Materials

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ISSN / EISSN : 19961944 / 19961944
Current Publisher: MDPI (10.3390)
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Philipp Lechner, Georg Fuchs, Christoph Hartmann, Florian Steinlehner, Florian Ettemeyer, Wolfram Volk
Published: 3 June 2020
by MDPI
Materials, Volume 13; doi:10.3390/ma13112531

Abstract:
Inorganically-bound sand cores are used in many light-metal foundries to form cavities in the cast part, which cannot be realised by the mould itself. To enable FEM simulations with core materials, their mechanical properties have to be measured. In this article, we adapt methods to determine the Young’s and shear modulus, the Poisson ratio and the fracture strain of sand cores. This allows us to fully parametrise an ideal brittle FEM model. We found that the Young’s and shear modulus can be obtained acoustically via the impulse excitation technique. The fracture strain was measured with a high-speed camera and a digital image correlation algorithm.
Stephan Wollstadt, Oliver Clemens
Published: 3 June 2020
by MDPI
Materials, Volume 13; doi:10.3390/ma13112532

Abstract:
In this study, symmetrical films of BaFeO2.67, BaFeO2.33F0.33 and BaFeO2F were synthesized and the oxygen uptake and conduction was investigated by high temperature impedance spectroscopy under an oxygen atmosphere. The data were analyzed on the basis of an impedance model designed for highly porous mixed ionic electronic conducting (MIEC) electrodes. Variable temperature X-ray diffraction experiments were utilized to estimate the stability window of the oxyfluoride compounds, which yielded a degradation temperature for BaFeO2.33F0.33 of 590 °C and a decomposition temperature for BaFeO2F of 710 °C. The impedance study revealed a significant change of the catalytic behavior in dependency of the fluorine content. BaFeO2.67 revealed a bulk-diffusion limited process, while BaFeO2.33F0.33 appeared to exhibit a fast bulk diffusion and a utilization region δ larger than the electrode thickness L (8 μm). In contrast, BaFeO2F showed very area specific resistances due to the lack of oxygen vacancies. The activation energy for the uptake and conduction process of oxygen was found to be 0.07/0.29 eV (temperature range-dependent), 0.33 eV and 0.67 eV for BaFeO2.67, BaFeO2.33F0.33 and BaFeO2F, respectively.
Chin Lai, Nurul Samsudin, Foo Low, Nur Abd Samad, Kung Lau, Pui Chou, Sieh Tiong, Nowshad Amin
Published: 3 June 2020
by MDPI
Materials, Volume 13; doi:10.3390/ma13112533

Abstract:
In this present work, we report the deposition of cadmium selenide (CdSe) particles on titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanotube thin films, using the chemical bath deposition (CBD) method at low deposition temperatures ranging from 20 to 60 °C. The deposition temperature had an influence on the overall CdSe–TiO2 nanotube thin film morphologies, chemical composition, phase transition, and optical properties, which, in turn, influenced the photoelectrochemical performance of the samples that were investigated. All samples showed the presence of CdSe particles in the TiO2 nanotube thin film lattice structures with the cubic phase CdSe compound. The amount of CdSe loading on the TiO2 nanotube thin films were increased and tended to form agglomerates as a function of deposition temperature. Interestingly, a significant enhancement in photocurrent density was observed for the CdSe–TiO2 nanotube thin films deposited at 20 °C with a photocurrent density of 1.70 mA cm−2, which was 17% higher than the bare TiO2 nanotube thin films. This sample showed a clear surface morphology without any clogged nanotubes, leading to better ion diffusion, and, thus, an enhanced photocurrent density. Despite having the least CdSe loading on the TiO2 nanotube thin films, the CdSe–TiO2 nanotube thin films deposited at 20 °C showed the highest photocurrent density, which confirmed that a small amount of CdSe is enough to enhance the photoelectrochemical performance of the sample.
Zhanxin Jing, Xiangyi Dai, Xueying Xian, Qiongshan Zhang, Huojiao Zhong, Yong Li
Published: 2 June 2020
by MDPI
Materials, Volume 13; doi:10.3390/ma13112529

Abstract:
Herein, we describe a simple and cost-effective design for the fabrication of a novel ternary RGO/BiOCl/TiO2 nanocomposites through a simple hydrothermal process. The prepared nanocomposites were characterized by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), UV–vis diffuse reflectance spectroscopy (UV–vis DRS) and N2 adsorption–desorption analysis. Organic contaminants—such as methylene blue (MB), methyl orange (MO), rhodamine B (RhB) and amido black-10B (AB-10B)—were employed as the target pollutants to evaluate the adsorption capacity and photocatalytic activity of RGO/BiOCl/TiO2 nanocomposites. From experimental data, it was also found that the amount of TiO2 impressed the photocatalytic performance, and the nanocomposites with 10% of TiO2 showed the best photocatalytic activity. The improved photocatalytic performance may be mainly due to the narrow band gap, and the charge separation and migration of RGO. Moreover, good recyclability was obtained from RGO/BiOCl/TiO2 nanocomposites, and scavenger tests indicated that photogenerated holes were the main active species in the reaction system. Therefore, the prepared RGO/BiOCl/TiO2 nanocomposites have broad applications foreground in pollutants purification.
Puput Risdanareni, Yury Villagran Zaccardi, Katrin Schollbach, Jianyun Wang, Nele De Belie
Published: 2 June 2020
by MDPI
Materials, Volume 13; doi:10.3390/ma13112528

Abstract:
Production of artificial lightweight aggregate (LWA) from industrial by-products or abundant volcanic mud is a promising solution to prevent damaging the environment due to the mining of natural aggregate. However, improvements are still needed in order to control the high water absorption of LWA and strength reduction in resulting concrete or mortar. Hence in this research, fly ash, municipal solid waste incineration bottom ash (MSWI BA), and Sidoarjo volcanic mud (Lusi) were employed as a precursor and activated using NaOH 6 M and Na2SiO3 in producing LWA. The influence of the type of the precursors on the physical properties of resulting LWA was investigated. The effect of replacing natural fine aggregate with the resulting LWA on the compressive strength and volume density of mortar was also determined. Finer particles, a high amount of amorphous phase, and low loss on ignition (LOI) of the raw material improved the properties of resulting LWA. Mortar compressive strength was decreased by 6% when replacing 16% by volume of natural fine aggregate with fly ash based LWA. Compared to the expanded clay LWA, the properties of alternative LWAs in this study were slightly, but not significantly, inferior. Alternative LWA becomes attractive when considering that expanded clay LWA requires more energy during the sintering process.
Monika Ziminska, Jordan J. Wilson, Emma McErlean, Nicholas Dunne, Helen O. McCarthy
Published: 2 June 2020
by MDPI
Materials, Volume 13; doi:10.3390/ma13112530

Abstract:
Thermoresponsive hydrogels demonstrate tremendous potential as sustained drug delivery systems. However, progress has been limited as formulation of a stable biodegradable thermosensitive hydrogel remains a significant challenge. In this study, free radical polymerization was exploited to formulate a biodegradable thermosensitive hydrogel characterized by sustained drug release. Highly deacetylated chitosan and N-isopropylacrylamide with distinctive physical properties were employed to achieve a stable, hydrogel network at body temperature. The percentage of chitosan was altered within the copolymer formulations and the subsequent physical properties were characterized using 1H-NMR, FTIR, and TGA. Viscoelastic, swelling, and degradation properties were also interrogated. The thermoresponsive hydrogels were loaded with RALA/pEGFP-N1 nanoparticles and release was examined. There was sustained release of nanoparticles over three weeks and, more importantly, the nucleic acid cargo remained functional and this was confirmed by successful transfection of the NCTC-929 fibroblast cell line. This tailored thermoresponsive hydrogel offers an option for sustained delivery of macromolecules over a prolonged considerable period.
Marcin Masłowski, Justyna Miedzianowska, Agnieszka Czylkowska, Krzysztof Strzelec
Published: 2 June 2020
by MDPI
Materials, Volume 13; doi:10.3390/ma13112526

Abstract:
Over the past decades, increased scientific and research activity has been observed in the development of new, innovative materials for various end uses. This is mainly due to the growing ecological, environmental, and material awareness of many industries and societies. Equisteum arvense-horsetail is a plant that has demonstrated its properties in pharmacological and clinical aspects as well as in vitro and in vivo biological activity. This article presents a new method of using horsetail as a natural, lignocellulosic filler for a natural rubber matrix. In-depth characteristics of the applied bio-additive were prepared based on several research techniques and methods such as ultraviolet-visible spectroscopy, Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy with energy dispersive X-RAY spectroscopy, thermogravimetric analysis, and flame atomic absorption spectroscopy. Elastomer composites were prepared as a function of horsetail content. Then, an analysis of their main functional properties was performed, including mechanical properties and susceptibility to accelerated aging processes such as thermo-oxidative, ultraviolet radiation, and weathering. The research emphasizes the significant value of horsetail in its new role—as an active filler of elastomer biocomposites. The obtained results confirmed that horsetail is lignocellulosic material thermally stable up to 180 °C. Horsetail is an active filler to natural rubber, positively affecting mechanical strength. Due to the presence of flavonoids and phenolic acids in horsetail, it can be used as a polymer anti-aging agent.
Jan Sladek, Vladimir Sladek, Pihua Wen
Published: 2 June 2020
by MDPI
Materials, Volume 13; doi:10.3390/ma13112527

Abstract:
The meshless local Petrov–Galerkin (MLPG) method was developed to analyze 2D problems for flexoelectricity and higher-grade thermoelectricity. Both problems were multiphysical and scale-dependent. The size effect was considered by the strain and electric field gradients in the flexoelectricity, and higher-grade heat flux in the thermoelectricity. The variational principle was applied to derive the governing equations within the higher-grade theory of considered continuous media. The order of derivatives in the governing equations was higher than in their counterparts in classical theory. In the numerical treatment, the coupled governing partial differential equations (PDE) were satisfied in a local weak-form on small fictitious subdomains with a simple test function. Physical fields were approximated by the moving least-squares (MLS) scheme. Applying the spatial approximations in local integral equations and to boundary conditions, a system of algebraic equations was obtained for the nodal unknowns.
Osama Saber, Sarah Asiri, Mohamed Ezzeldin, Waleed El-Azab, Mohammed Abu-Abdeen
Published: 1 June 2020
by MDPI
Materials, Volume 13; doi:10.3390/ma13112524

Abstract:
In the present study, well-designed nanohybrids are used to act as effective dual-function adsorbents for removing both anions and heavy metals from natural water, at the same time. In this trend, Zn-Al LDHs and graphene oxide are applied to build up building blocks to produce a series of nanohybrids. These nanohybrids were characterized by X–ray diffraction, thermal analyses, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy, and scanning and transmission electron microscopy. These techniques confirmed that the prepared nanohybrids contained nanolayered structures with three−dimensional porous systems. These porous systems were identified by the nitrogen adsorption-desorption isotherms and water purification experiments. The obtained results indicated that these nanohybrids included suitable structures to act as dual function materials. The first function was achieved by removing more than 80% of both cadmium and lead from the natural water. The second function was accomplished by eliminating of 100% of hydrogen phosphate and bromide anions alongside with 80%–91% of sulfate, chloride, and fluoride anions. To conclude, these well-designed nanohybrids convert two-dimensional nanolayered structures to three-dimensional porous networks to work as dual-function materials for removing of heavy metals and different kinds of anions naturally found in the fresh tap water sample with no parameters optimization.
Haitao Zhou, Yigang Zhang, Feng Fu, Jinzhi Wu
Published: 1 June 2020
by MDPI
Materials, Volume 13; doi:10.3390/ma13112519

Abstract:
In this paper, the results of finite element analyses of a single-layer cylindrical latticed shell under severe earthquake are presented. A 3D Finite Element model using fiber beam elements is used to investigate the collapse mechanism of this type of shell. The failure criteria of structural members are simulated based on the theory of damage accumulation. Severe earthquakes with peak ground acceleration (PGA) values of 0.5 g are applied to the shell. The stress and deformation of the shell are studied in detail. A three-stage collapse mechanism “double-diagonal -members-failure-belt” of this type of structure is discovered. Based on the analysis results, measures to mitigate the collapse of this type of structure are recommended.
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