Strawberry is one of the most favored fruits all along the world. But due to its vulnerability to microbial contamination and short life storage, there are lots of problems in industrial production and transportation of this fruit. Therefore, lots of ideas have tried to increase the storage life of strawberries especially through proper packaging. This paper works on efficient packaging as well. The primary material used is produced through simple mixing of low-density polyethylene (LDPE) and silver nanoparticles in different weight fractions of 0.5 and 1% in presence of dicumyl peroxide as a cross-linking agent. Final packages were made in a twin-screw extruder. Then, their effect on the quality maintenance of strawberry is evaluated. The SEM images of nano-silver packages show the distribution of silver nanoparticles in the packages. Total bacteria count, mold, yeast and E. coli are measured for microbial evaluation of all samples. Texture, color, appearance, odor, taste and total acceptance of various samples are evaluated by trained panelists and based on 9-point hedonic scale method. The results show a decrease in total bacteria count and mold in nano-silver packages compared to the samples packed in polyethylene packages for the same storage time. The optimum concentration of silver nanoparticles for the lowest bacteria count and mold is predicted to be around 0.5% which has attained the most acceptance from the panelist as well. Moreover, organoleptic properties of strawberry are preserved for a longer period in nano-silver packages. It can be concluded that using nano-silver particles in strawberry packages has improved the storage life and quality maintenance of the fruit.
Thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) is a multifunctional polymeric material which possesses a combination of excellent properties of parent materials. Basically, TPE has a rubber phase and a thermoplastic phase which gives processability as thermoplastics. When the rubber phase is partially or fully crosslinked in the thermoplastic matrix, TPE is called as thermoplastic elastomer vulcanizate (TPV). If the rubber phase is non-crosslinked, it is called as thermoplastic elastomer olefin (TPO). Nowadays TPEs are introduced into the commercial market with different products. However, the application of TPE as a roofing material is limited. Out of the commercially available roofing products from different materials, only single ply roofing membranes and plastic roofing sheets are produced from rubbers and plastics. Natural rubber (NR) and high density polyethylene (HDPE) are used in various industrial applications individually with some drawbacks. Therefore, this study was focused to develop both TPO and TPV blends from NR and HDPE at different compositions and then to identify the best blend composition to use as a roofing material. A series of blends by varying NR loading from 10 wt% to 50 wt%, at 10 wt% intervals, were prepared using a twin screw extruder. Dicumyl peroxide was used as a crosslinker for TPV. The standard properties for a roofing material like tensile properties tear strength, hardness, impact strength, water absorption, swell/gel analysis and thermal characteristics of the blends were investigated. Change of tensile strength after exposing to UV radiation was also studied. Tensile strength, hardness, tear strength, melting temperature and gel content of TPVs show higher values compared to TPOs at every loading studied, while water absorption and swelling index show lower values, suggesting TPVs are more suitable than TPOs for roofing applications. Most of the optimum properties were shown at 10/90 (NR/HDPE) composition. However, high impact strength and gel content were shown at 20/80 (NR/HDPE) composition. Impact strength, as being an energy absorbing property, is the most important for a roofing material in order to resist impact loads. Therefore, 20/80 (NR/HDPE) is identified as the best blend composition. UV resistance and other properties required for a roofing material could be achieved by incorporating suitable additives to TPVs.
This paper studies a case where the targeted surface roughness of fused deposition modeling (FDM) additive manufacturing process is improved. The process is designing to reduce or eliminate the defects and improve the process capability index Cp and Cpk for an FDM additive manufacturing process. The baseline Cp is 0.274 and Cpk is 0.654. This research utilizes the Taguchi methodology, to eliminate defects and improve the process. The Taguchi method is used to optimize the additive manufacturing process and printing parameters that affect the targeted surface roughness of FDM additive manufacturing. The Taguchi L9 orthogonal array is used to organize the parameters' (four controllable parameters and one non-controllable parameter) effectiveness on the FDM additive manufacturing process. The four controllable parameters are nozzle temperature [°C], layer thickness [mm], nozzle speed [mm/s], and extruder speed [%]. The non-controllable parameter is the environmental temperature [°C]. After the optimization of the parameters, a confirmation print was printed to prove that the results can reduce the amount of defects and improve the process capability index Cp from 0.274 to 1.605 and the Cpk from 0.654 to 1.233 for the FDM additive manufacturing process. The final results confirmed that the Taguchi methodology is sufficient to improve the surface roughness of FDM additive manufacturing process.
Nanoscience has become one of the main science fields in the world; its importance is reflected in both society and industry; therefore, it is very important to intensify educational programs among teachers and students that aim to introduce "Nano Concepts" to them. Two different lab activities were developed for demonstrating the importance of nanoscale materials using unique points of view. In the first, electrical conductive films made of silver nanoparticles were fabricated. The silver nanoparticles were protected against aggregation using electrical conductive polypyrrole, which acts also as conductive bridge between them. The experiments show a simpler way for fabricating conductive thin film than the much more complicated and costly conventional method. In the second part, the participants could produce emulsions of liposome structures using Phosphatidylcholine as a surfactant, and following by minimizing the size of it from micro-scale to nanometer scale (400 nm), using simple apparatus called Mini-Extruder, in that way the participants could realize the change in solution transparency, and the effect of Tyndall when the size of the liposomes is reduced. Freshmen students from the Academic Arab College for Education in Haifa, Israel, who are studying to become science teachers, participated in this lab activity as part of the course "Chemistry in the Lab". These experiments are appropriate for teachers, high school and college students.
In this study, acids with various chain lengths (C6, C8, C10 and C12) modified by methane sulfonic acid (MSA) and temperature were used to modify tapioca starch (TPS), then the glycerol (GA) were added into modified starch, to prepare new blends. The mechanical properties, thermal properties and physical properties of blends were studied. This investigation was divided into two parts. First, the biodegradable materials were used such as starch and glycerol with hexanedioic acid (HA), suberic acid (SBA), sebacic acid (SA), decanedicarboxylic acid (DA) manufacturing with different temperatures (90, 110 and 130 °C). And then, the solution was added into modified starch to prepare the blends by using single-screw extruder. The FT-IR patterns indicated that the characteristic peak of C=O in ester was observed at 1730 cm-1. It is proved that different chain length acids (C6, C8, C10 and C12) reacted with glycerol by esterification and these are used to plasticize blends during extrusion. In addition, the blends would improve the hydrolysis and thermal stability. The water contact angle increased from 43.0° to 64.0°. Second, the HA (110 °C), SBA (110 °C), SA (110 °C), and DA blends (130 °C) were used in study, because they possessed good mechanical properties, water resistances and thermal stability. On the other hand, the various contents (0, 0.005, 0.010, 0.020 g) of MSA were also used to modify the mechanical properties of blends. We observed that the blends were added to MSA, and then the FT-IR patterns indicated that the C=O ester appeared at 1730 cm-1. For this reason, the hydrophobic blends were produced. The water contact angle of the MSA blends increased from 55.0° to 71.0°. Although break elongation of the MSA blends reduced from the original 220% to 128%, the stress increased from 2.5 MPa to 5.1 MPa. Therefore, the optimal composition of blends was the DA blend (130 °C) with adding of MSA (0.005 g).
The increasing demand of thermoplastic elastomers is related to the wide range of applications, such as automotive, footwear, wire and cable industries, adhesives and medical devices, cell phones, sporting goods, toys and others. These materials are susceptible to microbial attack. Moisture and organic matter present in some areas (such as shower area and sink), provide favorable conditions for microbial proliferation, which contributes to the spread of diseases and reduces the product life cycle. Compounds based on SEBS copolymers, poly(styrene-b-(ethylene-co-butylene)-b-styrene, are a class of thermoplastic elastomers (TPE), fully recyclable and largely used in domestic appliances like bath mats and tooth brushes (soft touch). Zinc oxide and zinc ions loaded in personal and home care products have become common in the last years due to its biocidal effect. In that sense, the aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of zinc as antimicrobial agent in compounds based on SEBS/polypropylene/oil/ calcite for use as refrigerator seals (gaskets), bath mats and sink squeegee. Two zinc oxides from different suppliers (ZnO-Pe and ZnO-WR) and one masterbatch of zinc ions (M-Zn-ion) were used in proportions of 0%, 1%, 3% and 5%. The compounds were prepared using a co-rotating double screw extruder (L/D ratio of 40/1 and 16 mm screw diameter). The extrusion parameters were kept constant for all materials. Tests specimens were prepared using the injection molding machine. A compound with no antimicrobial additive (standard) was also tested. Compounds were characterized by physical (density), mechanical (hardness and tensile properties) and rheological properties (melt flow rate - MFR). The Japan Industrial Standard (JIS) Z 2801:2010 was applied to evaluate antibacterial properties against Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) and Escherichia coli (E. coli). The Brazilian Association of Technical Standards (ABNT) NBR 15275:2014 were used to evaluate antifungal properties against Aspergillus niger (A. niger), Aureobasidium pullulans (A. pullulans), Candida albicans (C. albicans), and Penicillium chrysogenum (P. chrysogenum). The microbiological assay showed a reduction over 42% in E. coli and over 49% in S. aureus population. The tests with fungi showed inconclusive results because the sample without zinc also demonstrated an inhibition of fungal development when tested against A. pullulans, C. albicans and P. chrysogenum. In addition, the zinc loaded samples showed worse results than the standard sample when tested against A. niger. The zinc addition did not show significant variation in mechanical properties. However, the density values increased with the rise in ZnO additives concentration, and had a little decrease in M-Zn-ion samples. Also, there were differences in the MFR results in all compounds compared to the standard.
Nanofibers are effective materials which have frequently been investigated to produce high quality air filters. As an environmental approach our aim is to achieve nanofibers by melting. In spun-bond systems extruder, spin-pump, nozzle package and attenuator are used. Molten polymer which flows from extruder is made steady by spin-pump. Regular melt passes through nozzle holes and forms fibers under high pressure. The fibers pulled from nozzle are shrunk to micron size by an attenuator; after solidification, they are collected on a conveyor. In this research different designs of attenuator system have been studied; and also CFD analysis has been done on these different designs. Afterwards, one of these designs tested and finally some optimizations have been done to reduce pressure loss and increase air velocity.
Rice husk and kenaf filled with calcium carbonate (CaCO3) and high density polyethylene (HDPE) composite were prepared separately using twin-screw extruder at 50rpm. Different filler loading up to 30 parts of rice husk particulate and kenaf fiber were mixed with the fixed 30% amount of CaCO3 mineral filler to produce rice husk/CaCO3/HDPE and kenaf/CaCO3/HDPE hybrid composites. In this study, the effects of natural fiber for both rice husk and kenaf in CaCO3/HDPE composite on physical, mechanical and morphology properties were investigated. Field Emission Scanning Microscope (FeSEM) was used to investigate the impact fracture surfaces of the hybrid composite. The property analyses showed that water absorption increased with the presence of kenaf and rice husk fillers. Natural fibers in composite significantly influence water absorption properties due to natural characters of fibers which contain cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin structures. The result showed that 10% of additional natural fibers into hybrid composite had caused decreased flexural strength, however additional of high natural fiber (>10%) filler loading has proved to increase its flexural strength.
Two types of glass fibers having different lengths (1/16" and 1/32") were added into rigid PVC foams to enhance the dimensional stability of extruded rigid Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) foam at different concentrations (0-20 phr) using a single screw profile extruder. PVC foam-glass fiber composites (PVC-GF) were characterized for their dimensional stability, structural, thermal, and mechanical properties. Experimental results show that the dimensional stability, heat resistance, and storage modulus were enhanced without compromising the tensile and flexural strengths of the composites. Overall, foam composites which were prepared with longer glass fibers exhibit better mechanical and thermal properties than those prepared with shorter glass fibers due to higher interlocking between the fibers and the foam cells, which result in better load distribution in the matrix.
Waste silicon carbide (waste SiC) filled high-density polyethylene (HDPE) with and without surface modifiers were studied. Two types of surface modifiers namely; high-density polyethylene-grafted-maleic anhydride (HDPE-g-MA) and 3-aminopropyltriethoxysilane have been used in this study. The composites were produced using a two roll mill, extruder and shaped in a hydraulic compression molding machine. The mechanical properties of polymer composites such as flexural strength and modulus, impact strength, tensile strength, stiffness and hardness were investigated over a range of compositions. It was found that, flexural strength and modulus, tensile modulus and hardness increased, whereas impact strength and tensile strength decreased with the increasing in filler contents, compared to the neat HDPE. At similar filler content, the effect of both surface modifiers increased flexural modulus, impact strength, tensile strength and stiffness but reduced the flexural strength. Morphological investigation using SEM revealed that the improvement in mechanical properties was due to enhancement of the interfacial adhesion between waste SiC and HDPE.
In the present study, the incorporation of graphene into blends of acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene terpolymer with polypropylene (ABS/PP) was investigated focusing on the improvement of their thermomechanical characteristics and the effect on their rheological behavior. The blends were prepared by melt mixing in a twin-screw extruder and were characterized by measuring the MFI as well as by performing DSC, TGA and mechanical tests. The addition of graphene to ABS/PP blends tends to increase their melt viscosity, due to the confinement of polymer chains motion. Also, graphene causes an increment of the crystallization temperature (Tc), especially in blends with higher PP content, because of the reduction of surface energy of PP nucleation, which is a consequence of the attachment of PP chains to the surface of graphene through the intermolecular CH-π interaction. Moreover, the above nanofiller improves the thermal stability of PP and increases the residue of thermal degradation at all the investigated compositions of blends, due to the thermal isolation effect and the mass transport barrier effect. Regarding the mechanical properties, the addition of graphene improves the elastic modulus, because of its intrinsic mechanical characteristics and its rigidity, and this effect is particularly strong in the case of pure PP.
In this research work, poly (acrylonitrile-butadienestyrene)/ polypropylene (ABS/PP) blends were processed by melt compounding in a twin-screw extruder. Upgrading of the thermal characteristics of the obtained materials was attempted by the incorporation of organically modified montmorillonite (OMMT), as well as, by the addition of two types of compatibilizers; polypropylene grafted with maleic anhydride (PP-g-MAH) and ABS grafted with maleic anhydride (ABS-g-MAH). The effect of the above treatments was investigated separately and in combination. Increasing the PP content in ABS matrix seems to increase the thermal stability of their blend and the glass transition temperature (Tg) of SAN phase of ABS. From the other part, the addition of ABS to PP promotes the formation of its β-phase, which is maximum at 30 wt% ABS concentration, and increases the crystallization temperature (Tc) of PP. In addition, it increases the crystallization rate of PP.The β-phase of PP in ABS/PP blends is reduced by the addition of compatibilizers or/and organoclay reinforcement. The incorporation of compatibilizers increases the thermal stability of PP and reduces its melting (ΔΗm) and crystallization (ΔΗc) enthalpies. Furthermore it decreases slightly the Tgs of PP and SAN phases of ABS/PP blends. Regarding the storage modulus of the ABS/PP blends, it presents a change in their behavior at about 10°C and return to their initial behavior at ~110°C. The incorporation of OMMT to no compatibilized and compatibilized ABS/PP blends enhances their storage modulus.
Toughening of polyamide 6 (PA6)/ Nanoclay (NC) nanocomposites with styrene-ethylene/butadiene-styrene copolymer (SEBS) using maleated styrene-ethylene/butadiene-styrene copolymer (mSEBS)/ as a compatibilizer were investigated by blending them in a co-rotating twin-screw extruder. Response surface method of experimental design was used for optimizing the material and processing parameters. Effect of four factors, including SEBS, mSEBS and NC contents as material variables and order of mixing as a processing factor, on toughness of hybrid nanocomposites were studied. All the prepared samples showed ductile behavior and low temperature Izod impact toughness of some of the hybrid nanocomposites demonstrated 900% improvement compared to the PA6 matrix while the modulus showed maximum enhancement of 20% compared to the pristine PA6 resin.