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EISSN : 2073-4352
Current Publisher: MDPI AG (10.3390)
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Published: 21 June 2021
Crystals, Volume 11; doi:10.3390/cryst11060709

Abstract:
In this work, three deposited metals with different nickel (Ni) contents were produced by active gas metal arc welding (GMAW) in order to explore the influence of Ni on the microstructure evolution and toughness of 800 MPa grade low carbon bainite deposited metal. The results showed that microstructure of the deposited metals mainly consisted of lath bainite, lath martensite, coalesced bainite (CB), and retained austenite (RA), and that the toughness was closely related to two factors: CB and RA. RA in deposited metal could improve the toughness, while the CB would deteriorate the toughness of deposited metal. As the Ni content increased, a large amount of CB was generated in the deposited metals. The RA content increased from 1.5% to 5.7% with the content of Ni increasing from 5.5% to 6.5%. However, the RA content did not increase when the Ni content increased from 6.5% to 7.5%. Additionally, the smallest control unit of toughness in 800 MPa grade low carbon bainite deposited metals is the Bain Packet (BP) from the perspective of crystallography characteristics. This work provided a reference for the chemical composition design of 800 MPa grade steel welding consumables and showed that the toughness of the deposited metal could be improved effectively by increasing the RA content while suppressing the formation of CB.
Published: 21 June 2021
Crystals, Volume 11; doi:10.3390/cryst11060710

Abstract:
The construction industry has a significant environmental impact, contributing considerably to CO2 emissions, natural resource depletion, and energy consumption. The construction industry is currently trending towards using alternative construction materials in place of natural materials and cement, thereby reducing the environmental impact and promoting sustainability. Two approaches have been used in this review: scientometric analysis and a comprehensive manual review on the waste glass (WG) utilization in cement-based materials (CBMs) as a sustainable approach. Scientometric analysis is conducted to find out the current research trend from available bibliometric data and to identify the relevant publication fields, sources with the most publications, the most frequently used keywords, the most cited articles and authors, and the countries that have made the most significant contribution to the field of WG utilization in CBMs. The effect of WG on the mechanical properties of CBMs was found to be inconsistent in the literature. The inconsistent effects of WG impede its acceptance in the construction sector. This study intends to shed light on the arguments and tries to explain the opposing perspectives. This article summarizes the findings of various research groups and recommends new viewpoints based on the assessment of fundamental processes. The effect of utilizing WG on fresh and hardened properties of CBMs, including workability, compressive strength, split-tensile strength, and flexural strength, are reviewed. Furthermore, the microstructure and durability of composites containing WG are investigated. Different limitations associated with WG use in CBMs and their possible solution are reported. This study will assist researchers in identifying gaps in the present research. Additionally, the scientometric review will enable researchers from diverse regions to exchange novel ideas and technologies, collaborate on research, and form joint ventures.
Published: 20 June 2021
Crystals, Volume 11; doi:10.3390/cryst11060707

Abstract:
The first-principles method based on density functional theory was used to analyze the impurity formation energies, energy bands, density of states, electron overlap population and elastic modulus of SnO2, SnO2–Ni, SnO2–N and SnO2–Ni–N. SnO2 powders with different additives were prepared by the sol-gel method, and then X-ray diffraction experiments and wettability experiments were carried out. The powder metallurgy method was used to prepare AgSnO2 contacts with different additives. The simulation experiments on hardness, electrical conductivity and electrical contact were carried out. The simulation results show that the conductivity of Ni–N co-doped SnO2 is best, and more impurity levels are introduced into the forbidden band, thereby increasing the carrier concentration, reducing the band gap, and improving the conductivity. The experimental results show that Ni, N doping does not change the structure of SnO2, so doped SnO2 still belongs to the tetragonal system. Ni–N co-doping can better improve the wettability between SnO2 and Ag, reduce the accumulation of SnO2 on the contact surface and reduce the contact resistance. Ni–N co-doped SnO2 has the smallest hardness, improving ductility, molding and service life of the AgSnO2 contact material.
Published: 20 June 2021
Crystals, Volume 11; doi:10.3390/cryst11060708

Abstract:
Interactions between cationic dyes and negatively charged mineral surfaces have long attracted great attention from clay mineralogists, environmental scientists, and chemical engineers. In this study, the interactions between a cationic dye toluidine blue (TB) and palygorskite and sepiolite were investigated under different experimental conditions. The results showed that in addition to cation exchange, the specific surface area (SSA) of the minerals, particularly the formation of dimer molecules on the surface of both minerals, also accounted for the much higher TB uptake in comparison to their cation exchange capacities (CEC). The TB molecules were sorbed to the external surfaces, as no d-spacing expansion was observed in X-ray diffraction analyses. FTIR analyses showed strong interactions between the C=N or N-(CH3)2 group and the mineral surfaces, suggesting net electrostatic interactions if either of these functional groups bears a positive charge. Results from molecular dynamic simulations suggested dense monolayer TB formation on palygorskite because of its limited SSA and large CEC values. In comparison, a loosely dimeric formation was revealed on sepiolite for its large SSA and limited CEC values. Therefore, palygorskite is a better carrier for the sorption of cationic dyes, as evidenced by Maya blue paintings.
Published: 20 June 2021
Crystals, Volume 11; doi:10.3390/cryst11060706

Abstract:
The objective of this work was to investigate and demonstrate the pozzolanic properties of the bentonites found at the San José–Los Escullos deposit, located in the southeast of the Iberian Peninsula, to be used in the manufacturing of more durable and environmentally compatible pozzolanic cements, mortars and concretes. These bentonites are mainly composed of smectites, with montmorillonite as the main clay mineral. They were formed by the hydrothermal alteration of tuffs, volcanic glasses, dacites, rhyolites and andesites. For this research, samples were taken from outcrops on the south, north and west side of the San José–Los Escullos deposit, and in the Los Trancos deposit located 19.3 km to the northeast. All samples consisted of bentonites, except for a zeolite sample taken from the northern flank of the San José–Los Escullos deposit, which was used to contrast and compare the behaviour of bentonite in some of the analyses that were done. An investigation of the mineralogical, petrological, chemical and thermogravimetric characteristics of the samples was carried out using various methods, such as XRD, OA (Oriented aggregates), TGA, XRF, SEM and thin section petrography (TSP). In addition, a chemical analysis of pozzolanicity (CAP) was done at 8 and 15 days to determine the pozzolanic capacity of the samples. XRD, XRF, SEM and TSP studies showed that these bentonites have a complex mineralogical constitution, composed mainly of smectites of the montmorillonite variety, as well as halloysite, illite, vermiculite, biotite, muscovite, kaolinite, chlorite, mordenite, feldspar, pyroxene, amphibole, calcite, volcanic glass and quartz. Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) established the thermal stability of the bentonites studied at above 800 °C. Chemical analysis of pozzolanicity (CAP) confirmed the pozzolanic character of the bentonites, exhibited in their reactive behaviour with Ca(OH)2. The pozzolanic reactivity increased significantly from 8 to 15 days. These results show that the materials studied can be used as quality pozzolans for the manufacture of pozzolanic cements, mortars and concretes.
Published: 20 June 2021
Crystals, Volume 11; doi:10.3390/cryst11060705

Abstract:
The microstructure of the Si phase in Al-20Si alloys solidified under high pressure was investigated. The results demonstrate that the morphology of Si phase transformed (bulk→short rod→long needle) with the increase of superheat temperature under high pressure. At a pressure of 3 GPa and a superheat temperature of 100 K, a microstructure with a uniform distribution of fine Si phases on the α-Al matrix was obtained in the Al-20Si alloy. In addition, a mathematical model was developed to analyze the spacing variation of the lamellar Al-Si eutectics under the effect of pressure. The lamellar Al-Si eutectics appeared at 2 GPa and superheat temperatures of 70–150 K, and at 3 GPa and superheat temperatures of 140–200 K. With the increase of pressure from 2 GPa to 3 GPa, the average spacing of lamellar Al-Si eutectics decreased from 1.2–1.6 μm to 0.9–1.1 μm. In binary alloys, the effect of pressure on the eutectic spacing is related to the volume change of the solute phase from liquid to solid. When the volume change of the solute phase from liquid to solid is negative, the lamellar eutectic spacing decreases with increasing pressure. When it is positive, the eutectic spacing increases with increasing pressure.
Published: 19 June 2021
Crystals, Volume 11; doi:10.3390/cryst11060704

Abstract:
Uranyl carbonates are one of the largest groups of secondary uranium(VI)-bearing natural phases being represented by 40 minerals approved by the International Mineralogical Association, overtaken only by uranyl phosphates and uranyl sulfates. Uranyl carbonate phases form during the direct alteration of primary U ores on contact with groundwaters enriched by CO2, thus playing an important role in the release of U to the environment. The presence of uranyl carbonate phases has also been detected on the surface of “lavas” that were formed during the Chernobyl accident. It is of interest that with all the importance and prevalence of these phases, about a quarter of approved minerals still have undetermined crystal structures, and the number of synthetic phases for which the structures were determined is significantly inferior to structurally characterized natural uranyl carbonates. In this work, we review the crystal chemistry of natural and synthetic uranyl carbonate phases. The majority of synthetic analogs of minerals were obtained from aqueous solutions at room temperature, which directly points to the absence of specific environmental conditions (increased P or T) for the formation of natural uranyl carbonates. Uranyl carbonates do not have excellent topological diversity and are mainly composed of finite clusters with rigid structures. Thus the structural architecture of uranyl carbonates is largely governed by the interstitial cations and the hydration state of the compounds. The information content is usually higher for minerals than for synthetic compounds of similar or close chemical composition, which likely points to the higher stability and preferred architectures of natural compounds.
Published: 18 June 2021
Crystals, Volume 11; doi:10.3390/cryst11060697

Abstract:
Two cadmium(II) coordination polymers, with thiocyanate and pyridine-based ligands e.g., 3-acetamidopyridine (3-Acpy) and niazid (nicotinic acid hydrazide, nia), namely one-dimensional {[Cd(SCN)2(3-Acpy)]}n (1) and two-dimensional {[Cd(SCN)2(nia)]}n (2), are prepared in the mixture of water and ethanol. The adjacent cadmium(II) ions in 1 are bridged by two N,S-thiocyanate ions and an N,O-bridging 3-Acpy molecule, forming infinite one-dimensional polymeric chains, which are assembled by the intermolecular N–H∙∙∙S hydrogen bonds in one direction and by the intermolecular S∙∙∙S chalcogen bonds in another direction. Within the coordination network of 2, the adjacent cadmium(II) ions are bridged by N,S-thiocyanate ions in one direction and by N,O,N’-chelating and bridging nia molecules in another direction. The coordination networks of 2 are assembled by the intermolecular N–H∙∙∙S and N–H∙∙∙N hydrogen bonds and S∙∙∙S chalcogen bonds. Being the only supramolecular interactions responsible for assembling the polymer chains of 1 in the particular direction, the chalcogen S∙∙∙S bonds are more significant in the structure of 1, whilst the chalcogen S∙∙∙S bonds which act in cooperation with the N–H∙∙∙S and N–H∙∙∙N hydrogen bonds are of less significance in the structure of 2.
Published: 18 June 2021
Crystals, Volume 11; doi:10.3390/cryst11060703

Abstract:
Particles that modify delivery characteristics are a focus of drug-loading research. Hydroxyapatite particles (HAPs) have excellent biocompatibility, shape controllability, and high adsorption, making them a potential candidate for drug-delivery carriers. However, there are still some defects in the current methods used to prepare HAPs. In order to avoid agglomeration and improve the drug-loading properties of HAPs, the present study provides a novel triethylamine (TEA)-capped coprecipitation template method to prepare HAPs at room temperature. In addition, pure water and anhydrous ethanol were used as solvents to investigate the capping effect of the small-molecule capping agent TEA during the synthesis of HAPs. The results showed that the HAPs prepared in the TEA ethanol system had a smaller particle size (150–250 nm), better dispersion and higher crystallinity. The results were significantly different from those of the conventional preparation methods without TEA. However, the hydroxyapatite crystal would agglomerate to a certain extent after being stored for a period of time, forming micro/nano-sized agglomerates of nanocrystals. FITR analysis and SEM observation showed that the capping effect of TEA promoted the formation of a smaller template and dispersed HAPs were quickly formed by dissolution and reprecipitation processes. The drug-loading experiments showed that the HAPs prepared in the TEA ethanol system had high drug-loading capacity (239.8 ± 13.4 mg·g−1) as well as an improved drug-release profile demonstrated in the drug-release experiment. The larger specific surface area associated with the smaller particle size was beneficial to the adsorption of drugs. After drying at 60 °C, TEA was evaporated from the HAPs which agglomerated into larger micron particles with more drug encapsulated. Thus, the effect of a sustained release was achieved. In the present research, a novel approach was developed by using triethylamine as the capping agent to prepare micro/nano-sized agglomerates of HAP nanocrystals with improved drug loading, which is predicted to have potential application in drug delivery.
Published: 18 June 2021
Crystals, Volume 11; doi:10.3390/cryst11060698

Abstract:
We theoretically investigate the optomechanically induced transparency (OMIT) phenomenon and the fast and slow light effects of a four-mode optomechanical system with the Kerr medium. The optomechanical system is composed of an array of three single-mode cavities and a mechanical oscillator. The three cavities are a passive cavity, a no-loss-gain cavity and a gain optical cavity, respectively. A Kerr medium is inserted in the passive cavity. We study the influence of the Kerr medium on the stability of the optomechanical system, and find that the stable regime of the optomechanical system can be adjusted by changing the Kerr coefficient. We demonstrate that the phenomenon of optomechanically induced transparency will appear when the Kerr medium exists in the optomechanical system and find that the frequency position of the absorption peak on the left increases linearly with the Kerr coefficient. In addition, we also investigate the fast and slow light effects in this system. The results show that we can control the fast and slow light by adjusting the Kerr coefficient, tunneling strength, and driving field strength. This study has potential application prospects in the fields of quantum optical devices and quantum information processing.
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