Structure and properties of crosslinked polymers

Structure and properties of crosslinked polymers
Gasan Magomedov
iSmithers Rapra Publishing
2011 | 502pp | ?125 (HB)
ISBN 9781847355591
Reviewed by Peter Cormack


Crosslinked polymers find widespread applications in coatings, adhesives, synthetic rubbers, polymer composites and resins for water purification. The properties of such polymers are dictated by their structure. However, owing to the intractable nature of these materials, the characterisation of their structure is often not trivial. Furthermore, predicting the structure-property relationships of crosslinked polymers can be very challenging. 

In this book the authors aim to take a fresh view of the curing processes, structure and properties of crosslinked polymers. While recognising that the crosslink density is generally believed to be an important parameter in determining structure and properties, the authors introduce and review two pertinent structural theories - the cluster model and fractals theory. They illustrate how these structural theories can be used to provide a quantitative description of chemical structure, and thereby enable elaboration of structure-property relationships. To illustrate the predictive power of the theories, the subsequent chapters describe specific examples in detail, including epoxies, crosslinked rubbers and nanocomposites. Furthermore, they refer to the thermal and mechanical properties of polymers. 

To some extent, each chapter can be considered to be a self-contained mini review. Typically they are high in mathematical context and with an extensive list of pertinent and sometimes very obscure literature, often drawn from the authors’ own research outputs. The commentary flows reasonably well, and helpful illustrative figures permeate through the text. 

However, this is not a book for the inexperienced practitioner to dip into and out of as may be inferred from the somewhat broad title. Instead this is very much a book designed for a specialist audience, whether it be a theoretician developing predictive models or a materials scientist looking to use structural theories in a predictive manner. In this context it would be a useful addition to a bookshelf.