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Interactions between polymers and the environment

Time: Thu 2021-09-30 10.00

Location:, Stockholm (English)

Subject area: Fibre and Polymer Science

Doctoral student: Nazanin Alipour , Polymera material

Opponent: Professor Antal Boldizar,

Supervisor: Professor Mikael S. Hedenqvist, Polymera material

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This dissertation addresses the structure and properties of a number of polymer-based materials when they come into contact with specific environments. The first part describes the migration and depletion of active substances from insecticide-impregnated polyethylene sheets in water and air at different humidity levels and higher temperatures. 

  In the second part, the structure, crystallization kinetics, and mechanical and transport properties of multilayer polymer films, consisting of metallocene (mPE) and low-density (LDPE) polyethylene layers, and in some cases also with layers of poly(ethylene-co-vinyl alcohol) and a polyethylene compatibilizer were investigated. Furthermore, inhomogeneous swelling was observed in the 2-layer films containing mPE and LDPE due to differences in the uptake of n-hexane (and limonene) in the respective film layers. These differences caused a bending/curvature of the film upon exposure to the vapour. This effect was further evaluated to determine whether solvent-induced bending could be used as a passive sensor to detect the presence and content of volatile organic compounds in air (VOC). 

  The third part of this thesis describes the possibility of producing biopolymer materials based on larvae from the black soldier fly. After adding a plasticizer to the degreased larval material, protein-based biopolymer films were prepared via compression-moulding. The lipid extracted from the degreasing operation could potentially be used in various applications, such as those involving lubricants. 

  In the last part of this work the release of micro- and nano-particles were determined from a polypropylene nanoclay-composite in a commonly occurring environment for plastics (air at elevated temperature). A prototype exposure chamber was built, and a method was developed to allow aging (degradation) of the sample in this chamber and analyze the effects of aging on the sample.