Michal Sedlacik


2 Carbonyl Iron Particles Modified with Pyrrole-Based Polymer and Electric and Magnetic Performance of Their Composites

Authors: Miroslav Mrlik, Marketa Ilcikova, Martin Cvek, Josef Osicka, Michal Sedlacik, Vladimir Pavlinek, Jaroslav Mosnacek


Magnetorheological elastomers (MREs) are a unique type of materials consisting of two components, magnetic filler, and elastomeric matrix. Their properties can be tailored upon application of an external magnetic field strength. In this case, the change of the viscoelastic properties (viscoelastic moduli, complex viscosity) are influenced by two crucial factors. The first one is magnetic performance of the particles and the second one is off-state stiffness of the elastomeric matrix. The former factor strongly depends on the intended applications; however general rule is that higher magnetic performance of the particles provides higher MR performance of the MRE. Since magnetic particles possess low stability properties against temperature and acidic environment, several methods how to improve these drawbacks have been developed. In the most cases, the preparation of the core-shell structures was employed as a suitable method for preservation of the magnetic particles against thermal and chemical oxidations. However, if the shell material is not single-layer substance, but polymer material, the magnetic performance is significantly suppressed, due to the in situ polymerization technique, when it is very difficult to control the polymerization rate and the polymer shell is too thick. The second factor is the off-state stiffness of the elastomeric matrix. Since the MR effectivity is calculated as the relative value of the elastic modulus upon magnetic field application divided by elastic modulus in the absence of the external field, also the tuneability of the cross-linking reaction is highly desired. Therefore, this study is focused on the controllable modification of magnetic particles using a novel monomeric system based on 2-(1H-pyrrol-1-yl)ethyl methacrylate. In this case, the short polymer chains of different chain lengths and low polydispersity index will be prepared, and thus tailorable stability properties can be achieved. Since the relatively thin polymer chains will be grafted on the surface of magnetic particles, their magnetic performance will be affected only slightly. Furthermore, also the cross-linking density will be affected, due to the presence of the short polymer chains. From the application point of view, such MREs can be utilized for, magneto-resistors, piezoresistors or pressure sensors especially, when the conducting shell on the magnetic particles will be created. Therefore, the selection of the pyrrole-based monomer is very crucial and controllably thin layer of conducting polymer can be prepared. Finally, such composite particle consisting of magnetic core and conducting shell dispersed in elastomeric matrix can find also the utilization in shielding application of electromagnetic waves.

Keywords: Particle Modification, core-shell, atom transfer radical polymerization, electromagnetic waves shielding

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1 Synthesis of Carbonyl Iron Particles Modified with Poly (Trimethylsilyloxyethyl Methacrylate) Nano-Grafts

Authors: Miroslav Mrlik, Martin Cvek, Michal Sedlacik, Tomas Plachy


Magnetorheological elastomers (MREs) are multi-phase composite materials containing micron-sized ferromagnetic particles dispersed in an elastomeric matrix. Their properties such as modulus, damping, magneto-striction, and electrical conductivity can be controlled by an external magnetic field and/or pressure. These features of the MREs are used in the development of damping devices, shock attenuators, artificial muscles, sensors or active elements of electric circuits. However, imperfections on the particle/matrix interfaces result in the lower performance of the MREs when compared with theoretical values. Moreover, magnetic particles are susceptible to corrosion agents such as acid rains or sea humidity. Therefore, the modification of particles is an effective tool for the improvement of MRE performance due to enhanced compatibility between particles and matrix as well as improvements of their thermo-oxidation and chemical stability. In this study, the carbonyl iron (CI) particles were controllably modified with poly(trimethylsilyloxyethyl methacrylate) (PHEMATMS) nano-grafts to develop magnetic core–shell structures exhibiting proper wetting with various elastomeric matrices resulting in improved performance within a frame of rheological, magneto-piezoresistance, pressure-piezoresistance, or radio-absorbing properties. The desired molecular weight of PHEMATMS nano-grafts was precisely tailored using surface-initiated atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP). The CI particles were firstly functionalized using a 3-aminopropyltriethoxysilane agent, followed by esterification reaction with α-bromoisobutyryl bromide. The ATRP was performed in the anisole medium using ethyl α-bromoisobutyrate as a macroinitiator, N, N´, N´´, N´´-pentamethyldiethylenetriamine as a ligand, and copper bromide as an initiator. To explore the effect PHEMATMS molecular weights on final properties, two variants of core-shell structures with different nano-graft lengths were synthesized, while the reaction kinetics were designed through proper reactant feed ratios and polymerization times. The PHEMATMS nano-grafts were characterized by nuclear magnetic resonance and gel permeation chromatography proving information to their monomer conversions, molecular chain lengths, and low polydispersity indexes (1.28 and 1.35) as the results of the executed ATRP. The successful modifications were confirmed via Fourier transform infrared- and energy-dispersive spectroscopies while expected wavenumber outputs and element presences, respectively, of constituted PHEMATMS nano-grafts, were occurring in the spectra. The surface morphology of bare CI and their PHEMATMS-grafted analogues was further studied by scanning electron microscopy, and the thicknesses of grafted polymeric layers were directly observed by transmission electron microscopy. The contact angles as a measure of particle/matrix compatibility were investigated employing the static sessile drop method. The PHEMATMS nano-grafts enhanced compatibility of hydrophilic CI with low-surface-energy hydrophobic polymer matrix in terms of their wettability and dispersibility in an elastomeric matrix. Thus, the presence of possible defects at the particle/matrix interface is reduced, and higher performance of modified MREs is expected.

Keywords: Particle Modification, Wettability, core-shell, atom transfer radical polymerization

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