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Iranian researchers at Amirkabir University of Technology managed to synthesize polystyrene nanocomposite by atom transfer radical polymerization.
"The aim of this research was to promote the properties of home-made polystyrene by the least possible facilities, to use the new technologies and produce new grades with different applications", Hossein Roqani Mamaqani, PhD student at polymer engineering, Amirkabir University of Technology, said.
Elaborating on the results of the investigation, he said, "The linear kinetic diagram drawn by GC method indicates the viable nature of polymerization and constant concentration of free radical."
"Molecular weight distribution was wider in the case of nanocomposite sample and got broadened as the nanoparticles content increased. Bonded polymers have very low molecular weight and wider distribution compared to the similar unbounded ones. The scatter index narrowed with the reaction progress in all samples."
The study also revealed that addition of clay improves the thermal properties, decay temperature and mechanical features of the product as well as reducing GPPS polystyrene price. Thermal decay rate also decreases. Nanoparticles could be found useful in thermal expansion control in the case of swelling polystyrene.
"Considering the use of atom transfer radical polymerization, it is possible to achieve very high molecular weight uniform grades in this study. When the molecular weights of all chains are similar, there's a scatter index near 1 and a high uniformity would be gained at surface coatings. Since the chain tails are functionalized, it is convenient to study copolymerization," Roqani Mamaqani concluded.
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