The 2018 Polyolefins Conference took place last week. Allison Osmanson was awarded the First Place in the Poster Contest.
The work presented in her poster was in collaboration with Xinyao Lu, a master's student who just graduated in December 2017. At the birth of the project, LAPOM was collaborating with Encore Wire and so Xinyao had the vision of making polymers with low melting points, such as polypropylene, more versatile in the wire production industry for use as wire sleeves and coatings. They ran multiple tests with samples of varying aluminum hydroxide and magnesium hydroxide concentrations, comparing the use of stearic acid to help with adhesion of these particles with the polymer matrix. They found that adding 7.5 wt.% of aluminum hydroxide with 15 nm particle sizes not only increased the burn temperature but also improved mechanical properties such as tensile modulus and dynamic friction. They also had a better distribution of the nanoparticles within the polymer matrix because of the high concentration of smaller sized particles.
Allison will be graduating with her master's degree in May 2018 from the Materials Science and Engineering Department at the University of North Texas.