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Materials, Volume 9, Issue 11 (November 2016)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) Multi-scale analysis of concrete requires validation and determination of input parameters at all [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle Effects of BMP-2 Delivery in Calcium Phosphate Bone Graft Materials with Different Compositions on Bone Regeneration
Materials 2016, 9(11), 954; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma9110954
Received: 28 September 2016 / Revised: 7 November 2016 / Accepted: 17 November 2016 / Published: 23 November 2016
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Abstract
This study was undertaken to investigate the effect of loading rhBMP-2 onto biphasic calcium phosphate (BCP) and calcium pyrophosphate (CPP) on bone regeneration, and to examine the efficacies of BCP and CPP as rhBMP-2 carriers. Specimens were divided into the BCP, CPP, BCP/BMP,
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This study was undertaken to investigate the effect of loading rhBMP-2 onto biphasic calcium phosphate (BCP) and calcium pyrophosphate (CPP) on bone regeneration, and to examine the efficacies of BCP and CPP as rhBMP-2 carriers. Specimens were divided into the BCP, CPP, BCP/BMP, and CPP/BMP groups; BCP and CPP were in granules and not coated with rhBMP-2. BCP/BMP and CPP/BMP were prepared as discs, which were treated with rhBMP-2 and collagen. Physical and biological features were investigated using in-vitro and in-vivo tests. New bone area percentages (%) in the BCP/BMP and CPP/BMP groups were significantly greater than in the BCP and CPP groups. At weeks 4 and 8 post-implantation, CPP/BMP showed the most new bone growth. Within the limitations of this study, treatment of BCP and CPP with rhBMP-2 significantly enhanced bone regeneration. CPP was found to be a suitable carrier for rhBMP-2. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biomaterials)
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Open AccessArticle Recording Characteristics, Microstructure, and Crystallization Kinetics of Ge/GeCu Recording Film Used for Write-Once Blu-Ray Disc
Materials 2016, 9(11), 953; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma9110953
Received: 15 September 2016 / Revised: 15 November 2016 / Accepted: 16 November 2016 / Published: 23 November 2016
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Abstract
A Ge67Cu33 (16 nm) layer and a Ge (3 nm)/Ge67Cu33 (16 nm) bilayer were grown by sputtering at room temperature and used as the recording films for write-once blue laser media. In comparison to the crystallization temperature
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A Ge67Cu33 (16 nm) layer and a Ge (3 nm)/Ge67Cu33 (16 nm) bilayer were grown by sputtering at room temperature and used as the recording films for write-once blue laser media. In comparison to the crystallization temperature of Ge in a GeCu film (380.7 °C–405.1 °C), the crystallization temperature of Ge in a Ge/GeCu bilayer could be further decreased to 333.7 °C–382.8 °C. The activation energies of Ge crystallization were 3.51 eV ± 0.05 eV and 1.50 eV ± 0.04 eV for the GeCu and the Ge/GeCu films, respectively, indicating that the Ge/GeCu bilayer possesses a higher feasibility in high-speed optical recording applications. Moreover, the lower activation energy would lead to a larger grain size of Ge crystallization in the Ge/GeCu bilayer after the annealing process. Between the as-deposited and the annealed states, the optical contrasts (@ 405 nm) of the GeCu and the Ge/GeCu films were 26.0% and 47.5%, respectively. This reveals that the Ge/GeCu bilayer is more suitable for the recording film of a write-once blu-ray disc (BD-R) in comparison with the GeCu film. Based on the dynamic tests performed for 2× and 4× recording speeds, the optimum jitter values of the BD-R with the Ge/GeCu recording film were 7.4% at 6.3 mW and 7.6% at 8.6 mW, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from IS3C2016)
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Open AccessArticle The Effect of Curing Temperature on the Properties of Cement Pastes Modified with TiO2 Nanoparticles
Materials 2016, 9(11), 952; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma9110952
Received: 19 September 2016 / Revised: 31 October 2016 / Accepted: 15 November 2016 / Published: 23 November 2016
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Abstract
This paper investigates the effect of curing temperature on the hydration, microstructure, compressive strength, and transport of cement pastes modified with TiO2 nanoparticles. These characteristics of cement pastes were studied using non-evaporable water content measurement, X-ray diffraction (XRD), compressive strength test, electrical
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This paper investigates the effect of curing temperature on the hydration, microstructure, compressive strength, and transport of cement pastes modified with TiO2 nanoparticles. These characteristics of cement pastes were studied using non-evaporable water content measurement, X-ray diffraction (XRD), compressive strength test, electrical resistivity and porosity measurements, and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). It was shown that temperature enhanced the early hydration. The cement pastes cured at elevated temperatures generally showed an increase in compressive strength at an early age compared to the cement paste cured at room temperature, but the strength gain decreased at later ages. The electrical resistivity of the cement pastes cured at elevated temperatures was found to decrease more noticeably at late ages compared to that of the room temperature cured cement paste. SEM examination indicated that hydration product was more uniformly distributed in the microstructure of the cement paste cured at room temperature compared to the cement pastes cured at elevated temperatures. It was observed that high temperature curing decreased the compressive strength and electrical resistivity of the cement pastes at late ages in a more pronounced manner when higher levels of TiO2 nanoparticles were added. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Structure Analysis and Characterization)
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Open AccessArticle Fabrication of Al/Mg/Al Composites via Accumulative Roll Bonding and Their Mechanical Properties
Materials 2016, 9(11), 951; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma9110951
Received: 18 September 2016 / Revised: 11 November 2016 / Accepted: 14 November 2016 / Published: 23 November 2016
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Abstract
Al(1060)/Mg(AZ31)/Al(1060) multilayered composite was successfully produced using an accumulative roll bonding (ARB) process for up to four cycles at an elevated temperature (400 °C). The microstructure evolution of the composites and the bonding characteristics at the interfaces between Al and Mg layers with
[...] Read more.
Al(1060)/Mg(AZ31)/Al(1060) multilayered composite was successfully produced using an accumulative roll bonding (ARB) process for up to four cycles at an elevated temperature (400 °C). The microstructure evolution of the composites and the bonding characteristics at the interfaces between Al and Mg layers with increasing ARB cycles were characterized through optical microscopy, field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). It was found that the grains of Al and Mg layers were significantly refined and Al3Mg2 and Al12 Mg17 intermetallic compound layers formed at the Al/Mg bonding interfaces. The strength increased gradually and the ultimate tensile strength (UTS) reached a maximum value of about 240 MPa at the third pass. Furthermore, the strengthening mechanism of the composite was analyzed based on the fracture morphologies. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Friction and Wear Reduction of Eccentric Journal Bearing Made of Sn-Based Babbitt for Ore Cone Crusher
Materials 2016, 9(11), 950; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma9110950
Received: 30 September 2016 / Revised: 11 November 2016 / Accepted: 15 November 2016 / Published: 22 November 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (5936 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
An anti-friction Babbitt alloy-coated bearing made by a casting process is a journal bearing, which is used in an ore cone crusher eccentric. The main purpose of the Babbitt coated eccentric is to provide a low friction to support and guide a rotating
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An anti-friction Babbitt alloy-coated bearing made by a casting process is a journal bearing, which is used in an ore cone crusher eccentric. The main purpose of the Babbitt coated eccentric is to provide a low friction to support and guide a rotating shaft. Despite the fact that the Babbitt-coated eccentric offers a low friction coefficient and can be operated without a continuous supply of lubricant, it suffers from mining environments and short service life. In this study, an ultrasonic nanocrystalline surface modification (UNSM) technique was used to further reduce the friction coefficient, to increase the wear resistance, and to extend the service life of the Sn-based Babbitt metal. The friction and wear behavior of the Sn-based Babbitt metal was investigated using a block-on-ring tester under both dry and oil-lubricated conditions. The results of the experiments revealed that the friction and wear behavior of Sn-based Babbitt metal could be improved by the application of the UNSM technique. The friction and wear mechanisms of the specimens were explained and discussed in terms of changes in surface properties—microstructure, surface hardness, surface roughness, etc. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tribological Behavior of Materials by Surface Engineering)
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Open AccessArticle In Vitro and In Vivo Study of a Novel Porcine Collagen Membrane for Guided Bone Regeneration
Materials 2016, 9(11), 949; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma9110949
Received: 12 September 2016 / Revised: 5 October 2016 / Accepted: 4 November 2016 / Published: 22 November 2016
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Abstract
For years, in order to improve bone regeneration and prevent the need of a second stage surgery to remove non-resorbable membranes, biological absorbable membranes have gradually been developed and applied in guided tissue regeneration (GTR). The present study’s main objective was to achieve
[...] Read more.
For years, in order to improve bone regeneration and prevent the need of a second stage surgery to remove non-resorbable membranes, biological absorbable membranes have gradually been developed and applied in guided tissue regeneration (GTR). The present study’s main objective was to achieve space maintenance and bone regeneration using a new freeze-dried developed porcine collagen membrane, and compare it with an already commercial collagen membrane, when both were used with a bovine xenograft in prepared alveolar ridge bone defects. Prior to surgery, the membrane’s vitality analysis showed statistically significant higher cell proliferation in the test membrane over the commercial one. In six beagle dogs, commercial bone xenograft was packed in lateral ridge bone defects prepared in the left and right side and then covered with test porcine collagen membrane or commercial collagen membrane. Alveolar height changes were measured. Histomorphometric results, in vitro and in vivo properties indicated that the new porcine collagen membrane is biocompatible, enhances bone xenograft osteoconduction, and reduces the alveolar ridge height reabsorption rate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Materials for Hard and Soft Tissue Engineering: Novel Approaches)
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Open AccessArticle Prediction of Three-Dimensional Downward Flame Spread Characteristics over Poly(methyl methacrylate) Slabs in Different Pressure Environments
Materials 2016, 9(11), 948; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma9110948
Received: 1 September 2016 / Revised: 15 November 2016 / Accepted: 17 November 2016 / Published: 22 November 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (2533 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The present study is aimed at predicting downward flame spread characteristics over poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) with different sample dimensions in different pressure environments. Three-dimensional (3-D) downward flame spread experiments on free PMMA slabs were conducted at five locations with different altitudes, which provide
[...] Read more.
The present study is aimed at predicting downward flame spread characteristics over poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) with different sample dimensions in different pressure environments. Three-dimensional (3-D) downward flame spread experiments on free PMMA slabs were conducted at five locations with different altitudes, which provide different pressures. Pressure effects on the flame spread rate, profile of pyrolysis front and flame height were analyzed at all altitudes. The flame spread rate in the steady-state stage was calculated based on the balance on the fuel surface and fuel properties. Results show that flame spread rate increases exponentially with pressure, and the exponent of pressure further shows an increasing trend with the thickness of the sample. The angle of the pyrolysis front emerged on sample residue in the width direction, which indicates a steady-burning stage, varies clearly with sample thicknesses and ambient pressures. A global non-dimensional equation was proposed to predict the variation tendency of the angle of the pyrolysis front with pressure and was found to fit well with the measured results. In addition, the dependence of average flame height on mass burning rate, sample dimension and pressure was proposed based on laminar diffusion flame theory. The fitted exponent of experimental data is 1.11, which is close to the theoretical value. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Thermal Sciences and Thermodynamics of Materials)
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Open AccessArticle Optimizing Injection Molding Parameters of Different Halloysites Type-Reinforced Thermoplastic Polyurethane Nanocomposites via Taguchi Complemented with ANOVA
Materials 2016, 9(11), 947; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma9110947
Received: 7 October 2016 / Revised: 13 November 2016 / Accepted: 17 November 2016 / Published: 22 November 2016
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (2384 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Halloysite nanotubes-thermoplastic polyurethane (HNTs-TPU) nanocomposites are attractive products due to increasing demands for specialized materials. This study attempts to optimize the parameters for injection just before marketing. The study shows the importance of the preparation of the samples and how well these parameters
[...] Read more.
Halloysite nanotubes-thermoplastic polyurethane (HNTs-TPU) nanocomposites are attractive products due to increasing demands for specialized materials. This study attempts to optimize the parameters for injection just before marketing. The study shows the importance of the preparation of the samples and how well these parameters play their roles in the injection. The control parameters for injection are carefully determined to examine the mechanical properties and the density of the HNTs-TPU nanocomposites. Three types of modified HNTs were used as untreated HNTs (uHNTs), sulfuric acid treated (aHNTs) and a combined treatment of polyvinyl alcohol (PVA)-sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS)-malonic acid (MA) (treatment (mHNTs)). It was found that mHNTs have the most influential effect of producing HNTs-TPU nanocomposites with the best qualities. One possible reason for this extraordinary result is the effect of SDS as a disperser and MA as a crosslinker between HNTs and PVA. For the highest tensile strength, the control parameters are demonstrated at 150 °C (injection temperature), 8 bar (injection pressure), 30 °C (mold temperature), 8 min (injection time), 2 wt % (HNTs loading) and mHNT (HNTs type). Meanwhile, the optimized combination of the levels for all six control parameters that provide the highest Young’s modulus and highest density was found to be 150 °C (injection temperature), 8 bar (injection pressure), 32 °C (mold temperature), 8 min (injection time), 3 wt % (HNTs loading) and mHNT (HNTs type). For the best tensile strain, the six control parameters are found to be 160 °C (injection temperature), 8 bar (injection pressure), 32 °C (mold temperature), 8 min (injection time), 2 wt % (HNTs loading) and mHNT (HNTs type). For the highest hardness, the best parameters are 140 °C (injection temperature), 6 bar (injection pressure), 30 °C (mold temperature), 8 min (injection time), 2 wt % (HNTs loading) and mHNT (HNTs type). The analyses are carried out by coordinating Taguchi and ANOVA approaches. Seemingly, mHNTs has shown its very important role in the resulting product. Full article
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Open AccessArticle A Bayesian Approach for Sensor Optimisation in Impact Identification
Materials 2016, 9(11), 946; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma9110946
Received: 15 September 2016 / Revised: 25 October 2016 / Accepted: 9 November 2016 / Published: 22 November 2016
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Abstract
This paper presents a Bayesian approach for optimizing the position of sensors aimed at impact identification in composite structures under operational conditions. The uncertainty in the sensor data has been represented by statistical distributions of the recorded signals. An optimisation strategy based on
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This paper presents a Bayesian approach for optimizing the position of sensors aimed at impact identification in composite structures under operational conditions. The uncertainty in the sensor data has been represented by statistical distributions of the recorded signals. An optimisation strategy based on the genetic algorithm is proposed to find the best sensor combination aimed at locating impacts on composite structures. A Bayesian-based objective function is adopted in the optimisation procedure as an indicator of the performance of meta-models developed for different sensor combinations to locate various impact events. To represent a real structure under operational load and to increase the reliability of the Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) system, the probability of malfunctioning sensors is included in the optimisation. The reliability and the robustness of the procedure is tested with experimental and numerical examples. Finally, the proposed optimisation algorithm is applied to a composite stiffened panel for both the uniform and non-uniform probability of impact occurrence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Structural Health Monitoring for Aerospace Structures)
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Open AccessArticle The Effect of Acceptor and Donor Doping on Oxygen Vacancy Concentrations in Lead Zirconate Titanate (PZT)
Materials 2016, 9(11), 945; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma9110945
Received: 7 July 2016 / Revised: 9 November 2016 / Accepted: 14 November 2016 / Published: 22 November 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (6222 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The different properties of acceptor-doped (hard) and donor-doped (soft) lead zirconate titanate (PZT) ceramics are often attributed to different amounts of oxygen vacancies introduced by the dopant. Acceptor doping is believed to cause high oxygen vacancy concentrations, while donors are expected to strongly
[...] Read more.
The different properties of acceptor-doped (hard) and donor-doped (soft) lead zirconate titanate (PZT) ceramics are often attributed to different amounts of oxygen vacancies introduced by the dopant. Acceptor doping is believed to cause high oxygen vacancy concentrations, while donors are expected to strongly suppress their amount. In this study, La3+ donor-doped, Fe3+ acceptor-doped and La3+/Fe3+-co-doped PZT samples were investigated by oxygen tracer exchange and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy in order to analyse the effect of doping on oxygen vacancy concentrations. Relative changes in the tracer diffusion coefficients for different doping and quantitative relations between defect concentrations allowed estimates of oxygen vacancy concentrations. Donor doping does not completely suppress the formation of oxygen vacancies; rather, it concentrates them in the grain boundary region. Acceptor doping enhances the amount of oxygen vacancies but estimates suggest that bulk concentrations are still in the ppm range, even for 1% acceptor doping. Trapped holes might thus considerably contribute to the charge balancing of the acceptor dopants. This could also be of relevance in understanding the properties of hard and soft PZT. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Protein-Mediated Precipitation of Calcium Carbonate
Materials 2016, 9(11), 944; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma9110944
Received: 28 August 2016 / Revised: 11 October 2016 / Accepted: 14 November 2016 / Published: 22 November 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (9840 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Calcium carbonate is an important component in exoskeletons of many organisms. The synthesis of calcium carbonate was performed by mixing dimethyl carbonate and an aqueous solution of calcium chloride dihydrate. The precipitation product was characterized by means of scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission
[...] Read more.
Calcium carbonate is an important component in exoskeletons of many organisms. The synthesis of calcium carbonate was performed by mixing dimethyl carbonate and an aqueous solution of calcium chloride dihydrate. The precipitation product was characterized by means of scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) measurements. In addition, the turbidity of the reaction solution was acquired to monitor the kinetics of the calcium carbonate structure’s growth in the investigated system. In this study, samples of CaCO3 particles obtained with individual proteins, such as ovalbumin, lysozyme, and a mixture of the proteins, were characterized and compared with a control sample, i.e., synthesized without proteins. The obtained data indicated that the addition of ovalbumin to the reaction changed the morphology of crystals from rhombohedral to ‘stack-like’ structures. Lysozyme, however, did not affect the morphology of calcium carbonate, yet the presence of the protein mixture led to the creation of more complex composites in which the calcium carbonate crystals were constructed in protein matrices formed by the ovalbumin-lysozyme interaction. It was also observed that in the protein mixture, ovalbumin has a major influence on the CaCO3 formation through a strong interaction with calcium ions, which leads to the coalescence and creation of a steric barrier reducing particle growth. The authors proposed a mechanism of calcium carbonate grain growth in the presence of both proteins, taking into account the interaction of calcium ions with the protein. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biomaterials)
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Open AccessArticle Targeted Magnetic Nanoparticles for Mechanical Lysis of Tumor Cells by Low-Amplitude Alternating Magnetic Field
Materials 2016, 9(11), 943; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma9110943
Received: 5 September 2016 / Revised: 30 October 2016 / Accepted: 17 November 2016 / Published: 22 November 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (2671 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Currently available cancer therapies can cause damage to healthy tissue. We developed a unique method for specific mechanical lysis of cancer cells using superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticle rotation under a weak alternating magnetic field. Iron oxide core nanoparticles were coated with cetuximab, an
[...] Read more.
Currently available cancer therapies can cause damage to healthy tissue. We developed a unique method for specific mechanical lysis of cancer cells using superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticle rotation under a weak alternating magnetic field. Iron oxide core nanoparticles were coated with cetuximab, an anti-epidermal growth factor receptor antibody, for specific tumor targeting. Nude mice bearing a head and neck tumor were treated with cetuximab-coated magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) and then received a 30 min treatment with a weak external alternating magnetic field (4 Hz) applied on alternating days (total of seven treatments, over 14 days). This treatment, compared to a pure antibody, exhibited a superior cell death effect over time. Furthermore, necrosis in the tumor site was detected by magnetic resonance (MR) images. Thermal camera images of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma cultures demonstrated that cell death occurred purely by a mechanical mechanism. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanoprobes for Imaging)
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Open AccessArticle Experimental and Theoretical Analysis of Sound Absorption Properties of Finely Perforated Wooden Panels
Materials 2016, 9(11), 942; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma9110942
Received: 21 October 2016 / Revised: 1 November 2016 / Accepted: 15 November 2016 / Published: 22 November 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (2369 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Perforated wooden panels are typically utilized as a resonant sound absorbing material in indoor noise control. In this paper, the absorption properties of wooden panels perforated with tiny holes of 1–3 mm diameter were studied both experimentally and theoretically. The Maa-MPP (micro perforated
[...] Read more.
Perforated wooden panels are typically utilized as a resonant sound absorbing material in indoor noise control. In this paper, the absorption properties of wooden panels perforated with tiny holes of 1–3 mm diameter were studied both experimentally and theoretically. The Maa-MPP (micro perforated panels) model and the Maa-Flex model were applied to predict the absorption regularities of finely perforated wooden panels. A relative impedance comparison and full-factorial experiments were carried out to verify the feasibility of the theoretical models. The results showed that the Maa-Flex model obtained good agreement with measured results. Control experiments and measurements of dynamic mechanical properties were carried out to investigate the influence of the wood characteristics. In this study, absorption properties were enhanced by sound-induced vibration. The relationship between the dynamic mechanical properties and the panel mass-spring vibration absorption was revealed. While the absorption effects of wood porous structure were not found, they were demonstrated theoretically by using acoustic wave propagation in a simplified circular pipe with a suddenly changed cross-section model. This work provides experimental and theoretical guidance for perforation parameter design. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Laboratory Testing of Silica Sol Grout in Coal Measure Mudstones
Materials 2016, 9(11), 940; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma9110940
Received: 29 August 2016 / Revised: 26 October 2016 / Accepted: 16 November 2016 / Published: 22 November 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (6996 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The effectiveness of silica sol grout on mudstones is reported in this paper. Using X-ray diffraction (XRD), the study investigates how the silica sol grout modifies mudstone mineralogy. Micropore sizes and mechanical properties of the mudstone before and after grouting with four different
[...] Read more.
The effectiveness of silica sol grout on mudstones is reported in this paper. Using X-ray diffraction (XRD), the study investigates how the silica sol grout modifies mudstone mineralogy. Micropore sizes and mechanical properties of the mudstone before and after grouting with four different materials were determined with a surface area/porosity analyser and by uniaxial compression. Tests show that, after grouting, up to 50% of the mesopore volumes can be filled with grout, the dominant pore diameter decreases from 100 nm to 10 nm, and the sealing capacity is increased. Uniaxial compression tests of silica sol grouted samples shows that their elastic modulus is 21%–38% and their uniaxial compressive strength is 16%–54% of the non-grouted samples. Peak strain, however, is greater by 150%–270%. After grouting, the sample failure mode changes from brittle to ductile. This paper provides an experimental test of anti-seepage and strengthening properties of silica sol. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Efficient Solar-Induced Photoelectrochemical Response Using Coupling Semiconductor TiO2-ZnO Nanorod Film
Materials 2016, 9(11), 937; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma9110937
Received: 15 July 2016 / Revised: 26 October 2016 / Accepted: 8 November 2016 / Published: 22 November 2016
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Abstract
Efficient solar driven photoelectrochemical (PEC) response by enhancing charge separation has attracted great interest in the hydrogen generation application. The formation of one-dimensional ZnO nanorod structure without bundling is essential for high efficiency in PEC response. In this present research work, ZnO nanorod
[...] Read more.
Efficient solar driven photoelectrochemical (PEC) response by enhancing charge separation has attracted great interest in the hydrogen generation application. The formation of one-dimensional ZnO nanorod structure without bundling is essential for high efficiency in PEC response. In this present research work, ZnO nanorod with an average 500 nm in length and average diameter of about 75 nm was successfully formed via electrodeposition method in 0.05 mM ZnCl2 and 0.1 M KCl electrolyte at 1 V for 60 min under 70 °C condition. Continuous efforts have been exerted to further improve the solar driven PEC response by incorporating an optimum content of TiO2 into ZnO nanorod using dip-coating technique. It was found that 0.25 at % of TiO2 loaded on ZnO nanorod film demonstrated a maximum photocurrent density of 19.78 mA/cm2 (with V vs. Ag/AgCl) under UV illumination and 14.75 mA/cm2 (with V vs. Ag/AgCl) under solar illumination with photoconversion efficiency ~2.9% (UV illumination) and ~4.3% (solar illumination). This performance was approximately 3–4 times higher than ZnO film itself. An enhancement of photocurrent density and photoconversion efficiency occurred due to the sufficient Ti element within TiO2-ZnO nanorod film, which acted as an effective mediator to trap the photo-induced electrons and minimize the recombination of charge carriers. Besides, phenomenon of charge-separation effect at type-II band alignment of Zn and Ti could further enhance the charge carrier transportation during illumination. Full article
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