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Special Issue "Smart Materials"

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A special issue of Materials (ISSN 1996-1944).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (10 December 2014)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Tahir Shah (Website)

Institute for Materials Research and Innovation, The University of Bolton, Deane Road, Bolton, BL3 5AB, UK
Guest Editor
Dr. Navneet Soin (Website)

Institute for Materials Research and Innovation (IMRI) Knowledge Centre for Materials Chemistry (KCMC), The University of Bolton, Deane Road, Bolton, BL3 5AB, UK

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Smart Materials respond to environmental stimuli. They are therefore often referred to as responsive materials. These materials respond to external stimuli by either changing their properties or their structures and compositions. Smart Materials have widespread applications (for example, they concern composites, interface science, sensor/actuator materials, chromic, piezoelectric, shape memory, electromagnetic, and acoustic, chemical and mechanical sensing and actuation, wearable devices, drug delivery systems, construction, energy harvesting, smart packaging, etc.). Smart materials are also normally embedded in systems in order to modify their performance as required. Due to their ubiquitous nature, Smart Materials will play a critical role in numerous advanced applications, particularly where these materials will form part of a smart structural system that has the capability to sense its environment and then respond to an external stimulus via an active control mechanism. The main aim of this special issue on ‘Smart Materials’ is to encapsulate the current interest and state of research related to these materials; the issue will provide not only a thorough overview of the field but will also provide competitive advantages in the development of products and systems with increasing levels of functionality.

We are pleased to invite you to submit manuscripts for the special issue on Smart Materials in the form of full research papers, communications, and review articles. We look forward to your contribution in this Special Issue.

Prof. Dr. Tahir Shah
Dr. Navneet Soin
Guest Editor

Submission

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Materials is an international peer-reviewed Open Access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs).

Keywords

  • stimuli-responsive polymers
  • electroresponsive
  • E-textiles, piezoelectric
  • smart composites
  • self-healing materials
  • shape memory
  • energy harvesting
  • piezochromic

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Microscopic Characterization of Individual Submicron Bubbles during the Layer-by-Layer Deposition: Towards Creating Smart Agents
Materials 2015, 8(7), 4176-4190; doi:10.3390/ma8074176
Received: 11 December 2014 / Revised: 13 June 2015 / Accepted: 29 June 2015 / Published: 8 July 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (778 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
We investigated the individual properties of various polyion-coated bubbles with a mean diameter ranging from 300 to 500 nm. Dark field microscopy allows one to track the individual particles of the submicron bubbles (SBs) encapsulated by the layer-by-layer (LbL) deposition of cationic [...] Read more.
We investigated the individual properties of various polyion-coated bubbles with a mean diameter ranging from 300 to 500 nm. Dark field microscopy allows one to track the individual particles of the submicron bubbles (SBs) encapsulated by the layer-by-layer (LbL) deposition of cationic and anionic polyelectrolytes (PEs). Our focus is on the two-step charge reversals of PE-SB complexes: the first is a reversal from negatively charged bare SBs with no PEs added to positive SBs encapsulated by polycations (monolayer deposition), and the second is overcharging into negatively charged PE-SB complexes due to the subsequent addition of polyanions (double-layer deposition). The details of these phenomena have been clarified through the analysis of a number of trajectories of various PE-SB complexes that experience either Brownian motion or electrophoresis. The contrasted results obtained from the analysis were as follows: an amount in excess of the stoichiometric ratio of the cationic polymers was required for the first charge-reversal, whereas the stoichiometric addition of the polyanions lead to the electrical neutralization of the PE-SB complex particles. The recovery of the stoichiometry in the double-layer deposition paves the way for fabricating multi-layered SBs encapsulated solely with anionic and cationic PEs, which provides a simple protocol to create smart agents for either drug delivery or ultrasound contrast imaging. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart Materials)
Open AccessArticle Low-Pressure H2, NH3 Microwave Plasma Treatment of Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) Powders: Chemical, Thermal and Wettability Analysis
Materials 2015, 8(5), 2258-2275; doi:10.3390/ma8052258
Received: 1 March 2015 / Revised: 16 April 2015 / Accepted: 20 April 2015 / Published: 28 April 2015
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (3766 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Functionalization of Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) powders of ~6 μm particle size is carried out using low-pressure 2.45 GHz H2, NH3 microwave plasmas for various durations (2.5, 10 h) to chemically modify their surface and alter their surface energy. The X-ray [...] Read more.
Functionalization of Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) powders of ~6 μm particle size is carried out using low-pressure 2.45 GHz H2, NH3 microwave plasmas for various durations (2.5, 10 h) to chemically modify their surface and alter their surface energy. The X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS) analyses reveal that plasma treatment leads to significant defluorination (F/C atomic ratio of 1.13 and 1.30 for 10 h NH3 and H2 plasma treatments, respectively vs. 1.86 for pristine PTFE), along with the incorporation of functional polar moieties on the surface, resulting in enhanced wettability. Analysis of temperature dependent XPS revealed a loss of surface moieties above 200 °C, however, the functional groups are not completely removable even at higher temperatures (>300 °C), thus enabling the use of plasma treated PTFE powders as potential tribological fillers in high temperature engineering polymers. Ageing studies carried over a period of 12 months revealed that while the surface changes degenerate over time, again, they are not completely reversible. These functionalised PTFE powders can be further used for applications into smart, high performance materials such as tribological fillers for engineering polymers and bio-medical, bio-material applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart Materials)
Open AccessArticle Preparation of High Density Polyethylene/Waste Polyurethane Blends Compatibilized with Polyethylene-Graft-Maleic Anhydride by Radiation
Materials 2015, 8(4), 1626-1635; doi:10.3390/ma8041626
Received: 20 January 2015 / Revised: 13 March 2015 / Accepted: 30 March 2015 / Published: 8 April 2015
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (1890 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Polyurethane (PU) is a very popular polymer that is used in a variety of applications due to its good mechanical, thermal, and chemical properties. However, PU recycling has received significant attention due to environmental issues. In this study, we developed a recycling [...] Read more.
Polyurethane (PU) is a very popular polymer that is used in a variety of applications due to its good mechanical, thermal, and chemical properties. However, PU recycling has received significant attention due to environmental issues. In this study, we developed a recycling method for waste PU that utilizes the radiation grafting technique. Grafting of waste PU was carried out using a radiation technique with polyethylene-graft-maleic anhydride (PE-g-MA). The PE-g-MA-grafted PU/high density polyethylene (HDPE) composite was prepared by melt-blending at various concentrations (0–10 phr) of PE-g-MA-grafted PU. The composites were characterized using fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), and their surface morphology and thermal/mechanical properties are reported. For 1 phr PU, the PU could be easily introduced to the HDPE during the melt processing in the blender after the radiation-induced grafting of PU with PE-g-MA. PE-g-MA was easily reacted with PU according to the increasing radiation dose and was located at the interface between the PU and the HDPE during the melt processing in the blender, which improved the interfacial interactions and the mechanical properties of the resultant composites. However, the elongation at break for a PU content >2 phr was drastically decreased. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart Materials)
Open AccessArticle Damping Enhancement of Composite Panels by Inclusion of Shunted Piezoelectric Patches: A Wave-Based Modelling Approach
Materials 2015, 8(2), 815-828; doi:10.3390/ma8020815
Received: 24 November 2014 / Revised: 7 January 2015 / Accepted: 12 February 2015 / Published: 17 February 2015
PDF Full-text (379 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The waves propagating within complex smart structures are hereby computed by employing a wave and finite element method. The structures can be of arbitrary layering and of complex geometric characteristics as long as they exhibit two-dimensional periodicity. The piezoelectric coupling phenomena are [...] Read more.
The waves propagating within complex smart structures are hereby computed by employing a wave and finite element method. The structures can be of arbitrary layering and of complex geometric characteristics as long as they exhibit two-dimensional periodicity. The piezoelectric coupling phenomena are considered within the finite element formulation. The mass, stiffness and piezoelectric stiffness matrices of the modelled segment can be extracted using a conventional finite element code. The post-processing of these matrices involves the formulation of an eigenproblem whose solutions provide the phase velocities for each wave propagating within the structure and for any chosen direction of propagation. The model is then modified in order to account for a shunted piezoelectric patch connected to the composite structure. The impact of the energy dissipation induced by the shunted circuit on the total damping loss factor of the composite panel is then computed. The influence of the additional mass and stiffness provided by the attached piezoelectric devices on the wave propagation characteristics of the structure is also investigated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart Materials)

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