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Fibers, Volume 5, Issue 4 (December 2017)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Characterisation of the Anisotropic Thermoelastic Properties of Natural Fibres for Composite Reinforcement
Fibers 2017, 5(4), 36; doi:10.3390/fib5040036
Received: 24 July 2017 / Revised: 29 August 2017 / Accepted: 11 September 2017 / Published: 25 September 2017
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Abstract
There has been a substantial increase in the investigation of the potential of natural fibres as a replacement reinforcement in the traditional fibre reinforced polymer composite application. However, many researchers often overlook the anisotropic properties of these fibres, and the estimation of the
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There has been a substantial increase in the investigation of the potential of natural fibres as a replacement reinforcement in the traditional fibre reinforced polymer composite application. However, many researchers often overlook the anisotropic properties of these fibres, and the estimation of the potential reinforcement performance. A full understanding of the thermoelastic anisotropy of natural fibres is important for realistically predicting their potential performance in composite applications. In this study, the thermoelastic properties of flax and sisal fibres were determined through a combination of experimental measurements and micromechanical modelling. The results confirm the high degree of anisotropy in properties of the flax and sisal fibres. The implications of these results on using natural fibres as an engineering composite reinforcement are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Fibers)
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Open AccessArticle Solid Tellurite Optical Fiber Based on Stack-and-Draw Method for Mid-Infrared Supercontinuum Generation
Fibers 2017, 5(4), 37; doi:10.3390/fib5040037
Received: 2 August 2017 / Revised: 7 September 2017 / Accepted: 18 September 2017 / Published: 25 September 2017
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Abstract
Broadband, high-power mid-infrared (mid-IR) sources are critical for many applications. Compared to alternatives such as fluorides and chalcogenides, tellurite fibers are more robust and can handle much higher power. Tellurite fibers also have high nonlinearity and a material zero dispersion close to 2
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Broadband, high-power mid-infrared (mid-IR) sources are critical for many applications. Compared to alternatives such as fluorides and chalcogenides, tellurite fibers are more robust and can handle much higher power. Tellurite fibers also have high nonlinearity and a material zero dispersion close to 2 µm, making them ideal for nonlinear processes pumped by Tm-doped silica fiber lasers. In this work, we have demonstrated solid tellurite fibers fabricated by a stack-and-draw process and investigated their potential for broadband mid-IR supercontinuum generation. We have identified that fibers with low dispersion are beneficial and that low residual hydroxyl (OH) is critical for broadband mid-IR supercontinuum generation in tellurite fibers pumped at ~2 µm. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fabrication of Special Optical Glass and Polymer Fibres)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Hydration Phenomena of Functionalized Carbon Nanotubes (CNT)/Cement Composites
Fibers 2017, 5(4), 39; doi:10.3390/fib5040039
Received: 28 August 2017 / Revised: 9 October 2017 / Accepted: 16 October 2017 / Published: 19 October 2017
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Abstract
The exciting features of carbon nanotubes (CNTs), such as high elastic modulus, high thermal and electrical conductivities, robustness, and nanoscopic surface properties make them attractive candidates for the cement industry. They have the potential to significantly enhanceengineering properties. CNTs play an important and
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The exciting features of carbon nanotubes (CNTs), such as high elastic modulus, high thermal and electrical conductivities, robustness, and nanoscopic surface properties make them attractive candidates for the cement industry. They have the potential to significantly enhanceengineering properties. CNTs play an important and critical role as nano-anchors in concrete, which enhance the strength by bridging pores in the composite matrix, thereby ensuring robust mechanical strength. The diameter, dispersion, aspect ratio, and interfacial surface interaction of CNTs affect the physical and mechanical properties of concrete, if due care is not taken. In this paper, the usable amount of CNT is scaled down considerably from 0.5% to 0.025% by weight of the cement and the fluctuation caused by these phenomena is assessed. It is observed that the properties and exact quantities of incorporated CNTs influence the hydration and consistency of the composites. In order to address these issues, the surface functionalization of CNTs and rheological studies of the composites are performed. The hydration products and functional groups are carefully optimized and characterized by using X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and a Zeta potential analyzer. For Mixes 6 and 7, the compressive and tensile strength of CNTs incorporated in mortar specimens caused77% and 48% increases in split tensile strength, respectively, and 17% and 35% increases in compressive strength, respectively, after 28 days of curing and compared withthe control Mix. Full article
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Open AccessCommunication Tolnaftate-Loaded PolyacrylateElectrospun Nanofibers for an Impressive Regimen on Dermatophytosis
Fibers 2017, 5(4), 41; doi:10.3390/fib5040041
Received: 10 July 2017 / Revised: 28 July 2017 / Accepted: 31 October 2017 / Published: 6 November 2017
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Abstract
Dermatophytosis, topical fungal infection is the most common cause of skin bug in the world, generally underestimated and ignored. It is commonly caused by immensely mortifying and keratinophilic fungal eukaryotes which invade keratinized tissues and generate different tinea diseases in Mediterranean countries. We
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Dermatophytosis, topical fungal infection is the most common cause of skin bug in the world, generally underestimated and ignored. It is commonly caused by immensely mortifying and keratinophilic fungal eukaryotes which invade keratinized tissues and generate different tinea diseases in Mediterranean countries. We herein fabricated nanofibers/scaffolds embedded with thiocarbamate derivative topical antifungal tolnaftatefor the first time to target the complete elimination of dermatophyte at the site of infection. In this regard, variable combinations of biocompatible Eudragit grades (ERL100 and ERS100) were selected to provide better adhesion on the site of dermatophytosis, ample absorption of exudates during treatment, and customized controlled drug release. Surface topography analysis indicated that the fabricated nanofibers were regular and defect-free, comprising distinct pockets with nanoscaled diameters. Characterization and compatibility studies of tolnaftate, polymers, and their nanofibers were performed through ATR-FTIR, TGA, and PXRD. Remarkable hydrophilicity and an excellent swelling index were obtained from a 3:1 ratio of ERL100/ERS100 electrospun D3 nanofibers, which is an essential benchmark for the fabrication of nanofibrous scaffolds for alleviating dermatophytosis. In vitro drug release investigation revealed that a nonwoven nanomesh of nanofibers could control the rate of drug release for 8 h. A microdilution assay exhibited inhibition of more than 95% viable cells of Trichophyton rubrum for 96 h. However, Microsporum species rigidly restricted the effect of bioactive antifungal nanofibers and hence showed resistance. In vivo activity on Trichophyton rubrum infected Swiss albino mice revealed complete inhibition of fungal pathogens on successive applications of D3 nanofibers for 7 days. This investigation suggests potential uses of tolnaftate loaded polyacrylate nanofibers as dressing materials/scaffolds for effective management of dermatophytosis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanofibers)
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Open AccessArticle Investigation of Mechanical Properties and Morphology of Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotubes Reinforced Cellulose Acetate Fibers
Fibers 2017, 5(4), 42; doi:10.3390/fib5040042
Received: 30 August 2017 / Revised: 17 October 2017 / Accepted: 6 November 2017 / Published: 10 November 2017
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Abstract
Cellulose acetate (CA) fibers were reinforced with multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) at 0.5%, 1.0%, 1.5% and 2.0%. Yield strength, ultimate tensile strength, fracture strain and toughness of the nanocomposite fiber increased up to 1.5 wt. % of the carbon nanotube (CNT) loading, however,
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Cellulose acetate (CA) fibers were reinforced with multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) at 0.5%, 1.0%, 1.5% and 2.0%. Yield strength, ultimate tensile strength, fracture strain and toughness of the nanocomposite fiber increased up to 1.5 wt. % of the carbon nanotube (CNT) loading, however, further inclusion (2.0%) of MWCNTs in CA decreased the mechanical properties. Experimental properties were also compared with analytical predictions using a Shear lag model for strength and the rule of mixture for modulus. A solution spinning process, coupled with sonication, mixing, and extrusion, was used to process the CNT-reinforced composite fiber. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) images of the cross sections of neat CA and CA-MWCNT fibers showed the formation of voids and irregular features. The enhanced interconnected fibrillation in the CNT-reinforced CA samples resulted in improved mechanical properties, which were observed by tensile testing. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) spectra showed the area under the curve for C–H bonding after the inclusion of CNT. There was no significant shift of wavenumber for the inclusion of MWCNT in the CA matrix, which indicates that the sonication process of the CNT-loaded solution did not degrade the CA bonding structure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Developments in Cellulose Based Nanomaterials)
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Open AccessArticle Strong Light Localization and a Peculiar Feature of Light Leakage in the Negative Curvature Hollow Core Fibers
Fibers 2017, 5(4), 43; doi:10.3390/fib5040043
Received: 31 August 2017 / Revised: 12 October 2017 / Accepted: 9 November 2017 / Published: 14 November 2017
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Abstract
In this paper we would like to continue a discussion started in our previous work and devoted to the mechanism of light localization in hollow core microstructured fibers with a noncircular core-cladding boundary. It has been shown in many works that, for waveguide
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In this paper we would like to continue a discussion started in our previous work and devoted to the mechanism of light localization in hollow core microstructured fibers with a noncircular core-cladding boundary. It has been shown in many works that, for waveguide microstructures with different types of core-cladding boundary shape, the positions of the transmission bands’ edges can be predicted by applying the well-known anti–resonant reflecting optical waveguide (ARROW) model. At the same time, the ARROW model cannot explain the strong light localization and guiding at high material loss inside the transmission bands which are observed in negative curvature hollow core fibers, for example. In this paper we want to clarify our previous findings and consider the light localization process from another point of view, namely, by comparing the light leakage process in waveguide microstructures with different shapes of the core-cladding boundary. The results are discussed based on the ARROW model and a new approach associated with the consideration of spatial dispersion occurring under the interaction of the air core mode with the core-cladding boundary. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fabrication of Special Optical Glass and Polymer Fibres)
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Open AccessArticle Hollow-Core FRP–Concrete–Steel Bridge Columns under Torsional Loading
Fibers 2017, 5(4), 44; doi:10.3390/fib5040044
Received: 16 August 2017 / Revised: 13 October 2017 / Accepted: 16 October 2017 / Published: 14 November 2017
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Abstract
This paper presents the behavior of hollow-core fiber-reinforced polymer–concrete–steel (HC-FCS) columns under cyclic torsional loading combined with constant axial load. The HC-FCS consists of an outer fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) tube and an inner steel tube, with a concrete shell sandwiched between the two
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This paper presents the behavior of hollow-core fiber-reinforced polymer–concrete–steel (HC-FCS) columns under cyclic torsional loading combined with constant axial load. The HC-FCS consists of an outer fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) tube and an inner steel tube, with a concrete shell sandwiched between the two tubes. The FRP tube was stopped at the surface of the footing, and provided confinement to the concrete shell from the outer direction. The steel tube was embedded into the footing to a length of 1.8 times the diameter of the steel tube. The longitudinal and transversal reinforcements of the column were provided by the steel tube only. A large-scale HC-FCS column with a diameter of 24 in. (610 mm) and applied load height of 96 in. (2438 mm) with an aspect ratio of four was investigated during this study. The study revealed that the torsional behavior of the HC-FCS column mainly depended on the stiffness of the steel tube and the interactions among the column components (concrete shell, steel tube, and FRP tube). A brief comparison of torsional behavior was made between the conventional reinforced concrete columns and the HC-FCS column. The comparison illustrated that both column types showed high initial stiffness under torsional loading. However, the HC-FCS column maintained the torsion strength until a high twist angle, while the conventional reinforced concrete column did not. Full article
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Review

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Open AccessReview Multiscale Polymer Composites: A Review of the Interlaminar Fracture Toughness Improvement
Fibers 2017, 5(4), 38; doi:10.3390/fib5040038
Received: 29 August 2017 / Revised: 15 September 2017 / Accepted: 27 September 2017 / Published: 10 October 2017
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Abstract
Composite materials are prone to delamination as they are weaker in the thickness direction. Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are introduced as a multiscale reinforcement into the fiber reinforced polymer composites to suppress the delamination phenomenon. This review paper presents the detailed progress made by
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Composite materials are prone to delamination as they are weaker in the thickness direction. Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are introduced as a multiscale reinforcement into the fiber reinforced polymer composites to suppress the delamination phenomenon. This review paper presents the detailed progress made by the scientific and research community to-date in improving the Mode I and Mode II interlaminar fracture toughness (ILFT) by various methodologies including the effect of multiscale reinforcement. Methods of measuring the Mode I and Mode II fracture toughness of the composites along with the solutions to improve them are presented. The use of different methodologies and approaches along with their performance in enhancing the fracture toughness of the composites is summarized. The current state of polymer-fiber-nanotube composites and their future perspective are also deliberated. Full article
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Open AccessReview Polymer/Carbon Nanotubes (CNT) Nanocomposites Processing Using Additive Manufacturing (Three-Dimensional Printing) Technique: An Overview
Fibers 2017, 5(4), 40; doi:10.3390/fib5040040
Received: 3 August 2017 / Revised: 8 September 2017 / Accepted: 16 October 2017 / Published: 23 October 2017
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Abstract
Additive manufacturing (AM)/3D printing (3DP) is a revolutionary technology which has been around for more than two decades, although the potential of this technique was not fully explored until recently. Because of the expansion of this technology in recent years, new materials and
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Additive manufacturing (AM)/3D printing (3DP) is a revolutionary technology which has been around for more than two decades, although the potential of this technique was not fully explored until recently. Because of the expansion of this technology in recent years, new materials and additives are being searched for to meet the growing demand. 3DP allows accurate fabrication of complicated models, however, structural anisotropy caused by the 3DP approaches could limit robust application. A possible solution to the inferior properties of the 3DP based materials compared to that of conventionally manufactured counterparts could be the incorporation of nanoparticles, such as carbon nanotubes (CNT) which have demonstrated remarkable mechanical, electrical, and thermal properties. In this article we review some of the research, products, and challenges involved in 3DP technology. The importance of CNT dispersion in the matrix polymer is highlighted and the future outlook for the 3D printed polymer/CNT nanocomposites is presented. Full article
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