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Mechanical Properties of Polymers Based on Nanostructure and Morphology. Edited by Georg H. Michler and Francisco J. Balta-Calleja

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in composites is addressed very early,
with impressive photographs of commercialized materials such as highimpact-resistant panels in cars and agricultural equipment made from soybean
oil. The introduction of detailed information on mechanical properties, such
as fracture behavior, at this point is
particularly useful. Other applications
adhesives, elastomers, and various
types of coatings. There are then specific
chapters on soy proteins, starches, poly(lactic acid), materials obtained from
chicken feathers, and lignin. One of the
later chapters is devoted to an application as current as today s newspaper:
“Hurricane-Resistant Houses from Soybean Oil and Natural Fibers”. All these
topics, and many related ones, are covered in an authoritative manner, with
excellent surveys of the literature. There
is also a combined subject/author index.
There are a few minor typographical
errors, such as “Orthmer” instead of
Othmer in several places. There is even
an example of an amusing typographical
error for people who collect them (you
know who you are), where the back
cover invites readers to start their “..
next enterprise in the $100 market in
bio-based materials”. The market is
actually estimated at a hundred billion
dollars, which should add to the attractiveness of the subject matter, especially
as this book covers it so admirably.
James E. Mark
Department of Chemistry/Polymer
Research Center
University of Cincinnati
Cincinnati, OH (USA)
Mechanical Properties of Polymers
Based on Nanostructure and
Edited by Georg H.
Michler and Francisco J. Balta’-Calleja. CRC Press/
Taylor & Francis,
Boca Raton 2005.
757 pp., hardcover
$ 169.95.—ISBN
The goal of this book is to show how
characterization of the structure and
morphology of polymers can be used
to optimize their mechanical properties.
The systems of particular interest are
those of relatively complex, frequently
hierarchical, structures, such as partially
crystalline polymers, phase-separated
block copolymers, and composites. In
keeping with current interests, many of
the dispersed phases have nanometersize dimensions, and include nanoparticles, nanotubes, and nanofibers. The
mechanical properties most emphasized
are those that generally move in opposite directions. For example, a reduction
in toughness often occurs when a polymer is modified to increase its strength.
Analogies with materials produced by
nature are frequently introduced, to
broaden the context of a topic, and
presumably also to encourage attempts
at “biomimicry” or bio-inspired design.
Part I consists of three chapters on
“Structural and Morphological Characterization”. The first chapter focuses on
electron microscopy, the second on Xray scattering and diffraction, and the
third on the special challenges of characterizing amorphous block copolymers.
Part II (7 chapters) covers “Deformation Mechanisms at Nanoscopic
Levels”. The most important topics
4 2006 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim
here are crazing and fracture, strength,
plasticity, orientation, different types of
deformations, the nature of deformations at the microscopic level, microindentation tests, multiscale modeling,
and methods for enhancing toughness.
The final part is entitled “Mechanical Properties Improvement and Fracture Behavior”, and consists of six
chapters. The emphasis in this part is
on examples of the improvement of
mechanical properties by using the
structure–property relationships and
related information in some of the earlier, more general, chapters. Examples
are rubber-modified thermoplastics,
filler-toughened partially crystalline polymers, composites containing nanoparticles, reinforcement by nanotubes and
nanofibers, layered polymers (for example by coextrusion), and hot compaction
of oriented fibers and tapes.
There are also sections describing
the editors and contributors, and a
subject index.
One of the strongest features of this
book is its consolidation of information
on some extremely important structure–
property relationships and their applications to mechanical properties. This
information would otherwise have to be
laboriously gathered from numerous
articles published in a variety of journals
and books over an extended period of
time. This book is therefore an important contribution to the polymer literature, and is highly recommended, particularly to polymer scientists and engineers working on optimizing the
mechanical and other physical properties of polymeric materials.
James E. Mark
Department of Chemistry/Polymer
Research Center
University of Cincinnati
Cincinnati, OH (USA)
DOI: 10.1002/anie.200585444
Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2006, 45, 6079 – 6080
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base, polymer, morphology, properties, balt, georg, edited, mechanics, michler, calleja, nanostructured, francisca
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