Materials

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ISSN / EISSN : 19961944 / 19961944
Current Publisher: MDPI (10.3390)
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Elena Ferretti
Published: 16 February 2020
by MDPI
Materials, Volume 13; doi:10.3390/ma13040880

Abstract:This paper presents a new numerical method for multiscale modeling of composite materials. The new numerical model, called DECM, consists of a DEM (Discrete Element Method) approach of the Cell Method (CM) and combines the main features of both the DEM and the CM. In particular, it offers the same degree of detail as the CM, on the microscale, and manages the discrete elements individually such as the DEM—allowing finite displacements and rotations—on the macroscale. Moreover, the DECM is able to activate crack propagation until complete detachment and automatically recognizes new contacts. Unlike other DEM approaches for modeling failure mechanisms in continuous media, the DECM does not require prior knowledge of the failure position. Furthermore, the DECM solves the problems in the space domain directly. Therefore, it does not require any dynamic relaxation techniques to obtain the static solution. For the sake of example, the paper shows the results offered by the DECM for axial and shear loading of a composite two-dimensional domain with periodic round inclusions. The paper also offers some insights into how the inclusions modify the stress field in composite continua.
Hongwen Yu, Yanli Zhang, Qian Zhang, Wei Pang, Hui Yan, Guangyuan Li
Published: 16 February 2020
by MDPI
Materials, Volume 13; doi:10.3390/ma13040882

Abstract:An oxygen-free solar selective absorbing coating of Cu/TixSiyN/AlSiN was prepared on a Cu buffered stainless steel substrate by magnetron sputtering. This coating was prepared using a single target for each layer. A spectrophotometer, Fourier transform infrared spectrophotometer, scanning electron microscopy, X-ray diffractometer and atomic force microscopy were used to characterize the optical properties, crystalline structure, morphology and composition of these coatings. The coating of Cu/TixSiyN/AlSiN has good optical properties (average absorption of 0.941 and emittance of 0.058) and excellent thermal stability. The performance criterion (PC) is 0.0365, when the solar selective absorbing coating is heated in air at 200 °C for 1200 h.
Liang Zeng, Ji Zhou
Published: 16 February 2020
by MDPI
Materials, Volume 13; doi:10.3390/ma13040881

Abstract:(Na0.8,K0.2)0.5Bi0.497Eu0.003TiO3 (NKBET20) piezoelectric ceramic powders were prepared by the solid-reaction method. The phase structures of the NKBET20 powders under various pressures were investigated by photoluminescence (PL) spectra and X-ray diffraction (XRD). The PL spectra of the doped Eu3+ ions suggest a pressure induced transformation from the tetragonal to rhombohedral phase (R phase), and the phase transformations were confirmed by XRD analyses. Furthermore, the fluorescence intensity ratio of the D 0 5 → F 2 7 transition to the D 0 5 → F 1 7 transition (FIR21) could be utilized for the quantitative analyses of the phase transformation. The results from the PL method show that as the pressure increases from 0 to 500 MPa, the fractions of the R phase of the NKBET20 powders increase from about 11% to 58%, while the fractions of the tetragonal phase (T phase) decrease from about 89% to 42%, which are consistent with the XRD Rietveld refinement. Unlike the ceramic bulks, the pressure induced phase transformation in the ceramic powders shows no obvious trigger point and is much gentler. This work suggests a different viewpoint to study the pressure induced phase transformation qualitatively and quantitatively, which can be used for more phase analyses.
Junaid Ahmad, Umer Rashid, Francesco Patuzzi, Nahla Alamoodi, Thomas Choong, Soroush Soltani, Chawalit Ngamcharussrivichai, Imededdine Nehdi, Marco Baratieri
Published: 15 February 2020
by MDPI
Materials, Volume 13; doi:10.3390/ma13040871

Abstract:The main purpose of this work is to investigate the application options of the char produced from gasification plants. Two promising mesoporous acidic catalysts were synthesized using char as a support material. Two char samples were collected from either a dual-stage or a rising co-current biomass gasification plant. The catalysts produced from both gasification char samples were characterized for their physiochemical and morphological properties using N2 physorption measurement, total acidity evaluation through TPD-NH3, functional groups analysis by FT-IR, and morphology determination via FESEM. Results revealed that the dual-stage char-derived mesoporous catalyst (DSC-SO4) with higher specific surface area and acidic properties provided higher catalytic activity for fatty acid methyl esters (FAME) production from waste cooking oil (WCO) than the mesoporous catalyst obtained from char produced by rising co-current gasification (RCC-SO4). Furthermore, the effects of methanol/oil molar ratio (3:1–15:1), catalyst concentration (1–5 wt.% of oil), and reaction time (30–150 min) were studied while keeping the transesterification temperature constant at 65 °C. The optimal reaction conditions for the transesterification of WCO were 4 wt.% catalyst concentration, 12:1 methanol/oil molar ratio, and 90 min operating time. The optimized reaction conditions resulted in FAME conversions of 97% and 83% over DSC-SO4 and RCC-SO4 catalysts, respectively. The char-based catalysts show excellent reusability, since they could be reused six times without any modification.
Sumin Cho, Sunmin Jang, Moonwoo La, Yeongcheol Yun, Taekyung Yu, Sung Park, Dongwhi Choi
Published: 15 February 2020
by MDPI
Materials, Volume 13; doi:10.3390/ma13040872

Abstract:Renewable energy harvesting technologies have been actively studied in recent years for replacing rapidly depleting energies, such as coal and oil energy. Among these technologies, the triboelectric nanogenerator (TENG), which is operated by contact-electrification, is attracting close attention due to its high accessibility, light weight, high shape adaptability, and broad applications. The characteristics of the contact layer, where contact electrification phenomenon occurs, should be tailored to enhance the electrical output performance of TENG. In this study, a portable imprinting device is developed to fabricate TENG in one step by easily tailoring the characteristics of the polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) contact layer, such as thickness and morphology of the surface structure. These characteristics are critical to determine the electrical output performance. All parts of the proposed device are 3D printed with high-strength polylactic acid. Thus, it has lightweight and easy customizable characteristics, which make the designed system portable. Furthermore, the finger tapping-driven TENG of tailored PDMS contact layer with microstructures is fabricated and easily generates 350 V of output voltage and 30 μA of output current with a simple finger tapping motion-related biomechanical energy.
Haifeng Wang, Jianwei Lu, Ruoxuan Wang, Yungu Dong, Linfeng Ding
Published: 15 February 2020
by MDPI
Materials, Volume 13; doi:10.3390/ma13040874

Abstract:The synthesis process has a significant influence on the properties of Ca1-xTiO3:Eu3+x phosphors; thus, an optimized process will lead to a better performance of the Ca1-xTiO3:Eu3+x phosphors. In this work, the feasibility of synthesizing the Ca1-xTiO3:Eu3+x phosphor with a good luminescent performance by combining the chemical co-precipitation method and microwave-assisted sintering was studied. The precursor of Ca1-xTiO3:Eu3+x phosphors were prepared by the chemical co-precipitation method. To find an optimized process, we applied both of the traditional (furnace) sintering and the microwave-assisted sintering to synthesize the Ca1-xTiO3:Eu3+x phosphors. We found out that a sintering power of 528 W for 50 min (temperature around 950 °C) by a microwave oven resulted in similar emission intensity results compared to traditional furnace sintering at 900 °C for 2.5 h. The synthesized Ca1-xTiO3:Eu3+x phosphors has an emission peak at 617 nm (5D0→7F2), which corresponds to the red light band. This new synthesized method is an energy efficient, time saving, and environmentally friendly means for the preparation of Ca1-xTiO3:Eu3+x red phosphor with good luminescent performance.
Aleksander Promiński, Ewelina Tomczyk, Mateusz Pawlak, Agnieszka Jędrych, Józef Mieczkowski, Wiktor Lewandowski, Michał Wójcik
Published: 15 February 2020
by MDPI
Materials, Volume 13; doi:10.3390/ma13040875

Abstract:Achieving remotely controlled, reversibly reconfigurable assemblies of plasmonic nanoparticles is a prerequisite for the development of future photonic technologies. Here, we obtained a series of gold-nanoparticle-based materials which exhibit long-range order, and which are controlled with light or thermal stimuli. The influence of the metallic core size and organic shell composition on the switchability is considered, with emphasis on achieving light-responsive behavior at room temperature and high yield production of nanoparticles. The latter translates to a wide size distribution of metallic cores but does not prevent their assembly into various, switchable 3D and 2D long-range ordered structures. These results provide clear guidelines as to the impact of size, size distribution, and organic shell composition on self-assembly, thus enhancing the smart design process of multi-responsive nanomaterials in a condensed state, hardly attainable by other self-assembly methods which usually require solvents.
Shijing Xie, Bangxin Zhou, Xue Liang, Qiang Li, Wenqing Liu, Meiyi Yao, Jinlong Zhang
Published: 15 February 2020
by MDPI
Materials, Volume 13; doi:10.3390/ma13040873

Abstract:Transmission electron microscopy (TEM), second ion mass spectrum (SIMS) and atom probe tomography (APT) techniques are used to study the Li ion distribution in the oxide formed on the rolling surface (SN) of Zircaloy-4 corroded in lithiated water with 0.01 M LiOH at 633 K/18.6 MPa. The results showed that the Li ions segregated in the grain boundaries and subgrain boundaries in the oxide film, but nearly no Li ions were found in the oxide around the interface between the oxide and matrix. Finally, we discussed the mechanism of the LiOH influence on the corrosion resistance of Zircaloy-4.
Prince Das, Amin Majdalawieh, Imad Abu-Yousef, Srinivasan Narasimhan, Palmiro Poltronieri
Published: 15 February 2020
by MDPI
Materials, Volume 13; doi:10.3390/ma13040876

Abstract:The employment of plant extracts in the synthesis of metal nanoparticles is a very attractive approach in the field of green synthesis. To benefit from the potential synergy between the biological activities of the Moringa oleifera and metallic bismuth, our study aimed to achieve a green synthesis of phytochemical encapsulated bismuth nanoparticles using a hydroalcoholic extract of M. oleifera leaves. The total phenolic content in the M. oleifera leaves extract used was 23.0 ± 0.3 mg gallic acid equivalent/g of dried M. oleifera leaves powder. The physical properties of the synthesized bismuth nanoparticles were characterized using UV-Vis spectrophotometer, FT-IR spectrometer, TEM, SEM, and XRD. The size of the synthesized bismuth nanoparticles is in the range of 40.4–57.8 nm with amorphous morphology. Using DPPH and phosphomolybdate assays, our findings revealed that the M. oleifera leaves extract and the synthesized bismuth nanoparticles possess antioxidant properties. Using resazurin microtiter assay, we also demonstrate that the M. oleifera leaves extract and the synthesized bismuth nanoparticles exert potent anti-bacterial activity against Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Staphylococcus aureus, and Enterococcus faecalis (estimated MIC values for the extract: 500, 250, 250, and 250 µg/mL; estimated MIC values for the bismuth nanoparticles: 500, 500, 500, and 250 µg/mL, respectively). Similarly, the M. oleifera leaves extract and the synthesized bismuth nanoparticles display relatively stronger anti-fungal activity against Aspergillus niger, Aspergillus flavus, Candida albicans, and Candida glabrata (estimated MIC values for the extract: 62.5, 62.5, 125, and 250 µg/mL; estimated MIC values for the bismuth nanoparticles: 250, 250, 62.5, and 62.5 µg/mL, respectively). Thus, green synthesis of bismuth nanoparticles using M. oleifera leaves extract was successful, showing a positive antioxidant, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal activity. Therefore, the synthesized bismuth nanoparticles can potentially be employed in the alleviation of symptoms associated with oxidative stress and in the topic treatment of Candida infections.
Baihe Guo, Yanlin Wang, Xin Shen, Xiaolei Qiao, Li Jia, Jun Xiang, And Yan Jin
Published: 15 February 2020
by MDPI
Materials, Volume 13; doi:10.3390/ma13040877

Abstract:In this paper, a silica aerogel support was prepared by two-step sol–gel method, and the active component K2CO3 was supported on the support by wet loading to obtain a modified potassium-based CO2 adsorbent. As the influences of reaction conditions on the CO2 capture characteristics of modified potassium-based adsorbents, the reaction temperature (50 °C, 60 °C, 70 °C, 80 °C), water vapor concentration (10%, 15%, 20%), CO2 concentration (5%, 10%, 12.5%, 15%), and total gas flow rate (400 mL/min, 500 mL/min, 600 mL/min) were studied in a self-designed fixed-bed reactor. At the same time, the low-temperature nitrogen adsorption experiment, scanning electron microscope, and X-ray diffractometer were used to study the microscopic characteristics of modified potassium-based adsorbents before and after the reaction. The results show that the silica aerogel prepared by the two-step sol–gel method has an excellent microstructure, and its specific surface area and specific pore volume are as high as 838.9 m2/g and 0.85 cm3/g, respectively. The microstructure of K2CO3 loaded on the support is improved, which promotes the CO2 adsorption performance of potassium-based adsorbents. The adsorption of CO2 by potassium-based adsorbents can be better described by the Avrami fractional kinetic model and the modified Avrami fractional kinetic model, and it is a complex multi-path adsorption process, which is related to the adsorption site and activity. The optimal adsorption temperature, water vapor concentration, CO2 concentration, and total gas volume were 60 °C, 15%, 12.5%, and 500 mL/min, respectively.