Materials

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ISSN / EISSN : 1996-1944 / 1996-1944
Current Publisher: MDPI AG (10.3390)
Total articles ≅ 20,460
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Published: 18 June 2021
Materials, Volume 14; doi:10.3390/ma14123385

Abstract:
This article deals with the influence of the crack path branching (at the micro level) on the plasticity-induced fatigue crack growth. With regard to this, a modeling by means of the finite element method was performed considering a cracked panel subjected to tension with different symmetric and asymmetric configurations of the bifurcated crack tip. The results show the appearance of a retardation effect in the growth rate of the bifurcated crack in relation to the growth rate of the fully straight crack in different cases studied, namely: (i) if the two branches of the bifurcation have different initial projected length, the propagation rate is greater at the crack tip corresponding to the long-branch than that of the short-branch, and the long-branch growth rate increases with the decrease of the initial branch angle and of the initial projected short-branch length and with the increase of the intensity of fatigue; (ii) if the two branches of the bifurcation have identical initial projected length, the retardation effect depends on the initial distance between the two bifurcated crack tips, the growth rate going up with the decrease of such a distance and with the increase of the fatigue intensity.
Published: 18 June 2021
Materials, Volume 14; doi:10.3390/ma14123369

Abstract:
An original method based on the use of technogenic waste from the processing of mineral-layered materials, in particular phlogopite for obtaining highly efficient functional compositions of the “mica-TiO2”, has been developed. The composition core is a nanosized mica flake coated with mesoporous titanium dioxide of an anatase or rutile structure. Energy-saving and environmentally friendly technological methods are based on the splitting of the mica followed by heterogeneous electrohydrolysis of a mixture of titanium (IV) sulfate solution and flake particles. No destruction of the mica surface, which provided the obtained uniform coatings, has been observed. Such coatings are used in photocatalysis processes and possess a self-cleaning capability. Core–shell compositions are more economically attractive compared with titanium dioxide, in particular TiO2 grade P25 (Degusse). The core of the transparent flake and the shell of the rutile titanium dioxide endows the final product with a pearlescent optical effect. This type of material is widely used in the manufacturing of paints and varnishes, printing inks, cosmetics, etc. The use of technogenic waste could significantly reduce the cost of the final product, which would ensure its widespread use in various industries.
Published: 18 June 2021
Materials, Volume 14; doi:10.3390/ma14123370

Abstract:
Lasers have been well integrated in clinical dentistry for the last two decades, providing clinical alternatives in the management of both soft and hard tissues with an expanding use in the field of dental materials. One of their main advantages is that they can deliver very low to very high concentrated power at an exact point on any substrate by all possible means. The aim of this review is to thoroughly analyze the use of lasers in the processing of dental materials and to enlighten the new trends in laser technology focused on dental material management. New approaches for the elaboration of dental materials that require high energy levels and delicate processing, such as metals, ceramics, and resins are provided, while time consuming laboratory procedures, such as cutting restorative materials, welding, and sintering are facilitated. In addition, surface characteristics of titanium alloys and high strength ceramics can be altered. Finally, the potential of lasers to increase the adhesion of zirconia ceramics to different substrates has been tested for all laser devices, including a new ultrafast generation of lasers.
Published: 18 June 2021
Materials, Volume 14; doi:10.3390/ma14123381

Abstract:
Iron, while attracting less attention than magnesium and zinc, is still one of the best candidates for biodegradable metal stents thanks its biocompatibility, great elastic moduli and high strength. Due to the low corrosion rate, and thus slow biodegradation, iron stents have still not been put into use. While these problems have still not been fully resolved, many studies have been published that propose different approaches to the issues. This brief overview report summarises the latest developments in the field of biodegradable iron-based stents and presents some techniques that can accelerate their biocorrosion rate. Basic data related to iron metabolism and its biocompatibility, the mechanism of the corrosion process, as well as a critical look at the rate of degradation of iron-based systems obtained by several different methods are included. All this illustrates as the title says, what was done within the topic of biodegradable iron-based materials and what more can be done.
Published: 18 June 2021
Materials, Volume 14; doi:10.3390/ma14123382

Abstract:
This paper describes a method of predicting the direction of crack propagation implemented by user subroutines in the Simulia-Abaqus FEA system with the use of the extended finite element method (X-FEM). This method is based on displacements and stresses according to Westergaard’s solution of Griffith’s crack problem. During the calculations, in each crack increment, the algorithm reads the stresses and displacements in the model around the crack tip, calculates the criterion values at the read points, reduces them to a unit distance from the crack tip, fits a polynomial to these points, and finds the minimum of the function closest to the last propagation angle. The algorithm also decides when the crack grows, depending on a chosen criterion. Four criteria have been implemented to predict the direction of failure propagation: the maximum principal stress criterion, the Ottosen–Podgórski criterion, the new criterion described here based on the minimum component values of the displacement vector, and the maximum circumferential tensile stress (MTS). These criteria were verified in two tests: the three-point bending test of the notched beam and the anchor pull-out test. For these tests, the criterion built into Simulia Abaqus does not correctly define the crack path, which causes the crack propagation direction to “rotate” when simulating the fracture. The criteria developed here, in most cases, determine the crack path and the maximum force very well compared to real laboratory tests.
Published: 18 June 2021
Materials, Volume 14; doi:10.3390/ma14123391

Abstract:
Four chemical crosslinking methods were used in order to prevent gelatin leaching in an aqueous environment, from bicomponent polycaprolactone/gelatin (PCL/Gt) nanofibers electrospun from an alternative solvent system. A range of different concentrations and reaction times were employed to compare genipin, 1-(3-dimethylaminopropyl)-N’-ethylcarbodimide hydrochloride/N-hydroxysuccinimide (EDC/NHS), 1,4-butanediol diglycidyl ether (BDDGE), and transglutaminase. The objective was to optimize and find the most effective method in terms of reaction time and solution concentration, that at the same time provides satisfactory gelatin crosslinking degree and ensures good morphology of the fibers, even after 24 h in aqueous medium in 37 °C. The series of experiments demonstrated that, out of the four compared crosslinking methods, EDC/NHS was able to yield satisfactory results with the lowest concentrations and the shortest reaction times.
Published: 18 June 2021
Materials, Volume 14; doi:10.3390/ma14123389

Abstract:
Al 7075 alloy, 15 wt.% VN/7075 composites, and 20 wt.% TiB2-TiCx/7075 composites were prepared by ball milling with subsequent hot-pressing sintering. The microstructure, hardness, and wear properties at room temperature to 200 °C of Al 7075-based composites with different reinforcement phases were discussed. The grain uniformity degree values of 15 wt.% VN/7075 composites and 20 wt.% TiB2-TiCx/7075 composites were 0.25 and 0.13, respectively. The reinforcement phase was uniformly distributed in 15 wt.% VN/7075 composites and 20 wt.% TiB2-TiCx/7075 composites, almost no agglomeration occurred. The order of hardness was 20 wt.% TiB2-TiCx/7075 composites (270.2 HV) > 15 wt.% VN/7075 composites (119.5 HV) > Al 7075 (81.8 HV). At the same temperature, the friction coefficient of 15 wt.% VN/7075 composites was the lowest, while the volume wear rate of 20 wt.% TiB2-TiCx/7075 composites was the lowest. With the increase of temperature, the wear mechanism of Al 7075 changed from spalling wear to oxidation wear and adhesion wear. However, the wear mechanisms of 15 wt.% VN/7075 and 20 wt.% TiB2-TiCx/7075 composites changed from abrasive wear at room temperature to wear mechanism (oxidation wear, abrasive wear, and adhesive wear) at medium and low temperature. Comprehensive wear test results indicated that 20 wt.% TiB2-TiCx/7075 composites had excellent tribological properties at medium and low temperature.
Published: 18 June 2021
Materials, Volume 14; doi:10.3390/ma14123394

Abstract:
Combining carbon fiber reinforced polymers (CFRP) with steel offers the potential of utilizing the desired characteristics of both materials, such as specific strength/stiffness and fatigue strength of fiber reinforced polymers (FRP) and impact resistance of metals. Since in such hybrid laminates multiple material layers are combined, a gradual failure is likely that can lead to changes in mechanical properties. A failure of the metal partner leads to an increase in stress on the FRP, which under fatigue load results in increased self-heating of the FRP. Therefore, a suitable testing procedure is required and developed in this study, to enable a reproducible characterization of the mechanical properties under fatigue load. The resulting testing procedure, containing multiple frequency tests as well as load increase and constant amplitude tests, enabled characterization of the fatigue performance while never exceeding a testing induced change in temperature of 4 K. In addition to the development of the testing procedure, an insight into the manufacturing induced residual stresses occurring in such hybrid laminates, which impacts the load-bearing capacity, was established using finite element simulation. The gathered data and knowledge represents a basis for future in-depth investigations in the area of residual stress influence on the performance of hybrid laminates and highlights its importance, since not only the used testing procedure determines the measured fatigue performance.
Published: 18 June 2021
Materials, Volume 14; doi:10.3390/ma14123377

Abstract:
Natural polysaccharides, including hyaluronic acid, find a wide range of applications in biomedical sciences. There is a growing interest in nanocomposites containing hyaluronic acid and nanoparticles such as nanometals or graphene. In this study, we prepared foils of pure sodium hyaluronate and sodium hyaluronate containing nanosilver, graphene oxide, nanosilver/graphene oxide and characterized their properties. UV-vis spectroscopy and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) confirmed the formation of 10–20 nm silver nanoparticles. The structural changes were investigated using Fourier transforms infrared (FTIR) spectra and size exclusion chromatography. The obtained results suggest changes in molecular weights in the samples containing nanoparticles, which was highest in a sample containing nanosilver/graphene oxide. We also assessed the mechanical properties of the foils (thickness, tensile strength and elongation at break) and their wettability. The foils containing nanosilver and nanosilver/graphene oxide presented bacteriostatic activity against E. coli, Staphylococcus spp. and Bacillus spp., which was not observed in the control and sample containing graphene oxide. The composites containing graphene oxide and nanosilver/graphene oxide exhibited a cytotoxic effect on human melanoma WM266-4 cell lines (ATCC, Manassas, VA, USA).
Published: 18 June 2021
Materials, Volume 14; doi:10.3390/ma14123378

Abstract:
As a major component of lignocellulosic biomass, lignin is one of the largest natural resources of biopolymers and, thus, an abundant and renewable raw material for products, such as high-performance fibers for industrial applications. Direct conversion of lignin has long been investigated, but the fiber spinning process for lignin is difficult and the obtained fibers exhibit unsatisfactory mechanical performance mainly due to the amorphous chemical structure, low molecular weight of lignin, and broad molecular weight distribution. Therefore, different textile spinning techniques, modifications of lignin, and incorporation of lignin into polymers have been and are being developed to increase lignin’s spinnability and compatibility with existing materials to yield fibers with better mechanical performance. This review presents the latest advances in the textile fabrication techniques, modified lignin-based high-performance fibers, and their potential in the enhancement of the mechanical performance.
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