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  • 1.
    Albertsson, Ann-Christine
    et al.
    KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Fibre and Polymer Technology.
    Groning, M.
    Hakkarainen, Minna
    KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Fibre and Polymer Technology.
    Emission of volatiles from polymers - A new approach for understanding polymer degradation2006In: Journal of polymers and the environment, ISSN 1064-7546, E-ISSN 1572-8900, Vol. 14, no 1, p. 8-13Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Emission of low molar mass compounds from different polymeric materials was determined and the results from the volatile analysis were applied to predict the degree of degradation and long-term properties, to determine degradation rates and mechanisms, to differentiate between biotic and abiotic degradation and for quality control work. Solid-phase microextraction and solid-phase extraction together with GC-MS were applied to identify and quantify the low molar mass compounds. Volatiles were released and monitored at early stages of degradation before any matrix changes were observed by e.g. SEC, DSC and tensile testing. The analysis of volatiles can thus also be applied to detect small differences between polymeric materials and their susceptibility to degradation. The formation of certain degradation products correlated with the changes taking place in the polymer matrix, these indicator products could, thus, be analysed to rapidly predict the degree of degradation in the polymer matrix and further to predict the long-term properties and remaining lifetime of the product.

  • 2.
    Andersson, Richard L.
    et al.
    KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Fibre and Polymer Technology, Polymeric Materials.
    Salajkova, Michaela
    KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Centres, Wallenberg Wood Science Center.
    Mallon, P. E.
    Berglund, Lars A.
    KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Fibre and Polymer Technology. KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Centres, Wallenberg Wood Science Center.
    Hedenqvist, Mikael S.
    KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Fibre and Polymer Technology, Polymeric Materials.
    Olsson, Richard T.
    KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Fibre and Polymer Technology, Polymeric Materials. KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Centres, Wallenberg Wood Science Center.
    Micromechanical Tensile Testing of Cellulose-Reinforced Electrospun Fibers Using a Template Transfer Method (TTM)2012In: Journal of polymers and the environment, ISSN 1064-7546, E-ISSN 1572-8900, Vol. 20, no 4, p. 967-975Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    A template transfer method (TTM) and a fiber fixation technique were established for fiber handling and micro tensile stage mounting of aligned and non-aligned electrospun fiber mats. The custom-made template had been precut to be mounted on a variety of collectors, including a rapidly rotating collector used to align the fibers. The method eliminated need for direct physical interaction with the fiber mats before or during the tensile testing since the fiber mats were never directly clamped or removed from the original substrate. By using the TTM it was possible to measure the tensile properties of aligned poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) fiber mats, which showed a 250 % increase in strength and 450 % increase in modulus as compared to a non-aligned system. The method was further evaluated for aligned PMMA fibers reinforced with cellulose (4 wt%) prepared as enzymatically derived nanofibrillated cellulose (NFC). These fibers showed an additional increase of 30 % in both tensile strength and modulus, resulting in a toughness increase of 25 %. The fracture interfaces of the PMMA-NFC fibers showed a low amount of NFC pull-outs, indicating favorable phase compatibility. The presented fiber handling technique is universal and may be applied where conservative estimates of mechanical properties need to be assessed for very thin fibers.

  • 3. Gallstedt, M.
    et al.
    Hedenqvist, Mikael S.
    KTH, Superseded Departments, Polymer Technology.
    Oxygen and water barrier properties of coated whey protein and chitosan films2002In: Journal of polymers and the environment, ISSN 1064-7546, E-ISSN 1572-8900, Vol. 10, no 02-jan, p. 1-4Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Films of whey protein and chitosan acetic acid salt have lower oxygen permeability than, for example, ethylene-co-vinylalcohol under dry conditions, but water and water vapor seriously impair the gas barrier properties. To reduce the oxygen permeability at 90% relative humidity and the water-vapor transmission rate at 100% relative humidity, the films were coated with an alkyd, a beeswax compound, or a nitrocellulose lacquer. Permeability and transmission rate measurements were performed in accordance with standard methods and showed that the beeswax compound and the nitrocellulose were appropriate as water-vapor barriers. Overall migration to water was measured after 10 days exposure time, with the coated surface exposed to the water, showing that the alkyd-coated and the nitrocellulose-coated films were both below the safety limit for food contact. Water absorbency tests, performed by the Cobb method, showed that the films coated with the beeswax compound or with nitrocellulose lacquer exhibit lower absorbency than the alkyd-coated films.

  • 4. Roy, P. K.
    et al.
    Hakkarainen, Minna
    KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Fibre and Polymer Technology, Polymer Technology.
    Albertsson, Ann-Christine
    KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Fibre and Polymer Technology, Polymer Technology.
    Exploring the Biodegradation Potential of Polyethylene Through a Simple Chemical Test Method2014In: Journal of polymers and the environment, ISSN 1064-7546, E-ISSN 1572-8900, Vol. 22, no 1, p. 69-77Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Oxidatively degradable polyethylene is finding widespread use, particularly in applications such as single use packaging and agriculture. However, the key question which still remains unanswered is the ultimate fate and biodegradability of these polymers. During a short-time frame only the oxidized low molecular weight fraction will be amenable to significant biodegradation. The short-time frame biodegradation potential of different LDPE-transition metal formulations was, thus, explored through a simple chemical extraction of oxidized fraction. In addition the effectiveness of different transitions metals was evaluated by comparing the extractable fractions. Blown LDPE films modified with different transition metal based pro-oxidants were thermo-oxidized at 60 °C over extended periods. The structural changes occurring in the polymer were monitored and the oxidized degradation products formed as a result of the aging process were estimated by extractions with water and acetone. The extractable fraction first increased to approximately 22 % as a result of thermo-oxidative aging and then leveled off. The extractable fraction was approximately two times higher after acetone extraction compared to extraction with water and as expected, it was higher for the samples containing pro-oxidants. Based on our results in combination with existing literature we propose that acetone extractable fraction gives an estimation of the maximum short-term biodegradation potential of the material, while water extractable fraction indicates the part that is easily accessible to microorganisms and rapidly assimilated. The final level of biodegradation under real environmental conditions will of course be highly dependent on the specific environment, material history and degradation time.

  • 5.
    Türe, Hasan
    et al.
    KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Fibre and Polymer Technology, Polymeric Materials.
    Blomfeldt, Thomas
    KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Fibre and Polymer Technology, Polymeric Materials.
    Gällstedt, Mikael
    Innventia AB.
    Hedenqvist, Mikael S.
    KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Fibre and Polymer Technology, Polymeric Materials.
    Properties of Wheat-Gluten/Montmorillonite Nanocomposite Films Obtained by a Solvent-Free Extrusion Process2012In: Journal of polymers and the environment, ISSN 1064-7546, E-ISSN 1572-8900, Vol. 20, no 4, p. 1038-1045Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This is, to our knowledge, the first study of wheat-gluten-based nanocomposite films prepared by a solvent-free extrusion process. Wheat gluten/montmorillonite nanocomposite films were obtained in a single screw-extruder using urea as a combined denaturant and plasticizer. The oxygen permeability and water vapor transmission rate of the films decreased by respectively factors of 1. 9 and 1. 3 when 5 wt.% clay was added. At the same time, the stiffness increased by a factor of 1. 5, without any critical loss of extensibility. Field emission scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM) and Energy-dispersive X-ray analysis indicated that the clay particles were layered mainly in the plane of the extruded film. It was possible to identify individual platelets/tactoids with FE-SEM and, together with findings from transmission electron microscopy, atomic force microscopy and X-ray diffraction, it was concluded that the clay existed as individual clay platelets, intercalated tactoids and agglomerates. Thermogravimetric analysis showed that the thermal stability of the extrudates was improved by the addition of clay.

  • 6.
    Wretfors, Christer
    et al.
    SLU, Alnarp.
    Cho, Sung-Woo
    KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Fibre and Polymer Technology.
    Hedenqvist, Mikael S
    KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Fibre and Polymer Technology.
    Marttila, S
    SLU, Alnarp.
    Nimmermark, S
    SLU, Alnarp.
    Johansson, Eva
    SLU, Alnarp.
    Use of Industrial Hemp Fibers to Reinforce Wheat Gluten Plastics2009In: Journal of polymers and the environment, ISSN 1064-7546, E-ISSN 1572-8900, Vol. 17, no 4, p. 259-266Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The next generation of manufactured products must be sustainable and industrially eco-efficient, making materials derived from plants an alternative of particular interest. Wheat gluten (WG) is an interesting plant material to be used for production of plastic similar materials due to its film-forming properties. For usage of plastics in a wider range of applications, composite materials with improved mechanical properties are demanded. The present study investigates the possibilities of reinforcing WG plastics with hemp fibers. Samples were manufactured using compression molding (130 A degrees C, 1600 bar, 5 min). Variation in fiber length, content (5, 10, 15 and 20 wt%) and quality (poor, standard, good) were evaluated. Mechanical properties and structure of materials were examined using tensile testing, light and scanning electron microscopy. Hemp fiber reinforcement of gluten plastics significantly influenced the mechanical properties of the material. Short hemp fibers processed in a high speed grinder were more homogenously spread in the material than long unprocessed fibers. Fiber content in the material showed a significant positive correlation with tensile strength and Young's modulus, and a negative correlation with fracture strain and strain at maximum stress. Quality of the hemp fibers did not play any significant role for tensile strength and strain, but the Young's modulus was significantly and positively correlated with hemp fiber quality. Despite the use of short hemp fibers, the reinforced gluten material still showed uneven mechanical properties within the material, a result from clustering of the fibers and too poor bonding between fibers and gluten material. Both these problems have to be resolved before reinforcement of gluten plastics by industrial hemp fibers is applicable on an industrial scale.

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