Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 4

Publications

4 Enhanced Dimensional Stability of Rigid PVC Foams Using Glass Fibers

Authors: Nidal H. Abu-Zahra, Murtatha M. Jamel, Parisa Khoshnoud, Subhashini Gunashekar

Abstract:

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.

Keywords: Polyvinyl Chloride, PVC Foam, PVC Composites, Glass Fiber Composites.

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3 Enhanced Thermal Properties of Rigid PVC Foams Using Fly Ash

Authors: Nidal H. Abu-Zahra, Parisa Khoshnoud, Murtatha Jamel, Subhashini Gunashekar

Abstract:

PVC foam-fly ash composites (PVC-FA) are characterized for their structural, morphological, mechanical and thermal properties. The tensile strength of the composites increased modestly with higher fly ash loading, while there was a significant increase in the elastic modulus for the same composites. On the other hand, a decrease in elongation at UTS was observed upon increasing fly ash content due to increased rigidity of the composites. Similarly, the flexural modulus increased as the fly ash loading increased, where the composites containing 25 phr fly ash showed the highest flexural strength. Thermal properties of PVC-fly ash composites were determined by Thermo Gravimetric Analysis (TGA). The microstructural properties were studied by Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM). SEM results confirm that fly ash particles were mechanically interlocked in PVC matrix with good interfacial interaction with the matrix. Particle agglomeration and debonding was observed in samples containing higher amounts of fly ash.

Keywords: PVC Foam, Polyvinyl Chloride, Rigid PVC, Fly Ash Composites.

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2 Functionalized PU Foam for Water Filtration

Authors: Nidal H. Abu-Zahra, Subhashini Gunashekar

Abstract:

Polyurethane foam is functionalized with Sulfonic acid groups to remove lead ions (Pb2+) from drinking water through a cation exchange process. The synthesis is based on addition polymerization of the -NCO groups of an isocyanate with the –OH groups of a polyol to form the urethane. Toluene-diisocyanateis reacted with Polypropylene glycol to form a linear pre-polymer, which is further polymerized using a chain extender, N, N-bis(2-hydorxyethyl)-2-aminoethane-sulfonic acid (BES). BES acts as a functional group site to exchange Pb2+ ions. A set of experiments was designed to study the effect of various processing parameters on the performance of the synthesized foam. The maximum Pb2+ ion exchange capacity of the foam was found to be 47ppb/g from a 100ppb Pb2+ solution over a period of 60 minutes. A multistage batch filtration process increased the lead removal to 50-54ppb/3g of foam over a period of 90 minutes.

Keywords: Adsorption, Functionalized, Ion exchange, Polyurethane, Sulfonic.

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1 Enhancing Power Conversion Efficiency of P3HT/PCBM Polymer Solar Cells

Authors: Nidal H. Abu-Zahra, Mahmoud Algazzar

Abstract:

In this research, n-dodecylthiol was added to P3HT/ PC70BM polymer solar cells to improve the crystallinity of P3HT and enhance the phase separation of P3HT/PC70BM. The improved crystallinity of P3HT:PC70BM doped with 0-5% by volume of n-dodecylthiol resulted in improving the power conversion efficiency of polymer solar cells by 33%. In addition, thermal annealing of the P3HT/PC70MB/n-dodecylthiolcompound showed further improvement in crystallinity with n-dodecylthiol concentration up to 2%. The highest power conversion efficiency of 3.21% was achieved with polymer crystallites size L of 11.2nm, after annealing at 150°C for 30 minutes under a vacuum atmosphere. The smaller crystallite size suggests a shorter path of the charge carriers between P3HT backbones, which could be beneficial to getting a higher short circuit current in the devices made with the additive. 

Keywords: n-dodecylthiol, Congugated PSC, P3HT/PCBM, Polymer Solar Cells.

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