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Materials, Volume 12, Issue 5 (March-1 2019)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) A successful optimization of the thermoelectric properties of the Zintl phase, Yb14ZnSb11, is [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle In Vitro Assessment of the Functional Dynamics of Titanium with Surface Coating of Hydroxyapatite Nanoparticles
Materials 2019, 12(5), 840; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12050840
Received: 16 January 2019 / Revised: 7 March 2019 / Accepted: 8 March 2019 / Published: 12 March 2019
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Abstract
Manipulation of implant surface characteristics constitutes a promising strategy for improving cell growth and tissue response on a variety of materials with different surface topographies. Mesenchymal progenitor cells with a capacity to respond to titanium surface stimuli and differentiate into osteoblasts were used [...] Read more.
Manipulation of implant surface characteristics constitutes a promising strategy for improving cell growth and tissue response on a variety of materials with different surface topographies. Mesenchymal progenitor cells with a capacity to respond to titanium surface stimuli and differentiate into osteoblasts were used to perform comparative tests between two different implant topographies, including their functional interaction with pre-osteoblasts directly seeded onto the implants. Functional analysis of nanostructured implant surfaces was performed by in vitro assay analysis. The machined surface of titanium implants (mach group) was used as a control and compared with a nanoparticle HA activated surface implant (nano group), developed by the deposition of pure crystalline hydroxyapatite. Cell culture on the nano group surface resulted in higher cell adhesion and cultured osteoblast viability compared with the mach group. Scanning electron microscope (SEM) images revealed a stable interaction, indicated by the presence of focal cell adhesion formation. These results together with positive mineralization assays showed the nano group to be an excellent scaffold for bone-implant integration. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Coplanar Donor-π-Acceptor Dyes Featuring a Furylethynyl Spacer for Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells
Materials 2019, 12(5), 839; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12050839
Received: 14 February 2019 / Revised: 2 March 2019 / Accepted: 4 March 2019 / Published: 12 March 2019
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Abstract
Coplanar metal-free organic dyes featuring a furylethynyl spacer with different donor residues (MeO-, MeS-, and Me2N-) have been synthesized. Density functional theory (DFT) calculations predicted that the Me2N- residue would facilitate more effective charge transfer from donor to acceptor [...] Read more.
Coplanar metal-free organic dyes featuring a furylethynyl spacer with different donor residues (MeO-, MeS-, and Me2N-) have been synthesized. Density functional theory (DFT) calculations predicted that the Me2N- residue would facilitate more effective charge transfer from donor to acceptor than the MeO- and MeS- residues. In agreement with DFT calculations, the dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) fabricated with the Me2N- functionalized dye exhibited the best power conversion efficiency (η), 2.88%. Furthermore, the effect of the furan spacer on the photophysical properties and DSSC parameters are discussed in comparison to a previously reported thiophene counterpart. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Materials for Photovoltaic Applications)
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Open AccessArticle Nanocrystalline Transition-Metal Gallium Oxide Spinels from Acetylacetonate Precursors via Solvothermal Synthesis
Materials 2019, 12(5), 838; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12050838
Received: 5 February 2019 / Revised: 27 February 2019 / Accepted: 6 March 2019 / Published: 12 March 2019
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Abstract
The synthesis of mixed-metal spinels based on substituted γ-Ga2O3 is reported using metal acetylacetonate precursors in solvothermal reactions with alcohols as solvents at 240 °C. New oxides of Cr, Mn and Fe have been produced, all of which are formed [...] Read more.
The synthesis of mixed-metal spinels based on substituted γ-Ga2O3 is reported using metal acetylacetonate precursors in solvothermal reactions with alcohols as solvents at 240 °C. New oxides of Cr, Mn and Fe have been produced, all of which are formed as nanocrystalline powders, as seen by high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HR-TEM). The first chromium-gallium mixed oxide is thus formed, with composition 0.33Ga1.87Cr0.8O4 ( = vacant site). X-ray absorption near-edge spectroscopy (XANES) at the chromium K-edge shows the presence of solely octahedral Cr3+, which in turn implies a mixture of tetrahedral and octahedral Ga3+, and the material is stable on annealing to at least 850 °C. An analogous manganese material with average chemical composition close to MnGa2O4 is shown to contain octahedral Mn2+, along with some Mn3+, but a different inversion factor to materials reported by conventional solid-state synthesis in the literature, which are known to have a significant proportion of tetrahedral Mn2+. In the case of iron, higher amounts of the transition metal can be included to give an Fe:Ga ratio of 1:1. Elemental mapping using energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy on the TEM, however, reveals inhomogeneity in the distribution of the two metals. This is consistent with variable temperature 57Fe Mössbauer spectroscopy that shows the presence of Fe2+ and Fe3+ in more than one phase in the sample. Variable temperature magnetisation and electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) indicate the presence of superparamagnetism at room temperature in the iron-gallium oxides. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Experimental Study on Shear Capacity of Reinforced Concrete Beams with Corroded Longitudinal Reinforcement
Materials 2019, 12(5), 837; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12050837
Received: 15 February 2019 / Revised: 6 March 2019 / Accepted: 8 March 2019 / Published: 12 March 2019
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Abstract
In this study, shear tests were conducted to investigate the effects of longitudinal reinforcement corrosion on the shear capacity of reinforced concrete (RC) members with transverse reinforcement. To this end, a total of eight test specimens were fabricated, and the corrosion rates and [...] Read more.
In this study, shear tests were conducted to investigate the effects of longitudinal reinforcement corrosion on the shear capacity of reinforced concrete (RC) members with transverse reinforcement. To this end, a total of eight test specimens were fabricated, and the corrosion rates and anchorage details of rebars were set as test variables. In addition, an accelerated corrosion technique was used to introduce corrosion into the longitudinal reinforcement without corroding shear reinforcement. The test results indicated that the capacities of the specimens in which tension reinforcement was not properly anchored at the ends of the members decreased rapidly at high corrosion rates, whereas the capacities of the specimens in which tension reinforcement was properly anchored by hooks were similar to or higher than those of the non-corroded specimens, despite bond loss caused by corrosion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Corrosion of Reinforcing Steel in Reinforced Concrete)
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Open AccessReview Sum-Frequency Generation Spectroscopy of Plasmonic Nanomaterials: A Review
Materials 2019, 12(5), 836; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12050836
Received: 21 February 2019 / Revised: 4 March 2019 / Accepted: 5 March 2019 / Published: 12 March 2019
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Abstract
We report on the recent scientific research contribution of non-linear optics based on Sum-Frequency Generation (SFG) spectroscopy as a surface probe of the plasmonic properties of materials. In this review, we present a general introduction to the fundamentals of SFG spectroscopy, a well-established [...] Read more.
We report on the recent scientific research contribution of non-linear optics based on Sum-Frequency Generation (SFG) spectroscopy as a surface probe of the plasmonic properties of materials. In this review, we present a general introduction to the fundamentals of SFG spectroscopy, a well-established optical surface probe used in various domains of physical chemistry, when applied to plasmonic materials. The interest of using SFG spectroscopy as a complementary tool to surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy in order to probe the surface chemistry of metallic nanoparticles is illustrated by taking advantage of the optical amplification induced by the coupling to the localized surface plasmon resonance. A short review of the first developments of SFG applications in nanomaterials is presented to span the previous emergent literature on the subject. Afterwards, the emphasis is put on the recent developments and applications of the technique over the five last years in order to illustrate that SFG spectroscopy coupled to plasmonic nanomaterials is now mature enough to be considered a promising research field of non-linear plasmonics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plasmonics and its Applications)
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Open AccessArticle Inverse Contrast in Non-Destructive Materials Research by Using Active Thermography
Materials 2019, 12(5), 835; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12050835
Received: 11 January 2019 / Revised: 19 February 2019 / Accepted: 1 March 2019 / Published: 12 March 2019
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Abstract
Background: it is undesirable for defects to occur in building partitions and units. There is a need to develop and improve research techniques for locating such defects, especially non-destructive techniques for active thermography. The aim of the experiment was to explore the possibility [...] Read more.
Background: it is undesirable for defects to occur in building partitions and units. There is a need to develop and improve research techniques for locating such defects, especially non-destructive techniques for active thermography. The aim of the experiment was to explore the possibility of using active thermography for testing large-sized building units (with high heat capacity) in order to locate material inclusions. Methods: as part of the experiment, two building partition models—one made of gypsum board (GB) and another made of oriented strand board (OSB)—were built. Three material inclusions (styrofoam, granite, and steel), considerably differing in their thermal parameters, were placed in each of the partitions. A 7.2 kW infrared radiator was used for thermally exciting (heating) the investigated element for 30 min. The distribution of the temperature field was studied on both sides of the partition for a few hours. Results: using the proposed investigative method, one can detect defects in building partitions under at least 22 mm of thick cladding. At a later cooling down phase, inverse temperature contrasts were found to occur—the defects, which at the beginning of cooling down were visible as warmer areas, at a later phase of cooling down are perceived as cooler areas, and vice versa (on the same front surface). In the transmission mode, the defects are always visible as areas warmer than defect-free areas. Moreover, a quantitative (defect location depth) analysis with an accuracy of up to 10% was carried out using the Echo Defect Shape method. Conclusions: active thermography can be used in construction for non-destructive materials testing. When the recording of thermograms is conducted for an appropriate length of time, inverse contrasts can be observed (on the same front surface). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Non-destructive Testing of Materials in Civil Engineering)
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Open AccessArticle Prefabricated and Self-Setting Cement Laminates
Materials 2019, 12(5), 834; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12050834
Received: 9 January 2019 / Revised: 19 February 2019 / Accepted: 8 March 2019 / Published: 12 March 2019
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Abstract
Polycaprolactone (PCL) fiber mats with defined pore architecture were shown to provide sufficient support for a premixed calcium phosphate cement (CPC) paste to serve as a flat and flexible composite material for the potential application in 2-dimensional, curved cranial defects. Fiber mats were [...] Read more.
Polycaprolactone (PCL) fiber mats with defined pore architecture were shown to provide sufficient support for a premixed calcium phosphate cement (CPC) paste to serve as a flat and flexible composite material for the potential application in 2-dimensional, curved cranial defects. Fiber mats were fabricated by either melt electrospinning writing (MEW) or solution electrospinning (SES) with a patterned collector. While MEW processed fiber mats led to a deterioration of the cement bending strength by approximately 50%, due to a low fiber volume content in conjunction with a weak fiber-matrix interface, fiber mats obtained by solution electrospinning resulted in a mechanical reinforcement of the cement matrix in terms of both bending strength and absorbed fracture energy. This was attributed to a higher fiber volume content and a large contact area between nanosized fibers and cement matrix. Hydrophilization of the PCL scaffolds prior to lamination further improved composite strength and preserved the comparably higher fracture energy of 1.5 to 2.0 mJ/mm2. The laminate composite approach from this study was successful in demonstrating the limitations and design options of such novel composite materials. However, fiber-cement compatibility remains an issue to be addressed, since a high degree of hydrophilicity does not necessarily provoke a stronger interface. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mineral Bone Cements: Current Status and Future Prospects)
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Open AccessArticle Progressive Failure Simulation of Notched Tensile Specimen for Triaxially-Braided Composites
Materials 2019, 12(5), 833; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12050833
Received: 15 February 2019 / Revised: 3 March 2019 / Accepted: 6 March 2019 / Published: 12 March 2019
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Abstract
The mechanical characterization of textile composites is a challenging task, due to their nonuniform deformation and complicated failure phenomena. This article introduces a three-dimensional mesoscale finite element model to investigate the progressive damage behavior of a notched single-layer triaxially-braided composite subjected to axial [...] Read more.
The mechanical characterization of textile composites is a challenging task, due to their nonuniform deformation and complicated failure phenomena. This article introduces a three-dimensional mesoscale finite element model to investigate the progressive damage behavior of a notched single-layer triaxially-braided composite subjected to axial tension. The damage initiation and propagation in fiber bundles are simulated using three-dimensional failure criteria and damage evolution law. A traction–separation law has been applied to predict the interfacial damage of fiber bundles. The proposed model is correlated and validated by the experimentally measured full field strain distributions and effective strength of the notched specimen. The progressive damage behavior of the fiber bundles is studied by examining the damage and stress contours at different loading stages. Parametric numerical studies are conducted to explore the role of modeling parameters and geometric characteristics on the internal damage behavior and global measured properties of the notched specimen. Moreover, the correlations of damage behavior, global stress–strain response, and the efficiency of the notched specimen are discussed in detail. The results of this paper deliver a throughout understanding of the damage behavior of braided composites and can help the specimen design of textile composites. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Charge and Peptide Concentration as Determinants of the Hydrogel Internal Aqueous Environment
Materials 2019, 12(5), 832; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12050832
Received: 5 February 2019 / Revised: 6 March 2019 / Accepted: 8 March 2019 / Published: 12 March 2019
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Abstract
Self-assembling peptides are a promising class of biomaterials with desirable biocompatibility and versatility. In particular, the oligopeptide (RADA)4, consisting of arginine (R), alanine (A), and aspartic acid (D), self-assembles into nanofibers that develop into a three-dimensional hydrogel of up to 99.5% [...] Read more.
Self-assembling peptides are a promising class of biomaterials with desirable biocompatibility and versatility. In particular, the oligopeptide (RADA)4, consisting of arginine (R), alanine (A), and aspartic acid (D), self-assembles into nanofibers that develop into a three-dimensional hydrogel of up to 99.5% (w/v) water; yet, the organization of water within the hydrogel matrix is poorly understood. Importantly, peptide concentration and polarity are hypothesized to control the internal water structure. Using variable temperature deuterium solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (2H NMR) spectroscopy, we measured the amount of bound water in (RADA)4-based hydrogels, quantified as the non-frozen water content. To investigate how peptide polarity affects water structure, five lysine (K) moieties were appended to (RADA)4 to generate (RADA)4K5. Hydrogels at 1 and 5% total peptide concentration were prepared from a 75:25 (w/w) blend of (RADA)4:(RADA)4K5 and similarly analyzed by 2H NMR. Interestingly, at 5% peptide concentration, there was lower mobile water content in the lysinated versus the pristine (RADA)4 hydrogel. Regardless of the presence of lysine, the 5% peptide concentration had higher non-frozen water content at temperatures as low as 217 ± 1.0 K, suggesting that bound water increases with peptide concentration. The bound water, though non-frozen, may be strongly bound to the charged lysine moiety to appear as immobilized water. Further understanding of the factors controlling water structure within hydrogels is important for tuning the transport properties of bioactive solutes in the hydrogel matrix when designing for biomedical applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biocompatible and Biodegradable 3D Scaffolds)
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Open AccessArticle Simulation-driven Selection of Electrode Materials Based on Mechanical Performance for Lithium-Ion Battery
Materials 2019, 12(5), 831; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12050831
Received: 19 February 2019 / Revised: 7 March 2019 / Accepted: 8 March 2019 / Published: 12 March 2019
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Abstract
Experimental and numerical studies have shown that mechanical loading associated with lithiation/delithiation may limit the useful life of battery electrode materials. The paper presents an approach to parameterize and compare electrode material performance based on mechanical stability. A mathematical model was developed to [...] Read more.
Experimental and numerical studies have shown that mechanical loading associated with lithiation/delithiation may limit the useful life of battery electrode materials. The paper presents an approach to parameterize and compare electrode material performance based on mechanical stability. A mathematical model was developed to determine particle deformation and stress fields based upon an elastic-perfectly plastic constitutive response. Mechanical deformation was computed by combining the stress equilibrium equations with the electrochemical diffusion of lithium ions into the electrode particle. The result provided a time developing stress field which shifts from purely elastic to partially plastic deformation as the lithium-ion diffuses into the particle. The model was used to derive five merit indices that parameterize mechanical stability of electrode materials. The merit indices were used to analyze the mechanical stability for the six candidate electrode materials—three for anode materials and three for the cathode material. Finally, the paper suggests ways to improve the mechanical performance of electrode materials and identifies mechanical properties that need to be considered for selection and optimal design of electrode materials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Electrochemical Energy Materials)
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Open AccessArticle Instrumented Indentation of Super-Insulating Silica Compacts
Materials 2019, 12(5), 830; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12050830
Received: 10 February 2019 / Revised: 5 March 2019 / Accepted: 7 March 2019 / Published: 12 March 2019
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Abstract
Highly porous silica compacts for superinsulation were characterized by instrumented indentation. Samples showed a multi-scale stacking of silica particles with a total porous fraction of 90 vol %. The two main sources of silica available for the superinsulation market were considered: fumed silica [...] Read more.
Highly porous silica compacts for superinsulation were characterized by instrumented indentation. Samples showed a multi-scale stacking of silica particles with a total porous fraction of 90 vol %. The two main sources of silica available for the superinsulation market were considered: fumed silica and precipitated silica. The compacts processed with these two silica displayed different mechanical properties at a similar porosity fraction, thus leading to different usage properties, as the superinsulation market requires sufficient mechanical properties at the lowest density. The measurement of Young’s modulus and hardness was possible with spherical indentation, which is an efficient method for characterizing highly porous structures. Comparison of the mechanical parameters measured on silica compacts and silica aerogels available from the literature was made. Differences in mechanical properties between fumed and precipitated compacts were explained by structural organization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Brittle Materials in Mechanical Extremes)
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Open AccessArticle Synthesis and Characterization of Flower-like Carbon-encapsulated Fe-C Nanoparticles for Application as Adsorbing Material
Materials 2019, 12(5), 829; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12050829
Received: 20 January 2019 / Revised: 26 February 2019 / Accepted: 7 March 2019 / Published: 12 March 2019
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Abstract
Carbon-encapsulated Fe-C ([email protected]) nanoparticles with a divergently flower-like morphology were successfully synthesized for application as an adsorbing material by using freeze-drying and chemical vapor deposition (CVD) methods. The Fe metallic source was first loaded onto a sodium chloride (NaCl) supporter via freeze-drying to [...] Read more.
Carbon-encapsulated Fe-C ([email protected]) nanoparticles with a divergently flower-like morphology were successfully synthesized for application as an adsorbing material by using freeze-drying and chemical vapor deposition (CVD) methods. The Fe metallic source was first loaded onto a sodium chloride (NaCl) supporter via freeze-drying to obtain the Fe/NaCl composite powder. Then, [email protected] nanoparticles were synthesized in the temperature range of 300–450 °C via CVD of acetylene in the Fe/NaCl composite powder using Fe nanoparticles as catalysts and NaCl as supporters. Because the NaCl supporter is water-soluble, the synthesized [email protected] nanoparticles were easy to purify, and a high purity was obtained by simple washing and centrifugation. The optimal [email protected] nanoparticles, synthesized at 400 °C, possessed a unique divergently flower-like structure and a high specific surface area of 169.4 m2/g that can provide more adsorption sites for contaminants. Adsorption experiments showed that the flower-like [email protected] adsorbent exhibited high adsorption capacity (90.14 mg/g) and fast removal of methylene blue (MB). Moreover, the magnetic properties of the nanoparticles, with saturation magnetization of 36.544 emu/g, facilitated their magnetic separation from wastewater. Therefore, the novel flower-like [email protected] nanoparticles with integrated adsorptive and magnetic properties have the potential to be an effective adsorbent in dye wastewater treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Magnetic Properties of Carbon Nanomaterials)
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Open AccessArticle Monodisperse Fe3O4/SiO2 and Fe3O4/SiO2/PPy Core-Shell Composite Nanospheres for IBU Loading and Release
Materials 2019, 12(5), 828; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12050828
Received: 7 February 2019 / Revised: 28 February 2019 / Accepted: 3 March 2019 / Published: 11 March 2019
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The magnetic targeting drug delivery system is an effective way of targeting therapy. In this study, the monodisperse Fe3O4 nanoparticles with a particles size of about 180 nm were first prepared via a solvothermal method. Subsequently, the core-shell structure Fe [...] Read more.
The magnetic targeting drug delivery system is an effective way of targeting therapy. In this study, the monodisperse Fe3O4 nanoparticles with a particles size of about 180 nm were first prepared via a solvothermal method. Subsequently, the core-shell structure Fe3O4/SiO2 and Fe3O4/SiO2/polypyrrole (PPy) composite nanospheres were successfully synthesized by coating Fe3O4 nanoparticles with SiO2 shell layer using the Stöber method and PPy shell by solvothermal method in turn. The as-prepared nanoparticles were characterized using transmission electron microscopy (TEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier transform-infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), vibrating sample magnetometer (VSM), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), and Ultraviolet-Visible spectrophotometer (UV-Vis). The results indicated that the as-prepared composite nanospheres displayed a well-defined core-shell structure and monodispersity. The thicknesses of SiO2 shell and PPy shell were ~6 nm and ~19 nm, respectively. Additionally, the as-prepared nanoparticles exhibited high saturation magnetization of 104 emu/g, 77 emu/g, and 24 emu/g, and have great potential applications in drug delivery. The drug loading and drug release of the Fe3O4/SiO2 and Fe3O4/SiO2/PPy composite nanospheres to ibuprofen (IBU) under stirring and ultrasonication were investigated. Their drug loading efficiency and drug release efficiency under ultrasonication were all higher than 33% and 90%, respectively. The drug release analyses showed sustained release of IBU from nanospheres and followed the Korsmeyer-Peppas model. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Microstructural Modeling and Strengthening Mechanism of TiB/Ti-6Al-4V Discontinuously-Reinforced Titanium Matrix Composite
Materials 2019, 12(5), 827; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12050827
Received: 6 February 2019 / Revised: 1 March 2019 / Accepted: 6 March 2019 / Published: 11 March 2019
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Abstract
A novel modeling method was proposed to provide an improved representation of the actual microstructure of TiB/Ti-6Al-4V discontinuously-reinforced titanium matrix composite (DRTMC). Based on the Thiessen polygon structure, the representative volume element (RVE) containing the complex microstructures of the DRTMC was first generated. [...] Read more.
A novel modeling method was proposed to provide an improved representation of the actual microstructure of TiB/Ti-6Al-4V discontinuously-reinforced titanium matrix composite (DRTMC). Based on the Thiessen polygon structure, the representative volume element (RVE) containing the complex microstructures of the DRTMC was first generated. Thereafter, by using multiple user-defined subroutines in the commercial finite element software ABAQUS, the application of asymmetric mesh periodic boundary conditions on the RVE was realized, and the equivalent elastic modulus of the DRTMC was determined according to the homogenization method. Through error analyses on the experimental and calculated results regarding the equivalent elastic parameters of the DRTMC, the rationality of generating the DRTMC finite element model by using the present method was validated. Finally, simulations based on four types of network-like models revealed that the present simplifications to the particle shape of the reinforcement phase had less of an influence on the overall composite strength. Moreover, the present study demonstrates that the DRTMC enhancement is mainly attributed to the matrix strengthening, rather than the load-transferring mechanism. The strengthening influences of the distribution forms of the reinforcement phases, including their distribution density and orientation, were studied further. It was found that both the higher distribution density and limited distribution orientation of the particles would increase the probability of overlapping and merging between particles, and; therefore, higher strength could be yielded when the volume fraction of the reinforcement phase reached a certain threshold. Owing to the versatility of the developed methods and programs, this work can provide a useful reference for the characterization of the mechanical properties of other composites types. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Study on the Stabilization of a New Type of Waste Solidifying Agent for Soft Soil
Materials 2019, 12(5), 826; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12050826
Received: 18 December 2018 / Revised: 6 March 2019 / Accepted: 7 March 2019 / Published: 11 March 2019
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The use of desulfurization gypsum and steel/furnace slag composite cementitious material (DGSC) to solidify soft soil can fully utilize industrial wastes, reduce cement use and protect natural resources. By studying the unconfined compressive strengths of DGSC-solidified soil with different mix ratios, water-binder ratios [...] Read more.
The use of desulfurization gypsum and steel/furnace slag composite cementitious material (DGSC) to solidify soft soil can fully utilize industrial wastes, reduce cement use and protect natural resources. By studying the unconfined compressive strengths of DGSC-solidified soil with different mix ratios, water-binder ratios and curing periods, the influence of those factors on the unconfined compressive strength of the soil can be analyzed. Furthermore, the quasi-water-cement ratio is introduced to predict the strength of the DGSC-solidified soil. The results show that the higher the DGSC content is, the better its effect on the soft soil. The variation in the unconfined compressive strength of DGSC-solidified soil overtime can be described by the same trend as that of cement-solidified soil but its early strength is lower than that of cement-solidified soil. When the water-binder ratio of the DGSC-solidified soil is the same as that of the cement-solidified soil, after a28-day curing period, the content of DGSC is higher than that of the 5% cement content, so the DGSC solidification effect is comparable to that of cement. Therefore, using DGSC instead of cement as a soft soil solidifying agent can meet the strength requirements of solidified soil. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Impacts of Casting Scales and Harsh Conditions on the Thermal, Acoustic, and Mechanical Properties of Indoor Acoustic Panels Made with Fiber-Reinforced Alkali-Activated Slag Foam Concretes
Materials 2019, 12(5), 825; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12050825
Received: 19 February 2019 / Revised: 7 March 2019 / Accepted: 8 March 2019 / Published: 11 March 2019
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This paper presents experimental results regarding the efficiency of using acoustic panels made with fiber-reinforced alkali-activated slag foam concrete containing lightweight recycled aggregates produced by using Petrit-T (tunnel kiln slag). In the first stage, 72 acoustic panels with dimension 500 × 500 × [...] Read more.
This paper presents experimental results regarding the efficiency of using acoustic panels made with fiber-reinforced alkali-activated slag foam concrete containing lightweight recycled aggregates produced by using Petrit-T (tunnel kiln slag). In the first stage, 72 acoustic panels with dimension 500 × 500 × 35 mm were cast and prepared. The mechanical properties of the panels were then assessed in terms of their compressive and flexural strengths. Moreover, the durability properties of acoustic panels were studied using harsh conditions (freeze/thaw and carbonation tests). The efficiency of the lightweight panels was also assessed in terms of thermal properties. In the second stage, 50 acoustic panels were used to cover the floor area in a reverberation room. The acoustic absorption in diffuse field conditions was measured, and the interrupted random noise source method was used to record the sound pressure decay rate over time. Moreover, the acoustic properties of the panels were separately assessed by impedance tubes and airflow resistivity measurements. The recorded results from these two sound absorption evaluations were compared. Additionally, a comparative study was presented on the results of impedance tube measurements to compare the influence of casting volumes (large and small scales) on the sound absorption of the acoustic panels. In the last stage, a comparative study was implemented to clarify the effects of harsh conditions on the sound absorption of the acoustic panels. The results showed that casting scale had great impacts on the mechanical and physical properties. Additionally, it was revealed that harsh conditions improved the sound properties of acoustic panels due to their effects on the porous structure of materials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Advances in Self-Compacting Concrete and Geopolymer Concrete)
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Open AccessArticle Densification Mechanism of Soft Magnetic Composites Using Ultrasonic Compaction for Motors in EV Platforms
Materials 2019, 12(5), 824; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12050824
Received: 22 January 2019 / Revised: 28 February 2019 / Accepted: 3 March 2019 / Published: 11 March 2019
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In this paper, the densification mechanism of ultrasonic compaction was analyzed using a force balance model. Ultrasonic compaction is quite a promising way to solve the lower mechanical property problem of green compact in the compaction process, although it has some obstacles to [...] Read more.
In this paper, the densification mechanism of ultrasonic compaction was analyzed using a force balance model. Ultrasonic compaction is quite a promising way to solve the lower mechanical property problem of green compact in the compaction process, although it has some obstacles to overcome for its various applications. Our model proposes that the resultant density is achieved as the applied and resistance forces reach the equilibrium state. Based on the proposed model, the ultrasonic compaction increases the density of green compact by reducing the internal friction between the powder and compaction die, as well as the internal friction among particles themselves. It was also found that during the powder compaction, the ultrasonic vibration mostly contributes to slipping and the rearrangement of the particles. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mechanical and Physical Properties of Metallic Composites)
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Open AccessArticle Remaining Life Assessment for Steel After Low-Cycle Fatigue by Surface Crack Image
Materials 2019, 12(5), 823; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12050823
Received: 25 January 2019 / Revised: 3 March 2019 / Accepted: 4 March 2019 / Published: 11 March 2019
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Abstract
After pre-fatigue cycles at different strain amplitudes with different N/Nf values (33.3%, 50%, and 75%), specimens of HRB335 steel were subjected to uniaxial tension until failure. By this method the mechanical properties of the specimens after pre-fatigue testing were measured, and the [...] Read more.
After pre-fatigue cycles at different strain amplitudes with different N/Nf values (33.3%, 50%, and 75%), specimens of HRB335 steel were subjected to uniaxial tension until failure. By this method the mechanical properties of the specimens after pre-fatigue testing were measured, and the fracture morphology and microscopic morphology in the vicinity of the specimen’s neck surface near the fracture were observed. The verification of the characteristics to be used to estimate the damage caused during the loading cycles was conducted. By observing optical microscope images of the surface area near the neck of the specimens, it was found that the images of surface cracks were significantly different and strongly depended on the number of pre-fatigue cycles the specimen had undergone. In response to this phenomenon, both the microscopic images taken directly from the photos of the surface crack distribution and the binary images based on them were statistically analyzed, and then a parameter, S, denoted as the “unit crack area”, characterizing the cumulative fatigue damage was suggested. Furthermore, the test procedure and the calculation formula for determining the image parameters were summarized, and a method for evaluating the remaining life of steel after low-cycles of reversed tension and compression was proposed. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Fire Performance of Heavyweight Self-Compacting Concrete and Heavyweight High Strength Concrete
Materials 2019, 12(5), 822; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12050822
Received: 20 February 2019 / Revised: 7 March 2019 / Accepted: 7 March 2019 / Published: 11 March 2019
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Abstract
In this study, the fresh and hardened state properties of heavyweight self-compacting concrete (HWSCC) and heavyweight high strength concrete (HWHSC) containing heavyweight magnetite aggregate with 50, 75, and 100% replacement ratio, and their performance at elevated temperatures were explored experimentally. For fresh-state properties, [...] Read more.
In this study, the fresh and hardened state properties of heavyweight self-compacting concrete (HWSCC) and heavyweight high strength concrete (HWHSC) containing heavyweight magnetite aggregate with 50, 75, and 100% replacement ratio, and their performance at elevated temperatures were explored experimentally. For fresh-state properties, the flowability and passing ability of HWSCCs were assessed by using slump flow, T500 mm, and J-ring tests. Hardened-state properties including hardened density, compressive strength, and modulus of elasticity were evaluated after 28 days of mixing. High-temperature tests were also performed to study the mass loss, spalling of HWSCC and HWHSC, and residual mechanical properties at 100, 300, 600 and 900 °C with a heating rate of 5 °C/min. Ultimately, by using the experimental data, rational numerical models were established to predict the compressive strength and modulus of elasticity of HWSCC at elevated temperatures. The results of the flowability and passing ability revealed that the addition of magnetite aggregate would not deteriorate the workability of HWSCCs and they retained their self-compacting characteristics. Based on the hardened densities, only self-compacting concrete (SCC) with 100% magnetite content, and high strength concrete (HSC) with 75 and 100% magnetite aggregate can be considered as HWC. For both the compressive strength and elastic modulus, decreasing trends were observed by introducing magnetite aggregate to SCC and HSC at an ambient temperature. Mass loss and spalling evaluations showed severe crack propagation for SCC without magnetite aggregate while SCCs containing magnetite aggregate preserved up to 900 °C. Nevertheless, the mass loss of SCCs containing 75 and 100% magnetite content were higher than that of SCC without magnetite. Due to the pressure build-up, HSCs with and without magnetite showed explosive spalling at high temperatures. The residual mechanical properties analysis indicated that the highest retention of the compressive strength and modulus of elasticity after exposure to elevated temperatures belonged to HWSCC with 100% magnetite content. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Advances in Self-Compacting Concrete and Geopolymer Concrete)
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Open AccessArticle Facile Microemulsion Synthesis of Vanadium-Doped ZnO Nanoparticles to Analyze the Compositional, Optical, and Electronic Properties
Materials 2019, 12(5), 821; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12050821
Received: 16 January 2019 / Revised: 5 March 2019 / Accepted: 6 March 2019 / Published: 11 March 2019
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Abstract
In this work, microemulsion method has been followed to synthesize vanadium-doped Zn1−xVxO (with x = 0.0, 0.02, 0.04, 0.06, 0.08, and 0.10) nanoparticles. The prepared samples are characterized by several techniques to investigate the structural, morphology, electronic, functional bonding, [...] Read more.
In this work, microemulsion method has been followed to synthesize vanadium-doped Zn1−xVxO (with x = 0.0, 0.02, 0.04, 0.06, 0.08, and 0.10) nanoparticles. The prepared samples are characterized by several techniques to investigate the structural, morphology, electronic, functional bonding, and optical properties. X-ray diffractometer (XRD) analysis confirms the wurtzite phase of the undoped and V-doped ZnO nanoparticles. Variation in the lattice parameters ensures the incorporation of vanadium in the lattice of ZnO. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) shows that by increasing contents of V ions, the average particle size increases gradually. X-ray Absorption Near Edge Spectroscopy (XANES) at the V L3,2 edge, oxygen K-edge, and Zn L3,2 edge reveals the presence and effect of vanadium contents in the Zn host lattice. Furthermore, the existence of chemical bonding and functional groups are also asserted by attenuated total reflection Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR). UV–Visible analysis shows that by increasing V+ contents, a reduction up to 2.92 eV in the energy band gap is observed, which is probably due to an increase in the free electron concentration and change in the lattice parameters. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Materials for Photovoltaic Applications)
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Open AccessArticle Numerical and Experimental Study on Melt Treatment for Large-Volume 7075 Alloy by a Modified Annular Electromagnetic Stirring
Materials 2019, 12(5), 820; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12050820
Received: 3 February 2019 / Revised: 1 March 2019 / Accepted: 4 March 2019 / Published: 11 March 2019
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Abstract
This study presents a modified annular electromagnetic stirring (M-AEMS) melt treatment suitable for a large-volume and high-alloyed aluminum alloy. A 3D computational model coupling an electromagnetic model with a macroscopic heat and fluid-flow model was established by using Ansoft Maxwell 3D and Fluent [...] Read more.
This study presents a modified annular electromagnetic stirring (M-AEMS) melt treatment suitable for a large-volume and high-alloyed aluminum alloy. A 3D computational model coupling an electromagnetic model with a macroscopic heat and fluid-flow model was established by using Ansoft Maxwell 3D and Fluent from ANSYS workbench, and the effects of the electromagnetic shielding ring, the height of the magnet yoke, the shape of the iron core, and the internal cooling mandrel on the electromagnetic, thermal and flow fields were studied numerically. Based on the optimal technical parameters, the effectivity of the M-AEMS process by using 7075 alloy was validated experimentally. The results show that a favorable electromagnetic field distribution can be achieved by changing the magnet yoke height, the iron-core shape and the electromagnetic shielding ring, and the melt temperature of the 7075 alloy can drop rapidly to the pouring temperature by imposing the internal cooling mandrel; compared with ordinary annular electromagnetic stirring, the M-AEMS process creates a lower magnetic strength near the melt top, beneficial for stabilizing the melt surface; meanwhile, it yields a higher magnetic strength near the melt bottom, which increases the shear rate and ensures an optimal stirring effect. Therefore, M-AEMS works more efficiently because the thermal and composition fields become uniform in a shorter time, which reduces the average grain size and the composition segregation, and a more stable melt surface can be obtained during treatment, which reduces the number of air and oxide inclusions in the melt. Full article
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Open AccessArticle P-Type Lithium Niobate Thin Films Fabricated by Nitrogen-Doping
Materials 2019, 12(5), 819; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12050819
Received: 19 February 2019 / Revised: 2 March 2019 / Accepted: 8 March 2019 / Published: 11 March 2019
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Abstract
Nitrogen-doped lithium niobate (LiNbO3:N) thin films were successfully fabricated on a Si-substrate using a nitrogen plasma beam supplied through a radio-frequency plasma apparatus as a dopant source via a pulsed laser deposition (PLD). The films were then characterized using X-Ray Diffraction [...] Read more.
Nitrogen-doped lithium niobate (LiNbO3:N) thin films were successfully fabricated on a Si-substrate using a nitrogen plasma beam supplied through a radio-frequency plasma apparatus as a dopant source via a pulsed laser deposition (PLD). The films were then characterized using X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) as polycrystalline with the predominant orientations of (012) and (104). The perfect surface appearance of the film was investigated by atomic force microscopy and Hall-effect measurements revealed a rare p-type conductivity in the LiNbO3:N thin film. The hole concentration was 7.31 × 1015 cm−3 with a field-effect mobility of 266 cm2V−1s−1. X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS) indicated that the atom content of nitrogen was 0.87%; N atoms were probably substituted for O sites, which contributed to the p-type conductivity. The realization of p-type LiNbO3:N thin films grown on the Si substrate lead to improvements in the manufacturing of novel optoelectronic devices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Thin Film Fabrication and Surface Techniques)
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Open AccessCorrection Correction: Ungson, Y. et al. Filling of Irregular Channels with Round Cross-Section: Modeling Aspects to Study the Properties of Porous Materials. Materials 2018, 11, 1901
Materials 2019, 12(5), 818; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12050818
Received: 17 August 2018 / Accepted: 27 September 2018 / Published: 11 March 2019
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Abstract
The authors have found two errors in the paper published in Materials [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Randomness and Uncertainty)
Open AccessArticle Tailoring a Silver Paste for Additive Manufacturing of Co-Fired Ferrite Magnetic Components
Materials 2019, 12(5), 817; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12050817
Received: 12 January 2019 / Revised: 27 February 2019 / Accepted: 5 March 2019 / Published: 11 March 2019
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Abstract
Additive manufacturing (AM), or 3D-printing, has the potential for rapid prototyping of innovative designs of magnetic components used in power electronics converters. In this study, we tailored a silver paste as the metal feedstock of an extrusion 3D printer so that the metal [...] Read more.
Additive manufacturing (AM), or 3D-printing, has the potential for rapid prototyping of innovative designs of magnetic components used in power electronics converters. In this study, we tailored a silver paste as the metal feedstock of an extrusion 3D printer so that the metal would be compatible with a ferrite paste feedstock for 3D-printing of ferrite magnetic components. We focused on adjusting the metal formulation to match its shrinkage to that of the ferrite and to improve adhesion during the co-sintering process of the printed part. We found that a 5 wt % addition of ferrite powder in the metal paste can achieve matched shrinkage and strong adhesion. Evaluation of the co-sintered magnetic components showed no significant defects, such as cracks, warpage, or delamination, between the metal and ferrite. The shear strength between the two sintered materials was greater than 50 MPa, and the electrical resistivity of the sintered metal winding was less than twice that of the bulk silver, which is lower than those of most 3D-printed winding metals reported in the literature. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Materials for Power Electronics)
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Open AccessArticle Partial Discharge in Nanofluid Insulation Material with Conductive and Semiconductive Nanoparticles
Materials 2019, 12(5), 816; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12050816
Received: 24 January 2019 / Revised: 11 February 2019 / Accepted: 13 February 2019 / Published: 11 March 2019
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Abstract
This study provides a thorough investigation of partial discharge (PD) activities in nanofluid insulation material consisting of different types of nanoparticles, which are conductive and semiconductive when subjected to high voltage stress is presented. Nanofluids have become a topic of interest because they [...] Read more.
This study provides a thorough investigation of partial discharge (PD) activities in nanofluid insulation material consisting of different types of nanoparticles, which are conductive and semiconductive when subjected to high voltage stress is presented. Nanofluids have become a topic of interest because they can be an alternative to liquid insulation in electrical apparatus due to their promising dielectric strength and cooling ability. However, during in-service operation, PDs can occur between conductors in the insulation system. Therefore, this study presents the behavior of PDs within nanofluid dielectric materials consisting of conductive and semiconductive nanoparticles. The results show that there is an improvement in the PD resistance and a reduction in the tan delta of nanofluids at power frequency after the incorporation of conductive or semiconductive nanoparticles in the nanofluid oil. However, the most suitable concentration of conductive and semiconductive nanoparticles in the base fluid was found to be, respectively, 0.01 g/L and 1.0 g/L at PD inception and PD steady-state conditions. The clustering of nanoparticles in a nanofluid suspension due to PD activities is also discussed in this study. Full article
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Open AccessArticle In Situ Controlled Surface Microstructure of 3D Printed Ti Alloy to Promote Its Osteointegration
Materials 2019, 12(5), 815; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12050815
Received: 15 February 2019 / Revised: 25 February 2019 / Accepted: 6 March 2019 / Published: 10 March 2019
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Abstract
It is well known that three-dimensional (3D) printing is an emerging technology used to produce customized implants and surface characteristics of implants, strongly deciding their osseointegration ability. In this study, Ti alloy microspheres were printed under selected rational printing parameters in order to [...] Read more.
It is well known that three-dimensional (3D) printing is an emerging technology used to produce customized implants and surface characteristics of implants, strongly deciding their osseointegration ability. In this study, Ti alloy microspheres were printed under selected rational printing parameters in order to tailor the surface micro-characteristics of the printed implants during additive manufacturing by an in situ, controlled way. The laser path and hatching space were responsible for the appearance of the stripy structure (S), while the bulbous structure (B) and bulbous–stripy composite surface (BS) were determined by contour scanning. A nano-sized structure could be superposed by hydrothermal treatment. The cytocompatibility was evaluated by culturing Mouse calvaria-derived preosteoblastic cells (MC3T3-E1). The results showed that three typical microstructured surfaces, S, B, and BS, could be achieved by varying the 3D printing parameters. Moreover, the osteogenic differentiation potential of the S, B, and BS surfaces could be significantly enhanced, and the addition of nano-sized structures could be further improved. The BS surface with nano-sized structure demonstrated the optimum osteogenic differentiation potential. The present research demonstrated an in situ, controlled way to tailor and optimize the surface structures in micro-size during the 3D printing process for an implant with higher osseointegration ability. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Effect of Ru, Rh, Mo, and Pd Adsorption on the Electronic and Optical Properties of Anatase TiO2(101): A DFT Investigation
Materials 2019, 12(5), 814; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12050814
Received: 4 December 2018 / Revised: 26 February 2019 / Accepted: 6 March 2019 / Published: 10 March 2019
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Abstract
Adsorbed metal atoms and metal doping onto TiO2 can effectively enhance the optical and photocatalytic activity of photocatalytic efficiency of titanium dioxide (TiO2), favoring the extension of its optical absorption spectrum and the efficiency of hydrogen generation. To investigate the [...] Read more.
Adsorbed metal atoms and metal doping onto TiO2 can effectively enhance the optical and photocatalytic activity of photocatalytic efficiency of titanium dioxide (TiO2), favoring the extension of its optical absorption spectrum and the efficiency of hydrogen generation. To investigate the possible mechanism causing potential improvement of photocatalytic activity, the electronic and optical properties of the anatase TiO2(101) plane with different adsorbed metal atom have been theoretically calculated through density functional theory (DFT) method. Adsorption of Pd and Ru atoms increases the delocalization of the density of states, with an impurity state near the Fermi level. Moreover, the investigated adsorbed metal atoms (Mo, Pd, Ru, Rh) narrow the band gap of anatase TiO2, thus enhancing the probability of photoactivation by visible light. The orbital hybridization of the d orbit from the adsorbed metal atom and the p orbit from the O of the defect site increases the Schottky barrier of the electronic structure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue TiO2-based Nanostructures, Composites and Hybrid Photocatalysts)
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Open AccessArticle Use of Non-Linear Ultrasonic Techniques to Detect Cracks Due to Steel Corrosion in Reinforced Concrete Structures
Materials 2019, 12(5), 813; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12050813
Received: 10 February 2019 / Revised: 28 February 2019 / Accepted: 5 March 2019 / Published: 9 March 2019
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Abstract
In this work, non-linear ultrasonic wave techniques have been used to detect the onset of micro-cracking due to steel corrosion in model reinforced concrete elements. The specimens were of prismatic shape with a single steel rebar. The corrosion was forced by admixing an [...] Read more.
In this work, non-linear ultrasonic wave techniques have been used to detect the onset of micro-cracking due to steel corrosion in model reinforced concrete elements. The specimens were of prismatic shape with a single steel rebar. The corrosion was forced by admixing an appropriate amount of sodium chloride at the moment of preparing the concrete mix, and by the application of an electric field, using a constant current density power source, and making the steel rebar work as the anode, and an external counter-electrode as the cathode. The preliminary results indicate that the onset of cracking seems to be accompanied by the appearance of higher-harmonic generation at the output signal (harmonic distortion), when the system is excited by the means of an ultrasound wave with a burst central frequency. Other phenomena related to the micro-cracks induced by corrosion, such is the parametric generation with respect to the fundamental amplitude, have not been observed until now. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Corrosion of Reinforcing Steel in Reinforced Concrete)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Functional Fibronectin Adsorption on Aptamer-Doped Chitosan Modulates Cell Morphology by Integrin-Mediated Pathway
Materials 2019, 12(5), 812; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12050812
Received: 19 February 2019 / Revised: 4 March 2019 / Accepted: 5 March 2019 / Published: 8 March 2019
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Abstract
A decisive step in cell-biomaterial interaction is represented by the adsorption of proteins at the interface, whose fine control may be useful to trigger proper cell response. To this purpose, we can selectively control protein adsorption on biomaterials by means of aptamers. Aptamers [...] Read more.
A decisive step in cell-biomaterial interaction is represented by the adsorption of proteins at the interface, whose fine control may be useful to trigger proper cell response. To this purpose, we can selectively control protein adsorption on biomaterials by means of aptamers. Aptamers selected to recognize fibronectin dramatically enhance chitosan ability to promote cell proliferation and adhesion, but the underlying biological mechanism remains unknown. We supposed that aptamers contributed to ameliorate the adsorption of fibronectin in an advantageous geometrical conformation for cells, thus regulating their morphology by the proper activation of the integrin-mediated pathway. We investigated this possibility by culturing epithelial cells on chitosan enriched with increasing doses of aptamers in the presence or in the absence of cytoskeleton pharmacological inhibitors. Our results showed that aptamers control cell morphology in a dose dependent manner (p < 0.0001). Simultaneously, when the inhibition of actin polymerization was induced, the control of cell morphology was attenuated (p < 0.0001), while no differences were detected when cells contractility was challenged (p > 0.05). Altogether, our data provide evidence that aptamers contribute to control fibronectin adsorption on biomaterials by preserving its conformation and thus function. Furthermore, our work provides a new insight into a new way to accurately tailor material surface bioactivity. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Effective Medium Method for Chloride Diffusion Coefficient of Mature Fly Ash Cement Paste
Materials 2019, 12(5), 811; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12050811
Received: 18 February 2019 / Revised: 5 March 2019 / Accepted: 6 March 2019 / Published: 8 March 2019
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Abstract
The chloride diffusion coefficient of concrete plays an essential role in the durability assessment and design of concrete structures built in chloride-laden environments. The purpose of this paper is to present an effective medium method (EMM) for evaluating the chloride diffusion coefficient of [...] Read more.
The chloride diffusion coefficient of concrete plays an essential role in the durability assessment and design of concrete structures built in chloride-laden environments. The purpose of this paper is to present an effective medium method (EMM) for evaluating the chloride diffusion coefficient of mature fly ash cement paste. In this method, a numerical method is used to estimate the degrees of hydration of cement and fly ash. Fly ash cement paste is then modeled as a two-phase composite material, composed of a solid phase and a pore space. By introducing the percolation theory, the EMM is modified to derive the chloride diffusion coefficient of fly ash cement paste in an analytical manner. To verify the EMM, a chloride diffusion test of fly ash cement paste at a curing age of up to 540 days is conducted. It is shown that, within a reasonable fly ash content, a larger fly ash content and/or curing age results in a smaller chloride diffusion coefficient. The chloride diffusion coefficient decreases with a decreasing water/binder ratio. Finally, the validity of the EMM is verified with experimental results. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Construction and Building Materials)
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