Materials2014, 7(11), 7533-7547; doi:10.3390/ma7117533 (registering DOI) - published 21 November 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The use of methods based on measuring electrical conductivity to assess pozzolanic activity has recently been used primarily in aqueous suspensions of pozzolan: calcium hydroxide. However, the use of similar methods in suspensions of cement with pozzolans has not been widely studied. This paper proposes a new method for rapid assessment of the pozzolanic activity of mineral admixtures in aqueous cement suspensions. In this study, the conditions for the application of the method were optimized, such as time, temperature, w/c ratio and dosage procedure. Finally, results are presented from the application of this method for characterizing the pozzolanic activity of the spent catalytic cracking catalyst. These results corroborate as previously reported, namely the high reactivity of this pozzolan obtained by other methods, such as thermogravimetry or evolution of the mechanical strength. In addition, the pozzolanic activity of the catalyst was compared with other pozzolans such as metakaolin and silica fume.
Materials2014, 7(11), 7513-7532; doi:10.3390/ma7117513 (registering DOI) - published 21 November 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Computer calculations were carried out to determine the reaction rates and the mean structure of bimetallic nanoparticles prepared via a microemulsion route. The rates of reaction of each metal were calculated for a particular microemulsion composition (fixed intermicellar exchange rate) and varying reduction rate ratios between both metal and metal salt concentration inside the micelles. Model predictions show that, even in the case of a very small difference in reduction potential of both metals, the formation of an external shell in a bimetallic nanoparticle is possible if a large reactant concentration is used. The modification of metal arrangement with concentration was analyzed from a mechanistic point of view, and proved to be due to the different impact of confinement on each metal: the reaction rate of the faster metal is only controlled by the intermicellar exchange rate but the slower metal is also affected by a cage-like effect.
Materials2014, 7(11), 7472-7512; doi:10.3390/ma7117472 (registering DOI) - published 21 November 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: This review deals with the layer-by-layer (LbL) assembly of polyelectrolyte multilayers of biopolymers, polypeptides (i.e., poly-l-lysine/poly-l-glutamic acid) and polysaccharides (i.e., chitosan/dextran sulphate/sodium alginate), onto thermo- and/or pH-responsive micro- and nano-gels such as those based on synthetic poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNIPAM) and poly(acrylic acid) (PAA) or biodegradable hyaluronic acid (HA) and dextran-hydroxyethyl methacrylate (DEX-HEMA). The synthesis of the ensembles and their characterization by way of various techniques is described. The morphology, hydrodynamic size, surface charge density, bilayer thickness, stability over time and mechanical properties of the systems are discussed. Further, the mechanisms of interaction between biopolymers and gels are analysed. Results demonstrate that the structure and properties of biocompatible multilayer films can be finely tuned by confinement onto stimuli-responsive gels, which thus provides new perspectives for biomedical applications, particularly in the controlled release of biomolecules, bio-sensors, gene delivery, tissue engineering and storage.
Materials2014, 7(11), 7460-7471; doi:10.3390/ma7117460 (registering DOI) - published 21 November 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Core-shell structured electrorheological (ER) and magnetorheological (MR) particles have attracted increasing interest owing to their outstanding field-responsive properties, including morphology, chemical and dispersion stability, and rheological characteristics of shear stress and yield stress. This study covers recent progress in the preparation of core-shell structured materials as well as their critical characteristics and advantages. Broad emphasises from the synthetic strategy of various core-shell particles to their feature behaviours in the magnetic and electric fields have been elaborated.
Materials2014, 7(11), 7436-7459; doi:10.3390/ma7117436 (registering DOI) - published 21 November 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Boron nitride (BN) is a III-V compound which is the focus of important research since its discovery in the early 19th century. BN is electronic to carbon and thus, in the same way that carbon exists as graphite, BN exists in the hexagonal phase. The latter offers an unusual combination of properties that cannot be found in any other ceramics. However, these properties closely depend on the synthesis processes. This review states the recent developments in the preparation of BN through the chemistry, shaping and ceramic conversion of borazine derivatives. This concept denoted as Polymer-Derived Ceramics (PDCs) route allows tailoring the chemistry of precursors to elaborate complex BN shapes which cannot be obtained by conventional process. The effect of the chemistry of the molecular precursors, i.e., borazine and trichloroborazine, and their polymeric derivatives i.e., polyborazylene and poly[tri(methylamino)borazine], in which the specific functional groups and structural motifs determine the shaping potential by conventional liquid-phase process and plastic-forming techniques is discussed. Nanotubes, nano-fibers, coatings, monoliths and fiber-reinforced matrix composites are especially described. This leads to materials which are of significant engineering interest.
Materials2014, 7(11), 7423-7435; doi:10.3390/ma7117423 - published 20 November 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: This study focuses on the effect of the amount of silica fume addition and volume fraction of steel fiber on the engineering properties of cementitious materials. Test variables include dosage of silica fume (5% and 10%), water/cement ratio (0.35 and 0.55) and steel fiber dosage (0.5%, 1.0% and 2.0%). The experimental results included: compressive strength, direct tensile strength, splitting tensile strength, surface abrasion and drop-weight test, which were collected to carry out the analysis of variance to realize the relevancy and significance between material parameters and those mechanical properties. Test results illustrate that the splitting tensile strength, direct tensile strength, strain capacity and ability of crack-arresting increase with increasing steel fiber and silica fume dosages, as well as the optimum mixture of the fiber cementitious materials is 5% replacement silica fume and 2% fiber dosage. In addition, the Pearson correlation coefficient was conducted to evaluate the influence of the material variables and corresponds to the experiment result.