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Fibers, Volume 5, Issue 3 (September 2017)

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Cover Story The self-assembly of bacterial cellulose (BC) nanofibers onto the surface of sisal fibers—when [...] Read more.
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Research

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Open AccessArticle Flexural Behavior of Epoxy under Accelerated Hygrothermal Conditions
Fibers 2017, 5(3), 25; doi:10.3390/fib5030025
Received: 21 April 2017 / Revised: 19 June 2017 / Accepted: 21 June 2017 / Published: 7 July 2017
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Abstract
Fibers by themselves have a limited use in engineering applications since they cannot transmit loads from one to another; therefore, the matrix material plays an important role in the overall function of the fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) composites. This paper intends to study
[...] Read more.
Fibers by themselves have a limited use in engineering applications since they cannot transmit loads from one to another; therefore, the matrix material plays an important role in the overall function of the fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) composites. This paper intends to study the long term strength of epoxy resins subject to accelerated hygrothermal conditions. Such tests are able to predict the weather durability performance of epoxy materials, which is particularly important for many FRP bonded concrete structures. Several sets of epoxy beam specimens have been constructed and exposed to various hygrothermal environments (25 °C, 100 °C, 180 °C and 0% or 100% relative humidity). Specimens were then evaluated at selected thermal cycles by three-point flexural tests. The flexural strength, mid-span deflection, and stiffness, as well as the mode of failure, have been examined in this study. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Commingled Yarn Spinning for Thermoplastic/Glass Fiber Composites
Fibers 2017, 5(3), 26; doi:10.3390/fib5030026
Received: 25 April 2017 / Revised: 10 July 2017 / Accepted: 17 July 2017 / Published: 20 July 2017
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Abstract
Online commingled yarns were spun with three different polymeric matrices, namely polypropylene (PP), polyamide (PA) and polylactic acid (PLA) and glass fibers. Tailored sizings were applied for the three matrices and the resulting mechanical performance of unidirectional composites was evaluated and compared. Significant
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Online commingled yarns were spun with three different polymeric matrices, namely polypropylene (PP), polyamide (PA) and polylactic acid (PLA) and glass fibers. Tailored sizings were applied for the three matrices and the resulting mechanical performance of unidirectional composites was evaluated and compared. Significant improvements in the fiber/matrix bonding were achieved by employed sizing chemistry in order to achieve multifunctional interphases. The pure silane coupling agents provide the best performance for all matrices investigated. However, an additional film former has to be added in order to achieve fiber processing. Film formers compatible to the matrices investigated were adapted. The consolidation behavior during isothermal molding was investigated for polypropylene matrix. Different fiber volume contents could be realized and the resulting mechanical properties were tested. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Glass Fibers)
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Open AccessArticle A Model for the Prediction of the Tensile Strength of Fiber-Reinforced Concrete Members, Before and After Cracking
Fibers 2017, 5(3), 27; doi:10.3390/fib5030027
Received: 10 April 2017 / Revised: 23 June 2017 / Accepted: 27 June 2017 / Published: 28 July 2017
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Abstract
The tensile behavior of concrete or mortar plays an important role for delaying the formation and propagation of cracks, and also for upgrading the bearing capacity of existing concrete and masonry constructions. Although the presence of steel fibers is known to improve, often
[...] Read more.
The tensile behavior of concrete or mortar plays an important role for delaying the formation and propagation of cracks, and also for upgrading the bearing capacity of existing concrete and masonry constructions. Although the presence of steel fibers is known to improve, often considerably, the tensile capacity of concrete members, methods for the quantification of this improvement are still limited. For this reason, a model has been developed for the prediction of the tensile strength of steel fiber-reinforced concrete members, as crack opening occurs. Given the geometry and the physical characteristics of reinforced concrete member and fibers, the model predicts: (1) the number of fibers crossing a crack’s surface; (2) the distribution of these fibers in terms of (i) the angle a fiber forms with the crack surface (fiber inclination) and (ii) the embedded length of the fiber at both sides of the surface; (3) resistance to crack opening provided by each fiber, in relation to its position and inclination. On the results of the results obtained, the influence of the number of fibers on the reduction of crack widening in concrete or mortar is remarkable and can be estimated with satisfactory precision. In upgrading existing concrete and masonry constructions, this tensile behavior is found to play important role. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Fabrication and Characterization of Polymer Optical Fibers Doped with Perylene-Derivatives for Fluorescent Lighting Applications
Fibers 2017, 5(3), 28; doi:10.3390/fib5030028
Received: 23 June 2017 / Revised: 21 July 2017 / Accepted: 25 July 2017 / Published: 31 July 2017
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Abstract
Four different dye-doped polymer optical fibers (POFs) have been fabricated following a two-step fabrication process of preform extrusion and fiber drawing, using poly-(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) as host material and dye derivatives from perylene and naphtalimide as active dopants. The side illumination technique (SIT)
[...] Read more.
Four different dye-doped polymer optical fibers (POFs) have been fabricated following a two-step fabrication process of preform extrusion and fiber drawing, using poly-(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) as host material and dye derivatives from perylene and naphtalimide as active dopants. The side illumination technique (SIT) has been employed in order to determine some optical properties of the fabricated fibers, such as the side illumination coupling efficiency, optical loss coefficients, and their performance under solar simulator excitation. The aim of this work is to investigate the performance of the manufactured fibers for fluorescent lighting applications, specially targeting on fluorescent fiber based solar concentrators. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fabrication of Special Optical Glass and Polymer Fibres)
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Open AccessArticle Manufacturing and Spectral Features of Different Types of Long Period Fiber Gratings: Phase-Shifted, Turn-Around Point, Internally Tilted, and Pseudo-Random
Fibers 2017, 5(3), 29; doi:10.3390/fib5030029
Received: 5 July 2017 / Revised: 5 July 2017 / Accepted: 1 August 2017 / Published: 8 August 2017
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Abstract
The manufacturing and spectral features of different types of long period fiber gratings (LPFGs), ranging from phase-shifted, turn-around point, and internally tilted gratings, to pseudo-random gratings, are described and discussed in detail. LPFGs were manufactured on boron-germanium co-doped photosensitive optical fibers with the
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The manufacturing and spectral features of different types of long period fiber gratings (LPFGs), ranging from phase-shifted, turn-around point, and internally tilted gratings, to pseudo-random gratings, are described and discussed in detail. LPFGs were manufactured on boron-germanium co-doped photosensitive optical fibers with the point-by-point technique using an excimer KrF laser operating at 248 nm. The developed experimental setup to manufacture high-quality LPFGs was designed to totally customize any type of gratings with the possibility of setting different parameters, such as the grating period (or pitch), the number of grating planes, the number of laser shots for each plane, etc. Some important spectral features of the LPFGs’ spectra were taken into account. This allows realizing homemade devices useful in several fiber-based applications, such as optical filtering, coupling systems, random lasers, physical and chemical sensing, and biosensing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Optical Fibers II)
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Open AccessArticle The Thermal Conductivities of Periodic Fibrous Composites as Defined by a Mathematical Model
Fibers 2017, 5(3), 30; doi:10.3390/fib5030030
Received: 4 May 2017 / Revised: 1 August 2017 / Accepted: 4 August 2017 / Published: 14 August 2017
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Abstract
In this paper, a geometric body-centered model to simulate the periodic structure of unidirectional fibrous composites is presented. To this end, three prescribed configurations are introduced to predict in a deterministic manner the arrangement of internal and neighboring fibers inside the matrix. Thus,
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In this paper, a geometric body-centered model to simulate the periodic structure of unidirectional fibrous composites is presented. To this end, three prescribed configurations are introduced to predict in a deterministic manner the arrangement of internal and neighboring fibers inside the matrix. Thus, three different representative volume elements (RVEs) are established. Furthermore, the concept of the interphase has been taken into account, stating that each individual fiber is encircled by a thin layer of variable thermomechanical properties. Next, these three unit cells are transformed in a unified manner to a coaxial multilayer cylinder model. This advanced model includes the influence of fiber contiguity in parallel with the interphase concept on the thermomechanical properties of the overall material. Then, by the use of this model, the authors propose explicit expressions to evaluate the longitudinal and transverse thermal conductivity of this type of composite. The theoretical predictions were compared with experimental results, as well as with theoretical values yielded by some reliable formulae derived from other workers, and a reasonable agreement was found. Full article
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Open AccessArticle In Situ Produced Bacterial Cellulose Nanofiber-Based Hybrids for Nanocomposites
Fibers 2017, 5(3), 31; doi:10.3390/fib5030031
Received: 26 June 2017 / Revised: 21 July 2017 / Accepted: 11 August 2017 / Published: 22 August 2017
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Abstract
Two high-performance bacterial cellulose (BC) nanofiber-based hybrid structures were produced using an in situ self-assembly approach, one with microfibrillated cellulose (MFC) and another with sisal fiber, by incorporating them in the fermentation media. The fabricated BC-MFC hybrid and BC-sisal hybrid fibers showed enhanced
[...] Read more.
Two high-performance bacterial cellulose (BC) nanofiber-based hybrid structures were produced using an in situ self-assembly approach, one with microfibrillated cellulose (MFC) and another with sisal fiber, by incorporating them in the fermentation media. The fabricated BC-MFC hybrid and BC-sisal hybrid fibers showed enhanced mechanical properties compared to pure BC and sisal fibers, respectively. Tensile tests indicated BC-MFC hybrid and their nanocomposites fabricated with soy protein isolate (SPI) resin had better tensile properties than corresponding BC and BC-SPI nanocomposites. This was because of the uniform distribution of MFC within the BC nanofiber network structure which reduced the defects such as pores and voids or intersections of the BC nanofibers. BC-sisal hybrid fibrous structures were obtained after BC nanofibers self-assembled on the surface of the sisal fibers during the fermentation. The results of the microbond tests indicated that the BC-sisal hybrid fiber/SPI resin bond strength was higher than the control sisal fiber/SPI resin bond with p value of 0.02 at the significance level of 0.05. Higher bond strength is preferred since it can potentially lead to better tensile properties of the composites. The presented work suggests a novel route to fabricate hybrid nanocomposites with higher functional properties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanofibers)
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Open AccessArticle Multi-Scale Carbon (Micro/Nano) Fiber Reinforcement of Polyetheretherketone Using High Shear Melt-Processing
Fibers 2017, 5(3), 32; doi:10.3390/fib5030032
Received: 8 July 2017 / Revised: 2 August 2017 / Accepted: 17 August 2017 / Published: 28 August 2017
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Abstract
Fiber-reinforced polymer matrix composites offer lightweight, high mechanical performance but have required much effort to achieve good fiber–matrix adhesion and uniform distribution, and generally suffer from low impact resistance. In this work, a uniform, high shear melt-processing method was used to prepare carbon
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Fiber-reinforced polymer matrix composites offer lightweight, high mechanical performance but have required much effort to achieve good fiber–matrix adhesion and uniform distribution, and generally suffer from low impact resistance. In this work, a uniform, high shear melt-processing method was used to prepare carbon fiber (CF) reinforced polyetheretherketone (PEEK), carbon nanofiber (CNF) reinforced PEEK, and multi-scale CF and CNF reinforced PEEK composites. Scanning electron microscopy images show good fiber distribution and fiber–matrix interaction, as well as surface crystallization of PEEK from the fiber surfaces. Tensile modulus and strength increase most significantly with the addition of CF but with a loss in ductility. The multi-scale composite of CF–CNF-PEEK displays the stiffening effect from the CF and retains more ductility due to the CNF. Further, the CF–CNF-PEEK composite displays the highest impact energy absorption. This study shows that good mixing of CFs and CNFs is achievable in PEEK using a uniform, high shear processing method that can easily produce intricate shapes and provides a stiff, high impact energy absorption multi-scale carbon fiber-reinforced composite. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Effects of Surfactants on the Morphology and Properties of Electrospun Polyetherimide Fibers
Fibers 2017, 5(3), 33; doi:10.3390/fib5030033
Received: 1 July 2017 / Revised: 21 August 2017 / Accepted: 21 August 2017 / Published: 5 September 2017
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Abstract
Electrospun fibers often have beads as byproducts. Bead formation can be substantially minimized by the introduction of additives, such as ionic salts or surfactants, to the electrospinning polymeric solution. Polyetherimide (PEI) fibers were fabricated using electrospinning. Four different additives, Lithium Chloride (LiCl), Sodium
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Electrospun fibers often have beads as byproducts. Bead formation can be substantially minimized by the introduction of additives, such as ionic salts or surfactants, to the electrospinning polymeric solution. Polyetherimide (PEI) fibers were fabricated using electrospinning. Four different additives, Lithium Chloride (LiCl), Sodium Chloride (NaCl), Triton X-100 and Hexadecyltrimethylammonium Bromide (HTAB) were utilized to alter the polymer solution electrical conductivity and surface tensions. The effects of solution conductivity and surface tension on the electrospinning and the thermal, mechanical stability of the polymeric fibers were investigated. Morphology, thermal properties, permeability and mechanical strength of the fiber mats were investigated using Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), Thermogravimetric Analysis (TGA), Frazier Permeability Test, and Tensile tester respectively. The addition of 1.5wt.% HTAB was found to be the optimum concentration to produce PEI fibers without beads. The addition of HTAB produced fiber mats with higher air permeability, higher thermal stability and higher mechanical strength in comparison to the other additives. Finally, a filtration test was conducted on a simple custom model to compare the performance of beaded and non-beaded PEI fiber mats. The non-beaded PEI fiber mat performed better in terms of both separation efficiency (%E) and differential pressure drop (ΔP) separating water droplets from diesel fuel. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Antimicrobial Electrospun Fibers of Polyester Loaded with Engineered Cyclic Gramicidin Analogues
Fibers 2017, 5(3), 34; doi:10.3390/fib5030034
Received: 30 June 2017 / Revised: 26 July 2017 / Accepted: 21 August 2017 / Published: 11 September 2017
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Abstract
Biodegradable polyester fibers have been loaded with two engineered analogues of gramicidin soviet. In these cyclic peptide derivatives, which were designed in a previous work to stabilize the bioactive conformation while enhancing the antimicrobial activity, the D-Phe was replaced by D-Pro, and the
[...] Read more.
Biodegradable polyester fibers have been loaded with two engineered analogues of gramicidin soviet. In these cyclic peptide derivatives, which were designed in a previous work to stabilize the bioactive conformation while enhancing the antimicrobial activity, the D-Phe was replaced by D-Pro, and the L-Pro was changed by 1-aminocyclopropanecarboxylic acid (Ac3c) or by an Ac3c derivative with two vicinal phenyl substituents in a trans relative disposition (S,S-c3diPhe). The diameter, topography, thermal stability and wettability of the polyester fibers, which have been obtained by electrospinning, strongly depend on the molecular constraints and stability of the loaded peptides. More specifically, unloaded and linear gramicidin-loaded fibers (used as control) are hydrophobic, rough and micrometric, while fibers loaded with the cyclic peptides are hydrophilic, ultra-smooth, nanometric and less thermally stable. The activity of the two cyclic peptides increases when loaded into polyester fibers, suggesting that the polymeric matrix stabilizes the bioactive β-sheet structure. The peptide with S,S-c3diPhe displays higher antibiotic potency and biocompatibility than that with Ac3c, which indicates not only that the bioactive conformation is better preserved by the former but also the significant role played by the phenyl rings in the recognition by living cells. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Surface Functionalization of “Rajshahi Silk” Using Green Silver Nanoparticles
Fibers 2017, 5(3), 35; doi:10.3390/fib5030035
Received: 14 August 2017 / Revised: 23 August 2017 / Accepted: 25 August 2017 / Published: 18 September 2017
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Abstract
In this study, a novel functionalization approach has been addressed by using sodium alginate (Na-Alg) assisted green silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) on traditional “Rajshahi silk” fabric via an exhaustive method. The synthesized nanoparticles and coated silk fabrics were characterized by different techniques, including ultraviolet–visible
[...] Read more.
In this study, a novel functionalization approach has been addressed by using sodium alginate (Na-Alg) assisted green silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) on traditional “Rajshahi silk” fabric via an exhaustive method. The synthesized nanoparticles and coated silk fabrics were characterized by different techniques, including ultraviolet–visible spectroscopy (UV–vis spectra), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS), X-ray diffraction (XRD), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), which demonstrated that AgNPs with an average size of 6–10 nm were consistently deposited in the fabric surface under optimized conditions (i.e., pH 4, temperature 40 °C, and time 40 min). The silk fabrics treated with AgNPs showed improved colorimetric values and color fastness properties. Moreover, the UV-protection ability and antibacterial activity, as well as other physical properties—including tensile properties, the crease recovery angle, bending behavior, the yellowness index, and wettability (surface contact angle) of the AgNPs-coated silk were distinctly augmented. Therefore, green AgNPs-coated traditional silk with multifunctional properties has high potential in the textile industry. Full article
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Review

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Open AccessReview Granulated Silica Method for the Fiber Preform Production
Fibers 2017, 5(3), 24; doi:10.3390/fib5030024
Received: 24 April 2017 / Revised: 16 June 2017 / Accepted: 19 June 2017 / Published: 11 July 2017
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Abstract
During the past few years, we have studied the granulated silica method as a versatile and cost effective way of fiber preform production and the sol-gel method. Until now, we have used the sol-gel technology together with an iterative re-melting and milling step
[...] Read more.
During the past few years, we have studied the granulated silica method as a versatile and cost effective way of fiber preform production and the sol-gel method. Until now, we have used the sol-gel technology together with an iterative re-melting and milling step in order to produce rare earth or transition metal doped granular material for the granulated silica method. Here, we present that the iterative re-melting (laser-assisted) and milling step is no longer needed to reach a high homogeneity. The sol-gel method also offers a high degree of compositional flexibility with respect to dopants; it further facilitates achieving high concentrations, even in cases when several dopants are used. We employed optical active doped sol-gel derived granulate for the fiber core, whereas pure or index-raised granulated silica has been employed for the cladding. Based on the powder-in-tube technique, where silica glass tubes are appropriately filled with these granular materials, fibers has been directly drawn (“fiber rapid prototyping”), or eventually after an additional optional quality enhancing vitrification step. The powder-in-tube technique is also ideally suited for the preparation of microstructured optical fibers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Optical Fibers II)
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