Abstract: In this paper, for the first time, inexpensive waterglass solutions are exploited as a new, simple and ecofriendly chemical approach for promoting the formation of a silica-based coating on hemp fabrics, able to act as a thermal shield and to protect the latter from heat sources. Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) and solid-state Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) analysis confirm the formation of –C–O–Si– covalent bonds between the coating and the cellulosic substrate. The proposed waterglass treatment, which is resistant to washing, seems to be very effective for improving the fire behavior of hemp fabric/epoxy composites, also in combination with ammonium polyphosphate. In particular, the exploitation of hemp surface treatment and Ammonium Polyphosphate (APP) addition to epoxy favors a remarkable decrease of the Heat Release Rate (HRR), Total Heat Release (THR), Total Smoke Release (TSR) and Specific Extinction Area (SEA) (respectively by 83%, 35%, 45% and 44%) as compared to untreated hemp/epoxy composites, favoring the formation of a very stable char, as also assessed by Thermogravimetric Analysis (TGA). Because of the low interfacial adhesion between the fabrics and the epoxy matrix, the obtained composites show low strength and stiffness; however, the energy absorbed by the material is higher when using treated hemp. The presence of APP in the epoxy matrix does not affect the mechanical behavior of the composites.
Abstract: In this study, we report UV-MALDI-TOF MS evidence of a fullerene-like silsesquioxane, a high-symmetry polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxane (POSS or SSO) formulated as R60-Si60O90 or T60 (T = RSiO1.5). The T60 preparation can be performed using a normal hydrolytic condensation of [(3-methacryloxy)propyl]trimethoxysilane (MPMS) as an example. Theoretically, four 3sp3 hybrid orbitals (each containing an unpaired electron) of a Si atom are generated before the bond formation. Then it bonds to another four atom electrons using the four generated hybrid orbitals which produced a stable configuration. This fullerene-like silsesquioxane should exhibit much more functionality, activity and selectivity and is easier to assemble than the double bonds in a fullerene.
Abstract: Most research on fatigue strengthening of steel has focused on carbon fiber-reinforced polymer (CFRP) strengthening of steel members with existing cracks. However, in many practical cases, aging steel members do not yet have existing cracks but rather are nearing the end of their designed fatigue life. Therefore, there is a need to develop a “proactive” retrofit solution that can prevent fatigue crack initiation in aging bridge members. Such a proactive retrofit approach can be applied to bridge members that have been identified to be deficient, based on structural standards, to enhance their safety margins by extending the design service life. This paper explains a proactive retrofit design approach based on constant life diagram (CLD) methodology. The CLD approach is a method that can take into account the combined effect of alternating and mean stress magnitudes to predict the high-cycle fatigue life of a material. To validate the retrofit model, a series of new fatigue tests on steel I-beams retrofitted by the non-prestressed un-bonded CFRP plates have been conducted. Furthermore, this paper attempts to provide a better understanding of the behavior of un-bonded retrofit (UR) and bonded retrofit (BR) systems. Retrofitting the steel beams using the UR system took less than half of the time that was needed for strengthening with the BR system. The results show that the non-prestressed un-bonded ultra-high modulus (UHM) CFRP plates can be effective in preventing fatigue crack initiation in steel members.
Abstract: A molecularly imprinted polymers based electrochemical sensor was fabricated by electropolymerizing pyrrole on a Fe3O4 nanoparticle modified glassy carbon electrode. The sensor showed highly catalytic ability for the oxidation of 2,4-dichlorophenol (2,4-DCP). Square wave voltammetry was used for the determination of 2,4-DCP. The oxidation peak currents were proportional to the concentrations of 2,4-DCP in the range of 0.04 to 2.0 µM, with a detection limit of 0.01 µM. The proposed sensor was successfully applied for the determination of 2,4-DCP in water samples giving satisfactory recoveries.
Abstract: Helical structure is a sophisticated ubiquitous motif found in nature, in artificial polymers, and in supramolecular assemblies from microscopic to macroscopic points of view. Significant progress has been made in the synthesis and structural elucidation of helical polymers, nevertheless, a new direction for helical polymeric materials, is how to design smart systems with controllable helical chirality, and further use them to develop chiral functional materials and promote their applications in biology, biochemistry, medicine, and nanotechnology fields. This review summarizes the recent progress in the development of high-performance systems with tunable helical chirality on receiving external stimuli and discusses advances in their applications as drug delivery vesicles, sensors, molecular switches, and liquid crystals. Challenges and opportunities in this emerging area are also presented in the conclusion.
Abstract: Among amphiphilic polymers with diverse skeletons, fluorinated architectures have attracted significant attention due to their unique property of segregation and self-assembly into discrete supramolecular entities. Herein, we have synthesized amphiphilic copolymers by grafting hydrophobic alkyl/perfluoroalkyl chains and hydrophilic polyglycerol [G2.0] dendrons onto a co-polymer scaffold, which itself was prepared by enzymatic polymerization of poly[ethylene glycol bis(carboxymethyl) ether]diethylester and 2-azidopropan-1,3-diol. The resulting fluorinated polymers and their alkyl chain analogs were then compared in terms of their supramolecular aggregation behavior, solubilization capacity, transport potential, and release profile using curcumin and dexamethasone drugs. The study of the release profile of encapsulated curcumin incubated with/without a hydrolase enzyme Candida antarctica lipase (CAL-B) suggested that the drug is better stabilized in perfluoroalkyl chain grafted polymeric nanostructures in the absence of enzyme for up to 12 days as compared to its alkyl chain analogs. Although both the fluorinated as well as non-fluorinated systems showed up to 90% release of curcumin in 12 days when incubated with lipase, a comparatively faster release was observed in the fluorinated polymers. Cell viability of HeLa cells up to 95% in aqueous solution of fluorinated polymers (100 μg/mL) demonstrated their excellent cyto-compatibility.