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All issues / Volume 9 (2015) / Issue 2 (February)

Polymer self-heals in seconds
M. Q. Zhang
Vol. 9., No.2., Pages 84-84, 2015
DOI: 10.3144/expresspolymlett.2015.9
This is an editorial article. It has no abstract.
Novel high glass temperature sugar-based epoxy resins: Characterization and comparison to mineral oil-based aliphatic and aromatic resins
P. Niedermann, G. Szebenyi, A. Toldy
Vol. 9., No.2., Pages 85-94, 2015
DOI: 10.3144/expresspolymlett.2015.10
Curing and rheological behaviour, glass transition temperature, mechanical and thermal properties of two newly synthesized glucopyranoside- (GPTE) and glucofuranoside- (GFTE) based renewable epoxy resin (EP) components were investigated and compared to aromatic and aliphatic EPs. The glucose-based EPs can be successfully cured with amine and anhydride type curing agents, their gel times are suitable for processing and can be well-adopted to the needs of the common composite preparation methods. GPTE showed the highest glass transition temperature (Tg) among all investigated resins, followed by GFTE and DGEBA. Below the Tg there was no significant difference between the storage modulus values of the EP systems. The glucose-based EPs had lower tensile and bending strength, but their tensile modulus values are not significantly different from the mineral oil based EPs. The thermal stability of the synthesized GPTE and GFTE is between DGEBA and the aliphatic resins. In applications where bending stresses are dominant over the tensile ones, and outstanding Tg is required, these glucose-based resins offer a feasible renewable option.
Low-cost replication of self-organized sub-micron structures into polymer films
H. Stenberg, P. Stenberg, L. Takkunen, M. Kuittinen, M. Suvanto, T. T. Pakkanen
Vol. 9., No.2., Pages 95-104, 2015
DOI: 10.3144/expresspolymlett.2015.11
In this paper, the results of exploiting self-organized sub-micron polystyrene (PS) wrinkle patterns possessing random orientation, in preparation of a nickel stamp for hot embossing purposes, are presented. Self-organized patterns were prepared employing a method in which a stiff cross-linked capping layer on the topmost part of the soft polystyrene layer was created by using reactive ion etching (RIE) device with mild conditions and argon as a process gas, and the wrinkle formation was initiated thermally. Different surface patternings were obtained using silicon and stainless steel (SST) wafers as substrates. Prepared Ni-stamps were employed in hot embossing of polycarbonate (PC) and cyclo-olefin polymer (COP) films, using a nano-imprinting process. The replication quality of the self-organized wrinkle structures in PC and COP films was monitored by comparing the shape and dimensions of the original and final surface structures. The hot embossed sub-micron scale features, originally formed on stainless steel substrate, were found to have influence on the optical properties of the PC and COP films by lowering their reflectances.
A facile route for controlled alignment of carbon nanotube-reinforced, electrospun nanofibers using slotted collector plates
G. R. Rakesh, G. S. Ranjit, K. K. Karthikeyan, P. Radhakrishnan, P. Biji
Vol. 9., No.2., Pages 105-118, 2015
DOI: 10.3144/expresspolymlett.2015.12
A facile route for controlled alignment of electrospun multiwalled carbon nanotube (MWCNT)-reinforced Polyvinyl Alcohol (PVA) nanofibers using slotted collector geometries has been realized. The process is based on analytical predictions using electrostatic field analysis for envisaging the extent of alignment of the electrospun fibers on varied collector geometries. Both the experimental and theoretical studies clearly indicate that the introduction of an insulating region into a conductive collector significantly influences the electrostatic forces acting on a charged fiber. Among various collector geometries, rectangular slotted collectors with circular ends showed good fiber alignment over a large collecting area. The electrospun fibers produced by this process were characterized by Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM), High Resolution Transmission Electron Microscopy (HRTEM), Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and Optical Microscopy. Effects of electrospinning time and slot widths on the fiber alignment have been analyzed. PVA-MWCNT nanofibers were found to be conducting in nature owing to the presence of reinforced MWCNTs in PVA matrix. The method can enable the direct integration of aligned nanofibers with controllable configurations, and significantly simplify the production of nanofibersbased devices.
Improvements in thermoforming simulation by use of 3D digital image correlation
B. Van Mieghem, F. Desplentere, A. Van Bael, J. Ivens
Vol. 9., No.2., Pages 119-128, 2015
DOI: 10.3144/expresspolymlett.2015.13
Numerical simulation tools for the thermoforming of unfilled thermoplastic polymers already exist for a while, but are seldom used to full extent in industry. When it is used, it is mostly only for comparative studies and prediction of relative wall thickness. One of the major reasons is the difficulty to correctly calibrate and integrate all necessary material and process parameters into the simulation software. This paper introduces and validates a methodology, in which digital image correlation (DIC) is used as the key enabling technology that improves the knowledge of the process parameters and optimizes simulation accuracy by taking away a number of uncertainties and assumptions. DIC in combination with infrared thermal measurements and pressure monitoring is used to track sheet sagging and bubble inflation of a HIPS sheet, the two main process steps in the thermoforming of positive (male) products or the only two steps in the case of free forming. The results of these in-situ measurements are used as a guideline for selecting the correct input parameters in the commercial thermoforming simulation software T-SIM®. A similar methodology can be further implemented for subsequent process steps such as forming and cooling or even to validate the material data used in the simulation software.
An evaluation of the reproducibility of capacitive sensor based in-plane permeability measurements: A benchmarking study
H. Groessing, D. Becker, S. Kaufmann, R. Schledjewski, P. Mitschang
Vol. 9., No.2., Pages 129-142, 2015
DOI: 10.3144/expresspolymlett.2015.14
A benchmark study for permeability measurement is presented. In the past studies of other research groups which focused on the reproducibility of 1D-permeability measurements showed high standard deviations of the gained permeability values (25%), even though a defined test rig with required specifications was used. Within this study, the reproducibility of capacitive in-plane permeability testing system measurements was benchmarked by comparing results of two research sites using this technology. The reproducibility was compared by using a glass fibre woven textile and carbon fibre non crimped fabric (NCF). These two material types were taken into consideration due to the different electrical properties of glass and carbon with respect to dielectric capacitive sensors of the permeability measurement systems. In order to determine the unsaturated permeability characteristics as function of fibre volume content the measurements were executed at three different fibre volume contents including five repetitions. It was found that the stability and reproducibility of the presentedin-plane permeability measurement system is very good in the case of the glass fibre woven textiles. This is true for the comparison of the repetition measurements as well as for the comparison between the two different permeameters. These positive results were confirmed by a comparison to permeability values of the same textile gained with an older generation permeameter applying the same measurement technology. Also it was shown, that a correct determination of the grammage and the material density are crucial for correct correlation of measured permeability values and fibre volume contents.
UV-curable nanocasting technique to prepare bioinspired superhydrophobic organic-inorganic composite anticorrosion coatings
K. C. Chang, T. L. Chuang, W. F. Ji, C. H. Chang, Y. Y. Peng, H. Shih, C. L. Hsu, J. M. Yeh, W. C. Tang, Y. C. Su
Vol. 9., No.2., Pages 143-153, 2015
DOI: 10.3144/expresspolymlett.2015.15
A UV-curing technique was used to develop advanced anticorrosive coatings made of a poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA)/silica composite (PSC) with bioinspired Xanthosoma sagittifolium leaf-like superhydrophobic surfaces. First of all, a transparent soft template with negative patterns of xanthosoma sagittifolium leaf can be fabricated by thermally curing the polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) pre-polymer in molds at 60°C for 4 h, followed by detaching PDMS template from the surface of natural leaf. PSC coatings with biomimetic structures can be prepared by performing the UV-radiation process upon casting UV-curable precursor with photo-initiator onto cold-rolled steel (CRS) electrode under PDMS template. Subsequently, UV-radiation process was carried out by using light source with light intensity of 100 mW/cm2 with exposing wavelength of 365 nm. Surface morphologies of the as-synthesized hydrophobic PMMA (HP) and superhydrophobic PSC (SPSC) coatings showed a large number of micro-scaled mastoids, each decorated with many nano-scaled wrinkles that were systematically investigated by using scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The contact angles of water droplets on the sample surfaces can be increased from ~81 and 103° on PMMA and PSC surfaces to ~148 and 163° on HP and SPSC surfaces, respectively. The SPSC coating was found to provide an advanced corrosion protection effect on CRS electrodes compared to that of neat PMMA, PSC, and HP coatings based on a series of electrochemical corrosion measurements in 3.5 wt% NaCl electrolyte. Enhanced corrosion protection of SPSC coatings on CRS electrodes can be illustrated by that the silica nanoparticles on the small papillary hills of the bioinspired structure of the surface further increased the surface roughness, making the surface exhibit superior superhydrophobic, and thus leading to much better anticorrosion performance.
A colourimetric method for the determination of the degree of chemical cross-linking in aspartic acid-based polymer gels
B. Gyarmati, N. Hegyesi, B. Pukanszky, A. Szilagyi
Vol. 9., No.2., Pages 154-164, 2015
DOI: 10.3144/expresspolymlett.2015.16
A 2,4,6-trinitrobenzenesulphonic acid (TNBS)-based assay is developed to determine the degree of chemical cross-linking in aspartic acid-based polymer gels. The conventional colourimetric method for the quantitative determination of amine groups is difficult to use in polymer networks; thus, an improved method is developed to analyse polymer gels swollen in dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO). Reaction products of the derivatizing reaction are examined by NMR. The chemical stability of the reagent is increased in DMSO, and the method shows satisfactory linearity and accuracy. The degree of chemical cross-linking in the investigated gels is close to its theoretical maximum, but the conversion of the pendant amine groups to cross-linking points is strongly dependent on the feed composition of the gels.
Published by:

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