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Materials, Volume 14, Issue 6 (March-2 2021) – 255 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): This study investigates the mechanical performance and energy absorption capacity of bioinspired hybrid soft–hard structures with gradient lattices. The structures are designed based on the diversity of materials and graded size of the unit cells. Five different graded lattice structures with various relative densities made of soft and hard materials are numerically analysed. The results are validated against experimental data on three-dimensional (3D)-printed lattices and reveal the simulation to be of high accuracy. Dual-soft–hard-material lattice structures are also studied, showing maximum energy absorption and mechanical performance in comparison to single-material lattice structures. View this paper
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Article
Extraction of Magnetic Field Features to Determine the Degree of Material Strain
Materials 2021, 14(6), 1576; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14061576 - 23 Mar 2021
Viewed by 545
Abstract
Currently, to realize the reliable operation and proper exploitation of complex machines and structures, information regarding the material condition must be obtained. This information should ideally be acquired in a noninvasive manner. In addition, contemporary rapid technological development is conducive to the research [...] Read more.
Currently, to realize the reliable operation and proper exploitation of complex machines and structures, information regarding the material condition must be obtained. This information should ideally be acquired in a noninvasive manner. In addition, contemporary rapid technological development is conducive to the research and advancement of new methods, including magnetic methods. This publication describes the methods that can enable the extraction of information from the magnetic field, which is valuable for determining the material effort state and performing technical diagnostics. The issue of using the magnetic field to assess the technical condition of structures is a promising trend in technical diagnostics. Moreover, new ways to process the magnetic field information are being identified to connect the observed surface changes in the magnetic field with the significant diagnostic symptoms. This work provides an extensive introduction to the theoretical basis and diagnostic techniques based on measurements of the magnetic field obtained in close proximity to the structure of interest. The key limitations of the method and associated possibilities are highlighted. The model considerations were taken into account to provide a mathematical description of the extraction process and possible interpretations of the acquired signals. According to the received guidelines, the plan and implementation of two experiments are described along with the obtained results, which demonstrated the possibility of identifying valuable information that can be used to determine the state of the material stress and perform diagnostics of steel structures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Mechanical Testing of Engineering Materials)
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Article
Formation of Nitrogen Doped Titanium Dioxide Surface Layer on NiTi Shape Memory Alloy
Materials 2021, 14(6), 1575; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14061575 - 23 Mar 2021
Viewed by 506
Abstract
NiTi shape memory alloys are increasingly being used as bone and cardiac implants. The oxide layer of nanometric thickness spontaneously formed on their surface does not sufficiently protect from nickel transition into surrounding tissues, and its presence, even in a small amount, can [...] Read more.
NiTi shape memory alloys are increasingly being used as bone and cardiac implants. The oxide layer of nanometric thickness spontaneously formed on their surface does not sufficiently protect from nickel transition into surrounding tissues, and its presence, even in a small amount, can be harmful to the human organism. In order to limit this disadvantageous phenomenon, there are several surface engineering techniques used, including oxidation methods. Due to the usually complex shapes of implants, one of the most prospective methods is low-temperature plasma oxidation. This article presents the role of cathode sputtering in the formation of a titanium dioxide surface layer, specifically rutile. The surface of the NiTi shape memory alloy was modified using low-temperature glow discharge plasma oxidation processes, which were carried out in two variants: oxidation using an argon + oxygen (80% vol.) reactive atmosphere and the less chemically active argon + air (80% vol.), but with a preliminary cathode sputtering process in the Ar + N2 (1:1) plasma. This paper presents the structure (STEM), chemical composition (EDS, SIMS), surface topography (optical profilometer, Atomic Force Microscopy—AFM) and antibacterial properties of nanocrystalline TiO2 diffusive surface layers. It is shown that prior cathodic sputtering in argon-nitrogen plasma almost doubled the thickness of the produced nitrogen-doped titanium dioxide layers despite using air instead of oxygen. The (TiOxNy)2 diffusive surface layer showed a high level of resistance to E. coli colonization in comparison with NiTi, which indicates the possibility of using this surface layer in the modification of NiTi implants’ properties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biomaterials)
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Article
Surface Modifications of Titanium Aluminium Vanadium Improve Biocompatibility and Osteogenic Differentiation Potential
Materials 2021, 14(6), 1574; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14061574 - 23 Mar 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 580
Abstract
Osteogenic cells are strongly influenced in their behaviour by the surface properties of orthopaedic implant materials. Mesenchymal stem and progenitor cells (MSPCs) migrate to the bone–implant interface, adhere to the material surface, proliferate and subsequently differentiate into osteoblasts, which are responsible for the [...] Read more.
Osteogenic cells are strongly influenced in their behaviour by the surface properties of orthopaedic implant materials. Mesenchymal stem and progenitor cells (MSPCs) migrate to the bone–implant interface, adhere to the material surface, proliferate and subsequently differentiate into osteoblasts, which are responsible for the formation of the bone matrix. Five surface topographies on titanium aluminium vanadium (TiAl6V4) were engineered to investigate biocompatibility and adhesion potential of human osteoblasts and the changes in osteogenic differentiation of MSPCs. Elemental analysis of TiAl6V4 discs coated with titanium nitride (TiN), silver (Ag), roughened surface, and pure titanium (cpTi) surface was analysed using energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy and scanning electron microscopy. In vitro cell viability, cytotoxicity, adhesion behaviour, and osteogenic differentiation potential were measured via CellTiter-Glo, CytoTox, ELISA, Luminex® technology, and RT-PCR respectively. The Ag coating reduced the growth of osteoblasts, whereas the viability of MSPCs increased significantly. The roughened and the cpTi surface improved the viability of all cell types. The additive coatings of the TiAl6V4 alloy improved the adhesion of osteoblasts and MSPCs. With regard to the osteogenic differentiation potential, an enhanced effect has been demonstrated, especially in the case of roughened and cpTi coatings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biomaterials)
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Article
First Principle Study of TiB2 (0001)/γ-Fe (111) Interfacial Strength and Heterogeneous Nucleation
Materials 2021, 14(6), 1573; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14061573 - 23 Mar 2021
Viewed by 577
Abstract
TiB2/316L stainless steel composites were prepared by selective laser melting (SLM), and the adhesion work, interface energy and electronic structure of TiB2/γ-Fe interface in TiB2/316L stainless steel composites were investigated to explore the heterogeneous nucleation potential of [...] Read more.
TiB2/316L stainless steel composites were prepared by selective laser melting (SLM), and the adhesion work, interface energy and electronic structure of TiB2/γ-Fe interface in TiB2/316L stainless steel composites were investigated to explore the heterogeneous nucleation potential of γ-Fe grains on TiB2 particles using first principles. Six interface models composed of three different stacking positions and two different terminations were established. The B-terminated-top 2 site interface (“B-top 2”) was the most stable because of the largest adhesion work, smallest interfacial distances, and smallest interfacial energy. The difference charge density and partial density of states indicated that a large number of strong Fe-B covalent bonds were formed near the “B-top 2” interface, which increased the stability of interface. Fracture analysis revealed that the bonding strength of the “B-top 2” interface was higher than that of the Fe matrix, and it was difficult to fracture at the interface. The interface energy at the Ti-poor position in the “B-top 2” interface model was smaller than that of the γ-Fe/Fe melt, indicating that TiB2 had strong heterogeneous nucleation potency for γ-Fe. Full article
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Article
Alternative Geometric Arrangements of the Nozzle Outlet Orifice for Liquid Micro-Jet Focusing in Gas Dynamic Virtual Nozzles
Materials 2021, 14(6), 1572; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14061572 - 23 Mar 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 512
Abstract
Liquid micro-jets are crucial for sample delivery of protein crystals and other macromolecular samples in serial femtosecond crystallography. When combined with MHz repetition rate sources, such as the European X-ray free-electron laser (EuXFEL) facility, it is important that the diffraction patterns are collected [...] Read more.
Liquid micro-jets are crucial for sample delivery of protein crystals and other macromolecular samples in serial femtosecond crystallography. When combined with MHz repetition rate sources, such as the European X-ray free-electron laser (EuXFEL) facility, it is important that the diffraction patterns are collected before the samples are damaged. This requires extremely thin and very fast jets. In this paper we first explore numerically the influence of different nozzle orifice designs on jet parameters and finally compare our simulations with the experimental data obtained for one particular design. A gas dynamic virtual nozzle (GDVN) model, based on a mixture formulation of Newtonian, compressible, two-phase flow, is numerically solved with the finite volume method and volume of fluid approach to deal with the moving boundary between the gas and liquid phases. The goal is to maximize the jet velocity and its length while minimizing the jet thickness. The design studies incorporate differently shaped nozzle orifices, including an elongated orifice with a constant diameter and an orifice with a diverging angle. These are extensions of the nozzle geometry we investigated in our previous studies. Based on these simulations it is concluded that the extension of the constant diameter channel makes a negligible contribution to the jet’s length and its velocity. A change in the angle of the nozzle outlet orifice, however, has a significant effect on jet parameters. We find these kinds of simulation extremely useful for testing and optimizing novel nozzle designs. Full article
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Article
Enhanced Mathematical Model for Producing Highly Dense Metallic Components through Selective Laser Melting
Materials 2021, 14(6), 1571; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14061571 - 23 Mar 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 558
Abstract
In this work, a previously developed mathematical model to predict bulk density of SLMed (produced via Selective Laser Melting) component is enhanced by taking laser power, scanning speed, hatch spacing, powder’s thermal conductivity and specific heat capacity as independent variables. Experimental data and [...] Read more.
In this work, a previously developed mathematical model to predict bulk density of SLMed (produced via Selective Laser Melting) component is enhanced by taking laser power, scanning speed, hatch spacing, powder’s thermal conductivity and specific heat capacity as independent variables. Experimental data and manufacturing conditions for the selective laser melting (SLM) of metallic materials (which include aluminum, steel, titanium, copper, tungsten and nickel alloys) are adapted from the literature and used to evaluate the validity of the proposed enhanced model. A strong relation between dependent and independent dimensionless products is observed throughout the studied materials. The proposed enhanced mathematical model shows to be highly accurate since the computed root-mean-square-error values (RMSE) does not exceed 5 × 10−7. Furthermore, an analytical expression for the prediction of bulk density of SLMed components was developed. From this, an expression for determining the needed scanning speed, with respect to laser power, to achieve highly dense components produced via SLM, is derived. Full article
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Article
Synthesis of PVA/CeO2 Based Nanocomposites with Tuned Refractive Index and Reduced Absorption Edge: Structural and Optical Studies
Materials 2021, 14(6), 1570; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14061570 - 23 Mar 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 569
Abstract
In the current study, polymer nanocomposites (NCPs) based on poly (vinyl alcohol) (PVA) with altered refractive index and absorption edge were synthesized by means of a solution cast technique. The characterization techniques of UV–Vis spectroscopy and XRD were used to inspect the structural [...] Read more.
In the current study, polymer nanocomposites (NCPs) based on poly (vinyl alcohol) (PVA) with altered refractive index and absorption edge were synthesized by means of a solution cast technique. The characterization techniques of UV–Vis spectroscopy and XRD were used to inspect the structural and optical properties of the prepared films. The XRD patterns of the doped samples have shown clear amendments in the structural properties of the PVA host polymer. Various optical parameters were studied to get more insights about the influence of CeO2 on optical properties of PVA. On the insertion of CeO2 nanoparticles (NPs) into the PVA matrix, the absorption edge was found to move to reduced photon energy sides. It was concluded that the CeO2 nanoparticles can be used to tune the refractive index (n) of the host polymer, and it reached up to 1.93 for 7 wt.% of CeO2 content. A detailed study of the bandgap (BG) was conducted using two approaches. The outcomes have confirmed the impact of the nanofiller on the BG reduction of the host polymer. The results of the optical BG study highlighted that it is crucial to address the ε” parameter during the BG analysis, and it is considered as a useful tool to specify the type of electronic transitions. Finally, the dispersion region of n is conferred in terms of the Wemple–DiDomenico single oscillator model. Full article
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Article
The Relation between Concrete, Mortar and Paste Scale Early Age Properties
Materials 2021, 14(6), 1569; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14061569 - 23 Mar 2021
Viewed by 541
Abstract
Microstructure development of concrete, mortar, and paste scale of cement-based material (CBM) during the early hydration stage has a significant impact on CBM’s physical, mechanical, and durability characteristics at the high maturity state. The research was carried out using compositions with increased autogenous [...] Read more.
Microstructure development of concrete, mortar, and paste scale of cement-based material (CBM) during the early hydration stage has a significant impact on CBM’s physical, mechanical, and durability characteristics at the high maturity state. The research was carried out using compositions with increased autogenous shrinkage and extended early age period, proposed within the RRT+ programme of the COST Action TU1404. The electrical conductivity method, used to follow the solidification process of CBM, is capable of determining the initial and final setting time, and the end of the solidification process acceleration stage for the paste and mortar scale. Simultaneous ultrasonic P- and S-wave transmission measurements revealed that the ratio of velocities VP/VS is highly dependent on the presence of aggregates—it is considerably higher for the paste scale compared to the mortar and concrete scale. The deviation from the otherwise roughly constant ratio VP/VS for each scale may indicate cracks in the material. The non-linear correlation between the dynamic and static elastic moduli valid over the three scales was confirmed. Additionally, it was found that the static E-modulus correlates very well with the square of the VS and that the VS is highly correlated to the cube compressive strength—but a separate trendline exists for each CBM scale. Full article
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Article
Thermodynamic Assessment of Bio-Oriented Ti-Ta-Sn System
Materials 2021, 14(6), 1568; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14061568 - 23 Mar 2021
Viewed by 345
Abstract
The alloying elements Ta and Sn can effectively increase the stability of β-bcc phase, reduce Young’s modulus and improve the shape-memory property of Ti-based biomedical alloys. The development of the thermodynamic database for Ti-based biomedical alloys promises thermodynamic predictions in composition design and [...] Read more.
The alloying elements Ta and Sn can effectively increase the stability of β-bcc phase, reduce Young’s modulus and improve the shape-memory property of Ti-based biomedical alloys. The development of the thermodynamic database for Ti-based biomedical alloys promises thermodynamic predictions in composition design and process optimization. In this work, one key sub-ternary Ti-Ta-Sn system has been thermodynamically assessed based on critical evaluation of experimental phase equilibria. A self-consistent thermodynamic description for the Ti-Ta-Sn system including one ternary compound Ti36Ta28Sn36 and six binary compounds considering the solubility of the third element has been obtained. Two isothermal sections at 973 and 1173 K and the liquidus projection have been calculated. Comparisons between the calculated and experimental phase equilibria validate the reliability of the present thermodynamic description. The influence of Ta and Sn contents on the transformation temperature and amount of α_hcp-Ti phase in β_bcc-(Ti,Ta) phase has been investigated based on thermodynamic calculations. The solidified phases in Ti-20Ta-xSn (x = 5, 15 and 25 at.%) as-cast alloys have been thermodynamically calculated based on Scheil solidification simulations. The presently developed thermodynamic description of the Ti-Ta-Sn system would promote the establishment of muti-component Ti-based thermodynamic database and guide the development of Ti-based alloys. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Advanced Composites)
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Article
A Magnetic Force Microscopy Study of Patterned T-Shaped Structures
Materials 2021, 14(6), 1567; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14061567 - 23 Mar 2021
Viewed by 573
Abstract
The study of patterned magnetic elements that can sustain more than one bit of the information is an important research line for developing new routes in magnetic storage and magnetic logic devices. Previous Monte Carlo studies of T-shaped magnetic nanostructures revealed the equilibrium [...] Read more.
The study of patterned magnetic elements that can sustain more than one bit of the information is an important research line for developing new routes in magnetic storage and magnetic logic devices. Previous Monte Carlo studies of T-shaped magnetic nanostructures revealed the equilibrium and evolution of magnetic states that could be found as a result of the strong configurational anisotropy of these systems. In this work, for the first time, such behavior of T-shaped magnetic nanostructures is experimentally studied. In particular, T-shaped Co nanostructures have been produced by electron beam lithography using a single step lift-off process over Si substrates. The existence of four magnetic stable states has been proven by Magnetic Force Microscopy (MFM) and the analysis was complemented by Micromagnetic Simulations. The results confirmed that even for what can be considered large structures, with μm sizes, such four stable magnetic states can be achieved, and therefore two magnetic bits of information can be stored. We also addressed how to write and read those bits. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Development and Applications of Force Microscopy Techniques)
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Communication
Beneficial Influence of Water-Soluble PEG-Functionalized C60 Fullerene on Human Osteoblast Growth In Vitro
Materials 2021, 14(6), 1566; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14061566 - 22 Mar 2021
Viewed by 633
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to make an initial assessment of new PEG (polyethylene glycol)-functionalized C60 fullerene derivative for potential bone tissue engineering applications. Thus, Fourier Transform Infrared spectroscopy analysis, thermogravimetric analysis, and cyclic voltammetry measurement were performed. Moreover, cell culture [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to make an initial assessment of new PEG (polyethylene glycol)-functionalized C60 fullerene derivative for potential bone tissue engineering applications. Thus, Fourier Transform Infrared spectroscopy analysis, thermogravimetric analysis, and cyclic voltammetry measurement were performed. Moreover, cell culture experiments in vitro were carried out using normal human osteoblasts. Cell viability and proliferation were evaluated using colorimetric 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) test as well as by fluorescent staining. It was demonstrated that resultant derivative possessed good solubility in water, high temperature stability, and retained favorable electron accepting properties of C60 fullerene core. Most important, new fullerene derivatives at low concentrations did not exhibit cytotoxic effect and supported osteoblast proliferation compared to control. Thanks to all mentioned properties of new PEG-functionalized C60 fullerene derivative, it seems that it could be used as a component of polymer-based bone scaffolds in order to enhance their biological properties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomedical Application of Carbon Nanostructure Modifications)
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Article
Concept of Using 3D Printing for Production of Concrete–Plastic Columns with Unconventional Cross-Sections
Materials 2021, 14(6), 1565; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14061565 - 22 Mar 2021
Viewed by 680
Abstract
A concept of concrete–plastic columns was presented in the paper. As a proof of concept, a research program was conducted. Seven different cross-sections of columns formwork were 3D printed using plastic. The cross-sections represented three types of columns’ shapes: most common, rare, and [...] Read more.
A concept of concrete–plastic columns was presented in the paper. As a proof of concept, a research program was conducted. Seven different cross-sections of columns formwork were 3D printed using plastic. The cross-sections represented three types of columns’ shapes: most common, rare, and impossible to be realized using traditional formworks (based on fractals). Prepared plastic formworks were filled with cement mortar playing the role of ordinary concrete. After 28 days of curing, the load–strain characteristics of all the concrete columns were tested. Achieved results were discussed. It was proven that concrete–plastic columns were characterized by quasi-plastic behavior while being ultimately destroyed. Columns with fractal-based cross-sections sustained the largest strains while maintaining a significant part of the maximum load. The achieved results proved that it is possible to completely omit traditional steel rebar-stirrup reinforcement. The future direction of needed research should cover larger columns and other concrete–plastic elements. Using fiber-reinforced concrete for the creation of concrete–plastic elements should be also tested. Full article
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Article
Scattering Mechanisms and Suppression of Bipolar Diffusion Effect in Bi2Te2.85Se0.15Ix Compounds
Materials 2021, 14(6), 1564; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14061564 - 22 Mar 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 502
Abstract
We investigated the anisotropic thermoelectric properties of the Bi2Te2.85Se0.15Ix (x = 0.0, 0.1, 0.3, 0.5 mol.%) compounds, synthesized by ball-milling and hot-press sintering. The electrical conductivities of the Bi2Te2.85Se0.15Ix [...] Read more.
We investigated the anisotropic thermoelectric properties of the Bi2Te2.85Se0.15Ix (x = 0.0, 0.1, 0.3, 0.5 mol.%) compounds, synthesized by ball-milling and hot-press sintering. The electrical conductivities of the Bi2Te2.85Se0.15Ix were significantly improved by the increase of carrier concentration. The dominant electronic scattering mechanism was changed from the mixed (T ≤ 400 K) and ionization scattering (T ≥ 420 K) for pristine compound (x = 0.0) to the acoustic phonon scattering by the iodine doping. The Hall mobility was also enhanced with the increasing carrier concentration. The enhancement of Hall mobility was caused by the increase of the mean free path of the carrier from 10.8 to 17.7 nm by iodine doping, which was attributed to the reduction of point defects without the meaningful change of bandgap energy. From the electron diffraction patterns, a lattice distortion was observed in the iodine doped compounds. The modulation vector due to lattice distortion increased with increasing iodine concentration, indicating the shorter range lattice distortion in real space for the higher iodine concentration. The bipolar thermal conductivity was suppressed, and the effective masses were increased by iodine doping. It suggests that the iodine doping minimizes the ionization scattering giving rise to the suppression of the bipolar diffusion effect, due to the prohibition of the BiTe1 antisite defect, and induces the lattice distortion which decreases lattice thermal conductivity, resulting in the enhancement of thermoelectric performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Thermoelectric Materials and Device Design Concepts)
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Article
OICP: An Online Fast Registration Algorithm Based on Rigid Translation Applied to Wire Arc Additive Manufacturing of Mold Repair
Materials 2021, 14(6), 1563; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14061563 - 22 Mar 2021
Viewed by 436
Abstract
As promising technology with low requirements and high depositing efficiency, Wire Arc Additive Manufacturing (WAAM) can significantly reduce the repair cost and improve the formation quality of molds. To further improve the accuracy of WAAM in repairing molds, the point cloud model that [...] Read more.
As promising technology with low requirements and high depositing efficiency, Wire Arc Additive Manufacturing (WAAM) can significantly reduce the repair cost and improve the formation quality of molds. To further improve the accuracy of WAAM in repairing molds, the point cloud model that expresses the spatial distribution and surface characteristics of the mold is proposed. Since the mold has a large size, it is necessary to be scanned multiple times, resulting in multiple point cloud models. The point cloud registration, such as the Iterative Closest Point (ICP) algorithm, then plays the role of merging multiple point cloud models to reconstruct a complete data model. However, using the ICP algorithm to merge large point clouds with a low-overlap area is inefficient, time-consuming, and unsatisfactory. Therefore, this paper provides the improved Offset Iterative Closest Point (OICP) algorithm, which is an online fast registration algorithm suitable for intelligent WAAM mold repair technology. The practicality and reliability of the algorithm are illustrated by the comparison results with the standard ICP algorithm and the three-coordinate measuring instrument in the Experimental Setup Section. The results are that the OICP algorithm is feasible for registrations with low overlap rates. For an overlap rate lower than 60% in our experiments, the traditional ICP algorithm failed, while the Root Mean Square (RMS) error reached 0.1 mm, and the rotation error was within 0.5 degrees, indicating the improvement of the proposed OICP algorithm. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Monitoring and Control in Additive Manufacturing Processes)
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Article
Cyclic Deformation Induced Residual Stress Evolution and 3D Short Fatigue Crack Growth Investigated by Advanced Synchrotron Tomography Techniques
Materials 2021, 14(6), 1562; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14061562 - 22 Mar 2021
Viewed by 453
Abstract
Diffraction and phase contrast tomography techniques were successfully applied to an austenitic–ferritic duplex stainless steel representing exemplarily a metallic material containing two phases with different crystal structures. The reconstructed volumes of both phases were discretized by finite elements. A crystal plasticity finite-element analysis [...] Read more.
Diffraction and phase contrast tomography techniques were successfully applied to an austenitic–ferritic duplex stainless steel representing exemplarily a metallic material containing two phases with different crystal structures. The reconstructed volumes of both phases were discretized by finite elements. A crystal plasticity finite-element analysis was executed in order to simulate the development of the experimentally determined first and second order residual stresses, which built up due to the manufacturing process of the material. Cyclic deformation simulations showed the single-grain-resolved evolution of initial residual stresses in both phases and were found to be in good agreement with the experimental results. Solely in ferritic grains, residual stresses built up due to cyclic deformation, which promoted crack nucleation in this phase. Furthermore, phase contrast tomography was applied in order to analyze the mechanisms of fatigue crack nucleation and short fatigue crack propagation three-dimensionally and nondestructively. The results clearly showed the significance of microstructural barriers for short fatigue crack growth at the surface, as well as into the material. The investigation presented aims for a better understanding of the three-dimensional mechanisms governing short fatigue crack propagation and, in particular, the effect of residual stresses on these mechanisms. The final goal was to generate tailored microstructures for improved fatigue resistance and enhanced fatigue life. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Mechanisms of Fracture and Fatigue)
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Article
Influence of Welding Speed on Fracture Toughness of Friction Stir Welded AA2024-T351 Joints
Materials 2021, 14(6), 1561; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14061561 - 22 Mar 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 615
Abstract
In order to ensure a quality welded joint, and thus safe operation and high reliability of the welded part or structure achieved by friction stir welding, it is necessary to select the optimal welding parameters. The parameters of friction stir welding significantly affect [...] Read more.
In order to ensure a quality welded joint, and thus safe operation and high reliability of the welded part or structure achieved by friction stir welding, it is necessary to select the optimal welding parameters. The parameters of friction stir welding significantly affect the structure of the welded joint, and thus the mechanical properties of the welded joint. Investigation of the influence of friction stir welding parameters was performed on 6-mm thick plates of aluminum alloy AA2024 T351. The quality of the welded joint is predominantly influenced by the tool rotation speed n and the welding speed v. In this research, constant tool rotation speed was adopted n = 750 rpm, and the welding speed was varied (v = 73, 116 and 150 mm/min). By the visual method and radiographic examination, imperfections of the face and roots of the welded specimens were not found. This paper presents the performed experimental tests of the macro and microstructure of welded joints, followed by tests of micro hardness and fracture behavior of Friction Stir Welded AA2024-T351 joints. It can be concluded that the welding speed of v = 116 mm/min is favorable with regard to the fracture behavior of the analysed FSW-joint. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Welding and Joining of Materials for Advanced Aerospace Applications)
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Article
Digital Image Correlation of Tensile Properties for Monel 400/SS 316L Dissimilar Metal Welding Joints
Materials 2021, 14(6), 1560; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14061560 - 22 Mar 2021
Viewed by 527
Abstract
Dissimilar metal weld joints of Monel 400 and Stainless Steel 316L stainless steel were carried out using Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW). Conventional annealing and cryogenic treatment were performed on the welded joints. Weld joints of this combination of materials have enormous potential [...] Read more.
Dissimilar metal weld joints of Monel 400 and Stainless Steel 316L stainless steel were carried out using Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW). Conventional annealing and cryogenic treatment were performed on the welded joints. Weld joints of this combination of materials have enormous potential applications in power industry and the available related literature is limited. In the present study, the tensile properties of heat treated (HT), cryotreated (CT), and untreated (UT) specimens were studied. The engineering stress and strain were determined experimentally as per Standard Test Methods for Tension Testing of Metallic Materials (ASTM E8). The strain distribution was evaluated at different zones of weld joint was evaluated using Digital Image Correlation (DIC). Significant difference was noticed between the zones. Weld zone of all samples had less local stress and strain and SS 316L heat affected zone (HAZ) zone had more local stress and strain when compared to other zones. The local strain distribution along distance from weld center line and local stress-strain curves of different zones are also predicted. Scanning Electron Microscopy was used to analyze the fracture behavior of welded samples for HT, CT, and UT specimens. Full article
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Review
The Effects of Sterilization Procedures on the Cutting Efficiency of Endodontic Instruments: A Systematic Review and Network Meta-Analysis
Materials 2021, 14(6), 1559; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14061559 - 22 Mar 2021
Viewed by 712
Abstract
Sterilization processes guarantee the sterility of dental instruments but can negatively affect instrument features by altering their physical and mechanical properties. The endodontic instrumentation can undergo a series of alterations, ranging from corrosion to variation in the cutting angle and then changes in [...] Read more.
Sterilization processes guarantee the sterility of dental instruments but can negatively affect instrument features by altering their physical and mechanical properties. The endodontic instrumentation can undergo a series of alterations, ranging from corrosion to variation in the cutting angle and then changes in the torsional properties and torsional fatigue resistance. This systematic literature review and meta-analysis aims to investigate alterations to the cutting efficiency of endodontic instruments that are induced by procedures for their disinfection and sterilization. Methodologies adopted for this investigation follow the PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis) guidelines. The following were used as search terms on PubMed and Scopus: “endodontic sterilization”, “endodontic autoclave”, “cyclic fatigue”, “torsional”, “cutting efficiency”, “sterilization”, “surface characteristics”, and “corrosion”. At the end of the selection process, 36 articles were identified, and seven of them are included in this systematic review. The results of a meta-analysis conducted for the use of 10 autoclaving cycles shows a standardized mean difference (SMD) of 0.80 with a p-value equal to 0.04 with respect to effect on cutting efficiency. The network meta-analysis, through direct and indirect comparison between the different autoclave cycles (0, 1, 5, 10, and 15 cycles), revealed that treatment involving 15 autoclave cycles produced the most robust results in terms of having the greatest effects in terms of altered cutting efficiency with a probability of 57.7% and a SUCRA (surface under the cumulative ranking) of 80%. The alterations in the effects on cutting efficiency appear to be triggered after five cycles of sterilization by heat (autoclave). In conclusion, the meta-analysis of the data indicates that the autoclave sterilization protocol must not be repeated more than five times to preserve cutting efficiency. Within the limitations of this review, we can therefore establish that sterilization by autoclaving alone results in steel and NiTi instruments becoming less efficient in cutting after five cycles, as measured by a reduction in cutting efficiency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Surface Functionalization of Dental Biomaterials)
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Article
Synthesis and Characterization of Zeolites Produced from Low-Quality Coal Fly Ash and Wet Flue Gas Desulphurization Wastewater
Materials 2021, 14(6), 1558; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14061558 - 22 Mar 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 636
Abstract
This study investigated a low-energy-consuming procedure for the synthesis of zeolite materials from coal fly ash (CFA). Materials containing zeolite phases, namely Na–X, Na–P1, and zeolite A, were produced from F–class fly ash, using NaOH dissolved in distilled water or in wastewater obtained [...] Read more.
This study investigated a low-energy-consuming procedure for the synthesis of zeolite materials from coal fly ash (CFA). Materials containing zeolite phases, namely Na–X, Na–P1, and zeolite A, were produced from F–class fly ash, using NaOH dissolved in distilled water or in wastewater obtained from the wet flue gas desulphurization process, under atmospheric pressure at a temperature below 70 °C. The influence of temperature, exposure time, and alkaline solution concentration on the synthesized materials was tested. In addition, chemical, mineralogical, and textural properties of the obtained materials were determined by X-ray diffraction (XRD), X-ray fluorescence (XRF), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and cation exchange capacity (CEC). Cd(II), Ni(II), NH4+ cation, and Se(VI) anion sorption experiments were conducted to compare the sorption properties of the produced synthetic zeolites with those of the commercially available ones. Zeolitization resulted in an increase of CEC (up to 30 meq/100 g) compared to raw CFA and enhanced the ability of the material to adsorb the chosen ions. The obtained synthetic zeolites showed comparable or greater sorption properties than natural clinoptilolite and synthetic Na–P1. They were also capable of simultaneously removing cationic and anionic compounds. The structural, morphological, and textural properties of the final product indicated that it could potentially be used as an adsorbent for various types of environmental pollutants. Full article
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Article
Scanning Electron Microscopic Evaluation of the Internal Fit Accuracy of 3D-Printed Biphasic Calcium Phosphate Block: An Ex Vivo Pilot Study
Materials 2021, 14(6), 1557; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14061557 - 22 Mar 2021
Viewed by 516
Abstract
The aim of this study was to assess the internal fit accuracy of a three-dimensional (3D)-printed biphasic calcium phosphate (BCP) block compared with a 3D-milled poly methyl methacrylate (PMMA) block by scanning electron microscope (SEM) analysis. In a total of 20 porcine rib [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to assess the internal fit accuracy of a three-dimensional (3D)-printed biphasic calcium phosphate (BCP) block compared with a 3D-milled poly methyl methacrylate (PMMA) block by scanning electron microscope (SEM) analysis. In a total of 20 porcine rib bones, two different types of defects having two adjacent walls and a floor were produced: a defect with a flat floor (flat defect; N = 10) and a defect with a concave floor (curved defect; N = 10). Each defect was grafted with either the 3D-printed BCP block or the 3D-milled PMMA block fabricated following the computer aided design. The defects were then cut cross-sectionally and evaluated under the SEM. The extents of internal contact and gap were measured and statistically analyzed (p < 0.05). All blocks in both BCP and PMMA groups were successfully fit to the flat and curved defects. The internal contact ratio was significantly higher in the BCP group (flat defect: 0.47 ± 0.10; curved defect: 0.29 ± 0.05) compared with the PMMA group (flat defect: 0.21 ± 0.13; curved defect: 0.17 ± 0.04; p < 0.05). The internal gap area was similar between the two groups regardless of the defect types (p > 0.05). The internal fit accuracy of the 3D-printed BCP block was reliable in both the flat and curved defects when compared with the accuracy of the 3D-milled PMMA block. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomaterials for Medical and Dental Application)
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Article
The Effect of Quenching and Partitioning (Q&P) Heat Treatment on the Microstructure and Mechanical Properties of High Boron Steel
Materials 2021, 14(6), 1556; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14061556 - 22 Mar 2021
Viewed by 700
Abstract
High boron steel is prone to brittle failure due to the boride distributed in it with net-like or fishbone morphology, which limit its applications. The Quenching and Partitioning (Q&P) heat treatment is a promising process to produce martensitic steel with excellent mechanical properties, [...] Read more.
High boron steel is prone to brittle failure due to the boride distributed in it with net-like or fishbone morphology, which limit its applications. The Quenching and Partitioning (Q&P) heat treatment is a promising process to produce martensitic steel with excellent mechanical properties, especially high toughness by increasing the volume fraction of retained austensite (RA) in the martensitic matrix. In this work, the Q&P heat treatment is used to improve the inherent defect of insufficient toughness of high boron steel, and the effect mechanism of this process on microstructure transformation and the change of mechanical properties of the steel has also been investigated. The high boron steel as-casted is composed of martensite, retained austensite (RA) and eutectic borides. A proper quenching and partitioning heat treatment leads to a significant change of the microstructure and mechanical properties of the steel. The net-like and fishbone-like boride is partially broken and spheroidized. The volume fraction of RA increases from 10% in the as-cast condition to 19%, and its morphology also changes from blocky to film-like. Although the macro-hardness has slightly reduced, the toughness is significantly increased up to 7.5 J·cm−2, and the wear resistance is also improved. Full article
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Article
Mechanical Pull-Out Test of a New Hybrid Fixture-Abutment Connection: An In Vitro Study
Materials 2021, 14(6), 1555; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14061555 - 22 Mar 2021
Viewed by 378
Abstract
Implant abutment connection was described among the main causes of peri-implant bone resorption. The aim of this in vitro study was to test the coupling capacity, the surface modification of a new hybrid connection and the influence of repeated connection activations caused during [...] Read more.
Implant abutment connection was described among the main causes of peri-implant bone resorption. The aim of this in vitro study was to test the coupling capacity, the surface modification of a new hybrid connection and the influence of repeated connection activations caused during the main clinical and laboratory phases. A total of 40 implant-abutment screw retained systems with 10°-conical and internal hexagon connection were tested. The connection was screwed, fixed to the universal test machine, removed the screw and a pull-out test was performed. Test was repeated five times in succession. Also Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) was used to detect microscopically surface modification. Analysis of variance and Tukey tests were used for the statistical analysis. Pull-out test reveals a mean value of 131.35 ± 16.52 Newton Centimeter (N·cm). For each single activation, results from first to fifth were: 113.9 ± 13.02, 126.1 ± 12.81, 138.11 ± 15.15, 138.8 ± 11.90 and 140 ± 12.99 N·cm. A statistically significant difference between the measurements and an increase in the removal force was shown. The collected data supports the use of this new type of connection, resulting in a very strong interface between implant and abutment. Also, repeated activation of connection can promote a better coupling of the implant-abutment interface. Full article
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Article
Aqueous Sol-Gel Synthesis of Different Iron Ferrites: From 3D to 2D
Materials 2021, 14(6), 1554; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14061554 - 22 Mar 2021
Viewed by 503
Abstract
In this study, an aqueous sol-gel synthesis method and subsequent dip-coating technique were applied for the preparation of yttrium iron garnet (YIG), yttrium iron perovskite (YIP), and terbium iron perovskite (TIP) bulk and thin films. The monophasic highly crystalline different iron ferrite powders [...] Read more.
In this study, an aqueous sol-gel synthesis method and subsequent dip-coating technique were applied for the preparation of yttrium iron garnet (YIG), yttrium iron perovskite (YIP), and terbium iron perovskite (TIP) bulk and thin films. The monophasic highly crystalline different iron ferrite powders have been synthesized using this simple aqueous sol-gel process displaying the suitability of the method. In the next step, the same sol-gel solution was used for the fabrication of coatings on monocrystalline silicon (100) using a dip-coating procedure. This resulted, likely due to substrate surface influence, in all coatings having mixed phases of both garnet and perovskite. Thermogravimetric (TG) analysis of the precursor gels was carried out. All the samples were investigated by X-ray powder diffraction (XRD) analysis. The coatings were also investigated by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), atomic force microscopy (AFM) and Mössbauer spectroscopy. Magnetic measurements were also carried out. Full article
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Article
The Performance of CR180IF and DP600 Laser Welded Steel Sheets under Different Strain Rates
Materials 2021, 14(6), 1553; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14061553 - 22 Mar 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 455
Abstract
The presented research background is a car body manufacturer’s request to test the car body’s components welded from dissimilar steel sheets. In view of the vehicle crew’s protection, it is necessary to study the static and dynamic behavior of welded steels. Therefore, the [...] Read more.
The presented research background is a car body manufacturer’s request to test the car body’s components welded from dissimilar steel sheets. In view of the vehicle crew’s protection, it is necessary to study the static and dynamic behavior of welded steels. Therefore, the influence of laser welding on the mechanical and dynamical properties, microstructure, microhardness, and welded joint surface roughness of interstitial free CR180IF and dual-phase DP600 steels were investigated. Static tensile tests were carried out by using testing machine Zwick 1387, and dynamic test used rotary hammer machine RSO. Sheet steel was tested at different strain rates ranging from 10−3 to 103 s−1. The laser welds’ microstructure and microhardness were evaluated in the base metal, heat-affected zone, and fusion zone. The comprehensive analysis also included chemical analysis, fracture surface analysis, and roughness measurement. The research results showed that the strain rate had an influence on the mechanical properties of base materials and welded joints. The dynamic loading increases the yield stress more than the ultimate tensile strength for the monitored steels, while the most significant increase was recorded for the welded material. Full article
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Article
Enhancing Acoustic Emission Characteristics in Pipe-Like Structures with Gradient-Index Phononic Crystal Lens
Materials 2021, 14(6), 1552; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14061552 - 22 Mar 2021
Viewed by 530
Abstract
Phononic crystals have the ability to manipulate the propagation of elastic waves in solids by generating unique dispersion characteristics. They can modify the conventional behavior of wave spreading in isotropic materials, known as attenuation, which negatively influences the ability of acoustic emission method [...] Read more.
Phononic crystals have the ability to manipulate the propagation of elastic waves in solids by generating unique dispersion characteristics. They can modify the conventional behavior of wave spreading in isotropic materials, known as attenuation, which negatively influences the ability of acoustic emission method to detect active defects in long-range, pipe-like structures. In this study, pipe geometry is reconfigured by adding gradient-index (GRIN) phononic crystal lens to improve the propagation distance of waves released by active defects such as crack growth and leak. The sensing element is designed to form a ring around the pipe circumference to capture the plane wave with the improved amplitude. The GRIN lens is designed by a special gradient-index profile with varying height stubs adhesively bonded to the pipe surface. The performance of GRIN lens for improving the amplitude of localized sources is demonstrated with finite element numerical model using multiphysics software. Experiments are conducted using pencil lead break simulating crack growth, as well as an orifice with pressured pipe simulating leak. The amplitude of the burst-type signal approximately doubles on average, validating the numerical findings. Hence, the axial distance between sensors can be increased proportionally in the passive sensing of defects in pipe-like geometries. Full article
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Article
Influence of Cr3C2 and VC Content on WC Grain Size, WC Shape and Mechanical Properties of WC–6.0 wt. % Co Cemented Carbides
Materials 2021, 14(6), 1551; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14061551 - 22 Mar 2021
Viewed by 434
Abstract
In this paper, the influences of Cr3C2/VC content on WC grain size, WC grain shape and mechanical properties of WC–6 wt. % Co cemented carbides were investigated. The results showed that the grain size first rapidly decreased and then [...] Read more.
In this paper, the influences of Cr3C2/VC content on WC grain size, WC grain shape and mechanical properties of WC–6 wt. % Co cemented carbides were investigated. The results showed that the grain size first rapidly decreased and then slightly decreased with the increasing Cr3C2/VC content, and VC led to finer grain size and narrower size distribution. HRTEM/EDS analysis of the WC/Co interface indicates that the segregation concentration of V is much larger than that of Cr, which may be a strong response to the higher inhibition efficiency of VC. The addition of Cr3C2 induced triangular prism shape WC grains while VC generated stepped triangular prism grains. Despite the grain growth inhibitor (GGI) mechanisms of Cr3C2/VC have been extensively studied in the literature, the doping amount, especially the doping limit, has not been systematically investigated. In this work, the saturated solubilities of Cr and V in cobalt binder phase along with carbon content hare been predicted based on thermodynamic calculations. Based on the theoretical calculations, the doping amount of Cr3C2/VC is designed to be gradually increasing until more or less over their maximum solubilities in the binder phase, thereby investigating the subsequent microstructure and mechanical properties. When the doping of Cr3C2/VC exceeds the maximum solubility in Co phase, Co-rich Cr-carbides and Co-deficient V-carbides would form respectively, which were detrimental to the transverse rupture strength (TRS) and impact toughness. The hardness increased with the increasing Cr3C2/VC content, while the fracture toughness decreased with the increasing Cr3C2/VC content. The TRS initially enhanced and then declined, but the stepped triangular prism shape grains and low fraction of WC/Co interface in WC–6Co–VC cemented carbide led to a more pronounced decline in the TRS. The sample with 0.6 wt. % Cr3C2 addition had good comprehensive mechanical properties, its hardness, fracture toughness and TRS were 1880 kg/mm2, 9.32 MPa·m1/2 and 3450 MPa, respectively. Full article
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Article
Dimensional Accuracy of Dental Models for Three-Unit Prostheses Fabricated by Various 3D Printing Technologies
Materials 2021, 14(6), 1550; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14061550 - 22 Mar 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 722
Abstract
Previous studies on accuracy of three-dimensional (3D) printed model focused on full arch measurements at few points. The aim of this study was to examine the dimensional accuracy of 3D-printed models which were teeth-prepped for three-unit fixed prostheses, especially at margin and proximal [...] Read more.
Previous studies on accuracy of three-dimensional (3D) printed model focused on full arch measurements at few points. The aim of this study was to examine the dimensional accuracy of 3D-printed models which were teeth-prepped for three-unit fixed prostheses, especially at margin and proximal contact areas. The prepped dental model was scanned with a desktop scanner. Using this reference file, test models were fabricated by digital light processing (DLP), Multi-Jet printing (MJP), and stereo-lithography apparatus (SLA) techniques. We calculated the accuracy (trueness and precision) of 3D-printed models on 3D planes, and deviations of each measured points at buccolingual and mesiodistal planes. We also analyzed the surface roughness of resin printed models. For overall 3D analysis, MJP showed significantly higher accuracy (trueness) than DLP and SLA techniques; however, there was not any statistically significant difference on precision. For deviations on margins of molar tooth and distance to proximal contact, MJP showed significantly accurate results; however, for a premolar tooth, there was no significant difference between the groups. 3D color maps of printed models showed contraction buccolingually, and surface roughness of the models fabricated by MJP technique was observed as the lowest. The accuracy of the 3D-printed resin models by DLP, MJP, and SLA techniques showed a clinically acceptable range to use as a working model for manufacturing dental prostheses Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 3D-Printed Dental Materials)
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Article
Formwork Pressure of a Heavyweight Self-Compacting Concrete Mix
Materials 2021, 14(6), 1549; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14061549 - 22 Mar 2021
Viewed by 476
Abstract
High-fluidity and self-compacting concrete (SCC) mixes were developed using special aggregates for radiation-shielding concrete. The special aggregates comprised heavyweight and hydrous aggregates (crushed magnetite, crushed serpentine, and their mixtures), which were selected to provide an enhanced attenuation of gamma and neutron radiation, respectively. [...] Read more.
High-fluidity and self-compacting concrete (SCC) mixes were developed using special aggregates for radiation-shielding concrete. The special aggregates comprised heavyweight and hydrous aggregates (crushed magnetite, crushed serpentine, and their mixtures), which were selected to provide an enhanced attenuation of gamma and neutron radiation, respectively. For the mixed concrete design with a bulk density of up to 3570 kg/m3, two cement types were used: Portland cement CEM I and slag cement CEM III/A. The basic properties of the fresh self-compacting concrete were evaluated and the lateral formwork pressure exerted by the freshly mixed self-compacting concrete was measured and analyzed. An original test setup was developed for the determination of the lateral pressure on the square column formwork with pressure measurements carried out using six strain gauge pressure transducers, which was adequate for heavyweight concrete mixture testing. Self-compacting concrete mixtures containing a magnetite aggregate or blends of serpentine and magnetite aggregates with a slump flow of at least 550 mm were developed. The lateral pressure on the formwork was directly proportional to the density of the self-compacting heavyweight concrete mixes. The maximum values of the lateral pressure recorded in the test at a casting speed of 1.5 m/h did not exceed 27 kPa and 55% of hydrostatic pressure. Concrete mixtures with basalt, magnetite, and magnetite/serpentine blended aggregates were found to develop sufficient shear strength for proper stability during casting. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Concrete Technology and Mechanical Properties of Concretes)
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Editorial
Environment-Friendly Electrochemical Processes
Materials 2021, 14(6), 1548; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14061548 - 22 Mar 2021
Viewed by 411
Abstract
The present water crisis is probable to grow worse in the coming decades, and this has motivated the scientific community to identify innovative, safe, and robust water treatment technologies at a lower cost and with less energy, diminishing the use of chemicals and [...] Read more.
The present water crisis is probable to grow worse in the coming decades, and this has motivated the scientific community to identify innovative, safe, and robust water treatment technologies at a lower cost and with less energy, diminishing the use of chemicals and impact on the environment [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environment-Friendly Electrochemical Processes)
Article
Effect of Pre-Wetting Recycled Mortar Aggregate on the Mechanical Properties of Masonry Mortar
Materials 2021, 14(6), 1547; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14061547 - 22 Mar 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 451
Abstract
In this research we evaluated the use of recycled fine mortar aggregate (RFMA) as a fine aggregate for new masonry mortar creation. The pre-wetting effect on the aggregate before creating the mixture was analyzed as a method to reduce its absorption potential. A [...] Read more.
In this research we evaluated the use of recycled fine mortar aggregate (RFMA) as a fine aggregate for new masonry mortar creation. The pre-wetting effect on the aggregate before creating the mixture was analyzed as a method to reduce its absorption potential. A control mixture of conventional mortar and two groups of recycled mortars were designed with a partial replacement of natural sand by RFMA (pre-wetted and not pre-wetted) performed in different proportions. The results established that the pre-wetting process allows a reduction in the amount of water required during the creation of new mixtures, regulating the water/cement (W/C) ratio and improving the properties of recycled mortars such as air content, fresh and hardened densities, and compressive and adhesive strength for all substitution levels. Mortar made with a 20% substitution and pre-wetted until it was at 67% of its absorption capacity displayed adhesive values higher than the ones shown by the reference mortar. The pre-wetting process proves to be an easy performance technique; it is inexpensive, environmentally friendly, and the most valuable fact is that specialized equipment is not necessarily needed. This process is the most profitable option for improving RFMA exploitation and reuse. Full article
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