The Synergistic Microbiological Effects of Industrial Produced Packaging Polyethylene Films Incorporated with Zinc Nanoparticles.
ABSTRACT: Zinc compounds in polyolefin films regulate the transmission of UV-VIS radiation, affect mechanical properties and antimicrobial activity. According to hypothesis, the use of zinc- containing masterbatches in polyethylene films (PE) with different chemical nature-hydrophilic zinc oxide (ZO) and hydrophobic zinc stearate (ZS)-can cause a synergistic effect, especially due to their antimicrobial properties. PE films obtained on an industrial scale containing zinc oxide and zinc stearate masterbatches were evaluated for antimicrobial activity against E. coli and S. aureus strains. The morphology of the samples (SEM), composition (EDX), UV barrier and transparency, mechanical properties and global migration level were also determined. SEM micrographs confirmed the good dispersion of zinc additives in the PE matrix. The use of both masterbatches in one material caused a synergistic effect of antimicrobial activity against both bacterial strains. The ZO masterbatch reduced the transparency of films, increased their UV-barrier ability and improved tensile strength, while the ZS masterbatch did not significantly change the tested parameters. The global migration limit was not exceeded for any of the samples. The use of ZO and ZS masterbatch mixtures enables the design of packaging with high microbiological protection with a controlled transmission for UV and VIS radiation.
Project description:Ultrasound-assisted melt-extrusion method (USME) is a high-quality process used to produce polymeric compounds with an adequate homogeneous dispersion. This study evaluates white-color films of linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE) prepared using TiO2 masterbatch obtained by ultrasound-assisted melt-extrusion at variable frequencies (USME-VF). LLDPE with three different melt-flow indices (2, 20 and 50 g/10 min) were used as the polymer matrix. The films were obtained from the dilution of masterbatches of LLDPE (melt-flow index = 2) at a concentration of 7 wt% TiO2. The morphology, pigmentation, TiO2 reactivity, and the mechanical stability of the films were assessed. The masterbatch compounds were evaluated by melt-flow index (MFI) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The contrast ratio, yellowness index and mechanical properties of films were also measured. The properties of whiteness and elongation at break improved in the films prepared using masterbatches with higher dispersion. Though the reactivity of the TiO2 particles increased during accelerated aging, it did not affect the elongation to rupture. The yellowness index was moderately affected in films that included TiO2 particles processed using USME-VF.
Project description:Use of multi-wall carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) in external layers (A-layers) of ABA-trilayer polypropylene films was investigated, with the purpose of determining intrinsic and extrinsic factors that could lead to antistatic behavior of transparent films. The incorporation of 0.01, 0.1, and 1 wt % of MWCTNs in the A-layers was done by dilution through the masterbatch method. Masterbatches were fabricated using isotactic polypropylene (iPP) with different melt flow indexes 2.5, 34, and 1200 g/10 min, and using different ultrasound assist methods. It was found that films containing MWCNTs show surface electrical resistivity of 10<sup>12</sup> and 10<sup>16</sup> ?/sq, regardless of the iPP melt flow index (MFI) and masterbatch fabrication method. However, electrostatic charge was found to depend upon the iPP MFI, the ultrasound assist method and MWCNT concentration. A percolation electron transport mechanism was determined most likely responsible for this behavior. Optical properties for films containing MWCNTs do not show significant differences compared to the reference film at MWCNT concentrations below 0.1 wt %. However, an enhancement in brightness was observed, and it was attributed to ordered iPP molecules wrapping the MWCNTs. Bright transparent films with low electrostatic charge were obtained even for MWCNTs concentrations as low as 0.01 wt %.
Project description:Ultraviolet (UV)-durable superhydrophobic nanocomposite thin films have been successfully fabricated on aluminum substrates by embedding cobalt stearate (CoSA)-coated TiO2 nanoparticles in a hydrophobic polymethylhydrosiloxane (PMHS) matrix (PMHS/TiO2@CoSA) using the sol-gel process. When compared to the sharp decrease of water contact angle (WCA) on the superhydrophobic PMHS/TiO2 thin films, the PMHS/TiO2@CoSA superhydrophobic thin films exhibited a nearly constant WCA of 160° under continuous UV irradiation for more than 1 month. The designed scheme of the TiO2@CoSA core-shell structure not only increased the hydrophobic properties of the TiO2 nanoparticle surface but also confined the photocatalytic efficiency of TiO2 nanoparticles. A plausible model has been suggested to explain the UV-durable mechanism of the superhydrophobic nanocomposite thin films based on PMHS/TiO2@CoSA. Furthermore, the elongated lifetime in the exposure of the solar light imparts this superhydrophobic nanocomposite thin film with potential practical applications where UV-resistant properties are emphasized including corrosion-resistant building walls, anti-icing airplanes, self-cleaning vehicles, and so forth.
Project description:In this paper, the waterborne UV lacquer product (WUV) was used as the main raw material, zinc oxide (ZnO) was used as the additive, and the stearic acid as the surface modifier. According to the method of spraying coating on the surface of poplar wood (Populus tomentosa), a simple and efficient preparation method was carried out to generate a super-hydrophobic surface and enhance the erosion resistance of the coating. By testing, the contact angle (CA) of water on the coating surface can reach 158.4°. The microstructure and chemical composition of the surface of coatings were studied by scanning electron microscope (SEM), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), and X-ray diffraction (XRD). The results showed that under acidic conditions, the non-polar long chain alkyl group of stearic acid vapor molecule reacted with the hydroxyl group in acetic acid, the metal ions of the ZnO were displaced to the stearic acid and generated globular zinc stearate (C36H70O4Zn). The hydrophobic groups -CH3 were grafted to the surface of zinc stearate (ZnSt2) particles and the micro/nano level of multistage flower zinc stearate coarse structure was successfully constructed on the surface of poplar wood, which endowed it with superhydrophobic properties. It is shown that the coating has good waterproof and erosion resistance.
Project description:Polymer films based on biodegradable polymers, polyethylene (PE) and modified PE with oxo-degradable additive were prepared by film blowing. Carbon black (1%) was added to all the films. Commercial biodegradable Ecovio® and Mater-Bi® samples were used. Mechanical properties, soil burial degradation and surface wettability were investigated, before and after UV irradiation. Chemical modifications induced by UV and soil degradation, or a synergic effect, were highlighted by Attenuated Total Reflection-Fourier Transform Infra-Red (ATR-FTIR). Photo-oxidized film samples with an elongation at break equal to 50% and 0.5 the initial value were selected for the soil burial degradation test at 30 °C. Weight loss measurements were used to follow biodegradation in soil. Predictably, the degradation in soil was higher for biodegradable polymer-based films than for the PE-based ones. UV irradiation increased surface wettability and encouraged the disintegration in soil of all the samples. In fact, photo-oxidation produced a molar mass reduction and hydrophilic end groups, thus increasing surface erosion and weight loss. This paper not only supplies new criteria to evaluate the performance of biodegradable films in agriculture, before and after lifetime, but also provides a comparative analysis on the soil burial degradation behaviour with traditional ones.
Project description:This paper investigates the utilization of commercial masterbatches of graphene nanoplatelets to improve the properties of neat polymer and wood fiber composites manufactured by conventional processing methods. The effect of aspect ratio of the graphene platelets (represented by the different number of layers in the nanoplatelet) on the properties of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) is discussed. The composites were characterized for their mechanical properties (tensile, flexural, impact) and physical characteristics (morphology, crystallization, and thermal stability). The effect of the addition of nanoplatelets on the thermal conductivity and diffusivity of the reinforced polymer with different contents of reinforcement was also investigated. In general, the mechanical performance of the polymer was enhanced at the presence of either of the reinforcements (graphene or wood fiber). The improvement in mechanical properties of the nanocomposite was notable considering that no compatibilizer was used in the manufacturing. The use of a masterbatch can promote utilization of nano-modified polymer composites on an industrial scale without modification of the currently employed processing methods and facilities.
Project description:Spiropyran is used as a photochromic dye to create colored patterns in highly drawn ultrahigh molecular weight polyethylene (UHMW PE) films. The dye is incorporated in highly crystalline, drawn UHMW PE tapes and fibers and isomerizes to its merocyanine state upon UV light irradiation, resulting in a color change from transparent to purple. The isomerization from merocyanine to spiropyran to erase the color can be simply induced by using heat or a green LED light. The combination of the use of a mask and the reversibility of the isomerization results in colored patterns that can be written, erased, and rewritten using UV light and heat or green LED light.
Project description:An innovative antimicrobial technology for plastic surfaces is presented. We report the synthesis and scale-up of triangular silver nanoplates (TSNPs) and their integration into polycaprolactone (PCL) and polylactic acid (PLA) polymers through a solvent-casting technique. The TSNPs have a high geometric aspect ratio and strong local surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) response, which provides an effective tool for monitoring their integrity during processing and integration with the biodegradable plastics. An aqueous-based seed-mediated chemical method was used to synthesize the TSNPs, and characterisation was carried out using TEM and UV (Ultraviolet)-VIS (Visible) spectroscopy to measure LSPR profiles. The UV-VIS spectra of silver seeds and TSNPs exhibited characteristic peaks at 395 and 600 nm respectively. Synthesized TSNPs were coated with thiol-terminated polyethylene glycol (SH-PEG) and transferred into chloroform in order to effect compatibility with PCL and PLA. TSNP/PCL and TSNP/PLA composite films were prepared by solvent casting. The morphological structure, thermal, mechanical, and antimicrobial properties of the TSNP-incorporated composite films were evaluated. Results showed the TSNP-treated films had a rougher surface than the bare films. Insignificant changes in the thermal properties of TSNP-treated films compared to bare ones were also observed, which indicated the thermal stability of the composite films. The tensile strength and antimicrobial properties of the composite films were increased after TSNP incorporation. TSNP/PCL and TSNP/PLA films exhibited improved antimicrobial activity against <i>Escherichia coli</i> and <i>Staphylococcus aureus</i> with antimicrobial effect (AE) values ranging between 0.10 and 0.35. The obtained results and demonstrated TSNP production scalability validate the TSNP treated PCL and PLA films as a composite material with desirable antimicrobial effect for wide-ranging surface applications.
Project description:All-biobased and biodegradable nanocomposites consisting of poly(l-lactide) (PLLA) and starch nanoplatelets (SNPs) were prepared via a new strategy involving supramolecular chemistry, i.e., stereocomplexation and hydrogen-bonding interactions. For this purpose, a poly(d-lactide)-b-poly(glycidyl methacrylate) block copolymer (PDLA-b-PGMA) was first synthesized via the combination of ring-opening polymerization and atom-transfer radical polymerization. NMR spectroscopy and size-exclusion chromatography analysis confirmed a complete control over the copolymer synthesis. The SNPs were then mixed up with the copolymer for producing a PDLA-b-PGMA/SNPs masterbatch. The masterbatch was processed by solvent casting for which a particular attention was given to the solvent selection to preserve SNPs morphology as evidenced by transmission electron microscopy. Near-infrared spectroscopy was used to highlight the copolymer-SNPs supramolecular interactions mostly via hydrogen bonding. The prepared masterbatch was melt-blended with virgin PLLA and then thin films of PLLA/PDLA-b-PGMA/SNPs nanocomposites (ca. 600 ?m) were melt-processed by compression molding. The resulting nanocomposite films were deeply characterized by thermogravimetric analysis and differential scanning calorimetry. Our findings suggest that supramolecular interactions based on stereocomplexation between the PLLA matrix and the PDLA block of the copolymer had a synergetic effect allowing the preservation of SNPs nanoplatelets and their morphology during melt processing. Quartz crystal microbalance and dynamic mechanical thermal analysis suggested a promising potential of the stereocomplex supramolecular approach in tuning PLLA/SNPs water vapor uptake and mechanical properties together with avoiding PLLA/SNPs degradation during melt processing.
Project description:A detailed study of metal-enhanced fluorescence (MEF) from fluorophores in the blue-to- red spectral region placed in close proximity to thermally evaporated zinc nanostructured films is reported. The zinc nanostructured films were deposited onto glass microscope slides as individual particles and were 1-10 nm in height and 20-100 nm in width, as characterized by Atomic Force Microscopy. The surface plasmon resonance peak of the zinc nanostructured films was approximately 400 nm. Finite-difference time-domain calculations for single and multiple nanostructures organized in a staggered fashion on a solid support predict, as expected, that the electric fields are concentrated both around and between the nanostructures. Additionally, Mie scattering calculations show that the absorption and scattering components of the extinction spectrum are dominant in the UV and visible spectral ranges, respectively. Enhanced fluorescence emission accompanied by no significant changes in excited state lifetimes of fluorophores with emission wavelengths in the visible blue-to-red spectral range near-to zinc nanostructured films were observed, implying that MEF from zinc nanostructured films is mostly due to an electric field enhancement effect.