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Polyamide-imide and Montmorillonite Nanocomposites

Description: Solvent suspensions of a high performance polymer, Polyamide-imide (PAI) are widely used in magnetic wire coatings. Here we investigate the effect that the introduction of montmorillonite (MMT) has on PAI. MMT was introduced into an uncured PAI suspension; the sample was then cured by step-wise heat treatment. Polarized optical microscopy was used to choose the best suitable MMT for PAI matrix and to study the distribution of MMT in PAI matrix. Concentration dependent dispersion effect was studied by x-ray diffraction (XRD) and was confirmed by Transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Differential scanning Calorimetry (DSC) and Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) was used to study impact of MMT on glass transition temperature (Tg) and degradation properties of PAI respectively. Micro-hardness testing of PAI nanocomposites was also performed. A concentration dependent state of dispersion was obtained. The glass transition (Tg), degradation and mechanical properties were found to correlate to the state of dispersion.
Date: August 2001
Creator: Ranade, Ajit

Polymer hydrogel nanoparticles and their networks

Description: The thermally responsive hydroxypropyl cellulose (HPC) hydrogel nanoparticles have been synthesized and characterized. The HPC particles were obtained by chemically crosslinking collapsed HPC polymer chains in water-surfactant (dodecyltrimethylammonium bromide) dispersion above the lower critical solution temperature (LCST) of the HPC. The size distributions of microgel particles, measured by dynamic light scattering, have been correlated with synthesis conditions including surfactant concentration, polymer concentration, and reaction temperature. The swelling and phase transition properties of resultant HPC microgels have been analyzed using both static and dynamic light scattering techniques. By first making gel nanoparticles and then covalently bonding them together, we have engineered a new class of gels with two levels of structural hierarchy: the primary network is crosslinked polymer chains in each individual particle, while the secondary network is a system of crosslinked nanoparticles. The covalent bonding contributes to the structural stability of the nanostructured gels, while self-assembly provides them with crystal structures that diffract light, resulting in colors. By using N-isopropylacrylamide copolymer hydrogel nanoparticles, we have synthesized nanoparticle networks that display a striking iridescence like precious opal but are soft and flexible like gelatin. This is in contrast to previous colored hydrogels, which were created either by adding dyes or fluorescent, or by organic solvent or by embedding a colloidal crystal array of polymer solid spheres . Creating such periodic 3D structures in materials allows us to obtain useful functionality not only from the constituent building blocks but also from the long-range ordering that characterizes these structures. Hydroxypropyl cellulose (HPC) and poly (acrylic acid ) (PAA) complexes were studied using turbidity measurement and laser light scattering. The phase transition temperature of the complexes is found to depend on pH and molecular weights of PAA and HPC. The driving force for this phenomenon is due to the hydrogen bonding and hydrophobic interaction ...
Date: August 2002
Creator: Lu, Xihua

Polymer Liquid Crystal (PLC) and Polypropylene Interlayers in Polypropylene and Glass Fiber Composites: Mechanical Properties

Description: In recent developments of composite materials, scientists and engineers have come up with fibers as well as matrices for composites and techniques of blending high cost components with low cost materials. Thus, one creates cost effective composite materials that are as efficient as space age components. One of the major breakthroughs in this area is the innovation of molecular composites, specifically polymeric liquid crystals (PLCs). These materials have excellent mechanical properties such as tensile impact and bending strength. They have excellent chemical resistance, low thermal expansivity, and low flammability. Their low viscosity leads to good processability One major setback in using space age composite technology in commercial applications is the price. Due to the complexity of processing, the cost of space composite materials is skyrocketing. To take the same concept of space age composite materials to create a more economical substitute has become a serious concern among scientists and engineers around the world. The two issues that will be resolved in this thesis are: (1) the potential impact of using PLCs (molecular reinforcement) can have on macro reinforced (heterogeneous composite, HC) long fiber systems; and (2) how strategic placement of the reinforcing layers can affect the macromechanical properties of the laminates.
Date: December 2000
Creator: Maswood, Syed

Preparation and Characterization of a Treated Montmorillonite Clay and Epoxy Nanocomposite

Description: Montmorillonite reinforced polymers are a new development in the area of nanocomposite materials. Since reinforcement of epoxy is important to the development of high strength adhesives and composite matrices, the introduction of montmorillonite to epoxy is of interest. Compositional effects on epoxy reactivity, on molecular relaxation, and on mechanical properties were investigated. Change in reactivity was determined by Differential Scanning Calorimetry. Tensile properties at room temperature indicated improved modulus and retention of strength of the epoxy matrix but a decreased elongation to failure. Depression of dry nanocomposite glass transition was observed for nanocomposites beyond 5% by weight montmorillonite. Samples that were saturated with water showed lower moduli due to the epoxy matrix. The greatest moisture absorption rate was found at 7%, the least at 3%.
Date: December 2000
Creator: Butzloff, Peter Robert

Stability of Field Emitter Arrays to Oxygen Exposures

Description: The purpose of these experiments was to determine the degradation mechanisms of molybdenum based field emitter arrays to oxygen exposures and to improve the overall reliability. In addition, we also evaluated the emission current stability of gold-coated field emitter arrays to oxygen exposures. oxygen at 1x10-6 torr was introduced into the chamber through a leak valve for different lengths of time and duty cycles. To ensure identical oxygen exposure and experimental measurement conditions, tips on half the area of the FEA were fully coated with gold and the other half were left uncoated. The emission current from the gold coated half was found to degrade much less than that from the uncoated half, in the presence of oxygen. Also in the absence of oxygen, the emission current recovery for the gold-coated side was much quicker than that for the uncoated side.
Date: December 2002
Creator: Godbole, Soumitra Kumar

Structure property and deformation analysis of polypropylene montmorillonite nanocomposites.

Description: Nanocomposites with expandable smectites such as montmorillonite layered silicates (MLS) in polymer matrices have attracted extensive application interest. Numerous MLS concentrations have been used with no particular justification. Here, we investigate the effects of MLS dispersion within the matrix and on mechanical performance. The latter is resolved through a three-prong investigation on rate dependent tensile results, time dependent creep results and the influence of a sharp notch in polypropylene (PP) nanocomposites. A fixed concentration of maleated polypropylene (mPP) was utilized as a compatibilizer between the MLS and non-polar PP. Analysis of transmission electron micrographs and X-ray diffraction patterns on the surface and below the surface of our samples revealed a unique skin-core effect induced by the presence of clay. Differential scanning calorimetric and polarized optical microscopic examination of spherulites sizes showed changes in nucleation and growth resulting from both the maleated PP compatibilizer and the MLS. These structural changes resulted in a tough nanocomposite, a concept not reported before in the PP literature. Nonlinear creep analysis of the materials showed two concentrations 3 and 5 % wt of PP, which reduced the compliance in the base PP. The use of thermal wave imaging allowed the identification of ductile failure among materials, but more important, aided the mapping of the elastic and plastic contributions. These are essential concepts in fracture analysis.
Date: May 2003
Creator: Hernandez-Luna, Alejandro

Techniques Utilized in the Characterization of Existing Materials for Improved Material Development

Description: It has become increasingly important to remain on the cutting edge of technology for a company to remain competitive and survive in today's high-tech industries. To do this, a company needs various resources dedicated to this cause. One of these resources is the use of existing materials, as starting points, for which improved materials can be based. For this, a company must rely on the characterization of existing materials to bring that base technology into their company. Through this evaluation, the base materials properties can be obtained and a material with improved properties can be developed. There are many techniques that can be used in characterizing an existing material, but not every technique is required to obtain the desired goal. The techniques utilized depend upon the depth of identification required. This report summarizes several techniques utilized in the characterization of existing materials and provides some examples of evaluated products.
Date: December 2001
Creator: Withaeger, Gary

Temperature dependent rheology of surfactant-hydroxypropyl cellulose solutions.

Description: The rheology of 1-8% hydroxypropyl cellulose (HPC) solutions has been studied in the temperature range of 20-45 degrees Celsius. The results showed that the relative viscosity at each HPC concentration decreases with increasing temperature. The relative viscosity decreases drastically at about 43 degrees Celsius due to a phase transition. The influence of anionic surfactant, sodium dodecylsulfate (SDS), induced gelation of a 2% HPC solution. The HPC solutions gelled at surfactant SDS concentrations ranging from 0.4 to 1.0 critical micelle concentration (CMC). The gelation of the HPC/SDS hydrogel is explained in the surfactant SDD - bridged HPC linear polymer chains. The complex viscosity - concentration profile was determined below the CMC of the SDS - water pair. The peak itself was a function of frequency indicating the presence of two relaxation times within the gelled network.
Date: December 2002
Creator: Snively, C. Todd

Thermal, Electrical, and Structural Analysis of Graphite Foam

Description: A graphite foam was developed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) by Dr. James Klett and license was granted to POCO Graphite, Inc. to manufacture and market the product as PocoFoam™. Unlike many processes currently used to manufacture carbon foams, this process yields a highly graphitic structure and overcomes many limitations, such as oxidation stabilization, that are routinely encountered in the development of carbon foam materials. The structure, thermal properties, electrical resistivity, isotropy, and density uniformity of PocoFoam™ were evaluated. These properties and characteristics of PocoFoam™ are compared with natural and synthetic graphite in order to show that, albeit similar, it is unique. Thermal diffusivity and thermal conductivity were derived from Fourier's energy equation. It was determined that PocoFoam™ has the equivalent thermal conductivity of metals routinely used as heat sinks and that thermal diffusivity is as much as four times greater than pure copper and pure aluminum. SEM and XRD results indicate that PocoFoam™ has a high degree of crystalline alignment and near theoretical d spacing that is more typical of natural flake graphite than synthetic graphite. PocoFoam™ is anisotropic, indicating an isotropy factor of 0.5, and may yield higher thermal conductivity at cryogenic temperatures than is observed in polycrystalline graphite.
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Date: August 2001
Creator: Morgan, Dwayne Russell