Academic Research Presentations

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

1:45pm – 2:45pm

Location:  Champagne 3/4

Kyle Aidukas

Graphene Oxide Polyurethane Composite for Increased Corrosion Resistance

Abstract: Due to the demand for low VOC content, polyurethane systems are the current industry standard for protective coatings. However, the aforementioned systems lack the optimal performance of their banned counter-parts. As such, full recoats of low VOC systems are needed more frequently due to their reduced corrosion resistance, thereby increasing their annual costs. This effect is exacerbated by shortened service lives resulting from the regulation of corrosion resistive additives. In this work, graphene oxide, a material that has been studied intensely due to its high mechanical, thermal, electrical, and barrier properties, was incorporated into a polyurethane matrix. This composite shows great promise due to graphene oxide’s facile incorporation within the previously mentioned coatings system. Bulk material properties of the composites were determined using differential scanning calorimetry, dynamic mechanical, and thermogravimetric analyses. The corrosion resistance was measured using electrochemical impedance spectroscopy and a continuous salt-spray method. An increase in the mechanical and barrier properties were seen in 5 mil composites. However, difficulty was found in achieving uniform dispersions of the graphene oxide.

Bio: Kyle Aidukas is a 5th year Senior Biomedical Engineering and Chemistry Double Major, with a Concentration in Polymers and Coatings. He is originally from Thousand Oaks, California. Kyle graduated from Westlake High School in 2013.  At Cal Poly in Dr. Zhang’s research group Kyle worked with Polyurethane composites. Kyle awarded best poster at the 2017 American Coatings Association Coatings Tech Conference. During his time outside of school Kyle rock climbs, runs, and reads literature for fun.

Breanna Arellano

Inherently Antimicrobial Polymers and Coatings

Abstract: Just like humans communicate with each other using speech, bacteria can also communicate with each other via molecular signals. Once anchored to a surface, bacteria will proceed to excrete biological macromolecules such as DNA, proteins, and polysaccharides into the surrounding environment, initiating biofilm formation, which leads to biocontamination on many coated surfaces. At the same time, bacteria anchored to the surface communicate with other bacteria to help aide in the production of biofilms. These biofilms subsequently act as a barrier to protect surface-resident bacteria from antibiotics and disinfectants. The presence and growth of bacteria within and around the biofilm can be detrimental to a person’s health, and can also degrade industrial and medical equipment through microbiologically influenced corrosion and polymer degradation. Currently, the solution is to coat surfaces with coatings containing biocidal additives, but these are known to have toxic effects on human health and the environment once they are removed from the coating through leaching mechanisms. The goal of this research is to covalently integrate biocides into the polymer resins used in coatings. By incorporating the biocide into the polymer, coatings can reduce biofilm and bacterial growth without leach-related toxicological effects.

Bio: Breanna Arellano is a junior chemistry major from Los Angeles. She attended California Academy of Math and Science (CAMS) and graduated in 2015. Some of her accomplishments are being a first generation student, an American Chemical Society Secretary (2017-2018) and an undergraduate researcher. Her hobbies are drawing, reading, and playing the saxophone.

Jeremy Armas

Film Formation Studies of Reactive Latexes

Abstract: The goal of this project is to explore the fundamental changes that occur when a zero-VOC, self-crosslinking latex moves from wet stage to a fully cured film. This is a collaborative project among Golden Gate Society for Coatings Technology (GGSCT), Specialty Polymers Company, and Cal Poly Polymers and Coatings Program. The project involves two series of styrene-acrylic latexes, one series containing some epoxy functional groups and the other without. The minimum film formation temperatures (MFFTs) of all latexes are approximately 20 oC and the particle diameters are approximately 100 nm. Effects of two cross-linking chemistries, diacetone acrylamide/adipic dihydrazide (DAAM/ADH) and acetoacetoxyethyl methacrylate (AAEM), each at 0, 1, 2, 3, and 4% levels are explored. Changes during latex film formation are being monitored with the help of Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) and Fourier Transform Infra-Red (FTIR) spectroscopy. The latest results will be presented in this poster.

Bio: Jeremy Armas is a B.S. Chemistry Major and an M.S. candidate in Polymers and Coatings. He is in his 5th year at Cal Poly. Jeremy graduated from Spanish River Community High School, Boca Raton, Florida, in 2013. He participated in summer programs at both UC Davis and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory during his college career. Life is good for Jeremy when he is hiking, surfing, or fishing.

Renee Roeder

Predicting the Optical Properties of Polymers for Coatings Applications

Abstract: In addition to pigments, the color and appearance of organic coatings is controlled by the optical properties of the polymer resin, which include the dielectric constant, the molar refractivity, and the index of refraction. When formulating products, many paint chemists focus on pigments and surface roughness or smoothness, neglecting the role of the resin in the overall color and appearance of the final product. In this study, a group contribution theory method was used to predict the refractive indices and gloss values of various polymers and polymer films. A range of homopolymers including PS, PMMA, and PBA were used, as well as various copolymers having a wide range of compositions and molecular architectures. Experimental data collected by refractometer and handheld gloss meter was compared to the model predictions. The coupled experimental and theoretical approach described here will help target specific homopolymers, copolymers, polymer blends, and latex dispersions best suited for certain end-use applications requiring specific optical performance. The addition of a predictive methodology into the traditional material synthesis scheme ensures maximum knowledge generation while simultaneously minimizing the use of human, material, and scheduling resources.

Bio: Renee Roeder is a Materials Engineering sophomore. She graduated from Woodbridge High School, Irvine CA with the Class of 2016. Getting accepted into Materials Engineering at Cal Poly is a great accomplishment for Renee. As a hobby, she loves to cook.