Metals2014, 4(4), 465-476; doi:10.3390/met4040465 - published 15 October 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: This paper demonstrates a molding technique for producing spheres composed of eutectic gallium-indium (EGaIn) with diameters ranging from hundreds of microns to a couple millimeters. The technique starts by spreading EGaIn across an elastomeric sheet featuring cylindrical reservoirs defined by replica molding. The metal flows into these features during spreading. The spontaneous formation of a thin oxide layer on the liquid metal keeps the metal flush inside these reservoirs. Subsequent exposure to acid removes the oxide and causes the metal to bead up into a sphere with a size dictated by the volume of the reservoirs. This technique allows for the production and patterning of droplets with a wide range of volumes, from tens of nanoliters up to a few microliters. EGaIn spheres can be embedded or encased subsequently in polymer matrices using this technique. These spheres may be useful as solder bumps, electrodes, thermal contacts or components in microfluidic devices (valves, switches, pumps). The ease of parallel-processing and the ability to control the location of the droplets during their formation distinguishes this technique.
Metals2014, 4(3), 455-464; doi:10.3390/met4030455 - published 29 August 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: We have performed first-principles calculations to obtain magnetic moment, magnetocrystalline anisotropy energy (MAE), i.e., the magnetic crystalline anisotropy constant (K), and the Curie temperature (Tc) of low temperature phase (LTP) MnBi and also estimated the maximum energy product (BH)max at elevated temperatures. The full-potential linearized augmented plane wave (FPLAPW) method, based on density functional theory (DFT) within the local spin density approximation (LSDA), was used to calculate the electronic structure of LPM MnBi. The Tc was calculated by the mean field theory. The calculated magnetic moment, MAE, and Tc are 3.63 μB/f.u. (formula unit) (79 emu/g or 714 emu/cm3), −0.163 meV/u.c. (or K = −0.275 × 106 J/m3) and 711 K, respectively. The (BH)max at the elevated temperatures was estimated by combining experimental coercivity (Hci) and the temperature dependence of magnetization (Ms(T)). The (BH)max is 17.7 MGOe at 300 K, which is in good agreement with the experimental result for directionally-solidified LTP MnBi (17 MGOe). In addition, a study of electron density maps and the lattice constant c/a ratio dependence of the magnetic moment suggested that doping of a third element into interstitial sites of LTP MnBi can increase the Ms.
Metals2014, 4(3), 445-454; doi:10.3390/met4030445 - published 28 August 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The paper presents a new method for the production of the closed-cell Al foams of improved sound absorbing ability. Final heat treatment procedure including heating below the solidus temperature followed by water quenching is proposed as an alternative method to machining, which is used commonly for improvement of the sound absorption coefficient. Several kinds of foams based on AlZnMg-alloys comprising brittle eutectic domains of interdendritic redundant phase have been produced by the Alporas-like melting process to realize the method above. Opening of the closed cell structure required for ensuring high sound absorption ability has been achieved by cracking the walls between neighboring cells, making them gas permeable. They ultimately looked like Helmholtz micro-perforated resonators. Processing parameters and other variables that are favorable both for foaming regime and for final heat treatment are discussed and specified.
Metals2014, 4(3), 428-444; doi:10.3390/met4030428 - published 27 August 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The use of a stress-strain constitutive relation for the undamaged material and a traction-separation cohesive crack model with softening for cracking has been demonstrated to be an effective strategy to predict and explain the size-scale effects on the mechanical response of quasi-brittle materials. In metals, where ductile fracture takes place, the situation is more complex due to the interplay between plasticity and fracture. In the present study, we propose a multi-scale numerical method where the shape of a global constitutive relation used at the macro-scale, the so-called hardening cohesive zone model, can be deduced from meso-scale numerical simulations of polycrystalline metals in tension. The shape of this constitutive relation, characterized by an almost linear initial branch followed by a plastic plateau with hardening and finally by softening, is in fact the result of the interplay between two basic forms of nonlinearities: elasto-plasticity inside the grains and classic cohesive cracking for the grain boundaries.
Metals2014, 4(3), 410-427; doi:10.3390/met4030410 - published 20 August 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Metal-metal-, ceramic-metal-composites (MMC, CMC) and related functional materials are steadily gaining interest for practical applications. This invited overview paper is divided into three parts. First, the importance of interfaces in material science is emphasized, then basics of computer modeling of interfaces on atomic scale is outlined, followed by the description of some interface examples and their applications. Atomistic modeling requires the specific determination of the orientation relationship between both crystal lattices facing the heterogeneous interface, the interface plane, and translation vectors of two facing crystals. Examples of the atomistic structure are described in this paper for interfaces, such as MgO/Ag, MgO/TiN, Al2O3/Fe, and others. The trend in this research is gradually, but steadily shifting from structural towards functional materials, because atomic binding at interfaces offers a broad spectrum of new properties to be utilized for applications.
Metals2014, 4(3), 401-409; doi:10.3390/met4030401 - published 14 August 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Electron Beam Melting (EBM) is an Additive Manufacturing technique which can be used to fabricate complex structures from alloys such as Ti6Al4V, for example for orthopaedic applications. Here we describe the use of EBM for the fabrication of a novel Ti6Al4V structure of a regular diamond lattice incorporating graded porosity, achieved via changes in the strut cross section thickness. Scanning Electron Microscopy and micro computed tomography analysis confirmed that generally EBM reproduced the CAD design of the lattice well, although at smaller strut sizes the fabricated lattice produced thicker struts than the model. Mechanical characterisation of the lattice in uniaxial compression showed that its behaviour under compression along the direction of gradation can be predicted to good accuracy with a simple rule of mixtures approach, knowing the properties and the behaviour of its constituent layers.