Journal of Polymer Science Part B: Polymer Physics

Cover image for Vol. 51 Issue 13

1 July 2013

Volume 51, Issue 13

Pages i–ii, 997–1059

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      Cover Image, Volume 51, Issue 13 (pages i–ii)

      Article first published online: 27 MAY 2013 | DOI: 10.1002/polb.23320

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      A simple and solvent-free practical way to obtain freestanding poly(methyl methacrylate)/graphene oxide films is reported by Luca Valentini, Silvia Bittolo Bon, and Josè Kenny on page 1028. Falling liquid droplets are used to produce an impulse necessary for the mechanical excitation of such composite films. A pressure wave is generated on the surface of the films by the impact, and the films are able to convert the mechanical energy of the impact into electrical power. The reported example is of interest for enhancing mechanical energy harvesting and adding new functionalities to traditional polymer nanocomposites.

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    1. Effects of graphene and carbon nanotube fillers on the shear properties of epoxy (pages 997–1006)

      Stefanie A. Sydlik

      Article first published online: 13 MAY 2013 | DOI: 10.1002/polb.23303

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      The effects of graphene and carbon nanotube (CNT)-based fillers on the shear properties of a thermoset epoxy were investigated. In brief, 10 wt % of one of the epoxy-functionalized CNTs was found to increase the shear storage modulus, G′, by 136% and the corresponding loss modulus, G′, by almost 400%. A hybrid system of the functionalized CNT and graphite (pictured) was also studied and was found to increase G′ and G′ up to 51 and 181%, respectively.

    2. Novel ethylene/norbornene copolymers as nonreleasing antioxidants for food-contact polyolefinic materials (pages 1007–1016)

      Paola Stagnaro, Giorgio Mancini, Achille Piccinini, Simona Losio, Maria Carmela Sacchi, Caterina Viglianisi, Stefano Menichetti, Alessandro Adobati and Sara Limbo

      Article first published online: 8 MAY 2013 | DOI: 10.1002/polb.23304

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      New advanced materials, based on polyolefin films for packaging, bearing antioxidant functionalities covalently anchored to the polymeric chains are proposed as an innovative solution to the unavoidable physical migration of molecular additives from plastic films. Preventing the stabilizer migration, with consequent zero risk of food and/or drug contamination, fully matches the interest for environmentally sustainable materials, which are ever more increasing in consumer demand and should give interesting opportunities for the production system.

    3. Effects of crosslinker density on the polymer network structure in poly-N,N-dimethylacrylamide hydrogels (pages 1017–1027)

      Tomoko Ikeda-Fukazawa, Naohiro Ikeda, Mayu Tabata, Masataka Hattori, Mamoru Aizawa, Shunji Yunoki and Yurina Sekine

      Article first published online: 14 MAY 2013 | DOI: 10.1002/polb.23305

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      The structure of the polymer network and water are important factors governing the chemical and physical properties of gel materials. In this manuscript, the effects of crosslinker density on the properties of poly-N,N-dimethylacrylamide hydrogels are investigated. Mechanical strength of the gel increases with increasing crosslinker density. Differential scanning calorimetry results show that the thickness of the bound water increases as the crosslinker density increases. These results suggest that the bound water plays an important role in strengthening the hydrogel.

    4. Liquid Droplet excitation of freestanding poly(methyl methacrylate)/graphene oxide films for mechanical energy harvesting (pages 1028–1032)

      Luca Valentini, Silvia Bittolo Bon and Josè Kenny

      Article first published online: 28 APR 2013 | DOI: 10.1002/polb.23300

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      While many piezoelectric materials are known to generate electrical energy from mechanical energy, graphene has also attracted considerable attention for energy harvesting. In this work, electrical responses excited by a transient load are measured on a freestanding poly(methyl methacrylate)/graphene oxide (PMMA/GO) film prepared by polymer transfer. Excitation using falling liquid droplets is demonstrated to generate an output electrical potential, indicating the effectiveness of such polymer composites for mechanical energy harvesting.

    5. Recoverable strain storage capacity of shape memory polyethylene (pages 1033–1040)

      Robin Hoeher, Thomas Raidt, Maik Rose, Frank Katzenberg and Joerg C. Tiller

      Article first published online: 7 MAY 2013 | DOI: 10.1002/polb.23301

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      Different grades of polyethylenes are systematically investigated regarding their strain storage capacity. To this end high density polyethylene (HDPE), low density polyethylene (LDPE), and ethylene-1-octene (EOC) are lightly cross-linked right at the borderline between thermoplastics and elastomers. The highest stored strain is found for EOC with fully recoverable 1400%. This is by far the largest reported stored strain value of shape memory polymers.

    6. Glass-transition temperatures of nanostructured amorphous bulk polymers and their blends (pages 1041–1050)

      Abhay S. Joijode, Gerry J. Antony and Alan E. Tonelli

      Article first published online: 13 MAY 2013 | DOI: 10.1002/polb.23306

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      Nanostructured amorphous samples of poly(vinyl acetate), poly(methyl methacrylate), and their blends were produced by forming crystalline inclusion compounds (ICs) with urea (U) and γ-cyclodextrin (γ-CD), followed by careful host removal. Also, non-stoichiometric γ-CD-IC samples of each were formed. All nanostructured samples exhibited Tgs elevated above those of as-received and solution-cast samples, and several conclusions were reached concerning how the degrees of constraint experienced by each affect their chain mobilities and resultant Tgs.

    7. Microstructure and properties of styrene-butadiene rubber based nanocomposites prepared from an aminosilane modified synthetic lamellar nanofiller (pages 1051–1059)

      Kevin Dal Pont, Jean-François Gérard and Eliane Espuche

      Article first published online: 13 MAY 2013 | DOI: 10.1002/polb.23307

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      An improvement in the mechanical and gas barrier properties of elastomeric nanocomposites would be invaluable for applications such as packaging. Here, nanocomposites are prepared from a styrene-butadiene rubber (SBR) matrix and synthetic lamellar nanofillers. A novel nanofiller surface treatment, allowing further use of a coupling agent, is proposed. A significant improvement of the filler dispersion state is obtained, resulting in highly enhanced mechanical and gas barrier properties; the key factors behind the improvements are also identified.