I. Solubility and blend studies of nitrocellulose II. Relaxation properties of thin film coatings: the role of surface topography

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

In the first part of this two part thesis, interaction parameters of nitrocellulose with various solvent systems were investigated by Inverse Gas Chromatography. From these data, the solubility parameters of nitrocellulose were determined at a series of nitration levels which were used to guide the selection of suitable plasticizers for nitrocellulose films. Subsequent dynamic mechanical experiments were then used to evaluate the effectiveness of the blend formulations in broadening the glass transition dispersion of the nitrocellulose blended films; in addition, stress-strain experiments were done in order to evaluate the tensile modulus of the nitrocellulose blends.

In the second part of this thesis, both dynamic mechanical thermal analysis and dielectric thermal analysis were used to evaluate the relaxation properties of thin film polysulfone coatings and the effect of substrate surface topography on these properties. Both dynamic mechanical and dielectric thermal analysis revealed that the topographical nature of the substrate influenced the linear viscoelastic properties of the thin film coatings and that the extent of this influence was dependent on the coating thickness.