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All issues / Volume 8 (2014) / Issue 6 (June)

Chemical modification of graphene for functional polymer nanocomposites
J. Seppala, N. D. Luong
Vol. 8., No.6., Pages 373-373, 2014
DOI: 10.3144/expresspolymlett.2014.41
This is an editorial article. It has no abstract.
Ionic elastomers based on carboxylated nitrile rubber (XNBR) and magnesium aluminum layered double hydroxide (hydrotalcite)
A. Laskowska, M. Zaborski, G. Boiteux, O. Gain, A. Marzec, W. Maniukiewicz
Vol. 8., No.6., Pages 374-386, 2014
DOI: 10.3144/expresspolymlett.2014.42
The presence of carboxyl groups in carboxylated nitrile butadiene rubber (XNBR) allows it to be cured with different agents. This study considers the effect of crosslinking of XNBR by magnesium aluminum layered double hydroxide (MgAl-LDH), known also as hydrotalcite (HT), on rheometric, mechano-dynamical and barrier properties. Results of XNBR/HT composites containing various HT loadings without conventional curatives are compared with XNBR compound crosslinked with commonly used zinc oxide. Hydrotalcite acts as an effective crosslinking agent for XNBR, as is particularly evident from rheometric and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) studies. The existence of ionic crosslinks was also detected by dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA) of the resulting composites. DMA studies revealed that the XNBR/HT composites exhibited two transitions – one occurring at low temperature is associated to the Tg of elastomer and the second at high temperature corresponds to the ionic transition temperature Ti. Simultaneous application of HT as a curing agent and a filler may deliver not only environmentally friendly, zinc oxide-free rubber product but also ionic elastomer composite with excellent mechanical, barrier and transparent properties.
Effect of different plasticizers on the properties of bio-based thermoplastic elastomer containing poly(lactic acid) and natural rubber
V. Tanrattanakul, P. Bunkaew
Vol. 8., No.6., Pages 387-396, 2014
DOI: 10.3144/expresspolymlett.2014.43
Bio-based thermoplastic elastomers (TPE) containing natural rubber and poly(lactic acid) were prepared by melt blending in an internal mixer. The blend ratio was 60% of natural rubber and 40% of poly(lactic acid). Dynamic vulcanization of natural rubber was performed with the sulfur system. The 2 mm – thick sheet samples were prepared by compression molding. The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of plasticization of PLA on the mechanical and physical properties of the derived TPE. Four plasticizers were selected: tributyl acetyl citrate (TBAC), tributyl citrate (TBC), glycerol triacetate (GTA), and triethyl-2-acetyl citrate (TEAC). The investigated properties were the tensile properties, tear strength, thermal ageing and ozone resistance, hardness, resilience, tension set and compression set. All plasticizers increased the strain at break. TBAC and TBC increased the stress at break. All plasticizers decreased the tear strength, hardness and resilience, and slightly changed the tension and compression set. TBAC seemed to be the best plasticizer for the TPE. The presence of 4 pph (parts per hundred resin) of plasticizer provided the highest strength and tensile toughness and the strain at break increased with the increasing plasticizer content. The plasticizers decreased the Tg and Tcc of the PLA and did not affect the degree of crystallinity of PLA in the TPE.
Biodegradable polyester-based shape memory polymers: Concepts of (supra)molecular architecturing
J. Karger-Kocsis, S. Keki
Vol. 8., No.6., Pages 397-412, 2014
DOI: 10.3144/expresspolymlett.2014.44
Shape memory polymers (SMPs) are capable of memorizing one or more temporary shapes and recovering to the permanent shape upon an external stimulus that is usually heat. Biodegradable polymers are an emerging family within the SMPs. This minireview delivers an overlook on actual concepts of molecular and supramolecular architectures which are followed to tailor the shape memory (SM) properties of biodegradable polyesters. Because the underlying switching mechanisms of SM actions is either related to the glass transition (Tg) or melting temperatures (Tm), the related SMPs are classified as Tg- or Tm-activated ones. For fixing of the permanent shape various physical and chemical networks serve, which were also introduced and discussed. Beside of the structure developments in one-way, also those in two-way SM polyesters were considered. Adjustment of the switching temperature to that of the human body, acceleration of the shape recovery, enhancement of the recovery stress, controlled degradation, and recycling aspects were concluded as main targets for the future development of SM systems with biodegradable polyesters.
Hyperbranched polysiloxane functionalized graphene oxide for dicyclopentadiene bisphenol dicyanate ester nanocomposites with high performance
M. M. Zhang, H. X. Yan, C. Gong, T. T. Li
Vol. 8., No.6., Pages 413-424, 2014
DOI: 10.3144/expresspolymlett.2014.45
We report an efficient and novel method to functionalize graphene oxide (GO) with hyperbranched polysiloxane and successfully compound them with dicyclopentadiene bisphenol dicyanate ester (DCPDCE) to prepare nanocomposites. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and Fourier-transform infrared spectra (FT-IR) were employed to examine the surface functionalization of GO. The effects of functionalized GO on the curing reaction, mechanical, dielectric and thermal properties of DCPDCE resin were investigated systematically. Results of DSC show that the addition of modified GO can facilitate the curing reaction of DCPDCE and decrease the curing temperature of DCPDCE. Compared with pure DCPDCE resin, the impact and flexural strengths of the nanocomposite materials are improved markedly with up to 66 and 50% increasing magnitude, respectively. Meanwhile, the modified GO/DCPDCE systems exhibit lower dielectric constant and loss than pure DCPDCE resin over the testing frequency from 10 to 60 MHz. In addition, the thermal stability and moisture resistance of modified GO/DCPDCE nanocomposties are also superior to that of pure DCPDCE resin.
Study on the structure-properties relationship of natural rubber/SiO2 composites modified by a novel multi-functional rubber agent
S. Y. Yang, L. Liu, Z. X. Jia, W. W. Fu, D. M. Jia, Y. F. Luo
Vol. 8., No.6., Pages 425-435, 2014
DOI: 10.3144/expresspolymlett.2014.46
Vulcanization property and structure-properties relationship of natural rubber (NR)/silica (SiO2) composites modified by a novel multi-functional rubber agent, N-phenyl- N'-(γ-triethoxysilane)-propyl thiourea (STU), are investigated in detail. Results from the infrared spectroscopy (IR) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) show that STU can graft to the surface of SiO2 under heating, resulting in a fine-dispersed structure in the rubber matrix without the connectivity of SiO2 particles as revealed by transmission electron microscopy (TEM). This modification effect reduces the block vulcanization effect of SiO2 for NR/SiO2/STU compounds under vulcanization process evidently. The 400% modulus and tensile strength of NR/SiO2/STU composites are much higher than that of NR/SiO2/TU composites, although the crystal index at the stretching ratio of 4 and crosslinking densities of NR/SiO2 composites are almost the same at the same dosage of SiO2. Consequently, a structure-property relationship of NR/SiO2/STU composites is proposed that the silane chain of STU can entangle with NR molecular chains to form an interfacial region, which is in accordance with the experimental observations quite well.
Interactive effects between carbon allotrope fillers on the mechanical reinforcement of polyisoprene based nanocomposites
S. Agnelli, V. Cipolletti, S. Musto, M. Coombs, L. Conzatti, S. Pandini, T. Ricco, M. Galimberti
Vol. 8., No.6., Pages 436-449, 2014
DOI: 10.3144/expresspolymlett.2014.47
Interactive effects of carbon allotropes on the mechanical reinforcement of polymer nanocomposites were investigated. Carbon nanotubes (CNT) and nano-graphite with high shape anisotropy (nanoG) were melt blended with poly(1,4-cis-isoprene), as the only fillers or in combination with carbon black (CB), measuring the shear modulus at low strain amplitudes for peroxide crosslinked composites. The nanofiller was found to increase the low amplitude storage modulus of the matrix, with or without CB, by a factor depending on nanofiller type and content. This factor, fingerprint of the nanofiller, was higher for CNT than for nanoG. The filler-polymer interfacial area was able to correlate modulus data of composites with CNT, CB and with the hybrid filler system, leading to the construction of a common master curve.
A novel reduced graphene oxide decorated with halloysite nanotubes (HNTs-d-rGO) hybrid composite and its flame-retardant application for polyamide 6
L. L. Li, S. H. Chen, W. J. Ma, Y. H. Cheng, Y. P. Tao, T. Z. Wu, W. P. Chen, Z. Zhou, M. F. Zhu
Vol. 8., No.6., Pages 450-457, 2014
DOI: 10.3144/expresspolymlett.2014.48
The improvement of flame-retardant properties of polyamide 6 (PA6) was achieved by using reduced graphene oxide decorated with halloysite nanotubes (HNTs-d-rGO) hybrid composite as the additive in PA6 matrix. The intimate integration of reduced graphene oxide (rGO) and halloysite nanotubes (HNTs) through a three-step chemical functionalization, enabled the combination of their unique physical and chemical characteristics together. The nanostructure of HNTs-d-rGO was determined by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). A morphological study revealed that HNTs-d-rGO was dispersed uniformly in PA6 matrix. From the results of cone calorimetry measurements, the fire retardant properties of PA6 were further improved with the addition of HNTs-d-rGO when compared with that of either HNTs, or GO, or a mixture of HNTs and GO (HNTs-m-GO) used in PA6 matrix. The results indicate clearly that higher flame-retardant activity of the integrated HNTs-d-rGO nanostructures than that of the simple mixture verifies the importance of the intimate integration between HNTs and rGO, which ascribe to the combination of the stable silica layer created by HNT and the barrier effect of rGO.
Published by:

Budapest University of Technology and Economics,
Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Department of Polymer Engineering