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Materials, Volume 14, Issue 4 (February-2 2021) – 350 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Thermal evolutions of a CaO–WO3–B2O3 glass system were investigated for the development of luminescent glass ceramics by using Eu3+ dopant in the glass matrix. This study revealed that a single CaWO4 crystal phase in a borate glass matrix was possible via heat treatment at a temperature higher than glass transition temperature Tg for (100-x) (33CaO-67B2O3) – xCa3WO6 (x = 8 - 15mol%), which was found by XRD patterns and Raman peak of W=O double bondings of WO4 tetrahedra. Eu3+ ions were positioned in the glass phase as a stable site for them, which provided local environments in higher symmetry around Eu3+ ions. View this paper
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Article
Thermal Cycling of (RE)BCO-Based Superconducting Tapes Joined by Lead-Free Solders
Materials 2021, 14(4), 1052; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14041052 - 23 Feb 2021
Viewed by 811
Abstract
We prepared overlap soldered joints of high-temperature superconducting tapes, using various materials and preparation conditions. In order to select the joints with optimal performance, we correlated their electrical properties (derived from current–voltage curves) with the microstructure of the respective joint cross-section by scanning [...] Read more.
We prepared overlap soldered joints of high-temperature superconducting tapes, using various materials and preparation conditions. In order to select the joints with optimal performance, we correlated their electrical properties (derived from current–voltage curves) with the microstructure of the respective joint cross-section by scanning electron microscopy. With the first group of joints, we focused on the effect of used materials on joint resistivity and critical current, and we found that the dominant role was played by the quality of the internal interfaces of the superconducting tape. Initial joint resistivities ranged in the first group from 41 to 341 nΩ·cm2. The second group of joints underwent a series of thermal cyclings, upon which the initial resistivity range of 35–49 nΩ·cm2 broadened to 25–128 nΩ·cm2. After the total of 135 thermal cycles, three out of four joints showed no signs of significant degradation. Within the limit of 100 thermal cycles, reliable soldered joints can be thus prepared, with normalized resistivity not exceeding 1.4 and with normalized critical current above the value of 0.85. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Materials)
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Article
Ball versus Locator® Attachments: A Retrospective Study on Prosthetic Maintenance and Effect on Oral-Health-Related Quality of Life
Materials 2021, 14(4), 1051; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14041051 - 23 Feb 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 718
Abstract
Locator® and ball attachments are well-established systems to attach overdentures to two inter-foraminal implants. This study aimed to evaluate differences between the two systems regarding prosthetic maintenance and patients’ oral-health-related quality of life (OHRQoL). Dental records of patients with a mandibular implant-retained [...] Read more.
Locator® and ball attachments are well-established systems to attach overdentures to two inter-foraminal implants. This study aimed to evaluate differences between the two systems regarding prosthetic maintenance and patients’ oral-health-related quality of life (OHRQoL). Dental records of patients with a mandibular implant-retained overdenture were retrospectively analyzed. Prosthetic maintenance measures involving the denture suprastructure and attachment matrix and patrix were analyzed. Furthermore, the Oral Health Impact Profile-G14 (OHIP-G14) was used to evaluate OHRQoL. Results were analyzed by means of Kaplan–Meier analysis and Student’s t- and log-rank tests. The records of 122 patients were evaluated. Kaplan–Meier survival analysis revealed a significant difference between ball attachments (Group B; n patients = 47) and Locator® attachments (Group L; n patients = 75) regarding the occurrence of denture fractures (p < 0.001) and events affecting the matrix (p = 0.028) and patrix (p = 0.030). Group L had a significantly lower total OHIP-G14 score than Group B (p = 0.002). The most common maintenance events were matrix-related and denture relining for both attachment systems. Group B required more maintenance measures than Group L. Moreover, patients in Group L had better OHRQoL than patients in Group B. Full article
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Article
Comparison of Osmotic Resistance, Shape and Transmembrane Potential of Erythrocytes Collected from Healthy and Fed with High Fat-Carbohydrates Diet (HF-CD) Pigs—Protective Effect of Cistus incanus L. Extracts
Materials 2021, 14(4), 1050; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14041050 - 23 Feb 2021
Viewed by 669
Abstract
Long-term high fat-carbohydrates diet (HF-CD) contributes to the formation of irreversible changes in the organism that lead to the emergence of civilization diseases. In this study, the impact of three-month high-fat diet on the physical properties of erythrocytes (RBCs) was studied. Furthermore, the [...] Read more.
Long-term high fat-carbohydrates diet (HF-CD) contributes to the formation of irreversible changes in the organism that lead to the emergence of civilization diseases. In this study, the impact of three-month high-fat diet on the physical properties of erythrocytes (RBCs) was studied. Furthermore, the biological activity of Cistus incanus L. extracts, plant known with high pro-health potential, in relation to normal and HF-CD RBCs, was determined. Obtained results have shown that, applied HF-CD modified shape, membrane potential and osmotic resistance of erythrocytes causing changes in membrane lipid composition and the distribution of lipids. The impact of HF-CD on physical properties of RBCs along with atherosclerotic lesions of the artery was visible, despite the lack of statistically significant changes in blood morphology and plasma lipid profile. This suggests that erythrocytes may be good markers of obesity-related diseases. The studies of biological activity of Cistus incanus L. extracts have demonstrated that they may ameliorate the effect of HF-CD on erythrocytes through the membrane-modifying and antioxidant activity. Full article
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Article
Porous Zirconia/Magnesia Ceramics Support Osteogenic Potential In Vitro
Materials 2021, 14(4), 1049; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14041049 - 23 Feb 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 900
Abstract
Porous zirconia (ZrO2), magnesia (MgO) and zirconia/magnesia (ZrO2/MgO) ceramics were synthesised by sintering and designated as ZrO2(100), ZrO2(75)MgO(25), ZrO2(50)MgO(50), ZrO2(25)MgO(75), MgO(100) based on their composition. The ceramic samples were characterised by [...] Read more.
Porous zirconia (ZrO2), magnesia (MgO) and zirconia/magnesia (ZrO2/MgO) ceramics were synthesised by sintering and designated as ZrO2(100), ZrO2(75)MgO(25), ZrO2(50)MgO(50), ZrO2(25)MgO(75), MgO(100) based on their composition. The ceramic samples were characterised by means of scanning electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy and atomic absorption spectrometry to explore the incorporation of Mg atoms into the zirconia lattice. The resulting porosity of the samples was calculated based on the composition and density. The final porosity of the cylinder-shaped ceramic samples ranged between 30 and 37%. The mechanical analysis exhibited that the Young modulus increased and the microstress decreased with increasing magnesia amount, with values ranging from 175 GPa for zirconia to 301 GPa for magnesia. The adhesion, viability, proliferation and osteogenic activity of MC3T3-E1 pre-osteoblastic cells cultured on the zirconia/magnesia ceramics was found to increase, with the magnesia-containing ceramics exhibiting higher values of calcium mineralisation. The results from the mechanical analysis, the ALP activity, the calcium and collagen production demonstrate that the zirconia/magnesia ceramics possess robust osteoinductive capacity, therefore holding great potential for bone tissue engineering. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functional Biomaterials Scaffolds and Biocompatibility)
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Article
Characterization of Phosphate Coatings: Influence of the Acid Pickling Conditions
Materials 2021, 14(4), 1048; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14041048 - 23 Feb 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 705
Abstract
This research emphasizes the importance of the acid cleaning prior to the phosphate development on high-strength steel rods. It compares the phosphate properties achieved after different acid-pickling conditions. The most common inorganic acids were considered in this study. Additionally, taking into account the [...] Read more.
This research emphasizes the importance of the acid cleaning prior to the phosphate development on high-strength steel rods. It compares the phosphate properties achieved after different acid-pickling conditions. The most common inorganic acids were considered in this study. Additionally, taking into account the environmental and safety concerns of these acids, the assessment of a less harmful organic acid is presented. This study revealed significant differences in the coating morphology and chemical composition whereas no great changes were found in terms of the coating weight or porosity. Thus, hydrochloric and sulfuric acid promote the growth of a Fe-enriched phosphate layer with a less conductive character that is not developed after the pickling with phosphoric acid. The phosphate developed after the citric acid pickling is comparable to that developed after the inorganic acids although with a porosity slightly higher. The temperature of the citric acid bath is an important parameter that affects to the phosphate appearance, composition, and porosity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Surface and Interface Engineering)
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Article
Development of Multifunctional Materials Based on Poly(ether ether ketone) with Improved Biological Performances for Dental Applications
Materials 2021, 14(4), 1047; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14041047 - 23 Feb 2021
Viewed by 919
Abstract
The main target for the future of materials in dentistry aims to develop dental implants that will have optimal integration with the surrounding tissues, while preventing or avoiding bacterial infections. In this project, poly(ether ether ketone) (PEEK), known for its suitable biocompa-tibility and [...] Read more.
The main target for the future of materials in dentistry aims to develop dental implants that will have optimal integration with the surrounding tissues, while preventing or avoiding bacterial infections. In this project, poly(ether ether ketone) (PEEK), known for its suitable biocompa-tibility and mechanical properties for dental applications, was loaded with 1, 3, and 5 wt.% ZnO nanoparticles to provide antibacterial properties and improve interaction with cells. Sample cha-racterization by X-ray diffraction (XRD), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) as well as mechanical properties showed the presence of the nanoparticles and their effect in PEEK matrices, preserving their relevant properties for dental applications. Al-though, the incorporation of ZnO nanoparticles did not improve the mechanical properties and a slight decrease in the thermal stability of the materials was observed. Hemocompatibility and osteoblasts-like cell viability tests showed improved biological performances when ZnO was present, demonstrating high potential for dental implant applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Translational Research on Dental Materials)
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Article
Buckling Resistance of Two-Segment Stepped Steel Columns
Materials 2021, 14(4), 1046; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14041046 - 23 Feb 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 629
Abstract
Columns of stepwise variable bending stiffness are encountered in the engineering practice quite often. Two different load cases can be distinguished: firstly, the axial force acting only at the end of the column; secondly, besides the force acting at the end, the additional [...] Read more.
Columns of stepwise variable bending stiffness are encountered in the engineering practice quite often. Two different load cases can be distinguished: firstly, the axial force acting only at the end of the column; secondly, besides the force acting at the end, the additional force acting at the place where the section changes suddenly. Expressions for critical forces for these two cases of loading are required to correctly design such columns. Analytical formulae defining critical forces for pin-ended columns are derived and presented in the paper. Derivations were based on the Euler-Bernoulli theory of beams. The energetic criterion of Timoshenko was adopted as the buckling criterion. Both formulae were derived in the form of Rayleigh quotients using the Mathematica® system. The correctness of formulae was verified based on one the of transcendental equations derived from differential equations of stability and presented by Volmir. Comparisons to results obtained by other authors were presented, as well. The derived formulae on the critical forces can be directly used by designers in procedures leading to the column’s buckling resistance assessment. The relatively simple procedure leading to buckling resistance assessment of steel stepped columns and based on general Ayrton-Perry approach was proposed in this work. The series of experimental tests made on steel, stepped columns and numerical simulations have confirmed the correctness of the presented approach. Full article
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Article
The Role of Solvents in Lithography-Based Ceramic Manufacturing of Lithium Disilicate
Materials 2021, 14(4), 1045; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14041045 - 23 Feb 2021
Viewed by 737
Abstract
Digital dentistry is increasingly replacing conventional methods of manually producing dental restorations. With regards to computer-aided manufacturing (CAM), milling is state of the art. Additive manufacturing (AM), as a complementary approach, has also found its way into dental practices and laboratories. Vat photo-polymerization [...] Read more.
Digital dentistry is increasingly replacing conventional methods of manually producing dental restorations. With regards to computer-aided manufacturing (CAM), milling is state of the art. Additive manufacturing (AM), as a complementary approach, has also found its way into dental practices and laboratories. Vat photo-polymerization is gaining increasing attention, because it enables the production of full ceramic restorations with high precision. One of the two predominantly used ceramic materials for these applications is lithium disilicate, Li2Si2O5. This glass ceramic exhibits a substantial fracture toughness, although possesses much lower bending strength, than the other predominantly used ceramic material, zirconia. Additionally, it shows a much more natural optical appearance, due to its inherent translucency, and therefore is considered for anterior tooth restorations. In this work, an optimized formulation for photo-reactive lithium disilicate suspensions, to be processed by vat photo-polymerization, is presented. Following the fundamental theoretical considerations regarding this processing technique, a variety of solvents was used to adjust the main properties of the suspension. It is shown that this solvent approach is a useful tool to effectively optimize a suspension with regards to refractive index, rheology, and debinding behavior. Additionally, by examining the effect of the absorber, the exposure time could be reduced by a factor of ten. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 3D-Printed Dental Materials)
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Article
Poly(Ethylene Furanoate) along Its Life-Cycle from a Polycondensation Approach to High-Performance Yarn and Its Recyclate
Materials 2021, 14(4), 1044; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14041044 - 23 Feb 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1122
Abstract
We report on the pilot scale synthesis and melt spinning of poly(ethylene furanoate) (PEF), a promising bio-based fiber polymer that can heave mechanical properties in the range of commercial poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET) fibers. Catalyst optimization and solid state polycondensation (SSP) allowed for intrinsic [...] Read more.
We report on the pilot scale synthesis and melt spinning of poly(ethylene furanoate) (PEF), a promising bio-based fiber polymer that can heave mechanical properties in the range of commercial poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET) fibers. Catalyst optimization and solid state polycondensation (SSP) allowed for intrinsic viscosities of PEF of up to 0.85 dL·g−1. Melt-spun multifilament yarns reached a tensile strength of up to 65 cN·tex−1 with an elongation of 6% and a modulus of 1370 cN·tex−1. The crystallization behavior of PEF was investigated by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and XRD after each process step, i.e., after polymerization, SSP, melt spinning, drawing, and recycling. After SSP, the previously amorphous polymer showed a crystallinity of 47%, which was in accordance with literature. The corresponding XRD diffractograms showed signals attributable to α-PEF. Additional, clearly assignable signals at 2θ > 30° are discussed. A completely amorphous structure was observed by XRD for as-spun yarns, while a crystalline phase was detected on drawn yarns; however, it was less pronounced than for the granules and independent of the winding speed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Synthetic Fibers for Textile Applications)
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Article
Green Nanocoatings Based on the Deposition of Zirconium Oxide: The Role of the Substrate
Materials 2021, 14(4), 1043; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14041043 - 23 Feb 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 851
Abstract
Herein, the influence of the substrate in the formation of zirconium oxide monolayer, from an aqueous hexafluorozirconic acid solution, by chemical conversion and by electro-assisted deposition, has been approached. The nanoscale dimensions of the ZrO2 film is affected by the substrate nature [...] Read more.
Herein, the influence of the substrate in the formation of zirconium oxide monolayer, from an aqueous hexafluorozirconic acid solution, by chemical conversion and by electro-assisted deposition, has been approached. The nanoscale dimensions of the ZrO2 film is affected by the substrate nature and roughness. This study evidenced that the mechanism of Zr-EAD is dependent on the potential applied and on the substrate composition, whereas conversion coating is uniquely dependent on the adsorption reaction time. The zirconium oxide based nanofilms were more homogenous in AA2024 substrates if compared to pure Al grade (AA1100). It was justified by the high content of Cu alloying element present in the grain boundaries of the latter. Such intermetallic active sites favor the obtaining of ZrO2 films, as demonstrated by XPS and AFM results. From a mechanistic point of view, the electrochemical reactions take place simultaneously with the conventional chemical conversion process driven by ions diffusion. Such findings will bring new perspectives for the generation of controlled oxide coatings in modified electrodes used, as for example, in the construction of battery cells; in automotive and in aerospace industries, to replace micrometric layers of zinc phosphate by light-weight zirconium oxide nanometric ones. This study is particularly addressed for the reduction of industrial waste by applying green bath solutions without the need of auxiliary compounds and using lightweight ceramic materials. Full article
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Editorial
Special Issue: Advanced Materials in Drug Release and Drug Delivery Systems
Materials 2021, 14(4), 1042; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14041042 - 23 Feb 2021
Viewed by 658
Abstract
Development of new drug molecules is costly and requires longitudinal, wide-ranging studies; therefore, designing advanced pharmaceutical formulations for existing and well-known drugs seems to be an attractive device for the pharmaceutical industry [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Materials in Drug Release and Drug Delivery Systems)
Article
The Mechanical Investigation of Filament-Wound CFRP Structures Subjected to Different Cooling Rates in Terms of Compressive Loading and Residual Stresses—An Experimental Approach
Materials 2021, 14(4), 1041; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14041041 - 22 Feb 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 675
Abstract
Although cooling at ambient temperature is widely used and is said to be safe and convenient, faster cooling may have an influence not only on the time of the manufacturing process but also on the mechanical response, especially the residual stress. The study [...] Read more.
Although cooling at ambient temperature is widely used and is said to be safe and convenient, faster cooling may have an influence not only on the time of the manufacturing process but also on the mechanical response, especially the residual stress. The study aimed to investigate the influence of the cooling rate after curing on the mechanical response of filament-wound thick-walled carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) rings. Three cooling rates were taking into consideration: cooling with the oven, at room temperature, and in the water at 20 °C. The splitting method was used to examine the residual strains. In the radial compression test, the mechanical response was investigated between the rings with different cooling regimes. The FEM analysis of the compression test in elastic range was also performed. Both the splitting method and the radial compression test showed no significant difference in the mechanical response of the CFRP rings. The presented results showed that the fast-cooling rate slightly decreases the mechanical performance of the filament-wound rings. Full article
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Article
Theoretical Study on Structural Stability and Elastic Properties of Fe25Cr25Ni25TixAl(25-x) Multi-Principal Element Alloys
Materials 2021, 14(4), 1040; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14041040 - 22 Feb 2021
Viewed by 893
Abstract
Material genetic engineering studies the relationship between the composition, microstructure, and properties of materials. By adjusting the atomic composition, structure, or configuration of the material and combining different processes, new materials with target properties obtained. In this paper, the design, and properties of [...] Read more.
Material genetic engineering studies the relationship between the composition, microstructure, and properties of materials. By adjusting the atomic composition, structure, or configuration of the material and combining different processes, new materials with target properties obtained. In this paper, the design, and properties of the ordered phases in Fe25Cr25Ni25TixAl(25-x) (subscript represents the atomic percentage) multi-principal element alloys are studied. By adjusting the percentages of Ti and Al atoms, the effect of the atomic percentage content on ordered phases’ structural stability in multi-principal element alloys are studied. Thermodynamic analysis predicted the composition phase and percentage of the alloy. Formation heat, binding energy, and elastic constants confirmed the structural stability and provide a theoretical basis for designing alloys with target properties. The results showed that the disordered BCC A2 phase and the ordered BCC B2 phase are the ductile phases, while the Laves phase is brittle. The research method in this paper is used to design multi-principal element alloys or other various complex materials that meet the target performance. Full article
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Article
Microstructures and Mechanical Properties of Hybrid, Additively Manufactured Ti6Al4V after Thermomechanical Processing
Materials 2021, 14(4), 1039; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14041039 - 22 Feb 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 875
Abstract
In the present study, we propose a hybrid manufacturing route to produce high-quality Ti6Al4V parts, combining additive powder laser directed energy deposition (L-DED) for manufacturing of preforms, with subsequent hot forging as a thermomechanical processing (TMP) step. After L-DED, the material was hot [...] Read more.
In the present study, we propose a hybrid manufacturing route to produce high-quality Ti6Al4V parts, combining additive powder laser directed energy deposition (L-DED) for manufacturing of preforms, with subsequent hot forging as a thermomechanical processing (TMP) step. After L-DED, the material was hot formed at two different temperatures (930 °C and 1070 °C) and subsequently heat-treated for stress relief annealing. Tensile tests were performed on small sub-samples, taking into account different sample orientations with respect to the L-DED build direction and resulting in very good tensile strengths and ductility properties, similar or superior to the forged material. The resulting microstructure consists of very fine grained, partially globularized alpha grains, with a mean diameter ~0.8–2.3 µm, within a beta phase matrix, constituting between 2 and 9% of the sample. After forging in the sub-beta transus temperature range, the typical L-DED microstructure was no longer discernible and the anisotropy in tensile properties, common in additive manufacturing (AM), was significantly reduced. However, forging in the super-beta transus temperature range resulted in remaining anisotropies in the mechanical properties as well as an inferior tensile strength and ductility of the material. It was shown, that by combining L-DED with thermomechanical processing in the sub-beta transus temperature range of Ti6Al4V, a suitable microstructure and desirable mechanical properties for many applications can be obtained, with the advantage of reducing the material waste. Full article
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Article
Influence of Conditioning Temperature on Defects in the Double Al2O3/ZnO Layer Deposited by the ALD Method
Materials 2021, 14(4), 1038; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14041038 - 22 Feb 2021
Viewed by 742
Abstract
In this work, we present the results of defects analysis concerning ZnO and Al2O3 layers deposited by atomic layer deposition (ALD) technique. The analysis was performed by the X-band electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy, transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and X-ray [...] Read more.
In this work, we present the results of defects analysis concerning ZnO and Al2O3 layers deposited by atomic layer deposition (ALD) technique. The analysis was performed by the X-band electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy, transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) methods. The layers were either tested as-deposited or after 30 min heating at 300 °C and 450 °C in Ar atmosphere. TEM and XPS investigations revealed amorphous nature and non-stoichiometry of aluminum oxide even after additional high-temperature treatment. EPR confirmed high number of defect states in Al2O3. For ZnO, we found the as-deposited layer shows ultrafine grains that start to grow when high temperature is applied and that their crystallinity is also improved, resulting in good agreement with XPS results which indicated lower number of defects on the layer surface. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Thin Films and Interfaces)
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Article
Highly Sensitive Humidity Sensors Based on Polyethylene Oxide/CuO/Multi Walled Carbon Nanotubes Composite Nanofibers
Materials 2021, 14(4), 1037; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14041037 - 22 Feb 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 844
Abstract
Polymer composites are favorite materials for sensing applications due to their low cost and easy fabrication. In the current study, composite nanofibers consisting of polyethylene oxide (PEO), oxidized multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT) and copper oxide (CuO) nanoparticles with 1% and 3% of fillers [...] Read more.
Polymer composites are favorite materials for sensing applications due to their low cost and easy fabrication. In the current study, composite nanofibers consisting of polyethylene oxide (PEO), oxidized multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT) and copper oxide (CuO) nanoparticles with 1% and 3% of fillers (i.e., PEO–CuO–MWCNT: 1%, and PEO–CuO–MWCNT: 3%) were successfully developed through electrospinning for humidity sensing applications. The composite nanofibers were characterized by FTIR, XRD, SEM and EDX analysis. Firstly, they were loaded on an interdigitated electrode (IDE), and then the humidity sensing efficiency was investigated through a digital LCR meter (E4980) at different frequencies (100 Hz–1 MHz), as well as the percentage of relative humidity (RH). The results indicated that the composite nanofibers containing 1% and 3% MWCNT, combined with CuO in PEO polymer matrix, showed potent resistive and capacitive response along with high sensitivity to humidity at room temperature in an RH range of 30–90%. More specifically, the PEO–CuO–MWCNT: 1% nanocomposite displayed a resistive rapid response time within 3 s and a long recovery time of 22 s, while the PEO–CuO–MWCNT: 3% one exhibited 20 s and 11 s between the same RH range, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Nanomaterials for Electronic and Photonic Applications)
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Article
The Effects Induced by Microwave Field upon Tungsten Wires of Different Diameters
Materials 2021, 14(4), 1036; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14041036 - 22 Feb 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 836
Abstract
The effects induced by microwave field upon tungsten wires of different diameters were investigated. Tungsten wires with 0.5 and 1.0 mm diameters were placed in the focal point of a single-mode cylindrical cavity linked to a microwave generator and exposed to microwave field [...] Read more.
The effects induced by microwave field upon tungsten wires of different diameters were investigated. Tungsten wires with 0.5 and 1.0 mm diameters were placed in the focal point of a single-mode cylindrical cavity linked to a microwave generator and exposed to microwave field in ambient air. The experimental results showed that the 0.5 mm diameter wire was completely vaporized due to microwaves strong absorption, while the wire with 1 mm diameter was not ignited. During the interaction between microwaves and tungsten wire with 0.5 mm diameter, a plasma with a high electronic excitation temperature was obtained. The theoretical analysis of the experiment showed that the voltage generated by metallic wires in interaction with microwaves depended on their electric resistance in AC and the power of the microwave field. The physical parameters and dimension of the metallic wire play a crucial role in the ignition process of the plasma by the microwave field. This new and simple method to generate a high-temperature plasma from a metallic wire could have many applications, especially in metal oxides synthesis, metal coatings, or thin film deposition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Plasmas)
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Article
Temperature-Dependent Photoluminescence of ZnO Thin Films Grown on Off-Axis SiC Substrates by APMOCVD
Materials 2021, 14(4), 1035; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14041035 - 22 Feb 2021
Viewed by 633
Abstract
The growth of high-quality ZnO layers with optical properties congruent to those of bulk ZnO is still a great challenge. Here, for the first time, we systematically study the morphology and optical properties of ZnO layers grown on SiC substrates with off-cut angles [...] Read more.
The growth of high-quality ZnO layers with optical properties congruent to those of bulk ZnO is still a great challenge. Here, for the first time, we systematically study the morphology and optical properties of ZnO layers grown on SiC substrates with off-cut angles ranging from 0° to 8° by using the atmospheric pressure meta–organic chemical vapor deposition (APMOCVD) technique. Morphology analysis revealed that the formation of the ZnO films on vicinal surfaces with small off-axis angles (1.4°–3.5°) follows the mixed growth mode: from one side, ZnO nucleation still occurs on wide (0001) terraces, but from another side, step-flow growth becomes more apparent with the off-cut angle increasing. We show for the first time that the off-cut angle of 8° provides conditions for step-flow growth of ZnO, resulting in highly improved growth morphology, respectively structural quality. Temperature-dependent photoluminescence (PL) measurements showed a strong dependence of the excitonic emission on the off-cut angle. The dependences of peak parameters for bound exciton and free exciton emissions on temperature were analyzed. The present results provide a correlation between the structural and optical properties of ZnO on vicinal surfaces and can be utilized for controllable ZnO heteroepitaxy on SiC toward device-quality ZnO epitaxial layers with potential applications in nano-optoelectronics. Full article
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Article
FeSiCr Alloy Powder to Carbonyl Iron Powder Mixing Ratio Effects on the Magnetic Properties of the Iron-Based Alloy Powder Cores Prepared Using Screen Printing
Materials 2021, 14(4), 1034; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14041034 - 22 Feb 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 731
Abstract
A screen printing process was used to substitute dry molding to solve the uneven compaction problem in the coil center column during molding in this study. FeSiCr alloy powders (FSC) with a large particle size were mixed with fine spherical carbonyl iron powder [...] Read more.
A screen printing process was used to substitute dry molding to solve the uneven compaction problem in the coil center column during molding in this study. FeSiCr alloy powders (FSC) with a large particle size were mixed with fine spherical carbonyl iron powder to increase the compaction density. FSC to carbonyl iron powder (CIP) mixing ratio effects on magnetic paste rheological behaviors and magnetic properties of the molding coil prepared using screen printing were investigated. A magnetic paste with the lowest viscosity can be obtained using 3C7F (30% CIP + 70% FSC) due to the small-sized CIP adsorbed onto the FSC surface. This process reduces the interlocked network formation resulting from the CIP. The toroidal core with 3C7F exhibited the highest relative density and highest inductance. The coils with pure CIP and higher CIP content exhibited the better DC superposition characteristic. The toroidal core loss increased rapidly as the FSC content was increased. A proper trade-off between the inductance, DC-bias superposition characteristic, and magnetic core loss can be reached by choosing a suitable powder mixing ratio. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Electronic Materials)
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Article
Sorption of Sulfamethoxazole on Inorganic Acid Solution-Etched Biochar Derived from Alfalfa
Materials 2021, 14(4), 1033; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14041033 - 22 Feb 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 744
Abstract
The properties of alfalfa-derived biochars etched with phosphoric (PBC) or hydrochloric acid (ClBC) compared with raw materials (BC) were examine in this paper. SEM, FT-IR, XRD, BET and elemental analysis were performed to characterize the micromorphology and chemical structure comprehensibly. The results showed [...] Read more.
The properties of alfalfa-derived biochars etched with phosphoric (PBC) or hydrochloric acid (ClBC) compared with raw materials (BC) were examine in this paper. SEM, FT-IR, XRD, BET and elemental analysis were performed to characterize the micromorphology and chemical structure comprehensibly. The results showed that the porous structure was enhanced, and surface area was increased via etching with inorganic acids. Batch adsorption experiments were performed for sulfamethoxazole (SMX) to biochars. The experimental data showed that modified biochars exhibited higher adsorption capacity for SMX, i.e., the adsorption quantity of ClBC and PBC had risen by 38% and 46%. The impact on pH values suggested that the physisorption, including pore-filling and electrostatic interaction, might be applied to original biochar. In addition, chemisorption also played a role, including hydrogen bonding, π-π electron donor acceptor interaction (π-π EDA), and so on. Furthermore, both pH and coexisting ions also had a certain effect on sorption. Enhancement of the electrostatic attraction between biochar and SMX might also account for the enhanced capacity of SMX at pH < 7, and coexisting ions could decrease the amount of SMX adsorbed onto biochars, mainly because of competition for adsorption sites. Full article
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Article
Role of Chemistry and Crystal Structure on the Electronic Defect States in Cs-Based Halide Perovskites
Materials 2021, 14(4), 1032; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14041032 - 22 Feb 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 807
Abstract
The electronic structure of a series perovskites ABX3 (A = Cs; B = Ca, Sr, and Ba; X = F, Cl, Br, and I) in the presence and absence of antisite defect XB were systematically investigated based on density-functional-theory calculations. Both [...] Read more.
The electronic structure of a series perovskites ABX3 (A = Cs; B = Ca, Sr, and Ba; X = F, Cl, Br, and I) in the presence and absence of antisite defect XB were systematically investigated based on density-functional-theory calculations. Both cubic and orthorhombic perovskites were considered. It was observed that for certain perovskite compositions and crystal structure, presence of antisite point defect leads to the formation of electronic defect state(s) within the band gap. We showed that both the type of electronic defect states and their individual energy level location within the bandgap can be predicted based on easily available intrinsic properties of the constituent elements, such as the bond-dissociation energy of the B–X and X–X bond, the X–X covalent bond length, and the atomic size of halide (X) as well as structural characteristic such as B–X–B bond angle. Overall, this work provides a science-based generic principle to design the electronic states within the band structure in Cs-based perovskites in presence of point defects such as antisite defect. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Photovoltaic Materials)
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Communication
Flash Sintering of YSZ/Al2O3 Composites: Effect of Processing and Testing Conditions
Materials 2021, 14(4), 1031; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14041031 - 22 Feb 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 654
Abstract
The flash sintering behavior of yttria-stabilized zirconia/alumina composites was investigated to understand the role of the fundamental processing and testing parameters (electric field intensity, electric current limit, thermal insulation, homogeneity and dispersion of the two phases) on densification. A strong relation between the [...] Read more.
The flash sintering behavior of yttria-stabilized zirconia/alumina composites was investigated to understand the role of the fundamental processing and testing parameters (electric field intensity, electric current limit, thermal insulation, homogeneity and dispersion of the two phases) on densification. A strong relation between the composite compositions and the electric parameters needed to promote flash sintering is revealed. Interestingly, the composite preparation method, which affects the two-phases dispersion homogeneity, was shown to have a relevant effect on the flash onset conditions, where the more homogeneous material is more difficult to be flashed. Moreover, the use of a simple thermal insulation system around the green body allowed to improve the final density of the composites under constant electric current. Full article
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Review
Development of TiAl–Si Alloys—A Review
Materials 2021, 14(4), 1030; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14041030 - 22 Feb 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 916
Abstract
This paper describes the effect of silicon on the manufacturing process, structure, phase composition, and selected properties of titanium aluminide alloys. The experimental generation of TiAl–Si alloys is composed of titanium aluminide (TiAl, Ti3Al or TiAl3) matrix reinforced by [...] Read more.
This paper describes the effect of silicon on the manufacturing process, structure, phase composition, and selected properties of titanium aluminide alloys. The experimental generation of TiAl–Si alloys is composed of titanium aluminide (TiAl, Ti3Al or TiAl3) matrix reinforced by hard and heat-resistant titanium silicides (especially Ti5Si3). The alloys are characterized by wear resistance comparable with tool steels, high hardness, and very good resistance to oxidation at high temperatures (up to 1000 °C), but also low room-temperature ductility, as is typical also for other intermetallic materials. These alloys had been successfully prepared by the means of powder metallurgical routes and melting metallurgy methods. Full article
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Article
Local Induction Heating Capabilities of Zeolites Charged with Metal and Oxide MNPs for Application in HDPE Hydrocracking: A Proof of Concept
Materials 2021, 14(4), 1029; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14041029 - 22 Feb 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1076
Abstract
Zeolites are widely used in high-temperature oil refining processes such as fluid catalytic cracking (FCC), hydrocracking, and aromatization. Significant energy cost are associated with these processes due to the high temperatures required. The induction heating promoted by magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) under radio frequency [...] Read more.
Zeolites are widely used in high-temperature oil refining processes such as fluid catalytic cracking (FCC), hydrocracking, and aromatization. Significant energy cost are associated with these processes due to the high temperatures required. The induction heating promoted by magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) under radio frequency fields could contribute to solving this problem by providing a supplementary amount of heat in a nano-localized way, just at the active centre site where the catalytic process takes place. In this study, the potential of such a complementary route to reducing energetic requirements is evaluated. The catalytic cracking reaction under a hydrogen atmosphere (hydrocracking) applied to the conversion of plastics was taken as an application example. Thus, a commercial zeolite catalyst (H-USY) was impregnated with three different magnetic nanoparticles: nickel (Ni), cobalt (Co), maghemite (γ-Fe2O3), and their combinations and subjected to electromagnetic fields. Temperature increases of approximately 80 °C were measured for H-USY zeolite impregnated with γ-Fe2O3 and Ni-γ-Fe2O3 due to the heat released under the radio frequency fields. The potential of the resulting MNPs derived catalyst for HDPE (high-density polyethylene) conversion was also evaluated by thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) under hydrogen atmosphere. This study is a proof of concept to show that induction heating could be used in combination with traditional resistive heating as an additional energy supplier, thereby providing an interesting alternative in line with a greener technology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Magnetic Nanoparticles as High-Frequency Nano-Heaters)
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Article
Simultaneous Measurement of Temperature and Refractive Index Using High Temperature Resistant Pure Quartz Grating Based on Femtosecond Laser and HF Etching
Materials 2021, 14(4), 1028; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14041028 - 22 Feb 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 578
Abstract
The optical fiber temperature and refractive index sensor combined with the hollow needle structure for medical treatment can promote the standardization of traditional acupuncture techniques and improve the accuracy of body fluid analysis. A double-parameter sensor based on fiber Bragg grating (FBG) is [...] Read more.
The optical fiber temperature and refractive index sensor combined with the hollow needle structure for medical treatment can promote the standardization of traditional acupuncture techniques and improve the accuracy of body fluid analysis. A double-parameter sensor based on fiber Bragg grating (FBG) is developed in this paper. The sensor materials are selected through X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis, and the sensor sensing principle is theoretically analyzed and simulated. Through femtosecond laser writing pure silica fiber, a high temperature resistant wavelength type FBG temperature sensor is obtained, and the FBG is corroded by hydrofluoric acid (HF) to realize a high-sensitivity intensity-type refractive index sensor. Because the light has dual characteristics of energy and wavelength, the sensor can realize simultaneous dual-parameter sensing. The light from the lead-in optical fiber is transmitted to the sensor and affected by temperature and refractive-index; then, the reflection peak is reflected back to the lead-out fiber by the FBG. The high temperature response and the refractive index response of the sensor were measured in the laboratory, and the high temperature characteristics of the sensor were verified in the accredited institute. It is demonstrated that the proposed sensor can achieve temperature sensing up to 1150 °C with the sensitivity of 0.0134 nm/°C, and refractive sensing over a refractive range of 1.333 to 1.4027 with the sensitivity of −49.044 dBm/RIU. The sensor features the advantages of two-parameter measurement, compact structure, and wide temperature range, and it exhibits great potential in acupuncture treatment. Full article
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Article
Surface Roughness and Streptococcus mutans Adhesion on Metallic and Ceramic Fixed Prosthodontic Materials after Scaling
Materials 2021, 14(4), 1027; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14041027 - 22 Feb 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 711
Abstract
The aim of this study was to evaluate the surface roughness of fixed prosthodontic materials after polishing or roughening with a stainless steel curette or ultrasonic scaler and to examine the effect of these on Streptococcus mutans adhesion and biofilm accumulation. Thirty specimens [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the surface roughness of fixed prosthodontic materials after polishing or roughening with a stainless steel curette or ultrasonic scaler and to examine the effect of these on Streptococcus mutans adhesion and biofilm accumulation. Thirty specimens (10 × 10 × 3 mm3) of zirconia (Zr), pressed lithium disilicate (LDS-Press), milled lithium disilicate glazed (LDS-Glaze), titanium grade V (Ti) and cobalt-chromium (CoCr) were divided into three groups (n = 10) according to surface treatment: polished (C), roughened with stainless steel curette (SC), roughened with ultrasonic scaler (US). Surface roughness values (Sa, Sq) were measured with a spinning disc confocal microscope, and contact angles and surface free energy (SFE) were measured with a contact angle meter. The specimens were covered with sterilized human saliva and immersed into Streptococcus mutans suspensions for bacterial adhesion. The biofilm was allowed to form for 24 h. Sa values were in the range of 0.008–0.139 µm depending on the material and surface treatment. Curette and ultrasonic scaling increased the surface roughness in LDS-Glaze (p < 0.05), Ti (p < 0.01) and CoCr (p < 0.001), however, surface roughness did not affect bacterial adhesion. Zr C and US had a higher bacterial adhesion percentage compared to LDS-Glaze C and US (p = 0.03). There were no differences between study materials in terms of biofilm accumulation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applications of Dental Biomaterials)
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Review
Effect of Non-Thermal Atmospheric Plasma on Micro-Tensile Bond Strength at Adhesive/Dentin Interface: A Systematic Review
Materials 2021, 14(4), 1026; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14041026 - 22 Feb 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 865
Abstract
Objective: The objective of this review was to evaluate the effect of non-thermal atmospheric plasma (NTAP) on adhesives resin–dentin micro-tensile bond strength (μTBS) in previously published studies. Methods: Electronic search was conducted using the Medline, Cochrane library, and Scopus databases. The included studies [...] Read more.
Objective: The objective of this review was to evaluate the effect of non-thermal atmospheric plasma (NTAP) on adhesives resin–dentin micro-tensile bond strength (μTBS) in previously published studies. Methods: Electronic search was conducted using the Medline, Cochrane library, and Scopus databases. The included studies were laboratory studies that investigated the effect of NTAP on adhesives μTBS to coronal dentin. Studies that evaluated the effect of NTAP on bond strength to indirect substrates, enamel or root dentin, were excluded. The methodological quality of included studies was assessed. Results: Thirteen studies were included in this systematic review. All the included studies were considered to have a medium risk of bias. NTAP significantly improved μTBS at 24 h or after short-term aging in five studies (38.5%) and both immediate and after long-term aging in 5 studies (38.5%). In two studies (15.4%), NTAP resulted in a short-term material-dependent effect that was not stable after long-term aging. Interestingly, in one study (7.7%), NTAP had a positive effect only in the etch-and-rinse (ER) mode after long-term aging. Conclusion: Within the limitations of this systematic review, NTAP application could enhance resin–dentin μTBS of ER adhesives or universal adhesives (UAs) applied in the ER mode. In the ER mode, the rewetting step after NTAP seems to be unnecessary. Because of the limited information currently available in the literature, further studies are required to evaluate the effect of the NTAP application on self-etch (SE) adhesives or UAs applied in the SE mode. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applications of Dental Biomaterials)
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Article
1,2-Diarylethanols—A New Class of Compounds That Are Toxic to E. coli K12, R2–R4 Strains
Materials 2021, 14(4), 1025; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14041025 - 22 Feb 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 781
Abstract
An initial study of 1,2-diarylethanols derivatives as new potential antibacterial drugs candidates was conducted. Particular emphasis was placed on the selection of the structure of 1,2-diarylethanols with the highest biological activity of lipopolysaccharides (LPS) in the model strains of Escherichia coli K12 (without [...] Read more.
An initial study of 1,2-diarylethanols derivatives as new potential antibacterial drugs candidates was conducted. Particular emphasis was placed on the selection of the structure of 1,2-diarylethanols with the highest biological activity of lipopolysaccharides (LPS) in the model strains of Escherichia coli K12 (without LPS in its structure) and R2–R4 (with different lengths of LPS in its structure). In the presented studies, based on the conducted minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) and MBC tests, it was demonstrated that the antibacterial (toxic) effect of 1,2-diarylethanols depends on their structure and the length of LPS bacteria in the membrane of specific strains. Moreover, the oxidative damage of bacterial DNA isolated from bacteria after modification with newly synthesized compounds after application of the repair enzyme Fpg glycosylases was analysed. The analysed damage values were compared with modification with appropriate antibiotics; bacterial DNA after the use of kanamycin, streptomycin, ciprofloxacin, bleomycin and cloxicillin. The presented research clearly shows that 1,2-diarylethanol derivatives can be used as potential candidates for substitutes for new drugs, e.g., the analysed antibiotics. Their chemical and biological activity is related to two aromatic groups and the corresponding chemical groups in the structure of the substituent. The observed results are particularly important in the case of increasing bacterial resistance to various drugs and antibiotics, especially in nosocomial infections and neoplasms, and in the era of pandemics caused by microorganisms. Full article
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Article
Transparent TiO2/Cu/TiO2 Multilayer for Electrothermal Application
Materials 2021, 14(4), 1024; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14041024 - 22 Feb 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 607
Abstract
Highly transparent indium-free multilayers of TiO2/Cu/TiO2 were obtained by means of annealing. The effects of Cu thickness and annealing temperature on the electrical and optical properties were investigated. The critical thickness of Cu mid-layer with optimal electrical and optical properties [...] Read more.
Highly transparent indium-free multilayers of TiO2/Cu/TiO2 were obtained by means of annealing. The effects of Cu thickness and annealing temperature on the electrical and optical properties were investigated. The critical thickness of Cu mid-layer with optimal electrical and optical properties was 10 nm, with the figure of merit reaching as high as 5 × 10−3 Ω−1. Partial crystallization of the TiO2 layer enhanced the electrical and optical properties upon annealing. Electrothermal experiments showed that temperatures of more than 100 °C can be reached at a heating rate of 2 °C/s without any damage to the multilayers. The experimental results indicate that reliable transparent TiO2/Cu/TiO2 multilayers can be used for electrothermal application. Full article
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Article
Experimental Investigation on the Use of Selenice Natural Bitumen as an Additive for Pavement Materials
Materials 2021, 14(4), 1023; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14041023 - 21 Feb 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 787
Abstract
As a good asphalt modifier, natural asphalt has been the focus of more attention because of its low price and ability to improve the performance of modified asphalt. In this paper, the incorporation of a natural asphalt binder in the production of bituminous [...] Read more.
As a good asphalt modifier, natural asphalt has been the focus of more attention because of its low price and ability to improve the performance of modified asphalt. In this paper, the incorporation of a natural asphalt binder in the production of bituminous materials for pavement application in China was experimentally investigated to evaluate the feasibility of such a process and its potential benefits in terms of performance. For this purpose, an asphalt binder conventionally used in the south of China was blended with various percentages of a hard natural binder obtained from the region of Selenice in Albania. The content of Selenice natural bitumen (SNB) was 80.5%, having high molecular weight and the advantages of good stability and compatibility with virgin asphalt. The physical, rheological, and mechanical properties, as well as the modification mechanism of the binder and corresponding asphalt mixture, were evaluated in the laboratory. It was observed that the hard binder improved the response of the binder blend at high and intermediate temperature; this reflected a better stability, improved moisture susceptibility, and enhanced rutting resistance of the mixture. Fluorescence microscopy showed that after dissolving, the size of the SNB modifier became smaller and its distribution was uneven, presenting three forms, granular, agglomerated, and flocculent properties. Chemical test results showed that the modification mechanism of SNB was mainly related to the enhancement of hydrogen bonds and Van der Waals forces caused by sulfoxide and carbonyl along with the stress concentration caused by silica particles. Molecular composition revealed that the proportion of middle molecules has reduced while the proportion of large molecules has increased. It is considered that SNB is a promising low-priced natural modifier with excellent rutting resistance properties. Future research will be focused on the economic analysis, pavement life cycle assessment of SNB modified asphalt, and its application in perpetual pavements. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Construction and Building Materials)
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