Abstract: Polycaprolactone (PCL) fibers were produced using Forcespinning® (FS). The effects of PCL concentration, solvent mixture, and the spinneret rotational speed on fiber formation were evaluated. The concentration of the polymer in the solvents was a critical determinant of the solution viscosity. Lower PCL concentrations resulted in low solution viscosities with a correspondingly low fiber production rate with many beads. Bead-free fibers with high production rate and uniform fiber diameter distribution were obtained from the optimum PCL concentration (i.e., 12.5 wt%) with tetrahydrofuran (THF) as the solvent. The addition of N, N-dimethylformamide (DMF) to the THF solvent promoted the gradual formation of beads, split fibers, and generally affected the distribution of fiber diameters. The crystallinity of PCL fibers was also affected by the processing conditions, spinning speed, and solvent mixture.
Abstract: The recovery and reuse of glass fibres from manufacturing waste and end-of-life composites in an environmentally-friendly, cost-effective manner is one of the most important challenges facing the thermosetting polymer composites industry. A number of processes for recycling fibres from such materials are available or under development. However, nearly all options deliver recycled glass fibres that are not cost-performance competitive due to the huge drop in strength of recycled glass fibre compared to its original state. A breakthrough in the regeneration of recycled glass fibre performance has the potential to totally transform the economics of recycling such composites. This paper reviews the available knowledge of the thermally-induced strength loss in glass fibres, discusses some of the phenomena that are potentially related and presents the status of research into processes to regenerate the strength and value of such weak recycled glass fibres.
Abstract: The purpose of this study is to evaluate, through a nonlinear Finite Element (FE) analysis, the structural behavior of Reinforced Concrete (RC) beams externally strengthened by using Steel Reinforced Grout (SRG) and Steel Reinforced Polymer (SRP) systems. The parameters taken into account were the external strengthening configuration, with or without U-wrap end anchorages, as well as the strengthening materials. The numerical simulations were carried out by using a three-dimensional (3D) FE model. The linear and nonlinear behavior of all materials was modeled by appropriate constitutive laws and the connection between concrete substrate and external reinforcing layer was simulated by means of cohesive surfaces with appropriate bond-slip laws. In order to overcome convergence difficulties, to simulate the quasi-static response of the strengthened RC beams, a dynamic approach was adopted. The numerical results in terms of load-displacement curves, failure modes, and load and strain values at critical stages were validated against some experimental data. As a result, the proposed 3D FE model can be used to predict the structural behavior up to ultimate stage of similar strengthened beams without carrying out experimental tests.
Abstract: The hygrothermal aging of short glass fiber-reinforced polyamide 6 materials (PA6 GF) represents a major problem, especially in thin-walled components, such as in the automotive sector. In this study, therefore, the thickness and the glass fiber content of PA6 GF materials were varied and the materials were exposed to hygrothermal aging. The temperature and relative humidity were selected in the range from −40 °C up to 85 °C, and from 10% up to 85% relative humidity (RH). In the dry-as-molded state, the determined Poisson’s ratio of the PA6 GF materials was correlated with the fiber orientation based on computer tomography (MicroCT) data and shows a linear dependence with respect to the fiber orientation along and transverse to the flow direction of the injection molding process. With hygrothermal aging, the value of Poisson’s ratio increases in the flow direction in the same way as it decreases perpendicular to the flow direction due to water absorption.
Abstract: Flame retardants (FRs) have been around us for decades to increase the chances of survival against fire or flame by limiting its propagation. The FR textiles, irrespective of their atmospheric presence are used in baby clothing, pushchairs, car seats, etc. The overall FR market in Asia, Europe, and the United States in 2007 was around 1.8 million metric tonnes. It is estimated that the worldwide consumption of FRs will reach 2.8 million tonnes in 2018. Unfortunately, a sustainable approach for textile waste, especially in the case of FR textiles, is absent. Incineration and landfill of FR textiles are hindered by various toxic outcomes. To address the need for sustainable methods of discarding FR textiles, the mechanical recycling of cotton curtains was evaluated.
Abstract: Nowadays, innovative materials are more frequently adopted for strengthening historical constructions and masonry structures. The target of these techniques is to improve the structural efficiency with retrofitting methods while having a reduced aesthetical impact. In particular, the use of basalt fiber together with a cementitious matrix emerges as a new technique. This kind of fiber is obtained by basalt rock without other components, and consequently it could be considered a natural material, compatible with masonry. Another innovative technique for strengthening masonry columns consists of applying steel wires in the correspondence of mortar joints. Both techniques have been recently proposed and some aspects of their structural performances are still open. This paper presents the results of an experimental study on the compressive behavior of clay brick masonry columns reinforced either with Basalt Fiber–Reinforced Cementitious Matrix (BFRCM) or with steel wire collaring. Uniaxial compressive tests were performed on eight retrofitted columns and four control specimens until failure. Two masonry grades were considered by varying the mix used for the mortar. Results are presented and discussed in terms of axial stress-strain curves, failure modes and crack patterns of tested specimens. Comparisons with unreinforced columns show the capability of these techniques in increasing ductility with limited strength enhancements.