Materials2014, 7(9), 6632-6645; doi:10.3390/ma7096632 (registering DOI) - published 15 September 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The protective performance of a sand particle-modified enamel coating on reinforcing steel bars was evaluated in 3.5 wt% NaCl solution by electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS). Seven percentages of sand particles by weight were investigated: 0%, 5%, 10%, 20%, 30%, 50% and 70%. The phase composition of the enamel coating and sand particles were determined with the X-ray diffraction (XRD) technique. The surface and cross-sectional morphologies of the sand particle-modified enamel coating were characterized using scanning electron microscopy (SEM). XRD tests revealed three phases of sand particles: SiO2, CaCO3 and MgCO3. SEM images demonstrated that the enamel coating wetted well with the sand particles. However, a weak enamel coating zone was formed around the sand particles due to concentrated air bubbles, leading to micro-cracks as hydrogen gas pressure builds up and exceeds the tensile strength of the weak zone. As a result, the addition of sand particles into the enamel coating reduced both the coating and corrosion resistances.
Materials2014, 7(9), 6620-6631; doi:10.3390/ma7096620 (registering DOI) - published 15 September 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Deposition of chloride ions in the surface layer of concrete is investigated in this study. In real concrete structure, chloride ions from the service environment can penetrate into concrete and deposit in the surface layer, to form the boundary condition for further diffusion towards the interior. The deposit amount of chloride ions in the surface layer is normally a function of time, rather than a constant. In the experimental investigation, concrete specimens with different mix proportions are immersed in NaCl solution with a mass concentration of 5%, to simulate the shallow immersion condition in sea water, and the surface chloride concentrations are measured at different ages. It is found that the surface chloride concentration increases following the increasing immersion durations, and varies from a weight percentage of 0.161%–0.781% in concretes with different mix proportions. The w/c (water-to-cement ratio) influences the surface chloride concentration significantly, and the higher the w/c is, the higher the surface chloride concentration will be, at the same age. However, following the prolonging of immersion duration, the difference in surface chloride concentration induced by w/c becomes smaller and smaller. The incorporation of fly ash leads to higher surface chloride concentration. The phenomena are explained based on pore structure analyses.
Materials2014, 7(9), 6604-6619; doi:10.3390/ma7096604 - published 12 September 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The effect of annealing temperature (1000–1150 °C) on the microstructure evolution, mechanical properties, and pitting corrosion behavior of a newly developed novel lean duplex stainless steel with 20.53Cr-3.45Mn-2.08Ni-0.17N-0.31Mo was studied by means of optical metallographic microscopy (OMM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), magnetic force microscopy (MFM), scanning Kelvin probe force microscopy (SKPFM), energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS), uniaxial tensile tests (UTT), and potentiostatic critical pitting temperature (CPT). The results showed that tensile and yield strength, as well as the pitting corrosion resistance, could be degraded with annealing temperature increasing from 1000 up to 1150 °C. Meanwhile, the elongation at break reached the maximum of 52.7% after annealing at 1050 °C due to the effect of martensite transformation induced plasticity (TRIP). The localized pitting attack preferentially occurred at ferrite phase, indicating that the ferrite phase had inferior pitting corrosion resistance as compared to the austenite phase. With increasing annealing temperature, the pitting resistance equivalent number (PREN) of ferrite phase dropped, while that of the austenite phase rose. Additionally, it was found that ferrite possessed a lower Volta potential than austenite phase. Moreover, the Volta potential difference between ferrite and austenite increased with the annealing temperature, which was well consistent with the difference of PREN.
Materials2014, 7(9), 6585-6603; doi:10.3390/ma7096585 - published 12 September 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The interest of microelectronics industry in new organic compounds for the manufacture of luminescent devices has increased substantially in the last decade. In this paper, we carried out a study of the usage feasibility of three organic bidentate ligands (2,6-dihydroxyanthraquinone, anthraflavic acid and potassium derivative salt of anthraflavic acid) for the synthesis of an organic semiconductor based in silicon phthalocyanines (SiPcs). We report the visible photoluminescence (PL) at room temperature obtained from thermal-evaporated thin films of these new materials. The surface morphology of these films was analyzed by atomic force microscopy (AFM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). AFM indicated that the thermal evaporation technique is an excellent resource in order to obtain low thin film roughness when depositing these kinds of compounds. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) spectroscopy was employed to investigate possible changes in the intra-molecular bonds and to identify any evidence of crystallinity in the powder compounds and in the thin films after their deposition. FTIR showed that there was not any important change in the samples after the thermal deposition. The absorption coefficient (α) in the absorption region reveals non-direct transitions. Furthermore, the PL of all the investigated samples were observed with the naked eye in a bright background and also measured by a spectrofluorometer. The normalized PL spectra showed a Stokes shift ≈ 0.6 eV in two of our three samples, and no PL emission in the last one. Those results indicate that the Vis PL comes from a recombination of charge carriers between conduction band and valence band preceded by a non-radiative relaxation in the conduction band tails.
Materials2014, 7(9), 6569-6584; doi:10.3390/ma7096569 - published 12 September 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Moringa oleifera seeds contain about 40% of highly valued oil due to its wide range of applications, from nutritional issues to cosmetics or biodiesel production. The extraction of Moringa oil generates a waste (65%–75% of seeds weight) which contains a water soluble protein able to be used either in drinking water clarification or wastewater treatment. In this paper, the waste of Moringa oleifera extraction was used as coagulant to remove five reactive dyes from synthetic textile effluents. This waste constitutes a natural coagulant which was demonstrated to be effective for the treatment of industrial reactive dyestuff effluents, characterized by alkaline pH, high NaCl content and hydrolyzed dyes. The coagulation yield increased at high NaCl concentration, whereas the pH did not show any significant effect on dye removal. Moringa oleifera showed better results for dye removal than the conventional treatment of coagulation-flocculation with FeCl3 and polyelectrolyte. Treated water can be reused in new dyeing processes of cotton fabrics with high quality results.
Materials2014, 7(9), 6502-6568; doi:10.3390/ma7096502 - published 12 September 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: This review covers methods and recent developments of the theoretical study of domain structures in ultrathin ferroelectric films. The review begins with an introduction to some basic concepts and theories (e.g., polarization and its modern theory, ferroelectric phase transition, domain formation, and finite size effects, etc.) that are relevant to the study of domain structures in ultrathin ferroelectric films. Basic techniques and recent progress of a variety of important approaches for domain structure simulation, including first-principles calculation, molecular dynamics, Monte Carlo simulation, effective Hamiltonian approach and phase field modeling, as well as multiscale simulation are then elaborated. For each approach, its important features and relative merits over other approaches for modeling domain structures in ultrathin ferroelectric films are discussed. Finally, we review recent theoretical studies on some important issues of domain structures in ultrathin ferroelectric films, with an emphasis on the effects of interfacial electrostatics, boundary conditions and external loads.