Filled Polymers

The idea of mixing single available materials into compounds to fulfill a set of desired properties is likely as old as mankind. Highly sophisticated polymer applications would simply be impossible without the enhancement of some of their properties through addition of fine mineral particles or synthetic or natural short fibers. Many filled polymers, either thermoplastics or vulcanizable rubbers, have different chemical natures but exhibit common singular properties. An understanding of why they do so is likely to be the source of promising scientific and engineering developments-and Filled Polymers: Science and Industrial Applications thoroughly explores the question. Based on the author's 30 years of research, engineering activities, and teaching in the field of complex polymer systems, this comprehensive survey of polymer applications illustrates their commonalities and the scientific background behind their many industrial uses. The text analyzes theoretical considerations which explain the origin of the singular properties of filled polymers, and it includes appendices which feature a selection of calculation worksheets that offer numerical illustrations of several of the theoretical considerations discussed in the book. Our understanding of polymer reinforcement remains incomplete because any progress in the field is strongly connected with either the availability of appropriate experimental and observation techniques or theoretical views about polymer-filler interactions, or both. This book presents tools-such as equations tested with familiar calculation software-to clarify these concepts and take understanding to the highest possible level.