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We describe a novel combination of orthogonal reactions based on UV-driven thiol–ene and alkoxysilyl condensation reactions to form a single-step route toward thioether-bridged silsesquioxane films. Our chemical strategy consists of using two bifunctional (meth)acrylate (E) and propanethiol (T) trimethoxysilyl precursors containing two complementary functional moieties for thiol-ene coupling and sol-gel process. The reaction kinetics revealed that c.a. 85% of thiol and ene conversions were consumed concomitantly. Meanwhile, a complete hydrolysis was accomplished, affording ultimately a high degree of condensation (81%). Emphasis was placed on differences of mechanical properties between sol-gel hybrids resulting from thiol-ene reaction (E-T mixture) and ene homopolymerization (E only) using scratch test measurements. For the methacrylate system, the formation of thioether linkages within a vitreous silica network emerged as a useful strategy for the formation of a uniform, low-stress and flexible crosslinked hybrid structure. Enhanced mechanical properties were manifested by an expanded elastic domain, and better resistance to cracking. Moreover, there are clear indications that mechanical properties can be easily tuned upon varying the ratio of the two hybrid precursors.
The electrocatalytic oxidation of vitamin C at carbon paste electrode (CPE) modified with amino-functionalized multiwalled carbon nanotube/electroactive polyurea (AF-MWCNT/EPU) composite was investigated. We have synthesized novel electroactive polyurea composites containing MWCNTs functionalized with 4-aminobenzoyl groups by an oxidative coupling polymerization. Ultraviolet-Visible spectra and cyclic voltammetry studies confirmed the occurrence of efficient interaction between AF-MWCNT and EPU graft. Moreover, the electrocatalytic activity of vitamin C oxidation by utilizing aniline containing composites was evaluated, showing that the intrinsic electroactivity of AF-MWCNT/EPU-CPE had great potential application for detection of vitamin C. The detection limit and sensitivity of this sensor was 1.2 μM and 35.3 μA•mM–1, respectively.
The complex mechanisms of bubble nucleation and dynamics in foam injection molding have not been uncovered despite many previous efforts due to the non-steady stop-and-flow nature of injection molding and the non-uniform temperature and pressure distributions in the mold. To this end, a new visualization mold was designed and manufactured for the direct observation of bubble nucleation and growth/collapse in foam injection molding. A reflective prism was incorporated into the stationary part of the injection mold with which the nucleation and growth behaviors of bubbles were successfully observed. The mechanisms of bubble nucleation in low- and high-pressure foam injection molding, with and without the application of gas-counter pressure, was investigated. We identified how the inherently non-uniform cell structure is developed in low-pressure foam injection molding with gate-nucleated bubbles, and when and how cell nucleation occurs in high-pressure foam injection molding with a more uniform pressure drop.
A facile and efficient approach to reduce graphene oxide with Al particles and potassium hydroxide was developed at moderate temperature and the graphene/epoxy composite was prepared by mould casting method. The as-prepared graphene has been confirmed by Transmission electron microscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectrometer, Raman spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and Thermal gravimetric analysis. This provides a new green way to synthesize graphene with high surface area and opens another opportunity for the production of graphene. Effects of graphene on thermal conductivity, thermal stability and microstructures of the epoxy-based composite were also investigated. The results showed that thermal conductivity of the composite exhibited a remarkable improvement with increasing content of graphene and thermal conductivity could reach 1.192 W/(m*K) when filled with 3 wt% graphene. Moreover, graphene/epoxy composite exhibits good thermal stability with 3 wt% graphene.
Biodegradable amphiphilic polyurethane films (bio-PUs) were synthesized by solvent free polyaddition reaction of hydrophilic poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) and hydrophobic poly(caprolactone) (PCL) as macrodiols with hexamethylene diisocyanate. Samples were subsequently heat cured in order to obtain 3D crosslinked structure. Different PCL/PEG ratios allowed controlling the toughness of the resulting bio-PUs. Significant enhancement of Young’s modulus, strength and elongation at break was observed at a PCL/PEG molar ratio above 3. The change in the bio-PU mechanical behavior was ascribed to the formation of crystalline PCL domains in the bio-PU network. The presence of PEG increased both the ability to absorb water and the rate of hydrolytic degradation, while PCL increased the cell viability. Prepared solvent free bio-PUs may advantageously be used in medicine as elastic resorbable material applicable against post-surgical adhesions.
Voronoi analysis is implemented to assess the influence of fiber content on the microstructure and mechanical properties of bulk-molding compounds containing different weight fractions of E-glass fibers (EGF) (5–20 wt%). The fiber distribution in the polymer matrix is analyzed by scanning electron microscopy followed by the Voronoi tessellations, radial distribution function and statistical calculations. The experimental results are compared to modelled microstructures. The derived microstructural descriptors allow us to correlate the fiber weight content and the degree of fiber distribution homogeneity with the mechanical properties of EGF-reinforced composites. The distribution of fibers in composites with 10 and 15 wt% of fibers could be considered as the most homogeneous. This is in a good agreement with the results of the flexural strength and dynamic mechanical analyses, which confirmed that the latter samples exhibit the highest level of reinforcement.
The introduction of self-healing functionality into epoxy matrix is an important and challenging topic. Various micro/nano containers loaded self-healing agents are developed and incorporated into epoxy matrix to impart self-healing ability. The current report reviews the major findings in the area of self-healing epoxy composites and coatings with special emphasis on these containers. The preparation and use of polymer micro/nano capsules, polymer fibers, hollow glass fibers/bubbles, inorganic nanotubes, inorganic meso- and nano-porous materials, carbon nanotubes etc. as self-healing containers are outlined. The nature of the container and its response to the external stimulations greatly influence the self-healing performance. The self-healing mechanism associated with each type of container and the role of container parameters on self-healing performance of self-healing epoxy systems are reviewed. Comparison of the efficiency offered by different types of containers is introduced. Finally, the selection of containers to develop cost effective and green self-healing systems are mentioned.