same mixing time. Increasing the content of polymer binder CMC caused the greatest viscosity increase compared to that of carbon black and graphite. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Polymer Composites and Nanocomposites)
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13 pages, 5799 KiB  
Article
The Dynamic Impact Response of 3D-Printed Polymeric Sandwich Structures with Lattice Cores: Numerical and Experimental Investigation
by Shu-Yu Jhou, Ching-Chi Hsu and Jui-Chia Yeh
Polymers 2021, 13(22), 4032; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13224032 - 21 Nov 2021
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 3101
Abstract
This paper proposes a dynamic drop weight impact simulation to predict the impact response of 3D printed polymeric sandwich structures using an explicit finite element (FE) approach. The lattice cores of sandwich structures were based on two unit cells, a body-centred cubic (BCC) [...] Read more.
This paper proposes a dynamic drop weight impact simulation to predict the impact response of 3D printed polymeric sandwich structures using an explicit finite element (FE) approach. The lattice cores of sandwich structures were based on two unit cells, a body-centred cubic (BCC) and an edge-centred cubic (ECC). The deformation and the peak acceleration, referred to as the g-max score, were calculated to quantify their shock absorption characteristic. For the FE results verification, a falling mass impact test was conducted. The FE results were in good agreement with experimental measurements. The results suggested that the strut diameter, strut length, number and orientation, and the apparent material stiffness of the lattice cores had a significant effect on their deformation behavior and shock absorption capability. In addition, the BCC lattice core with a thinner strut diameter and low structural height might lead to poor shock absorption capability caused by structure collapse and border effect, which could be improved by increasing its apparent material stiffness. This dynamic drop impact simulation process could be applied across numerous industries such as footwear, sporting goods, personal protective equipment, packaging, or biomechanical implants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymeric Materials or Biomechanics for Medical Devices and Implants)
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18 pages, 2218 KiB  
Review
Optimization of Chitosan Properties with the Aim of a Water Resistant Adhesive Development
by Jeanne Silvestre, Cédric Delattre, Philippe Michaud and Hélène de Baynast
Polymers 2021, 13(22), 4031; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13224031 - 21 Nov 2021
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 4111
Abstract
Chitosan is a bio-sourced polysaccharide widely used in different fields from health to wastewater treatment through food supplements. Another important use of this polymer is adhesion. Indeed, the current demand to replace non-natural and hazardous polymers by greener ones is well present in [...] Read more.
Chitosan is a bio-sourced polysaccharide widely used in different fields from health to wastewater treatment through food supplements. Another important use of this polymer is adhesion. Indeed, the current demand to replace non-natural and hazardous polymers by greener ones is well present in the adhesive field and open good opportunities for chitosan and its derivatives. However, chitosan is water soluble and exhibits a poor water-resistance in the field of adhesion which reduces the possibilities of its utilization within the paste field. This review focuses on exploration of different ways available to modify the chitosan and transform it into a water-resistant adhesive. The first part concerns the chitosan itself and gives important information from the discovery of chitin to the pure chitosan ready to use. The second part reviews the background information relative to adhesion theories, ideal properties of adhesives and the characteristics of chitosan as an adhesive. The last part focuses on exploration of the possible modification of chitosan to make it a water-resistant chemical adhesive. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functional Chitosan-Based Materials)
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14 pages, 3772 KiB  
Article
Sandwich Multi-Material 3D-Printed Polymers: Influence of Aging on the Impact and Flexure Resistances
by Ana C. Pinho and Ana P. Piedade
Polymers 2021, 13(22), 4030; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13224030 - 21 Nov 2021
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 2618
Abstract
With the advances in new materials, equipment, and processes, additive manufacturing (AM) has gained increased importance for producing the final parts that are used in several industrial areas, such as automotive, aeronautics, and health. The constant development of 3D-printing equipment allows for printing [...] Read more.
With the advances in new materials, equipment, and processes, additive manufacturing (AM) has gained increased importance for producing the final parts that are used in several industrial areas, such as automotive, aeronautics, and health. The constant development of 3D-printing equipment allows for printing multi-material systems as sandwich specimens using, for example, double-nozzle configurations. The present study aimed to compare the mechanical behavior of multi-material specimens that were produced using a double-nozzle 3D printer. The materials that were included in this study were the copolymer acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS), high-impact polystyrene (HIPS), poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA), and thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU). The configuration of the sandwich structures consisted of a core of TPU and the outer skins made of one of the other three materials. The mechanical behavior was evaluated through three-point bending (3PB) and transverse impact tests and compared with mono-material printed specimens. The effect of aging in artificial saliva was evaluated for all the processed materials. The main conclusion of this study was that the aging process did not significantly alter the mechanical properties for mono-materials, except for PMMA, where the maximum flexural stress decreased. In the sandwich structures, the TPU core had a softening effect, inducing a significant increase in the resilience and resistance to transverse impact. The obtained results are quite promising for applications in biomedical devices, such as protective mouthguards or teeth aligners. In these specific applications, the changes in the mechanical properties with time and with the contact of saliva assume particular importance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymers in Additive Manufacturing)
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23 pages, 8708 KiB  
Article
Recycling of Silicon Carbide Sludge on the Preparation and Characterization of Lightweight Foamed Geopolymer Materials
by Kang-Wei Lo, Ya-Wen Lin, Ta-Wui Cheng, Kae-Long Lin and Wei-Ting Lin
Polymers 2021, 13(22), 4029; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13224029 - 21 Nov 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1656
Abstract
This study used silicon carbide sludge (SCS) to prepare lightweight foaming geopolymer materials (FGPs) by the direct foaming method. Results showed that when the SCS replacement level was 10%, the bulk density of the lightweight FGPs with added foaming agent amounts of 0.5% [...] Read more.
This study used silicon carbide sludge (SCS) to prepare lightweight foaming geopolymer materials (FGPs) by the direct foaming method. Results showed that when the SCS replacement level was 10%, the bulk density of the lightweight FGPs with added foaming agent amounts of 0.5% and 2.0% was 0.59 and 0.49 g/cm3, respectively; at a curing time of 28 days, the lightweight FGPs with amounts of added foaming agent of 0.5% and 2.0% had bulk densities that were 0.65 and 0.58 g/cm3, respectively. When the SCS replacement level was 10%, and the amount of added foaming agent was 2.0%, the porosity ratio of the lightweight FGP increased from 31.88% to 40.03%. The mechanical strength of the lightweight FGPs with SCS replacement levels of 10% and 20% was 0.88 and 0.31 MPa, respectively. Additionally, when the amount of foaming agent increased to 2.0%, the thermal conductivity of the lightweight FGPs with SCS replacement levels of 10% and 20% were 0.370 and 0.456 W/m⋅K, respectively. When the curing time was 1 day, and the amount of added foaming agent was 0.5%, the reverse-side temperature of the lightweight FGPs with SCS replacement levels of 10% and 20% were 286 and 311 °C, respectively. The k value of the O2 reaction decreased from 2.94 × 10−4 to 1.76 × 10−4 because the reaction system was affected by the presence of SiC sludge, which was caused the reaction to consume O2 to form CO2. The results have been proposed to explain that the manufactured lightweight FGPs had a low thermal conductivity (0.370–0.456 W/m⋅K). Therefore, recycling of silicon carbide sludge in lightweight foaming geopolymer materials has potential as fire resistance material for the construction industry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advance in New Energy Materials and Devices)
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24 pages, 10420 KiB  
Article
The Effect of Agarose on 3D Bioprinting
by Chi Gong, Zhiyuan Kong and Xiaohong Wang
Polymers 2021, 13(22), 4028; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13224028 - 21 Nov 2021
Cited by 24 | Viewed by 3305
Abstract
In three-dimensional (3D) bioprinting, the accuracy, stability, and mechanical properties of the formed structure are very important to the overall composition and internal structure of the complex organ. In traditional 3D bioprinting, low-temperature gelatinization of gelatin is often used to construct complex tissues [...] Read more.
In three-dimensional (3D) bioprinting, the accuracy, stability, and mechanical properties of the formed structure are very important to the overall composition and internal structure of the complex organ. In traditional 3D bioprinting, low-temperature gelatinization of gelatin is often used to construct complex tissues and organs. However, the hydrosol relies too much on the concentration of gelatin and has limited formation accuracy and stability. In this study, we take advantage of the physical crosslinking of agarose at 35–40 °C to replace the single pregelatinization effect of gelatin in 3D bioprinting, and printing composite gelatin/alginate/agarose hydrogels at two temperatures, i.e., 10 °C and 24 °C, respectively. After in-depth research, we find that the structures manufactured by the pregelatinization method of agarose are significantly more accurate, more stable, and harder than those pregelatined by gelatin. We believe that this research holds the potential to be widely used in the future organ manufacturing fields with high structural accuracy and stability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioactive Polymer Composites and Their Clinical Applications)
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14 pages, 2020 KiB  
Article
Antibacterial and UV Protection Properties of Modified Cotton Fabric Using a Curcumin/TiO2 Nanocomposite for Medical Textile Applications
by M. M. Abd El-Hady, A. Farouk, S. El-Sayed Saeed and S. Zaghloul
Polymers 2021, 13(22), 4027; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13224027 - 21 Nov 2021
Cited by 25 | Viewed by 3328
Abstract
Medical textiles are one of the most rapidly growing parts of the technical textiles sector in the textile industry. This work aims to investigate the medical applications of a curcumin/TiO2 nanocomposite fabricated on the surface of cotton fabric. The cotton fabric was [...] Read more.
Medical textiles are one of the most rapidly growing parts of the technical textiles sector in the textile industry. This work aims to investigate the medical applications of a curcumin/TiO2 nanocomposite fabricated on the surface of cotton fabric. The cotton fabric was pretreated with three crosslinking agents, namely citric acid, 3-Chloro-2-hydroxypropyl trimethyl ammonium chloride (Quat 188) and 3-glycidyloxypropyltrimethoxysilane (GPTMS), by applying the nanocomposite to the modified cotton fabric using the pad-dry-cure method. The chemistry and morphology of the modified fabrics were examined by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, and scanning electron microscopy. In addition, the chemical mechanism for the nanocomposite-modified fabric was reported. UV protection (UPF) and antibacterial properties against Gram-positive S. aureus and Gram-negative E. coli bacterial strains were investigated. The durability of the fabrics to 20 washing cycles was also examined. Results demonstrated that the nanocomposite-modified cotton fabric exhibited superior antibacterial activity against Gram-negative bacteria than Gram-positive bacteria and excellent UV protection properties. Moreover, a good durability was obtained, which was possibly due to the effect of the crosslinker used. Among the three pre-modifications of the cotton fabric, Quat 188 modified fabric revealed the highest antibacterial activity compared with citric acid or GPTMS modified fabrics. This outcome suggested that the curcumin/TiO2 nanocomposite Quat 188-modified cotton fabric could be used as a biomedical textile due to its antibacterial properties. Full article
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8 pages, 1194 KiB  
Article
The Discovery of the Buffer Capacity of Various Types of Polyelectrolyte Microcapsules
by Alexey V. Dubrovskii, Aleksandr L. Kim, Egor V. Musin, Bulat R. Ramazanov and Sergey A. Tikhonenko
Polymers 2021, 13(22), 4026; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13224026 - 21 Nov 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2482
Abstract
Polyelectrolyte microcapsules, which are obtained by the method of alternate adsorption of oppositely charged polyelectrolytes onto colloidal particles of micron size, are widely used in science and industry. Nevertheless, the properties of microcapsules are still poorly understood. In particular, there is no information [...] Read more.
Polyelectrolyte microcapsules, which are obtained by the method of alternate adsorption of oppositely charged polyelectrolytes onto colloidal particles of micron size, are widely used in science and industry. Nevertheless, the properties of microcapsules are still poorly understood. In particular, there is no information in the literature on the buffer capacity. However, information on the presence of a buffer capacity and an understanding of its mechanisms can both simplify the use of microcapsules and expand the scope of their application. In this regard, the buffer capacity of various types of microcapsules was studied. It was found that polyelectrolyte microcapsules consisting of polyallylamine, and polystyrene sulfonate have a buffer capacity. In addition, in an acidic medium, the buffer capacity of microcapsules containing BSA is significantly greater than that of microcapsules without protein. This is due to the fact that BSA contributes to the buffering of microcapsules. Differences in the behaviour of the buffer capacity of microcapsules with the composition (PAH/PSS)3 and (PSS/PAH)3 were found. In addition, a hypothesis has been proposed that regions of unbound polyallylamine are responsible for the buffering properties of polyelectrolyte microcapsules. This hypothesis is confirmed by the fact that incubation of microcapsules in 0.5 M NaCl increases the amount of unbound polyallylamine, which leads to an increase in the buffer capacity of microcapsules at alkaline pH values higher than the buffer capacity of capsules in an aqueous solution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Polymer Physics and Theory)
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18 pages, 1455 KiB  
Article
Investigation of Solution Behavior of Antidepressant Imipramine Hydrochloride Drug and Non-Ionic Surfactant Mixture: Experimental and Theoretical Study
by Malik Abdul Rub, Naved Azum, Dileep Kumar, Muhammad Nadeem Arshad, Anish Khan, Maha Moteb Alotaibi and Abdullah M. Asiri
Polymers 2021, 13(22), 4025; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13224025 - 21 Nov 2021
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 2039
Abstract
In this paper, the interaction of imipramine hydrochloride (IMP, antidepressant drug) and a non-ionic surfactant Triton X-100 (TX-100) mixture in five different ratios through the tensiometric method in different solvents (aqueous/0.050 mol·kg−1 aqueous NaCl/0.250 mol·kg−1 aqueous urea (U)) were examined thoroughly [...] Read more.
In this paper, the interaction of imipramine hydrochloride (IMP, antidepressant drug) and a non-ionic surfactant Triton X-100 (TX-100) mixture in five different ratios through the tensiometric method in different solvents (aqueous/0.050 mol·kg−1 aqueous NaCl/0.250 mol·kg−1 aqueous urea (U)) were examined thoroughly at a temperature of 298 K. UV–Visible studies in an aqueous system of IMP + TX-100 mixtures were also investigated and discussed in detail. The pure (IMP and TX-100) along with the mixtures’ critical micelle concentration (cmc) were assessed by a tensiometric technique. The obtained deviation of the mixtures’ cmc values from their ideal values revealed the nonideal behavior of IMP + TX-100 mixtures amongst IMP and TX-100. Compared to aqueous systems, in the presence of aqueous NaCl, several changes in micelles/mixed micelles occurred, and hence a synergism/attractive interaction amongst components was found increased while in the existence of U, the synergism/attractive interaction between them decreased. The evaluated interaction parameter (βRb) value of mixed micelles showed the attractive or synergism between the IMP and TX-100. Various evaluated thermodynamic parameters in an aqueous system showed that the mixed micellization of the IMP + TX-100 mixture was an entropically spontaneous phenomenon, although the existence of salt in all studied systems can somewhat increase the spontaneity of the micellization process and in the aqueous U system, the spontaneity of the micellization process decreased. In an aqueous system, the interaction between IMP and TX-100 was also confirmed by UV–Visible study. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Processing and Surfaces II)
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17 pages, 5444 KiB  
Article
Effect of the Hemin Molecular Complexes on the Structure and Properties of the Composite Electrospun Materials Based on Poly(3-hydroxybutyrate)
by Polina Tyubaeva, Ivetta Varyan, Anton Lobanov, Anatoly Olkhov and Anatoly Popov
Polymers 2021, 13(22), 4024; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13224024 - 21 Nov 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2235
Abstract
The creation of innovative fibrous materials based on biodegradable semicrystalline polymers and modifying additives is an urgent scientific problem. In particular, the development of biomedical materials based on molecular complexes and biopolymers with controlled properties is of great interest. The paper suggests an [...] Read more.
The creation of innovative fibrous materials based on biodegradable semicrystalline polymers and modifying additives is an urgent scientific problem. In particular, the development of biomedical materials based on molecular complexes and biopolymers with controlled properties is of great interest. The paper suggests an approach to modifying the structure and properties of the composite materials based on poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) (PHB) obtained by the electrospinning method using molecular complexes of hemin. The introduction of 1–5 wt. % of hemin has a significant effect on the supramolecular structure, morphology and properties of PHB-based fibers. Changes in the supramolecular structure intensified with the increasing hemin concentration. On the one hand, a decrease in the fraction of the crystalline phase by 8–10% was observed. At the same time, there is a decrease in the density of the amorphous phase by 15–70%. Moreover, the addition of hemin leads to an improvement in the strength characteristics of the material: the elongation at break increased by 1.5 times, and in the tensile strength, it increased by 3 times. The antimicrobial activity of the hemin-containing composite materials against Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus was confirmed. The obtained materials are proposed to be used in the creation of composite systems for regenerative medicine. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biopolymers: Recent Progress and New Perspectives II)
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