Abstract: Fluorine doped tin oxide (FTO) coatings have been prepared using the mid-frequency pulsed DC closed field unbalanced magnetron sputtering technique in an Ar/O2 atmosphere using blends of tin oxide and tin fluoride powder formed into targets. FTO coatings were deposited with a thickness of 400 nm on glass substrates. No post-deposition annealing treatments were carried out. The effects of the chemical composition on the structural (phase, grain size), optical (transmission, optical band-gap) and electrical (resistivity, charge carrier, mobility) properties of the thin films were investigated. Depositing FTO by magnetron sputtering is an environmentally friendly technique and the use of loosely packed blended powder targets gives an efficient means of screening candidate compositions, which also provides a low cost operation. The best film characteristics were achieved using a mass ratio of 12% SnF2 to 88% SnO2 in the target. The thin film produced was polycrystalline with a tetragonal crystal structure. The optimized conditions resulted in a thin film with average visible transmittance of 83% and optical band-gap of 3.80 eV, resistivity of 6.71 × 10−3 Ω·cm, a carrier concentration (Nd) of 1.46 × 1020 cm−3 and a mobility of 15 cm2/Vs.
Abstract: External walls made with hollow clay brick or block are widely used for their thermal, acoustic and structural properties. However, the performance of the bricks frequently does not conform with the minimum legal requirements or the values required for high efficiency buildings, and for this reason, they need to be integrated with layers of thermal insulation. In this paper, the thermal behavior of hollow clay block with low emissivity treatment on the internal cavity surfaces has been investigated. The purpose of this application is to obtain a reduction in the thermal conductivity of the block by lowering the radiative heat exchange in the enclosures. The aims of this paper are to indicate a methodology for evaluating the thermal performance of the brick and to provide information about the benefits that should be obtained. Theoretical evaluations are carried out on several bricks (12 geometries simulated with two different thermal conductivities of the clay), using a finite elements model. The heat exchange procedure is implemented in accordance with the standard, so as to obtain standardized values of the thermal characteristics of the block. Several values of emissivity are hypothesized, related to different kinds of coating. Finally, the values of the thermal transmittance of walls built with the evaluated blocks have been calculated and compared. The results show how coating the internal surface of the cavity provides a reduction in the thermal conductivity of the block, of between 26% and 45%, for a surface emissivity of 0.1.
Abstract: The surface of metal parts operating at high temperature in energy production and aerospace industry is typically exposed to thermal stresses and oxidation phenomena. To this aim, plasma spraying was employed to deposit NiCoCrAlYRe coatings on metal substrates. The effects of early-stage oxidation, at ~1100 °C, on their microstructure were investigated. The partial infiltration of oxygen through some open pores and microcracks embedded in coating microstructure locally assistedthe formation of a stable Al2O3 scale at the splat boundary, while the diffusion of Cr and Ni and the following growth of Cr2O3, Ni(Cr,Al)2O4 and NiO were restricted to Al depleted isolated areas. At the same time, a continuous, dense and well adherent Al2O3 layer grew on the top-surface, and was somewhere supported by a thin mixed oxide scale mainly composed of Cr2O3 and spinels. Based on these results, the addition of Re to the NiCoCrAlY alloy is able to enhance the oxidation resistance.
Abstract: In this study, an electroactive polymer (EAP), poly(2,5-bis(N-methyl-N- hexylamino)phenylene vinylene) (BAM-PPV), was tested as an alternative to current hexavalent chromium (Cr(VI))-based Army wash primers. BAM-PPV was tested in both laboratory and field studies to determine its adhesive and corrosion-inhibiting properties when applied to steel and aluminum alloys. The Army Research Laboratory (ARL) tests showed that BAM-PPV combined with an epoxy primer and the Army chemical agent-resistant coating (CARC) topcoat met Army performance requirements for military coatings. After successful laboratory testing, the BAM-PPV was then field tested for one year at the Aberdeen Test Center (ATC). This field testing showed that BAM-PPV incorporated into the Army military coating survived with no delamination of the coating and only minor corrosion on the chip sites.
Abstract: In damp environments, indoor building materials are among the main proliferation substrates for microorganisms. Photocatalytic coatings, including nanoparticles of TiO2, could be a way to prevent microbial proliferation or, at least, to significantly reduce the amount of microorganisms that grow on indoor building materials. Previous works involving TiO2 have already shown the inactivation of bacteria by the photocatalysis process. This paper studies the inactivation of Escherichia coli bacteria by photocatalysis involving TiO2 nanoparticles alone or in transparent coatings (varnishes) and investigates different parameters that significantly influence the antibacterial activity. The antibacterial activity of TiO2 was evaluated through two types of experiments under UV irradiation: (I) in slurry with physiological water (stirred suspension); and (II) in a drop deposited on a glass plate. The results confirmed the difference in antibacterial activity between simple drop-deposited inoculum and inoculum spread under a plastic film, which increased the probability of contact between TiO2 and bacteria (forced contact). In addition, the major effect of the nature of the suspension on the photocatalytic disinfection ability was highlighted. Experiments were also carried out at the surface of transparent coatings formulated using nanoparticles of TiO2. The results showed significant antibacterial activities after 2 h and 4 h and suggested that improving the formulation would increase efficiency.
Abstract: The photocatalytic activity and stability of thin, polycrystalline ZnO films was studied. The oxidative degradation of organic compounds at the ZnO surface results from the ultraviolet (UV) photo-induced creation of highly oxidizing holes and reducing electrons, which combine with surface water to form hydroxyl radicals and reactive oxygen species. Therefore, the efficiency of the electron-hole pair formation is of critical importance for self-cleaning and antimicrobial applications with these metal-oxide catalyst systems. In this study, ZnO thin films were fabricated on sapphire substrates via direct current sputter deposition of Zn-metal films followed by thermal oxidation at several annealing temperatures (300–1200 °C). Due to the ease with which they can be recovered, stabilized films are preferable to nanoparticles or colloidal suspensions for some applications. Characterization of the resulting ZnO thin films through atomic force microscopy and photoluminescence indicated that decreasing annealing temperature leads to smaller crystal grain size and increased UV excitonic emission. The photocatalytic activities were characterized by UV-visible absorption measurements of Rhodamine B dye concentrations. The films oxidized at lower annealing temperatures exhibited higher photocatalytic activity, which is attributed to the increased optical quality. Photocatalytic activity was also found to depend on film thickness, with lower activity observed for thinner films. Decreasing activity with use was found to be the result of decreasing film thickness due to surface etching.