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Materials, Volume 10, Issue 7 (July 2017)

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Open AccessArticle Effect of Isothermal Temperature on Growth Behavior of Nanostructured Bainite in Laser Cladded Coatings
Materials 2017, 10(7), 800; doi:10.3390/ma10070800
Received: 20 June 2017 / Revised: 5 July 2017 / Accepted: 8 July 2017 / Published: 14 July 2017
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Abstract
The growth and propagation behavior of austenite-to-bainite isothermal transformation in laser-cladded, Si-rich, and Fe-based coatings is investigated. The crystallographic features, orientation relationship at different isothermal temperatures, and the morphology of the nanostructured bainite are determined. The Nishiyama-Wassermann type orientation relationship is observed at
[...] Read more.
The growth and propagation behavior of austenite-to-bainite isothermal transformation in laser-cladded, Si-rich, and Fe-based coatings is investigated. The crystallographic features, orientation relationship at different isothermal temperatures, and the morphology of the nanostructured bainite are determined. The Nishiyama-Wassermann type orientation relationship is observed at a high temperature and at a low temperature, and mixed Nishiyama-Wassermann and Kurdjumov-Sach mechanisms are seen. The growth direction is investigated by the partial dislocation theory and an extrapolated model based on the repeated formation of lenticular-shaped subunits and pile-up along the close-packed directions of the close-packed planes. The variants of the bainite growth directions would be more selective at the high transformation temperature. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Structure Analysis and Characterization)
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Open AccessArticle Electrical and Optical Characterization of Sputtered Silicon Dioxide, Indium Tin Oxide, and Silicon Dioxide/Indium Tin Oxide Antireflection Coating on Single-Junction GaAs Solar Cells
Materials 2017, 10(7), 700; doi:10.3390/ma10070700
Received: 31 May 2017 / Revised: 22 June 2017 / Accepted: 23 June 2017 / Published: 26 June 2017
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Abstract
This study characterized the electrical and optical properties of single-junction GaAs solar cells coated with antireflective layers of silicon dioxide (SiO2), indium tin oxide (ITO), and a hybrid layer of SiO2/ITO applied using Radio frequency (RF) sputtering. The conductivity
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This study characterized the electrical and optical properties of single-junction GaAs solar cells coated with antireflective layers of silicon dioxide (SiO2), indium tin oxide (ITO), and a hybrid layer of SiO2/ITO applied using Radio frequency (RF) sputtering. The conductivity and transparency of the ITO film were characterized prior to application on GaAs cells. Reverse saturation-current and ideality factor were used to evaluate the passivation performance of the various coatings on GaAs solar cells. Optical reflectance and external quantum efficiency response were used to evaluate the antireflective performance of the coatings. Photovoltaic current-voltage measurements were used to confirm the efficiency enhancement obtained by the presence of the anti-reflective coatings. The conversion efficiency of the GaAs cells with an ITO antireflective coating (23.52%) exceeded that of cells with a SiO2 antireflective coating (21.92%). Due to lower series resistance and higher short-circuit current-density, the carrier collection of the GaAs cell with ITO coating exceeded that of the cell with a SiO2/ITO coating. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from IEEE ICASI 2017)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Synthesis and Characterization of Bio-Based Polyesters: Poly(2-methyl-1,3-propylene-2,5-furanoate), Poly(isosorbide-2,5-furanoate), Poly(1,4-cyclohexanedimethylene-2,5-furanoate)
Materials 2017, 10(7), 801; doi:10.3390/ma10070801
Received: 15 June 2017 / Revised: 10 July 2017 / Accepted: 12 July 2017 / Published: 14 July 2017
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Abstract
In the present study, three new biobased furanoate polyesters with potential use in food packaging applications, named poly(isosorbide furanoate) (PIsF), poly(methyl-propylene furanoate) (PMePF) and poly(1,4-cyclohexane-dimethylene 2,5-furanoate) (PCHDMF) were synthesized. As monomers for the preparation of the polyesters, 2,5-furandicarboxylic acid (FDCA) and diols with
[...] Read more.
In the present study, three new biobased furanoate polyesters with potential use in food packaging applications, named poly(isosorbide furanoate) (PIsF), poly(methyl-propylene furanoate) (PMePF) and poly(1,4-cyclohexane-dimethylene 2,5-furanoate) (PCHDMF) were synthesized. As monomers for the preparation of the polyesters, 2,5-furandicarboxylic acid (FDCA) and diols with irregular or complicated structure were used, including isosorbide (IS), 2-methyl-1,3-propanediol (MPD) and 1,4-cyclohexane-dimethanol (CHDM). The polymerization process was carried out via melt polycondensation method. The structural characteristics and thermal behavior of the polymers were studied. The kinetic fragility of the amorphous phase of the polymers was evaluated. The thermal degradation was studied by means of thermogravimetry and a pyrolysis Py-GC/MS (Pyrolysis-Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectroscopy) system to estimate the degradation mechanism. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biobased Polymers for Packaging Applications)
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Open AccessArticle Microstructural Analysis and Wear Performance of Carbon-Fiber-Reinforced SiC Composite for Brake Pads
Materials 2017, 10(7), 701; doi:10.3390/ma10070701
Received: 16 May 2017 / Revised: 14 June 2017 / Accepted: 21 June 2017 / Published: 26 June 2017
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Abstract
Carbon-fiber-reinforced silicon carbide (C/C-SiC) composite is widely used as a friction material owing to its good performance, even though it is more expensive than metallic materials. The light C/C-SiC composite is an ideal candidate for weight reduction of frictional parts. In this study,
[...] Read more.
Carbon-fiber-reinforced silicon carbide (C/C-SiC) composite is widely used as a friction material owing to its good performance, even though it is more expensive than metallic materials. The light C/C-SiC composite is an ideal candidate for weight reduction of frictional parts. In this study, the friction and wear behavior of C/C-SiC composite was assessed using a ball-on-disk friction tester under dry reciprocating sliding conditions at different temperatures of 25, 100, and 200 °C. The disk specimens were made of C/C-SiC composite, while the mating counterpart pins were made of bearing steel. The microstructure and wear track of the specimens were characterized using a scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and Raman spectroscopy. The microstructural analysis of the wear track revealed that the wear mechanism was abrasive. The friction coefficient and wear behavior of the specimens was dependent on the temperature, where the friction coefficients and wear rate increased with increasing temperature. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tribological Behavior of Materials by Surface Engineering)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle An Integrated Theoretical/Experimental Study of Quinolinic–Isoquinolinic Derivatives Acting as Reversible Electrochromes
Materials 2017, 10(7), 802; doi:10.3390/ma10070802
Received: 15 June 2017 / Revised: 11 July 2017 / Accepted: 11 July 2017 / Published: 15 July 2017
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Abstract
A series of compounds, featuring an ethenylic bridge and quinoline and isoquinoline end capping units possessing systematically varied substitution patterns, were prepared as molecular materials for electrochromic applications. The different structures were optimized in order to maximize the electrochromic contrast in the visible
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A series of compounds, featuring an ethenylic bridge and quinoline and isoquinoline end capping units possessing systematically varied substitution patterns, were prepared as molecular materials for electrochromic applications. The different structures were optimized in order to maximize the electrochromic contrast in the visible region, mostly by achieving a completely UV-absorbing oxidized state. Density functional theory (DFT) calculations are exploited in order to rationalize the correlation between the molecular structure, the functional groups’ electronic properties, and the electrochemical behavior. It is shown that the molecular planarity (i.e. ring/ring π conjugation) plays a major role in defining the mechanism of the electrochemical charge transfer reaction, while the substituent’s nature has an influence on the LUMO energy. Among the compounds here studied, the (E)-10-methyl-9-(2-(2-methylisoquinolinium-1-yl)-vinyl)-1,2,3,4-tetrahydroacri-dinium trifluoromethanesulfonate derivative shows the most interesting properties as an electrochromophore. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Organic Electrochromic Materials)
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Open AccessArticle High Mobility Thin Film Transistors Based on Amorphous Indium Zinc Tin Oxide
Materials 2017, 10(7), 702; doi:10.3390/ma10070702
Received: 2 May 2017 / Revised: 21 June 2017 / Accepted: 21 June 2017 / Published: 26 June 2017
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Abstract
Top-contact bottom-gate thin film transistors (TFTs) with zinc-rich indium zinc tin oxide (IZTO) active layer were prepared at room temperature by radio frequency magnetron sputtering. Sintered ceramic target was prepared and used for deposition from oxide powder mixture having the molar ratio of
[...] Read more.
Top-contact bottom-gate thin film transistors (TFTs) with zinc-rich indium zinc tin oxide (IZTO) active layer were prepared at room temperature by radio frequency magnetron sputtering. Sintered ceramic target was prepared and used for deposition from oxide powder mixture having the molar ratio of In2O3:ZnO:SnO2 = 2:5:1. Annealing treatment was carried out for as-deposited films at various temperatures to investigate its effect on TFT performances. It was found that annealing treatment at 350 °C for 30 min in air atmosphere yielded the best result, with the high field effect mobility value of 34 cm2/Vs and the minimum subthreshold swing value of 0.12 V/dec. All IZTO thin films were amorphous, even after annealing treatment of up to 350 °C. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Azurin/CdSe-ZnS-Based Bio-Nano Hybrid Structure for Nanoscale Resistive Memory Device
Materials 2017, 10(7), 803; doi:10.3390/ma10070803
Received: 14 June 2017 / Revised: 6 July 2017 / Accepted: 12 July 2017 / Published: 15 July 2017
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Abstract
In the present study, we propose a method for bio-nano hybrid formation by coupling a redox metalloprotein, Azurin, with CdSe-ZnS quantum dot for the development of a nanoscale resistive memory device. The covalent interaction between the two nanomaterials enables a strong and effective
[...] Read more.
In the present study, we propose a method for bio-nano hybrid formation by coupling a redox metalloprotein, Azurin, with CdSe-ZnS quantum dot for the development of a nanoscale resistive memory device. The covalent interaction between the two nanomaterials enables a strong and effective binding to form an azurin/CdSe-ZnS hybrid, and also enabled better controllability to couple with electrodes to examine the memory function properties. Morphological and optical properties were performed to confirm both hybrid formations and also their individual components. Current-Voltage (I–V) measurements on the hybrid nanostructures exhibited bistable current levels towards the memory function device, that and those characteristics were unnoticeable on individual nanomaterials. The hybrids showed good retention characteristics with high stability and durability, which is a promising feature for future nanoscale memory devices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biomaterials)
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Open AccessArticle Comparative Study on ZnO Monolayer Doped with Al, Ga and In Atoms as Transparent Electrodes
Materials 2017, 10(7), 703; doi:10.3390/ma10070703
Received: 12 May 2017 / Revised: 21 June 2017 / Accepted: 22 June 2017 / Published: 26 June 2017
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Abstract
Transparent anodes are indispensable components for optoelectronic devices. Two-dimensional (2D) materials are attracting increasing research interest due to their unique properties and promising applications. In order to design novel transparent anodes, we investigated the electronic, optical, and electrical properties of 2D ZnO monolayers
[...] Read more.
Transparent anodes are indispensable components for optoelectronic devices. Two-dimensional (2D) materials are attracting increasing research interest due to their unique properties and promising applications. In order to design novel transparent anodes, we investigated the electronic, optical, and electrical properties of 2D ZnO monolayers doped with Al, Ga, and In using the first-principles calculation in combination with the Boltzmann transport theory. When the doping concentration of Al, Ga, and In is less than 12.5 wt %, we find that the average transmittance reaches up to 99% in the visible and UV regions. Moreover, the electrical conductivity is enhanced for the Al, Ga, and In doped systems compared to that of the pristine ZnO monolayer. In particular, a good electrical conductivity with a significant improvement for the In doped ZnO monolayer is achieved compared to Al and Ga doping at the 6.25 wt % level. These results suggest that the ZnO monolayer based materials, and in particular the In doped ZnO monolayer, are promising transparent anodes for nanoscale electronic and optoelectronic applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Transparent Conducting Materials)
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Open AccessArticle Design Mechanism and Property of the Novel Fluorescent Probes for the Identification of Microthrix Parvicella In Situ
Materials 2017, 10(7), 804; doi:10.3390/ma10070804
Received: 8 June 2017 / Revised: 1 July 2017 / Accepted: 7 July 2017 / Published: 15 July 2017
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Abstract
In this study, two novel fluorescent probes, probe A and probe B were designed, synthesized and characterized, based on Microthrix parvicella (M. parvicella) preferring to utilize long-chain fatty acid (LCFA), for the labeling of M. parvicella in activated sludge. The molecular
[...] Read more.
In this study, two novel fluorescent probes, probe A and probe B were designed, synthesized and characterized, based on Microthrix parvicella (M. parvicella) preferring to utilize long-chain fatty acid (LCFA), for the labeling of M. parvicella in activated sludge. The molecular structure of probe A and probe B include long-chain alkane and LCFA, respectively. The results indicated that probe A and probe B had a large stokes shift of 118 nm and 120 nm and high quantum yield of 0.1043 and 0.1058, respectively, which were significantly helpful for the fluorescent labeling. As probe A was more stable than probe B in activated sludge, and the fluorescence intensity keep stable during 24 h, probe A was more suitable for labeling M. parvicella in situ. In addition, through the Image Pro Plus 6 (IPP 6) analysis, a quantitative relationship was established between sludge volume index (SVI) and integral optical density (IOD) of the labeled M. parvicella in activated sludge samples. The relationship between IOD and SVI conforms to Logistic curve (R2 = 0.94). Full article
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Open AccessArticle Effects of Cold-Rolling/Aging Treatments on the Shape Memory Properties of Ti49.3Ni50.7 Shape Memory Alloy
Materials 2017, 10(7), 704; doi:10.3390/ma10070704
Received: 3 May 2017 / Revised: 14 June 2017 / Accepted: 20 June 2017 / Published: 26 June 2017
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Abstract
In this study, the combined effects of strengthening, precipitates, and textures on the shape recovery ability and superelasticity of thermomechanically treated Ti49.3Ni50.7 shape memory alloy (SMA) in both the rolling and transverse directions were studied by experimental measurements and theoretical calculations. Experimental results
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In this study, the combined effects of strengthening, precipitates, and textures on the shape recovery ability and superelasticity of thermomechanically treated Ti49.3Ni50.7 shape memory alloy (SMA) in both the rolling and transverse directions were studied by experimental measurements and theoretical calculations. Experimental results and theoretical calculations showed that the 300 °C × 100 h aged specimen exhibited the best shape memory effect because it possessed the most favorable textures, highest matrix strength, and most beneficially coherent stress induced by Ti3Ni4 precipitates. The 30% cold-rolled and then 300 °C × 100 h aged specimen exhibited the highest strength and superelasticity; however, its shape recovery ability was not as good as expected because the less favorable textures and the high strength inhibited the movements of dislocations and martensite boundaries. Therefore, to achieve the most optimal shape memory characteristics of Ni-rich TiNi SMAs, the effects of textures, matrix strength, and internal defects, such as Ti3Ni4 precipitates and dislocations, should all be carefully considered and controlled during thermomechanical treatments. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Wear Performance of Calcium Carbonate-Containing Knee Spacers
Materials 2017, 10(7), 805; doi:10.3390/ma10070805
Received: 3 May 2017 / Revised: 10 July 2017 / Accepted: 13 July 2017 / Published: 15 July 2017
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Abstract
Articulating spacers should be wear-resistant and load-bearing to avoid prolonged immobilization of the patient and to reduce morbidity. However, due to the articulation of both components, a release of cement wear particles is to be expected. The aim of this study was to
[...] Read more.
Articulating spacers should be wear-resistant and load-bearing to avoid prolonged immobilization of the patient and to reduce morbidity. However, due to the articulation of both components, a release of cement wear particles is to be expected. The aim of this study was to investigate the wear performance of a new spacer cement that contains calcium carbonate as a radio-opaque substance, in comparison to an established barium sulphate-containing spacer material, and also to characterize the amount, morphology, and size distributions of the released cement particles in detail. Force-controlled simulation was carried out on an AMTI knee simulator. The test parameters were in accordance with the standard ISO 14243-1 with a 50% reduced axial force. Tests were run for 500,000 cycles at a frequency of 1 Hz. For wear analysis, photographic documentation of the wear scars, gravimetric wear measurements and wear particle analysis were performed. The barium sulphate spacer material showed a total articular wear of 375.53 ± 161.22 mg. For the calcium carbonate-containing cement, reduced articular wear of 136.32 ± 37.58 mg was determined. Isolated cement wear particles of the barium sulphate-containing cement had a diameter of 0.429 ± 0.224 μm and were significantly larger compared to the calcium carbonate-containing cement (0.380 ± 0.216 μm, p = 0.02). The calcium carbonate-containing cement showed better wear performance in terms of gravimetric wear and particle release. Thus, calcium carbonate seems to be a promising material as a radio-opaque substrate in cement spacers. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Reuse of Pillaring Agent in Sequential Bentonite Pillaring Processes
Materials 2017, 10(7), 705; doi:10.3390/ma10070705
Received: 27 April 2017 / Revised: 29 May 2017 / Accepted: 30 May 2017 / Published: 27 June 2017
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Abstract
This work describes the synthesis and characterization of pillared clays using a new pillaring method: the reuse of the pillaring solution. First, an Al pillared clay (PILC) was synthesized, and after filtration, the pillaring agent was stored and reused for an additional three
[...] Read more.
This work describes the synthesis and characterization of pillared clays using a new pillaring method: the reuse of the pillaring solution. First, an Al pillared clay (PILC) was synthesized, and after filtration, the pillaring agent was stored and reused for an additional three pillaring procedures (P1, P2, and P3). The filtered pillaring solution was stored for one year and then reused for one additional pillaring procedure (P4). The samples were analyzed using XRD, N2 physisorption measurements and chemical analysis (EDX). All of the samples exhibited basal spacings larger than 17 Å and BET surface areas greater than 160 m2/g. After the P4 pillaring, the pillaring agent was precipitated with a Na2SO4 solution, and the resulting solid was analyzed using XRD and SEM. The results indicated that even after a total of five pillaring procedures, Al13 ions were still present in solution. Therefore, it is possible to reuse the pillaring solution four times and to even store the solution for one year, which is important from an industrial perspective. Full article
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Open AccessArticle An Advanced Characterization Method for the Elastic Modulus of Nanoscale Thin-Films Using a High-Frequency Micromechanical Resonator
Materials 2017, 10(7), 806; doi:10.3390/ma10070806
Received: 30 May 2017 / Revised: 11 July 2017 / Accepted: 12 July 2017 / Published: 15 July 2017
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Abstract
Nanoscale materials have properties that frequently differ from those of their bulk form due to the scale effect, and therefore a measurement technique that can take account of such material characteristics with high accuracy and sensitivity is required. In the present study, advanced
[...] Read more.
Nanoscale materials have properties that frequently differ from those of their bulk form due to the scale effect, and therefore a measurement technique that can take account of such material characteristics with high accuracy and sensitivity is required. In the present study, advanced nanomechanical metrology was developed for evaluation of elastic properties of thin-film materials. A 52 nm thick chromium (Cr) film was deposited on a high-speed micromechanical resonator using an e-beam evaporator, and the structure was excited to resonate using an ultrasonic platform. The resonant frequencies for the first and second flexural vibration modes were measured using laser interferometry, and they were compared to analytical estimation from the classical beam theory. Results show that the experimental data are in excellent agreement with the theory, within 1% of the relative error, and a mass sensitivity up to 10.5 Hz/fg was achieved. Thus, the scale effect that reduced the Young’s modulus of Cr by 49.8% compared to its bulk property was correctly recognized by the proposed method. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Structure Analysis and Characterization)
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Open AccessArticle Controlling Morphology and Aggregation in Semiconducting Polymers: The Role of Solvents on Lasing Emission in Poly[2-methoxy-5-(2′-ethyl-hexyloxy)-1,4-phenylene-vinylene]
Materials 2017, 10(7), 706; doi:10.3390/ma10070706
Received: 22 May 2017 / Revised: 13 June 2017 / Accepted: 23 June 2017 / Published: 29 June 2017
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Abstract
Systematic experiments were performed to investigate solvent-dependent morphology and aggregation of the semiconducting polymer film poly[2-methoxy-5-(2′-ethyl-hexyloxy)-1,4-phenylene-vinylene] (MEH-PPV), which was span-cast from nonaromatic strong polarity solvents tetrahydrofuran (THF), trichloromethane (TCM) and aromatic weak polarity solvents chlorobenzene (CB), toluene, and p-xylene. The results indicated that
[...] Read more.
Systematic experiments were performed to investigate solvent-dependent morphology and aggregation of the semiconducting polymer film poly[2-methoxy-5-(2′-ethyl-hexyloxy)-1,4-phenylene-vinylene] (MEH-PPV), which was span-cast from nonaromatic strong polarity solvents tetrahydrofuran (THF), trichloromethane (TCM) and aromatic weak polarity solvents chlorobenzene (CB), toluene, and p-xylene. The results indicated that the conformation of the spin-cast MEH-PPV films with weak aggregation such as THF and TCM demonstrated excellent lasing emission performances because of inhibiting the fluorescence quenching induced by bi-molecule process. The Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) images confirmed the distinct morphologies of the spin-cast MEH-PPV films. The amplified spontaneous emission (ASE) was investigated in a simple asymmetric slab planar waveguide structure by methods of variable stripe length (VSL) and shifting excitation stripe (SES). The amplified spontaneous emission (ASE) experiments confirmed the distinct polymer chain conformation. The conformation, which preserved from the spin-cast process, indicated the distinct interactions between solvents and MEH-PPV polymer chains. The pure film spectra were performed to confirm the effect of distinct conformation on the material energy level. This work provides insights into the morphology and aggregation effect of the spin-cast polymer films on the performances of lasers. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Weak Localization and Antilocalization in Topological Materials with Impurity Spin-Orbit Interactions
Materials 2017, 10(7), 807; doi:10.3390/ma10070807
Received: 14 June 2017 / Revised: 3 July 2017 / Accepted: 10 July 2017 / Published: 15 July 2017
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Abstract
Topological materials have attracted considerable experimental and theoretical attention. They exhibit strong spin-orbit coupling both in the band structure (intrinsic) and in the impurity potentials (extrinsic), although the latter is often neglected. In this work, we discuss weak localization and antilocalization of massless
[...] Read more.
Topological materials have attracted considerable experimental and theoretical attention. They exhibit strong spin-orbit coupling both in the band structure (intrinsic) and in the impurity potentials (extrinsic), although the latter is often neglected. In this work, we discuss weak localization and antilocalization of massless Dirac fermions in topological insulators and massive Dirac fermions in Weyl semimetal thin films, taking into account both intrinsic and extrinsic spin-orbit interactions. The physics is governed by the complex interplay of the chiral spin texture, quasiparticle mass, and scalar and spin-orbit scattering. We demonstrate that terms linear in the extrinsic spin-orbit scattering are generally present in the Bloch and momentum relaxation times in all topological materials, and the correction to the diffusion constant is linear in the strength of the extrinsic spin-orbit. In topological insulators, which have zero quasiparticle mass, the terms linear in the impurity spin-orbit coupling lead to an observable density dependence in the weak antilocalization correction. They produce substantial qualitative modifications to the magnetoconductivity, differing greatly from the conventional Hikami-Larkin-Nagaoka formula traditionally used in experimental fits, which predicts a crossover from weak localization to antilocalization as a function of the extrinsic spin-orbit strength. In contrast, our analysis reveals that topological insulators always exhibit weak antilocalization. In Weyl semimetal thin films having intermediate to large values of the quasiparticle mass, we show that extrinsic spin-orbit scattering strongly affects the boundary of the weak localization to antilocalization transition. We produce a complete phase diagram for this transition as a function of the mass and spin-orbit scattering strength. Throughout the paper, we discuss implications for experimental work, and, at the end, we provide a brief comparison with transition metal dichalcogenides. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metal-Insulator Transition)
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Open AccessArticle Experimental Investigations on the Pull-Out Behavior of Tire Strips Reinforced Sands
Materials 2017, 10(7), 707; doi:10.3390/ma10070707
Received: 17 April 2017 / Revised: 19 June 2017 / Accepted: 22 June 2017 / Published: 27 June 2017
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Abstract
Waste tires have excellent mechanical performance and have been used as reinforcing material in geotechnical engineering; however, their interface properties are poorly understood. To further our knowledge, this paper examines the pull-out characteristics of waste tire strips in a compacted sand, together with
[...] Read more.
Waste tires have excellent mechanical performance and have been used as reinforcing material in geotechnical engineering; however, their interface properties are poorly understood. To further our knowledge, this paper examines the pull-out characteristics of waste tire strips in a compacted sand, together with uniaxial and biaxial geogrids also tested under the same conditions. The analysis of the results shows that the interlocking effect and pull-out resistance between the tire strip and the sand is very strong and significantly higher than that of the geogrids. In the early stages of the pull-out test, the resistance is mainly provided by the front portion of the embedded tire strips, as the pull-out test continues, more and more of the areas towards the end of the tire strips are mobilized, showing a progressive failure mechanism. The deformations are proportional to the frictional resistance between the tire-sand interface, and increase as the normal stresses increase. Tire strips of different wear intensities were tested and presented different pull-out resistances; however, the pull-out resistance mobilization patterns were generally similar. The pull-out resistance values obtained show that rubber reinforcement can provide much higher pull-out forces than the geogrid reinforcements tested here, showing that waste tires are an excellent alternative as a reinforcing system, regardless of the environmental advantages. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geosynthetics in Civil and Environmental Engineering)
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Open AccessArticle Preparation and Properties of a Novel Microcrystalline Cellulose-Filled Composites Based on Polyamide 6/High-Density Polyethylene
Materials 2017, 10(7), 808; doi:10.3390/ma10070808
Received: 13 May 2017 / Revised: 2 July 2017 / Accepted: 10 July 2017 / Published: 16 July 2017
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Abstract
In the present study, lithium chloride (LiCl) was utilized as a modifier to reduce the melting point of polyamide 6 (PA6), and then 15 wt % microcrystalline cellulose (MCC) was compounded with low melting point PA6/high-density polyethylene (HDPE) by hot pressing. Crystallization analysis
[...] Read more.
In the present study, lithium chloride (LiCl) was utilized as a modifier to reduce the melting point of polyamide 6 (PA6), and then 15 wt % microcrystalline cellulose (MCC) was compounded with low melting point PA6/high-density polyethylene (HDPE) by hot pressing. Crystallization analysis revealed that as little as 3 wt % LiCl transformed the crystallographic forms of PA6 from semi-crystalline to an amorphous state (melting point: 220 °C to none), which sharply reduced the processing temperature of the composites. LiCl improved the mechanical properties of the composites, as evidenced by the fact that the impact strength of the composites was increased by 90%. HDPE increased the impact strength of PA6/MCC composites. In addition, morphological analysis revealed that incorporation of LiCl and maleic anhydride grafted high-density polyethylene (MAPE) improved the interfacial adhesion. LiCl increased the glass transition temperature of the composites (the maximum is 72.6 °C). Full article
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Open AccessArticle Influence of Equal Channel Angular Pressing Passes on the Microstructures and Tensile Properties of Mg-8Sn-6Zn-2Al Alloy
Materials 2017, 10(7), 708; doi:10.3390/ma10070708
Received: 5 May 2017 / Revised: 20 June 2017 / Accepted: 23 June 2017 / Published: 27 June 2017
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Abstract
An I-phase containing Mg-8Sn-6Zn-2Al (wt %; TZA862) alloy was fabricated and subjected to different number of passes of equal channel angular pressing (ECAP) processing at 300 °C. The results showed that the alloys exhibited a bimodal microstructure, which consisted of fine dynamically recrystallized
[...] Read more.
An I-phase containing Mg-8Sn-6Zn-2Al (wt %; TZA862) alloy was fabricated and subjected to different number of passes of equal channel angular pressing (ECAP) processing at 300 °C. The results showed that the alloys exhibited a bimodal microstructure, which consisted of fine dynamically recrystallized (DRX) grains and coarse non-DRX grains. When increasing the number of ECAP passes from 2 to 6, the fraction of DRX grains and the dispersed second phase particles subsequently increase. However, the fraction and particles then decrease once the number of ECAP passes increases to 8. After 6 ECAP passes, remarkable grain refinement was achieved and increasing the number of passes to 8 cannot further refine the microstructure. Furthermore, the alloys having undergone ECAP exhibited a strong ED-tilted texture, the intensity of which increased with an increase in the number of ECAP passes. The ultimate tensile strength (UTS; 338 MPa) and elongation (El.; 14.2%) of the alloy processed with 6 ECAP passes were considerably higher compared to those of the other materials that had undergone ECAP. These significant enhancements were attributed to extensive grain boundary strengthening, precipitation strengthening and a higher work-hardening capacity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Structure Analysis and Characterization)
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Open AccessArticle Processing Conditions, Thermal and Mechanical Responses of Stretchable Poly (Lactic Acid)/Poly (Butylene Succinate) Films
Materials 2017, 10(7), 809; doi:10.3390/ma10070809
Received: 29 June 2017 / Revised: 10 July 2017 / Accepted: 11 July 2017 / Published: 16 July 2017
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Abstract
Poly (lactic acid) (PLA) and poly (butylene succinate) (PBS) based films containing two different plasticizers [Acetyl Tributyl Citrate (ATBC) and isosorbide diester (ISE)] at three different contents (15 wt %, 20 wt % and 30 wt %) were produced by extrusion method. Thermal,
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Poly (lactic acid) (PLA) and poly (butylene succinate) (PBS) based films containing two different plasticizers [Acetyl Tributyl Citrate (ATBC) and isosorbide diester (ISE)] at three different contents (15 wt %, 20 wt % and 30 wt %) were produced by extrusion method. Thermal, morphological, mechanical and wettability behavior of produced materials was investigated as a function of plasticizer content. Filmature parameters were also adjusted and optimized for different formulations, in order to obtain similar thickness for different systems. Differential scanning calorimeter (DSC) results and evaluation of solubility parameter confirmed that similar miscibility was obtained for ATBC and ISE in PLA, while the two selected plasticizers resulted as not efficient for plasticization of PBS, to the limit that the PBS–30ATBC resulted as not processable. On the basis of these results, isosorbide-based plasticizer was considered a suitable agent for modification of a selected blend (PLA/PBS 80:20) and two mixing approaches were used to identify the role of ISE in the plasticization process: results from mechanical analysis confirmed that both produced PLA–PBS blends (PLA85–ISE15)–PBS20 and (PLA80–PBS20)–ISE15 could guarantee advantages in terms of deformability, with respect to the PLA80–PBS20 reference film, suggesting that the promising use of these stretchable PLA–PBS based films plasticized with isosorbide can provide novel solutions for food packaging applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biobased Polymers for Packaging Applications)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Improving the Flame Retardant Efficiency of Layer by Layer Coatings Containing Deoxyribonucleic Acid by Post-Diffusion of Hydrotalcite Sanoparticles
Materials 2017, 10(7), 709; doi:10.3390/ma10070709
Received: 29 April 2017 / Revised: 18 June 2017 / Accepted: 23 June 2017 / Published: 27 June 2017
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Abstract
This work deals with the use of hydrotalcite nanoparticle post-diffusion in layer by layer (LbL) coatings with the aim of improving their flame retardant action on cotton. The selected LbL components, which encompass polydiallyldimethylammonium chloride and deoxyribonucleic acid, aim at the deposition of
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This work deals with the use of hydrotalcite nanoparticle post-diffusion in layer by layer (LbL) coatings with the aim of improving their flame retardant action on cotton. The selected LbL components, which encompass polydiallyldimethylammonium chloride and deoxyribonucleic acid, aim at the deposition of an intumescent coating. Infrared spectra pointed out a super-linear growth of the investigated assembly, indicating the ability to deposit thick coatings while maintaining a relatively low deposition number. A post-diffusion process, performed by exposing the LbL-treated fabrics to two different concentrations of hydrotalcite water suspensions (0.1 or 1 wt %), was carried out to improve the fireproofing efficiency of these coatings. Coatings treated with the lowest concentration suspension partially swelled as a consequence of their structural rearrangements while the use of the highest concentration led to nanoparticle aggregates. Horizontal flame spread tests were used for assessing the achieved flame retardant properties. The post-diffusion performed at the lowest hydrotalcite concentration lowers the minimum number of Bi-Layers required for obtaining cotton self-extinguishment while samples treated with the highest concentration showed detrimental effects on the performances of treated fabrics. This behavior is ascribed to the effects of hydrotalcite particles on the intumescence of LbL coatings, as evidenced by the morphological analyses of post-combustion residues. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Flame Retardant Polymeric Materials)
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Open AccessArticle Effect of Core-shell Ceria/Poly(Vinylpyrrolidone) (PVP) Nanoparticles Incorporated in Polymer Films and Their Optical Properties (2): Increasing the Refractive Index
Materials 2017, 10(7), 710; doi:10.3390/ma10070710
Received: 1 May 2017 / Revised: 2 June 2017 / Accepted: 23 June 2017 / Published: 27 June 2017
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Abstract
We investigated the preparation of well-dispersed core-shell ceria-poly(vinylpyrrolidone) (PVP) nanoparticles with an average particle size of around 20 nm which were used to produce a hybrid film with a polymer coating of dipentaerythritol hexaacrylate (DPHA). We obtained good dispersion of the nanoparticles in
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We investigated the preparation of well-dispersed core-shell ceria-poly(vinylpyrrolidone) (PVP) nanoparticles with an average particle size of around 20 nm which were used to produce a hybrid film with a polymer coating of dipentaerythritol hexaacrylate (DPHA). We obtained good dispersion of the nanoparticles in a mixed solvent of 48% 1-methoxy-2-propanol (MP), 32% 3-methoxy-3-methyl-1-butanol (MMB), and 20% methyl i-butyl ketone (MIBK). An ink of the polymer coating consisting of 68.7 wt% nanoparticles and 31.3 wt% DPHA with a polymerization initiator was prepared using this solvent mixture. The surface of the hybrid film showed low roughness and the nanoparticles formed a densely packed structure in the DPHA matrix. The resulting coating possessed excellent transparency and a high refractive index of 1.69. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Advanced Composites)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Generalized GW+Boltzmann Approach for the Description of Ultrafast Electron Dynamics in Topological Insulators
Materials 2017, 10(7), 810; doi:10.3390/ma10070810 (registering DOI)
Received: 27 June 2017 / Revised: 27 June 2017 / Accepted: 11 July 2017 / Published: 17 July 2017
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Abstract
Quantum-phase transitions between trivial insulators and topological insulators differ from ordinary metal-insulator transitions in that they arise from the inversion of the bulk band structure due to strong spin–orbit coupling. Such topological phase transitions are unique in nature as they lead to the
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Quantum-phase transitions between trivial insulators and topological insulators differ from ordinary metal-insulator transitions in that they arise from the inversion of the bulk band structure due to strong spin–orbit coupling. Such topological phase transitions are unique in nature as they lead to the emergence of topological surface states which are characterized by a peculiar spin texture that is believed to play a central role in the generation and manipulation of dissipationless surface spin currents on ultrafast timescales. Here, we provide a generalized G W +Boltzmann approach for the description of ultrafast dynamics in topological insulators driven by electron–electron and electron–phonon scatterings. Taking the prototypical insulator Bi 2 Te 3 as an example, we test the robustness of our approach by comparing the theoretical prediction to results of time- and angle-resolved photoemission experiments. From this comparison, we are able to demonstrate the crucial role of the excited spin texture in the subpicosecond relaxation of transient electrons, as well as to accurately obtain the magnitude and strength of electron–electron and electron–phonon couplings. Our approach could be used as a generalized theory for three-dimensional topological insulators in the bulk-conducting transport regime, paving the way for the realization of a unified theory of ultrafast dynamics in topological materials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metal-Insulator Transition)
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Open AccessArticle Effect of Applied Stress on the Mechanical Properties of a Zr-Cu-Ag-Al Bulk Metallic Glass with Two Different Structure States
Materials 2017, 10(7), 711; doi:10.3390/ma10070711
Received: 5 June 2017 / Revised: 16 June 2017 / Accepted: 21 June 2017 / Published: 27 June 2017
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Abstract
In order to investigate the effect of applied stress on mechanical properties in metallic glasses, nanoindentation tests were conducted on elastically bent Zr-Cu-Ag-Al metallic glasses with two different structure states. From spherical P-h curves, elastic modulus was found to be independent on applied
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In order to investigate the effect of applied stress on mechanical properties in metallic glasses, nanoindentation tests were conducted on elastically bent Zr-Cu-Ag-Al metallic glasses with two different structure states. From spherical P-h curves, elastic modulus was found to be independent on applied stress. Hardness decreased by ~8% and ~14% with the application of 1.5% tensile strain for as-cast and 650 K annealed specimens, while it was slightly increased at the compressive side. Yield stress could be obtained from the contact pressure at first pop-in position with a conversion coefficient. The experimental result showed a symmetrical effect of applied stress on strengthening and a reduction of the contact pressure at compressive and tensile sides. It was observed that the applied stress plays a negligible effect on creep deformation in as-cast specimen. While for the annealed specimen, creep deformation was facilitated by applied tensile stress and suppressed by applied compressive stress. Strain rate sensitivities (SRS) were calculated from steady-state creep, which were constant for as-cast specimen and strongly correlated with applied stress for the annealed one. The more pronounced effect of applied stress in the 650 K annealed metallic glass could be qualitatively explained through the variation of the shear transformation zone (STZ) size. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Nanoindentation in Materials)
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Open AccessArticle Linear Static Behavior of Damaged Laminated Composite Plates and Shells
Materials 2017, 10(7), 811; doi:10.3390/ma10070811
Received: 6 June 2017 / Revised: 1 July 2017 / Accepted: 15 July 2017 / Published: 17 July 2017
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Abstract
A mathematical scheme is proposed here to model a damaged mechanical configuration for laminated and sandwich structures. In particular, two kinds of functions defined in the reference domain of plates and shells are introduced to weaken their mechanical properties in terms of engineering
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A mathematical scheme is proposed here to model a damaged mechanical configuration for laminated and sandwich structures. In particular, two kinds of functions defined in the reference domain of plates and shells are introduced to weaken their mechanical properties in terms of engineering constants: a two-dimensional Gaussian function and an ellipse shaped function. By varying the geometric parameters of these distributions, several damaged configurations are analyzed and investigated through a set of parametric studies. The effect of a progressive damage is studied in terms of displacement profiles and through-the-thickness variations of stress, strain, and displacement components. To this end, a posteriori recovery procedure based on the three-dimensional equilibrium equations for shell structures in orthogonal curvilinear coordinates is introduced. The theoretical framework for the two-dimensional shell model is based on a unified formulation able to study and compare several Higher-order Shear Deformation Theories (HSDTs), including Murakami’s function for the so-called zig-zag effect. Thus, various higher-order models are used and compared also to investigate the differences which can arise from the choice of the order of the kinematic expansion. Their ability to deal with several damaged configurations is analyzed as well. The paper can be placed also in the field of numerical analysis, since the solution to the static problem at issue is achieved by means of the Generalized Differential Quadrature (GDQ) method, whose accuracy and stability are proven by a set of convergence analyses and by the comparison with the results obtained through a commercial finite element software. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Advanced Composites)
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Open AccessArticle Hydrothermal Sterilization Improves Initial Osteoblast Responses on Sandpaper-Polished Titanium
Materials 2017, 10(7), 812; doi:10.3390/ma10070812
Received: 21 April 2017 / Revised: 9 July 2017 / Accepted: 14 July 2017 / Published: 17 July 2017
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Abstract
Hydrocarbon contamination accumulated on titanium (Ti) implant surfaces during storage and sterilization is unavoidable and difficult to remove. It impairs the bioactivity of implants, restricts initial interactions between implants and the surrounding biological environment, and has become a common challenge for Ti implants.
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Hydrocarbon contamination accumulated on titanium (Ti) implant surfaces during storage and sterilization is unavoidable and difficult to remove. It impairs the bioactivity of implants, restricts initial interactions between implants and the surrounding biological environment, and has become a common challenge for Ti implants. To overcome this problem, sterilization was considered as the final surface modification and a novel method, hydrothermal sterilization (HS), was proposed. Briefly, stored sandpaper-polished Ti specimens were sterilized in a glass container with pure water at 121 °C for 20 min and kept in the same water until utilization. As a control, another group of specimens was sterilized with conventional autoclaving (AC) at 121 °C for 20 min and stored in sterilization pouches after being dried at 60 °C. Compared with AC, HS deposited numerous nano-sized particles on the substrates, reduced the atomic percentage of the surface carbon, and transformed the Ti surface to a super hydrophilic status. HS also increased the attachment rate, spread, proliferation, and the mineralized nodule areas of rat bone marrow-derived osteoblasts. These results suggest that HS enhances the bioactivity of Ti implants for osteoblasts, and that this biofunctionalization was attributed to nanostructure construction, hydrophilic conversion, and the effective removal of hydrocarbons. Hydrothermal sterilization is proposed to be used as a universal sterilization method for all kinds of titanium implants without apatite coating. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dental Implant Materials)
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Open AccessArticle Scale Up Pillaring: A Study of the Parameters That Influence the Process
Materials 2017, 10(7), 712; doi:10.3390/ma10070712
Received: 28 April 2017 / Revised: 14 June 2017 / Accepted: 14 June 2017 / Published: 27 June 2017
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Abstract
Pillared clays (PILCs) are interesting materials mostly due to their high basal spacing and surface area, which make them suitable for adsorption and catalysis applications, for example. However, the production of these materials on industrial scale is dependent on research about what parameters
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Pillared clays (PILCs) are interesting materials mostly due to their high basal spacing and surface area, which make them suitable for adsorption and catalysis applications, for example. However, the production of these materials on industrial scale is dependent on research about what parameters influence the process. Thus, the objective of this work was to evaluate what parameters influence the pillaring procedure. For this, pillared clays were synthesized following three series of experiments. In the first series, the effect of the amount of water in a clay suspension was evaluated. The best results were obtained by using diluted suspensions (1 g of clay to 100 mL of water). In the second series, several pillaring methods were tested. In the third series, the amount of pillared clay was raised to 50 g. Fifty grams of pillared clay can be obtained using the pillaring agent synthesized at 60 °C with further aging for 24 h, and this material exhibited high basal spacing (17.6 Å) and surface area (233 m2/g). These values are comparable with the traditional pillaring method using only 3 g of clay. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Effect of Ultrasonic Nano-Crystal Surface Modification (UNSM) on the Passivation Behavior of Aged 316L Stainless Steel
Materials 2017, 10(7), 713; doi:10.3390/ma10070713
Received: 30 May 2017 / Revised: 20 June 2017 / Accepted: 21 June 2017 / Published: 27 June 2017
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Abstract
Stainless steels have good corrosion resistance in many environments but welding or aging can decrease their resistance. This work focused on the effect of aging time and ultrasonic nano-crystal surface modification on the passivation behavior of 316L stainless steel. In the case of
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Stainless steels have good corrosion resistance in many environments but welding or aging can decrease their resistance. This work focused on the effect of aging time and ultrasonic nano-crystal surface modification on the passivation behavior of 316L stainless steel. In the case of slightly sensitized 316L stainless steel, increasing the aging time drastically decreased the pitting potential, increased the passive current density, and decreased the resistance of the passive film, even though aging did not form chromium carbide and a chromium depletion zone. This behavior is due to the micro-galvanic corrosion between the matrix and carbon segregated area, and this shows the importance of carbon segregation in grain boundaries to the pitting corrosion resistance of stainless steel, in addition to the formation of the chromium depletion zone. UNSM (Ultrasonic Nano Crystal Surface Modification)-treatment to the slightly sensitized 316L stainless steel increased the pitting potential, decreased the passive current density, and increased the resistance of the passive film. However, in the case of heavily sensitized 316L stainless steel, UNSM-treatment decreased the pitting potential, increased the passive current density, and decreased the resistance of the passive film. This behavior is due to the dual effects of the UNSM-treatment. That is, the UNSM-treatment reduced the carbon segregation, regardless of whether the stainless steel 316L was slightly or heavily sensitized. However, since this treatment made mechanical flaws in the outer surface in the case of the heavily sensitized stainless steel, UNSM-treatment may eliminate chromium carbide, and this flaw can be a pitting initiation site, and therefore decrease the pitting corrosion resistance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Materials for Energy Applications)
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Open AccessArticle Ion-Beam-Induced Atomic Mixing in Ge, Si, and SiGe, Studied by Means of Isotope Multilayer Structures
Materials 2017, 10(7), 813; doi:10.3390/ma10070813
Received: 7 June 2017 / Revised: 11 July 2017 / Accepted: 12 July 2017 / Published: 17 July 2017
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Abstract
Crystalline and preamorphized isotope multilayers are utilized to investigate the dependence of ion beam mixing in silicon (Si), germanium (Ge), and silicon germanium (SiGe) on the atomic structure of the sample, temperature, ion flux, and electrical doping by the implanted ions. The magnitude
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Crystalline and preamorphized isotope multilayers are utilized to investigate the dependence of ion beam mixing in silicon (Si), germanium (Ge), and silicon germanium (SiGe) on the atomic structure of the sample, temperature, ion flux, and electrical doping by the implanted ions. The magnitude of mixing is determined by secondary ion mass spectrometry. Rutherford backscattering spectrometry in channeling geometry, Raman spectroscopy, and transmission electron microscopy provide information about the structural state after ion irradiation. Different temperature regimes with characteristic mixing properties are identified. A disparity in atomic mixing of Si and Ge becomes evident while SiGe shows an intermediate behavior. Overall, atomic mixing increases with temperature, and it is stronger in the amorphous than in the crystalline state. Ion-beam-induced mixing in Ge shows no dependence on doping by the implanted ions. In contrast, a doping effect is found in Si at higher temperature. Molecular dynamics simulations clearly show that ion beam mixing in Ge is mainly determined by the thermal spike mechanism. In the case of Si thermal spike, mixing prevails at low temperature whereas ion beam-induced enhanced self-diffusion dominates the atomic mixing at high temperature. The latter process is attributed to highly mobile Si di-interstitials formed under irradiation and during damage annealing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ion Beam Analysis, Modification, and Irradiation of Materials)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Estimation of Articular Cartilage Surface Roughness Using Gray-Level Co-Occurrence Matrix of Laser Speckle Image
Materials 2017, 10(7), 714; doi:10.3390/ma10070714
Received: 10 June 2017 / Revised: 26 June 2017 / Accepted: 26 June 2017 / Published: 28 June 2017
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Abstract
The application of He-Ne laser technologies for description of articular cartilage degeneration, one of the most common diseases worldwide, is an innovative usage of these technologies used primarily in material engineering. Plain radiography and magnetic resonance imaging are insufficient to allow the early
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The application of He-Ne laser technologies for description of articular cartilage degeneration, one of the most common diseases worldwide, is an innovative usage of these technologies used primarily in material engineering. Plain radiography and magnetic resonance imaging are insufficient to allow the early assessment of the disease. As surface roughness of articular cartilage is an important indicator of articular cartilage degeneration progress, a safe and noncontact technique based on laser speckle image to estimate the surface roughness is provided. This speckle image from the articular cartilage surface, when illuminated by laser beam, gives very important information about the physical properties of the surface. An experimental setup using a low power He-Ne laser and a high-resolution digital camera was implemented to obtain speckle images of ten bovine articular cartilage specimens prepared for different average roughness values. Texture analysis method based on gray-level co-occurrence matrix (GLCM) analyzed on the captured speckle images is used to characterize the surface roughness of the specimens depending on the computation of Haralick’s texture features. In conclusion, this promising method can accurately estimate the surface roughness of articular cartilage even for early signs of degeneration. The method is effective for estimation of average surface roughness values ranging from 0.09 µm to 2.51 µm with an accuracy of 0.03 µm. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Laser in Nanotechnology and Biomedical Applications)
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Open AccessArticle Studies on Mathematical Models of Wet Adhesion and Lifetime Prediction of Organic Coating/Steel by Grey System Theory
Materials 2017, 10(7), 715; doi:10.3390/ma10070715
Received: 4 June 2017 / Revised: 22 June 2017 / Accepted: 26 June 2017 / Published: 28 June 2017
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Abstract
A rapid degradation of wet adhesion is the key factor controlling coating lifetime, for the organic coatings under marine hydrostatic pressure. The mathematical models of wet adhesion have been studied by Grey System Theory (GST). Grey models (GM) (1, 1) of epoxy varnish
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A rapid degradation of wet adhesion is the key factor controlling coating lifetime, for the organic coatings under marine hydrostatic pressure. The mathematical models of wet adhesion have been studied by Grey System Theory (GST). Grey models (GM) (1, 1) of epoxy varnish (EV) coating/steel and epoxy glass flake (EGF) coating/steel have been established, and a lifetime prediction formula has been proposed on the basis of these models. The precision assessments indicate that the established models are accurate, and the prediction formula is capable of making precise lifetime forecasting of the coatings. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Effects of the Crack Tip Constraint on the Fracture Assessment of an Al 5083-O Weldment for Low Temperature Applications
Materials 2017, 10(7), 815; doi:10.3390/ma10070815
Received: 23 June 2017 / Revised: 11 July 2017 / Accepted: 11 July 2017 / Published: 18 July 2017
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Abstract
The constraint effect is the key issue in structural integrity assessments based on two parameter fracture mechanics (TPFM) to make a precise prediction of the load-bearing capacity of cracked structural components. In this study, a constraint-based failure assessment diagram (FAD) was used to
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The constraint effect is the key issue in structural integrity assessments based on two parameter fracture mechanics (TPFM) to make a precise prediction of the load-bearing capacity of cracked structural components. In this study, a constraint-based failure assessment diagram (FAD) was used to assess the fracture behavior of an Al 5083-O weldment with various flaws at cryogenic temperature. The results were compared with those of BS 7910 Option 1 FAD, in terms of the maximum allowable stress. A series of fracture toughness tests were conducted with compact tension (CT) specimens at room and cryogenic temperatures. The Q parameter for the Al 5083-O weldment was evaluated to quantify the constraint level, which is the difference between the actual stress, and the Hutchinson-Rice-Rosengren (HRR) stress field near the crack tip. Nonlinear 3D finite element analysis was carried out to calculate the Q parameter at cryogenic temperature. Based on the experimental and numerical results, the influence of the constraint level correction on the allowable applied stress was investigated using a FAD methodology. The results showed that the constraint-based FAD procedure is essential to avoid an overly conservative allowable stress prediction in an Al 5083-O weldment with flaws. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Brittle Failure of Different Materials)
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Open AccessArticle Synthesis of Al2Ca Dispersoids by Powder Metallurgy Using a Mg–Al Alloy and CaO Particles
Materials 2017, 10(7), 716; doi:10.3390/ma10070716
Received: 1 June 2017 / Revised: 21 June 2017 / Accepted: 22 June 2017 / Published: 28 June 2017
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Abstract
The elemental mixture of Mg-6 wt %Al-1 wt %Zn-0.3 wt %Mn (AZ61B) alloy powder and CaO particles was consolidated by an equal-channel angular bulk mechanical alloying (ECABMA) process to form a composite precursor. Subsequently, the precursor was subjected to a heat treatment to
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The elemental mixture of Mg-6 wt %Al-1 wt %Zn-0.3 wt %Mn (AZ61B) alloy powder and CaO particles was consolidated by an equal-channel angular bulk mechanical alloying (ECABMA) process to form a composite precursor. Subsequently, the precursor was subjected to a heat treatment to synthesize fine Al2Ca particles via a solid-state reaction between the Mg–Al matrix and CaO additives. Scanning electron microscopy-energy-dispersive spectroscopy (SEM-EDS) and electron probe micro-analysis on the precursor indicated that 4.7-at % Al atoms formed a supersaturated solid solution in the α-Mg matrix. Transmission electron microscopy-EDS and X-ray diffraction analyses on the AZ61B composite precursor with 10-vol % CaO particles obtained by heat treatment confirmed that CaO additives were thermally decomposed in the Mg–Al alloy, and the solid-soluted Ca atoms diffused along the α-Mg grain boundaries. Al atoms also diffused to the grain boundaries because of attraction to the Ca atoms resulting from a strong reactivity between Al and Ca. As a result, needle-like (Mg,Al)2Ca intermetallics were formed as intermediate precipitates in the initial reaction stage during the heat treatment. Finally, the precipitates were transformed into spherical Al2Ca particles by the substitution of Al atoms for Mg atoms in (Mg,Al)2Ca after a long heat treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Structure Analysis and Characterization)
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Open AccessArticle First Principles Study of Adsorption of Hydrogen on Typical Alloying Elements and Inclusions in Molten 2219 Al Alloy
Materials 2017, 10(7), 816; doi:10.3390/ma10070816
Received: 7 June 2017 / Revised: 8 July 2017 / Accepted: 11 July 2017 / Published: 19 July 2017
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Abstract
To better understand the effect of the components of molten 2219 Al alloy on the hydrogen content dissolved in it, the H adsorption on various positions of alloying element clusters of Cu, Mn and Al, as well as the inclusion of Al2
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To better understand the effect of the components of molten 2219 Al alloy on the hydrogen content dissolved in it, the H adsorption on various positions of alloying element clusters of Cu, Mn and Al, as well as the inclusion of Al2O3, MgO and Al4C3, were investigated by means of first principles calculation, and the thermodynamic stability of H adsorbed on each possible site was also studied on the basis of formation energy. Results show that the interaction between Al, MgO, Al4C3 and H atoms is mainly repulsive and energetically unfavorable; a favorable interaction between Cu, Mn, Al2O3 and H atoms was determined, with H being more likely to be adsorbed on the top of the third atomic layer of Cu(111), the second atomic layer of Mn(111), and the O atom in the third atomic layer of Al2O3, compared with other sites. It was found that alloying elements Cu and Mn and including Al2O3 may increase the hydrogen adsorption in the molten 2219 Al alloy with Al2O3 being the most sensitive component in this regard. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Magnetic Hysteresis in Nanocomposite Films Consisting of a Ferromagnetic AuCo Alloy and Ultrafine Co Particles
Materials 2017, 10(7), 717; doi:10.3390/ma10070717
Received: 14 June 2017 / Revised: 22 June 2017 / Accepted: 26 June 2017 / Published: 28 June 2017
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Abstract
One fundamental requirement in the search for novel magnetic materials is the possibility of predicting and controlling their magnetic anisotropy and hence the overall hysteretic behavior. We have studied the magnetism of Au:Co films (~30 nm thick) with concentration ratios of 2:1, 1:1,
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One fundamental requirement in the search for novel magnetic materials is the possibility of predicting and controlling their magnetic anisotropy and hence the overall hysteretic behavior. We have studied the magnetism of Au:Co films (~30 nm thick) with concentration ratios of 2:1, 1:1, and 1:2, grown by magnetron sputtering co-deposition on natively oxidized Si substrates. They consist of a AuCo ferromagnetic alloy in which segregated ultrafine Co particles are dispersed (the fractions of Co in the AuCo alloy and of segregated Co increase with decreasing the Au:Co ratio). We have observed an unexpected hysteretic behavior characterized by in-plane anisotropy and crossed branches in the loops measured along the hard magnetization direction. To elucidate this phenomenon, micromagnetic calculations have been performed for a simplified system composed of two exchange-coupled phases: a AuCo matrix surrounding a Co cluster, which represents an aggregate of particles. The hysteretic features are qualitatively well reproduced provided that the two phases have almost orthogonal anisotropy axes. This requirement can be plausibly fulfilled assuming a dominant magnetoelastic character of the anisotropy in both phases. The achieved conclusions expand the fundamental knowledge on nanocomposite magnetic materials, offering general guidelines for tuning the hysteretic properties of future engineered systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Superconductive and Magnetic Nanomaterials)
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Open AccessArticle Study of the Technical Feasibility of Increasing the Amount of Recycled Concrete Waste Used in Ready-Mix Concrete Production
Materials 2017, 10(7), 817; doi:10.3390/ma10070817
Received: 12 April 2017 / Revised: 12 July 2017 / Accepted: 14 July 2017 / Published: 18 July 2017
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Abstract
The construction industry generates a considerable amount of waste. Faced with this undesirable situation, the ready-mix concrete sector, in particular, has invested energy and resources into reusing its own waste in its production process as it works towards the goal of more sustainable
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The construction industry generates a considerable amount of waste. Faced with this undesirable situation, the ready-mix concrete sector, in particular, has invested energy and resources into reusing its own waste in its production process as it works towards the goal of more sustainable construction. This study examines the feasibility of incorporating two types of concrete waste, which currently end up in landfill, into the production process of ready-mix concrete: the waste generated during the initial production stage (ready-mix concrete waste), and waste created when demolition waste is treated to obtain artificial aggregate. The first phase of the study’s methodology corroborates the suitability of the recycled aggregate through characterization tests. After this phase, the impact of incorporating different percentages of recycled coarse aggregate is evaluated by examining the performance of the produced concrete. The replacement rate varied between 15% and 50%. The results indicate that recycled aggregates are, indeed, suitable to be incorporated into ready-mix concrete production. The impact on the final product’s performance is different for the two cases examined herein. Incorporating aggregates from generic concrete blocks led to a 20% decrease in the produced concrete’s strength performance. On the other hand, using recycled aggregates made from the demolition waste led to a smaller decrease in the concrete’s performance: about 8%. The results indicate that with adequate management and prior treatment, the waste from these plants can be re-incorporated into their production processes. If concrete waste is re-used, concrete production, in general, becomes more sustainable for two reasons: less waste ends up as landfill and the consumption of natural aggregates is also reduced. Full article
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Open AccessArticle A Study on Thermal and Nanomechanical Performance of Cellulose Nanomaterials (CNs)
Materials 2017, 10(7), 718; doi:10.3390/ma10070718
Received: 3 May 2017 / Revised: 11 June 2017 / Accepted: 23 June 2017 / Published: 28 June 2017
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Abstract
Wood-based cellulose nanomaterials (CNs) (specifically, cellulose nanofibrils (CNFs) and cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs)) are environmentally sourced low-impact materials with remarkable thermal, mechanical, and physical properties. This uniqueness makes them great candidates for creating nanocomposite materials with a wide range of attributes. Investigating the morphological,
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Wood-based cellulose nanomaterials (CNs) (specifically, cellulose nanofibrils (CNFs) and cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs)) are environmentally sourced low-impact materials with remarkable thermal, mechanical, and physical properties. This uniqueness makes them great candidates for creating nanocomposite materials with a wide range of attributes. Investigating the morphological, thermal, and nanomechanical properties of CNs becomes crucial to intelligent development of novel composite materials. An atomic force microscope equipped with a nanoindenter was used to investigate the compression modulus of CNFs and CNCs using two analytical approaches (denoted as Oliver Pharr (OP) and Fused Silica (FS)). The CNC modulus values (ECNC-FS = 21.1 GPa, ECNC-OP = 28.7 GPa) were statistically larger than those obtained from CNFs (ECNF-FS = 12.4 GPa, ECNF-OP = 15.1 GPa). Additionally, the FS analytical approach provided statistically significant lower estimates. Thermal stability of CNFs and CNCs was investigated using thermogravimetric analysis. Significant differences were found between CNF and CNC onset temperatures (OnsetCNC = 228.2 °C, OnsetCNF = 279.9 °C), decomposition temperatures (DTGACNC = 247.9 °C, DTGACNF = 331.4 °C), and residues (ResidueCNC = 34.4%, ResidueCNF = 22.8%). This research enriches the information on thermal stability and nanomechanical performance of cellulose nanomaterials, and provides increased knowledge on understanding the effect of CNs as a matrix or reinforce in composites. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanocellulose-Based Functional Materials)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Monoclinic 122-Type BaIr2Ge2 with a Channel Framework: A Structural Connection between Clathrate and Layered Compounds
Materials 2017, 10(7), 818; doi:10.3390/ma10070818
Received: 26 June 2017 / Revised: 8 July 2017 / Accepted: 10 July 2017 / Published: 18 July 2017
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Abstract
A new 122-type phase, monoclinic BaIr2Ge2 is successfully synthesized by arc melting; X-ray diffraction and scanning electron microscopy are used to purify the phase and determine its crystal structure. BaIr2Ge2 adopts a clathrate-like channel framework structure of
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A new 122-type phase, monoclinic BaIr2Ge2 is successfully synthesized by arc melting; X-ray diffraction and scanning electron microscopy are used to purify the phase and determine its crystal structure. BaIr2Ge2 adopts a clathrate-like channel framework structure of the monoclinic BaRh2Si2-type, with space group P21/c. Structural comparisons of clathrate, ThCr2Si2, CaBe2Ge2, and BaRh2Si2 structure types indicate that BaIr2Ge2 can be considered as an intermediate between clathrate and layered compounds. Magnetic measurements show it to be diamagnetic and non-superconducting down to 1.8 K. Different from many layered or clathrate compounds, monoclinic BaIr2Ge2 displays a metallic resistivity. Electronic structure calculations performed for BaIr2Ge2 support its observed structural stability and physical properties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metal-Insulator Transition)
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Open AccessArticle Design and Production of Continuously Gradient Macro/Microporous Calcium Phosphate (CaP) Scaffolds Using Ceramic/Camphene-Based 3D Extrusion
Materials 2017, 10(7), 719; doi:10.3390/ma10070719
Received: 24 May 2017 / Revised: 18 June 2017 / Accepted: 24 June 2017 / Published: 28 June 2017
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Abstract
This study proposes a new type of calcium phosphate (CaP) scaffolds with a continuously gradient macro/microporous structure using the ceramic/camphene-based 3D extrusion process. Green filaments with a continuously gradient core/shell structure were successfully produced by extruding a bilayered feedrod comprised of a CaP/camphene
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This study proposes a new type of calcium phosphate (CaP) scaffolds with a continuously gradient macro/microporous structure using the ceramic/camphene-based 3D extrusion process. Green filaments with a continuously gradient core/shell structure were successfully produced by extruding a bilayered feedrod comprised of a CaP/camphene mixture lower part and a pure camphene upper part. The extruded filaments were then deposited in a controlled manner to construct triangular prisms, followed by the assembly process for the production of CaP scaffolds with a gradient core/shell structure. In addition, a gradient microporous structure was created by heat-treating the green body at 43 °C to induce the overgrowth of camphene dendrites in the CaP/camphene walls. The produced CaP scaffold showed a highly macroporous structure within its inner core, where the size of macrochannels increased gradually with an increase in the distance from the outer shell, while relatively larger micropores were created in the outer shell. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biomaterials)
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Open AccessArticle Color Shift Failure Prediction for Phosphor-Converted White LEDs by Modeling Features of Spectral Power Distribution with a Nonlinear Filter Approach
Materials 2017, 10(7), 819; doi:10.3390/ma10070819
Received: 28 May 2017 / Revised: 27 June 2017 / Accepted: 7 July 2017 / Published: 18 July 2017
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Abstract
With the expanding application of light-emitting diodes (LEDs), the color quality of white LEDs has attracted much attention in several color-sensitive application fields, such as museum lighting, healthcare lighting and displays. Reliability concerns for white LEDs are changing from the luminous efficiency to
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With the expanding application of light-emitting diodes (LEDs), the color quality of white LEDs has attracted much attention in several color-sensitive application fields, such as museum lighting, healthcare lighting and displays. Reliability concerns for white LEDs are changing from the luminous efficiency to color quality. However, most of the current available research on the reliability of LEDs is still focused on luminous flux depreciation rather than color shift failure. The spectral power distribution (SPD), defined as the radiant power distribution emitted by a light source at a range of visible wavelength, contains the most fundamental luminescence mechanisms of a light source. SPD is used as the quantitative inference of an LED’s optical characteristics, including color coordinates that are widely used to represent the color shift process. Thus, to model the color shift failure of white LEDs during aging, this paper first extracts the features of an SPD, representing the characteristics of blue LED chips and phosphors, by multi-peak curve-fitting and modeling them with statistical functions. Then, because the shift processes of extracted features in aged LEDs are always nonlinear, a nonlinear state-space model is then developed to predict the color shift failure time within a self-adaptive particle filter framework. The results show that: (1) the failure mechanisms of LEDs can be identified by analyzing the extracted features of SPD with statistical curve-fitting and (2) the developed method can dynamically and accurately predict the color coordinates, correlated color temperatures (CCTs), and color rendering indexes (CRIs) of phosphor-converted (pc)-white LEDs, and also can estimate the residual color life. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Light Emitting Diodes and Laser Diodes: Materials and Devices)
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Open AccessArticle Corrosion Behavior of X80 Steel with Coupled Coating Defects under Alternating Current Interference in Alkaline Environment
Materials 2017, 10(7), 720; doi:10.3390/ma10070720
Received: 7 May 2017 / Revised: 19 June 2017 / Accepted: 20 June 2017 / Published: 28 June 2017
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Abstract
The corrosion behavior of X80 steel in the presence of coupled coating defects was simulated and studied under the interference of alternating current (AC) in an alkaline environment. The results from electrochemical measurements showed that the electrode potential of the coating defect with
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The corrosion behavior of X80 steel in the presence of coupled coating defects was simulated and studied under the interference of alternating current (AC) in an alkaline environment. The results from electrochemical measurements showed that the electrode potential of the coating defect with the smaller exposed area was lower than that with the larger area, which indicated that the steel with the smaller coating defect was more prone to corrosion. The result of weight loss tests also showed that the smaller coating defect had induced a higher corrosion rate. However, the corrosion rate of X80 steel at the larger coating defect decreased gradually with the increase of the larger defect area at a constant smaller defect area. The corrosion morphology images showed that the coating defects with smaller areas suffered from more severe pitting corrosion. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Low-Temperature Preparation of Tungsten Oxide Anode Buffer Layer via Ultrasonic Spray Pyrolysis Method for Large-Area Organic Solar Cells
Materials 2017, 10(7), 820; doi:10.3390/ma10070820
Received: 14 May 2017 / Revised: 19 June 2017 / Accepted: 22 June 2017 / Published: 18 July 2017
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Abstract
Tungsten oxide (WO3) is prepared by a low-temperature ultrasonic spray pyrolysis method in air atmosphere, and it is used as an anode buffer layer (ABL) for organic solar cells (OSCs). The properties of the WO3 transition metal oxide material as
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Tungsten oxide (WO3) is prepared by a low-temperature ultrasonic spray pyrolysis method in air atmosphere, and it is used as an anode buffer layer (ABL) for organic solar cells (OSCs). The properties of the WO3 transition metal oxide material as well as the mechanism of ultrasonic spray pyrolysis processes are investigated. The results show that the ultrasonic spray pyrolysized WO3 ABL exhibits low roughness, matched energy level, and high conductivity, which results in high charge transport efficiency and suppressive recombination in OSCs. As a result, compared to the OSCs based on vacuum thermal evaporated WO3, a higher power conversion efficiency of 3.63% is reached with low-temperature ultrasonic spray pyrolysized WO3 ABL. Furthermore, the mostly spray-coated OSCs with large area was fabricated, which has a power conversion efficiency of ~1%. This work significantly enhances our understanding of the preparation and application of low temperature-processed WO3, and highlights the potential of large area, all spray coated OSCs for sustainable commercial fabrication. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Materials for Energy Applications)
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Open AccessArticle Effect of Nanosized NbC Precipitates on Hydrogen Diffusion in X80 Pipeline Steel
Materials 2017, 10(7), 721; doi:10.3390/ma10070721
Received: 7 April 2017 / Revised: 21 June 2017 / Accepted: 21 June 2017 / Published: 28 June 2017
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Abstract
In this paper, the effects of dispersed 3~10 nm NbC precipitates on hydrogen diffusion in X80 pipeline steel were investigated by means of high resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM), electrochemical hydrogen permeation, and thermal desorption spectroscopy (TDS). The relationship between hydrogen diffusion and
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In this paper, the effects of dispersed 3~10 nm NbC precipitates on hydrogen diffusion in X80 pipeline steel were investigated by means of high resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM), electrochemical hydrogen permeation, and thermal desorption spectroscopy (TDS). The relationship between hydrogen diffusion and temperature was determined for Nb-free X80 and 0.055 wt% Nb X80 steel. The temperature dividing reversible and irreversible traps was measured, and the quantity of hydrogen captured by different traps was calculated. Three types of hydrogen trap were designed and applied in the test, and the results revealed that irreversible hydrogen traps formed by nanosized and coherent NbC precipitates markedly hindered hydrogen diffusion, and prolonged breakthrough time in Nb-bearing X80 steel. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Thin-Film Coated Plastic Wrap for Food Packaging
Materials 2017, 10(7), 821; doi:10.3390/ma10070821
Received: 27 June 2017 / Revised: 12 July 2017 / Accepted: 13 July 2017 / Published: 18 July 2017
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Abstract
In this study, the antimicrobial property and food package capability of polymethylpentene (PMP) substrate with silicon oxdie (SiOx) and organic silicon (SiCxHy) stacked layers deposited by an inductively coupled plasma chemical vapor deposition system were investigated. The
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In this study, the antimicrobial property and food package capability of polymethylpentene (PMP) substrate with silicon oxdie (SiOx) and organic silicon (SiCxHy) stacked layers deposited by an inductively coupled plasma chemical vapor deposition system were investigated. The experimental results show that the stacked pair number of SiOx/SiCxHy on PMP is limited to three pairs, beyond which the films will crack and cause package failure. The three-pair SiOx/SiCxHy on PMP shows a low water vapor transmission rate of 0.57 g/m2/day and a high water contact angle of 102°. Three-pair thin-film coated PMP demonstrates no microbe adhesion and exhibits antibacterial properties within 24 h. Food shelf life testing performed at 28 °C and 80% humidity reports that the three-pair thin-film coated PMP can enhance the food shelf-life to 120 h. The results indicate that the silicon-based thin film may be a promising material for antibacterial food packaging applications to extend the shelf-life of food products. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from IEEE ICASI 2017)
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Open AccessArticle A Validation Approach for Quasistatic Numerical/Experimental Indentation Analysis in Soft Materials Using 3D Digital Image Correlation
Materials 2017, 10(7), 722; doi:10.3390/ma10070722
Received: 29 May 2017 / Revised: 20 June 2017 / Accepted: 23 June 2017 / Published: 28 June 2017
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Abstract
A quasistatic indentation numerical analysis in a round section specimen made of soft material has been performed and validated with a full field experimental technique, i.e., Digital Image Correlation 3D. The contact experiment specifically consisted of loading a 25 mm diameter rubber cylinder
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A quasistatic indentation numerical analysis in a round section specimen made of soft material has been performed and validated with a full field experimental technique, i.e., Digital Image Correlation 3D. The contact experiment specifically consisted of loading a 25 mm diameter rubber cylinder of up to a 5 mm indentation and then unloading. Experimental strains fields measured at the surface of the specimen during the experiment were compared with those obtained by performing two numerical analyses employing two different hyperplastic material models. The comparison was performed using an Image Decomposition new methodology that makes a direct comparison of full-field data independently of their scale or orientation possible. Numerical results show a good level of agreement with those measured during the experiments. However, since image decomposition allows for the differences to be quantified, it was observed that one of the adopted material models reproduces lower differences compared to experimental results. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Nanoindentation in Materials)
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Open AccessArticle Strengthening Effect of Extruded Mg-8Sn-2Zn-2Al Alloy: Influence of Micro and Nano-Size Mg2Sn Precipitates
Materials 2017, 10(7), 822; doi:10.3390/ma10070822
Received: 26 June 2017 / Revised: 13 July 2017 / Accepted: 13 July 2017 / Published: 18 July 2017
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Abstract
In this study, Mg-8Sn-2Zn-2Al (TZA822) alloys with varying Mg2Sn contents prior to extrusion were obtained by different pre-treatments (without and with T4), and the strengthening response related to micro and nano-size Mg2Sn precipitates in the extruded TZA822 alloys was
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In this study, Mg-8Sn-2Zn-2Al (TZA822) alloys with varying Mg2Sn contents prior to extrusion were obtained by different pre-treatments (without and with T4), and the strengthening response related to micro and nano-size Mg2Sn precipitates in the extruded TZA822 alloys was reported. The results showed that the morphology of nano-size Mg2Sn precipitates exhibits a significant change in basal plane from rod-like to spherical, owing to the decrement in the fraction of micro-size particles before extrusion. Meanwhile, the spherical Mg2Sn precipitates provided a much stronger strengthening effect than did the rod-like ones, which was ascribed to uniform dispersion and refinement of spherical precipitates to effectively hinder basal dislocation slip. As a consequence, the extruded TZA822 alloy with T4 showed a higher tensile yield strength (TYS) of 245 MPa, ultimate tensile strength (UTS) of 320 MPa and elongation (EL) of 26.5%, as well as a lower degree of yield asymmetry than their counterpart without T4. Detailed reasons for the strengthening effect were given and analyzed. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Characterisation of Asphalt Concrete Using Nanoindentation
Materials 2017, 10(7), 823; doi:10.3390/ma10070823
Received: 30 June 2017 / Revised: 13 July 2017 / Accepted: 17 July 2017 / Published: 18 July 2017
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Abstract
In this study, nanoindentation was conducted to extract the load-displacement behaviour and the nanomechanical properties of asphalt concrete across the mastic, matrix, and aggregate phases. Further, the performance of hydrated lime as an additive was assessed across the three phases. The hydrated lime
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In this study, nanoindentation was conducted to extract the load-displacement behaviour and the nanomechanical properties of asphalt concrete across the mastic, matrix, and aggregate phases. Further, the performance of hydrated lime as an additive was assessed across the three phases. The hydrated lime containing samples have greater resistance to deformation in the mastic and matrix phases, in particular, the mastic. There is strong evidence suggesting that hydrated lime has the most potent effect on the mastic phase, with significant increase in hardness and stiffness. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Nanoindentation in Materials)
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Open AccessArticle Insight the Luminescence Properties of AlON: Eu, Mg Phosphor under VUV Excitation
Materials 2017, 10(7), 723; doi:10.3390/ma10070723
Received: 27 April 2017 / Revised: 23 June 2017 / Accepted: 26 June 2017 / Published: 29 June 2017
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Abstract
Owing to high quantum efficiency, adjustable composition and antioxidation properties of oxynitride phosphors, extensive investigations have focused on their photoluminescence properties under low-energy light excitation (UV or blue light). However, the vacuum ultraviolet (VUV) luminescence properties of oxynitride phosphors are rarely researched. Present
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Owing to high quantum efficiency, adjustable composition and antioxidation properties of oxynitride phosphors, extensive investigations have focused on their photoluminescence properties under low-energy light excitation (UV or blue light). However, the vacuum ultraviolet (VUV) luminescence properties of oxynitride phosphors are rarely researched. Present work studies the structure and VUV luminescence properties of an oxynitride phosphor: AlON: Eu, Mg, which is synthesized by solid-state reaction. Under 147 nm excitation, it was found that AlON: Eu, Mg phosphor shows a blue emission band centered at about 470 nm. The first principle calculation is used to analyze the origin of the VUV absorption. Compared with BaMgAl10O17: Eu2+ phosphor, AlON: Eu, Mg phosphor shows better thermal stability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Luminescent Materials 2017)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Thermostability of Hybrid Thermoelectric Materials Consisting of Poly(Ni-ethenetetrathiolate), Polyimide and Carbon Nanotubes
Materials 2017, 10(7), 824; doi:10.3390/ma10070824
Received: 31 May 2017 / Revised: 4 July 2017 / Accepted: 14 July 2017 / Published: 18 July 2017
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Abstract
Three-component organic/inorganic hybrid films were fabricated by drop-casting the mixed dispersion of nanodispersed-poly(nickel 1,1,2,2-ethenetetrathiolate) (nano-PETT), polyimide (PI) and super growth carbon nanotubes (SG-CNTs) in N-methylpyrrolidone (NMP) at the designed ratio on a substrate. The dried nano-PETT/PI/SG-CNT hybrid films were prepared by the
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Three-component organic/inorganic hybrid films were fabricated by drop-casting the mixed dispersion of nanodispersed-poly(nickel 1,1,2,2-ethenetetrathiolate) (nano-PETT), polyimide (PI) and super growth carbon nanotubes (SG-CNTs) in N-methylpyrrolidone (NMP) at the designed ratio on a substrate. The dried nano-PETT/PI/SG-CNT hybrid films were prepared by the stepwise cleaning of NMP and methanol, and were dried once more. The thermoelectric properties of Seebeck coefficient S and electrical conductivity σ were measured by a thin-film thermoelectric measurement system ADVANCE RIKO ZEM-3M8 at 330–380 K. The electrical conductivity of nano-PETT/PI/SG-CNT hybrid films increased by 1.9 times for solvent treatment by clearing insulated of polymer. In addition, the density of nano-PETT/PI/SG-CNT hybrid films decreased 1.31 to 0.85 g·cm−3 with a decrease in thermal conductivity from 0.18 to 0.12 W·m−1·K−1. To evaluate the thermostability of nano-PETT/PI/SG-CNT hybrid films, the samples were kept at high temperature and the temporal change of thermoelectric properties was measured. The nano-PETT/PI/SG-CNT hybrid films were rather stable at 353 K and kept their power factor even after 4 weeks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Thermoelectric Materials)
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Open AccessArticle Characterizing the Conductivity and Enhancing the Piezoresistivity of Carbon Nanotube-Polymeric Thin Films
Materials 2017, 10(7), 724; doi:10.3390/ma10070724
Received: 21 April 2017 / Revised: 22 June 2017 / Accepted: 22 June 2017 / Published: 29 June 2017
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Abstract
The concept of lightweight design is widely employed for designing and constructing aerospace structures that can sustain extreme loads while also being fuel-efficient. Popular lightweight materials such as aluminum alloy and fiber-reinforced polymers (FRPs) possess outstanding mechanical properties, but their structural integrity requires
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The concept of lightweight design is widely employed for designing and constructing aerospace structures that can sustain extreme loads while also being fuel-efficient. Popular lightweight materials such as aluminum alloy and fiber-reinforced polymers (FRPs) possess outstanding mechanical properties, but their structural integrity requires constant assessment to ensure structural safety. Next-generation structural health monitoring systems for aerospace structures should be lightweight and integrated with the structure itself. In this study, a multi-walled carbon nanotube (MWCNT)-based polymer paint was developed to detect distributed damage in lightweight structures. The thin film’s electromechanical properties were characterized via cyclic loading tests. Moreover, the thin film’s bulk conductivity was characterized by finite element modeling. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Structural Health Monitoring for Aerospace Applications 2017)
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Open AccessArticle In Vitro Degradation of Pure Magnesium―The Effects of Glucose and/or Amino Acid
Materials 2017, 10(7), 725; doi:10.3390/ma10070725
Received: 7 June 2017 / Revised: 25 June 2017 / Accepted: 26 June 2017 / Published: 29 June 2017
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Abstract
The influences of glucose and amino acid (L-cysteine) on the degradation of pure magnesium have been investigated using SEM, XRD, Fourier transformed infrared (FTIR), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), polarization and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy and immersion tests. The results demonstrate that both amino acid
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The influences of glucose and amino acid (L-cysteine) on the degradation of pure magnesium have been investigated using SEM, XRD, Fourier transformed infrared (FTIR), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), polarization and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy and immersion tests. The results demonstrate that both amino acid and glucose inhibit the corrosion of pure magnesium in saline solution, whereas the presence of both amino acid and glucose accelerates the corrosion rate of pure magnesium. This may be due to the formation of -C=N- bonding (a functional group of Schiff bases) between amino acid and glucose, which restricts the formation of the protective Mg(OH)2 precipitates. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biomaterials)
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Open AccessArticle Improvement of Cr-Co-Mo Membrane Surface Used as Barrier for Bone Regeneration through UV Photofunctionalization: An In Vitro Study
Materials 2017, 10(7), 825; doi:10.3390/ma10070825
Received: 15 June 2017 / Revised: 5 July 2017 / Accepted: 11 July 2017 / Published: 21 July 2017
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Abstract
Although there are several studies of the ultraviolet (UV) light-mediated photofunctionalization of titanium for use as implant material, the underlying mechanism is not fully understood. However, the results of in vitro and in vivo studies are very encouraging. The use of UV photofunctionalization
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Although there are several studies of the ultraviolet (UV) light-mediated photofunctionalization of titanium for use as implant material, the underlying mechanism is not fully understood. However, the results of in vitro and in vivo studies are very encouraging. The use of UV photofunctionalization as a surface treatment on other implant materials, as the Cr-Co-Mo alloy, has not been explored in depth. Using sandblasted Cr-Co-Mo discs, the surface photofunctionalization was studied for ultraviolet A (UVA, 365 nm) and ultraviolet C (UVC, 254 nm), and the surfaces were evaluated for their ability to sustain hydroxyapatite crystal growth through incubation in simulated body fluid for a seven-day period. The variation of the pre- and post-irradiation contact angle and surface composition was determined through the quantification of the weight percentage of Ca and P crystals by the EDAX ZAF method (EDS). Statistically significant differences (p < 0.05) were found for samples irradiated with UVA over 48 h, corresponding with hydrophilic surfaces, and the same result was found for samples exposed to 3 h of UVC. Superhydrophilic surfaces were found in samples irradiated for 12, 24 and 48 h with UVC. The decrease in the carbon content is related with the increase in the surface content of Ca and P, and vice versa over the Cr-Co-Mo surfaces. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biomaterials)
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Open AccessArticle Hydrothermal Fabrication of Highly Porous Titanium Bio-Scaffold with a Load-Bearable Property
Materials 2017, 10(7), 726; doi:10.3390/ma10070726
Received: 18 May 2017 / Revised: 12 June 2017 / Accepted: 28 June 2017 / Published: 30 June 2017
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Abstract
Porous titanium (P_Ti) is considered as an effective material for bone scaffold to achieve a stiffness reduction. Herein, biomimetic (bio-)scaffolds were made of sintered P_Ti, which used NaCl as the space holder and had it removed via the hydrothermal method. X-ray diffraction results
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Porous titanium (P_Ti) is considered as an effective material for bone scaffold to achieve a stiffness reduction. Herein, biomimetic (bio-)scaffolds were made of sintered P_Ti, which used NaCl as the space holder and had it removed via the hydrothermal method. X-ray diffraction results showed that the subsequent sintering temperature of 1000 °C was the optimized temperature for preparing P_Ti. The compressive strength of P_Ti was measured using a compression test, which revealed an excellent load-bearing ability of above 70 MPa for that with an addition of 50 wt % NaCl (P_Ti_50). The nano-hardness of P_Ti, tested upon their solid surface, was presumably consistent with the density of pores vis-à-vis the addition of NaCl. Overall, a load-bearable P_Ti with a highly porous structure (e.g., P_Ti_50 with a porosity of 43.91% and a pore size around 340 μm) and considerable compressive strength could be obtained through the current process. Cell proliferation (MTS) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) assays showed that all P_Ti samples exhibited high cell affinity and low cell mortality, indicating good biocompatibility. Among them, P_Ti_50 showed relatively good in-cell morphology and viability, and is thus promising as a load-bearable bio-scaffold. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Synthesis and Characterization of Gelatin-Based Crosslinkers for the Fabrication of Superabsorbent Hydrogels
Materials 2017, 10(7), 826; doi:10.3390/ma10070826
Received: 30 May 2017 / Revised: 30 June 2017 / Accepted: 10 July 2017 / Published: 19 July 2017
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Abstract
In this work, crosslinkers were prepared by conjugating high- and low-molecular-weight gelatin with different mole ratios of itaconic acid (IA) with double bonds. Then, the gelatin-itaconic acid (gelatin-IA) crosslinkers were compared with the gelatin-methacrylate (gelatin-MA) crosslinkers. The molecular weights and structures of gelatin-MA
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In this work, crosslinkers were prepared by conjugating high- and low-molecular-weight gelatin with different mole ratios of itaconic acid (IA) with double bonds. Then, the gelatin-itaconic acid (gelatin-IA) crosslinkers were compared with the gelatin-methacrylate (gelatin-MA) crosslinkers. The molecular weights and structures of gelatin-MA and gelatin-IA were confirmed using gel permeation chromatography (GPC) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR). Additionally, the swelling ratio and biodegradation properties of the hydrogels using IA as starting monomers and gelatin-IA and gelatin-MA as crosslinkers were investigated. Both hydrogels prepared with high and low molecular weights of gelatin-IA showed higher swelling ratios than those prepared with the gelatin-MA. The results also showed that absorbent hydrogels with different biodegradabilities and swelling ratios could be prepared by changing the ratio of the gelatin-based crosslinkers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from IEEE ICASI 2017)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Coordination Driven Capture of Nicotine Inside a Mesoporous MOF
Materials 2017, 10(7), 727; doi:10.3390/ma10070727
Received: 14 June 2017 / Revised: 23 June 2017 / Accepted: 27 June 2017 / Published: 30 June 2017
PDF Full-text (5246 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Metal organic frameworks (MOFs) are a wide class of crystalline porous polymers studied in many fields, ranging from catalysis to gas storage. In the past few years, MOFs have been studied for the encapsulation of organic or organometallic molecules and for the development
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Metal organic frameworks (MOFs) are a wide class of crystalline porous polymers studied in many fields, ranging from catalysis to gas storage. In the past few years, MOFs have been studied for the encapsulation of organic or organometallic molecules and for the development of potential drug carriers. Here, we report on the study of two structurally-related mesoporous Cu-MOFs, namely PCN-6 and PCN-6′ (PCN stands for Porous Coordination Network), for nicotine trapping. Nicotine is a well-known alkaloid liquid molecule at room temperature, whose crystalline structure is still unknown. In this work, the loading process was monitored by electron ionization mass spectrometry by using a direct insertion probe (DIP-EI/MS), infrared (IR), and ultraviolet/visible (UV/VIS) analysis. Both nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy and thermogravimetric (TGA) analysis showed evidence that nicotine trapping reaches remarkable uptakes up to 40 wt %. In the case of PCN-6@nicotine, X-ray structural resolution revealed that the guest uptake is triggered by coordination of the pyridine ring of nicotine to the copper nuclei of the paddle-wheel units composing the framework of PCN-6. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metal Organic Framework Materials)
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Open AccessArticle Simulations on Monitoring and Evaluation of Plasticity-Driven Material Damage Based on Second Harmonic of S0 Mode Lamb Waves in Metallic Plates
Materials 2017, 10(7), 827; doi:10.3390/ma10070827
Received: 13 May 2017 / Revised: 9 July 2017 / Accepted: 12 July 2017 / Published: 19 July 2017
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Abstract
In this study, a numerical approach—the discontinuous Meshless Local Petrov-Galerkin-Eshelby Method (MLPGEM)—was adopted to simulate and measure material plasticity in an Al 7075-T651 plate. The plate was modeled in two dimensions by assemblies of small particles that interact with each other through bonding
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In this study, a numerical approach—the discontinuous Meshless Local Petrov-Galerkin-Eshelby Method (MLPGEM)—was adopted to simulate and measure material plasticity in an Al 7075-T651 plate. The plate was modeled in two dimensions by assemblies of small particles that interact with each other through bonding stiffness. The material plasticity of the model loaded to produce different levels of strain is evaluated with the Lamb waves of S0 mode. A tone burst at the center frequency of 200 kHz was used as excitation. Second-order nonlinear wave was extracted from the spectrogram of a signal receiving point. Tensile-driven plastic deformation and cumulative second harmonic generation of S0 mode were observed in the simulation. Simulated measurement of the acoustic nonlinearity increased monotonically with the level of tensile-driven plastic strain captured by MLPGEM, whereas achieving this state by other numerical methods is comparatively more difficult. This result indicates that the second harmonics of S0 mode can be employed to monitor and evaluate the material or structural early-stage damage induced by plasticity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Structural Health Monitoring for Aerospace Applications 2017)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle 4,2’:6’,4”- and 3,2’:6’,3”-Terpyridines: The Conflict between Well-Defined Vectorial Properties and Serendipity in the Assembly of 1D-, 2D- and 3D-Architectures
Materials 2017, 10(7), 728; doi:10.3390/ma10070728
Received: 12 June 2017 / Revised: 27 June 2017 / Accepted: 28 June 2017 / Published: 30 June 2017
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Abstract
A comparative investigation of the coordination assemblies formed between Co(NCS)2 and two monotopic 4,2’:6’,4’’-terpyridine (4,2’:6’,4”-tpy) ligands or two related ditopic ligands is reported. Crystals were grown by layering MeOH solutions of Co(NCS)2 over a CHCl3 or 1,2-C6H4
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A comparative investigation of the coordination assemblies formed between Co(NCS)2 and two monotopic 4,2’:6’,4’’-terpyridine (4,2’:6’,4”-tpy) ligands or two related ditopic ligands is reported. Crystals were grown by layering MeOH solutions of Co(NCS)2 over a CHCl3 or 1,2-C6H4Cl2 solution of the respective ligand at room temperature. With 4’-(2-methylpyrimidin-5-yl)-4,2’:6’,4”-terpyridine (6), the 1D-coordination polymer {[Co2(NCS)4(MeOH)4(6)2]∙2MeOH∙8H2O}n assembles with 6 coordinating only through the outer N-donors of the 4,2’:6’,4”-tpy unit; coordination by the MeOH solvent blocks two cobalt coordination sites preventing propagation in a higher-dimensional network. A combination of Co(NCS)2 and 1-(4,2‘:6’,4”-terpyridin-4’-yl)ferrocene (7) leads to {[Co(NCS)2(7)2]∙4CHCl3}n which contains a (4,4) net; the 2D-sheets associate through π-stacking interactions between ferrocenyl and pyridyl units. A 3D-framework is achieved through use of the ditopic ligand 1,4-bis(npropoxy)-2,5-bis(4,2’:6’,4”-terpyridin-4’-yl)benzene (8) which acts as a 4-connecting node in {[Co(NCS)2(8)2].2C6H4Cl2}n; the combination of metal and ligand planar 4-connecting nodes results in a {65.8} cds net. For a comparison with the coordinating abilities of the previously reported 1,4-bis(noctoxy)-2,5-bis(4,2’:6’,4”-terpyridin-4’-yl)benzene (3), a more flexible analogue 9 was prepared. {[Co(NCS)2(9)]∙2CHCl3}n contains a (4,4) net defined by both metal and ligand planar 4-connecting nodes. The noctoxy tails of 9 protrude from each side of the (4,4) net and thread through adjacent sheets; the arene-attached noctoxy chains associate through a combination of van der Waals and C–H...π interactions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metal Organic Framework Materials)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Effect of Fly-Ash Cenospheres on Properties of Clay-Ceramic Syntactic Foams
Materials 2017, 10(7), 828; doi:10.3390/ma10070828
Received: 19 June 2017 / Revised: 19 June 2017 / Accepted: 11 July 2017 / Published: 19 July 2017
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Abstract
A low-density clay ceramic syntactic foam (CSF) composite material was successfully synthesized from illitic clay added by fly ash cenospheres (CS) using the semi-dry formation method. The content of CS varied in the range of 10, 30, 50 and 60 vol %. Furthermore,
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A low-density clay ceramic syntactic foam (CSF) composite material was successfully synthesized from illitic clay added by fly ash cenospheres (CS) using the semi-dry formation method. The content of CS varied in the range of 10, 30, 50 and 60 vol %. Furthermore, reference samples without cenospheres were produced for property comparison. The materials comprising different amount of the additives were fired at temperatures of 600, 950, 1000, 1050, 1100, 1150 and 1200 °C. Firing times were kept constant at 30 min. Processing characteristics of the materials were evaluated in terms of density achieved and shrinkage observed as functions of both the CS content and the sintering temperature. The compressive strength and water uptake were determined as application-oriented properties. Except for the reference and the low CS level samples, the materials show an increase in strength with the increase in firing temperature, and a decrease of mechanical reliability with a decrease in density, which is typical for porous materials. Exceptions are the samples with no or low (10 vol %) content of cenospheres. In this case, the maximum strength is obtained at an intermediate sintering temperature of 1100 °C. At a low density (1.10 and 1.25 g/cm3), the highest levels of strength are obtained after sintering at 1200 °C. For nominal porosity levels of 50 and 60 vol %, 41 and 26 MPa peak stresses, respectively, are recorded under compressive load. Full article
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Open AccessArticle A Parametric Model of the LARCODEMS Heavy Media Separator by Means of Multivariate Adaptive Regression Splines
Materials 2017, 10(7), 729; doi:10.3390/ma10070729
Received: 29 May 2017 / Revised: 28 June 2017 / Accepted: 28 June 2017 / Published: 30 June 2017
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Abstract
Modeling of a cylindrical heavy media separator has been conducted in order to predict its optimum operating parameters. As far as it is known by the authors, this is the first application in the literature. The aim of the present research is to
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Modeling of a cylindrical heavy media separator has been conducted in order to predict its optimum operating parameters. As far as it is known by the authors, this is the first application in the literature. The aim of the present research is to predict the separation efficiency based on the adjustment of the device’s dimensions and media flow rates. A variety of heavy media separators exist that are extensively used to separate particles by density. There is a growing importance in their application in the recycling sector. The cylindrical variety is reported to be the most suited for processing a large range of particle sizes, but optimizing its operating parameters remains to be documented. The multivariate adaptive regression splines methodology has been applied in order to predict the separation efficiencies using, as inputs, the device dimension and media flow rate variables. The results obtained show that it is possible to predict the device separation efficiency according to laboratory experiments performed and, therefore, forecast results obtainable with different operating conditions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Synthesis and Properties of Carbon Nanotube-Grafted Silica Nanoarchitecture-Reinforced Poly(Lactic Acid)
Materials 2017, 10(7), 829; doi:10.3390/ma10070829
Received: 4 May 2017 / Revised: 3 July 2017 / Accepted: 17 July 2017 / Published: 19 July 2017
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Abstract
A novel nanoarchitecture-reinforced poly(lactic acid) (PLA) nanocomposite was prepared using multi-walled carbon nanotube (MWCNT)-grafted silica nanohybrids as reinforcements. MWCNT-grafted silica nanohybrids were synthesized by the generation of silica nanoparticles on the MWCNT surface through the sol-gel technique. This synthetic method involves organo-modified MWCNTs
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A novel nanoarchitecture-reinforced poly(lactic acid) (PLA) nanocomposite was prepared using multi-walled carbon nanotube (MWCNT)-grafted silica nanohybrids as reinforcements. MWCNT-grafted silica nanohybrids were synthesized by the generation of silica nanoparticles on the MWCNT surface through the sol-gel technique. This synthetic method involves organo-modified MWCNTs that are dispersed in tetrahydrofuran, which incorporates tetraethoxysilane that undergoes an ultrasonic sol-gel process. Gelation yielded highly dispersed silica on the organo-modified MWCNTs. The structure and properties of the nanohybrids were established using 29Si nuclear magnetic resonance, Raman spectroscopy, wide-angle X-ray diffraction, thermogravimetric analysis, and transmission electron microscopy. The resulting MWCNT nanoarchitectures were covalently assembled into silica nanoparticles, which exhibited specific and controllable morphologies and were used to reinforce biodegradable PLA. The tensile strength and the heat deflection temperature (HDT) of the PLA/MWCNT-grafted silica nanocomposites increased when the MWCNT-grafted silica was applied to the PLA matrix; by contrast, the surface resistivity of the PLA/MWCNT-grafted silica nanocomposites appeared to decline as the amount of MWCNT-grafted silica in the PLA matrix increased. Overall, the reinforcement of PLA using MWCNT-grafted silica nanoarchitectures was efficient and improved its mechanical properties, heat resistance, and electrical resistivity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Material Related Papers from ICI2016)
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Open AccessArticle Sliding Wear Behavior of UNS R56400 Titanium Alloy Samples Thermally Oxidized by Laser
Materials 2017, 10(7), 830; doi:10.3390/ma10070830
Received: 30 May 2017 / Revised: 11 July 2017 / Accepted: 13 July 2017 / Published: 19 July 2017
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Abstract
Wear of elements subjected to friction and sliding is among the main causes of low tribological performance and short lifetime of strategic materials such as titanium alloys. These types of alloys are widely used in different areas such as aerospace and the biomechanics
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Wear of elements subjected to friction and sliding is among the main causes of low tribological performance and short lifetime of strategic materials such as titanium alloys. These types of alloys are widely used in different areas such as aerospace and the biomechanics industry. In this sense, surface modification treatments allow for the overcoming of limitations and improvement of features and properties. In the case of titanium alloys, improvements in the main weaknesses of these materials can be obtained. Laser texturing of UNS R56400 (Ti6Al4V) alloy, according to Unified Numbering System designation, surface layers in a non-protective atmosphere produces an increase of the oxides, especially of titanium dioxide (TiO2) species. The presence of oxides in the alloy results in color tonality variations as well as hardness increases. In addition, specific roughness topographies may be produced by the track of laser beam irradiation. In this research, thermochemical oxidation of UNS R56400 alloy has been developed through laser texturing, using scan speed of the beam (Vs) as the process control variable, and its influence on the sliding wear behavior was analyzed. For this purpose, using pin on disc tribological tests, wear was evaluated from the friction coefficient, and wear mechanisms involved in the process were analyzed. Combined studies of wear mechanisms and the friction coefficient verified that by means of specific surface treatments, an increase in the wear resistance of this type of alloys is generated. The most advantageous results for the improvement of tribological behavior have been detected in textured surfaces using a Vs of 150 mm/s, resulting in a decrease in the friction coefficient values by approximately 20%. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tribological Behavior of Materials by Surface Engineering)
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Open AccessArticle The Influence of Lath, Block and Prior Austenite Grain (PAG) Size on the Tensile, Creep and Fatigue Properties of Novel Maraging Steel
Materials 2017, 10(7), 730; doi:10.3390/ma10070730
Received: 7 June 2017 / Revised: 21 June 2017 / Accepted: 26 June 2017 / Published: 30 June 2017
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Abstract
The influence of martensitic microstructure and prior austenite grain (PAG) size on the mechanical properties of novel maraging steel was studied. This was achieved by looking at two different martensitic structures with PAG sizes of approximately 40 µm and 80 µm, produced by
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The influence of martensitic microstructure and prior austenite grain (PAG) size on the mechanical properties of novel maraging steel was studied. This was achieved by looking at two different martensitic structures with PAG sizes of approximately 40 µm and 80 µm, produced by hot rolling to different reductions. Two ageing heat-treatments were considered: both heat-treatments consisted of austenisation at 960 °C, then aging at 560 °C for 5 h, but while one was rapidly cooled the other was slow cooled and then extended aged at 480 °C for 64 h. It is shown that for the shorter ageing treatment the smaller PAG size resulted in significant improvements in strength (increase of more than 150 MPa), ductility (four times increase), creep life (almost four times increase in creep life) and fatigue life (almost doubled). Whereas, the extended aged sample showed similar changes in the fatigue life, elongation and hardness it displayed yet showed no difference in tensile strength and creep. These results display the complexity of microstructural contributions to mechanical properties in maraging steels. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Structure Analysis and Characterization)
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Open AccessArticle Improved Gene Transfer with Functionalized Hollow Mesoporous Silica Nanoparticles of Reduced Cytotoxicity
Materials 2017, 10(7), 731; doi:10.3390/ma10070731
Received: 29 March 2017 / Revised: 1 June 2017 / Accepted: 2 June 2017 / Published: 30 June 2017
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Abstract
Gene therapy is a promising strategy for treatment of genetically caused diseases. Successful gene delivery requires an efficient carrier to transfer the desired gene into host cells. Recently, mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSNs) functionalized with 25 kD polyethyleneimine (PEI) were extensively used as gene
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Gene therapy is a promising strategy for treatment of genetically caused diseases. Successful gene delivery requires an efficient carrier to transfer the desired gene into host cells. Recently, mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSNs) functionalized with 25 kD polyethyleneimine (PEI) were extensively used as gene delivery carriers. However, 25 kD PEI could significantly reduce the safety of the modified MSNs although it is efficient for intracellular delivery of nucleic acids. In addition, limited drug loading remains a challenge for conventional MSNs drug carriers. Hollow mesoporous silica nanoparticles (HMSNs) with high pore volume, tunable pore size, and excellent biocompatibility are attractive alternatives. To make them more efficient, a less toxic 1.8 kD PEI polymer was used to functionalize the HMSNs which have large pore size (~10 nm) and form PEI-HMSNs. Scanning and transmission electron microscopic images showed that HMSNs were spherical in shape and approximately 270 nm in diameter with uniform hollow nanostructures. The maximum loading capacity of green fluorescent protein labeled DNA (GFP-DNA) in PEI-HMSNs was found to be 37.98 mg/g. The loading capacity of PEI-HMSNs was nearly three-fold higher than those of PEI modified solid nanoparticles, indicating that both hollow and large pores contributed to the increase in DNA adsorption. The transfection of GFP-DNA plasmid loaded in PEI-HMSNs was increased two-fold in comparison to that of 25 kD PEI. MTT assays in Lovo cells showed that the cell viability was more than 85% when the concentration of PEI-HMSNs was 120 µg/mL, whereas the cell viability was less than 20% when the 25 kD PEI was used at the same concentration. These results indicated that PEI-HMSNs could be used as a delivery system for nucleic acids due to good biocompatibility, high gene loading capacity, and enhanced gene transfer efficiency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Materials for Drug Delivery and Biomedical Consideration)
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Open AccessArticle Evaluation of 3D-Printed Polycaprolactone Scaffolds Coated with Freeze-Dried Platelet-Rich Plasma for Bone Regeneration
Materials 2017, 10(7), 831; doi:10.3390/ma10070831
Received: 8 May 2017 / Revised: 9 June 2017 / Accepted: 10 June 2017 / Published: 19 July 2017
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Abstract
Three-dimensional printing is one of the most promising techniques for the manufacturing of scaffolds for bone tissue engineering. However, a pure scaffold is limited by its biological properties. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) has been shown to have the potential to improve the osteogenic effect.
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Three-dimensional printing is one of the most promising techniques for the manufacturing of scaffolds for bone tissue engineering. However, a pure scaffold is limited by its biological properties. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) has been shown to have the potential to improve the osteogenic effect. In this study, we improved the biological properties of scaffolds by coating 3D-printed polycaprolactone (PCL) scaffolds with freeze-dried and traditionally prepared PRP, and we evaluated these scaffolds through in vitro and in vivo experiments. In vitro, we evaluated the interaction between dental pulp stem cells (DPSCs) and the scaffolds by measuring cell proliferation, alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity, and osteogenic differentiation. The results showed that freeze-dried PRP significantly enhanced ALP activity and the mRNA expression levels of osteogenic genes (ALP, RUNX2 (runt-related gene-2), OCN (osteocalcin), OPN (osteopontin)) of DPSCs (p < 0.05). In vivo, 5 mm calvarial defects were created, and the PRP-PCL scaffolds were implanted. The data showed that compared with traditional PRP-PCL scaffolds or bare PCL scaffolds, the freeze-dried PRP-PCL scaffolds induced significantly greater bone formation (p < 0.05). All these data suggest that coating 3D-printed PCL scaffolds with freeze-dried PRP can promote greater osteogenic differentiation of DPSCs and induce more bone formation, which may have great potential in future clinical applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biomaterials)
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Open AccessArticle Experimental and Computational Studies on the Scattering of an Edge-Guided Wave by a Hidden Crack on a Racecourse Shaped Hole
Materials 2017, 10(7), 732; doi:10.3390/ma10070732
Received: 8 June 2017 / Revised: 26 June 2017 / Accepted: 27 June 2017 / Published: 1 July 2017
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Abstract
Reliable and quantitative non-destructive evaluation for small fatigue cracks, in particular those in hard-to-inspect locations, is a challenging problem. Guided waves are advantageous for structural health monitoring due to their slow geometrical decay of amplitude with propagating distance, which is ideal for rapid
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Reliable and quantitative non-destructive evaluation for small fatigue cracks, in particular those in hard-to-inspect locations, is a challenging problem. Guided waves are advantageous for structural health monitoring due to their slow geometrical decay of amplitude with propagating distance, which is ideal for rapid wide-area inspection. This paper presents a 3D laser vibrometry experimental and finite element analysis of the interaction between an edge-guided wave and a small through-thickness hidden edge crack on a racecourse shaped hole that occurs, in practice, as a fuel vent hole. A piezoelectric transducer is bonded on the straight edge of the hole to generate the incident wave. The excitation signal consists of a 5.5 cycle Hann-windowed tone burst of centre frequency 220 kHz, which is below the cut-off frequency for the first order Lamb wave modes (SH1). Two-dimensional fast Fourier transformation (2D FFT) is applied to the incident and scattered wave field along radial lines emanating from the crack mouth, so as to identify the wave modes and determine their angular variation and amplitude. It is shown experimentally and computationally that mid-plane symmetric edge waves can travel around the hole’s edge to detect a hidden crack. Furthermore, the scattered wave field due to a small crack length, a, (compared to the wavelength λ of the incident wave) is shown to be equivalent to a point source consisting of a particular combination of body-force doublets. It is found that the amplitude of the scattered field increases quadratically as a function of a/λ, whereas the scattered wave pattern is independent of crack length for small cracks a << λ. This study of the forward scattering problem from a known crack size provides a useful guide for the inverse problem of hidden crack detection and sizing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Structural Health Monitoring for Aerospace Applications 2017)
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Open AccessArticle An Advanced Multi-Sensor Acousto-Ultrasonic Structural Health Monitoring System: Development and Aerospace Demonstration
Materials 2017, 10(7), 832; doi:10.3390/ma10070832
Received: 25 May 2017 / Revised: 17 July 2017 / Accepted: 18 July 2017 / Published: 20 July 2017
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Abstract
A key longstanding objective of the Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) research community is to enable the embedment of SHM systems in high value assets like aircraft to provide on-demand damage detection and evaluation. As against traditional non-destructive inspection hardware, embedded SHM systems must
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A key longstanding objective of the Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) research community is to enable the embedment of SHM systems in high value assets like aircraft to provide on-demand damage detection and evaluation. As against traditional non-destructive inspection hardware, embedded SHM systems must be compact, lightweight, low-power and sufficiently robust to survive exposure to severe in-flight operating conditions. Typical Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (COTS) systems can be bulky, costly and are often inflexible in their configuration and/or scalability, which militates against in-service deployment. Advances in electronics have resulted in ever smaller, cheaper and more reliable components that facilitate the development of compact and robust embedded SHM systems, including for Acousto-Ultrasonics (AU), a guided plate-wave inspection modality that has attracted strong interest due mainly to its capacity to furnish wide-area diagnostic coverage with a relatively low sensor density. This article provides a detailed description of the development, testing and demonstration of a new AU interrogation system called the Acousto Ultrasonic Structural health monitoring Array Module+ (AUSAM+). This system provides independent actuation and sensing on four Piezoelectric Wafer Active Sensor (PWAS) elements with further sensing on four Positive Intrinsic Negative (PIN) photodiodes for intensity-based interrogation of Fiber Bragg Gratings (FBG). The paper details the development of a novel piezoelectric excitation amplifier, which, in conjunction with flexible acquisition-system architecture, seamlessly provides electromechanical impedance spectroscopy for PWAS diagnostics over the full instrument bandwidth of 50 KHz–5 MHz. The AUSAM+ functionality is accessed via a simple hardware object providing a myriad of custom software interfaces that can be adapted to suit the specific requirements of each individual application. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Structural Health Monitoring for Aerospace Applications 2017)
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Open AccessArticle Effect of the Ultrasonic Surface Rolling Process on the Fretting Fatigue Behavior of Ti-6Al-4V Alloy
Materials 2017, 10(7), 833; doi:10.3390/ma10070833
Received: 11 May 2017 / Revised: 15 July 2017 / Accepted: 17 July 2017 / Published: 20 July 2017
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Abstract
The effect of the ultrasonic surface rolling process (USRP) on the rotary bending fretting fatigue (FF) of Ti-6Al-4V alloy was investigated. The reason for the USRP’s ability to improve the FF resistance of Ti-6Al-4V alloy was studied. The results revealed that the USRP
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The effect of the ultrasonic surface rolling process (USRP) on the rotary bending fretting fatigue (FF) of Ti-6Al-4V alloy was investigated. The reason for the USRP’s ability to improve the FF resistance of Ti-6Al-4V alloy was studied. The results revealed that the USRP induced a compressive residual stress field with a depth of 530 μm and a maximum residual stress of −930 MPa. Moreover, the surface micro-hardness of the USRP sample was significantly higher than that of the untreated base material (BM) sample, and the USRP yielded a 72.7% increase in the FF limit of the alloy. These further enhanced fatigue properties contributed mainly to the compressive residual stress field with large numerical value and deep distribution, which could effectively suppress FF crack initiation and early propagation. The USRP-induced surface work-hardening had only a minor impact on the FF resistance. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle In Vivo Damage of the Head-Neck Junction in Hard-on-Hard Total Hip Replacements: Effect of Femoral Head Size, Metal Combination, and 12/14 Taper Design
Materials 2017, 10(7), 733; doi:10.3390/ma10070733
Received: 7 May 2017 / Revised: 24 June 2017 / Accepted: 25 June 2017 / Published: 1 July 2017
PDF Full-text (4915 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Recently, concerns have been raised about the potential effect of head-neck junction damage products at the local and systemic levels. Factors that may affect this damage process have not been fully established yet. This study investigated the possible correlations among head-neck junction damage
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Recently, concerns have been raised about the potential effect of head-neck junction damage products at the local and systemic levels. Factors that may affect this damage process have not been fully established yet. This study investigated the possible correlations among head-neck junction damage level, implant design, material combination, and patient characteristics. Head-neck junctions of 148 retrieved implants were analysed, including both ceramic-on-ceramic (N = 61) and metal-on-metal (N = 87) bearings. In all cases, the male taper was made of titanium alloy. Damage was evaluated using a four-point scoring system based on damage morphology and extension. Patient age at implantation, implantation time, damage risk factor, and serum ion concentration were considered as independent potential predicting variables. The damage risk factor summarises head-neck design characteristics and junction loading condition. Junction damage correlated with both implantation time and damage factor risk when the head was made of ceramic. A poor correlation was found when the head was made of cobalt alloy. The fretting-corrosion phenomenon seemed mainly mechanically regulated, at least when cobalt alloy components were not involved. When a component was made of cobalt alloy, the role of chemical phenomena increased, likely becoming, over implantation time, the damage driving phenomena of highly stressed junctions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Impact of Metal Ion Exposure on the Cellular Behavior of Human Osteoblasts and PBMCs: In Vitro Analyses of Osteolytic Processes
Materials 2017, 10(7), 734; doi:10.3390/ma10070734
Received: 10 May 2017 / Revised: 16 June 2017 / Accepted: 27 June 2017 / Published: 3 July 2017
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Abstract
Osteolysis in the periprosthetic tissue can be caused by metallic wear particles and ions that can originate from implant surface corrosion. These products influence cellular behavior and stimulate the expression of proinflammatory cytokines. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact
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Osteolysis in the periprosthetic tissue can be caused by metallic wear particles and ions that can originate from implant surface corrosion. These products influence cellular behavior and stimulate the expression of proinflammatory cytokines. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of CoCr29Mo6 ions on cell survival, differentiation, and cytokine expression in human osteoblasts and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). Thus, we exposed cells with a mixture of 200 µg/L ion solution and determined cell viability and apoptosis/necrosis. Gene expression analyses of osteoblastic and osteoclastic differentiation markers as well as pro-osteolytic mediators (IL-6, IL-8, TNF-α, MCP-1, MMP1, TIMP1) were performed. These markers were also investigated in mixed cultures of adherent and non-adherent PBMCs as well as in co-cultures of human osteoblasts and PBMCs. The ion solution induced necrosis in osteoblasts and PBMCs in single cultures. All examined mediators were highly expressed in the co-culture of osteoblasts and PBMCs whereas in the single cell cultures only IL-6, IL-8, and MMP1 were found to be stimulated. While the applied concentration of the CoCr29Mo6 ion solutions had only marginal effects on human osteoblasts and PBMCs alone, the co-culture may provide a comprehensive model to study osteolytic processes in response to Co and Cr ions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Biological Degradation of Chinese Fir with Trametes Versicolor (L.) Lloyd
Materials 2017, 10(7), 834; doi:10.3390/ma10070834
Received: 1 May 2017 / Revised: 22 June 2017 / Accepted: 17 July 2017 / Published: 20 July 2017
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Abstract
Chinese fir (Cunninghamia lanceolata (Lamb.) Hook.) has been an important afforestation species in northeast China. It has obvious defects of buckling and cracking easily, which are caused by its chemical components. Trametes versicolor (L.) Lloyd, a white-rot fungus, can decompose the cellulose,
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Chinese fir (Cunninghamia lanceolata (Lamb.) Hook.) has been an important afforestation species in northeast China. It has obvious defects of buckling and cracking easily, which are caused by its chemical components. Trametes versicolor (L.) Lloyd, a white-rot fungus, can decompose the cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin in the wood. White-rot fungus was used to biologically degrade Chinese fir wood. The effects of different degradation time on the Chinese fir wood’s mechanical properties, micromorphology, chemical components, and crystallinity were studied. The results showed that the heartwood of Chinese fir was more durable than the sapwood and the durability class of Chinese fir was III. Trametes versicolor (L.) Lloyd had a greater influence on the mechanical properties (especially with respect to the modulus of elasticity (MOE)) for the sapwood. Trametes versicolor (L.) Lloyd degraded Chinese fir and colonized the lumen of various wood cell types in Chinese fir, penetrated cell walls via pits, caused erosion troughs and bore holes, and removed all cell layers. The ability of white-rot fungus to change the chemical composition mass fraction for Chinese fir was: hemicellulose > lignin > cellulose. The durability of the chemical compositions was: lignin > cellulose > hemicellulose. The crystallinity of the cellulose decreased and the mean size of the ordered (crystalline) domains increased after being treated by white-rot fungus. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Investigation of the Quasi-Brittle Failure of Alashan Granite Viewed from Laboratory Experiments and Grain-Based Discrete Element Modeling
Materials 2017, 10(7), 835; doi:10.3390/ma10070835
Received: 26 June 2017 / Revised: 14 July 2017 / Accepted: 17 July 2017 / Published: 21 July 2017
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Abstract
Granite is a typical crystalline material, often used as a building material, but also a candidate host rock for the repository of high-level radioactive waste. The petrographic texture—including mineral constituents, grain shape, size, and distribution—controls the fracture initiation, propagation, and coalescence within granitic
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Granite is a typical crystalline material, often used as a building material, but also a candidate host rock for the repository of high-level radioactive waste. The petrographic texture—including mineral constituents, grain shape, size, and distribution—controls the fracture initiation, propagation, and coalescence within granitic rocks. In this paper, experimental laboratory tests and numerical simulations of a grain-based approach in two-dimensional Particle Flow Code (PFC2D) were conducted on the mechanical strength and failure behavior of Alashan granite, in which the grain-like structure of granitic rock was considered. The microparameters for simulating Alashan granite were calibrated based on real laboratory strength values and strain-stress curves. The unconfined uniaxial compressive test and Brazilian indirect tensile test were performed using a grain-based approach to examine and discuss the influence of mineral grain size and distribution on the strength and patterns of microcracks in granitic rocks. The results show it is possible to reproduce the uniaxial compressive strength (UCS) and uniaxial tensile strength (UTS) of Alashan granite using the grain-based approach in PFC2D, and the average mineral size has a positive relationship with the UCS and UTS. During the modeling, most of the generated microcracks were tensile cracks. Moreover, the ratio of the different types of generated microcracks is related to the average grain size. When the average grain size in numerical models is increased, the ratio of the number of intragrain tensile cracks to the number of intergrain tensile cracks increases, and the UCS of rock samples also increases with this ratio. However, the variation in grain size distribution does not have a significant influence on the likelihood of generated microcracks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Brittle Failure of Different Materials)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Improving the Strength of ZTA Foams with Different Strategies: Immersion Infiltration and Recoating
Materials 2017, 10(7), 735; doi:10.3390/ma10070735
Received: 30 May 2017 / Revised: 25 June 2017 / Accepted: 28 June 2017 / Published: 1 July 2017
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Abstract
The combination of high strength and toughness, excellent wear resistance and moderate density makes zirconia-toughened alumina (ZTA) a favorable ceramic, and the foam version of it may also exhibit excellent properties. Here, ZTA foams were prepared by the polymer sponge replication method. We
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The combination of high strength and toughness, excellent wear resistance and moderate density makes zirconia-toughened alumina (ZTA) a favorable ceramic, and the foam version of it may also exhibit excellent properties. Here, ZTA foams were prepared by the polymer sponge replication method. We developed an immersion infiltration approach with simple equipment and operations to fill the hollow struts in as-prepared ZTA foams, and also adopted a multiple recoating method (up to four cycles) to strengthen them. The solid load of the slurry imposed a significant influence on the properties of the ZTA foams. Immersion infiltration gave ZTA foams an improvement of 1.5 MPa in compressive strength to 2.6 MPa at 87% porosity, only resulting in a moderate reduction of porosity (2–3%). The Weibull modulus of the infiltrated foams was in the range of 6–9. The recoating method generated an increase in compression strength to 3.3–11.4 MPa with the reduced porosity of 58–83%. The recoating cycle dependency of porosity and compression strength is nearly linear. The immersion infiltration strategy is comparable to the industrially-established recoating method and can be applied to other reticulated porous ceramics (RPCs). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Porous Ceramics)
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Open AccessArticle Piezoelectric Ceramics of the (1 − x)Bi0.50Na0.50TiO3xBa0.90Ca0.10TiO3 Lead-Free Solid Solution: Chemical Shift of the Morphotropic Phase Boundary, a Case Study for x = 0.06
Materials 2017, 10(7), 736; doi:10.3390/ma10070736
Received: 18 May 2017 / Revised: 16 June 2017 / Accepted: 26 June 2017 / Published: 1 July 2017
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Abstract
Research and development of lead-free piezoelectric materials are still the hottest topics in the field of piezoelectricity. One of the most promising lead-free family of compounds to replace lead zirconate–titanate for actuators is that of Bi0.50Na0.50TiO3 (BNT) based
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Research and development of lead-free piezoelectric materials are still the hottest topics in the field of piezoelectricity. One of the most promising lead-free family of compounds to replace lead zirconate–titanate for actuators is that of Bi0.50Na0.50TiO3 (BNT) based solid solutions. The pseudo-binary (1 − x)Bi0.50Na0.50TiO3xBa1 − yCayTiO3 system has been proposed for high temperature capacitors and not yet fully explored as piezoelectric material. In this work, the solid solution with x = 0.06 and y = 0.10 was obtained by two different synthesis routes: solid state and Pechini, aiming at using reduced temperatures, both in synthesis (<800 °C) and sintering (<1150 °C), while maintaining appropriated piezoelectric performance. Crystal structure, ceramic grain size, and morphology depend on the synthesis route and were analyzed by X-ray diffraction, together with scanning and transmission electron microscopy. The effects of processing and ceramic microstructure on the structural, dielectric, ferroelectric, and piezoelectric properties were discussed in terms of a shift of the Morphotropic Phase Boundary, chemically induced by the synthesis route. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Structure Analysis and Characterization)
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Open AccessArticle Effects of Annealing Conditions on Mixed Lead Halide Perovskite Solar Cells and Their Thermal Stability Investigation
Materials 2017, 10(7), 837; doi:10.3390/ma10070837
Received: 11 June 2017 / Revised: 9 July 2017 / Accepted: 14 July 2017 / Published: 21 July 2017
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Abstract
In this work, efficient mixed organic cation and mixed halide (MA0.7FA0.3Pb(I0.9Br0.1)3) perovskite solar cells are demonstrated by optimizing annealing conditions. AFM, XRD and PL measurements show that there is a better perovskite film
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In this work, efficient mixed organic cation and mixed halide (MA0.7FA0.3Pb(I0.9Br0.1)3) perovskite solar cells are demonstrated by optimizing annealing conditions. AFM, XRD and PL measurements show that there is a better perovskite film quality for the annealing condition at 100 °C for 30 min. The corresponding device exhibits an optimized PCE of 16.76% with VOC of 1.02 V, JSC of 21.55 mA/cm2 and FF of 76.27%. More importantly, the mixed lead halide perovskite MA0.7FA0.3Pb(I0.9Br0.1)3 can significantly increase the thermal stability of perovskite film. After being heated at 80 °C for 24 h, the PCE of the MA0.7FA0.3Pb(I0.9Br0.1)3 device still remains at 70.00% of its initial value, which is much better than the control MAPbI3 device, where only 46.50% of its initial value could be preserved. We also successfully fabricated high-performance flexible mixed lead halide perovskite solar cells based on PEN substrates. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Materials for Energy Applications)
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Open AccessArticle Plasmonic Light Scattering in Textured Silicon Solar Cells with Indium Nanoparticles from Normal to Non-Normal Light Incidence
Materials 2017, 10(7), 737; doi:10.3390/ma10070737
Received: 31 May 2017 / Revised: 27 June 2017 / Accepted: 29 June 2017 / Published: 1 July 2017
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Abstract
In this study, we sought to improve the light trapping of textured silicon solar cells using the plasmonic light scattering of indium nanoparticles (In NPs) of various dimensions. The light trapping modes of textured-silicon surfaces with and without In NPs were investigated at
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In this study, we sought to improve the light trapping of textured silicon solar cells using the plasmonic light scattering of indium nanoparticles (In NPs) of various dimensions. The light trapping modes of textured-silicon surfaces with and without In NPs were investigated at an angle of incidence (AOI) ranging from 0° to 75°. The optical reflectance, external quantum efficiency (EQE), and photovoltaic performance were first characterized under an AOI of 0°. We then compared the EQE and photovoltaic current density-voltage (J-V) as a function of AOI in textured silicon solar cells with and without In NPs. We observed a reduction in optical reflectance and an increase in EQE when the cells textured with pyramidal structures were coated with In NPs. We also observed an impressive increase in the average weighted external quantum efficiency (∆EQEw) and short-circuit current-density (∆Jsc) in cells with In NPs when illuminated under a higher AOI. The ∆EQEw values of cells with In NPs were 0.37% higher than those without In NPs under an AOI of 0°, and 3.48% higher under an AOI of 75°. The ∆Jsc values of cells with In NPs were 0.50% higher than those without In NPs under an AOI of 0°, and 4.57% higher under an AOI of 75°. The application of In NPs clearly improved the light trapping effects. This can be attributed to the effects of plasmonic light-scattering over the entire wavelength range as well as an expanded angle of incident light. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from IEEE ICASI 2017)
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Open AccessArticle Dealloyed Ruthenium Film Catalysts for Hydrogen Generation from Chemical Hydrides
Materials 2017, 10(7), 738; doi:10.3390/ma10070738
Received: 10 June 2017 / Revised: 28 June 2017 / Accepted: 29 June 2017 / Published: 2 July 2017
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Abstract
Thin-film ruthenium (Ru) and copper (Cu) binary alloys have been prepared on a Teflon™ backing layer by cosputtering of the precious and nonprecious metals, respectively. Alloys were then selectively dealloyed by sulfuric acid as an etchant, and their hydrogen generation catalysts performances were
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Thin-film ruthenium (Ru) and copper (Cu) binary alloys have been prepared on a Teflon™ backing layer by cosputtering of the precious and nonprecious metals, respectively. Alloys were then selectively dealloyed by sulfuric acid as an etchant, and their hydrogen generation catalysts performances were evaluated. Sputtering time and power of Cu atoms have been varied in order to tailor the hydrogen generation performances. Similarly, dealloying time and the sulfuric acid concentration have also been altered to tune the morphologies of the resulted films. A maximum hydrogen generation rate of 35 mL min−1 was achieved when Cu sputtering power and time were 200 W and 60 min and while acid concentration and dealloying time were 18 M and 90 min, respectively. It has also been demonstrated that the Ru content in the alloy after dealloying gradually increased with the increasing the sputtering power of Cu. After 90 min dealloying, the Ru to Cu ratio increased to about 190 times that of bare alloy. This is the key issue for observing higher catalytic activity. Interestingly, we have also presented template-free nanoforest-like structure formation within the context of one-step alloying and dealloying used in this study. Last but not least, the long-time hydrogen generation performances of the catalysts system have also been evaluated along 3600 min. During the first 600 min, the catalytic activity was quite stable, while about 24% of the catalytic activity decayed after 3000 min, which still makes these systems available for the development of robust catalyst systems in the area of hydrogen generation. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Influences of Thermal Treatment on the Dielectric Performances of Polystyrene Composites Reinforced by Graphene Nanoplatelets
Materials 2017, 10(7), 838; doi:10.3390/ma10070838
Received: 27 June 2017 / Revised: 14 July 2017 / Accepted: 18 July 2017 / Published: 21 July 2017
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Abstract
Dielectric properties of composites near percolation threshold (fc) are often sensitive to thermal treatments, and the annealing temperature is usually associated with a polymer’s rheological properties. In this study, the influences of the thermal treatment on dielectric properties are investigated
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Dielectric properties of composites near percolation threshold (fc) are often sensitive to thermal treatments, and the annealing temperature is usually associated with a polymer’s rheological properties. In this study, the influences of the thermal treatment on dielectric properties are investigated for the polystyrene (PS) matrix composite reinforced by graphene nanoplatelets (GNP) fillers near fc. It can be found that the thermal treatment can not only increase the dielectric constant, but also decrease the dielectric loss for the PS/GNP composite. This interesting phenomenon possibly happens in the interfacial region of PS/GNP with the thickness about 4–6 nm according to the electron energy-loss spectroscopy (EELS) results. The free volumes around the interface can be easily altered by the movement of polymeric segments after annealing at the glass transition temperature. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymers for Film Capacitors)
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