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Volume 13, February-1

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Materials, Volume 13, Issue 4 (February-2 2020) – 192 articles

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Cover Story (view full-size image) Poly(L-lactide-co-glycolide)-block-poly (ethylene oxide) copolymer modified by blending with [...] Read more.
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Surface Modifications of Poly(Ether Ether Ketone) via Polymerization Methods—Current Status and Future Prospects
Materials 2020, 13(4), 999; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13040999 (registering DOI) - 23 Feb 2020
Abstract
Surface modification of poly(ether ether ketone) (PEEK) aimed at applying it as a bone implant material aroused the unflagging interest of the research community. In view of the development of implantology and the growing demand for new biomaterials, increasing biocompatibility and improving osseointegration [...] Read more.
Surface modification of poly(ether ether ketone) (PEEK) aimed at applying it as a bone implant material aroused the unflagging interest of the research community. In view of the development of implantology and the growing demand for new biomaterials, increasing biocompatibility and improving osseointegration are becoming the primary goals of PEEK surface modifications. The main aim of this review is to summarize the use of polymerization methods and various monomers applied for surface modification of PEEK to increase its bioactivity, which is a critical factor for successful applications of biomedical materials. In addition, the future directions of PEEK surface modifications are suggested, pointing to low-ppm surface-initiated atom transfer radical polymerization (SI-ATRP) as a method with unexplored capacity for flat surface modifications. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Chitosan-Functionalized Graphene Nanocomposite Films: Interfacial Interplay and Biological Activity
Materials 2020, 13(4), 998; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13040998 (registering DOI) - 23 Feb 2020
Abstract
Graphene oxide (GO) has recently captured tremendous attention, but only few functionalized graphene derivatives were used as fillers, and insightful studies dealing with the thermal, mechanical, and biological effects of graphene surface functionalization are currently missing in the literature. Herein, reduced [...] Read more.
Graphene oxide (GO) has recently captured tremendous attention, but only few functionalized graphene derivatives were used as fillers, and insightful studies dealing with the thermal, mechanical, and biological effects of graphene surface functionalization are currently missing in the literature. Herein, reduced graphene oxide (rGO), phosphorylated graphene oxide (PGO), and trimethylsilylated graphene oxide (SiMe3GO) were prepared by the post-modification of GO. The electrostatic interactions of these fillers with chitosan afforded colloidal solutions that provide, after water evaporation, transparent and flexible chitosan-modified graphene films. All reinforced chitosan–graphene films displayed improved mechanical, thermal, and antibacterial (S. aureus, E. coli) properties compared to native chitosan films. Hemolysis, intracellular catalase activity, and hemoglobin oxidation were also observed for these materials. This study shows that graphene functionalization provides a handle for tuning the properties of graphene-reinforced nanocomposite films and customizing their functionalities. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
First Large Scale Application with Self-Healing Concrete in Belgium: Analysis of the Laboratory Control Tests
Materials 2020, 13(4), 997; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13040997 (registering DOI) - 23 Feb 2020
Abstract
Due to the negative impact of construction processes on the environment and a decrease in investments, there is a need for concrete structures to operate longer while maintaining their high performance. Self-healing concrete has the ability to heal itself when it is cracked, [...] Read more.
Due to the negative impact of construction processes on the environment and a decrease in investments, there is a need for concrete structures to operate longer while maintaining their high performance. Self-healing concrete has the ability to heal itself when it is cracked, thereby protecting the interior matrix as well as the reinforcement steel, resulting in an increased service life. Most research has focused on mortar specimens at lab-scale. Yet, to demonstrate the feasibility of applying self-healing concrete in practice, demonstrators of large-scale applications are necessary. A roof slab of an inspection pit was cast with bacterial self-healing concrete and is now in normal operation. As a bacterial additive to the concrete, a mixture called MUC+, made out of a Mixed Ureolytic Culture together with anaerobic granular bacteria, was added to the concrete during mixing. This article reports on the tests carried out on laboratory control specimens made from the same concrete batch, as well as the findings of an inspection of the roof slab under operating conditions. Lab tests showed that cracks at the bottom of specimens and subjected to wet/dry cycles had the best visual crack closure. Additionally, the sealing efficiency of cracked specimens submersed for 27 weeks in water, measured by means of a water permeability setup, was at least equal to 90%, with an efficiency of at least 98.5% for the largest part of the specimens. An inspection of the roof slab showed no signs of cracking, yet favorable conditions for healing were observed. So, despite the high healing potential that was recorded during lab experiments, an assessment under real-life conditions was not yet possible. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Self-Healing and Smart Cementitious Construction Materials)
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Open AccessArticle
Separation and Recovery of Refined Si from Al–Si Melt by Modified Czochralski Method
Materials 2020, 13(4), 996; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13040996 (registering DOI) - 23 Feb 2020
Abstract
Separation of refined silicon from Al–Si melt is still a puzzle for the solvent refining process, resulting in considerable waste of acid and silicon powder. A novel modified Czochralski method within the Al–Si alloy is proposed. After the modified Czochralski process, a large [...] Read more.
Separation of refined silicon from Al–Si melt is still a puzzle for the solvent refining process, resulting in considerable waste of acid and silicon powder. A novel modified Czochralski method within the Al–Si alloy is proposed. After the modified Czochralski process, a large amount of refined Si particles was enriched around the seed crystalline Si and separated from the Al–Si melt. As for the Al–28%Si with the pulling rate of 0.001 mm/min, the recovery of refined Si in the pulled-up alloy (PUA) sample is 21.5%, an improvement of 22% compared with the theoretical value, which is much larger 1.99 times than that in the remained alloy (RA) sample. The content of impurities in the PUA is much less than that in the RA sample, which indicates that the modified Czochralski method is effective to improve the removal fraction of impurities. The apparent segregation coefficients of boron (B) and phosphorus (P) in the PUA and RA samples were evaluated. These results demonstrate that the modified Czochralski method for the alloy system is an effective way to enrich and separate refined silicon from the Al–Si melt, which provide a potential and clean production of solar grade silicon (SoG-Si) for the future industrial application. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Processing and Mechanical Properties of Ti2AlC MAX Phase Reinforced AE44 Magnesium Composite
Materials 2020, 13(4), 995; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13040995 (registering DOI) - 23 Feb 2020
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Abstract
AE44 alloys and nanolaminated Ti2AlC particle-reinforced AE44 magnesium composites were synthesized by stir casting techniques and textured by hot extrusion methods. It was found that lamellar Al11RE3 precipitates spheroidized with the introduction of Ti2AlC into the [...] Read more.
AE44 alloys and nanolaminated Ti2AlC particle-reinforced AE44 magnesium composites were synthesized by stir casting techniques and textured by hot extrusion methods. It was found that lamellar Al11RE3 precipitates spheroidized with the introduction of Ti2AlC into the AE44 matrix. Both transmission electron microscope and planar disregistries calculations reveal a good match for interfacial lattice transition between Mg (0001) and the basal plane (0001) of Ti2AlC. This suggests that Ti2AlC is an efficient potent nucleating substrate for Mg, thus fertilizing the formation of strong interfacial bonds. After hot extrusion treatment, Ti2AlC particles were reoriented in the textured magnesium matrix, as confirmed by X-ray diffraction. This texture effect on the composite’s mechanical properties was carefully studied by tensile and compressive tests. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Low Cycle Fatigue Life Evaluation of Notched Specimens Considering Strain Gradient
Materials 2020, 13(4), 1001; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13041001 (registering DOI) - 23 Feb 2020
Abstract
An improved model based on the Chaboche constitutive model is proposed for cyclic plastic behavior of metal and low cycle fatigue of notched specimens under cyclic loading, considering the effect of strain gradient on nonlinear kinematic hardening and hysteresis behavior. The new model [...] Read more.
An improved model based on the Chaboche constitutive model is proposed for cyclic plastic behavior of metal and low cycle fatigue of notched specimens under cyclic loading, considering the effect of strain gradient on nonlinear kinematic hardening and hysteresis behavior. The new model is imported into the user material subroutine (UMAT) of the finite element computing software ABAQUS, and the strain gradient parameters required for model calculation are obtained by calling the user element subroutine (UEL). The effectiveness of the new model is tested by the torsion test of thin copper wire. Furthermore, the calibration method of strain gradient influence parameters of constitutive model is discussed by taking the notch specimen of Q235 steel as an example. The hysteresis behavior, strain distribution and fatigue failure of notched specimens under cyclic loading were simulated and analyzed with the new model. The results prove the rationality of the new model. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Thermoplastic Starch (TPS) Films Added with Mucilage from Opuntia Ficus Indica: Mechanical, Microstructural and Thermal Characterization
Materials 2020, 13(4), 1000; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13041000 (registering DOI) - 23 Feb 2020
Abstract
Opuntia cladodes are a typical vegetable waste, from which mucilage in gel form can be extracted. This work proposes blending it with a self-produced thermoplastic starch (TPS), originating from potato starch with a high content in glycerol (ca. 30%). Three methods were compared [...] Read more.
Opuntia cladodes are a typical vegetable waste, from which mucilage in gel form can be extracted. This work proposes blending it with a self-produced thermoplastic starch (TPS), originating from potato starch with a high content in glycerol (ca. 30%). Three methods were compared for extraction, bare maceration (MA), mechanical blending (ME) and mechanical blending following maceration (MPM) to produce films with an approximate thickness of 150 μm. For the comparison, tensile testing, differential scanning calorimetry and scanning electron microscopy were used. The MPM process proved the most effective, not only for extraction yielding, but also to obtain a larger deformation of the samples with respect to the one allowed by the pure TPS films. A considerable plasticization effect was observed. Despite this, the mechanical performance is still not completely satisfactory, and the expected effect of the calcium and magnesium salts contained in the mucilage to improve the rigidity of the TPS film was not really revealed. Prospected improvements would concern the fabrication process and the investigation of other possible loading modes and sample geometries. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
On Prediction of a Novel Chiral Material Y2H3O(OH): A Hydroxyhydride Holding Hydridic and Protonic Hydrogens
Materials 2020, 13(4), 994; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13040994 (registering DOI) - 22 Feb 2020
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Abstract
Examination of possible pathways of how oxygen atoms can be added to a yttrium oxyhydride system allowed us to predict new derivatives such as hydroxyhydrides possessing the composition M2H3O(OH) (M = Y, Sc, La, and Gd) in which three [...] Read more.
Examination of possible pathways of how oxygen atoms can be added to a yttrium oxyhydride system allowed us to predict new derivatives such as hydroxyhydrides possessing the composition M2H3O(OH) (M = Y, Sc, La, and Gd) in which three different anions (H-, O2−, and OH-) share the common chemical space. The crystal data of the solid hydroxyhydrides obtained on the base of DFT modeling correspond to the tetragonal structure that is characterized by the chiral space group P 4 1 . The analysis of bonding situation in M2H3O(OH) showed that the microscopic mechanism governing chemical transformations is caused by the displacements of protons which are induced by interaction with oxygen atoms incorporated into the crystal lattice of the bulk oxyhydride. The oxygen-mediated transformation causes a change in the charge state of some adjacent hydridic sites, thus forming protonic sites associated with hydroxyl groups. The predicted materials demonstrate a specific charge ordering that is associated with the chiral structural organization of the metal cations and the anions because their lattice positions form helical curves spreading along the tetragonal axis. Moreover, the effect of spatial twisting of the H- and H+ sites provides additional linking via strong dihydrogen bonds. The structure–property relationships have been investigated in terms of structural, mechanical, electron, and optical features. It was shown that good polar properties of the materials make them possible prototypes for the design of nonlinear optical systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chiral Materials)
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Open AccessArticle
High Temperature Sensing and Detection for Cementitious Materials Using Manganese Violet Pigment
Materials 2020, 13(4), 993; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13040993 (registering DOI) - 22 Feb 2020
Viewed by 156
Abstract
In recent years, advanced materials have attracted considerable interest in the field of temperature detection and sensing. This study examined the thermochromic properties of inorganic manganese violet (MV) with increasing temperature. According to the thermochromic test, the material was found to have reversible [...] Read more.
In recent years, advanced materials have attracted considerable interest in the field of temperature detection and sensing. This study examined the thermochromic properties of inorganic manganese violet (MV) with increasing temperature. According to the thermochromic test, the material was found to have reversible and irreversible color change properties. The MV pigment was then applied to cementitious material at ratios of 1%, 3%, and 5%. The mixed cement samples with MV pigment were heated in a furnace, and digital images were captured at each temperature interval to evaluate the changes in the color information on the surface of the specimen. The mixed samples exhibited an irreversible thermochromic change from dark violet to grayish green above 400 °C. At the critical temperature of 440 °C, the RGB values increased by approximately 22%–55%, 28%–68%, and 7%–25%, depending on the content of MV pigment. In Lab space, the L value increased by approximately 23%–60% at 440 °C. The a value completely changed from positive to negative, and the b value changed from negative to positive. All the values differed according to the content of MV pigment at room temperature but approached similar ranges at the critical temperature, irrespective of the amount of MV pigment. To assess the changes in their microstructure and composition, scanning electron microscopy and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy were performed on the samples exposed to temperatures ranging from room temperature to 450 °C. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Structural Comparison of Ordered and Non-Ordered Ion Doped Silicate Bioactive Glasses
Materials 2020, 13(4), 992; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13040992 (registering DOI) - 22 Feb 2020
Viewed by 136
Abstract
One of the key benefits of sol-gel-derived glasses is the presence of a mesoporous structure and the resulting increase in surface area. This enhancement in textural properties has a significant effect on the physicochemical properties of the materials. In this context the aim [...] Read more.
One of the key benefits of sol-gel-derived glasses is the presence of a mesoporous structure and the resulting increase in surface area. This enhancement in textural properties has a significant effect on the physicochemical properties of the materials. In this context the aim of this study was to investigate how sol-gel synthesis parameters can influence the textural and structural properties of mesoporous silicate glasses. We report the synthesis and characterization of metal ion doped sol-gel derived glasses with different dopants in the presence or absence of a surfactant (Pluronic P123) used as structure-directing templating agent. Characterization was done by several methods. Using a structure directing agent led to larger surface areas and highly ordered mesoporous structures. The chemical structure of the non-ordered glasses was modified to a larger extent than the one of the ordered glasses due to increased incorporation of dopant ions into the glass network. The results will help to further understand how the properties of sol-gel glasses can be controlled by incorporation of metal dopants, in conjunction with control over the textural properties, and will be important to optimize the properties of sol-gel glasses for specific applications, e.g., drug delivery, bone regeneration, wound healing, and antibacterial materials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Spotlight on Bioactive Glasses 2020)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Enhanced Stability of Li-RHC Embedded in an Adaptive TPX™ Polymer Scaffold
Materials 2020, 13(4), 991; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13040991 (registering DOI) - 22 Feb 2020
Viewed by 141
Abstract
In this work, the possibility of creating a polymer-based adaptive scaffold for improving the hydrogen storage properties of the system 2LiH+MgB2+7.5(3TiCl3·AlCl3) was studied. Because of its chemical stability toward the hydrogen storage material, poly(4-methyl-1-pentene) or in-short TPX [...] Read more.
In this work, the possibility of creating a polymer-based adaptive scaffold for improving the hydrogen storage properties of the system 2LiH+MgB2+7.5(3TiCl3·AlCl3) was studied. Because of its chemical stability toward the hydrogen storage material, poly(4-methyl-1-pentene) or in-short TPXTM was chosen as the candidate for the scaffolding structure. The composite system was obtained after ball milling of 2LiH+MgB2+7.5(3TiCl3·AlCl3) and a solution of TPXTM in cyclohexane. The investigations carried out over the span of ten hydrogenation/de-hydrogenation cycles indicate that the material containing TPXTM possesses a higher degree of hydrogen storage stability. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Relative Permeability Characteristics During Carbon Capture and Sequestration Process in Low-Permeable Reservoirs
Materials 2020, 13(4), 990; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13040990 (registering DOI) - 22 Feb 2020
Viewed by 114
Abstract
The injection of carbon dioxide (CO2) in low-permeable reservoirs can not only mitigate the greenhouse effect on the environment, but also enhance oil and gas recovery (EOR). For numerical simulation work of this process, relative permeability can help predict the capacity [...] Read more.
The injection of carbon dioxide (CO2) in low-permeable reservoirs can not only mitigate the greenhouse effect on the environment, but also enhance oil and gas recovery (EOR). For numerical simulation work of this process, relative permeability can help predict the capacity for the flow of CO2 throughout the life of the reservoir, and reflect the changes induced by the injected CO2. In this paper, the experimental methods and empirical correlations to determine relative permeability are reviewed and discussed. Specifically, for a low-permeable reservoir in China, a core displacement experiment is performed for both natural and artificial low-permeable cores to study the relative permeability characteristics. The results show that for immiscible CO2 flooding, when considering the threshold pressure and gas slippage, the relative permeability decreases to some extent, and the relative permeability of oil/water does not reduce as much as that of CO2. In miscible flooding, the curves have different shapes for cores with a different permeability. By comparing the relative permeability curves under immiscible and miscible CO2 flooding, it is found that the two-phase span of miscible flooding is wider, and the relative permeability at the gas endpoint becomes larger. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Porous Materials)
Open AccessArticle
Reuse of CD and DVD Wastes as Reinforcement in Gypsum Plaster Plates
Materials 2020, 13(4), 989; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13040989 (registering DOI) - 22 Feb 2020
Viewed by 113
Abstract
The continuous and rapid evolution in the field of computing, and in particular in the field of storage devices, has led to the obsolescence of optical discs in favour of mass storage devices. In that sense, a large number of CDs and DVDs [...] Read more.
The continuous and rapid evolution in the field of computing, and in particular in the field of storage devices, has led to the obsolescence of optical discs in favour of mass storage devices. In that sense, a large number of CDs and DVDs become obsolete each day in the world. In trying to create a recovery solution for those pieces, research in which polycarbonate (PC) waste from recycled discs have been used to develop new gypsum coating materials and products has been conducted. In a previous study, the physical and mechanical properties of new gypsum plasters, with PC waste as aggregate, were studied. Following that study, this article aims at creating new gypsum plaster false ceiling plates, using CD and DVD residues in different scenarios: as crushed aggregate in the gypsum matrix, as full reinforcement pieces of the plates and as a combination of both. The mechanical behaviour and the thermal conductivity of the new pieces have been analysed in this paper. The results showed an important improvement in the mechanical and thermal properties of the plates when the PC waste was used in many scenarios. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Research in the Design of New Sustainable Building Materials)
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Open AccessArticle
Recycled Expanded Polystyrene as Lightweight Aggregate for Environmentally Sustainable Cement Conglomerates
Materials 2020, 13(4), 988; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13040988 (registering DOI) - 22 Feb 2020
Viewed by 105
Abstract
In the present work the rheological, thermo-mechanical, microstructural, and wetting characteristics of cement mortars with recycled expanded polystyrene (EPS) were analyzed. The samples were prepared after partial/total replacement of the conventional sand aggregate with EPS having different grain size and size distribution. Lightness [...] Read more.
In the present work the rheological, thermo-mechanical, microstructural, and wetting characteristics of cement mortars with recycled expanded polystyrene (EPS) were analyzed. The samples were prepared after partial/total replacement of the conventional sand aggregate with EPS having different grain size and size distribution. Lightness and thermal insulation were relevant features for all the bare EPS composites, despite the mechanical strengths. Specifically, EPS based mortars were characterized by higher thermal insulation with respect to the sand reference due to the lower specific mass of the specimens mainly associated with the low density of the aggregates and also to the spaces at the EPS/cement paste interfaces. Interesting results in terms of low thermal conductivity and high mechanical resistances were obtained in the case of sand-EPS mixtures although characterized by only 50% in volume of the organic aggregate. Moreover, sand-based mortars showed hydrophilicity (low WCA) and high water penetration, whereas the presence of EPS in the cement composites led to a reduction of the absorption of water especially on the bulk of the composites. Specifically, mortars with EPS in the 2–4 mm and 4–6 mm bead size range showed the best results in term of hydrophobicity (high WCA) and no water penetration in the inner surface, due to low surface energy of the organic aggregate together with a good particle distribution. This was indicative of cohesion between the ligand and the polystyrene as observed in the microstructural detections. Such a property is likely to be correlated to the observed good workability of this type of mortar and to its low tendency to segregation compared to the other EPS containing specimens. These lightweight thermo-insulating composites can be considered environmentally sustainable materials because they are prepared with no pre-treated secondary raw materials and can be used for indoor applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Bioderived Composites from Wastes)
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Open AccessLetter
N-Doped Animal Keratin Waste Porous Biochar derived from Trapa Natans Husks
Materials 2020, 13(4), 987; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13040987 (registering DOI) - 22 Feb 2020
Viewed by 108
Abstract
Animal-keratin-wastes (AKWs), horns (HN), hair (HR), puffed waterfowl feathers (PF), hydrolyzed waterfowl feathers (HF), hydrolyzed fish meal (HM), crab meat (CM), feathers (FR), shrimp chaff (SC), fish scales (FS), and waste leather (WL) were used as modifiers to prepare animal-keratin-wastes biochars (AKWs-BC) derived [...] Read more.
Animal-keratin-wastes (AKWs), horns (HN), hair (HR), puffed waterfowl feathers (PF), hydrolyzed waterfowl feathers (HF), hydrolyzed fish meal (HM), crab meat (CM), feathers (FR), shrimp chaff (SC), fish scales (FS), and waste leather (WL) were used as modifiers to prepare animal-keratin-wastes biochars (AKWs-BC) derived from Trapa natans husks (TH). AKWs-BC have a well-developed microporous structure with a pore size mainly below 3 nm. Due to the doping of AKWs, the surface chemical properties of AKWs-BC (especially N functional groups) were improved. The utilization of APWs not only realizes the resource utilization of waste, but also can be used to prepare high-performance biochars. Full article
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Open AccessReview
The Indirect Bonding Technique in Orthodontics—A Narrative Literature Review
Materials 2020, 13(4), 986; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13040986 (registering DOI) - 22 Feb 2020
Viewed by 112
Abstract
The technique described as indirect bonding is an alternative to the conventional intraoral method of bracket placement. The appliance position is planned and fixed on a plaster model and then transferred into the oral cavity. Indirect bonding is a precise and time-saving technique [...] Read more.
The technique described as indirect bonding is an alternative to the conventional intraoral method of bracket placement. The appliance position is planned and fixed on a plaster model and then transferred into the oral cavity. Indirect bonding is a precise and time-saving technique of bracket placement, growing in popularity in recent years. It provides a combination of great precision with time efficiency. The fundaments of the indirect bonding technique are presented here. From the first clinical trial conducted almost fifty years ago, the method has evolved; the progress that has been made is described. Modern technologies involving computer scanning and manufacturing have led to great precision in bracket placement. Digital innovations such as rapid prototyping and stereolithography open up a new avenue of research and represent the next steps in indirect technique development. Individual 3D transfers are convenient in difficult clinical cases and can improve the effectiveness of the procedure, reduce the number of technical stages and reduce total chairside time. This paper also summarizes the advancement in adhesive materials, including an overview of advantages and disadvantages of different types of bonding resins and of the mean shear bond strength (SBS) achieved in the indirect procedure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Orthodontic Materials and Adhesive Interfaces)
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Open AccessReview
Mg-Alloys for Forging Applications—A Review
Materials 2020, 13(4), 985; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13040985 (registering DOI) - 22 Feb 2020
Viewed by 116
Abstract
Interest in magnesium alloys and their applications has risen in recent years. This trend is mainly evident in casting applications, but wrought alloys are also increasingly coming into focus. Among the most common forming processes, forging is a promising candidate for the industrial [...] Read more.
Interest in magnesium alloys and their applications has risen in recent years. This trend is mainly evident in casting applications, but wrought alloys are also increasingly coming into focus. Among the most common forming processes, forging is a promising candidate for the industrial production of magnesium wrought products. This review is intended to give a general introduction into the forging of magnesium alloys and to help in the practical realization of forged products. The basics of magnesium forging practice are described and possible problems as well as material properties are discussed. Several alloy systems containing aluminum, zinc or rare earth elements as well as biodegradable alloys are evaluated. Overall, the focus of the review is on the process control and processing parameters, from stock material to finished parts. A discussion of the mechanical properties is included. These data have been comprehensively reviewed and are listed for a variety of magnesium forging alloys. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alloy and Process Development of Light Metals)
Open AccessArticle
Microstructure Evolution and Mechanical Properties of Melt Spun Skutterudite-based Thermoelectric Materials
Materials 2020, 13(4), 984; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13040984 (registering DOI) - 22 Feb 2020
Viewed by 121
Abstract
The rapid solidification of melt spinning has been widely used in the fabrication of high-performance skutterudite thermoelectric materials. However, the microstructure formation mechanism of the spun ribbon and its effects on the mechanical properties are still unclear. Here, we report the microstructure evolution [...] Read more.
The rapid solidification of melt spinning has been widely used in the fabrication of high-performance skutterudite thermoelectric materials. However, the microstructure formation mechanism of the spun ribbon and its effects on the mechanical properties are still unclear. Here, we report the microstructure evolution and mechanical properties of La–Fe–Co–Sb skutterudite alloys fabricated by both long-term annealing and melt-spinning, followed by sintering approaches. It was found that the skutterudite phase nucleated directly from the under-cooled melt and grew into submicron dendrites during the melt-spinning process. Upon heating, the spun ribbons started to form nanoscale La-rich and La-poor skutterudite phases through spinodal decomposition at temperatures as low as 473 K. The coexistence of the micron-scale grain size, the submicron-scale dendrite segregation and the nanoscale spinodal decomposition leads to high thermoelectric performance and mechanical strength. The maximum three-point bending strength of the melt spinning sample was about 195 MPa, which was 70% higher than that of the annealed sample. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Thermoelectric Materials)
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Open AccessArticle
The Effects of Nanoclay on the Mechanical Properties, Carvacrol Release and Degradation of a PLA/PBAT Blend
Materials 2020, 13(4), 983; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13040983 (registering DOI) - 22 Feb 2020
Viewed by 116
Abstract
The formulation of polymeric films endowed with the abilities of controlled release of antimicrobials and biodegradability is the latest trend of food packaging. Biodegradable polymer (Bio-Flex®)-based nanocomposites containing carvacrol as an antimicrobial agent, and a nanoclay as a filler, were processed [...] Read more.
The formulation of polymeric films endowed with the abilities of controlled release of antimicrobials and biodegradability is the latest trend of food packaging. Biodegradable polymer (Bio-Flex®)-based nanocomposites containing carvacrol as an antimicrobial agent, and a nanoclay as a filler, were processed into blown films. The presence of such hybrid loading, while not affecting the overall filmability of the neat matrix, led to enhanced mechanical properties, with relative increments up to +70% and +200% in terms of elastic modulus and elongation at break. FTIR/ATR analysis and release tests pointed out that the presence of nanoclay allowed higher carvacrol loading efficiency, reasonably hindering its volatilization during processing. Furthermore, it also mitigated the burst delivery, thereby enabling a more controlled release of the antimicrobial agent. The results of mass loss tests indicated that all the formulations showed a rather fast degradation with mass losses ranging from 37.5% to 57.5% after 876 h. The presence of clay and carvacrol accelerated the mass loss rate of Bio-Flex®, especially when added simultaneously, thus indicating an increased biodegradability. Such ternary systems could be, therefore, particularly suitable as green materials for food packaging applications, and for antimicrobial wrapping applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mechanical and Rheological Behaviour of Polymer-Based Systems)
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Open AccessArticle
Friction and Wear Properties of Ni3Si Alloy with Ti Addition at High Temperatures
Materials 2020, 13(4), 982; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13040982 (registering DOI) - 22 Feb 2020
Viewed by 119
Abstract
The tribological properties of Ni3Si alloy were studied at high temperatures. The effect of the addition of Ti was also analyzed. The surface composition was analyzed by Raman spectroscopy. The results showed that the friction coefficient decreased with the increasing temperature, [...] Read more.
The tribological properties of Ni3Si alloy were studied at high temperatures. The effect of the addition of Ti was also analyzed. The surface composition was analyzed by Raman spectroscopy. The results showed that the friction coefficient decreased with the increasing temperature, and the wear rate changed slightly from 25 to 400 °C. However, the wear resistance of the alloys decreased sharply at 600 °C, and this was due to the decrease of the high-temperature strength and the severe oxidation of the alloys. Although the oxidation resistance of Ni3Si alloy decreased with Ti addition, the tribological property was improved by the addition of Ti. The Ni3Si alloy with 5% Ti addition had the best wear resistance at high temperatures as compared to pure Ni3Si alloy and with 10% Ti addition, and the wear rates of the alloys were in the order of magnitude of 10−5 mm3/Nm. With the increase of temperature, the wear mechanism of pure Ni3Si alloy transformed from abrasive wear to oxidation wear. As the Ti content increased, the wear mechanisms of the alloys changed from abrasive wear to fatigue wear at low temperature, and oxidation wear and fatigue wear at high temperature. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Evaluation of the Surface Characteristics of Dental CAD/CAM Materials after Different Surface Treatments
Materials 2020, 13(4), 981; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13040981 (registering DOI) - 22 Feb 2020
Viewed by 114
Abstract
Computer-aided design/computer-aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM) technology was developed to ensure the sufficient strength of tooth restorations, to improve esthetic restorations with a natural appearance and to make the techniques easier, faster and more accurate. In the view of the limited research on the surface [...] Read more.
Computer-aided design/computer-aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM) technology was developed to ensure the sufficient strength of tooth restorations, to improve esthetic restorations with a natural appearance and to make the techniques easier, faster and more accurate. In the view of the limited research on the surface treatments of the CAD/CAM materials and the need to evaluate the ideal surface characteristics of a material to achieve the best adhesion to tooth tissues, this study aimed to investigate the surface roughness and morphology of four different CAD/CAM materials using four different surface treatments. The CAD/CAM materials used in this study were three composites (Shofu Block HC, Lava Ultimate and Brilliant Crios) and a hybrid ceramic (Enamic). The surface of the specimens of each material received one of the following treatments: no surface treatment, sandblasting with 29 μm Al2O3 particles, 9% hydrofluoric acid etching and silane application, and the tribochemical method using CoJet System. Surface roughness was evaluated using optical profilometry, and surface morphology was observed by means of scanning electron microscopy. All surface treatments resulted in higher surface roughness values compared to the control group. Different treatments affected the surface properties of the materials, presumably due to discrepancies in their composition and structure. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Dental Biomaterials)
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Open AccessArticle
Experimental Study of an Enhanced Phase Change Material of Paraffin/Expanded Graphite/Nano-Metal Particles for a Personal Cooling System
Materials 2020, 13(4), 980; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13040980 (registering DOI) - 22 Feb 2020
Viewed by 117
Abstract
A composite phase change material (PCM) was prepared by incorporating paraffin (PA) with expanded graphite (EG) and nano-metal particles to improve the thermal conductivity and reduce the leakage performance of PA once it melts and, consequently, develop a more efficient PCM for a [...] Read more.
A composite phase change material (PCM) was prepared by incorporating paraffin (PA) with expanded graphite (EG) and nano-metal particles to improve the thermal conductivity and reduce the leakage performance of PA once it melts and, consequently, develop a more efficient PCM for a personal phase change cooling system. A series of experiments was carried out by a scanning electron microscope, a differential scanning calorimeter, a hot-disk thermal analyzer, and leakage tests on the composite PCM with various mass fractions of EG and metals (i.e., Cu, Al, Ni, and Fe). Through comprehensive consideration of the thermal conductivity, leakage, and homogeneity, a composite PCM with the optimal proportion (PA-EG11%-Cu1.9%) was screened out. Its thermal conductivity was significantly improved nine times, while the phase change enthalpy showed a minimal decrease. In addition, the relationships of the composite PCM with its temperature and density were systematically investigated. The experimental results are important for determining the proper package density of PCM for application into a personal cooling system because its weight is crucial for the system design and benefits the performance comparison of various PCMs prepared under various conditions. Lastly, the heat storage efficiency of the PA–EG–Cu material was investigated using heat storage tests. Cooling performance clearly improved compared to the PCM without nano-particles added. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Bond-Slip Behavior between Stainless Steel Rebars and Concrete
Materials 2020, 13(4), 979; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13040979 (registering DOI) - 21 Feb 2020
Viewed by 164
Abstract
Maintenance of reinforced concrete structures is a prevailing topic, especially with regard to lifeline structures and bridges, many of which are now designed with a service life beyond 100 years. Reinforcement made of ordinary (carbon) steel may corrode in aggressive environments. Stainless steel, [...] Read more.
Maintenance of reinforced concrete structures is a prevailing topic, especially with regard to lifeline structures and bridges, many of which are now designed with a service life beyond 100 years. Reinforcement made of ordinary (carbon) steel may corrode in aggressive environments. Stainless steel, being much more resistant to corrosion, is a valid solution to facilitate the protection of the works, increasing the service life and reducing the need for repair and maintenance. Despite the potential for stainless steel to reduce maintenance costs, studies investigating the influence of stainless steel on the behavior of reinforced concrete structures are limited. This study investigated the bond behavior of stainless steel rebars by means of experimental tests on reinforced concrete specimens with different concrete cover thicknesses, concrete strengths, and bar diameters. In each case, identical specimens with carbon steel reinforcement were tested for comparison. The failure modes of the specimens were examined, and a bond stress–slip relationship for stainless steel bars was established. This research shows that the bond behavior of stainless steel rebars is comparable to that of carbon steel bars. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Concrete and Construction Materials)
Open AccessArticle
First–principles Investigation of the Structural, Elastic, Electronic, and Optical Properties of α– and β–SrZrS3: Implications for Photovoltaic Applications
Materials 2020, 13(4), 978; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13040978 (registering DOI) - 21 Feb 2020
Viewed by 171
Abstract
Transition metal perovskite chalcogenides are attractive solar absorber materials for renewable energy applications. Herein, we present the first–principles screened hybrid density functional theory analyses of the structural, elastic, electronic and optical properties of the two structure modifications of strontium zirconium sulfide (needle–like α–SrZrS [...] Read more.
Transition metal perovskite chalcogenides are attractive solar absorber materials for renewable energy applications. Herein, we present the first–principles screened hybrid density functional theory analyses of the structural, elastic, electronic and optical properties of the two structure modifications of strontium zirconium sulfide (needle–like α–SrZrS3 and distorted β–SrZrS3 phases). Through the analysis of the predicted electronic structures, we show that both α– and β–SrZrS3 materials are direct band gaps absorbers, with calculated band gaps of 1.38, and 1.95 eV, respectively, in close agreement with estimates from diffuse–reflectance measurements. A strong light absorption in the visible region is predicted for the α– and β–SrZrS3, as reflected in their high optical absorbance (in the order of 105 cm−1), with the β–SrZrS3 phase showing stronger absorption than the α–SrZrS3 phase. We also report the first theoretical prediction of effective masses of photo-generated charge carriers in α– and β–SrZrS3 materials. Predicted small effective masses of holes and electrons at the valence, and conduction bands, respectively, point to high mobility (high conductivity) and low recombination rate of photo-generated charge carriers in α– and β–SrZrS3 materials, which are necessary for efficient photovoltaic conversion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Materials)
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Investigation of the Incompatibilities of Cement and Superplasticizers and Their Influence on the Rheological Behavior
Materials 2020, 13(4), 977; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13040977 (registering DOI) - 21 Feb 2020
Viewed by 148
Abstract
The rheological behavior of cement paste and the improvement of its flowability takes center stage in many research projects. An improved flowability can be achieved by the addition of superplasticizers (SP), such as polycarboxylate ethers (PCE). In order to be able to use [...] Read more.
The rheological behavior of cement paste and the improvement of its flowability takes center stage in many research projects. An improved flowability can be achieved by the addition of superplasticizers (SP), such as polycarboxylate ethers (PCE). In order to be able to use these PCEs effectively and in a variety of ways and to make them resistant to changes in the environment, it is crucial to understand the influence of SPs on cement hydration. For that reason, the topic of this paper was the incompatibility of a specific SP and an ordinary Portland cement (OPC). The incompatible behavior was analyzed using rheological tests, such as the spread flow test and penetration test, and the behavior was compared by means of an ultrasound technique and explained by the phase content measured by in-situ X-ray diffraction (XRD) the heat evolution measured by calorimetry, and scanning electron microscope (SEM) images. We showed that the addition of the SP in a high dosage led to a prevention of the passivation of the most reactive and aluminum-containing clinker phases, aluminate and brownmillerite. This induced the aluminate reaction to take place in the initial period and led to an immediate stiffening of the cement paste and, therefore, to the complete loss of workability. The results showed that in addition to the ettringite, which began to form directly after water addition, hemicarbonate precipitated. The fast stiffening of the paste could be prevented by delayed addition of the SP or by additional gypsum. This fast stiffening was not desirable for SPs, but in other fields, for example, 3D printing, this undesirable interaction could be used to improve the properties of printable mortar. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rheology of Reactive, Multiscale, Multiphase Construction Materials)
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Open AccessArticle
Experimental Study on the Flexural Creep Behaviors of Pultruded Unidirectional Carbon/Glass Fiber-Reinforced Hybrid Bars
Materials 2020, 13(4), 976; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13040976 (registering DOI) - 21 Feb 2020
Viewed by 149
Abstract
Unidirectional pultruded glass/carbon hybrid fiber-reinforced polymer (HFRP) bars with a diameter of 19 mm have recently been developed for various structural applications. In this study, the creep behavior of HFRP bars caused by bending was experimentally evaluated under different conditions. Our creep study [...] Read more.
Unidirectional pultruded glass/carbon hybrid fiber-reinforced polymer (HFRP) bars with a diameter of 19 mm have recently been developed for various structural applications. In this study, the creep behavior of HFRP bars caused by bending was experimentally evaluated under different conditions. Our creep study included freeze–thaw preconditioned and unconditioned HFRP bars. The rate of strain and deflection were monitored continuously for a duration of 5000 h. The bars were further tested for creep under the combined effects of mechanical loading and induced thermal cycles, while continuously monitoring the strain rate. Stress levels of 50% to 70% were selected for our creep study. The creep behavior of the bars was analyzed utilizing Findley’s power-law model. On the basis of the linear approximation of Findley’s power law, modulus reductions of approximately 21%, 19%, and 10.75% were calculated for combined freeze–thaw/creep-loaded, freeze–thaw pretreated, and unconditioned HFRP bars, respectively, over a service period of 50 y. The time-dependent deflection of HFRP bars was analyzed by coupling Findley’s power-law model with Euler Bernoulli’s beam theory. The creep deflection intensified by 26.6% and 11.1% for preconditioned and untreated bars, respectively, after a service period of 50 y. The microstructures of HFRP bars was also examined utilizing scanning electron microscopy. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Effect of Mo Concentration on the Microstructure Evolution and Properties of High Boron Cast Steel
Materials 2020, 13(4), 975; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13040975 (registering DOI) - 21 Feb 2020
Viewed by 113
Abstract
The microstructure evolution, mechanical properties, and tribological properties of high boron cast steel (HBCS) with various Mo concentrations are investigated. The results indicate that Mo addition can significantly modify the microstructure and enhance the comprehensive properties. With the increase of Mo concentration, borides [...] Read more.
The microstructure evolution, mechanical properties, and tribological properties of high boron cast steel (HBCS) with various Mo concentrations are investigated. The results indicate that Mo addition can significantly modify the microstructure and enhance the comprehensive properties. With the increase of Mo concentration, borides change from the original fish-bone Fe-rich and Cr-rich M2B to dendritic Fe-rich M2B, blocky and cluster-like Cr-rich M2B, and grainy Mo-rich M2B. The hardness of HBCS increases gradually with the increase of Mo content due to the solid solution strengthening and the refinement of M2B. It can be found that all the samples exhibit quasi-cleavage, but the impact toughness increases firstly and reaches the maximum value when the concentration of Mo is 2.10 wt.%, which is the result of the dispersive distribution of M2B rather than the original fish-bone M2B. Subsequently, the impact toughness begins to decrease as the concentration of Mo further increases because of the extensive formation of grainy Mo-rich M2B at the grain boundary. Meanwhile, the wear results reveal that the average friction coefficient and wear ratio decrease with the increase of Mo content, and the wear mechanism changes from abrasive wear and adhesive wear to abrasive wear when the concentration of Mo exceeds 2.10 wt.%. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Viability and Stimulation of Human Stem Cells from the Apical Papilla (hSCAPs) Induced by Silicate-Based Materials for Their Potential Use in Regenerative Endodontics: A Systematic Review
Materials 2020, 13(4), 974; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13040974 - 21 Feb 2020
Viewed by 124
Abstract
Blood clot formation in the apical third of the root canal system has been shown to promote further root development and reinforcement of dentinal walls by the deposition of mineralized tissue, resulting in an advancement from traditional apexification procedures to a regenerative endodontic [...] Read more.
Blood clot formation in the apical third of the root canal system has been shown to promote further root development and reinforcement of dentinal walls by the deposition of mineralized tissue, resulting in an advancement from traditional apexification procedures to a regenerative endodontic treatment (RET) for non-vital immature permanent teeth. Silicate-based hydraulic biomaterials, categorized as bioactive endodontic cements, emerged as bright candidates for their use in RET as coronal barriers, sealing the previously induced blood clot scaffold. Human stem cells from the apical papilla (hSCAPs) surviving the infection may induce or at least be partially responsible for the regeneration or repair shown in RET. The aim of this study is to present a qualitative synthesis of available literature consisting of in vitro assays which analyzed the viability and stimulation of hSCAPs induced by silicate-based hydraulic biomaterials. A systematic electronic search was carried out in Medline, Scopus, Embase, Web of Science, Cochrane and SciELO databases, followed by a study selection, data extraction, and quality assessment following the PRISMA protocol. In vitro studies assessing the viability, proliferation, and/or differentiation of hSCAPs as well as their mineralization potential and/or osteogenic, odontogenic, cementogenic and/or angiogenic marker expression in contact with commercially available silicate-based materials were included in the present review. The search identified 73 preliminary references, of which 10 resulted to be eligible for qualitative synthesis. The modal materials studied were ProRoot MTA and Biodentine. Both bioceramic materials showed significant positive results when compared to a control for hSCAP cell viability, migration, and proliferation assays; a significant up-regulation of hSCAP odontogenic/osteogenic marker (ALP, DSPP, BSP, Runx2, OCN, OSX), angiogenic growth factor (VEGFA, FIGF) and pro-inflammatory cytokine (IL-1a, IL-1b, IL-6, TNF-a) expression; and a significant increase in hSCAP mineralized nodule formation assessed by Alizarin Red staining. Commercially available silicate-based materials considered in the present review can potentially induce mineralization and odontogenic/osteogenic differentiation of hSCAPs, thus prompting their use in regenerative endodontic procedures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biocompatibility and Bioactivity of New Endodontic Materials)
Open AccessArticle
Improvement of White Spruce Wood Dimensional Stability by Organosilanes Sol-Gel Impregnation and Heat Treatment
Materials 2020, 13(4), 973; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13040973 - 21 Feb 2020
Viewed by 162
Abstract
Wood is a living material with a dimensional stability problem. White spruce wood is a Canadian non-permeable wood that is used for siding applications. To improve this property, white spruce wood was treated with organosilanes sol-gel treatment with different moisture content (oven dried, [...] Read more.
Wood is a living material with a dimensional stability problem. White spruce wood is a Canadian non-permeable wood that is used for siding applications. To improve this property, white spruce wood was treated with organosilanes sol-gel treatment with different moisture content (oven dried, air dried, and green wood). No major morphological changes were observed after treatment. However, organosilanes were impregnated into the cell wall without densifying the wood and without modifying the wood structure. Si-O-C chemical bonds between organosilanes and wood and Si-O-Si bonds were confirmed by FTIR and NMR, showing the condensation of organosilanes. The green wood (41% moisture content) showed only 26% dimensional stability due to the presence of too much water for organosilanes treatment. With a moisture content of 14%–18% (oven dried or air dried wood), the treatment was adapted to obtain the best improvement in dimensional stability of 35% and a 25% reduction of water vapor sorption. Finally, impregnation with organosilanes combined with the appropriate heat treatment improved the dimensional stability of white spruce wood by up to 35%. This treated Canadian wood could be an interesting option to validate for siding application in Canada. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of Silicon Content and Tempering Temperature on the Microstructural Evolution and Mechanical Properties of HT-9 Steels
Materials 2020, 13(4), 972; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13040972 - 21 Feb 2020
Viewed by 106
Abstract
Two kinds of experimental ferritic/martensitic steels (HT-9) with different Si contents were designed for the fourth-generation advanced nuclear reactor cladding material. The effects of Si content and tempering temperature on microstructural evolution and mechanical properties of these HT-9 steel were studied. The microstructure [...] Read more.
Two kinds of experimental ferritic/martensitic steels (HT-9) with different Si contents were designed for the fourth-generation advanced nuclear reactor cladding material. The effects of Si content and tempering temperature on microstructural evolution and mechanical properties of these HT-9 steel were studied. The microstructure of experimental steels after quenching and tempering were characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and transmission electron microscopy (TEM); the mechanical properties were investigated by means of tensile test, Charpy impact test, and hardness test. The microscopic mechanism of how the microstructural evolution influences mechanical properties was also discussed. Both XRD and TEM results showed that no residual austenite was detected after heat treatment. The results of mechanical tests showed that the yield strength, tensile strength, and plasticity of the experimental steels with 0.42% (% in mass) Si are higher than that with 0.19% Si, whereas hardness and toughness did not change much; when tempered at 760 °C, the strength and hardness of the experimental steels decreased slightly compared with those tempered at 710 °C, whereas plasticity and toughness increased. Further analysis showed that after quenching at 1050 °C for 1 h and tempering at 760 °C for 1.5 h, the comprehensive mechanical properties of the 0.42% Si experimental steel are the best compared with other experimental steels. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microstructure and Mechanical Properties of Steels)
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