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Materials, Volume 14, Issue 9 (May-1 2021) – 379 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Searching for new precursors of 2D and 3D π-conjugated polymers and having a choice of polymerization techniques are important for development in the area of materials possessing high charge-carrier mobility. The combination of computational and electrochemical techniques has made it possible to fine-tune the oxidation state of the perimidine–carbazole and perimidine–carbazole–thiophene precursors, which have enabled the control of the polymerization process. This work also demonstrates the formation of the peculiar species of perimidine radical cation and diradical dication of the whole monomer moiety, which can lead to a deeper fundamental understanding of the mechanism of σ- and π-dimer formation between different conjugated aromatic systems. View this paper
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Article
N-[4-(N,N,N-Trimethylammonium)Benzyl]Chitosan Chloride as a Gene Carrier: The Influence of Polyplex Composition and Cell Type
Materials 2021, 14(9), 2467; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14092467 - 10 May 2021
Viewed by 865
Abstract
Polyplex-based gene delivery systems are promising substitutes for viral vectors because of their high versatility and lack of disadvantages commonly encountered with viruses. In this work, we studied the DNA polyplexes with N-[4-(N,N,N-trimethylammonium)benzyl]chitosan chloride (TMAB-CS) of various compositions in different [...] Read more.
Polyplex-based gene delivery systems are promising substitutes for viral vectors because of their high versatility and lack of disadvantages commonly encountered with viruses. In this work, we studied the DNA polyplexes with N-[4-(N,N,N-trimethylammonium)benzyl]chitosan chloride (TMAB-CS) of various compositions in different cell types. Investigations of the interaction of TMAB-CS with DNA by different physical methods revealed that the molecular weight and the degree of substitution do not dramatically influence the hydrodynamic properties of polyplexes. Highly substituted TMAB-CS samples had a high affinity for DNA. The transfection protocol was optimized in HEK293T cells and achieved the highest efficiency of 30–35%. TMAB-CS was dramatically less effective in nonadherent K562 cells (around 1% transfected cells), but it was more effective and less toxic than polyarginine. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Polysaccharide Biomaterials—Volume II)
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Article
Cavitated Charcoal—An Innovative Method for Affecting the Biochemical Properties of Soil
Materials 2021, 14(9), 2466; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14092466 - 10 May 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 688
Abstract
Thermal biomass transformation products are considered to be one of the best materials for improving soil properties. The aim of the study was to assess the effect of charcoal after cavitation on the chemical and biochemical properties of soil. The study was carried [...] Read more.
Thermal biomass transformation products are considered to be one of the best materials for improving soil properties. The aim of the study was to assess the effect of charcoal after cavitation on the chemical and biochemical properties of soil. The study was carried out with a 10% aqueous charcoal mixture that was introduced into loamy sand and clay at rates of 1.76%, 3.5%, 7.0%, and 14.0%. The effect of the application of cavitated charcoal was tested on Sorghum saccharatum (L.). Soil and plant material was collected to determine chemical and biochemical properties. The application of cavitated charcoal reduced the acidification of both soils. The highest rate (14.0%) of cavitated charcoal increased the content of soil total carbon (CTot) by 197% in the loamy sand compared to CTot in the control treatments, 19% for clay soil, respectively. The application of cavitated charcoal did not significantly change the total content of heavy metals. Regardless of the element and the soil used, the application of cavitated charcoal reduced the content of the CaCl2-extracted forms of heavy metals. Following the application of cavitated charcoal, the loamy sand soil presented an even lower content of the most mobile forms of the studied elements. It should also be noted that regardless of the soil texture, mobile forms of the elements decreased with the increased cavitated charcoal rate. The results of dehydrogenase and urease activity indicated the low metabolic activity of the microbial population in the soils, especially with the relatively high rates (7.0% and 14.0%) of cavitated charcoal. However, the cavitated charcoal used in the study showed a significant, positive effect on the amount of biomass S. saccharatum (L.), and its application significantly reduced the heavy metal content in the biomass of S. saccharatum (L.). Full article
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Article
Microstructure, Texture and Mechanical Properties in Aluminum Produced by Friction-Assisted Lateral Extrusion
Materials 2021, 14(9), 2465; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14092465 - 10 May 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 805
Abstract
The Friction-Assisted Lateral Extrusion Process (FALEP) is a severe plastic deformation (SPD) technique for producing metal sheets from bulk metal or powder in one single deformation step at room temperature. In the present work, aluminum Al-1050 was deformed by FALEP. Then, its microstructure [...] Read more.
The Friction-Assisted Lateral Extrusion Process (FALEP) is a severe plastic deformation (SPD) technique for producing metal sheets from bulk metal or powder in one single deformation step at room temperature. In the present work, aluminum Al-1050 was deformed by FALEP. Then, its microstructure was examined by EBSD; the crystallographic texture by X-ray; material strength, ductility, and the Lankford parameter by tensile testing; the latter also by polycrystal plasticity simulations. It is shown that the microstructure was highly refined, with the grain size reduced more than 160 times down to 600 nm under the imposed shear strain of 20. The obtained texture was a characteristic simple shear texture with a shear plane nearly parallel to the plane of the sheet. The yield and ultimate strengths increased by about 10 times and three times, respectively. The Lankford parameter was 1.28, which is very high for aluminum, and due to the specific shear texture, unusual in a sheet. All these exceptional characteristics of Al-1050 were obtained thanks to the efficiency of the FALEP SPD process, which is a promising candidate for industrial applications. Full article
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Article
Effect of Residual Trace Amounts of Fe and Al in Li[Ni1/3Mn1/3Co1/3]O2 Cathode Active Material for the Sustainable Recycling of Lithium-Ion Batteries
Materials 2021, 14(9), 2464; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14092464 - 10 May 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 958
Abstract
As the explosive growth of the electric vehicle market leads to an increase in spent lithium-ion batteries (LIBs), the disposal of LIBs has also made headlines. In this study, we synthesized the cathode active materials Li[Ni1/3Mn1/3Co1/3]O2 [...] Read more.
As the explosive growth of the electric vehicle market leads to an increase in spent lithium-ion batteries (LIBs), the disposal of LIBs has also made headlines. In this study, we synthesized the cathode active materials Li[Ni1/3Mn1/3Co1/3]O2 (NMC) and Li[Ni1/3Mn1/3Co1/3Fe0.0005Al0.0005]O2 (NMCFA) via hydroxide co-precipitation and calcination processes, which simulate the resynthesis of NMC in leachate containing trace amounts of iron and aluminum from spent LIBs. The effects of iron and aluminum on the physicochemical and electrochemical properties were investigated and compared with NMC. Trace amounts of iron and aluminum do not affect the morphology, the formation of O3-type layered structures, or the redox peak. On the other hand, the rate capability of NMCFA shows high discharge capacities at 7 C (110 mAh g−1) and 10 C (74 mAh g−1), comparable to the values for NMC at 5 C (111 mAh g−1) and 7 C (79 mAh g−1), respectively, due to the widened interslab thickness of NMCFA which facilitates the movement of lithium ions in a 2D channel. Therefore, iron and aluminum, which are usually considered as impurities in the recycling of LIBs, could be used as doping elements for enhancing the electrochemical performance of resynthesized cathode active materials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Manufacturing and Recycling of Battery Materials)
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Article
Structural Response Prediction of Thin-Walled Additively Manufactured Parts Considering Orthotropy, Thickness Dependency and Scatter
Materials 2021, 14(9), 2463; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14092463 - 10 May 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1079
Abstract
Besides the design freedom offered by additive manufacturing, another asset lies within its potential to accelerate product development processes by rapid fabrication of functional prototypes. The premise to fully exploit this benefit for lightweight design is the accurate structural response prediction prior to [...] Read more.
Besides the design freedom offered by additive manufacturing, another asset lies within its potential to accelerate product development processes by rapid fabrication of functional prototypes. The premise to fully exploit this benefit for lightweight design is the accurate structural response prediction prior to part production. However, the peculiar material behavior, characterized by anisotropy, thickness dependency and scatter, still constitutes a major challenge. Hence, a modeling approach for finite element analysis that accounts for this inhomogeneous behavior is developed by example of laser-sintered short-fiber-reinforced polyamide 12. Orthotropic and thickness-dependent Young’s moduli and Poisson’s ratios were determined via quasi-static tensile tests. Thereof, material models were generated and implemented in a property mapping routine for finite element models. Additionally, a framework for stochastic finite element analysis was set up for the consideration of scatter in material properties. For validation, thin-walled parts on sub-component level were fabricated and tested in quasi-static three-point bending experiments. Elastic parameters showed considerable anisotropy, thickness dependency and scatter. A comparison of the predicted forces with experimentally evaluated reaction forces disclosed substantially improved accuracy when utilizing the novel inhomogeneous approach instead of conventional homogeneous approaches. Furthermore, the variability observed in the structural response of loaded parts could be reproduced by the stochastic simulations. Full article
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Article
Computational Approaches of Quasi-Static Compression Loading of SS316L Lattice Structures Made by Selective Laser Melting
Materials 2021, 14(9), 2462; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14092462 - 10 May 2021
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2827
Abstract
Additive manufacturing methods (AM) allow the production of complex-shaped lattice structures from a wide range of materials with enhanced mechanical properties, e.g., high strength to relative density ratio. These structures can be modified for various applications considering a transfer of a specific load [...] Read more.
Additive manufacturing methods (AM) allow the production of complex-shaped lattice structures from a wide range of materials with enhanced mechanical properties, e.g., high strength to relative density ratio. These structures can be modified for various applications considering a transfer of a specific load or to absorb a precise amount of energy with the required deformation pattern. However, the structure design requires knowledge of the relationship between nonlinear material properties and lattice structure geometrical imperfections affected by manufacturing process parameters. A detailed analytical and numerical computational investigation must be done to better understand the behavior of lattice structures under mechanical loading. Different computational methods lead to different levels of result accuracy and reveal various deformational features. Therefore, this study focuses on a comparison of computational approaches using a quasi-static compression experiment of body-centered cubic (BCC) lattice structure manufactured of stainless steel 316L by selective laser melting technology. Models of geometry in numerical simulations are supplemented with geometrical imperfections that occur on the lattice structure’s surface during the manufacturing process. They are related to the change of lattice struts cross-section size and actual shape. Results of the models supplemented with geometrical imperfections improved the accuracy of the calculations compared to the nominal geometry. Full article
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Article
Bioactive Regeneration Potential of the Newly Developed Uncalcined/Unsintered Hydroxyapatite and Poly-l-Lactide-Co-Glycolide Biomaterial in Maxillofacial Reconstructive Surgery: An In Vivo Preliminary Study
Materials 2021, 14(9), 2461; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14092461 - 10 May 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 769
Abstract
Uncalcined/unsintered hydroxyapatite (HA) and poly-l-lactide-co-glycolide (u-HA/PLLA/PGA) are novel bioresorbable bioactive materials with bone regeneration characteristics and have been used to treat mandibular defects in a rat model. However, the bone regenerative interaction with the periosteum, the inflammatory response, and the degradation [...] Read more.
Uncalcined/unsintered hydroxyapatite (HA) and poly-l-lactide-co-glycolide (u-HA/PLLA/PGA) are novel bioresorbable bioactive materials with bone regeneration characteristics and have been used to treat mandibular defects in a rat model. However, the bone regenerative interaction with the periosteum, the inflammatory response, and the degradation of this material have not been examined. In this study, we used a rat mandible model to compare the above features in u-HA/PLLA/PGA and uncalcined/unsintered HA and poly-l-lactic acid (u-HA/PLLA). We divided 11 male Sprague–Dawley rats into 3- and 16-week groups. In each group, we assessed the characteristics of a u-HA/PLLA/PGA sheet covering the right mandibular angle and a u-HA/PLLA sheet covering the left mandibular angle in three rats each, and one rat was used as a sham control. The remaining three rats in the 16-week group were used for a degradation assessment and received both sheets of material as in the material assessment subgroup. At 3 and 16 weeks after surgery, the rats were sacrificed, and mandible specimens were subjected to micro-computed tomography, histological analysis, and immunohistochemical staining. The results indicated that the interaction between the periosteum and u-HA/PLLA/PGA material produced significantly more new bone regeneration with a lower inflammatory response and a faster resorption rate compared to u-HA/PLLA alone. These findings may indicate that this new biomaterial has ideal potential in treating maxillofacial defects of the midface and orbital regions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Biomaterials for Bone Regeneration)
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Article
Experimental Analysis of the Enzymatic Degradation of Polycaprolactone: Microcrystalline Cellulose Composites and Numerical Method for the Prediction of the Degraded Geometry
Materials 2021, 14(9), 2460; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14092460 - 10 May 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 802
Abstract
The degradation rate of polycaprolactone (PCL) is a key issue when using this material in Tissue Engineering or eco-friendly packaging sectors. Although different PCL-based composite materials have been suggested in the literature and extensively tested in terms of processability by material extrusion additive [...] Read more.
The degradation rate of polycaprolactone (PCL) is a key issue when using this material in Tissue Engineering or eco-friendly packaging sectors. Although different PCL-based composite materials have been suggested in the literature and extensively tested in terms of processability by material extrusion additive manufacturing, little attention has been paid to the influence of the fillers on the mechanical properties of the material during degradation. This work analyses the possibility of tuning the degradation rate of PCL-based filaments by the introduction of microcrystalline cellulose into the polymer matrix. The enzymatic degradation of the composite and pure PCL materials were compared in terms of mass loss, mechanical properties, morphology and infrared spectra. The results showed an increased degradation rate of the composite material due to the presence of the filler (enhanced interaction with the enzymes). Additionally, a new numerical method for the prediction of the degraded geometry was developed. The method, based on the Monte Carlo Method in an iterative process, adjusts the degradation probability according to the exposure of each discretized element to the degradation media. This probability is also amplified depending on the corresponding experimental mass loss, thus allowing a good fit to the experimental data in relatively few iterations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Computational Materials Modeling, Analysis and Applications)
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Article
Fabrication of Polyurethane/Polylactide (PU/PLDL) Nanofibers Using Electrospinning Method
Materials 2021, 14(9), 2459; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14092459 - 10 May 2021
Viewed by 919
Abstract
Polylactide and aliphatic polyurethane are biodegradable synthetic polymers which are broadly used as biomaterials in regenerative medicine for implants and scaffolds for tissue engineering. In this paper, the detailed studies of the fabrication of the electrospun fibers of polyurethane/polylactide mixtures were described. The [...] Read more.
Polylactide and aliphatic polyurethane are biodegradable synthetic polymers which are broadly used as biomaterials in regenerative medicine for implants and scaffolds for tissue engineering. In this paper, the detailed studies of the fabrication of the electrospun fibers of polyurethane/polylactide mixtures were described. The influence of the used solvent (dimethylformamide (DMF)) and diluents (acetone and dichloromethane (DCM)) on the rheological parameters and electrospinning of the described mixtures was examined. Rheological studies showed that polyure-thane/polylactide mixtures have mostly non-Newtonian character, strongly influenced by the diluent. Solutions containing 50 wt.% or more of polyurethane became less viscous after the addition of DCM or acetone, whereas those with bigger amount of polylactide showed higher viscosity after the addition of DCM and lower viscosity after the addition of acetone. Optimized electrospinning process has been elaborated. Fibers with diameters from 250 nm up to 1 µm have been produced and compared. Pure acetone worsened the electrospinning process, but the more DCM was in the mixture, the thinner and more aligned fibers were produced. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biomaterials)
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Article
Effects of Amorphous Poly Alpha Olefin (APAO) and Polyphosphoric Acid (PPA) on the Rheological Properties, Compatibility and Stability of Asphalt Binder
Materials 2021, 14(9), 2458; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14092458 - 10 May 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 754
Abstract
High production costs and poor storage stability have become important constraints in the manufacture of modified asphalt binder. To simplify the production process and reduce the production cost, amorphous poly alpha olefin (APAO) and polyphosphoric acid (PPA) were applied to prepare highly stable [...] Read more.
High production costs and poor storage stability have become important constraints in the manufacture of modified asphalt binder. To simplify the production process and reduce the production cost, amorphous poly alpha olefin (APAO) and polyphosphoric acid (PPA) were applied to prepare highly stable modified asphalt binder. The influence of APAO/PPA on the temperature sensitivity, rheological property, storage stability, compatibility and microstructure of neat binder were studied by rotational viscosity (RV), dynamic shear rheometer (DSR), bending beam rheometer (BBR) and Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy. The results show that the incorporation of APAO/PPA reduced the temperature sensitivity of neat binder. The combined effect of APAO/PPA contributed to the improvement in deformation resistance, which was evidenced by the increase in failure temperature and percent recovery. However, the compound modification of APAO/PPA decreased the binder’s low-temperature performance. APAO strengthened the fatigue resistance of the binder, while PPA reduced the anti-fatigue performance. Composite modified asphalt binder with superior storage stability could be prepared, which was confirmed by the desired Cole–Cole plots and fluorescence imaging. Furthermore, chemical and physical reactions occurred during the APAO/PPA modification process. Overall, 2 wt.% (weight percentage) APAO and 1.5 wt.% PPA are recommended for the production of modified asphalt binder with remarkable rheological performance and storage stability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research and Development of Modified Building Materials)
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Article
Gas Metal Arc Welding Modes in Wire Arc Additive Manufacturing of Ti-6Al-4V
Materials 2021, 14(9), 2457; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14092457 - 10 May 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1042
Abstract
In wire arc additive manufacturing of Ti-alloy parts (Ti-WAAM) gas metal arc welding (GMAW) can be applied for complex parts printing. However, due to the specific properties of Ti, GMAW of Ti-alloys is complicated. In this work, three different types of metal transfer [...] Read more.
In wire arc additive manufacturing of Ti-alloy parts (Ti-WAAM) gas metal arc welding (GMAW) can be applied for complex parts printing. However, due to the specific properties of Ti, GMAW of Ti-alloys is complicated. In this work, three different types of metal transfer modes during Ti-WAAM were investigated: Cold Metal Transfer, controlled short circuiting metal transfer, and self-regulated metal transfer at a direct current with a negative electrode. Metal transfer modes were studied using captured waveform and high-speed video analysis. Using these modes, three walls were manufactured; the geometry preservation stability was estimated and compared using effective wall width calculation, the microstructure was analyzed using optical microscopy. Transfer process data showed that arc wandering depends not only on cathode spot instabilities, but also on anode processing properties. Microstructure analysis showed that each produced wall consists of phases and structures inherent for Ti-WAAM. α-basketweave in the center of and α-colony on the grain boundary of epitaxially grown β-grains were found with heat affected zone bands along the height of the walls, so that the microstructure did not depend on metal transfer dramatically. However, the geometry preservation stability was higher in the wall, produced with controlled short circuiting metal transfer. Full article
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Article
Hot Deformation Behavior and Processing Maps of a New Ti-6Al-2Nb-2Zr-0.4B Titanium Alloy
Materials 2021, 14(9), 2456; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14092456 - 09 May 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 874
Abstract
The hot deformation behaviors of a new Ti-6Al-2Nb-2Zr-0.4B titanium alloy in the strain rate range 0.01–10.0 s−1 and temperature range 850–1060 °C were evaluated using hot compressing testing on a Gleeble-3800 simulator at 60% of deformation degree. The flow stress characteristics of [...] Read more.
The hot deformation behaviors of a new Ti-6Al-2Nb-2Zr-0.4B titanium alloy in the strain rate range 0.01–10.0 s−1 and temperature range 850–1060 °C were evaluated using hot compressing testing on a Gleeble-3800 simulator at 60% of deformation degree. The flow stress characteristics of the alloy were analyzed according to the true stress–strain curve. The constitutive equation was established to describe the change of deformation temperature and flow stress with strain rate. The thermal deformation activation energy Q was equal to 551.7 kJ/mol. The constitutive equation was ε ˙=e54.41[sinh (0.01σ)]2.35exp(551.7/RT). On the basis of the dynamic material model and the instability criterion, the processing maps were established at the strain of 0.5. The experimental results revealed that in the (α + β) region deformation, the power dissipation rate reached 53% in the range of 0.01–0.05 s−1 and temperature range of 920–980 °C, and the deformation mechanism was dynamic recovery. In the β region deformation, the power dissipation rate reached 48% in the range of 0.01–0.1 s−1 and temperature range of 1010–1040 °C, and the deformation mechanism involved dynamic recovery and dynamic recrystallization. Full article
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Article
The Mechanical Properties and Damage Evolution of UHPC Reinforced with Glass Fibers and High-Performance Polypropylene Fibers
Materials 2021, 14(9), 2455; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14092455 - 09 May 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1138
Abstract
Due to the sharp and corrosion-prone features of steel fibers, there is a demand for ultra-high-performance concrete (UHPC) reinforced with nonmetallic fibers. In this paper, glass fiber (GF) and the high-performance polypropylene (HPP) fiber were selected to prepare UHPC, and the effects of [...] Read more.
Due to the sharp and corrosion-prone features of steel fibers, there is a demand for ultra-high-performance concrete (UHPC) reinforced with nonmetallic fibers. In this paper, glass fiber (GF) and the high-performance polypropylene (HPP) fiber were selected to prepare UHPC, and the effects of different fibers on the compressive, tensile and bending properties of UHPC were investigated, experimentally and numerically. Then, the damage evolution of UHPC was further studied numerically, adopting the concrete damaged plasticity (CDP) model. The difference between the simulation values and experimental values was within 5.0%, verifying the reliability of the numerical model. The results indicate that 2.0% fiber content in UHPC provides better mechanical properties. In addition, the glass fiber was more significant in strengthening the effect. Compared with HPP-UHPC, the compressive, tensile and flexural strength of GF-UHPC increased by about 20%, 30% and 40%, respectively. However, the flexural toughness indexes I5, I10 and I20 of HPP-UHPC were about 1.2, 2.0 and 3.8 times those of GF-UHPC, respectively, showing that the toughening effect of the HPP fiber is better. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue High Performance of Fiber Reinforced Cementitious Composites)
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Article
New Insight into the Fluorescence Quenching of Nitrogen-Containing Carbonaceous Quantum Dots—From Surface Chemistry to Biomedical Applications
Materials 2021, 14(9), 2454; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14092454 - 09 May 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1041
Abstract
Carbon-based quantum dots are widely suggested as fluorescent carriers of drugs, genes or other bioactive molecules. In this work, we thoroughly examine the easy-to-obtain, biocompatible, nitrogen-containing carbonaceous quantum dots (N-CQDs) with stable fluorescent properties that are resistant to wide-range pH changes. Moreover, we [...] Read more.
Carbon-based quantum dots are widely suggested as fluorescent carriers of drugs, genes or other bioactive molecules. In this work, we thoroughly examine the easy-to-obtain, biocompatible, nitrogen-containing carbonaceous quantum dots (N-CQDs) with stable fluorescent properties that are resistant to wide-range pH changes. Moreover, we explain the mechanism of fluorescence quenching at extreme pH conditions. Our in vitro results indicate that N-CQDs penetrate the cell membrane; however, fluorescence intensity measured inside the cells was lower than expected from carbonaceous dots extracellular concentration decrease. We studied the mechanism of quenching and identified reduced form of β-nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH) as one of the intracellular quenchers. We proved it experimentally that the elucidated redox process triggers the efficient reduction of amide functionalities to non-fluorescent amines on carbonaceous dots surface. We determined the 5 nm–wide reactive redox zone around the N-CQD surface. The better understanding of fluorescence quenching will help to accurately quantify and dose the internalized carbonaceous quantum dots for biomedical applications. Full article
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Article
Sintering and Mechanical Properties of (SiC + TiCx)p/Fe Composites Synthesized from Ti3AlC2, SiC, and Fe Powders
Materials 2021, 14(9), 2453; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14092453 - 09 May 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 758
Abstract
Ceramic-particle-reinforced iron matrix composites (CPR-IMCs) have been used in many fields due to their excellent performance. In this study, using the fast resistance-sintering technology developed by our team, iron matrix composites (IMCs) reinforced by both SiC and TiCx particles were fabricated via [...] Read more.
Ceramic-particle-reinforced iron matrix composites (CPR-IMCs) have been used in many fields due to their excellent performance. In this study, using the fast resistance-sintering technology developed by our team, iron matrix composites (IMCs) reinforced by both SiC and TiCx particles were fabricated via the addition of SiC and Ti3AlC2 particles, and the resulting relative densities of the sintering products were up to 98%. The XRD and EDS analyses confirmed the in situ formation of the TiCx from the decomposition of Ti3AlC2 during sintering. A significant hybrid reinforcing effect was discovered in the (SiC + TiCx)p/Fe composites, where the experimental strength and hardness of the (SiC + TiCx)p/Fe composites were higher than the composites of monolithic SiCp/Fe and (TiCx)p/Fe. While, under the condition of constant particle content, the elongation of the samples reinforced using TiCx was the best, those reinforced by SiC was the lowest, and those reinforced by (SiC + TiCx) fell in between, which means the plastic response of (SiC + TiCx)p/Fe composites obeyed the rule of mixture. The successful preparation of IMCs based on the hybrid reinforcement mechanism provides an idea for the optimization of IMCs. Full article
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Article
Influence of the Fly Ash Material Inoculants on the Tensile and Impact Characteristics of the Aluminum AA 5083/7.5SiC Composites
Materials 2021, 14(9), 2452; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14092452 - 09 May 2021
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 1153
Abstract
The choice of suitable inoculants in the grain refinement process and subsequent enhancement of the characteristics of the composites developed is an important materials research topic, having wide scope. In this regard, the present work is aimed at finding the appropriate composition and [...] Read more.
The choice of suitable inoculants in the grain refinement process and subsequent enhancement of the characteristics of the composites developed is an important materials research topic, having wide scope. In this regard, the present work is aimed at finding the appropriate composition and size of fly ash as inoculants for grain refinement of the aluminum AA 5083 composites. Fly ash particles, which are by products of the combustion process in thermal power plants, contributing to the large-scale pollution and landfills can be effectively utilized as inoculants and interatomic lubricants in the composite matrix–reinforcement subspaces synthesized in the inert atmosphere using ultrasonic assisted stir casting setup. Thus, the work involves the study of the influence of percentage and size of the fly ash dispersions on the tensile and impact strength characteristics of the aluminum AA 5083/7.5SiC composites. The C type of fly ash with the particle size in the series of 40–75 µm, 76–100 µm, and 101–125 µm and weight % in the series of 0.5, 1, 1.5, 2, and 2.5 are selected for the work. The influence of fly ash as distinct material inoculants for the grain refinement has worked out well with the increase in the ultimate tensile strength, yield strength, and impact strength of the composites, with the fly ash as material inoculants up to 2 wt. % beyond which the tensile and impact characteristics decrease due to the micro coring and segregation. This is evident from the microstructural observations for the composite specimens. Moreover, the role of fly ash as material inoculants is distinctly identified with the X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) for the phase and grain growth epitaxy and the Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy (EDS) for analyzing the characteristic X-Rays of the fly ash particles as inoculant agents in the energy spectrum. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functional Materials, Machine Learning, and Optimization)
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Review
Blood Particulate Analogue Fluids: A Review
Materials 2021, 14(9), 2451; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14092451 - 09 May 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1128
Abstract
Microfluidics has proven to be an extraordinary working platform to mimic and study blood flow phenomena and the dynamics of components of the human microcirculatory system. However, the use of real blood increases the complexity to perform these kinds of in vitro blood [...] Read more.
Microfluidics has proven to be an extraordinary working platform to mimic and study blood flow phenomena and the dynamics of components of the human microcirculatory system. However, the use of real blood increases the complexity to perform these kinds of in vitro blood experiments due to diverse problems such as coagulation, sample storage, and handling problems. For this reason, interest in the development of fluids with rheological properties similar to those of real blood has grown over the last years. The inclusion of microparticles in blood analogue fluids is essential to reproduce multiphase effects taking place in a microcirculatory system, such as the cell-free layer (CFL) and Fähraeus–Lindqvist effect. In this review, we summarize the progress made in the last twenty years. Size, shape, mechanical properties, and even biological functionalities of microparticles produced/used to mimic red blood cells (RBCs) are critically exposed and analyzed. The methods developed to fabricate these RBC templates are also shown. The dynamic flow/rheology of blood particulate analogue fluids proposed in the literature (with different particle concentrations, in most of the cases, relatively low) is shown and discussed in-depth. Although there have been many advances, the development of a reliable blood particulate analogue fluid, with around 45% by volume of microparticles, continues to be a big challenge. Full article
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Article
Additive Manufacturing-Based In Situ Consolidation of Continuous Carbon Fibre-Reinforced Polycarbonate
Materials 2021, 14(9), 2450; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14092450 - 09 May 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1247
Abstract
Continuous carbon fibre-reinforced thermoplastic composites have convincing anisotropic properties, which can be used to strengthen structural components in a local, variable and efficient way. In this study, an additive manufacturing (AM) process is introduced to fabricate in situ consolidated continuous fibre-reinforced polycarbonate. Specimens [...] Read more.
Continuous carbon fibre-reinforced thermoplastic composites have convincing anisotropic properties, which can be used to strengthen structural components in a local, variable and efficient way. In this study, an additive manufacturing (AM) process is introduced to fabricate in situ consolidated continuous fibre-reinforced polycarbonate. Specimens with three different nozzle temperatures were in situ consolidated and tested in a three-point bending test. Computed tomography (CT) is used for a detailed analysis of the local material structure and resulting material porosity, thus the results can be put into context with process parameters. In addition, a highly curved test structure was fabricated that demonstrates the limits of the process and dependent fibre strand folding behaviours. These experimental investigations present the potential and the challenges of additive manufacturing-based in situ consolidated continuous fibre-reinforced polycarbonate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Additive Manufacturing Materials and Their Applications)
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Article
The Preparation and Characterization of Chitosan-Based Hydrogels Cross-Linked by Glyoxal
Materials 2021, 14(9), 2449; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14092449 - 09 May 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 989
Abstract
In this study, hydrogels based on chitosan cross-linked by glyoxal have been investigated for potential medical applications. Hydrogels were loaded with tannic acid at different concentrations. The thermal stability and the polyphenol-releasing rate were determined. For a preliminary assessment of the clinical usefulness [...] Read more.
In this study, hydrogels based on chitosan cross-linked by glyoxal have been investigated for potential medical applications. Hydrogels were loaded with tannic acid at different concentrations. The thermal stability and the polyphenol-releasing rate were determined. For a preliminary assessment of the clinical usefulness of the hydrogels, they were examined for blood compatibility and in the culture of human dental pulp cells (hDPC). The results showed that after immersion in a polyphenol solution, chitosan/glyoxal hydrogels remain nonhemolytic for erythrocytes, and we also did not observe the cytotoxic effect of hydrogels immersed in tannic acid (TA) solutions with different concentration. Tannic acid was successfully released from hydrogels, and its addition improved material thermal stability. Thus, the current findings open the possibility to consider such hydrogels in clinics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydrogels and Their Biomedical Applications)
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Article
The Importance of Structural Factors for the Electrochemical Performance of Graphene/Carbon Nanotube/Melamine Powders towards the Catalytic Activity of Oxygen Reduction Reaction
Materials 2021, 14(9), 2448; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14092448 - 09 May 2021
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 1430
Abstract
In this paper, we show the carbonization of binary composites consisting of graphene nanoplatelets and melamine (GNP/MM), multi-walled carbon nanotubes and melamine (CNT/MM) and trinary composites containing GNP, CNT, and MM. Additionally, the manuscript presents results on the influence of structural factors for [...] Read more.
In this paper, we show the carbonization of binary composites consisting of graphene nanoplatelets and melamine (GNP/MM), multi-walled carbon nanotubes and melamine (CNT/MM) and trinary composites containing GNP, CNT, and MM. Additionally, the manuscript presents results on the influence of structural factors for the electrochemical performance of carbon composites on their catalytic activity. This study contributes to the wide search and design of novel hybrid carbon composites for electrochemical applications. We demonstrate that intensive nitrogen atom insertion is not the governing factor since hybrid system modifications and porous structure sometimes play a more crucial role in the tailoring of electrochemical properties of the carbon hybrids seen as a noble metal-free alternative to traditional electrode materials. Additionally, HRTEM and Raman spectra study allowed for the evaluation of the quality of the obtained hybrid materials. Full article
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Article
Humidity Effects on Domain Structure and Polarization Switching of Pb(Zn1/3Nb2/3)O3-x%PbTiO3 (PZN-x%PT) Single Crystals
Materials 2021, 14(9), 2447; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14092447 - 09 May 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 858
Abstract
The effect of relative humidity on the domain structure imaging and polarization switching process of Pb(Zn1/3Nb2/3)O3-x%PbTiO3 (PZN-x%PT) ferroelectric single crystals has been investigated by means of the piezoresponse force microscopy (PFM) and piezoresponse force spectroscopy (PFS) [...] Read more.
The effect of relative humidity on the domain structure imaging and polarization switching process of Pb(Zn1/3Nb2/3)O3-x%PbTiO3 (PZN-x%PT) ferroelectric single crystals has been investigated by means of the piezoresponse force microscopy (PFM) and piezoresponse force spectroscopy (PFS) techniques. It was found that the PFM amplitude increases with the relative humidity, and that the ferroelectric hysteresis loops at different relative humidity levels show that the coercive bias decreases with the increase in relative humidity. These observed phenomena are attributed to the existence of the water layer between the probe tip and the sample surface in a humid atmosphere, which could affect the effect of the electric field distribution and screening properties at the ferroelectric sample surface. These results provide a better understanding of the water adsorption phenomena at the nanoscale in regard to the fundamental understanding of ferroelectrics’ properties. Full article
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Erratum
Erratum: Von-Wolff et al. Testing of Eluates from Construction Products for Potential Environmental Effects Due to the Behaviour of Enchytraeus albidus. Materials 2021, 14, 294
Materials 2021, 14(9), 2446; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14092446 - 08 May 2021
Viewed by 612
Abstract
In the original version of our article [...] Full article
Article
Effect of Mg Addition on the Microstructure and Properties of a Heat-Affected Zone in Submerged Arc Welding of an Al-Killed Low Carbon Steel
Materials 2021, 14(9), 2445; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14092445 - 08 May 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 838
Abstract
To reveal the effect of Mg treatment on the microstructure evolution behavior in the actual steel welding process, the microstructure and properties of Al-deoxidized high-strength ship plate steel with Mg addition were analyzed after double-side submerged arc welding. It was found that the [...] Read more.
To reveal the effect of Mg treatment on the microstructure evolution behavior in the actual steel welding process, the microstructure and properties of Al-deoxidized high-strength ship plate steel with Mg addition were analyzed after double-side submerged arc welding. It was found that the Al–Mg–O + MnS inclusion formed under 26 ppm Mg treatment could promote acicular ferrite (AF) nucleation in the coarse-grained heat-affected zone (CGHAZ) and inhibit the formation of widmanstätten ferrite and coarse grain boundary ferrite. In the fine-grained heat-affected zone (FGHAZ) and intercritical heat-affected zone (ICHAZ), polygonal ferrite and pearlite were dominant. Al–Mg–O+MnS cannot play a role in inducing AF, but the grain size of ferrite was refined by Mg addition. The impact toughness in HAZ of the Mg-added steel was higher than that of Mg-free steel. With the heat-input rising from 29.55 to 44.11 kJ/cm, it remained relatively stable in Mg-treated steel. From the fusion line to the base metal, the micro-hardness of the fusion zone, CGHAZ, ICHAZ and FGHAZ decreased to some extent after Mg addition, which means the cold cracking tendency in the welding weak zone could be reduced. Finally, the mechanisms of Mg-containing inclusion-induced AF were also systematically discussed. Full article
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Article
Effect of Cr on Aqueous and Atmospheric Corrosion of Automotive Carbon Steel
Materials 2021, 14(9), 2444; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14092444 - 08 May 2021
Viewed by 766
Abstract
This study investigated the effect of Cr alloying element on the corrosion properties of automotive carbon steel (0.1C, 0.5Si, 2.5Mn, Fe Bal., composition given in wt.%) in aqueous and atmospheric conditions using electrochemical measurement and cyclic corrosion tests. Three steels with 0, 0.3, [...] Read more.
This study investigated the effect of Cr alloying element on the corrosion properties of automotive carbon steel (0.1C, 0.5Si, 2.5Mn, Fe Bal., composition given in wt.%) in aqueous and atmospheric conditions using electrochemical measurement and cyclic corrosion tests. Three steels with 0, 0.3, and 0.5 wt.% Cr were studied by electrochemical impedance spectroscopy. Polarization resistance (Rp) of 0.3 Cr and 0.5 Cr steels was higher than that of 0 Cr steel, and the Rp also increased as the Cr content increased. Therefore, Cr increases the corrosion resistance of automotive carbon steel immersed in a chloride ion (Cl)-containing aqueous solution. In the cyclic corrosion test results, Cl was concentrated at the metal/rust interface in all of the steels regardless of Cr content. The Cl was uniformly concentrated and distributed on the 0 Cr steel, but locally and non-uniformly concentrated on the Cr-added steels. The inner rust layer consisted of β-FeOOH containing Cl and Cr-goethite, while the outer rust layer was composed of amorphous iron oxyhydroxide mixed with various types of rust. FeCl2 and CrCl3 are formed from the Cl nest developed in the early stage, and the pitting at CrCl3-formed regions are locally accelerated because Cr is strongly hydrolyzed to a very low pH. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Microstructure and Corrosion Behavior of Advanced Alloys)
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Article
Improving Indoor Air Quality by Using Sheep Wool Thermal Insulation
Materials 2021, 14(9), 2443; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14092443 - 08 May 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1101
Abstract
Currently, the need to ensure adequate quality of air inside the living space but also the thermal efficiency of buildings is pressing. This paper presents the capacity of sheep wool heat-insulating mattresses to simultaneously provide these needs, cumulatively analyzing efficiency indicators for thermal [...] Read more.
Currently, the need to ensure adequate quality of air inside the living space but also the thermal efficiency of buildings is pressing. This paper presents the capacity of sheep wool heat-insulating mattresses to simultaneously provide these needs, cumulatively analyzing efficiency indicators for thermal insulation and indicators of improving air quality. Thus, the values obtained for the coefficient of thermal conductivity, and its resistance to heat transfer, demonstrate the suitability of their use for thermal insulation. The results of the permeability to water vapor characteristics on the sorption/desorption of water, air, demonstrate the ability to control the humidity of the indoor air and the results on the reduction of the concentration of formaldehyde, demonstrating their contribution to the growth of the quality of the air, and to reduce the risk of disease in the population. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Obtaining and Characterization of New Materials, Volume II)
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Article
Study of Cytotoxic Properties of an Experimental Preparation with Features of a Dental Infiltrant
Materials 2021, 14(9), 2442; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14092442 - 08 May 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 743
Abstract
Microinvasive dentistry is based on the treatment of early carious lesions with the use of dental infiltrants. The commercially available Icon dental infiltrant does not contain any bacteriostatic component. An experimental preparation enriched with the missing component was synthesised. The aim of this [...] Read more.
Microinvasive dentistry is based on the treatment of early carious lesions with the use of dental infiltrants. The commercially available Icon dental infiltrant does not contain any bacteriostatic component. An experimental preparation enriched with the missing component was synthesised. The aim of this study was to evaluate the cytotoxicity of the experimental preparation. Mouse fibroblasts of the L-929 lineage were used for the in vitro study. Cell morphology and viability were assessed. In the cytotoxicity analysis, it was shown that the experimental preparation (42.8 ± 10.3) after 24 h at two-fold dilution showed similar cytotoxicity to Icon (42.7 ± 8.8) (p > 0.05), while at four-fold dilution experimental preparation (46.7 ± 3.1), it was less toxic than Icon (34.2 ± 3.1) (p < 0.05). The experimental preparation has the potential to provide an alternative to the Icon commercial preparation. Further research is needed to evaluate the cytotoxicity of the experimental preparation over a longer period of time. Full article
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Article
Effects of Filling Rate and Resin Concentration on Pore Characteristics and Properties of Carbon Based Wood Ceramics
Materials 2021, 14(9), 2441; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14092441 - 08 May 2021
Viewed by 859
Abstract
As a kind of novel porous ceramics, wood ceramics can be used for filtration, friction, energy storage and electrode materials, etc. In current work, the carbon based wood ceramics (C WCMs) was prepared using pine wood powder and phenolic resin as starting materials. [...] Read more.
As a kind of novel porous ceramics, wood ceramics can be used for filtration, friction, energy storage and electrode materials, etc. In current work, the carbon based wood ceramics (C WCMs) was prepared using pine wood powder and phenolic resin as starting materials. The effects of filling rate of wood powder and resin concentration on pore characteristics and properties of C WCMs were characterized and analyzed with different techniques. Furthermore, the association among porosity of C WCMs, filling rate of wood powder and resin concentration was explored with multiple regression model. The results showed that: increasing the resin concentration and the filling rate of wood powder can improve the mechanical properties of C WCMs, but reduce the porosity and air permeability; when resin concentration is more than 50%, a large amount of caking will appear in the C WCMs, causing internal defects; changing the filling rate under a certain resin concentration can obtain the C WCMs with better pore structure; the porosity of C WCMs has a good linear relationship with resin concentration and filling rate, under the condition that sintering process and the size of wood powder are determined. Full article
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Review
Current Landscape in Organic Nanosized Materials Advances for Improved Management of Colorectal Cancer Patients
Materials 2021, 14(9), 2440; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14092440 - 08 May 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1119
Abstract
Globally, colorectal cancer (CRC) ranks as one of the most prevalent types of cancers at the moment, being the second cause of cancer-related deaths. The CRC chemotherapy backbone is represented by 5-fluorouracil, oxaliplatin, irinotecan, and their combinations, but their administration presents several serious [...] Read more.
Globally, colorectal cancer (CRC) ranks as one of the most prevalent types of cancers at the moment, being the second cause of cancer-related deaths. The CRC chemotherapy backbone is represented by 5-fluorouracil, oxaliplatin, irinotecan, and their combinations, but their administration presents several serious disadvantages, such as poor bioavailability, lack of tumor specificity, and susceptibility to multidrug resistance. To address these limitations, nanomedicine has arisen as a powerful tool to improve current chemotherapy since nanosized carriers hold great promise in improving the stability and solubility of the drug payload and enhancing the active concentration of the drug that reaches the tumor tissue, increasing, therefore, the safety and efficacy of the treatment. In this context, the present review offers an overview of the most recent advances in the development of nanosized drug-delivery systems as smart therapeutic tools in CRC management and highlights the emerging need for improving the existing in vitro cancer models to reduce animal testing and increase the success of nanomedicine in clinical trials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanomaterials for Drug Delivery)
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Article
Characteristics of Entrained Air Voids in Hardened Concrete with the Method of Digital Image Analysis Coupled with Schwartz-Saltykov Conversion
Materials 2021, 14(9), 2439; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14092439 - 08 May 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 658
Abstract
This paper presents the characteristics of air void systems in hardened concrete with the method of digital image analysis (DIA) coupled with Schwartz-Saltykov (SS) conversion. The results indicate that the DIA method coupled with SS conversion estimates the air content with more accuracy [...] Read more.
This paper presents the characteristics of air void systems in hardened concrete with the method of digital image analysis (DIA) coupled with Schwartz-Saltykov (SS) conversion. The results indicate that the DIA method coupled with SS conversion estimates the air content with more accuracy than it would without SS conversion; the correlation between air content obtained from the DIA method, and that from the thin section (TS) method is as good as the correlation observed between the pressure saturation (PS) method and the TS method. It was also found that the DIA method shows a better correlation with the TS method when the spacing factor without SS conversion is considered, while both methods show poor correlations when the corresponding specific surface is considered. In addition, it indicates that the peak of three-dimensional size distribution (3-DSD) of air voids after SS conversion falls in smaller voids, and 3-DSD of air voids shifts to a narrow size range, in comparison with the 2-DSD without SS conversion; the shape of the 3-DSD air voids remains constant irrespective of the class widths. Increasing the number of classes can minimise the standard deviation in the estimation, however, it also results in a leap in voids volume density, which will influence the estimation of air content. Full article
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Article
Effect of Cathodic Protection on Reinforced Concrete with Fly Ash Using Electrochemical Noise
Materials 2021, 14(9), 2438; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14092438 - 07 May 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1008
Abstract
Corrosion of steel reinforcement is the major factor that limits the durability and serviceability performance of reinforced concrete structures. Impressed current cathodic protection (ICCP) is a widely used method to protect steel reinforcements against corrosion. This research aimed to study the effect of [...] Read more.
Corrosion of steel reinforcement is the major factor that limits the durability and serviceability performance of reinforced concrete structures. Impressed current cathodic protection (ICCP) is a widely used method to protect steel reinforcements against corrosion. This research aimed to study the effect of cathodic protection on reinforced concrete with fly ash using electrochemical noise (EN). Two types of reinforced concrete mixtures were manufactured; 100% Ordinary Portland Cement (OCP) and replacing 15% of cement using fly ash (OCPFA). The specimens were under-designed protected conditions (−1000 ≤ E ≤ −850 mV vs. Ag/AgCl) and cathodic overprotection (E < −1000 mV vs. Ag/AgCl) by impressed current, and specimens concrete were immersed in a 3.5 wt.% sodium chloride (NaCl) Solution. The analysis of electrochemical noise-time series showed that the mixtures microstructure influenced the corrosion process. Transients of uniform corrosion were observed in the specimens elaborated with (OPC), unlike those elaborated with (OPCFA). This phenomenon marked the difference in the concrete matrix’s hydration products, preventing Cl ions flow and showing passive current and potential transients in most specimens. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Corrosion in Concrete: Inhibitors and Coatings)
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