Functional Polymer Composites: Design, Preparation and Applications

A special issue of Polymers (ISSN 2073-4360). This special issue belongs to the section "Polymer Composites and Nanocomposites".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (28 February 2023) | Viewed by 37882

Special Issue Editors

1. Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, New Valley University, Kharga, Egypt
2. Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, Northern Border University, Arar 1321, Saudi Arabia
Interests: organic and inorganic solar cell; polymer composites; polymer cell technology; biocomposites; nanotechnology
Department of Chemical Engineering, The Egyptian Academy for Engineering and Advanced Technology, Ministry of Military Production, Cairo 3066, Egypt
Interests: polymer nanocomposites; materials processing; synthesis and characterization; biocomposites; renewable energy; water treatment
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Center for Materials Science, Zewail City of Science and Technology, October Gardens, 6th of October, Giza 12578, Egypt
Interests: metal–organic frameworks for catalysis and gas-storage application; functional materials; microporous materials; novel materials; water-splitting applications; CO2 capture and conversion

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The past few decades have seen remarkable advances in the development of new nanocomposite materials. The use of nanocomposites in several applications has ranged from emerging microelectronics to traditional structural engineering, putting them at the forefront of materials within the research and engineering communities. There is also no doubt that functional polymer composites have revolutionized the traditional design concepts and introduced new products that were impossible to penetrate the market with using conventional materials. Turning insulating polymers into electric conductors, developing polymer-based materials that can replace steel bars in concrete structures, introducing materials that can mimic biological systems and heal themselves once subjected to damage, and converting brittle ceramics into ductile and flexible materials were only achievable by the combination of matrices and fillers. This Special Issue aims to highlight  the  structures, properties, and functionality of sustainable polymer composites and how these aspects are tailored by the chemistry and engineering of the materials. Accordingly, the issue seeks articles that focus on enhanced functions, which are different from general properties. It includes synthetic policies and future applications for the protection of the atmosphere, energy storage, sensors, and composite conductivity. Both original research papers and comprehensive reviews are welcome. We look forward to your exciting contributions.

Prof. Dr. Ahmed Farouk Al-Hossainy
Prof. Dr. Shereen M. S. Abdel-Hamid
Prof. Dr. Mohamed Alkordi
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Polymers is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2700 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • organic soler cells
  • nanotechnology
  • functional materials
  • graphene
  • CNTs
  • MOFs
  • polymer composites

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Published Papers (19 papers)

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Research

11 pages, 2729 KiB  
Article
Anthraquinone-Polyaniline-Integrated Textile Platforms for In Situ Electrochemical Production of Hydrogen Peroxide for Microbial Deactivation
Polymers 2023, 15(13), 2859; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15132859 - 28 Jun 2023
Viewed by 784
Abstract
Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) is a versatile and effective disinfectant against common pathogenic bacteria such as Escherichia coli (E. coli). Electrochemical H2O2 generation has been studied in the past, but a lack of studies exists [...] Read more.
Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) is a versatile and effective disinfectant against common pathogenic bacteria such as Escherichia coli (E. coli). Electrochemical H2O2 generation has been studied in the past, but a lack of studies exists on miniaturized electrochemical platforms for the on-demand synthesis of H2O2 for antibacterial applications. In this article, a chemically modified cotton textile platform capable of in situ H2O2 production is demonstrated for E. coli deactivation. The cotton textile was modified by layer-by-layer coating with conductive carbon nanotubes/cellulose nanocrystals (CNT/CNC) and a polymer of polyaniline (PANI) decorated with anthraquinone (AQ), designated as the AQ@PANI@CNT/CNC@textile antibacterial patch. The AQ@PANI@CNT/CNC@textile antibacterial textile patch H2O2 production capabilities were evaluated using both electrochemical and colorimetric methods. The AQ@PANI@CNT/CNC@textile antibacterial patch electrochemically produced H2O2 concentrations up to 209 ± 25 µM over a 40 min period and displayed a log reduction of 3.32 for E. coli over a period of 2 h. The AQ@PANI@CNT/CNC@textile antibacterial patch offers promise for use as a self-disinfecting pathogen control platform. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functional Polymer Composites: Design, Preparation and Applications)
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13 pages, 4828 KiB  
Article
Design, Manufacturing and Acoustic Assessment of Polymer Mouthpieces for Trombones
Polymers 2023, 15(7), 1667; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15071667 - 27 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1074
Abstract
Brass instruments mouthpieces have been historically built using metal materials, usually brass. With the auge of additive manufacturing technologies new possibilities have arisen, both for testing alternative designs and for using new materials. This work assesses the use of polymers for manufacturing trombone [...] Read more.
Brass instruments mouthpieces have been historically built using metal materials, usually brass. With the auge of additive manufacturing technologies new possibilities have arisen, both for testing alternative designs and for using new materials. This work assesses the use of polymers for manufacturing trombone mouthpieces, specifically PLA and Nylon. The acoustical behavior of these two mouthpieces has been compared with the obtained from a third one, built from brass. Both additive and subtractive manufacturing techniques were used, and the whole manufacturing process is described. The mouthpieces were acoustically assessed in an anechoic chamber with the collaboration of a professional performer. The harmonic analysis confirmed that all the manufactured mouthpieces respect the harmonic behavior of the instrument. An energy analysis of the harmonics revealed slight differences between the mouthpieces, which implies differences in the timbre of the instrument. Although these subtle differences would not be acceptable when performing with the instrument in an orchestra, they could be perfectly valid for early learners, personal rehearsals or any kind of alternative performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functional Polymer Composites: Design, Preparation and Applications)
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15 pages, 4069 KiB  
Article
Lumped-Element Circuit Modeling for Composite Scaffold with Nano-Hydroxyapatite and Wangi Rice Starch
Polymers 2023, 15(2), 354; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15020354 - 10 Jan 2023
Viewed by 1326
Abstract
Mechanistic studies of the interaction of electromagnetic (EM) fields with biomaterials has motivated a growing need for accurate models to describe the EM behavior of biomaterials exposed to these fields. In this paper, biodegradable bone scaffolds were fabricated using Wangi rice starch and [...] Read more.
Mechanistic studies of the interaction of electromagnetic (EM) fields with biomaterials has motivated a growing need for accurate models to describe the EM behavior of biomaterials exposed to these fields. In this paper, biodegradable bone scaffolds were fabricated using Wangi rice starch and nano-hydroxyapatite (nHA). The effects of porosity and composition on the fabricated scaffold were discussed via electrical impedance spectroscopy analysis. The fabricated scaffold was subjected to an electromagnetic field within the X-band and Ku-band (microwave spectrum) during impedance/dielectric measurement. The impedance spectra were analyzed with lumped-element models. The impedance spectra of the scaffold can be embodied in equivalent circuit models composed of passive components of the circuit, i.e., resistors, inductors and capacitors. It represents the morphological, structural and chemical characteristics of the bone scaffold. The developed models describe the impedance characteristics of plant tissue. In this study, it was found that the ε′ and ε″ of scaffold composites exhibited up and down trends over frequencies for both X-band and Ku-band. The circuit models presented the lowest mean percentage errors of Z′ and Z″, i.e., 3.60% and 13.80%, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functional Polymer Composites: Design, Preparation and Applications)
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17 pages, 4169 KiB  
Article
Optimization and Characterization of the F-LSR Manufacturing Process Using Quaternary Ammonium Silanolate as an Initiator for Synthesizing Fluorosilicone
Polymers 2022, 14(24), 5502; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14245502 - 15 Dec 2022
Viewed by 1477
Abstract
Due to the growing demand for versatile hybrid materials that can withstand harsh conditions (below −40 °C), fluorosilicone copolymers are becoming promising materials that can overcome the limited operating temperature of conventional rubber. In order to synthesize a fluorosilicone copolymer, a potent initiator [...] Read more.
Due to the growing demand for versatile hybrid materials that can withstand harsh conditions (below −40 °C), fluorosilicone copolymers are becoming promising materials that can overcome the limited operating temperature of conventional rubber. In order to synthesize a fluorosilicone copolymer, a potent initiator capable of simultaneously initiating various siloxane monomers in anionic ring-opening polymerization (AROP) is required. In this study, tetramethyl ammonium silanolate (TMAS), a quaternary ammonium (QA) anion, was employed as an initiator for AROP, thereby fluoro-methyl-vinyl-silicone (FVMQ) and fluoro-hydrido-methyl-silicone (FHMQ) were successfully synthesized under optimized conditions. FT-IR, NMR, and GPC analyses confirmed that the chain length and functional group content of FVMQ and FHMQ are controlled by changing the ratio of the components. Moreover, fluorine-involved liquid silicone rubber (F-LSR) was prepared with FVMQ as the main chain and FHMQ as a crosslinker. The tensile strength, elongation, and hardness of each F-LSR sample were measured. Finally, it was confirmed through TGA, DSC, TR-test, and embrittlement testing that elastic retention at low temperatures improved even though the heat resistance slightly decreased as the trifluoropropyl group increased in F-LSR. We anticipate that the optimization of fluorosilicone synthesis initiated by QA and the comprehensive characterization of F-LSRs with different fluorine content and chain lengths will be pivotal to academia and industry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functional Polymer Composites: Design, Preparation and Applications)
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17 pages, 3383 KiB  
Article
Protein Adsorption Performance of a Novel Functionalized Cellulose-Based Polymer
Polymers 2022, 14(23), 5122; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14235122 - 24 Nov 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1615
Abstract
Dicarboxymethyl cellulose (DCMC) was synthesized and tested for protein adsorption. The prepared polymer was characterized by inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectrometry (ICP-AES), attenuated total reflection Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR) and solid state nuclear magnetic resonance (ssNMR) to confirm the functionalization of cellulose. [...] Read more.
Dicarboxymethyl cellulose (DCMC) was synthesized and tested for protein adsorption. The prepared polymer was characterized by inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectrometry (ICP-AES), attenuated total reflection Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR) and solid state nuclear magnetic resonance (ssNMR) to confirm the functionalization of cellulose. This work shows that protein adsorption onto DCMC is charge dependent. The polymer adsorbs positively charged proteins, cytochrome C and lysozyme, with adsorption capacities of 851 and 571 mg g−1, respectively. In both experiments, the adsorption process follows the Langmuir adsorption isotherm. The adsorption kinetics by DCMC is well described by the pseudo second-order model, and adsorption equilibrium was reached within 90 min. Moreover, DCMC was successfully reused for five consecutive adsorption–desorption cycles, without compromising the removal efficiency (98–99%). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functional Polymer Composites: Design, Preparation and Applications)
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22 pages, 6316 KiB  
Article
New Class of Polymer Materials—Quasi-Nematic Colloidal Particle Self-Assemblies: The Case of Assemblies of Prolate Spheroidal Poly(Styrene/Polyglycidol) Particles
Polymers 2022, 14(22), 4859; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14224859 - 11 Nov 2022
Viewed by 1080
Abstract
Assemblies of colloidal polymer particles find various applications in many advanced technologies. However, for every type of application, assemblies with properly tailored properties are needed. Until now, attention has been concentrated on the assemblies composed of spherical particles arranged into so-called perfect colloidal [...] Read more.
Assemblies of colloidal polymer particles find various applications in many advanced technologies. However, for every type of application, assemblies with properly tailored properties are needed. Until now, attention has been concentrated on the assemblies composed of spherical particles arranged into so-called perfect colloidal crystals and on complex materials containing mixtures of crystal and disordered phases. However, new opportunities are opened by using assemblies of spheroidal particles. In such assemblies, the particles, in addition to the three positional have three angular degrees of freedom. Here, the preparation of 3D assemblies of reference microspheres and prolate spheroidal poly(styrene/polyglycidol) microparticles by deposition from water and water/ethanol media on silicon substrates is reported. The particles have the same polystyrene/polyglycidol composition and the same volumes but differ with respect to their aspect ratio (AR) ranged from 1 to 8.5. SEM microphotographs reveal that particles in the assembly top layers are arranged into the quasi-nematic structures and that the quality of their orientation in the same direction increase with increasing AR. Nano- and microindentation studies demonstrate that interactions of sharp and flat tips with arrays of spheroidal particles lead to different types of particle deformations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functional Polymer Composites: Design, Preparation and Applications)
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17 pages, 3317 KiB  
Article
A Novel Diamine Containing Ester and Diphenylethane Groups for Colorless Polyimide with a Low Dielectric Constant and Low Water Absorption
Polymers 2022, 14(21), 4504; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14214504 - 25 Oct 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1947
Abstract
In this study, a novel diamine monomer containing ester and phenyl moieties, 1,2-diphenylethane-1,2-diyl bis(4-aminobenzoate) (1,2-DPEDBA), was synthesized through a three-step reaction. Using this diamine, a novel polyimide (PI) film was prepared with 4,4′-(hexafluoroisopropylidene)diphthalic anhydride (6-FDA) as a counter dianhydride through a typical two-step [...] Read more.
In this study, a novel diamine monomer containing ester and phenyl moieties, 1,2-diphenylethane-1,2-diyl bis(4-aminobenzoate) (1,2-DPEDBA), was synthesized through a three-step reaction. Using this diamine, a novel polyimide (PI) film was prepared with 4,4′-(hexafluoroisopropylidene)diphthalic anhydride (6-FDA) as a counter dianhydride through a typical two-step chemical imidization. For comparison, poly(pyromellitic dianhydride-co-4,4′-oxydianiline) (PMDA-ODA PI) was also synthesized via thermal imidization. The resulting 6-FDA-DPEDBA PI film was not only soluble in common polar solvents with high boiling points, such as N,N-dimethylacetamide (DMAc) and N,N-dimethylformamide (DMF), but also soluble in common low-boiling-point polar solvents, such as chloroform (CHCl3) and dichloromethane (CH2Cl2), at room temperature. The resulting novel PI showed a 5% weight loss temperature (T5d) at 360 °C under a nitrogen atmosphere. The resulting PI film was colorless and transparent with a transmittance of 87.1% in the visible light region ranging from 400 to 760 nm. The water absorption of the novel PI film was of 1.78%. The PI film also possessed a good moisture barrier and hydrophobicity. Furthermore, the resulting PI film displayed a low dielectric constant of 2.17 at 106 Hz at room temperature. In conclusion, the novel PI film exhibited much better optical transparency, lower moisture absorption, and a lower dielectric constant as well as better solubility than the PMDA-ODA PI film, which is insoluble in any solvent, although its thermal stability is not better than that of PMDA-ODA PI. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functional Polymer Composites: Design, Preparation and Applications)
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14 pages, 2522 KiB  
Article
Enhanced Bioactive Properties of Halloysite Nanotubes via Polydopamine Coating
Polymers 2022, 14(20), 4346; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14204346 - 15 Oct 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1642
Abstract
Halloysite nanotubes (HNT) were coated five times with dopamine (DOPA) in a tris buffer medium at pH 8.5 to acquire polydopamine-coated HNTs (PDOPA@HNT), e.g., PDOPA1@HNT, PDOPA3@HNT, and PDOPA5@HNT. Upon coating HNT with PDOPA, the surface area, pore volume, and pore size were decreased [...] Read more.
Halloysite nanotubes (HNT) were coated five times with dopamine (DOPA) in a tris buffer medium at pH 8.5 to acquire polydopamine-coated HNTs (PDOPA@HNT), e.g., PDOPA1@HNT, PDOPA3@HNT, and PDOPA5@HNT. Upon coating HNT with PDOPA, the surface area, pore volume, and pore size were decreased depending on the number of coatings. While the surface area of HNT was 57.9 m2/g, by increasing the number of coatings from 1 to 5, it was measured as 55.9, 53.4, 53.3, 47.4, and 46.4 m2/g, respectively. The isoelectric point (IEP) for HNTs was determined as 4.68, whereas these values are estimated as 2.31 for PDOPA1@HNTs, 3.49 for PDOPA3@HNT, and 3.55 for PDOPA5@HNT. Three different antioxidant studies were conducted for HNT and PDOPA@HNT, and the total phenol (TPC) value of HNT was found to be 150.5 ± 45.9 µmol gallic acid (GA) equivalent. The TPC values for PDOPA1@HNT, PDOPA3@HNT and PDOPA5@HNT coatings were found to be 405.5 ± 25.0, 750.0 ± 69.9, and 1348.3 ± 371.7 µmol GA equivalents, respectively. The Fe(II) chelation capacity of HNT was found to be 20.5% ± 1.2%, while the PDOPA1@HNT, PDOPA3@HNT and PDOPA5@HNT values were found to be 49.9 ± 6.5, 36.6 ± 12.7 and 25.4 ± 1.2%, respectively. HNT and PDOPA@HNTs inhibited the α-glucosidase (AG) enzyme to greater extents than acetylcholinesterase (AChE). As a result, the DOPA modification of HNTs was rendered to provide additional characteristics, e.g., antioxidant properties and higher AChE and AG enzymes inhibition capabilities. Therefore, PDOPA@HNTs have great potential as biomaterials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functional Polymer Composites: Design, Preparation and Applications)
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24 pages, 17923 KiB  
Article
Mechanical Characteristics Evaluation of a Single Ply and Multi-Ply Carbon Fiber-Reinforced Plastic Subjected to Tensile and Bending Loads
Polymers 2022, 14(15), 3213; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14153213 - 07 Aug 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2224
Abstract
Carbon fiber-reinforced composites represent a broadly utilized class of materials in aeronautical applications, due to their high-performance capability. The studied CFRP is manufactured from a 3K carbon biaxial fabric 0°/90° with high tensile resistance, reinforced with high-performance thermoset molding epoxy vinyl ester resin. [...] Read more.
Carbon fiber-reinforced composites represent a broadly utilized class of materials in aeronautical applications, due to their high-performance capability. The studied CFRP is manufactured from a 3K carbon biaxial fabric 0°/90° with high tensile resistance, reinforced with high-performance thermoset molding epoxy vinyl ester resin. The macroscale experimental characterization has constituted the subject of various studies, with the scope of assessing overall structural performance. This study, on the other hand, aims at evaluating the mesoscopic mechanical behavior of a single-ply CFRP, by utilizing tensile test specimens with an average experimental study area of only 3 cm2. The single-ply tensile testing was accomplished using a small scale custom-made uniaxial testing device, powered by a stepper motor, with measurements recorded by two 5-megapixel cameras of the DIC Q400 system, mounted on a Leica M125 digital stereo microscope. The single-ply testing results illustrated the orthotropic nature of the CFRP and turned out to be in close correlation with the multi-ply CFRP tensile and bending tests, resulting in a comprehensive material characterization. The results obtained for the multi-ply tensile and flexural characteristics are adequate in terms of CFRP expectations, having a satisfactory precision. The results have been evaluated using a broad experimental approach, consisting of the Dantec Q400 standard digital image correlation system, facilitating the determination of Poisson’s ratio, correlated with the measurements obtained from the INSTRON 8801 servo hydraulic testing system’s load cell, for a segment of the tensile and flexural characteristics determination. Finite element analyses were realized to reproduce the tensile and flexural test conditions, based on the experimentally determined stress–strain evolution of the material. The FEA results match very well with the experimental results, and thus will constitute the basis for further FEA analyses of aeronautic structures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functional Polymer Composites: Design, Preparation and Applications)
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23 pages, 6588 KiB  
Article
Prewetting Induced Hydrophilicity to Augment Photocatalytic Activity of Nanocalcite @ Polyester Fabric
Polymers 2022, 14(2), 295; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14020295 - 12 Jan 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1581
Abstract
To eliminate imidacloprid insecticide from wastewater, nanocalcite was grafted onto the surface of pretreated polyester fabric. The process of seeding was followed by the low temperature hydrothermal method for the growth of nanocalcite for the functionalization of fabric. The goal of this study [...] Read more.
To eliminate imidacloprid insecticide from wastewater, nanocalcite was grafted onto the surface of pretreated polyester fabric. The process of seeding was followed by the low temperature hydrothermal method for the growth of nanocalcite for the functionalization of fabric. The goal of this study was to improve the hydrophilicity of the nanocalcite photocatalyst that had been grafted onto the surface of polyester fabric (PF) using acidic and basic prewetting techniques. The morphological characteristics, crystalline nature, surface charge density, functional groups of surface-modified nanocalcite @ PF were determined via SEM, XRD, FTIR, and Zeta potential (ZP), respectively. Characterization results critically disclosed surface roughness due to excessive induction of hydroxyl groups, rhombohedral crystal structure, and high charge density (0.721 mS/cm). Moreover, contact angle of nanocalcite @ PF was calculated to be 137.54° while after acidic and basic prewetting, it was reduced to 87.17° and 48.19°. Similarly, bandgap of the as fabricated nanocalcite was found to be 3.5 eV, while basic prewetted PF showed a reduction in band gap (2.9 eV). The solar photocatalytic mineralization of imidacloprid as a probe pollutant was used to assess the improvement in photocatalytic activity of nanocalcite @ PF after prewetting. Response surface methodology was used to statistically optimize the solar exposure time, concentration of the oxidant, and initial pH of the reaction mixture. Maximum solar photocatalytic degradation of the imidacloprid was achieved by basic prewetted nanocalcite @ PF (up to 91.49%), which was superior to acidic prewetted fabric and as-fabricated nanocalcite @ PF. Furthermore, HPLC and FTIR findings further indicated that imidacloprid was decomposed vastly to harmless species by basic prewetted nanocalcite @ PF. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functional Polymer Composites: Design, Preparation and Applications)
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10 pages, 726 KiB  
Article
Statistical Study on Additives Used to Improve Mechanical Properties of Polypropylene
Polymers 2022, 14(1), 179; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14010179 - 03 Jan 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2997
Abstract
Polypropylene (PP) is a semi-crystalline polymer that is brittle under severe conditions. To meet industry needs, and to increase the applications of polypropylene, its mechanical properties should be improved. In this research, the mechanical properties of polypropylene, such as tensile strength at break, [...] Read more.
Polypropylene (PP) is a semi-crystalline polymer that is brittle under severe conditions. To meet industry needs, and to increase the applications of polypropylene, its mechanical properties should be improved. In this research, the mechanical properties of polypropylene, such as tensile strength at break, tensile strength at yield, % elongation, and Young’s modulus, were improved using two types of additives. Additives used were calcium carbonate master batch filler composed of 80% calcium carbonate and 20% polyethylene, and a mixture of linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE)/low density polyethylene (LDPE). Results showed that both tensile strength at break, and tensile strength at yield, decrease with increasing the amount of both additives. Percentage elongation of PP increased using both additives. The modulus of elasticity of PP increases by increasing the amount of both additives, until a value of 20 wt%. Analysis of variance (ANOVA test) or (F-test) shows significant differences between the effect of different weights of LLDPE/LDPE mixture and calcium carbonate filler on the four mechanical properties of polypropylene studied at a level of 0.05. T-tests are applied to compare between the effect of both calcium carbonate master batch filler and the mixture LLDPE/LDPE on the four mechanical properties of polypropylene studied. T-tests show no significant differences between the effect of both calcium carbonate master batch filler and the mixture LLDPE/LDPE on all mechanical properties of polypropylene studied at a level of 0.05. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functional Polymer Composites: Design, Preparation and Applications)
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15 pages, 2058 KiB  
Article
Structure and Performance Attributes Optimization and Ranking of Gamma Irradiated Polymer Hybrids for Industrial Application
Polymers 2022, 14(1), 47; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14010047 - 23 Dec 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1971
Abstract
The selection of suitable composite material for high-strength industrial applications, from the list of available alternatives, is a tedious task as it requires an optimized structural performance-based solution. This study aimed to optimize the concentration of fillers, i.e., vinyl tri-ethoxy silane and absorbed [...] Read more.
The selection of suitable composite material for high-strength industrial applications, from the list of available alternatives, is a tedious task as it requires an optimized structural performance-based solution. This study aimed to optimize the concentration of fillers, i.e., vinyl tri-ethoxy silane and absorbed gamma-dose, to enhance the properties of an industrial scale polymer, i.e., ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE). The UHMWPE hybrids, in addition to silane, were treated with (30, 65, and 100 kGy) gamma dose and then tested for ten application-specific structural and performance attributes. The relative importance of attributes based on an 11-point fuzzy conversation was used for establishing the material assessment graph and corresponding adjacency matrix. Afterwards, the normalized values of attributes were used to establish the decision matrix for each alternative. The normalization was performed after the identification of high obligatory valued (HOV) and low obligatory valued (LOV) attributes. After this, suitability index values (SIVs) were calculated for ranking the hybrids that revealed hybrids 65 kGy irradiated the hybrid as the best choice and ranked as first among the existing alternatives. The major responsible factors were higher oxidation strength, a dense cross-linking network, and elongation at break. The values of the aforementioned factors for 65 kGy irradiated hybrids were 0.24, 91, and 360 MPa, respectively, as opposed to 0.54, 75, and 324 MPa for 100 kGy irradiated hybrids, thus placing the latter in second place regarding higher values of Yield Strength and Young Modulus. Finally, it is believed that the reported results and proposed model in this study will improve preoperative planning as far as considering these hybrids for high-strength industrial applications including total joint arthroplasty, textile-machinery pickers, dump trucks lining ships, and harbors bumpers and sliding, etc. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functional Polymer Composites: Design, Preparation and Applications)
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19 pages, 3245 KiB  
Article
Development of Application Specific Intelligent Framework for the Optimized Selection of Industrial Grade Magnetic Material
Polymers 2021, 13(24), 4328; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13244328 - 10 Dec 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1639
Abstract
This article attempts to introduce a simple and robust way for the classification of soft magnetic material by using multivariate statistics. The six magnetic properties including coercive magnetic field, relative magnetic permeability, electrical resistivity magnetic inductions, i.e., remanence and saturation along with Curie [...] Read more.
This article attempts to introduce a simple and robust way for the classification of soft magnetic material by using multivariate statistics. The six magnetic properties including coercive magnetic field, relative magnetic permeability, electrical resistivity magnetic inductions, i.e., remanence and saturation along with Curie temperature are used for the classification of 16 soft magnetic materials. Descriptive statistics have been used for defining the prioritization order of the mentioned magnetic characteristics with coercive magnetic field and Curie temperature as the most and least important characteristics for classification of soft magnetic material. Moreover, it has also justified the usage of cluster analysis and principal component analysis for classifying the enlisted materials. After descriptive statistics, cluster analysis is used for classification of materials into four groups, i.e., excellent, good, fair and poor while defining the prioritization order of materials on a relative scale. Principal component analysis reveals that the relative permeability is responsible for defining 99.69% of total variance and is also negatively correlated with the coercive magnetic field. Therefore, these two characteristics are considered the responsible factors for categorically placing the enlisted materials into four clusters. Furthermore, principal component analysis also helps in figuring out the fact that a combined influential consequence of relative permeability, coercive magnetic field, electrical resistivity and critical temperature are responsible for defining prioritization ordering of materials within the clusters. The material’s suitability index is identified while making use of adjacency and decision matrices obtained from material assessment graph and relative importance of magnetic properties, respectively. Afterward this material suitability index is used to rank the enlisted materials based on selected attributes. According to the suitability index, the best choice among enlisted soft magnetic materials is Supermalloy, Magnifer 7904 which is present in group 1 labeled as excellent by multivariate analysis. Therefore, the results of graph theory are in accordance with cluster analysis and principal component analysis, thus confirming the potential of this intelligent approach for the selection application specific magnetic materials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functional Polymer Composites: Design, Preparation and Applications)
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21 pages, 9704 KiB  
Article
Effects of Heat-Treatment on Tensile Behavior and Dimension Stability of 3D Printed Carbon Fiber Reinforced Composites
Polymers 2021, 13(24), 4305; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13244305 - 09 Dec 2021
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 2589
Abstract
This work investigated the effects of heat treatment on the tensile behavior of 3D-printed high modules carbon fiber-reinforced composites. The manufacturing of samples with different material combinations using polylactic acid (PLA) reinforced with 9% carbon fiber (PLACF), acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) reinforced with [...] Read more.
This work investigated the effects of heat treatment on the tensile behavior of 3D-printed high modules carbon fiber-reinforced composites. The manufacturing of samples with different material combinations using polylactic acid (PLA) reinforced with 9% carbon fiber (PLACF), acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) reinforced with 9% carbon fiber (ABSCF) were made. This paper addresses the tensile behavior of different structured arrangements at different% of densities between two kinds of filaments. The comparison of the tensile behavior between heat treated and untreated samples. The results showed that heat treatment improves the tensile properties of samples by enhancing the bonding of filament layers and by reducing the porosity content. At all structure specifications, the rectilinear pattern gives higher strength of up to 33% compared with the Archimedean chords pattern. Moreover, there is a limited improvement in the tensile strength and modulus of elasticity values for the samples treated at low heat-treatment temperature. The suggested methodology to evaluate the tensile behavior of the pairs of materials selected is innovative and could be used to examine sandwich designs as an alternative to producing multi-material components using inexpensive materials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functional Polymer Composites: Design, Preparation and Applications)
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17 pages, 9966 KiB  
Article
Thermal Analysis of a Metal–Organic Framework ZnxCo1-X-ZIF-8 for Recent Applications
Polymers 2021, 13(22), 4051; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13224051 - 22 Nov 2021
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1929
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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24 pages, 4879 KiB  
Article
Fabrication and Characterization of Polypyrrole/Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotubes Thin Films Using Thermal Evaporation
Polymers 2021, 13(22), 4045; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13224045 - 22 Nov 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1893
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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16 pages, 45457 KiB  
Article
Performance Analysis of Reinforced Epoxy Functionalized Carbon Nanotubes Composites for Vertical Axis Wind Turbine Blade
Polymers 2021, 13(3), 422; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13030422 - 28 Jan 2021
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 3014
Abstract
Synthetic materials using epoxy resin and woven Kevlar fiber nanocomposites were fabricated in the presence of functionalized multiwalled carbon nanotubes (F-MWCNTs). Kevlar-reinforced epoxy nanocomposites were designed to manufacture a small blade of vertical axis wind turbines (VAWT). It is important to estimate the [...] Read more.
Synthetic materials using epoxy resin and woven Kevlar fiber nanocomposites were fabricated in the presence of functionalized multiwalled carbon nanotubes (F-MWCNTs). Kevlar-reinforced epoxy nanocomposites were designed to manufacture a small blade of vertical axis wind turbines (VAWT). It is important to estimate the deflection of the versatile composite turbine blades to forestall the blades from breakage. This paper investigates the effect of F-MWCNTs on mechanics and deflection of reinforced epoxy composites. The outcomes show that the mixing of F-MWCNTs with epoxy resin using a sonication process has a significant influence on the mechanical properties. Substantial improvement on the deflections was determined based on finite element analysis (FEA). The vortices from the vertical axis wind turbines (VAWTs) blades have a negative impact on power efficiency, since small blades are shown to be effective in reducing tip vortexes within the aerospace field. To support the theoretical movement of the VAWT blade, modeling calculations and analyzes were performed with the ANSYS code package to achieve insight into the sustainability of epoxy nanocomposites for turbine blade applications below aerodynamic, gravitational, and centrifugal loads. The results showed that the addition of F-MWCNTs to epoxy and Kevlar has a significant effect on the bias estimated by finite element analysis. ANSYS analysis results showed lower deflection on the blade using epoxy with an additional of 0.50 wt.% of MWCNTs-COOH at tip speed ratios of 2.1, 2.6, and 3.1. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functional Polymer Composites: Design, Preparation and Applications)
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17 pages, 5706 KiB  
Article
Novel TiO2 Nanoparticles/Polysulfone Composite Hollow Microspheres for Photocatalytic Degradation
Polymers 2021, 13(3), 336; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13030336 - 21 Jan 2021
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2230
Abstract
Nanosized titanium oxide (TiO2) material is a promising photocatalyst for the degradation of organic pollutants, whereas the difficulty of its recycling hinders its practical application. Herein, we reported the preparation of a novel titanium oxide/polysulfone (TiNPs/PSF) composite hollow microspheres by the [...] Read more.
Nanosized titanium oxide (TiO2) material is a promising photocatalyst for the degradation of organic pollutants, whereas the difficulty of its recycling hinders its practical application. Herein, we reported the preparation of a novel titanium oxide/polysulfone (TiNPs/PSF) composite hollow microspheres by the combination of Pickering emulsification and the solvent evaporation technique and their application for the photodegradation of methyl blue (MB). P25 TiO2 nanoparticles dispersed on the surface of PSF microspheres. The porosity, density and photoactivity of the TiNPs/PSF composite microsphere are influenced by the TiO2 loading amount. The composite microsphere showed good methyl blue (MB) removal ability. Compared with TiO2 P25, and PSF, a much higher MB adsorption speed was observed for TiNPs/PSF microspheres benefited from their porous structure and the electrostatic attractions between the MB+ and the negatively charged PSF materials, and showed good degradation efficiency. For TiNPs/PSF composite microsphere with density close to 1, a 100% MB removal (10 mg L−1) within 120 min at a catalyst loading of 2.5 g L−1 can be obtained under both stirring and static condition, due to well dispersing of TiO2 particles on the microsphere surface and its stable suspending in water. For the non-suspended TiNPs/PSF composite microsphere with density bigger than 1, the 100% MB removal can be only obtained under stirring condition. The removal efficiency of MB for the composite microspheres retained 96.5%, even after 20 cycles. Moreover, this composite microsphere also showed high MB removal ability at acidic condition. The high catalysis efficiency, excellent reusability and good stability make this kind of TiNPs/PSF composite microsphere a promising photocatalyst for the water organic pollution treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functional Polymer Composites: Design, Preparation and Applications)
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10 pages, 3919 KiB  
Article
Enhanced the Thermal Conductivity of Polydimethylsiloxane via a Three-Dimensional Hybrid Boron Nitride@Silver Nanowires Thermal Network Filler
Polymers 2021, 13(2), 248; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13020248 - 13 Jan 2021
Cited by 23 | Viewed by 3593
Abstract
In this work, polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS)-based composites with high thermal conductivity were fabricated via a three-dimensional hybrid boron nitride@silver nanowires (BN@AgNWs) filler thermal network, and their thermal conductivity was investigated. A new thermal conductive BN@AgNWs hybrid filler was prepared by an in situ growth [...] Read more.
In this work, polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS)-based composites with high thermal conductivity were fabricated via a three-dimensional hybrid boron nitride@silver nanowires (BN@AgNWs) filler thermal network, and their thermal conductivity was investigated. A new thermal conductive BN@AgNWs hybrid filler was prepared by an in situ growth method. Silver ions with the different concentrations were reduced, and AgNWs crystallized and grew on the surface of BN sheets. PDMS-based composites were fabricated by the BN@AgNWs hybrid filler added. SEM, XPS, and XRD were used to characterize the structure and morphology of BN@AgNWs hybrid fillers. The thermal conductivity performances of PDMS-based composites with different silver concentrates were investigated. The results showed that the thermal conductivity of PDMS-based composite filled with 20 vol% BN@15AgNWs hybrid filler is 0.914 W/(m·K), which is 5.05 times that of pure PDMS and 23% higher than the thermal conductivity of 20 vol% PDMS-based composite with BN filled. The enhanced thermal conductivity mechanism was provided based on the hybrid filler structure. This work offers a new way to design and fabricate the high thermal conductive hybrid filler for thermal management materials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functional Polymer Composites: Design, Preparation and Applications)
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