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Materials, Volume 11, Issue 2 (February 2018)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) Metal–elastomer interfacial systems—often encountered in stretchable electronics—demonstrate [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle Facile Fabrication of 100% Bio-based and Degradable Ternary Cellulose/PHBV/PLA Composites
Materials 2018, 11(2), 330; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma11020330
Received: 13 January 2018 / Revised: 8 February 2018 / Accepted: 20 February 2018 / Published: 24 February 2018
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Abstract
Modifying bio-based degradable polymers such as polylactide (PLA) and poly(hydroxybutyrate-co-hydroxyvalerate) (PHBV) with non-degradable agents will compromise the 100% degradability of their resultant composites. This work developed a facile and solvent-free route in order to fabricate 100% bio-based and degradable ternary cellulose/PHBV/PLA composite materials.
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Modifying bio-based degradable polymers such as polylactide (PLA) and poly(hydroxybutyrate-co-hydroxyvalerate) (PHBV) with non-degradable agents will compromise the 100% degradability of their resultant composites. This work developed a facile and solvent-free route in order to fabricate 100% bio-based and degradable ternary cellulose/PHBV/PLA composite materials. The effects of ball milling on the physicochemical properties of pulp cellulose fibers, and the ball-milled cellulose particles on the morphology and mechanical properties of PHBV/PLA blends, were investigated experimentally and statistically. The results showed that more ball-milling time resulted in a smaller particle size and lower crystallinity by way of mechanical disintegration. Filling PHBV/PLA blends with the ball-milled celluloses dramatically increased the stiffness at all of the levels of particle size and filling content, and improved their elongation at the break and fracture work at certain levels of particle size and filling content. It was also found that the high filling content of the ball-milled cellulose particles was detrimental to the mechanical properties for the resultant composite materials. The ternary cellulose/PHBV/PLA composite materials have some potential applications, such as in packaging materials and automobile inner decoration parts. Furthermore, filling content contributes more to the variations of their mechanical properties than particle size does. Statistical analysis combined with experimental tests provide a new pathway to quantitatively evaluate the effects of multiple variables on a specific property, and figure out the dominant one for the resultant composite materials. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Improved Formability of Mg-AZ80 Alloy under a High Strain Rate in Expanding-Ring Experiments
Materials 2018, 11(2), 329; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma11020329
Received: 15 January 2018 / Revised: 10 February 2018 / Accepted: 14 February 2018 / Published: 24 February 2018
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Abstract
Magnesium alloys offer a favored alternative to steels and aluminum alloys due to their low density and relatively high specific strength. Their application potentials are, however, impeded by poor formability at room temperature. In the current work, improved formability for the commercial magnesium
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Magnesium alloys offer a favored alternative to steels and aluminum alloys due to their low density and relatively high specific strength. Their application potentials are, however, impeded by poor formability at room temperature. In the current work, improved formability for the commercial magnesium AZ80 alloy was attained through the application of the high-rate electro-magnetic forming (EMF) technique. With the EMF system, elongation of 0.2 was achieved while only 0.11 is obtained through quasistatic loading. Systematic microstructural and textural investigations prior, during and post deformation under high strain-rate experiments were carried out using electron back-scattered diffraction (EBSD) and other microscopic techniques. The analysis indicates that enhanced elongation is achieved as a result of the combination of deformation, comprising basal and non-basal slip systems, twinning and dynamic recrystallization. An adopted EMF-forming technique is tested which results in enhanced elongation without failure and a higher degree of dynamically annealed microstructure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Intermetallic Alloys: Fabrication, Properties and Applications 2017)
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Open AccessArticle Effects of Temperature and Pressure of Hot Isostatic Pressing on the Grain Structure of Powder Metallurgy Superalloy
Materials 2018, 11(2), 328; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma11020328
Received: 18 January 2018 / Revised: 7 February 2018 / Accepted: 14 February 2018 / Published: 24 February 2018
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Abstract
The microstructure with homogeneously distributed grains and less prior particle boundary (PPB) precipitates is always desired for powder metallurgy superalloys after hot isostatic pressing (HIPping). In this work, we studied the effects of HIPping parameters, temperature and pressure on the grain structure in
[...] Read more.
The microstructure with homogeneously distributed grains and less prior particle boundary (PPB) precipitates is always desired for powder metallurgy superalloys after hot isostatic pressing (HIPping). In this work, we studied the effects of HIPping parameters, temperature and pressure on the grain structure in PM superalloy FGH96, by means of scanning electron microscope (SEM), electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD), transmission electron microscope (TEM) and Time-of-flight secondary ion spectrometry (ToF-SIMS). It was found that temperature and pressure played different roles in controlling PPB precipitation and grain structure during HIPping, the tendency of grain coarsening under high temperature could be inhibited by increasing HIPping pressure which facilitates the recrystallization. In general, relatively high temperature and pressure of HIPping were preferred to obtain an as-HIPped superalloy FGH96 with diminished PPB precipitation and homogeneously refined grains. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Mesoscopic Constitutive Model for Predicting Failure of Bulk Metallic Glass Composites Based on the Free-Volume Model
Materials 2018, 11(2), 327; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma11020327
Received: 7 December 2017 / Revised: 23 January 2018 / Accepted: 21 February 2018 / Published: 24 February 2018
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Abstract
A meso-mechanical damage model is developed to predict the tensile damage behaviors of bulk metallic glass composites (BMGCs) toughened by ductile particles. In this model, the deformation behaviors of the BMG matrix and particles are described by the free volume model and Ludwik
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A meso-mechanical damage model is developed to predict the tensile damage behaviors of bulk metallic glass composites (BMGCs) toughened by ductile particles. In this model, the deformation behaviors of the BMG matrix and particles are described by the free volume model and Ludwik flow equation, respectively. Weng’s dual-phase method is used to establish the relationship between the constituents and the composite system. The strain-based Weibull probability distribution function and percolation theory are adopted in characterizing the evolution of shear bands leading to the progressive failure of BMGCs. Moreover, the present model is performed under strain-controlled loading. Comparing to experiments on various BMGCs, the predictions are in good agreement with the measured results, which confirms that the present model successfully depicts the composite properties, such as yield strength, uniform deformation and strain softening elongation. Full article
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Open AccessReview Recent Evidence on Bioactive Glass Antimicrobial and Antibiofilm Activity: A Mini-Review
Materials 2018, 11(2), 326; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma11020326
Received: 25 January 2018 / Revised: 14 February 2018 / Accepted: 17 February 2018 / Published: 24 February 2018
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Abstract
Bone defects caused by trauma or pathological events are major clinical and socioeconomic burdens. Thus, the efforts of regenerative medicine have been focused on the development of non-biodegradable materials resembling bone features. Consequently, the use of bioactive glass as a promising alternative to
[...] Read more.
Bone defects caused by trauma or pathological events are major clinical and socioeconomic burdens. Thus, the efforts of regenerative medicine have been focused on the development of non-biodegradable materials resembling bone features. Consequently, the use of bioactive glass as a promising alternative to inert graft materials has been proposed. Bioactive glass is a synthetic silica-based material with excellent mechanical properties able to bond to the host bone tissue. Indeed, when immersed in physiological fluids, bioactive glass reacts, developing an apatite layer on the granule’s surface, playing a key role in the osteogenesis process. Moreover, the contact of bioactive glass with biological fluids results in the increase of osmotic pressure and pH due to the leaching of ions from granules’ surface, thus making the surrounding environment hostile to microbial growth. The bioactive glass antimicrobial activity is effective against a wide selection of aerobic and anaerobic bacteria, either in planktonic or sessile forms. Furthermore, bioglass is able to reduce pathogens’ biofilm production. For the aforementioned reasons, the use of bioactive glass might be a promising solution for the reconstruction of bone defects, as well as for the treatment and eradication of bone infections, characterized by bone necrosis and destruction of the bone structure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioactive Glasses 2017)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle TopUp SERS Substrates with Integrated Internal Standard
Materials 2018, 11(2), 325; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma11020325
Received: 11 December 2017 / Revised: 12 February 2018 / Accepted: 20 February 2018 / Published: 24 February 2018
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Abstract
Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) is known as a molecular-specific and highly sensitive method. In order to enable the routine application of SERS, powerful SERS substrates are of great importance. Within this manuscript, a TopUp SERS substrate is introduced which is fabricated by a
[...] Read more.
Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) is known as a molecular-specific and highly sensitive method. In order to enable the routine application of SERS, powerful SERS substrates are of great importance. Within this manuscript, a TopUp SERS substrate is introduced which is fabricated by a top-down process based on microstructuring as well as a bottom-up generation of silver nanostructures. The Raman signal of the support material acts as an internal standard in order to improve the quantification capabilities. The analyte molecule coverage of sulfamethoxazole on the surface of the nanostructures is characterized by the SERS signal evolution fitted by a Langmuir–Freundlich isotherm. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue SERS-Active Substrates)
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Open AccessReview Fe3O4 Nanoparticles in Targeted Drug/Gene Delivery Systems
Materials 2018, 11(2), 324; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma11020324
Received: 31 January 2018 / Revised: 21 February 2018 / Accepted: 21 February 2018 / Published: 23 February 2018
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Abstract
Fe3O4 nanoparticles (NPs), the most traditional magnetic nanoparticles, have received a great deal of attention in the biomedical field, especially for targeted drug/gene delivery systems, due to their outstanding magnetism, biocompatibility, lower toxicity, biodegradability, and other features. Naked Fe3
[...] Read more.
Fe3O4 nanoparticles (NPs), the most traditional magnetic nanoparticles, have received a great deal of attention in the biomedical field, especially for targeted drug/gene delivery systems, due to their outstanding magnetism, biocompatibility, lower toxicity, biodegradability, and other features. Naked Fe3O4 NPs are easy to aggregate and oxidize, and thus are often made with various coatings to realize superior properties for targeted drug/gene delivery. In this review, we first list the three commonly utilized synthesis methods of Fe3O4 NPs, and their advantages and disadvantages. In the second part, we describe coating materials that exhibit noticeable features that allow functionalization of Fe3O4 NPs and summarize their methods of drug targeting/gene delivery. Then our efforts will be devoted to the research status and progress of several different functionalized Fe3O4 NP delivery systems loaded with chemotherapeutic agents, and we present targeted gene transitive carriers in detail. In the following section, we illuminate the most effective treatment systems of the combined drug and gene therapy. Finally, we propose opportunities and challenges of the clinical transformation of Fe3O4 NPs targeting drug/gene delivery systems. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Preparation, Characterization, Mechanical and Antibacterial Properties of GO-ZnO Nanocomposites with a Poly(l-lactide)-Modified Surface
Materials 2018, 11(2), 323; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma11020323
Received: 27 December 2017 / Revised: 12 February 2018 / Accepted: 13 February 2018 / Published: 23 February 2018
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Abstract
Graphene oxide (GO) was employed for the preparation of GO-zinc oxide (ZnO). The hydroxyl group on the surface was exploited to trigger the l-lactide ring-opening polymerization. A composite material with poly(l-lactide) (PLLA) chains grafted to the GO-ZnO surface, GO-ZnO-PLLA, was
[...] Read more.
Graphene oxide (GO) was employed for the preparation of GO-zinc oxide (ZnO). The hydroxyl group on the surface was exploited to trigger the l-lactide ring-opening polymerization. A composite material with poly(l-lactide) (PLLA) chains grafted to the GO-ZnO surface, GO-ZnO-PLLA, was prepared. The results demonstrated that the employed method allowed one-step, rapid grafting of PLLA to the GO-ZnO surface. The chemical structure of the GO surface was altered by improved dispersion of GO-ZnO in organic solvents, thus enhancing the GO-ZnO dispersion in the PLLA matrix and the interface bonding with PLLA. Subsequently, composite films, GO-ZnO-PLLA and GO-ZnO-PLLA/PLLA, were prepared. The changes in interface properties and mechanical properties were studied. Furthermore, the antibacterial performance of nano-ZnO was investigated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biomaterials)
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Open AccessArticle 3D Graphene-Nitrogen Doped Carbon Nanotubes Network Modified Electrode as Sensing Materials for the Determination of Urapidil
Materials 2018, 11(2), 322; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma11020322
Received: 30 January 2018 / Revised: 11 February 2018 / Accepted: 12 February 2018 / Published: 23 February 2018
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Abstract
In this work, a three dimensional (3D) graphene-nitrogen doped carbon nanotubes (G-NCNTs) network was successfully fabricated on the surface of a glassy carbon (GC) electrode using the pulse potential method (PPM) in a graphene oxide-nitrogen doped carbon nanotubes (GO-NCNTs) dispersion. The morphological and
[...] Read more.
In this work, a three dimensional (3D) graphene-nitrogen doped carbon nanotubes (G-NCNTs) network was successfully fabricated on the surface of a glassy carbon (GC) electrode using the pulse potential method (PPM) in a graphene oxide-nitrogen doped carbon nanotubes (GO-NCNTs) dispersion. The morphological and characteristics of GO-NCNTs and G-NCNTs nanocomposites were investigated by atomic force microscopy (AFM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), UV-vis spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy, and electrochemical experiments. The 3DG-NCNTs network was applied as a new voltammetric material for the fabrication of an electrochemical platform for determination of urapidil. Systematic electrochemical tests demonstrate that the 3DG-NCNTs network modified GC electrode can effectively increase the response to the oxidation of urapidil. Under the optimum conditions, the electrochemical response was linear with urapidil concentrations in the range of 1.0 × 10−8~2.0 × 10−6 mol·L−1, while a low detection limit of 5.0 × 10−9 mol·L−1 was obtained for urapidil. Moreover, the proposed sensing platform exhibited good results for sensitivity, reproducibility, selectivity, and stability, which makes it very suitable for use as an ideal inexpensive and rapid analytical method applicable for complex drug matrices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Functional Nanomaterials and Their Applications)
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview Emerging Nanomedicine Therapies to Counter the Rise of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus
Materials 2018, 11(2), 321; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma11020321
Received: 19 January 2018 / Revised: 14 February 2018 / Accepted: 19 February 2018 / Published: 23 February 2018
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Abstract
In a recent report, the World Health Organisation (WHO) classified antibiotic resistance as one of the greatest threats to global health, food security, and development. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) remains at the core of this threat, with persistent and resilient strains detectable in
[...] Read more.
In a recent report, the World Health Organisation (WHO) classified antibiotic resistance as one of the greatest threats to global health, food security, and development. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) remains at the core of this threat, with persistent and resilient strains detectable in up to 90% of S. aureus infections. Unfortunately, there is a lack of novel antibiotics reaching the clinic to address the significant morbidity and mortality that MRSA is responsible for. Recently, nanomedicine strategies have emerged as a promising therapy to combat the rise of MRSA. However, these approaches have been wide-ranging in design, with few attempts to compare studies across scientific and clinical disciplines. This review seeks to reconcile this discrepancy in the literature, with specific focus on the mechanisms of MRSA infection and how they can be exploited by bioactive molecules that are delivered by nanomedicines, in addition to utilisation of the nanomaterials themselves as antibacterial agents. Finally, we discuss targeting MRSA biofilms using nano-patterning technologies and comment on future opportunities and challenges for MRSA treatment using nanomedicine. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanomaterials for Biomedical Applications)
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Open AccessArticle Microstructural Evolution of AlCoCrFeNiSi High-Entropy Alloy Powder during Mechanical Alloying and Its Coating Performance
Materials 2018, 11(2), 320; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma11020320
Received: 25 October 2017 / Revised: 20 February 2018 / Accepted: 20 February 2018 / Published: 23 February 2018
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Abstract
High-entropy alloys (HEAs) are promising structural materials due to their excellent comprehensive performances. The use of mechanically alloyed powders to deposit HEA coatings through atmospheric plasma spraying (APS) is an effective approach that can broaden the application areas of the HEAs. In this
[...] Read more.
High-entropy alloys (HEAs) are promising structural materials due to their excellent comprehensive performances. The use of mechanically alloyed powders to deposit HEA coatings through atmospheric plasma spraying (APS) is an effective approach that can broaden the application areas of the HEAs. In this paper, a ductility–brittleness AlCoCrFeNiSi system was chosen as an object of study, and the detailed evolution of the surface morphology, particle size distribution, and microstructure of the powder during mechanical alloying was investigated. An AlCoCrFeNiSi HEA coating was deposited using powder milled for 10 h, which can be used as an ideal feedstock for APS. The surface morphology, microstructure, microhardness, and wear behavior of the coating at room temperature were investigated. The results showed that as the milling time increased, the particle size first increased, and then decreased. At the milling time of 10 h, simple body-centered cubic (BCC) and face-centered cubic (FCC) solid solution phases were formed. After spraying, the lamellar structure inside a single particle disappeared. An ordered BCC phase was detected, and the diffraction peaks of the Si element also disappeared, which indicates that phase transformation occurred during plasma spraying. A transmission electron microscopy analysis showed that nanometer crystalline grains with a grain size of about 30 nm existed in the APS coating. For the coating, an average microhardness of 612 ± 41 HV was obtained. Adhesive wear, tribo-oxidation wear, and slight abrasion wear took place during the wear test. The coating showed good wear resistance, with a volume wear rate of 0.38 ± 0.08 × 10−4 mm3·N−1·m−1, which makes it a promising coating for use in abrasive environments. Full article
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Open AccessLetter Bottom–Up Electrodeposition of Large-Scale Nanotwinned Copper within 3D Through Silicon Via
Materials 2018, 11(2), 319; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma11020319
Received: 27 December 2017 / Revised: 17 February 2018 / Accepted: 19 February 2018 / Published: 23 February 2018
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Abstract
This paper is the first to report a large-scale directcurrent electrodeposition of columnar nanotwinned copper within through silicon via (TSV) with a high aspect ratio (~4). With this newly developed technique, void-free nanotwinned copper array could be fabricated in low current density (30
[...] Read more.
This paper is the first to report a large-scale directcurrent electrodeposition of columnar nanotwinned copper within through silicon via (TSV) with a high aspect ratio (~4). With this newly developed technique, void-free nanotwinned copper array could be fabricated in low current density (30 mA/cm2) and convection conditions (300 rpm), which are the preconditions for copper deposition with a uniform deep-hole microstructure. The microstructure of a whole cross-section of deposited copper array was made up of (111) orientated columnar grains with parallel nanoscale twins that had thicknesses of about 22 nm. The hardness was also uniform along the growth direction, with 2.34 and 2.68 GPa for the top and bottom of the TSV, respectively. The gelatin additive is also first reported hereas a key factor in forming nanoscale twins by adsorbing on the cathode surface, in order to enhance the overpotential for cathodic reaction during the copper deposition process. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Effect of Silver-Emitting Filler on Antimicrobial and Mechanical Properties of Soft Denture Lining Material
Materials 2018, 11(2), 318; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma11020318
Received: 29 January 2018 / Revised: 14 February 2018 / Accepted: 18 February 2018 / Published: 22 February 2018
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Abstract
Colonization of silicone-based soft lining materials by pathogenic yeast-type fungi is a common problem associated with the use of dentures. In this study, silver sodium hydrogen zirconium phosphate (SSHZP) was introduced into polydimethylsiloxane-based material as an antimicrobial filler at concentrations of 0.25, 0.5,
[...] Read more.
Colonization of silicone-based soft lining materials by pathogenic yeast-type fungi is a common problem associated with the use of dentures. In this study, silver sodium hydrogen zirconium phosphate (SSHZP) was introduced into polydimethylsiloxane-based material as an antimicrobial filler at concentrations of 0.25, 0.5, 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, and 14% (w/w). The in vitro antimicrobial efficacy was investigated. Candida albicans was used as a characteristic representative of pathogenic oral microflora. Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli were used as the typical Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacterial strains, respectively. The effect of filler addition on the Shore A hardness, tensile strength, tensile bond strength, sorption, and solubility was investigated. An increase in the filler concentration resulted in an increase in hardness, sorption, and solubility, and for the highest concentration, a decrease in bond strength. The favorable combination of antimicrobial efficacy with other properties was achieved at filler concentrations ranging from 2% to 10%. These composites exhibited mechanical properties similar to the material without the antimicrobial filler and enhanced in vitro antimicrobial efficiency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymeric Materials for Medical Applications)
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Open AccessArticle Ultrarapid Multimode Microwave Synthesis of Nano/Submicron β-SiC
Materials 2018, 11(2), 317; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma11020317
Received: 1 December 2017 / Revised: 2 February 2018 / Accepted: 2 February 2018 / Published: 22 February 2018
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Abstract
This paper presents the design, development and realization of a fast and novel process for the synthesis of 3C silicon carbide (β-SiC) nanorods and submicron powder. Using SiO2 (or Si) and activated carbon (AC), this process allows β-SiC to be synthesized with
[...] Read more.
This paper presents the design, development and realization of a fast and novel process for the synthesis of 3C silicon carbide (β-SiC) nanorods and submicron powder. Using SiO2 (or Si) and activated carbon (AC), this process allows β-SiC to be synthesized with almost 100% purity in timeframes of seconds or minutes using multimode microwave rotary tube reactors under open-air conditions. The synthesis temperature used was 1460 ± 50 °C for Si + AC and 1660 ± 50 °C for SiO2 + AC. The shortest β-SiC synthesis time achieved was about 20 s for Si + AC and 100 s for SiO2 + AC. This novel synthesis method allows for scaled-up flow processes in the rapid industrial-scale production of β-SiC, having advantages of time/energy saving and carbon dioxide emission reduction over comparable modern processes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Carbon Materials)
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Open AccessArticle Carbon-Fibre-Reinforced SiC Composite (C/SiSiC) as an Alternative Material for Endoprosthesis: Fabrication, Mechanical and In-Vitro Biological Properties
Materials 2018, 11(2), 316; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma11020316
Received: 19 January 2018 / Revised: 12 February 2018 / Accepted: 13 February 2018 / Published: 22 February 2018
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Abstract
Particle-induced periprosthetic osteolysis and subsequent aseptic implant loosening are a major cause of compromising the long-term results of total joint replacements. To date, no implant has been able to mirror radically the tribological factors (friction/lubrication/wear) of in vivo tribological pairings. Carbon-Fibre Reinforced SiC-Composites
[...] Read more.
Particle-induced periprosthetic osteolysis and subsequent aseptic implant loosening are a major cause of compromising the long-term results of total joint replacements. To date, no implant has been able to mirror radically the tribological factors (friction/lubrication/wear) of in vivo tribological pairings. Carbon-Fibre Reinforced SiC-Composites (C/SiSiC), a material primarily developed for brake technology, has the opportunity to fulfil this requirement. Until now, the material itself has not been used in medicine. The aim of this investigation was to test the suitability of C/SiSiC ceramics as a new material for bearing couples in endoprosthetics. After the preparation of the composites flexural strength was determined as well as the Young’s-modulus and the coefficient of friction. To investigate in vitro biological properties, MG 63 and primary human osteoblasts were cultured on C/SiSiC composites. To review the proliferation, the cytotoxicity standardized tests were used. The cell morphology was observed by light microscopy, ESEM, confocal and 3D-laserscanning microscopy. C/SiSiC possesses a high resistance to wear. Cells exhibited no significant alterations in morphology. Vitality was not impaired by contact with the ceramic composite. There was no higher cytotoxicity to observe. Regarding these results, C/SiSiC ceramics seem to be biologically and mechanically appropriate for orthopaedic applications. Full article
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