Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Tiny rubber balls give plastic bounce

30.08.2005


Automobile bumpers that deform and recover rather than crack and splinter, computer cases that withstand the occasional rough encounter, and resilient coatings that can withstand the ravages of the sun, may all be possible if tiny functionalized rubbery particles are imbedded in their plastic matrices, according to Penn State materials scientists.



"Plastics such as polypropylene, nylon, polycarbonate, epoxy resins and other compounds are brittle and fracture easily," says Dr. T.C. Chung, professor of materials science and engineering. "Usually, manufacturers take rubbery compounds and just mix them with the plastic, but there are many issues with this approach."

The problems include difficulty in controlling the mixing of the two components and adhesion between the plastic and rubber. Chung, and Dr. Usama F. Kandil, postdoctoral researcher in materials science and engineering, looked at another way to embed rubbery particles into a plastic matrix. They described their work today (Aug. 29) at the 230th American Chemical Society National Meeting in Washington, D.C.


The researchers used polyolefin ethylene-based elastomer, a very inexpensive stable rubber that withstands exposure to ultra violet radiation. This rubber is often used as the sidewall in many automotive tires. However, rather than simply produce micro particles of polyolefin, Chung and Kandil produce a core-shell particle structure with a tangle of polymerized polyolefin rubber forming a ball with functionalized groups hanging out like bristles.

"These functional groups can combine with the plastic and improve the adhesion of the rubber with the plastic," says Chung. The rubber particles embedded in other materials absorb some of the energy of impact. Rather than the brittle portion breaking on impact, the rubber parts deform and absorb the energy without breaking. Chung and Kandil believe if they can introduce the rubber particles into other materials, such as ceramics, the rubber would function in the same way, making resilient ceramics. Plastics and rubbers are both polymers, but have one significant difference. Plastics have relatively high glass transition temperatures – the temperature at which the materials cease being pliable and become brittle like glass. Rubbers, especially polyolefin, have very low glass transition temperatures.

"Tires never freeze above glass transition temperature," says Chung. "So the material is always in a pliable state at ambient temperatures. This can improve the toughness of any material."

The functionalized groups on the outside of the rubber balls can be tailored to join with any plastic or ceramic, solving the problems of adhesion found when using only untailored rubber particles. These core and shell particles range in size from 30 nanometers to 10 micrometers.

The researchers manufacture their tiny rubber balls in a one-pot procedure that causes the rubber components to cross-link into the shape of a tiny rubber ball with their functional groups intact. Addition of a surfactant – a soap-like compound – causes the polymers to entangle into a ball with some of the functional groups sticking out from the surface. By controlling the process, the researchers can control the size of the particles from micron-sized to nano particles.

The researchers have applied for a provisional patent on this work.

A’ndrea Elyse Messer | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.psu.edu

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht Nagoya University researchers break down plastic waste
29.05.2017 | Nagoya University

nachricht A new tool for discovering nanoporous materials
23.05.2017 | Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Strathclyde-led research develops world's highest gain high-power laser amplifier

The world's highest gain high power laser amplifier - by many orders of magnitude - has been developed in research led at the University of Strathclyde.

The researchers demonstrated the feasibility of using plasma to amplify short laser pulses of picojoule-level energy up to 100 millijoules, which is a 'gain'...

Im Focus: Can the immune system be boosted against Staphylococcus aureus by delivery of messenger RNA?

Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.

Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New insights into the ancestors of all complex life

29.05.2017 | Earth Sciences

New photocatalyst speeds up the conversion of carbon dioxide into chemical resources

29.05.2017 | Life Sciences

NASA's SDO sees partial eclipse in space

29.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>