Polypropylene (PP) fibre-matrix composites previously prepared and studied experimentally were modelled using finite element analysis (FEA) in this work. FEA confirmed that fibre content and composition controlled stress distribution in all-PP composites. The stress concentration at the fibre-matrix interface became greater with less fibre content. Variations in fibre composition were more significant in higher stress regions of the composites. When fibre modulus increased, the stress concentration at the fibres decreased and the shear stress at the fibre-matrix interface became more intense. The ratio between matrix modulus and fibre modulus was important, as was the interfacial stress in reducing premature interfacial failure and increasing mechanical properties. The model demonstrated that with low fibre concentration, there were insufficient fibres to distribute the applied stress. Under these conditions the matrix yielded when the applied stress reached the matrix yield stress, resulting in increased fibre axial stress. When the fibre content was high, there was matrix depletion and stress transfer was inefficient. The predictions of the FEA model were consistent with experimental and published data.
Mass increase of vinylchloride-maleic anhydride (VC-MA) copolymer samples aged in tetrahydrofuran (THF) or in 1,4-dioxane results from chemical interaction of VC-MA macromolecules with 1,4-dioxane or THF. Microstructure of the products of such modification was proved by infrared spectroscopy (IR-) and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (13C NMR and 1H NMR). Mechanism of modification has been proposed. The results of microstructure research of VC-MA samples aged in THF and in 1,4-dioxane coincide with already known data on the reactions of opening of these and other oxygen-containing cycles under mild conditions.
In recent years, research and development of materials using biomass sources are much expected to construct a sustainable society. The so-called green composite consisting of natural fibers and biodegradable resin, is one of the most promising materials in developing biomass products. In this study, especially, we focus on the tensile deformation behavior of the green composites reinforced with ramie woven fabrics at high temperature. The results show that the fracture strain at high temperatures increases larger than that of room temperature, and initial deformation resistance of the composites seen at room temperature does not appear at high temperatures. Thus, several conditions to cause more deformability of the green composites were found. Finally, in order to utilize such deformability, Lankford-values of the green composites were clarified, and deep drawing was carried out for sheet materials made of the green composites.
Hybrid polymeric networks composed of polyacrylamide and chitosan were developed to determine their swelling and ascorbic acid delivery kinetics at various chitosan concentrations. The hybrid acrylamide/chitosan hydrogels were synthesized in aqueous itaconic acid solution (1% w/w). Young’s modulus was also evaluated for the hydrogels, and the results were correlated with the swelling properties. Swelling experiments were carried out using three different pH solutions: acidic (pH 4 buffer solution), neutral (distilled water) and basic (pH 10 buffer solution). The results of the swelling study showed that the swelling properties of the network varied with the changes of the pH in the swelling solution, as well as concentration of chitosan. When chitosan concentration increased, the swelling capacity diminished, and therefore Young’s modulus increased. The results indicated that the swelling process followed a second order kinetics. The ascorbic acid diffusion inside the hydrogel follows a Fickian mechanism. The ascorbic acid diffusion coefficients are reported as a function of chitosan concentration.
We report on the swelling behaviour of thin maleic acid copolymer films in dependence of pH and ionic strength. The response of the polymer films was studied by quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation monitoring. It was found that solution’s pH and ionic strength can be separately used to adjust the swelling of the maleic acid copolymer films. While the pH affects the degree of dissociation of the maleic acid groups, ionic strength triggers the interaction of the resulting charges along the polymer chains. The dominance of electrostatic interactions in the system was obvious from the maximal extension of the grafted polymer chains at very low ionic strength. Tuning the expansion of grafted polymer chains by pH and ionic strength can be utilized in various applications of biointerfacial research to adjust the physicochemical properties of polymer thin film coatings.
Tribological properties of Ethylene-Propylene-Diene-rubber (EPDM) containing electron modified Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) have been investiagted with the help of pin on disk tribometer without lubrication for a testing time of 2 hrs in atmospheric conditions at a sliding speed and applied normal load of 0.05 m•s–1 and FN = 1 N, respectively. Radiation-induced chemical changes in electron modified PTFE powders were analyzed using Electron Spin Resonance (ESR) and Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) specroscopy to characterize the effects of compatibility and chemical coupling of modified PTFE powders with EPDM on mechanical, friction and wear properties. The composites showed different friction and wear behaviour due to unique morphology, dispersion behaviour and radiation functionalization of PTFE powders. In general, EPDM reinforced with electron modified PTFE powder demonstrated improvement both in mechanical and tribological properties. However, the enhanced compatibility of PTFE powder resulting from the specific chemical coupling of PTFE powder with EPDM has been found crucial for mechanical, friction and wear properties.
Composites were prepared from poly(lactic acid) (PLA) and a natural CaSO4 filler to study the developed structure and the interaction of the components. The filler was characterized very thoroughly by several techniques and the results indicated that the filler contains a considerable amount of small particles with size much below the volume average size of 4.4 µm. The presence of these small particles did not result in inhomogeneity, considerable extent of aggregation was not observed in the composites. The filler was coated with stearic acid to modify interactions and optimum coverage corresponded to the amount estimated from the specific surface area of the filler. Mechanical properties changed only slightly with increasing amounts of the uncoated filler, but coating resulted in a drastic change of tensile properties and deformation behavior. Considerable plastic flow was observed around filler particles on the fracture surface of broken specimens. The quantitative estimation of interfacial interactions and their comparison to existing data proved that the interaction of PLA and CaSO4 corresponds to values observed in other mineral filled polymers. On the other hand, the reinforcing effect of the coated filler is extremely poor indicating almost zero interaction. Additional experiments proved that considerable amount of stearic acid dissolves in PLA and plasticizes the polymer. Stearic acid seems to desorb also from the surface of the filler, dissolve in the polymer and modify matrix properties.