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Materials, Volume 12, Issue 10 (May-2 2019) – 155 articles

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Cover Story (view full-size image) Corrosion is a ubiquitous and thorny issue of academic and engineering fields, undermining the [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle
A Comparative Study on Johnson Cook, Modified Zerilli–Armstrong, and Arrhenius-Type Constitutive Models to Predict Compression Flow Behavior of SnSbCu Alloy
Materials 2019, 12(10), 1726; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12101726 - 27 May 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 795
Abstract
The flow behavior of the SnSbCu alloy is studied experimentally by the compression tests in the range of the strain rates from 0.0001 to 0.1 s−1 and temperature from 293 to 413 K. Based on the experimental data, three constitutive models including [...] Read more.
The flow behavior of the SnSbCu alloy is studied experimentally by the compression tests in the range of the strain rates from 0.0001 to 0.1 s−1 and temperature from 293 to 413 K. Based on the experimental data, three constitutive models including the Johnson–Cook (J–C), modified Zerilli–Armstrong (Z–A), and Arrhenius-type (A-type) models are compared to find out an optimum model to describe the flow behavior of the SnSbCu alloy. The results show that the J–C model could predict the flow behavior of the SnSbCu alloy accurately only at some specific strain rates and temperature near the reference values. The modified Z–A and A-type constitutive models can give better fitting results than the J–C model. While, at high strains, the predictive values of the modified Z–A model have larger errors than those at low strains, which means this model has limitations at high strains. By comparison, the A-type model could predict the experimental results accurately at the whole strain range, which indicates that it is a more suitable choice to describe the flow behavior of the SnSbCu alloy in the focused range of strain rates and temperatures. The work is beneficial to solve the tribological problem of the bearing of the marine engine by integrating the accurate constitutive model into the corresponding numerical model. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Nanomelanin Potentially Protects the Spleen from Radiotherapy-Associated Damage and Enhances Immunoactivity in Tumor-Bearing Mice
Materials 2019, 12(10), 1725; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12101725 - 27 May 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 948
Abstract
Radiotherapy side-effects present serious problems in cancer treatment. Melanin, a natural polymer with low toxicity, is considered as a potential radio-protector; however, its application as an agent against irradiation during cancer treatment has still received little attention. In this study, nanomelanin particles were [...] Read more.
Radiotherapy side-effects present serious problems in cancer treatment. Melanin, a natural polymer with low toxicity, is considered as a potential radio-protector; however, its application as an agent against irradiation during cancer treatment has still received little attention. In this study, nanomelanin particles were prepared, characterized and applied in protecting the spleens of tumor-bearing mice irradiated with X-rays. These nanoparticles had sizes varying in the range of 80–200 nm and contained several important functional groups such as carboxyl (-COO), carbonyl (-C=O) and hydroxyl (-OH) groups on the surfaces. Tumor-bearing mice were treated with nanomelanin at a concentration of 40 mg/kg before irradiating with a single dose of 6.0 Gray of X-ray at a high dose rate (1.0 Gray/min). Impressively, X-ray caused mild splenic fibrosis in 40% of nanomelanin-protected mice, whereas severe fibrosis was observed in 100% of mice treated with X-ray alone. Treatment with nanomelanin also partly rescued the volume and weight of mouse spleens from irradiation through promoting the transcription levels of splenic Interleukin-2 (IL-2) and Tumor Necrosis Factor alpha (TNF-α). More interestingly, splenic T cell and dendritic cell populations were 1.91 and 1.64-fold higher in nanomelanin-treated mice than those in mice which received X-ray alone. Consistently, the percentage of lymphocytes was also significantly greater in blood from nanomelanin-treated mice. In addition, nanomelanin might indirectly induce apoptosis in tumor tissues via activation of TNF-α, Bax, and Caspase-3 genes. In summary, our results demonstrate that nanomelanin protects spleens from X-ray irradiation and consequently enhances immunoactivity in tumor-bearing mice; therefore, we present nanomelanin as a potential protector against damage from radiotherapy in cancer treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Cancer Nanotechnology)
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Open AccessArticle
The Evolution of Complex Carbide Precipitates in a Low Alloy Cr–Mo–V Steel after Long-Term Aging Treatment
Materials 2019, 12(10), 1724; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12101724 - 27 May 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 788
Abstract
Complex carbide precipitates in a quenched and tempered low alloy Cr–Mo–V steel after long-term aging at 650 °C for 13,000 h and 30,000 h were investigated in this study. The mass fraction and sizes of precipitates were quantified by electrolytical extraction technique. The [...] Read more.
Complex carbide precipitates in a quenched and tempered low alloy Cr–Mo–V steel after long-term aging at 650 °C for 13,000 h and 30,000 h were investigated in this study. The mass fraction and sizes of precipitates were quantified by electrolytical extraction technique. The types of precipitate were further studied by combined X-ray diffraction and transmission electron microscopy with selected area electron diffraction and energy dispersive spectrometry. A series of carbide precipitates, namely MC, M7C3, M6C, and M2C, were found existing in the near-equilibrium state. The precipitate sequence of these carbides was identified as MC + M7C3 + M2C → MC + M2C + M7C3 + M6C → MC + M7C3 + M6C. It was clarified that the stable phases for the investigated steel aged at 650 °C were composed of MC, M7C3, and M6C. For the first time, the in-situ transformations of M2C to M6C and M7C3 to M6C were directly observed. It was also observed that the nucleation site of the M6C was located at the interface of M7C3 carbides and the matrix. The orientation relationships between the secondary phases of the in-situ transforming carbides aged for 13,000 h and 30,000 h at 650 °C were established. The coherent interfaces between these secondary phases became incoherent with prolonged aging treatment due to the exerted strain field of the growing carbides. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Structure Analysis and Characterization)
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Open AccessArticle
Thermal and Electronic Transport Properties of the Half-Heusler Phase ScNiSb
Materials 2019, 12(10), 1723; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12101723 - 27 May 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 996
Abstract
Thermoelectric properties of the half-Heusler phase ScNiSb (space group F4¯3m) were studied on a polycrystalline single-phase sample obtained by arc-melting and spark-plasma-sintering techniques. Measurements of the thermopower, electrical resistivity, and thermal conductivity were performed in the wide temperature [...] Read more.
Thermoelectric properties of the half-Heusler phase ScNiSb (space group F 4 ¯ 3m) were studied on a polycrystalline single-phase sample obtained by arc-melting and spark-plasma-sintering techniques. Measurements of the thermopower, electrical resistivity, and thermal conductivity were performed in the wide temperature range 2–950 K. The material appeared as a p-type conductor, with a fairly large, positive Seebeck coefficient of about 240 μV K−1 near 450 K. Nevertheless, the measured electrical resistivity values were relatively high (83 μΩm at 350 K), resulting in a rather small magnitude of the power factor (less than 1 × 10−3 W m−1 K−2) in the temperature range examined. Furthermore, the thermal conductivity was high, with a local minimum of about 6 W m−1 K−1 occurring near 600 K. As a result, the dimensionless thermoelectric figure of merit showed a maximum of 0.1 at 810 K. This work suggests that ScNiSb could be a promising base compound for obtaining thermoelectric materials for energy conversion at high temperatures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Heusler and Half-Heusler Compounds)
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Open AccessArticle
Development of Hot-Extruded Mg–RE–Zn Alloy Bar with High Mechanical Properties
Materials 2019, 12(10), 1722; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12101722 - 27 May 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 756
Abstract
A new elevated-temperature high-strength Mg–4Er–2Y–3Zn–0.4Mn (wt %) alloy was developed by semi-continuous casting, solid solution treatment, and hot extrusion. W phase (Mg3(Er,Y)2Zn3) with fcc structure, long period stacking ordered phases with 18R (Mg10(Er,Y)1Zn [...] Read more.
A new elevated-temperature high-strength Mg–4Er–2Y–3Zn–0.4Mn (wt %) alloy was developed by semi-continuous casting, solid solution treatment, and hot extrusion. W phase (Mg3(Er,Y)2Zn3) with fcc structure, long period stacking ordered phases with 18R (Mg10(Er,Y)1Zn1) and 14H (Mg12(Er,Y)1Zn1) structures, and basal plane stacking faults (SFs) was formed in the as-cast alloy, mainly due to the alloy component of (Er + Y)/Zn = 1:1 and Er/Y = 1:1 (at %). After solid solution treatment and hot extrusion, the novel microstructure feature formed in as-extruded alloy is the high number-density nanospaced basal plane SFs throughout all the dynamically recrystallized (DRXed) and un-DRXed grains, which has not been previously reported. The as-extruded alloy exhibits superior tensile properties from room temperature to 300 °C. The tensile yield strength can be maintained above 250 MPa at 300 °C. The excellent elevated-temperature strength is mainly ascribed to the formation of nanospaced basal plane SFs throughout the whole Mg matrix, fine DRXed grains ~2 μm in size, and strongly basal-textured un-DRXed grains with profuse substructures. The results provide new opportunities for the development of deformed Mg alloys with satisfactory mechanical properties for high-temperature services. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Formation and Thermal Behaviors of Ternary Silicon Oxycarbides derived from Silsesquioxane Derivatives
Materials 2019, 12(10), 1721; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12101721 - 27 May 2019
Viewed by 857
Abstract
Silsesquioxane (SQ) derivatives possessing intramolecular H2C = CH- groups and Si-H groups were designed as precursors for ternary silicon oxycarbide (SiOC). By using R-Si(OMe)3, H-Si(OEt)3 and (H-Si(Me)2)2O as starting compounds, SQ derivatives of VH-SQ [...] Read more.
Silsesquioxane (SQ) derivatives possessing intramolecular H2C = CH- groups and Si-H groups were designed as precursors for ternary silicon oxycarbide (SiOC). By using R-Si(OMe)3, H-Si(OEt)3 and (H-Si(Me)2)2O as starting compounds, SQ derivatives of VH-SQ (R = vinyl) and St-H-SQ (R = stylyl) were successfully synthesized through the conventional sol-gel route. Simultaneous thermogravimetric and mass spectroscopic analyses up to 1000 °C revealed that in situ cross-linking via hydrosilylation and demethanation of VH-SQ suppressed the evolution of gaseous hydrocarbon species to afford amorphous SiOC having a composition close to the desired stoichiometric SiO2(1−x)Cx (x = ca. 0.3) with a high yield. The effect of carbon content on the phase separation and crystallization of the SQ-derived amorphous SiOC was studied by several spectroscopic analyses and TEM observation. The results were discussed aiming to develop a novel polymer-derived ceramics (PDCs) route for in situ formation of binary β-SiC-amorphous SiO2 nanocomposites with enhanced thermal and mechanical stability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Metal Carbide/Carbonitride Materials)
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Open AccessArticle
Universal Adhesives: Setting Characteristics and Reactivity with Dentin
Materials 2019, 12(10), 1720; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12101720 - 27 May 2019
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1420
Abstract
The aim of the study was to evaluate the performance of six commercially available universal dental adhesives: Adhese Universal (ADU), All-Bond Universal (ABU), Clearfil Universal Bond Quick (CBQ), G-Premio Bond (GPB), Prelude One (PRO) and Scotchbond Universal (SBU). The properties tested were: (a) [...] Read more.
The aim of the study was to evaluate the performance of six commercially available universal dental adhesives: Adhese Universal (ADU), All-Bond Universal (ABU), Clearfil Universal Bond Quick (CBQ), G-Premio Bond (GPB), Prelude One (PRO) and Scotchbond Universal (SBU). The properties tested were: (a) degree of C=C conversion (DC%); (b) Vickers micro-hardness (VHN); (c) extent of oxygen inhibition (OI/μm), all related with the adhesive film properties; (d) extent of dentin demineralisation (DM%), insoluble salt formation (AS%); and (e) shear bond strength (SBS, self-etch mode) related to the adhesive-dentin interactions. Statistical analysis (α = 0.05) was performed by one-way ANOVA and Tukey’s test (DC%, VHN, OI, DM% AS%) and Weibull analysis (SBS, σ0-β). The DC ranged from 67.2–82.5% (all >GPB), OI from 5.6–18.6 μm (SBU > ADU, GPB, ABU > CBQ > PRO), microhardness from 1.1–6.6 VHN (SBU > ADU > ABU > CBQ > PRO > GPB: not measurable), DM from 69.3% (GPB) to 16–12.5% (CBQ, SBU, ADU) and 13.2–10.6% (ABU, ADU, PRO), in homogeneous groups and AS from 26–15.9% (ABU, CBQ > GPB, PRO, ADU, SBU). For SBS the σ0 (characteristic life) ranged from 29.3–16.6 MPa (CBQ, ADU, ABU, SBU > PRO > GPB), the β (reliability) from 5.1–9.7 (p > 0.05). All failure modes were of mixed type (adhesive and composite cohesive). Although all these adhesives were based on the 10-methacryloyloxydecyl dihydrogen phosphate (10-MDP) adhesive monomer, the different co-monomers, solvents and catalysts led to variations in their film properties, reactivity and bonding capacity with dentin. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Dental Biomaterials)
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of Baghdadite Substitution on the Physicochemical Properties of Brushite Cements
Materials 2019, 12(10), 1719; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12101719 - 27 May 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1097
Abstract
Brushite cements have been clinically used for irregular bone defect filling applications, and various strategies have been previously reported to modify and improve their physicochemical properties such as strength and injectability. However, strategies to address other limitations of brushite cements such as low [...] Read more.
Brushite cements have been clinically used for irregular bone defect filling applications, and various strategies have been previously reported to modify and improve their physicochemical properties such as strength and injectability. However, strategies to address other limitations of brushite cements such as low radiopacity or acidity without negatively impacting mechanical strength have not yet been reported. In this study, we report the effect of substituting the beta-tricalcium phosphate reactant in brushite cement with baghdadite (Ca3ZrSi2O9), a bioactive zirconium-doped calcium silicate ceramic, at various concentrations (0, 5, 10, 20, 30, 50, and 100 wt%) on the properties of the final brushite cement product. X-ray diffraction profiles indicate the dissolution of baghdadite during the cement reaction, without affecting the crystal structure of the precipitated brushite. EDX analysis shows that calcium is homogeneously distributed within the cement matrix, while zirconium and silicon form cluster-like aggregates with sizes ranging from few microns to more than 50 µm. X-ray images and µ-CT analysis indicate enhanced radiopacity with increased incorporation of baghdadite into brushite cement, with nearly a doubling of the aluminium equivalent thickness at 50 wt% baghdadite substitution. At the same time, compressive strength of brushite cement increased from 12.9 ± 3.1 MPa to 21.1 ± 4.1 MPa with 10 wt% baghdadite substitution. Culture medium conditioned with powdered brushite cement approached closer to physiological pH values when the cement is incorporated with increasing amounts of baghdadite (pH = 6.47 for pure brushite, pH = 7.02 for brushite with 20 wt% baghdadite substitution). Baghdadite substitution also influenced the ionic content in the culture medium, and subsequently affected the proliferative activity of primary human osteoblasts in vitro. This study indicates that baghdadite is a beneficial additive to enhance the radiopacity, mechanical performance and cytocompatibility of brushite cements. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mineral Bone Cements: Current Status and Future Prospects)
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Open AccessArticle
Comparing Properties of Variable Pore-Sized 3D-Printed PLA Membrane with Conventional PLA Membrane for Guided Bone/Tissue Regeneration
Materials 2019, 12(10), 1718; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12101718 - 27 May 2019
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1136
Abstract
The aim of this study was to fabricate bioresorbable polylactide (PLA) membranes by 3D printing and compare their properties to those of the membranes fabricated by the conventional method and compare the effect of different pore sizes on the properties of the 3D-printed [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to fabricate bioresorbable polylactide (PLA) membranes by 3D printing and compare their properties to those of the membranes fabricated by the conventional method and compare the effect of different pore sizes on the properties of the 3D-printed membranes. PLA membranes with three different pore sizes (large pore-479 μm, small pore-273 μm, and no pore) were 3D printed, and membranes fabricated using the conventional solvent casting method were used as the control group. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and micro-computed tomography (µ-CT) were taken to observe the morphology and obtain the porosity of the four groups. A tensile test was performed to compare the tensile strength, elastic modulus, and elongation at break of the membranes. Preosteoblast cells were cultured on the membranes for 1, 3 and 7 days, followed by a WST assay and SEM, to examine the cell proliferation on different groups. As a result, the 3D-printed membranes showed superior mechanical properties to those of the solvent cast membranes, and the 3D-printed membranes exhibited different advantageous mechanical properties depending on the different pore sizes. The various fabrication methods and pore sizes did not have significantly different effects on cell growth. It is proven that 3D printing is a promising method for the fabrication of customized barrier membranes used in GBR/GTR. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biomaterials)
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Open AccessArticle
Investigation of Start Block and Corresponding Influence for Grain Selection during Casting of Single-Crystal Superalloys
Materials 2019, 12(10), 1717; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12101717 - 27 May 2019
Viewed by 775
Abstract
To figure out the impact of the parameters of a starter block (the diameter D and height H) on grain selection and the selecting mechanism, a spiral selector was measured with optical microscopy (OM) and electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) during the solidification of [...] Read more.
To figure out the impact of the parameters of a starter block (the diameter D and height H) on grain selection and the selecting mechanism, a spiral selector was measured with optical microscopy (OM) and electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) during the solidification of Ni-based single crystal (SX) superalloys. In this experiment, starter blocks with diameters of 8 mm, 10 mm, 15 mm, and 30 mm and a height of 30 mm were designed to find the best parameters. Recommendations for optimizing starter block geometry are provided. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Structure Analysis and Characterization)
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Open AccessArticle
Influence of Processing Parameters on the Thread and Spline Synchronous Rolling Process: An Experimental Study
Materials 2019, 12(10), 1716; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12101716 - 27 May 2019
Viewed by 690
Abstract
The thread and spline synchronous rolling (TSSR) process is a new developed rolling process, which can form the different profiles simultaneously in the process and can ensure the consistency of the relative position of different profiles of parts. However, the multi-meshing motions are [...] Read more.
The thread and spline synchronous rolling (TSSR) process is a new developed rolling process, which can form the different profiles simultaneously in the process and can ensure the consistency of the relative position of different profiles of parts. However, the multi-meshing motions are intercoupling and the multi-deformation characteristics are intercoupling during the forming process. It can easily result in dimension overshoot, and even does not make the synchronous rolling process go smoothly. Exploring the influence of controllable processing parameters on the synchronous rolling process, especially the geometric parameters of rolled parts, is helpful to determine the parameters and control the size error for a smooth rolling process. Thus, in this paper, the effects of controllable geometric parameters and motion parameters such as billet diameter, radial feed-in speed, and rotational speed of synchronous rolling die on the TSSR process have been studied. The synchronous rolling experimental scheme was determined using an orthogonal experimental design method, and the geometric parameters of different tooth profiles of rolled parts were measured and analyzed. The experimental results indicated that: the uncoordinated meshing movement between different tooth profiles is more likely to cause tooth error of the splined section of the part; variations of the processing parameters are more likely to cause fluctuations in the size of the splined section of the part, and change of the billet diameter mainly affects the outside diameter of the threaded and splined sections, and the threaded and splined pitches are mainly affected by the motion parameters of the synchronous rolling die; the motion parameters of the rolling die should be matched and the lower rotational speed needs to match the lower radial feed-in amount per revolution; the ideal dimensional accuracy can be obtained by using an appropriate processing parameter combination, for example, the pitch error of the splined section of the part is less than 0.5 μm under one set of experimental conditions in this paper. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Metal Forming Processes)
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Open AccessArticle
Control of Droplet Transition in Underwater Welding Using Pulsating Wire Feeding
Materials 2019, 12(10), 1715; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12101715 - 27 May 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 838
Abstract
Underwater wet welding technology is widely used. Because the stability of droplet transfer in underwater wet welding is poor, the feasibility of improving the droplet transfer mode has been discussed from various technical directions. In this work, the characteristics of pulsating wire feeding [...] Read more.
Underwater wet welding technology is widely used. Because the stability of droplet transfer in underwater wet welding is poor, the feasibility of improving the droplet transfer mode has been discussed from various technical directions. In this work, the characteristics of pulsating wire feeding were studied in the pulsating wire feeding mode by investigating the effects of changing the pulsating frequency, the wire withdrawal speed, and the wire withdrawal quantity on the droplet transfer process and the welding quality. With the aim of improving weld forming and welding stability, the authors selected the coefficient of variation and the ratio of unstable droplet transfer as the indexes to evaluate the effect of droplet transfer control. The pulsating wire feeding process of underwater wet flux-cored wire was analyzed in depth, and the following conclusions were drawn: using the pulsating wire feeding mode and after comparing and analyzing the pulsed wire feeding process under the same frequency condition, the authors found that the forming and stability were better under the conditions of slower withdrawal speed and smaller withdrawal quantity. The short-circuit transition ratio decreased steadily with the increase of pulsating wire feeding frequency, the rejection transition ratio first rose and then decreased, and the splash ratio first decreased and then rose. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Mechanical Properties and Fracture Behavior of an EBW T2 Copper–45 Steel Joint
Materials 2019, 12(10), 1714; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12101714 - 27 May 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 951
Abstract
The dissimilar joining of T2 copper to 45 steel was performed by electron beam welding (EBW). Full-strength joints were obtained, and the highest tensile strength was found to be 270 MPa, which is almost equal to the strength of copper. Moreover, the macroscopic [...] Read more.
The dissimilar joining of T2 copper to 45 steel was performed by electron beam welding (EBW). Full-strength joints were obtained, and the highest tensile strength was found to be 270 MPa, which is almost equal to the strength of copper. Moreover, the macroscopic morphology of the tensile fracture exhibited an obvious necking phenomenon and features such as dimples, and spherical structures were found via scanning electron microscopy (SEM). These results indicated that the fracture of the T2 copper–45 steel joint is a mixed mode of cleavage and ductile fracture. Meanwhile, the fracture toughness was determined using the small punch test (SPT) with a drop rate of 0.5 mm/min. SEM imaging of the fracture surfaces revealed that the fracture was controlled by microscopic void nucleation and always occurred in the copper-side heat affected zone (HAZ). Finally, mutual verification between the numerical simulation of the finite element and the SPT results confirmed that the fracture first occurred in the copper-side HAZ due to the toughness difference. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Carbon Dots-Decorated Bi2WO6 in an Inverse Opal Film as a Photoanode for Photoelectrochemical Solar Energy Conversion under Visible-Light Irradiation
Materials 2019, 12(10), 1713; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12101713 - 27 May 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 889
Abstract
This work focuses on the crystal size dependence of photoactive materials and light absorption enhancement of the addition of carbon dots (CDs). mac-FTO (macroporous fluorine-doped tin oxide) films with an inverse opal structure are exploited to supply enhanced load sites and to induce [...] Read more.
This work focuses on the crystal size dependence of photoactive materials and light absorption enhancement of the addition of carbon dots (CDs). mac-FTO (macroporous fluorine-doped tin oxide) films with an inverse opal structure are exploited to supply enhanced load sites and to induce morphology control for the embedded photoactive materials. The Bi2WO6@mac-FTO photoelectrode is prepared directly inside a mac-FTO film using a simple in situ synthesis method, and the application of CDs to the Bi2WO6@mac-FTO is achieved through an impregnation assembly for the manipulation of light absorption. The surface morphology, chemical composition, light absorption characteristics and photocurrent density of the photoelectrode are analyzed in detail by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), UV–vis diffuse reflectance spectra (DRS), Energy dispersive X-ray analysis (EDX) and linear sweep voltammetry (LSV). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wearable Energy Harvesting and Storage Devices)
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Open AccessArticle
New Approaches in Flexible Organic Field-Effect Transistors (FETs) Using InClPc
Materials 2019, 12(10), 1712; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12101712 - 27 May 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 854
Abstract
Organic semiconductor materials have been the center of attention because they are scalable, low-cost for device fabrication, and they have good optical properties and mechanical flexibility, which encourages their research. Organic field-effect transistors (OFETs) have potential applications, specifically in flexible and low-cost electronics [...] Read more.
Organic semiconductor materials have been the center of attention because they are scalable, low-cost for device fabrication, and they have good optical properties and mechanical flexibility, which encourages their research. Organic field-effect transistors (OFETs) have potential applications, specifically in flexible and low-cost electronics such as portable and wearable technologies. In this work we report the fabrication of an InClPc base flexible bottom-gate/top-contact OFET sandwich, configured by the high-evaporation vacuum technique. The gate substrate consisted of a bilayer poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET) and indium–tin oxide (ITO) with nylon 11/Al2O3. The device was characterized by different techniques to determine chemical stability, absorbance, transmittance, bandgap, optical properties, and electrical characteristics in order to determine its structure and operational properties. IR spectroscopy verified that the thin films that integrated the device did not suffer degradation during the deposition process, and there were no impurities that affected the charge mobility in the OFET. Also, the InClPc semiconductor IR fingerprint was present on the deposited device. Surface analysis showed evidence of a nonhomogeneous film and also a cluster deposition process of the InClPc. Using the Tauc model, the device calculated indirect bandgap transitions of approximately 1.67 eV. The device’s field effect mobility had a value of 36.2 cm2 V−1 s−1, which was superior to mobility values obtained for commonly manufactured OFETs and increased its potential to be used in flexible organic electronics. Also, a subthreshold swing of 80.64 mV/dec was achieved and was adequate for this kind of organic-based semiconductor device. Therefore, semiconductor functionality is maintained at different gate voltages and is transferred accurately to the film, which makes these flexible OFETs a good candidate for electronic applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functional Amorphous Materials)
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Open AccessArticle
Real-Time Flow Behavior of Hot Mix Asphalt (HMA) Compaction Based on Rheological Constitutive Theory
Materials 2019, 12(10), 1711; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12101711 - 27 May 2019
Viewed by 837
Abstract
Compaction is the most critical stage during pavement construction, but the real-time rheological behavior in the compaction process of hot mix asphalt has not received enough attention. Rheological properties directly reflect the of mixture performance, the intrinsic directly reflects the influencing factors of [...] Read more.
Compaction is the most critical stage during pavement construction, but the real-time rheological behavior in the compaction process of hot mix asphalt has not received enough attention. Rheological properties directly reflect the of mixture performance, the intrinsic directly reflects the influencing factors of compaction, and the pavement compactness and service life. Therefore, it is important to interpret the rheological properties of the asphalt mixture during the compaction process. In this paper, the improved Nishihara model was used to study the viscoelastic-plastic properties of the hot mix asphalt in the compaction process. Firstly, the improved Nishihara model was briefly introduced. Subsequently, the stress and strain correlation curves are obtained by the MTS (Material Testing System) compaction test, and the strain-time curve is fitted to determine the model parameter values. Finally, the parameters are substituted into the constitutive equation to obtain the strain-time curve and compared it with the test curve. The results show that the improved Nishihara model effectively depicts the real time behavior of the asphalt mixture in the compaction progress. The viscos and plastic parameters present certain differences, which reflects that the gradation and temperature have certain influence on the compaction characteristics of the mixture. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Construction and Building Materials)
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of Simultaneous Immediate Implant Placement and Guided Bone Reconstruction with Ultra-Fine Titanium Mesh Membranes on Radiographic and Clinical Parameters after 18 Months of Loading
Materials 2019, 12(10), 1710; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12101710 - 26 May 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1231
Abstract
Background: The aim of the present prospective case series study was to evaluate the implant and prosthetic survival rates, complications and marginal bone loss using ultra-fine titanium mesh membrane with simultaneous implant placement, to provide space maintenance mandatory for guided bone reconstruction of [...] Read more.
Background: The aim of the present prospective case series study was to evaluate the implant and prosthetic survival rates, complications and marginal bone loss using ultra-fine titanium mesh membrane with simultaneous implant placement, to provide space maintenance mandatory for guided bone reconstruction of alveolar bone defects. Materials and Methods: patients were recruited and treated at a private clinic in Rome, Italy, between March 2016 and October 2017. Self-tapping tapered implants were placed through a computer-guided template-assisted approach. Autogenous bone was placed alone over the exposed implant surface, then mixed with inorganic bovine bone material. Finally, the membrane was connected and shaped in order to securely enclose the graft area, and the healing cap was connected and screwed onto the height connector. Outcome measures were: implant and prosthetic failure, biological and mechanical complications, marginal and volumetric bone level changes, esthetic evaluation performed according to the pink aesthetic score (PES). Results: in total, seven patients (five women, two men) with a mean age of 52.7 ± 20.3 years (range: 27–71) received 10 self-tapping tapered implants and simultaneous guided bone regeneration with ultra-fine titanium mesh membranes. No implants and no prostheses failed during the entire follow-up period. One slightly membrane exposure was observed one month after implant placement in one patient. The mean marginal bone loss (MBL) at implant loading was 0.13 ± 0.09 mm (95% CI 0.08–0.19). At the 18-month follow-up examination, the mean MBL was 0.28 ± 0.33 mm (95% CI 0.07–0.50) The difference was not statistically significant (0.15 ± 0.31; 95% CI 0.05–0.35; P = 0.1888). The mean horizontal alveolar ridge width was 3.72 ± 1.08 mm (95% CI 3.22–4.22 mm). At the II-stage surgery, the mean bone width was 8.79 ± 0.98 mm (95% CI 8.51–9.07 mm). The mean bone gain was 5.06 ± 1.13 mm (95% CI 4.68–5.44 mm; P = 0.000). The mean volume of the grafted bone calculated using the superimposition technique was 0.99 ± 0.38 CC (95% CI 0.75–1.23 CC). The mean PES at implant loading was 8.2 ± 0.8 mm (95% CI 7.7–8.7). At the 18-month follow-up examination, the mean PES was 12.0 ± 0.7 mm (95% CI 11.5–12.5) The difference was statistically significant (3.8 ± 0.4; 95% CI 3.5–4.1; P = 0.0000); Conclusion: with the limitation of the present prospective study, the guided bone reconstruction using an ultra-fine titanium mesh membrane with simultaneous implant placement seems to provide good and stable results in implant/prosthesis success. Further research with a longer follow-up and a higher sample size are needed to confirm the results from this preliminary report. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dental Implants and Materials)
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Open AccessArticle
An Ultrashort Wavelength Multi/Demultiplexer via Rectangular Liquid-Infiltrated Dual-Core Polymer Optical Fiber
Materials 2019, 12(10), 1709; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12101709 - 26 May 2019
Viewed by 717
Abstract
We propose a rectangular liquid-infiltrated dual-core polymer optical fiber (POF) for short-range communication systems by the beam propagation method (BPM). The POF multi/demultiplexer (MUX/DEMUX) at the wavelengths of 0.52/0.65-μm, 0.57/0.65-μm, and 0.52/0.57-μm are devised. The simulation results demonstrate that the ultrashort length of [...] Read more.
We propose a rectangular liquid-infiltrated dual-core polymer optical fiber (POF) for short-range communication systems by the beam propagation method (BPM). The POF multi/demultiplexer (MUX/DEMUX) at the wavelengths of 0.52/0.65-μm, 0.57/0.65-μm, and 0.52/0.57-μm are devised. The simulation results demonstrate that the ultrashort length of three ultrashort POF couplers are 183.6 μm, 288 μm, and 799.5 μm. Compared with the conventional optical fiber couplers, these results could have significant applications in the miniaturization of optical devices for visible light communication. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Optical Fibers, Devices and Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
A Study into the Effect of Different Nozzles Shapes and Fibre-Reinforcement in 3D Printed Mortar
Materials 2019, 12(10), 1708; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12101708 - 26 May 2019
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1315
Abstract
Recently, 3D printing has become one of the most popular additive manufacturing technologies. This technology has been utilised to prototype trial and produced components for various applications, such as fashion, food, automotive, medical, and construction. In recent years, automation also has become increasingly [...] Read more.
Recently, 3D printing has become one of the most popular additive manufacturing technologies. This technology has been utilised to prototype trial and produced components for various applications, such as fashion, food, automotive, medical, and construction. In recent years, automation also has become increasingly prevalent in the construction field. Extrusion printing is the most successful method to print cementitious materials, but it still faces significant challenges, such as pumpability of materials, buildability, consistency in the materials, flowability, and workability. This paper investigates the properties of 3D printed fibre-reinforced cementitious mortar prisms and members in conjunction with automation to achieve the optimum mechanical strength of printed mortar and to obtain suitable flowability and consistent workability for the mixed cementitious mortar during the printing process. This study also considered the necessary trial tests, which are required to check the mechanical properties and behaviour of the proportions of the cementitious mix. Mechanical strength was measured and shown to increase when the samples were printed using fibre-reinforced mortar by means of a caulking gun, compared with the samples that were printed using the same mix delivered by a progressive cavity pump to a 6 degree-of-freedom robot. The flexural strength of the four-printed layer fibre-reinforced mortar was found to be 3.44 ± 0.11 MPa and 5.78 ± 0.02 MPa for the one-layer. Moreover, the mortar with different types of nozzles by means of caulking is printed and compared. Several experimental tests for the fresh state of the mortar were conducted and are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Concrete 3D Printing and Digitally-Aided Fabrication)
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Open AccessArticle
Physical Properties of Concrete Containing Graphene Oxide Nanosheets
Materials 2019, 12(10), 1707; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12101707 - 26 May 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1115
Abstract
Concrete made from ordinary Portland cement is one of the most widely used construction materials due to its excellent compressive strength. However, concrete lacks ductility resulting in low tensile strength and flexural strength, and poor resistance to crack formation. Studies have demonstrated that [...] Read more.
Concrete made from ordinary Portland cement is one of the most widely used construction materials due to its excellent compressive strength. However, concrete lacks ductility resulting in low tensile strength and flexural strength, and poor resistance to crack formation. Studies have demonstrated that the addition of graphene oxide (GO) nanosheet can effectively enhance the compressive and flexural properties of ordinary Portland cement paste, confirming GO nanosheet as an excellent candidate for using as nano-reinforcement in cement-based composites. To date, the majority of studies have focused on cement pastes and mortars. Only limited investigations into concretes incorporating GO nanosheets have been reported. This paper presents an experimental investigation on the slump and physical properties of concrete reinforced with GO nanosheets at additions from 0.00% to 0.08% by weight of cement and a water–cement ratio of 0.5. The study demonstrates that the addition of GO nanosheets improves the compressive strength, flexural strength, and split tensile strength of concrete, whereas the slump of concrete decreases with increasing GO nanosheet content. The results also demonstrate that 0.03% by weight of cement is the optimum value of GO nanosheet dosage for improving the split tensile strength of concrete. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Concrete and Construction Materials)
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Open AccessArticle
Rapid Alloy Development of Extremely High-Alloyed Metals Using Powder Blends in Laser Powder Bed Fusion
Materials 2019, 12(10), 1706; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12101706 - 26 May 2019
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1277
Abstract
The design of new alloys by and for metal additive manufacturing (AM) is an emerging field of research. Currently, pre-alloyed powders are used in metal AM, which are expensive and inflexible in terms of varying chemical composition. The present study describes the adaption [...] Read more.
The design of new alloys by and for metal additive manufacturing (AM) is an emerging field of research. Currently, pre-alloyed powders are used in metal AM, which are expensive and inflexible in terms of varying chemical composition. The present study describes the adaption of rapid alloy development in laser powder bed fusion (LPBF) by using elemental powder blends. This enables an agile and resource-efficient approach to designing and screening new alloys through fast generation of alloys with varying chemical compositions. This method was evaluated on the new and chemically complex materials group of multi-principal element alloys (MPEAs), also known as high-entropy alloys (HEAs). MPEAs constitute ideal candidates for the introduced methodology due to the large space for possible alloys. First, process parameters for LPBF with powder blends containing at least five different elemental powders were developed. Secondly, the influence of processing parameters and the resulting energy density input on the homogeneity of the manufactured parts were investigated. Microstructural characterization was carried out by optical microscopy, electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD), and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS), while mechanical properties were evaluated using tensile testing. Finally, the applicability of powder blends in LPBF was demonstrated through the manufacture of geometrically complex lattice structures with energy absorption functionality. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of Alkali Treatment on Structure and Properties of High Amylose Corn Starch Film
Materials 2019, 12(10), 1705; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12101705 - 26 May 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 820
Abstract
Alkali treatment is used for melt extrusion film formation with corn starch, but optimal conditions for this procedure are still unknown. In this study, the changes in properties and structure of high amylose corn starch (70%) films with different concentrations of sodium hydroxide [...] Read more.
Alkali treatment is used for melt extrusion film formation with corn starch, but optimal conditions for this procedure are still unknown. In this study, the changes in properties and structure of high amylose corn starch (70%) films with different concentrations of sodium hydroxide (NaOH), prepared by melting extrusion, were investigated. With increasing sodium hydroxide concentrations, the tensile strength of the high-amylose starch film decreased gradually, while the elongation at break increased. The tensile strength of the high amylose starch (HAS) film with 2% NaOH-treatment was 10.03 MPa and its elongation at break was 40%. A 2% NaOH-treatment promoted the orderly rearrangement of starch molecules and formed an Eh-type crystal structure, which enlarged the spacing of the single helix structure, increased the molecular mobility of the starch, and slowed down the process of recrystallization; a 10% NaOH-treatment oxidized the hydroxyl groups of the high amylose corn starch during extrusion, formed a poly-carbonyl structure, and initiated the degradation and cross-linking of starch molecule chains. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Microstructures and Properties of a Low-Carbon-Chromium Ferritic Stainless Steel Treated by a Quenching and Partitioning Process
Materials 2019, 12(10), 1704; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12101704 - 26 May 2019
Viewed by 897
Abstract
Low chromium ferritic stainless steel has great potential in automobile structures for improved strength. In this study, quenching and partitioning (Q-P) treatment was applied to a low-carbon-chromium ferritic stainless steel and compared with traditional heat treatment (quenching-tempering [Q-T] and annealing) in terms of [...] Read more.
Low chromium ferritic stainless steel has great potential in automobile structures for improved strength. In this study, quenching and partitioning (Q-P) treatment was applied to a low-carbon-chromium ferritic stainless steel and compared with traditional heat treatment (quenching-tempering [Q-T] and annealing) in terms of microstructure, mechanical properties, corrosion resistance, and deformation of plate. The results show that the quenching and partitioning (Q-P) treatment has a series of advantages over conventional heat treatments (quenching-tempering and annealing). In terms of mechanical properties, it achieves a good match between strength and plasticity by combining the advantages of “soft state” with high elongation resulting from conventional annealing and high strength "hard state” through the traditional quenching-tempering process. The material possesses better crash safety; for the quenching-partitioning (Q-P) process, quenching-tempering process, and annealing process, the production of strength plasticity is about 16 GPa%, 15 GPa%, and 14 GPa%, respectively. The material has low yield strength, high work hardening index (compared with Q-T), a smooth tensile curve, and no yield plateau (compared with annealing), so it has better forming performance and processing surface, and the corrosion resistance has also improved. The pitting potential of the samples produced by the quenching treatment of Q-P and Q-T increased by about 0.2 V, which is about 20% higher than the one by the traditional annealing process. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Conductive Carbon Materials from the Hydrothermal Carbonization of Vineyard Residues for the Application in Electrochemical Double-Layer Capacitors (EDLCs) and Direct Carbon Fuel Cells (DCFCs)
Materials 2019, 12(10), 1703; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12101703 - 26 May 2019
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1676
Abstract
This study investigates the production of bio-based carbon materials for energy storage and conversion devices based on two different vineyard residues (pruning, pomace) and cellulose as a model biomass. Three different char categories were produced via pyrolysis at 900 °C for 2 h [...] Read more.
This study investigates the production of bio-based carbon materials for energy storage and conversion devices based on two different vineyard residues (pruning, pomace) and cellulose as a model biomass. Three different char categories were produced via pyrolysis at 900 °C for 2 h (biochars, BC), hydrothermal carbonization (HTC) (at 220, 240 or 260 °C) with different reaction times (60, 120 or 300 min) (hydrochars, HC), or HTC plus pyrolysis (pyrolyzed hydrochars, PHC). Physicochemical, structural, and electrical properties of the chars were assessed by elemental and proximate analysis, gas adsorption surface analysis with N2 and CO2, compression ratio, bulk density, and electrical conductivity (EC) measurements. Thermogravimetric analysis allowed conclusions to be made about the thermochemical conversion processes. Taking into consideration the required material properties for the application in electrochemical double-layer capacitors (EDLC) or in a direct carbon fuel cell (DCFC), the suitability of the obtained materials for each application is discussed. Promising materials with surface areas up to 711 m2 g−1 and presence of microporosity have been produced. It is shown that HTC plus pyrolysis from cellulose and pruning leads to better properties regarding aromatic carbon structures, carbon content (>90 wt.%), EC (up to 179 S m−1), and porosity compared to one-step treatments, resulting in suitable materials for an EDLC application. The one-step pyrolysis process and the resulting chars with lower carbon contents and low EC values between 51 and 56 S m−1 are preferred for DCFC applications. To conclude, biomass potentials can be exploited by producing tailored biomass-derived carbon materials via different carbonization processes for a wide range of applications in the field of energy storage and conversion. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Advanced Biomass-Derived Carbon Materials)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Endocytosis and Lack of Cytotoxicity of Alkyl-Capped Silicon Quantum Dots Prepared from Porous Silicon
Materials 2019, 12(10), 1702; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12101702 - 25 May 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 960
Abstract
Freely-dissolved silicon quantum dots were prepared by thermal hydrosilation of 1-undecene at high-porosity porous silicon under reflux in toluene. This reaction produces a suspension of alkyl-capped silicon quantum dots (alkyl SiQDs) with bright orange luminescence, a core Si nanocrystal diameter of about 2.5 [...] Read more.
Freely-dissolved silicon quantum dots were prepared by thermal hydrosilation of 1-undecene at high-porosity porous silicon under reflux in toluene. This reaction produces a suspension of alkyl-capped silicon quantum dots (alkyl SiQDs) with bright orange luminescence, a core Si nanocrystal diameter of about 2.5 nm and a total particle diameter of about 5 nm. Previous work has shown that these particles are rapidly endocytosed by malignant cell lines and have little or no acute toxicity as judged by the standard 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay for viability and the Terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL) assay for apoptosis. We have extended this work to the CACO-2 cell line, an established model for the human small intestinal mucosa, and demonstrate that neither acute nor chronic (14 days) toxicity is observed as judged by cell morphology, viability, ATP production, ROS production and DNA damage (single cell gel electrophoresis) at doses of 50–200 μ g mL 1 . Quantitative assessment of the extent of uptake of alkyl SiQDs by CACO-2, HeLa, HepG2, and Huh7 cell lines by flow cytometry showed a wide variation. The liver cell lines (HepG2 and Huh7) were the most active and HeLa and CACO-2 showed comparable activity. Previous work has reported a cholesterol-sensitivity of the endocytosis (HeLa), which suggests a caveolin-mediated pathway. However, gene expression analysis by quantitative real–time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) indicates very low levels of caveolins 1 and 2 in HepG2 and much higher levels in HeLa. The data suggest that the mechanism of endocytosis of the alkyl SiQDs is cell-line dependent. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Silicon Nanoparticles: Synthesis and Application)
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Open AccessArticle
Fermentation of Cucumber Extract with Hydromagnesite as a Neutralizing Agent to Produce an Ingredient for Dermal Magnesium Products
Materials 2019, 12(10), 1701; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12101701 - 25 May 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 820
Abstract
Magnesium is an essential element involved in various biochemical processes in the human body. In addition to oral supplementation, topical magnesium application is another conventional form of magnesium delivery for the treatment of skin diseases and muscle inflammation. Cucumber extract is a well-known [...] Read more.
Magnesium is an essential element involved in various biochemical processes in the human body. In addition to oral supplementation, topical magnesium application is another conventional form of magnesium delivery for the treatment of skin diseases and muscle inflammation. Cucumber extract is a well-known superfood for human skin. It has been widely used in various skincare product lines because of its known benefits to the skin. The benefit of cucumber extract to the human skin would be significantly enhanced if the cucumber extract was fermented to convert the reducing sugars to beneficial organic acids. In this study, we developed a protocol for lactic acid fermentation of cucumber extract using hydromagnesite as a neutralizing agent. Various lactic acid bacteria were screened for fermentation of cucumber extract. The best fermenting performance was observed with Lactobacillus paracasei, which could convert approximately 13 g/L of reducing sugars (glucose and fructose) to lactic acid and a minor amount of acetic acid within 2 days of incubation. The final fermented cucumber extract contains magnesium in the form of salts of organic acids, which have high absorption ability and bioavailability. The product is a potent ingredient for producing dermal magnesium products. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biomaterials)
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of Long-Time Annealing at 1000 °C on Phase Constituent and Microhardness of the 20Co-Cr-Fe-Ni Alloys
Materials 2019, 12(10), 1700; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12101700 - 25 May 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 898
Abstract
The phase constituent and microhardness of the arc-melted 20Co-Cr-Fe-Ni alloys, in both as-cast state and after annealing at 1000 °C for 30 days, were experimentally investigated by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and X-ray diffraction (XRD). Experiment results indicated that a uniform, stable, single [...] Read more.
The phase constituent and microhardness of the arc-melted 20Co-Cr-Fe-Ni alloys, in both as-cast state and after annealing at 1000 °C for 30 days, were experimentally investigated by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and X-ray diffraction (XRD). Experiment results indicated that a uniform, stable, single Face-Center Cubic (FCC) phase can be obtained in as-cast 20 Co-Cr-Fe-Ni alloys with less than 30 at.% Cr. Annealing at 1000 °C has no effect on their phase composition and microhardness. When the Cr content is above 40 at.%, the σ phase forms and its volume fraction increases with the Cr content, which leads to an increase in microhardness. Annealing at 1000 °C for 30 days can slightly decrease the volume fraction of the σ phase and slightly decrease the alloy microhardness. Except for the Fe-rich alloys, the alloy microhardness increases with the Cr content when the Co and Ni or the Co and Fe contents were fixed. Moreover, comparing with the thermodynamically calculated phase diagram based on the TCFE database, it has been proved that the calculation can predict the phase stability of the FCC phase and the 1000 °C isothermal section. However, it fails to predict the stability of the σ phase near the liquidus. The present results will help to design and process treatment of the Co-Cr-Fe-Ni based high entropy alloys. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
n-i-p Nanocrystalline Hydrogenated Silicon Solar Cells with RF-Magnetron Sputtered Absorbers
Materials 2019, 12(10), 1699; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12101699 - 25 May 2019
Viewed by 837
Abstract
Nanocrystalline hydrogenated silicon (nc-Si:H) substrate configuration n-i-p solar cells have been fabricated on soda lime glass substrates with active absorber layers prepared by plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) and radio frequency magnetron sputtering. The cells with nanocrystalline PECVD absorbers and an untextured [...] Read more.
Nanocrystalline hydrogenated silicon (nc-Si:H) substrate configuration n-i-p solar cells have been fabricated on soda lime glass substrates with active absorber layers prepared by plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) and radio frequency magnetron sputtering. The cells with nanocrystalline PECVD absorbers and an untextured back reflector serve as a baseline for comparison and have power conversion efficiency near 6%. By comparison, cells with sputtered absorbers achieved efficiencies of about 1%. Simulations of external quantum efficiency (EQE) are compared to experimental EQE to determine a carrier collection probability gradient with depth for the device with the sputtered i-layer absorber. This incomplete collection of carriers generated in the absorber is most pronounced in material near the n/i interface and is attributed to breaking vacuum between deposition of layers for the sputtered absorbers, possible low electronic quality of the nc-Si:H sputtered absorber, and damage at the n/i interface by over-deposition of the sputtered i-layer during device fabrication. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Materials for Photovoltaic Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
Application of Graphene and Carbon Nanotubes on Carbon Felt Electrodes for the Electro-Fenton System
Materials 2019, 12(10), 1698; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12101698 - 25 May 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 835
Abstract
The electro-Fenton system has the ability to degrade wastewater and has received attention from many researchers. Currently, the core development objective is to effectively increase the degraded wastewater decolorization efficiency in the system. In this study, to improve the electro-Fenton system reaction rate [...] Read more.
The electro-Fenton system has the ability to degrade wastewater and has received attention from many researchers. Currently, the core development objective is to effectively increase the degraded wastewater decolorization efficiency in the system. In this study, to improve the electro-Fenton system reaction rate and overall electrical properties, we used polyvinylidene difluoride to fix carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and graphene onto the system cathode (carbon felt electrode), which was then used to process Reactive Black 5 wastewater. Furthermore, we (1) used scanning electron microscopy to observe the structural changes in the electrode surface after modification; (2) used the Tafel curve to determine the electrode corrosion voltage and corrosion rate; and (3) analyzed the azo-dye decolorization level. The results showed that the maximum system decolorization rates of the CNT- and graphene-modified carbon felt electrodes were 55.3% and 70.1%, respectively. These rates were, respectively, 1.2 and 1.5 times higher than that of the unmodified carbon felt electrode, implying that we successfully improved the cathode characteristics. The modified electrode exhibited an improved conductivity and corrosion resistance, which, in turn, improved the system decolorization efficiency. This significantly increased the electro-Fenton system overall efficacy, making it valuable for future applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Advanced Composites)
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Open AccessArticle
Bonding Behavior of Repair Material Using Fly-Ash/Ground Granulated Blast Furnace Slag-Based Geopolymer
Materials 2019, 12(10), 1697; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12101697 - 24 May 2019
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 894
Abstract
Fly ash/ground-granulated blast-furnace slag geopolymer (FGG) contains reaction products with a high volume of Ca, hydrated CaSiO3, and hydrated AlCaSiO3. These compounds enable the filling of large air voids in a structure, thus increasing compactness. Therefore, FGG is a [...] Read more.
Fly ash/ground-granulated blast-furnace slag geopolymer (FGG) contains reaction products with a high volume of Ca, hydrated CaSiO3, and hydrated AlCaSiO3. These compounds enable the filling of large air voids in a structure, thus increasing compactness. Therefore, FGG is a more effective repair material to stabilize structures and can function as a sealing and insulating layer. This study used FGG as the repair material for concrete with ground-granulated blast-furnace slag (GGBFS) as the main cement material. The bond strength of the repair was discussed from different aspects, including for fly-ash substitution rates of 0%, 10%, 20%, and 30% and for liquid–solid ratios of 0.4 and 0.5. The slant shear test, and the split tensile test were employed in this analysis. Moreover, acoustic emission (AE) and scanning electron microscopy were used to confirm the damage modes and microstructural characteristics of these repairs. The results revealed that when the liquid–solid ratio increased from 0.4 to 0.5, the slant shear strength of the repaired material decreased from 36.9 MPa to 33.8 MPa, and the split tensile strength decreased from 1.97 MPa to 1.87 MPa. The slant shear test and split tensile test demonstrated that the repair material exhibited the highest effectiveness when the fly-ash substitution was 10%, and revealed that the repair angle directly affected the damage modes. The AE technique revealed that the damage behavior pattern of the FGG repair material was similar to that of Portland concrete. The microstructural analysis revealed that the FGG–concrete interphase contained mostly hydration products, and based on energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX), the compactness in the interphase and bond strength increased after the polymerization between the geopolymer and concrete. This indicated that the geopolymer damage mode was highly related to the level of polymerization. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Concrete and Construction Materials)
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