Abstract: A comprehensive experimental investigation has been carried out into the role of film thickness variation and silver material formulation on printing capability in the screen printing process. A full factorial experiment was carried out where two formulations of silver materials were printed through a range of screens to a polyester substrate under a set of standard conditions. The materials represented a novel low silver content (45%–49%) polymer material and traditional high silver content (65%–69%) paste. The resultant prints were characterised topologically and electrically. The study shows that more cost effective use of the silver in the ink was obtained with the low silver polymer materials, but that the electrical performance was more strongly affected by the mesh being used (and hence film thickness). Thus, while optimum silver use could be obtained using materials with a lower silver content, this came with the consequence of reduced process robustness.
Abstract: Parylene, a non-critical, non-toxic layer material, which is not only a candidate for low-\(K\) dielectrics, but also well suited for long-term applications in the human body, has been deposited by (plasma-enhanced) chemical vapor deposition of the monomeric species. To that end, a specially-designed reactor exhibiting a cracker tube at its entrance, which serves as the upstream control, and a cooling trap in front of the downstream control has been applied. The process of polymerization has been traced and is explained by evaporating the dimeric species followed by dissociation in the cracker at elevated temperatures and, eventually, to the coating of the polymeric film in terms of thermodynamics. Alternatively, the process of dissociation has been accomplished applying a microwave plasma. In both cases, the monomerization is controlled by mass spectrometry. The window for surface polymerization could be clearly defined in terms of a factor of dilution by an inert gas for the chemical vapor deposition (CVD) case and in the case of plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD), additionally by the power density. The characterization of the layer parameters has been carried out by several analytical tools: scanning electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy to determine the surface roughness and density and depth of voids in the film, which influence the layer capacitance and deteriorate the breakdown voltage, a bulk property. The main issue is the conduct against liquids between the two borders' hydrophilic and hydrophobic conduct, but also the super-hydrophobic character, which is the condition for the Lotus effect. The surface tension has been evaluated by contact angle measurements. Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy has proven the conservation of all of the functional groups during polymerization.
Abstract: Previous studies have shown that the barrier effect and the performance of organic-inorganic hybrid (OIH) sol-gel coatings are highly dependent on the coating deposition method as well as on the processing conditions. However, studies on how the coating deposition method influences the barrier properties in alkaline environments are scarce. The aim of this experimental research was to study the influence of experimental parameters using the dip-coating method on the barrier performance of an OIH sol-gel coating in contact with simulated concrete pore solutions (SCPS). The influence of residence time (Rt), a curing step between each dip step and the number of layers of sol-gel OIH films deposited on hot-dip galvanized steel to prevent corrosion in highly alkaline environments was studied. The barrier performance of these OIH sol-gel coatings, named U(400), was assessed in the first instants of contact with SCPS, using electrochemical impedance spectroscopy and potentiodynamic methods. The durability and stability of the OIH coatings in SCPS was monitored during eight days by macrocell current density. The morphological characterization of the surface was performed by Scanning Electronic Microscopy before and after exposure to SCPS. Glow Discharge Optical Emission Spectroscopy was used to investigate the thickness of the U(400) sol-gel coatings as a function of the number of layers deposited with and without Rt in the coatings thickness.
Abstract: A design of experiments approach was used to describe process parameter—spray pattern relationships in the Twin Wire Arc process using zinc feed stock in a TAFA 8835 (Praxair, Concord, NH, USA) spray torch. Specifically, the effects of arc current, primary atomizing gas pressure, and secondary atomizing gas pressure on spray pattern size, spray pattern flatness, spray pattern eccentricity, and coating deposition rate were investigated. Process relationships were investigated with the intent of maximizing or minimizing each coating property. It was determined that spray pattern area was most affected by primary gas pressure and secondary gas pressure. Pattern eccentricity was most affected by secondary gas pressure. Pattern flatness was most affected by primary gas pressure. Coating deposition rate was most affected by arc current.
Abstract: Dispersion of functional inorganic nano-fillers like TiO2 within polymer matrix is known to impart excellent photobactericidal activity to the composite. Epoxy resin systems with Ag+ ion doped TiO2 can have combination of excellent biocidal characteristics of silver and the photocatalytic properties of TiO2. The inorganic antimicrobial incorporation into an epoxy polymeric matrix was achieved by sonicating laboratory-made nano-scale anatase TiO2 and Ag-TiO2 into the industrial grade epoxy resin. The resulting epoxy composite had ratios of 0.5–2.0 wt% of nano-filler content. The process of dispersion of Ag-TiO2 in the epoxy resin resulted in concomitant in situ synthesis of silver nanoparticles due to photoreduction of Ag+ ion. The composite materials were characterized by DSC and SEM. The glass transition temperature (Tg) increased with the incorporation of the nanofillers over the neat polymer. The materials synthesized were coated on glass petri dish. Anti-biofilm property of coated material due to combined release of biocide, and photocatalytic activity under static conditions in petri dish was evaluated against Staphylococcus aureus ATCC6538 and Escherichia coli K-12 under UV irradiation using a crystal violet binding assay. Prepared composite showed significant inhibition of biofilm development in both the organisms. Our studies indicate that the effective dispersion and optimal release of biocidal agents was responsible for anti-biofilm activity of the surface. The reported thermoset coating materials can be used as bactericidal surfaces either in industrial or healthcare settings to reduce the microbial loads.
Abstract: In this work, a morphological and structural characterization of a ternary Ag-Cu-Ge alloy of known composition was performed with the aim of evaluating how the passivation parameters (time and temperature) influence the morphological features of the material surface. A nanomechanical characterization was performed in order to correlate the morphology and microstructure of the alloy with its tarnish, wear, and scratch resistance. It was found that the addition of germanium to the alloy not only provides the material with tarnish and fire-stain resistance, but it also improves the scratch and wear resistance owing to the formation of a dense and stable thin oxide layer.