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 Serendipity uncovers borophene's potential
23.02.2017 | Northwestern University

nachricht Switched-on DNA
20.02.2017 | Arizona State University

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

From rocks in Colorado, evidence of a 'chaotic solar system'

23.02.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

'Quartz' crystals at the Earth's core power its magnetic field

23.02.2017 | Earth Sciences

Antimicrobial substances identified in Komodo dragon blood

23.02.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>