International Journal of Polymer Science The latest articles from Hindawi Publishing Corporation © 2016 , Hindawi Publishing Corporation . All rights reserved. Constructing Functional Ionic Membrane Surface by Electrochemically Mediated Atom Transfer Radical Polymerization Thu, 29 Sep 2016 11:34:50 +0000 The sodium polyacrylate (PAANa) contained polyethersulfone membrane that was fabricated by preparation of PES-NH2 via nonsolvent phase separation method, the introduction of bromine groups as active sites by grafting α-Bromoisobutyryl bromide, and surface-initiated electrochemically atom transfer radical polymerization (SI-eATRP) of sodium acrylate (AANa) on the surface of PES membrane. The polymerization could be controlled by reaction condition, such as monomer concentration, electric potential, polymerization time, and modifier concentration. The membrane surface was uniform when the monomer concentration was 0.9 mol/L, the electric potential was −0.12 V, the polymerization time was 8 h, and the modifier concentration was 2 wt.%. The membrane showed excellent hydrophilicity and blood compatibility. The water contact angle decreased from 84° to 68° and activated partial thromboplastin increased from 51 s to 84 s after modification of the membranes. Fen Ran, Dan Li, and Jiayu Wu Copyright © 2016 Fen Ran et al. All rights reserved. Thermal and Mechanical Properties of Microporous Polyurethanes Modified with Reduced Graphene Oxide Thu, 29 Sep 2016 08:59:45 +0000 Microporous polyurethanes (MPU) were modified by adding 0.25%–1.25 wt% of reduced graphene oxide (RGO). The materials were prepared without solvent via in situ polymerization. From a technological point of view, it is very important to obtain functional materials by using reacting compounds only. The thermal characteristics of obtained MPU were investigated using TGA, DSC, and DMA techniques. In comparison to nonmodified microporous polyurethane, the thermal stability and mechanical properties of the modified systems have significantly improved. The temperature corresponding to the maximum degradation rate () for nanocomposites containing 1% and 1.25 wt% of RGO was 51°C higher than that observed for pure microporous PU system. The increase of tensile strength was also observed for matrix with the addition of 0.5 wt% RGO nanofiller. Michał Strankowski, Damian Włodarczyk, Łukasz Piszczyk, and Justyna Strankowska Copyright © 2016 Michał Strankowski et al. All rights reserved. Bio-Based Polyols from Seed Oils for Water-Blown Rigid Polyurethane Foam Preparation Wed, 28 Sep 2016 12:45:53 +0000 The preparation of water-blown rigid polyurethane (RPUR) foams using bio-based polyols from sesame seed oil and pumpkin seed oil has been reported. Polyols synthesis involved two steps, namely, hydroxylation and alcoholysis reaction. FTIR, NMR, and ESI-MS were used to monitor the process of the synthesized polyols and their physicochemical properties were determined. The resulting polyols have OH number in the range of 340–351 mg KOH/g. RPUR foams blown with water were produced from the reaction of biopolyols with commercial polymeric methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (PMDI). The proper PUR formulations can be manipulated to produce the desired material applications. These seed oil-based RPUR foams exhibited relatively high compressive strength (237.7–240.2 kPa) with the density in the range of 40–45 kg/m3. Additionally, the cell foam morphology investigated by scanning electron microscope indicated that their cellular structure presented mostly polygonal closed cells. The experimental results demonstrate that these bio-based polyols can be used as an alternative starting material for RPUR production. Paweena Ekkaphan, Sarintip Sooksai, Nuanphun Chantarasiri, and Amorn Petsom Copyright © 2016 Paweena Ekkaphan et al. All rights reserved. Enhancing Stability of Thin-Walled Short Steel Channel Using CFRP under Eccentric Compression Wed, 28 Sep 2016 11:08:55 +0000 This paper presents the experimental and analytical results of eccentrically loaded short cold-formed thin-wall steel channels strengthened with transversely oriented carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) strips around their web and flange. Seven specimens, each 750 mm long, were fabricated; the main parameters were the number of CFRP plies (one or two) and the space between the CFRP strips (50, 100, or 150 mm). The application of the CFRP strips results in increases in ultimate load capacity and, with the exception of the most heavily reinforced (2 plies at 50 and 100 mm), local buckling was observed prior to global buckling. To extend and better understand the experimental work, a companion analytical study was conducted. Comparisons between experimental observations and computed results show that the analyses provided good correlation to actual behavior. In addition, the numerical results explained the observed phenomenon that flange local buckling was constrained to regions between the CFRP strips. Hongyuan Tang, Canjun Wang, and Ruijiao Wang Copyright © 2016 Hongyuan Tang et al. All rights reserved. Bacteriostatic Substrate by Conductivity Method and Electric Spark Discharge Method Combined with Electrospinning for Silver Dressing Tue, 27 Sep 2016 11:21:03 +0000 This study uses the conductivity method, Electric Spark Discharge Method, and the electrospinning technique to develop a better silver-based antibacterial agent. The preparation process is free of chemical substances and also conforms to the green energy-saving process. The silver iodide was prepared in an iodine agar medium by using the conductivity method. Multiple bacteriostasis experiments showed that the molds grew in the position with iodine of the culture medium after 6 days, as well as in the position with silver iodide after 10 days. The results prove that silver iodide has better bacteriostatic ability than povidone iodine. The nanosilver colloid was prepared in the PVA solution by using the Electric Spark Discharge Method. UV-Vis, Zetasizer, and SEM-EDX analyses proved that the PVA solution contained nanosilver colloid with good suspension stability. Finally, the electrospinning technique was used to spin the PVA solution with nanosilver colloid into the PVA nanofibrous membrane. According to UV-Vis analysis, the absorption peak of this nanofibrous membrane is about 415 nm, meaning this nanofibrous membrane contains nucleate nanosilver colloid, and is very suitable for antiseptic dressing. Kuo-Hsiung Tseng, Chaur-Yang Chang, Meng-Yun Chung, and Ya-Lan Tang Copyright © 2016 Kuo-Hsiung Tseng et al. All rights reserved. Reaction Behavior of Cellulose in the Homogeneous Esterification of Bagasse Modified with Phthalic Anhydride in Ionic Liquid 1-Allyl-3-methylimidazium Chloride Mon, 26 Sep 2016 13:35:40 +0000 In order to elucidate the reaction behavior of cellulose component in bagasse, the homogeneous phthalation of bagasse was investigated comparatively with the isolated cellulose in 1-allyl-3-methylimidazium chloride (AmimCl) with phthalic anhydride (PA) at the dosage of 10–50 mmol/g. The phthalation degrees of bagasse and the isolated cellulose were in the range of 5.66% to 22.71% and 11.61% to 44.11%, respectively. A phthalation degree increase of cellulose was proportional to phthalic anhydride dosage due to its regular macromolecular structure and followed the equation . FT-IR and 2D HSQC NMR analyses confirmed the attachment of phthaloyl group. The phthalation reactivity of the three hydroxyls in the isolated cellulose followed the order of C-6 > C-2 > C-3, and the more selective phthalation to C-6 position was found in the cellulose component in bagasse. These results provide detailed understanding of the homogenous modification mechanism of lignocellulose. Hui-Hui Wang, Xue-Qin Zhang, Piao Long, Ai-Ping Zhang, Chuan-Fu Liu, and Run-Cang Sun Copyright © 2016 Hui-Hui Wang et al. All rights reserved. Fish Collagen Promotes the Expression of Genes Related to Osteoblastic Activity Tue, 20 Sep 2016 12:43:59 +0000 Tilapia type I atelocollagen (TAC) is a strong candidate for clinical application as its biological scaffold due to a high degeneration temperature and biologically safe properties. The aim of this study was to confirm the biological effects of TAC in vitro on osteoblastic cells, simulating its clinical application. The proliferation and differentiation of typical preosteoblasts, MC3T3-E1 cells, were investigated using a microarray analysis, staining assay for mineralization, and real-time PCR analysis of the expression of mineralization-related genes. The mRNA expression of 10 genes involved in proliferation and differentiation increased after 3-day culture on an TAC gel, with an average balanced score ratio exceeding 1.5 compared to the control. After two weeks of culture, all three experimental groups showed stronger alkaline phosphatase staining than after one week. The genes expression of alkaline phosphatase, osteocalcin, and bone sialoprotein increased under the experimental conditions. The gene expression of osteopontin did not increase, and no statistical differences were noted among the three experimental groups. The present and previous findings suggest that TAC is not only a suitable alternative to collagen products originating from mammals but also a novel biomaterial with cell differentiation ability for regenerative medicine. Mark Luigi Fabian Capati, Ayako Nakazono, Kohei Yamamoto, Kouji Sugimoto, Kajiro Yanagiguchi, Shizuka Yamada, and Yoshihiko Hayashi Copyright © 2016 Mark Luigi Fabian Capati et al. All rights reserved. Synthesis and Controlled Release Behavior of Biodegradable Polymers with Pendant Ibuprofen Group Tue, 20 Sep 2016 08:09:51 +0000 The continuous use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen frequently leads to some serious side-effects including stomach ulcers and bleeding. In this paper, two kinds of new biocompatible polyesters (PIGB, PIGH) and polyester-amide (PIGA) comprising biodegradable components (L-glutamic acid, 1,4-butanediol, and 1,6-hexanediol and 6-amino hexanol) and ibuprofen as pendant group have been prepared by the melting polycondensation. The chemical structures of the monomer and polymers are characterized by FTIR, 1H NMR spectrum, GPC, and contact angle measurements. The drug loading of ibuprofen reaches very high level (35–37%) for PIGB, PIGH, and PIGA carriers. The free ibuprofen molecules are released in vitro from polymer carriers in a controlled manner without a burst release, different from the release pattern observed in the other drug-encapsulated systems. It is also found that the different hydrophilicity among PIGB, PIGH, and PIGA plays a key role in the time-controlled release of ibuprofen. In addition, the viability of HeLa cells after 48 h of incubation reaches more than 100%, indicating no cytotoxicity for PIGB, PIGH, and PIGA carriers. Heying Deng, Jihua Song, Akoda Komlan Elom, Junlian Xu, Zhihui Fan, Chang Zheng, Yumeng Xing, and Kuilin Deng Copyright © 2016 Heying Deng et al. All rights reserved. Effect of Modification with Various Epoxide Compounds on Mechanical, Thermal, and Coating Properties of Epoxy Resin Tue, 20 Sep 2016 06:47:54 +0000 Epoxy resin (ER) was modified with four different epoxide compounds, 4,5-epoxy-4-methyl-pentane-2-on (EMP), 3-phenyl-1,2-epoxypropane (PhEP), 1-chloro-2,3-epoxy-5-(chloromethyl)-5-hexene (CEH), and a fatty acid glycidyl ester (FAGE), to improve its chemical and physical properties. The effects of the addition and amount of these modifiers on mechanical, thermal, and coating properties were investigated. Atomic force microscopy was used to observe the changes obtained with the modification. The influence of the modifying agents on the curing process was monitored through FTIR spectroscopy. The curing degrees of ER and modified ERs (M-ERs) were found to be over 91%. The results showed that tensile strength of ER improved till 30% (wt.) with addition of the modifier content. Modification with EMP and PhEP remarkably enhanced the thermal stability of ER to be highly resistant to the corrosive media. Alaaddin Cerit, Mustafa Esen Marti, Ulku Soydal, Suheyla Kocaman, and Gulnare Ahmetli Copyright © 2016 Alaaddin Cerit et al. All rights reserved. Thermal Measurements on Polymeric Epoxy-Expandable Graphite Material Mon, 19 Sep 2016 13:46:43 +0000 Combustion measurements, such as heat release rate, critical flux, time-to-ignition, ignition temperature, thermal inertia, and kinematics—activation energy as well as preexponential factor—on epoxy polymer (Prime™ 20LV) with expandable graphite (EG) inorganic filler of different weight percentage composites, are conducted using the Dual Cone Calorimeter, the thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), and Linseis (Germany) THB100 Transient Hot Bridge thermal conductivity analyser. The results indicate that increasing the amount of EG in polymer composite leads to reduction in the critical flux, the time-to-ignition, the ignition temperature, the thermal inertia, the average thermal conductivity, and the activation energy (from 159.1 ± 2.3 to 145.9 ± 3.1 kJ/mol for neat epoxy to 3 wt.% EG-epoxy) of the composite samples. There is, however, an increase in the heat of gasification with increasing EG content. Joseph Asante, Fortunate Modiba, and Bonex Mwakikunga Copyright © 2016 Joseph Asante et al. All rights reserved. Crystallization and Mechanical Properties of Polypropylene under Processing-Relevant Cooling Conditions with respect to Isothermal Holding Time Thu, 15 Sep 2016 16:07:17 +0000 For semicrystalline thermoplastics, aside from pressure and shear, the temperature-time behavior while cooling the melt significantly affects the geometry and degree of ordered structures (e.g., spherulite size, degree of crystallization, and crystal modification) and, as a consequence, the resulting global component properties. Previous research has shown that a higher isothermal holding temperature (e.g., mold temperature and chill-roll temperature) leads to the formation of more distinct ordered structures and, therefore, can lead to greater stiffness and strength. Nevertheless, isothermal holding time during manufacturing is typically not taken into account. In this paper, fast scanning calorimetry (FSC) measurements were taken using polypropylene to analyze the crystallization during idealized temperature-time profiles based on the dynamic temperature process and to investigate the crystallization behavior at different temperatures and isothermal holding times analytically. Furthermore, iPP foils were extruded and tested mechanically to investigate the knowledge gained experimentally. Analytical and mechanical results show that foils produced at the same isothermal holding temperature can obtain significantly different ordered structures and mechanical properties depending primarily on the isothermal holding time. Christopher Fischer and Dietmar Drummer Copyright © 2016 Christopher Fischer and Dietmar Drummer. All rights reserved. Discussion of a Coupled Strength Attenuation Model for GFRP Composites in Hydrothermal Environments Thu, 15 Sep 2016 11:11:31 +0000 The existing attenuation models for the durability of FRP (fiber-reinforced polymer) composites in hydrothermal environments were compared, and a new coupled strength attenuation model with a temperature parameter was proposed in this paper. A series of durability experiments on GFRP sheets in hydrothermal environments were conducted to validate the accuracy and rationality of the new model. A comparison between experimental data and the calculation results of the coupled model indicated that the new model can fit better with the experimental data and effectively reflect the convergence phenomenon in the strength attenuation of GFRP in hydrothermal environments. With a temperature parameter included, the new model can better predict the service life of GFRP composites at different aging temperatures. According to the coupled attenuation model proposed in this paper, a concept and calculation method of the slow-aging time point are put forward, which can be convenient for the evaluation and design of GFRP structures with long-term durability. Wei Chen, Yongxin Yang, and Biao Li Copyright © 2016 Wei Chen et al. All rights reserved. Synthesis of Potato Starch-Acrylic-Acid Hydrogels by Gamma Radiation and Their Application in Dye Adsorption Thu, 15 Sep 2016 07:30:53 +0000 Several kinds of acrylic-acid-grafted-starch (starch/AAc) hydrogels were prepared at room temperature (27°C) by applying 5, 10, 15, 20, and 25 kGy of gamma radiation to 15% AAc aqueous solutions containing 5, 7.5, and 15% of starch. With increment of the radiation dose, gel fraction became higher and attained the maximum (96.5%) at 15 kGy, above which the fraction got lowered. On the other hand, the gel fraction monotonically increased with the starch content. Swelling ratios were lower for the starch/AAc hydrogels prepared with higher gamma-ray doses and so with larger starch contents. Significant promotions of the swelling ratios were demonstrated by hydrolysis with NaOH: for 15 kGy radiation-dosed [5% starch/15% AAc] hydrogel, while the maximum swelling ratio was ~200% for those without the treatment. The authors further investigated the availability of the starch/AAc hydrogel as an adsorbent recovering dye waste from the industrial effluents by adopting methylene blue as a model material; the hydrogels showed high dye-capturing coefficients which increase with the starch ratio. The optimum dye adsorption was found to be 576 mg per g of the hydrogel having 7.5 starch and 15% AAc composition. Two kinetic models, (i) pseudo-first-order and (ii) pseudo-second-order kinetic models, were applied to test the experimental data. The latter provided the best correlation of the experimental data compared to the pseudo-first-order model. Md. Murshed Bhuyan, Nirmal Chandra Dafader, Kazuhiro Hara, Hirotaka Okabe, Yoshiki Hidaka, Md. Mizanur Rahman, Mohammad Mizanur Rahman Khan, and Nazia Rahman Copyright © 2016 Md. Murshed Bhuyan et al. All rights reserved. Investigation of Mechanical Properties of Basalt Particle-Filled SMC Composites Wed, 07 Sep 2016 12:18:53 +0000 Basalt particles have been investigated as a novel additive for the production of glass fibre reinforced composite using sheet moulding compound (SMC) method. Compared to the CaCO3 that are widely used as filler in the SMC composite, the resulting composites exhibit improved mechanical properties. The tensile strength increased by approximately 15%, whereas the flexural strength was enhanced by 8% in SMC composites prepared by basalt particles. Examination of the surface morphology and interfacial debonding of the specimens is also performed via scanning electron microscopy. Superior strength properties are observed in the basalt particle-reinforced composites compared to those with the CaCO3 fillers. Kadir Cavdar and Mahmut Bingol Copyright © 2016 Kadir Cavdar and Mahmut Bingol. All rights reserved. A Modified Model for Deflection Calculation of Reinforced Concrete Beam with Deformed GFRP Rebar Tue, 06 Sep 2016 17:11:35 +0000 The authors carried out experimental and analytical research to evaluate the flexural capacity and the moment-deflection relationship of concrete beams reinforced with GFRP bars. The proposed model to predict the effective moment of inertia for R/C beam with GFRP bars was developed empirically, based on Branson’s equation to have better accuracy and a familiar approach to a structural engineer. For better prediction of the moment-deflection relationship until the ultimate strength is reached, a nonlinear parameter () was also considered. This parameter was introduced to reduce the effect of the cracked moment of inertia for the reinforced concrete member, including a lower reinforcement ratio and modulus of elasticity of the GFRP bar. In a comparative study using six equations suggested by others, the proposed model showed better agreement with the experimental test results. It was confirmed that the empirical modification based on Branson’s equation was valid for predicting the effective moment of inertia of R/C beams with GFRP bar in this study. To evaluate the generality of the proposed model, a comparative study using previous test results from the literature and the results from this study was carried out. It was found that the proposed model had better accuracy and was a familiar approach to structural engineers to predict and evaluate the deflection behavior. Minkwan Ju, Hongseob Oh, Junhyun Lim, and Jongsung Sim Copyright © 2016 Minkwan Ju et al. All rights reserved. A Comparative Study of AlCl3 and FeCl2-Modified TiCl4/MgCl2/THF Catalytic System in the Presence of Hydrogen for Ethylene Polymerization Tue, 06 Sep 2016 09:28:10 +0000 Ethylene homopolymerization over TiCl4/MgCl2/THF catalysts modified with different metal halide additives (AlCl3 and FeCl2) with and without hydrogen was investigated based on catalytic activity and polymer properties. Lewis acid modification can improve activity because it can remove the remaining THF in the final catalyst, which can poison the catalyst active sites via the ring-opening of THF that was confirmed by XRD measurements. Moreover, the activity enhancement was due to the formation of acidic sites by modifying the catalysts with Lewis acids. Thus, FeCl2 doped catalyst (Fe-THF) exhibited the highest activity followed by AlCl3 doped catalyst (Al-THF) and undoped catalyst (None-THF). In H2/C2H4 molar ratio of 0.08, Fe-THF showed a better hydrogen response than Al-THF due to more titanium cluster distribution. Fe-THF is considered to have more clustered Ti species than Al-THF. As a consequence, it led us to obtain more possible chances to precede chain transfer reaction by hydrogen. The molecular weight, melting temperature, and crystallinity of obtained polymers were investigated by GPC and DSC measurement, respectively. Thanyathorn Niyomthai, Aniroot Ratchadaphet, Bunjerd Jongsomjit, and Piyasan Praserthdam Copyright © 2016 Thanyathorn Niyomthai et al. All rights reserved. The Influence of Irradiation and Accelerated Aging on the Mechanical and Tribological Properties of the Graphene Oxide/Ultra-High-Molecular-Weight Polyethylene Nanocomposites Mon, 05 Sep 2016 13:57:56 +0000 Graphene oxide/ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene (GO/UHMWPE) nanocomposite is a potential and promising candidate for artificial joint applications. However, after irradiation and accelerated aging, the mechanical and tribological behaviors of the nanocomposites are still unclear and require further investigation. GO/UHMWPE nanocomposites were successfully fabricated using ultrasonication dispersion, ball-milling, and hot-pressing process. Then, the nanocomposites were irradiated by gamma ray at doses of 100 kGy. Finally, GO/UHMWPE nanocomposites underwent accelerated aging at 80°C for 21 days in air. The mechanical and tribological properties of GO/UHMWPE nanocomposites have been evaluated after irradiation and accelerated aging. The results indicated that the incorporation of GO could enhance the mechanical, wear, and antiscratch properties of UHMWPE. After irradiation, these properties could be further enhanced, compared to unirradiated ones. After accelerated aging, however, these properties have been significantly reduced when compared to unirradiated ones. Moreover, GO and irradiation can synergistically enhance these properties. Guodong Huang, Zifeng Ni, Guomei Chen, and Yongwu Zhao Copyright © 2016 Guodong Huang et al. All rights reserved. A Kinetic and Mechanismic Study of Plasma-Induced Degradation of Monochloropropionic Acids in Water by Means of Anodic Contact Glow Discharge Electrolysis Wed, 31 Aug 2016 11:35:22 +0000 Decomposition of aqueous monochloropropionic acids (MCPAs) was investigated by means of anodic contact glow discharge electrolysis (CGDE). With the decay of MCPAs, the corresponding total organic carbon (TOC) also decreased smoothly. Furthermore, it was found that chlorine atoms in the MCPAs were released as chloride ions. As the main by-products, oxalic acid and formic acid were detected. The acetic acid (CA), monochloroacetic acid (MCA), and propanedioic acid (PDA) were also detected as the primary intermediates for decomposition of the corresponding MCPAs. The decay of both MCPAs and TOC obeyed the first-order kinetics, respectively. The apparent rate constant for the decay of MCPAs increased with the increase in values of MCPAs, while that for the decay of TOC was substantially unaffected. The reaction pathway involving the successive attack of hydroxyl radical and the carbon chain cleavage were discussed based on the products and kinetics. Haiming Yang, Xiaotong Zhao, Baigang An, Lixiang Li, Shaoyan Wang, and Maowei Ju Copyright © 2016 Haiming Yang et al. All rights reserved. Synthesis of Functional Polyester Based on Polylactic Acid and Its Effect on PC12 Cells after Coupling with Small Peptides Tue, 30 Aug 2016 13:01:47 +0000 Polyesters containing functional groups are a suitable candidate matrix for cell culture in tissue engineering. Three types of semicrystalline copolymer poly(L-lactide-co-β-malic acid) [P(LA-co-BMD)] with pendent carboxyl groups were synthesized in this study. The functional monomer 3(S)-[(benzyloxycarbonyl)methyl]-1,4-dioxane-2,5-dione (BMD) was synthesized using L-aspartic acid. The copolymer P(LA-co-BMD) was then synthesized through ring-opening copolymerization of L-LA and BMD, with dodecanol as initiator and stannous octoate as catalyst. Copolymer structure was characterized by 1H nuclear magnetic resonance (1H NMR), gel permeation chromatography (GPC), and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) analyses. Results of 1H NMR and GPC analyses showed that the copolymers were synthesized successfully. DSC curves showed that the crystal melting peak and enthalpy decreased with increased BMD. The crystallinity of the copolymer was destroyed by the presence of the functional monomer. After deprotection, carboxyl groups were coupled with the isoleucine-lysine-valine-alanine-valine peptide through N-hydroxysuccinimide/dicyclohexylcarbodiimide method. The small peptide was beneficial to the axon growth of PC12 cells. Na Qiang, Shuo Tang, Xiang Liao, Hao Liang, Fang Xie, and Ji-xiang Zhu Copyright © 2016 Na Qiang et al. All rights reserved. Homogeneous Modification of Sugarcane Bagasse by Graft Copolymerization in Ionic Liquid for Oil Absorption Application Mon, 29 Aug 2016 16:37:47 +0000 Sugarcane bagasse, lignocellulosic residue from the sugar industry, is an abundant and renewable bioresource on the earth. The application of ionic liquids in sugarcane bagasse biorefinery is gaining increasing interest. The homogeneous modification of sugarcane bagasse by free radical initiated graft copolymerization of acrylate monomers using 1-allyl-3-methylimidazolium chloride as solvent was performed. A variety of sugarcane bagasse graft copolymers with different weight percent gain were prepared via adjusting the monomer dosage. FT-IR studies confirmed the success in attaching the poly(acrylate) side chains onto sugarcane bagasse. Oil absorbency studies suggested that the sugarcane bagasse graft copolymers were potential biobased materials for effective treatment of ester-based oils. SEM studies showed that the sugarcane bagasse graft copolymers displayed a dense morphology structure. Thermogravimetric analysis demonstrated that the thermal stability of sugarcane bagasse decreased after the homogeneous modification by the graft copolymerization. The present study provides an alternative strategy to convert sugarcane bagasse into a value-added functional biobased material. Ming-Jie Chen, Xue-Qin Zhang, Chuan-Fu Liu, and Qing-Shan Shi Copyright © 2016 Ming-Jie Chen et al. All rights reserved. Photodegradation of UHMWPE Compounded with Annatto and Beetroot Extracts Mon, 29 Aug 2016 08:46:40 +0000 We observed the anti-UV action of beetroot extract in an ultra-high molecular weight (UHMWPE) matrix. The beetroot extract and the one prepared from annatto seed also acted efficiently as pigment to the same polymeric matrix. Neat UHMWPE and UHMWPE compounded with annatto and beet extract were compression molded and tensile specimens were obtained from the molded plates and submitted to UV radiation for up to 42 days. Tensile tests were performed and it was observed that the beet extract had a stabilizing action in the polymer compared to neat polymer and the one with annatto extract. Complementary analyses showed good homogenization of the extracts through the polymer matrix indicating the possibility of use as pigment, although the annatto extract appeared to be very unstable under irradiation. Spectroscopic characterization helped to explain the stability of the extracts before and after molding. Alexandre Rangel de Sousa, Géssica Patrícia Dornas, Isadora Cota Carvalho, and Renata Francisca da Silva Santos Copyright © 2016 Alexandre Rangel de Sousa et al. All rights reserved. Functional Polymeric Materials Based on Cellulose Thu, 25 Aug 2016 13:03:23 +0000 Haisong Qi, Ang Lu, Qingbin Zheng, and Quanling Yang Copyright © 2016 Haisong Qi et al. All rights reserved. Synthesis and Characterization of Polycarbonate Copolymers Containing Benzoyl Groups on the Side Chain for Scratch Resistance Mon, 22 Aug 2016 14:13:39 +0000 The purpose of this study was to enhance the scratch resistance of polycarbonate copolymer by using 3,3′-dibenzoyl-4,4′-dihydroxybiphenyl (DBHP) monomer, containing benzoyl moieties on the ortho positions. DBHP monomer was synthesized from 4,4′-dihydroxybiphenyl and benzoyl chloride, followed by the Friedel-Craft rearrangement reaction with AlCl3. The polymerizations were conducted following the low-temperature procedure, which is carried out in methylene chloride by using triphosgene, triethylamine, bisphenol-A, and DBHP. The chemical structures of the polycarbonate copolymers were confirmed by 1H-NMR. The thermal properties of copolymers were investigated by thermogravimetric analysis and differential scanning calorimetry, and also surface morphologies were assessed by atomic force microscopy. The scratch resistance of homopolymer film (100 μm) changed from 6B to 1B, and the contact angle of a sessile water drop onto the homopolymer film also increased. Hohyoun Jang, Jaeseong Ha, Jiho Yoo, Jaeseung Pyo, Kunyoung Choi, Chaekyun Lee, Taewook Ryu, Sungkwun Lee, and Whangi Kim Copyright © 2016 Hohyoun Jang et al. All rights reserved. Surface Modification of Electrospun PVDF/PAN Nanofibrous Layers by Low Vacuum Plasma Treatment Tue, 16 Aug 2016 08:04:40 +0000 Nanofibres are very promising for water remediation due to their high porosity and small pore size. Mechanical properties of nanofibres restrict the application of pressure needed water treatments. Various PAN, PVDF, and PVDF/PAN nanofibre layers were produced, and mechanical properties were improved via a lamination process. Low vacuum plasma treatment was applied for the surface modification of nanofibres. Atmospheric air was used to improve hydrophilicity while sulphur hexafluoride gas was used to improve hydrophobicity of membranes. Hydrophilic membranes showed higher affinity to attach plasma particles compared to hydrophobic membranes. Fatma Yalcinkaya, Baturalp Yalcinkaya, Adam Pazourek, Jana Mullerova, Martin Stuchlik, and Jiri Maryska Copyright © 2016 Fatma Yalcinkaya et al. All rights reserved. Stimuli-Responsive Polymers: Design, Synthesis, Characterization, and Applications Wed, 10 Aug 2016 07:11:32 +0000 Dong Wang, Matthew D. Green, Kai Chen, Chalongrat Daengngam, and Yohei Kotsuchibashi Copyright © 2016 Dong Wang et al. All rights reserved. Stereocontrol of Methyl Methacrylate during Photoinduced Nitroxide-Mediated Polymerization in the Presence of Photosensitive Alkoxyamine Sun, 07 Aug 2016 13:28:51 +0000 Photosensitive alkoxyamine 2,2,6,6-tetramethyl-1-(1-phenylethoxy)piperidin-4-yl quinoline-2-carboxylate (PE-TEMPO-Q) was synthesized. Photochemical properties of PE-TEMPO-Q were studied to develop photoinduced nitroxide-mediated polymerization of methyl methacrylate (MMA). Rapid and facile polymerization at ambient temperature with PE-TEMPO-Q as an initiator was confirmed to proceed in a controlled mechanism based on the linear growth in molecular weight combined with relative narrow polydispersity index (1.4–1.8) of the resulting polymers. The stereochemistry of obtained polymers was also investigated, and the syndiotacticity slightly increased compared with the typical photopolymerization. Dual-controlled photopolymerization of MMA was achieved in the presence of synthesized alkoxyamine. Juahui Su, Xiaoxuan Liu, Maijun Li, Ting Zhang, and Yanyan Cui Copyright © 2016 Juahui Su et al. All rights reserved. Azobenzene-Based Gel Coated Fibre Bragg Grating Sensor for Moisture Measurement Sun, 07 Aug 2016 10:01:24 +0000 A fibre Bragg grating sensor is coated with a novel polymer gel in order to investigate its suitability for nondestructive measurement of moisture in materials that can potentially lose their integrity due to moisture ingress. Absorption and desorption of moisture lead to swelling/shrinkage of an azobenzene-based gel, which induces a strain in the Bragg grating resulting in wavelength shifts. The results demonstrated that the amount of wavelength shift is linearly dependent on the amount of water ingress by the gel. The performance of the proposed optical fibre moisture sensor was found to be repeatable with no detectable hysteresis and has the potential to offer a low-cost route for monitoring moisture content. Mohammed Moniruzzaman and John Rock Copyright © 2016 Mohammed Moniruzzaman and John Rock. All rights reserved. [MG49-LiClO4]:[TiO2-SiO2] Polymer Electrolytes: In Situ Preparation and Characterization Thu, 04 Aug 2016 05:51:54 +0000 In the present research, [MG49-LiClO4]:[HNO3-THF/TiO2-SiO2] and [MG49-LiClO4]:[ClHNO2-THF/TiO2-SiO2] polymer electrolytes were first prepared through simple stepwise in situ techniques: sol-gel technique and solution-cast technique. [MG49-LiClO4]:[HNO3-THF/TiO2-SiO2] and [MG49-LiClO4]:[ClHNO2-THF/TiO2-SiO2] polymer electrolytes were then characterized through different experimental techniques. [MG49-LiClO4]:[HNO3-THF/TiO2-SiO2] and [MG49-LiClO4]:[ClHNO2-THF/TiO2-SiO2] polymer electrolytes had exhibited significant structural changes upon different salt concentrations. In the present investigation, [MG49-LiClO4]:[HNO3-THF/TiO2-SiO2] and [MG49-LiClO4]:[ClHNO2-THF/TiO2-SiO2] polymer electrolytes had attained maximum ionic conductivities ( S/cm at ambient temperature; 10−4 S/cm at 100°C) upon 25 wt.% salt insertion. [MG49-LiClO4]:[HNO3-THF/TiO2-SiO2] and [MG49-LiClO4]:[ClHNO2-THF/TiO2-SiO2] polymer electrolytes had exhibited distinct conduction mechanisms in similar experimental configuration. [MG49-LiClO4]:[HNO3-THF/TiO2-SiO2] and [MG49-LiClO4]:[ClHNO2-THF/TiO2-SiO2] polymer electrolytes had exhibited different stability characteristics over certain operational condition. Oon Lee Kang, Azizan Ahmad, Nur Hasyareeda Hassan, and Usman Ali Rana Copyright © 2016 Oon Lee Kang et al. All rights reserved. Nanodeserts: A Conjecture in Nanotechnology to Enhance Quasi-Photosynthetic CO2 Absorption Tue, 26 Jul 2016 09:56:55 +0000 This paper advances “nanodeserts” as a conjecture on the possibility of developing the hierarchical structured polymeric nanomaterials for enhancing abiotic CO2 fixation in the soil-groundwater system beneath deserts (termed as quasi-photosynthetic CO2 absorption). Arid and semiarid deserts ecosystems approximately characterize one-third of the Earth’s land surface but play an unsung role in the carbon cycling, considering the huge potentials of such CO2 absorption to expand insights to the long-sought missing CO2 sink and the naturally unneglectable turbulence in temperature sensitivities of soil respiration it produced. “Nanodeserts” as a reconciled concept not only indicate a conjecture in nanotechnology to enhance quasi-photosynthetic CO2 absorption, but also aim to present to the desert researchers a better understanding of the footprints of abiotic CO2 transport, conversion, and assignment in the soil-groundwater system beneath deserts. Meanwhile, nanodeserts allow a stable temperature sensitivity of soil respiration in deserts by largely reducing the CO2 release above the deserts surface and highlighting the abiotic CO2 fixation beneath deserts. This may be no longer a novelty in the future. Wenfeng Wang, Xi Chen, Yifan Zhang, Jianjun Yu, Tianyi Ma, Zhihan Lv, Jing Zhang, Fanyu Zeng, and Hui Zou Copyright © 2016 Wenfeng Wang et al. All rights reserved. Modeling Based Characterization of Thermorheological Properties of Polyurethane ESTANE™ Mon, 25 Jul 2016 08:43:37 +0000 Shape-Memory Polymers (SMPs) have the ability to be deformed and memorize this deformation until an external activation stimulus (e.g., heat) is applied. Therefore, they have attracted great interest in many areas, especially for applications where reconfigurable structures are required (e.g., Shape-Memory (SM) stents or micro air vehicles). Nevertheless, prior to technical application, the effective thermomechanical behavior of SMPs must be thoroughly understood. In the current contribution, an assessment of thermorheological properties of the commercially available polyurethane system ESTANE is presented. Thermorheological properties were investigated using Dynamic Mechanical Thermal Analysis (DMTA) and complementary uniaxial stress relaxation experiments. Upon material parameter optimization, a finite viscoelastic and incompressible material model was used to model experimentally observed viscoelastic properties. Ehsan Ghobadi, Rakulan Sivanesapillai, Jana Musialak, and Holger Steeb Copyright © 2016 Ehsan Ghobadi et al. All rights reserved.