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Materials, Volume 16, Issue 15 (August-1 2023) – 298 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Advancing Nanocarbon Fingerprinting: Automated Allotrope Discovery through AI and Machine Vision. Our innovative technique utilizes AI and machine vision to precisely analyze microdiamonds, nanodiamonds, and Q-carbon. Overcoming challenges of sparse carbon polymorphs, our approach achieves 92% accuracy in Q-carbon identification and 94% accuracy in distinguishing it from nanodiamonds. Automated nanocarbon fingerprinting streamlines material discovery, revolutionizing nanotechnology and materials science. This research marks a significant milestone in the analysis of diverse carbon structures, empowering advancements in energy storage, electronics, and nanomaterials research. View this paper
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15 pages, 1772 KiB  
Article
Comparative Analysis of Trifluoracetic Acid Pretreatment for Lignocellulosic Materials
Materials 2023, 16(15), 5502; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma16155502 - 07 Aug 2023
Viewed by 815
Abstract
Lignocellulosic materials are usually processed toward C5 and C6 corresponding sugars. Trifluoroacetic acid (TFA) is a pretreatment method to solubilize hemicellulose to sugars such xylose without degrading cellulose. However, this pretreatment has not been compared to other processes. Thus, this paper focuses on [...] Read more.
Lignocellulosic materials are usually processed toward C5 and C6 corresponding sugars. Trifluoroacetic acid (TFA) is a pretreatment method to solubilize hemicellulose to sugars such xylose without degrading cellulose. However, this pretreatment has not been compared to other processes. Thus, this paper focuses on the techno-economic comparison of the C5–C6 production of C5–C6 as raw materials platforms using non-centrifuged sugarcane bagasse (NCSB) and Pinus patula wood chips (PP). Hydrolysates using TFA 2.5 M as an acid were characterized through HPLC regarding arabinose, galactose glucose, xylose, and mannose sugars. Then, simulations of the processes according to the experimental results were done. The economic assessment was performed, and compared with some common pretreatments. The mass and energy balances of the simulations indicate that the process can be compared with other pretreatments. From the economic perspective, the main operating expenditures (OpEx) are related to raw materials and capital depreciation due to the cost of TFA corrosion issues. The processes showed a CapEx and OpEx of 0.99 MUSD and 6.59 M-USD/year for NCSB, and 0.97 MUSD and 4.37 MUSD/year for PP, considering a small-scale base (1 ton/h). TFA pretreatment is innovative and promising from a techno-economic perspective. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomass Materials: Conversion Routes and Modern Applications)
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22 pages, 13730 KiB  
Article
Developing a Simple, Effective, and Quick Process to Make Silver Nanowires with a High Aspect Ratio
Materials 2023, 16(15), 5501; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma16155501 - 07 Aug 2023
Viewed by 752
Abstract
A growing number of people are interested in using silver nanowires (AgNWs) as potential transparent and conductive materials. The production of high-performance and high-throughput AgNWs was successfully optimized in this work using a one-step, straightforward, and reproducible modified polyol approach. The factors influencing [...] Read more.
A growing number of people are interested in using silver nanowires (AgNWs) as potential transparent and conductive materials. The production of high-performance and high-throughput AgNWs was successfully optimized in this work using a one-step, straightforward, and reproducible modified polyol approach. The factors influencing the morphology of the silver nanowires have undergone extensive research in order to determine the best-optimized approach for producing AgNWs. The best AgNW morphology, with a length of more than 50 m and a diameter of less than 35 nm (aspect ratio is higher than 1700), was discovered to be produced by a mixture of 44 mM AgNO3, 134 mM polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) (Mo.Wt 40,000), and 2.4 mM KCl at 160 °C with a stirring rate of 100 rpm. With our improved approach, the overall reaction time was cut from almost an hour with the conventional polyol method to a few minutes. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), and ultraviolet (UV) spectroscopy were used to characterize AgNWs. The resultant AgNWs’ dispersion was cleaned using a centrifuge multiple times before being deposited on glass and PET substrates at room temperature. In comparison to commercial, delicate, and pricey indium-doped tin oxide (ITO) substrates, the coated samples displayed exceptionally good sheet resistance of 17.05/sq and optical haze lower than 2.5%. Conclusions: Using a simple one-step modified polyol approach, we were able to produce reproducible thin sheets of AgNWs that made excellent, flexible transparent electrodes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Energy Storage Materials and Devices)
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19 pages, 2433 KiB  
Review
Development of Inoculants for Aluminum Alloy: A Review
Materials 2023, 16(15), 5500; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma16155500 - 07 Aug 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 943
Abstract
Aluminum and its alloys are widely used in packaging, transportation, electrical materials, and many other fields because of their abundance, light weight, good mechanical properties, suitable corrosion resistance, excellent electrical conductivity, and other advantages. Grain refinement achieved by adding inoculant is important not [...] Read more.
Aluminum and its alloys are widely used in packaging, transportation, electrical materials, and many other fields because of their abundance, light weight, good mechanical properties, suitable corrosion resistance, excellent electrical conductivity, and other advantages. Grain refinement achieved by adding inoculant is important not only to reduce the segregation and thermal cracking of alloy castings but also to improve the mechanical properties of alloy castings. Therefore, fine equiaxed grain structure has always been one of the goals pursued by the aluminum alloy casting industry. For this reason, the selection and development of effective inoculants for aluminum alloy is a key technology in the aluminum processing industry. This paper summarizes the development history of inoculants for aluminum alloy, including Al-Ti-C, Al-Ti-B, Al-Ti, Al-Ti-B-(C)-Ce, Al-Sc, and the Fe-rich phase of Al-Si alloy. At the same time, the advantages and disadvantages of common inoculants are introduced and prospective future applications are reviewed. Full article
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16 pages, 6359 KiB  
Article
Metamaterials of Auxetic Geometry for Seismic Energy Absorption
Materials 2023, 16(15), 5499; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma16155499 - 07 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1196
Abstract
The propagation of earthquake energy occurs primarily through elastic waves. If the seismic force input to a structure can be directly reduced from the source, then the structure can be protected from seismic wave energy. Seismic metamaterials, regarded as periodic structures with properties [...] Read more.
The propagation of earthquake energy occurs primarily through elastic waves. If the seismic force input to a structure can be directly reduced from the source, then the structure can be protected from seismic wave energy. Seismic metamaterials, regarded as periodic structures with properties different from conventional materials, use wave propagation characteristics and bandgaps to dissipate seismic wave energy. When the seismic wave is located in the bandgap, the transmission of seismic wave energy is effectively reduced, which protects the structure from the damage caused by seismic disturbance. In practical application, locating seismic frequencies below ten Hz is a challenge for seismic metamaterials. In the commonly used method, high-mass materials are employed to induce the effect of local resonance, which is not economically feasible. In this study, a lightweight design using auxetic geometry is proposed to facilitate the practical feasibility of seismic metamaterials. The benefits of this design are proven by comparing conventional seismic metamaterials with metamaterials of auxetic geometry. Different geometric parameters are defined using auxetic geometry to determine the structure with the best bandgap performance. Finite element simulations are conducted to evaluate the vibration reduction benefits of auxetic seismic metamaterials in time and frequency domains. Additionally, the relationship between the mass and stiffness of the unit structure is derived from the analytical solution of one-dimensional periodic structures, and modal analysis results of auxetic metamaterials are verified. This study provides seismic metamaterials that are lightweight, small in volume, and possess low-frequency bandgaps for practical applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Elastic and Thermal Metamaterials: Novel Properties and Applications)
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12 pages, 13584 KiB  
Article
The Characteristics of Self-Hydration and Carbonation Reaction of Coal Ash from Circulating Fluidized-Bed Boiler by Absorption of CO2
Materials 2023, 16(15), 5498; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma16155498 - 07 Aug 2023
Viewed by 535
Abstract
The by-products of the circulating fluidized-bed boiler combustion (CFBC) of coal exhibit self-hardening properties due to the calcium silicates generated by the reaction between SiO2 and CaO, and the ettringite generated by the reaction of gypsum and quicklime with activated alumina. These [...] Read more.
The by-products of the circulating fluidized-bed boiler combustion (CFBC) of coal exhibit self-hardening properties due to the calcium silicates generated by the reaction between SiO2 and CaO, and the ettringite generated by the reaction of gypsum and quicklime with activated alumina. These reactions exhibit tendencies similar to that of the hydration of ordinary Portland cement (OPC). In this study, the self-hydration and carbonation reaction mechanisms of CFBC by-products were analyzed. These CFBC by-products comprise a number of compounds, including Fe2O3, free CaO, and CaSO4, in large quantities. The hydration product calcium aluminate (and/or ferrite) of calcium aluminate ferrite and sulfate was confirmed through instrumental analysis. The CFBC by-products attain hardening properties because of the carbonation reaction between calcium aluminate ferrite and CO2. This can be identified as a self-hardening process because it does not require a supply of special ions from the outside. Through this study, it was confirmed that CFBC by-products generate CaCO3 through carbonation, thereby densifying the pores of the hardened body and contributing to the development of compressive strength. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cementitious Materials and High Performance Concrete)
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16 pages, 2311 KiB  
Article
Hydrothermal Synthesis of Heterostructured g-C3N4/Ag–TiO2 Nanocomposites for Enhanced Photocatalytic Degradation of Organic Pollutants
Materials 2023, 16(15), 5497; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma16155497 - 07 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1137
Abstract
In this study, heterostructured g-C3N4/Ag–TiO2 nanocomposites were successfully fabricated using an easily accessible hydrothermal route. Various analytical tools were employed to investigate the surface morphology, crystal structure, specific surface area, and optical properties of as-synthesized samples. XRD and [...] Read more.
In this study, heterostructured g-C3N4/Ag–TiO2 nanocomposites were successfully fabricated using an easily accessible hydrothermal route. Various analytical tools were employed to investigate the surface morphology, crystal structure, specific surface area, and optical properties of as-synthesized samples. XRD and TEM characterization results provided evidence of the successful fabrication of the ternary g-C3N4/Ag–TiO2 heterostructured nanocomposite. The heterostructured g-C3N4/Ag–TiO2 nanocomposite exhibited the best degradation efficiency of 98.04% against rhodamine B (RhB) within 180 min under visible LED light irradiation. The g-C3N4/Ag–TiO2 nanocomposite exhibited an apparent reaction rate constant 13.16, 4.7, and 1.33 times higher than that of TiO2, Ag–TiO2, and g-C3N4, respectively. The g-C3N4/Ag–TiO2 ternary composite demonstrated higher photocatalytic activity than pristine TiO2 and binary Ag–TiO2 photocatalysts for the degradation of RhB under visible LED light irradiation. The improved photocatalytic performance of the g-C3N4/Ag–TiO2 nanocomposite can be attributed to the formation of an excellent heterostructure between TiO2 and g-C3N4 as well as the incorporation of Ag nanoparticles, which promoted efficient charge carrier separation and transfer and suppressed the rate of recombination. Therefore, this study presents the development of heterostructured g-C3N4/Ag–TiO2 nanocomposites that exhibit excellent photocatalytic performance for the efficient degradation of harmful organic pollutants in wastewater, making them promising candidates for environmental remediation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Nanostructured Materials for Catalytic Applications)
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13 pages, 3835 KiB  
Article
High Concentration Intrinsic Defects in MnSb2Te4
Materials 2023, 16(15), 5496; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma16155496 - 07 Aug 2023
Viewed by 692
Abstract
MnSb2Te4 has a similar structure to an emerging material, MnBi2Te4. According to earlier theoretical studies, the formation energy of Mn antisite defects in MnSb2Te4 is negative, suggesting its inherent instability. This is clearly [...] Read more.
MnSb2Te4 has a similar structure to an emerging material, MnBi2Te4. According to earlier theoretical studies, the formation energy of Mn antisite defects in MnSb2Te4 is negative, suggesting its inherent instability. This is clearly in contrast to the successful synthesis of experimental samples of MnSb2Te4. Here, the growth environment of MnSb2Te4 and the intrinsic defects are correspondingly investigated. We find that the Mn antisite defect is the most stable defect in the system, and a Mn-rich growth environment favors its formation. The thermodynamic equilibrium concentrations of the Mn antisite defects could be as high as 15% under Mn-poor conditions and 31% under Mn-rich conditions. It is also found that Mn antisite defects prefer a uniform distribution. In addition, the Mn antisite defects can modulate the interlayer magnetic coupling in MnSb2Te4, leading to a transition from the ideal antiferromagnetic ground state to a ferromagnetic state. The ferromagnetic coupling effect can be further enhanced by controlling the defect concentration. Full article
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27 pages, 5772 KiB  
Review
Review of Research Progress on Mo–Si–B Alloys
Materials 2023, 16(15), 5495; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma16155495 - 07 Aug 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 835
Abstract
Mo–Si–B alloys are a crucial focus for the development of the next generation of ultra-high-temperature structural materials. They have garnered significant attention over the past few decades due to their high melting point and superior strength and oxidation resistance compared to other refractory [...] Read more.
Mo–Si–B alloys are a crucial focus for the development of the next generation of ultra-high-temperature structural materials. They have garnered significant attention over the past few decades due to their high melting point and superior strength and oxidation resistance compared to other refractory metal alloys. However, their low fracture toughness at room temperature and poor oxidation resistance at medium temperature are significant barriers limiting the processing and application of Mo–Si–B alloys. Therefore, this review was carried out to compare the effectiveness of doped metallic elements and second-phase particles in solving these problems in detail, in order to provide clear approaches to future research work on Mo–Si–B alloys. It was found that metal doping can enhance the properties of the alloys in several ways. However, their impact on oxidation resistance and fracture toughness at room temperature is limited. Apart from B-rich particles, which significantly improve the high-temperature oxidation resistance of the alloy, the doping of second-phase particles primarily enhances the mechanical properties of the alloys. Additionally, the application of additive manufacturing to Mo–Si–B alloys was discussed, with the observation of high crack density in the alloys prepared using this method. As a result, we suggest a future research direction and the preparation process of oscillatory sintering, which is expected to reduce the porosity of Mo–Si–B alloys, thereby addressing the noted issues. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Metals and Alloys)
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26 pages, 10230 KiB  
Article
Photocatalytic Performance of Sol-Gel Prepared TiO2 Thin Films Annealed at Various Temperatures
Materials 2023, 16(15), 5494; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma16155494 - 07 Aug 2023
Viewed by 1108
Abstract
Titanium dioxide (TiO2) in the form of thin films has attracted enormous attention for photocatalysis. It combines the fundamental properties of TiO2 as a large bandgap semiconductor with the advantage of thin films, making it competitive with TiO2 powders [...] Read more.
Titanium dioxide (TiO2) in the form of thin films has attracted enormous attention for photocatalysis. It combines the fundamental properties of TiO2 as a large bandgap semiconductor with the advantage of thin films, making it competitive with TiO2 powders for recycling and maintenance in photocatalytic applications. There are many aspects affecting the photocatalytic performance of thin film structures, such as the nanocrystalline size, surface morphology, and phase composition. However, the quantification of each influencing aspect needs to be better studied and correlated. Here, we prepared a series of TiO2 thin films using a sol-gel process and spin-coated on p-type, (100)-oriented silicon substrates with a native oxide layer. The as-deposited TiO2 thin films were then annealed at different temperatures from 400 °C to 800 °C for 3 h in an ambient atmosphere. This sample synthesis provided systemic parameter variation regarding the aspects mentioned above. To characterize thin films, several techniques were used. Spectroscopic ellipsometry (SE) was employed for the investigation of the film thickness and the optical properties. The results revealed that an increasing annealing temperature reduced the film thickness with an increase in the refractive index. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) was utilized to examine the surface morphology, revealing an increased surface roughness and grain sizes. X-ray diffractometry (XRD) and UV-Raman spectroscopy were used to study the phase composition and crystallite size. The annealing process initially led to the formation of pure anatase, followed by a transformation from anatase to rutile as the annealing temperature increased. An overall enhancement in crystallinity was also observed. The photocatalytic properties of the thin films were tested using the photocatalytic decomposition of acetone gas in a home-built solid (photocatalyst)–gas (reactant) reactor. The composition of the gas mixture in the reaction chamber was monitored using in situ Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. Finally, all of the structural and spectroscopic characteristics of the TiO2 thin films were quantified and correlated with their photocatalytic properties using a correlation matrix. This provided a good overview of which film properties affect the photocatalytic efficiency the most. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metal Oxides for Photovoltaic and Photocatalytic Applications)
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1 pages, 1558 KiB  
Correction
Correction: Shi et al. Effect of Final Rolling Temperature on Microstructures and Mechanical Properties of AZ31 Alloy Sheets Prepared by Equal Channel Angular Rolling and Continuous Bending. Materials 2020, 13, 3346
Materials 2023, 16(15), 5493; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma16155493 - 07 Aug 2023
Viewed by 488
Abstract
In the original publication [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metal Forming: Processes and Analyses)
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15 pages, 8075 KiB  
Article
Microstructure and Mechanical Properties of Low-Cost SiC-Reinforced Aluminum and Al4Cu Matrix Composites Produced by Sintering in Vacuum
Materials 2023, 16(15), 5492; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma16155492 - 07 Aug 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 764
Abstract
Composite materials based on Al and Al4Cu with the addition of SiC particles (2.5; 5; 7.5; 10 wt.%) were produced in low-cost conventional powder metallurgy processes involving mixing, compacting with a pressure of 300 MPa, and sintering at 600 °C in a vacuum [...] Read more.
Composite materials based on Al and Al4Cu with the addition of SiC particles (2.5; 5; 7.5; 10 wt.%) were produced in low-cost conventional powder metallurgy processes involving mixing, compacting with a pressure of 300 MPa, and sintering at 600 °C in a vacuum atmosphere. An attempt was made to create a relationship between the vacuum sintering and the microstructure and mechanical properties of Al/SiC composites. The strength of the matrix-reinforcing interface depends on the chemical composition of the components; therefore, the influence of 4 wt.% copper in the aluminum matrix was investigated. Comprehensive microstructural and mechanical properties (including Brinell hardness, compressive and flexural strength measurements) of the produced composites were measured. The addition of 2.5 wt.% SiC to the Al4Cu matrix improved the mechanical properties of the composites compared to the matrix. In the composite with the addition of 2.5 wt.% of SiC, while the addition of the reinforcement did not affect the hardness and compressive strength and caused a rapid decrease in the flexural strength compared to the aluminum matrix, the addition of Cu to the matrix of this composite improved hardness (from 25 to 49 HB), compressive strength (from 423 to 618 MPa), and flexural strength (from 52 to 355 MPa). Full article
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27 pages, 22165 KiB  
Article
Aluminium Matrix Composites Reinforced with AlCrFeMnNi HEA Particulates: Microstructure, Mechanical and Corrosion Properties
Materials 2023, 16(15), 5491; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma16155491 - 06 Aug 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1299
Abstract
Novel aluminium matrix composites have been fabricated using a powder metallurgy route with reinforcement phase particles of high entropy alloy (HEA) consisting of third transition metals. These new composites are studied as far as their microstructure (SEM, XRD), basic mechanical properties (hardness, elastic [...] Read more.
Novel aluminium matrix composites have been fabricated using a powder metallurgy route with reinforcement phase particles of high entropy alloy (HEA) consisting of third transition metals. These new composites are studied as far as their microstructure (SEM, XRD), basic mechanical properties (hardness, elastic modulus) and creep response using nanoindentation techniques are concerned. Wear (sliding wear tests) and corrosion behaviour (in 3.5 wt.% NaCl environment) were also assessed. It was observed that, microstructurally, no secondary intermetallic phases were formed. Hardness and wear resistance seemed to increase with the increase in HEA particles, and in terms of corrosion, the composites exhibited susceptibility to localised forms. Nanoindentation techniques and creep response showed findings that are connected with the deformation nature of both the Al matrix and the HEA reinforcing phase. Full article
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10 pages, 7430 KiB  
Article
The Effects of MgO and Al2O3 Content in Sinter on the Softening–Melting Properties of Mixed Ferrous Burden
Materials 2023, 16(15), 5490; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma16155490 - 06 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 695
Abstract
The softening–melting properties of mixed ferrous burden made from high-basicity sinter with increased MgO and Al2O3 content and acid pellets was investigated for optimization. The influences of MgO and Al2O3 are discussed with the aid of phase [...] Read more.
The softening–melting properties of mixed ferrous burden made from high-basicity sinter with increased MgO and Al2O3 content and acid pellets was investigated for optimization. The influences of MgO and Al2O3 are discussed with the aid of phase analysis. The results showed that, with decreasing MgO mass%/Al2O3 mass% in mixed burden, all the softening–melting characteristic temperatures decreased, which can be attributed to the low melting temperature and viscosity of the slag caused by MgO and Al2O3. The permeability of the melting zone deteriorated again when MgO mass%/Al2O3 mass% decreased to a certain content. The softening interval widened slightly at first and then narrowed, while the melting interval first increased slightly and then increased greatly later. It can be deduced that the softening properties were improved, but the melting properties were worsened. Under comprehensive consideration of its softening–melting properties, permeability, iron ore reduction and the thermal state of the blast furnace hearth, the optimal softening–melting properties of a mixed ferrous burden with MgO mass%/Al2O3 mass% of 0.82 is optimal. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Phase and Structure Analysis of Alloys and Metal Matrix Composites)
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20 pages, 37893 KiB  
Article
Early-Age Cracking Behavior of Concrete Slabs with GFRP Reinforcement
Materials 2023, 16(15), 5489; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma16155489 - 06 Aug 2023
Viewed by 826
Abstract
This paper reports on a combined experimental and numerical modeling investigation of cracking of concrete slabs with GFRP reinforcement. At this stage of the project, attention is given to early-age cracking driven by plastic shrinkage, preceding longer term considerations of cracking resistance over [...] Read more.
This paper reports on a combined experimental and numerical modeling investigation of cracking of concrete slabs with GFRP reinforcement. At this stage of the project, attention is given to early-age cracking driven by plastic shrinkage, preceding longer term considerations of cracking resistance over the service life of field applications. Of interest is the effectiveness of GFRP reinforcement in restricting plastic shrinkage cracking. Nine small-scale slab specimens were subjected to controlled evaporation rates. Images of crack development were acquired periodically, from which crack width estimations were made. Comparisons were made between slabs reinforced with conventional steel and those reinforced with GFRP, along with control specimens lacking reinforcement. During the period of plastic shrinkage, the time of crack initiation and subsequent crack openings do not appear to be influenced by the presence of the reinforcing bars. To understand this behavior, six early-age bond tests were conducted for both types of the bars after 1, 2, and 3 h exposure to the controlled evaporation rate. In addition, concrete strength development and time of settings were measured using penetration resistance tests on a representative mortar. The numerical modeling component of this research is based on a Voronoi cell lattice model; in this approach, the relative humidity, temperature, and displacement fields are discretized in three-dimensions, allowing for a comprehensive investigation of material behavior within the controlled environment. Based on the measured bond properties, our simulations confirm that the reinforcing bars restrict crack development, though they do not prevent it entirely. Full article
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20 pages, 7681 KiB  
Article
Anisotropy in Additively Manufactured Concrete Specimens under Compressive Loading—Quantification of the Effects of Layer Height and Fiber Reinforcement
Materials 2023, 16(15), 5488; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma16155488 - 06 Aug 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1285
Abstract
This paper analyzes the effect of print layer heights and loading direction on the compressive response of plain and fiber-reinforced (steel or basalt fiber) 3D printed concrete. Slabs with three different layer heights (6, 13, and 20 mm) are printed, and extracted cubes [...] Read more.
This paper analyzes the effect of print layer heights and loading direction on the compressive response of plain and fiber-reinforced (steel or basalt fiber) 3D printed concrete. Slabs with three different layer heights (6, 13, and 20 mm) are printed, and extracted cubes are subjected to compression (i) along the direction of printing, (ii) along the direction of layer build-up, and (iii) perpendicular to the above two directions. Digital image correlation (DIC) is used as a non-contact means to acquire the strain profiles. While the 3D printed specimens show lower strengths, as compared to cast specimens, when tested in all three directions, this effect can be reduced through the use of fiber reinforcement. Peak stress and peak strain-based anisotropy coefficients, which are linearly related, are used to characterize and quantify the directional dependence of peak stress and strain. Interface-parallel cracking is found to be the major failure mechanism, and anisotropy coefficients increase with an increase in layer height, which is attributable to the increasing significance of interfacial defects. Thus, orienting the weaker interfaces appropriately, through changes in printing direction, or strengthening them through material modifications (such as fiber reinforcement) or process changes (lower layer height, enables attainment of near-isotropy in 3D printed concrete elements. Full article
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13 pages, 26096 KiB  
Article
Improving the Mechanical Properties of a Lattice Structure Composed of Struts with a Tri-Directional Elliptical Cylindrical Section via Selective Laser Melting
Materials 2023, 16(15), 5487; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma16155487 - 06 Aug 2023
Viewed by 804
Abstract
In recent years, lattice structures produced via additive manufacturing have been increasingly investigated for their unique mechanical properties and the flexible and diverse approaches available to design them. The design of a strut with variable cross-sections in a lattice structure is required to [...] Read more.
In recent years, lattice structures produced via additive manufacturing have been increasingly investigated for their unique mechanical properties and the flexible and diverse approaches available to design them. The design of a strut with variable cross-sections in a lattice structure is required to improve the mechanical properties. In this study, a lattice structure design method based on a strut cross-section composed of a mixture of three ellipses named a tri-directional elliptical cylindrical section (TEC) is proposed. The lattice structures were fabricated via the selective laser melting of 316L alloy. The finite element analysis results show that the TEC strut possessed the high mechanical properties of lattice structures. Compression experiments confirmed that the novel lattice structure with the TEC strut exhibited increases in the elastic modulus, compressive yield strength, and energy absorption capacity of 24.99%, 21.66%, and 20.50%, respectively, compared with the conventional lattice structure at an equal level of porosity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Metal Matrix Functional Composites and Applications)
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16 pages, 8626 KiB  
Article
Laser Melting of Prefabrication AlOOH-Activated Film on the Surface of Nodular Cast Iron and Its Associated Properties
Materials 2023, 16(15), 5486; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma16155486 - 05 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 833
Abstract
This study aimed to improve the absorption rate of laser energy on the surface of nodular cast iron and further improve its thermal stability and wear resistance. After a 0.3 mm thick AlOOH activation film was pre-sprayed onto the polished surface of the [...] Read more.
This study aimed to improve the absorption rate of laser energy on the surface of nodular cast iron and further improve its thermal stability and wear resistance. After a 0.3 mm thick AlOOH activation film was pre-sprayed onto the polished surface of the nodular cast iron, a GWLASER 6 kw fiber laser cladding system was used to prepare a mixed dense oxide layer mainly composed of Al2O3, Fe3O4, and SiO2 using the optimal laser melting parameters of 470 W (laser power) and 5.5 mm/s (scanning speed). By comparing and characterizing the prefabricated laser-melted surface, the laser-remelted surface with the same parameters, and the substrate surface, it was found that there was little difference in the structure, composition, and performance between the laser-remelted surface and the substrate surface except for the morphology. The morphology, structure, and performance of the laser-melted surface underwent significant changes, with a stable surface line roughness of 0.9 μm and a 300–400 μm deep heat-affected zone. It could undergo two 1100 °C thermal shock cycles; its average microhardness increased by more than one compared to the remelted and substrate surfaces of 300 HV, with a maximum hardness of 900 HV; and the average friction coefficient and wear quantity decreased to 0.4370 and 0.001 g, respectively. The prefabricated activated film layer greatly improved the thermal stability and wear resistance of the nodular cast iron surface while reducing the laser melting power. Full article
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18 pages, 6350 KiB  
Article
A Novel Experimental Approach to Understand the Transport of Nanodrugs
Materials 2023, 16(15), 5485; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma16155485 - 05 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1215
Abstract
Nanoparticle-based drugs offer attractive advantages like targeted delivery to the diseased site and size and shape-controlled properties. Therefore, understanding the particulate flow of the nanodrugs is important for effective delivery, accurate prediction of required dosage, and developing efficient drug delivery platforms for nanodrugs. [...] Read more.
Nanoparticle-based drugs offer attractive advantages like targeted delivery to the diseased site and size and shape-controlled properties. Therefore, understanding the particulate flow of the nanodrugs is important for effective delivery, accurate prediction of required dosage, and developing efficient drug delivery platforms for nanodrugs. In this study, the transport of nanodrugs including flow velocity and deposition is investigated using three model metal oxide nanodrugs of different sizes including iron oxide, zinc oxide, and combined Cu-Zn-Fe oxide synthesized via a modified polyol approach. The hydrodynamic size, size, morphology, chemical composition, crystal phase, and surface functional groups of the water-soluble nanodrugs were characterized via dynamic light scattering, transmission electron microscopy, scanning electron microscopy-energy dispersive X-ray, X-ray diffraction, and fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, respectively. Two different biomimetic flow channels with customized surfaces are developed via 3D printing to experimentally monitor the velocity and deposition of the different nanodrugs. A diffusion dominated mechanism of flow is seen in size ranges 92 nm to 110 nm of the nanodrugs, from the experimental velocity and mass loss profiles. The flow velocity analysis also shows that the transport of nanodrugs is controlled by sedimentation processes in the larger size ranges of 110–302 nm. However, the combined overview from experimental mass loss and velocity trends indicates presence of both diffusive and sedimentation forces in the 110–302 nm size ranges. It is also discovered that the nanodrugs with higher positive surface charges are transported faster through the two test channels, which also leads to lower deposition of these nanodrugs on the walls of the flow channels. The results from this study will be valuable in realizing reliable and cost-effective in vitro experimental approaches that can support in vivo methods to predict the flow of new nanodrugs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Biohybrid Micro/Nanostructures)
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26 pages, 8676 KiB  
Article
Numerical Simulation Study of the Mechanical Behaviour of 1D and 2D Germanium Carbide and Tin Carbide Nanostructures
Materials 2023, 16(15), 5484; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma16155484 - 05 Aug 2023
Viewed by 620
Abstract
One-dimensional (nanotubes) and two-dimensional (nanosheets) germanium carbide (GeC) and tin carbide (SnC) structures have been predicted and studied only theoretically. Understanding their mechanical behaviour is crucial, considering forthcoming prospects, especially in batteries and fuel cells. Within this framework, the present study aims at [...] Read more.
One-dimensional (nanotubes) and two-dimensional (nanosheets) germanium carbide (GeC) and tin carbide (SnC) structures have been predicted and studied only theoretically. Understanding their mechanical behaviour is crucial, considering forthcoming prospects, especially in batteries and fuel cells. Within this framework, the present study aims at the numerical evaluation of the elastic properties, surface Young’s and shear moduli and Poisson’s ratio, of GeC and SnC nanosheets and nanotubes, using a nanoscale continuum modelling approach. A robust methodology to assess the elastic constants of the GeC and SnC nanotubes without of the need for numerical simulation is proposed. The surface Young’s and shear moduli of the GeC and SnC nanotubes and nanosheets are compared with those of their three-dimensional counterparts, to take full advantage of 1D and 2D germanium carbide and tin carbide in novel devices. The obtained outcomes establish a solid basis for future explorations of the mechanical behaviour of 1D and 2D GeC and SnC nanostructures, where the scarcity of studies is evident. Full article
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10 pages, 2899 KiB  
Article
Fabrication of Silicon Nanowires by Metal-Assisted Chemical Etching Combined with Micro-Vibration
Materials 2023, 16(15), 5483; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma16155483 - 05 Aug 2023
Viewed by 631
Abstract
In this work, we design a micro-vibration platform, which combined with the traditional metal-assisted chemical etching (MaCE) to etch silicon nanowires (SiNWs). The etching mechanism of SiNWs, including in the mass-transport (MT) and charge-transport (CT) processes, was explored through the characterization of SiNW’s [...] Read more.
In this work, we design a micro-vibration platform, which combined with the traditional metal-assisted chemical etching (MaCE) to etch silicon nanowires (SiNWs). The etching mechanism of SiNWs, including in the mass-transport (MT) and charge-transport (CT) processes, was explored through the characterization of SiNW’s length as a function of MaCE combined with micro-vibration conditions, such as vibration amplitude and frequency. The scanning electron microscope (SEM) experimental results indicated that the etching rate would be continuously improved with an increase in amplitude and reached its maximum at 4 μm. Further increasing amplitude reduced the etching rate and affected the morphology of the SiNWs. Adjusting the vibration frequency would result in a maximum etching rate at a frequency of 20 Hz, and increasing the frequency will not help to improve the etching effects. Full article
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15 pages, 7540 KiB  
Article
Numerical Study of Low-Velocity Impact Response of a Fiber Composite Honeycomb Sandwich Structure
by and
Materials 2023, 16(15), 5482; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma16155482 - 05 Aug 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 827
Abstract
Engineering applications for honeycomb sandwich structures (HSS) are well recognized. Heterogeneous structures have been created using polyetheretherketone (PEEK) material, glass fiber-reinforced PEEK (GF-PEEK), and carbon fiber-reinforced PEEK (CF-PEEK) to further enhance the load-carrying capacity, stiffness, and impact resistance of HSS. In this study, [...] Read more.
Engineering applications for honeycomb sandwich structures (HSS) are well recognized. Heterogeneous structures have been created using polyetheretherketone (PEEK) material, glass fiber-reinforced PEEK (GF-PEEK), and carbon fiber-reinforced PEEK (CF-PEEK) to further enhance the load-carrying capacity, stiffness, and impact resistance of HSS. In this study, we investigated the low-velocity impact response of HSS using numerical simulation. Our findings demonstrate that the choice of construction material significantly affects the impact resistance and structural stability of the HSS. We found that using fiber-reinforced PEEK significantly enhances the impact resistance of the overall structure, with GF-PEEK identified as the more appropriate face sheet material for the composite HSS based on a comparative study of load–displacement curves. Analysis of the plastic deformation of the honeycomb core, in combination with the stress and strain distribution of the composite HSS after low-velocity impact, indicates that CF-PEEK face sheets cause more noticeable damage to the core, resulting in evident plastic deformation. Additionally, we discovered that the use of fiber-reinforced materials effectively reduces deflection during low-velocity dynamic impact, particularly when both the face sheet and honeycomb core of the HSS are composed of the same fiber-reinforced PEEK material. These results provide valuable insights into the design and optimization of composite HSS for impact resistance applications. Full article
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11 pages, 1725 KiB  
Article
Investigations of the Density and Solubility of Ammonium Perrhenate and Potassium Perrhenate Aqueous Solutions
Materials 2023, 16(15), 5481; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma16155481 - 05 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 735
Abstract
Rhenium is largely used as an additive to nickel- and cobalt-based superalloys. Their resistance to temperature and corrosion makes them suitable for the production of turbines in civil and military aviation, safety valves in drilling platforms, and tools working at temperatures exceeding 1000 [...] Read more.
Rhenium is largely used as an additive to nickel- and cobalt-based superalloys. Their resistance to temperature and corrosion makes them suitable for the production of turbines in civil and military aviation, safety valves in drilling platforms, and tools working at temperatures exceeding 1000 °C. The purity of commercial rhenium salts is highly important. Potassium, which is a particularly undesirable element, can be removed by recrystallization. Therefore, it is crucial to possess detailed knowledge concerning process parameters including the dissolved solid concentration and the resulting saturation temperature. This can be achieved using simple densimetric methods. Due to the fact that data concerning the physicochemical properties of ammonium perrhenate (APR) NH4ReO4 and potassium perrhenate (PPR) KReO4 are imprecise or unavailable in the scientific literature, the goal of this study is to present experimental data including the solubility and density of water solutions of both salts. In the experiments, a densimeter with a vibrating cell was used to precisely determine the densities. Although the investigated solutions did not fit into the earlier proposed mathematical model, some crucial conclusions could still be made based on the results. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recovery of Non-ferrous Metal from Metallurgical Residues)
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12 pages, 2767 KiB  
Article
The Catalytic Effect of Vanadium on Sorption Properties of MgH2-Based Nanocomposites Obtained Using Low Milling Time
Materials 2023, 16(15), 5480; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma16155480 - 05 Aug 2023
Viewed by 677
Abstract
The effects of catalysis using vanadium as an additive (2 and 5 wt.%) in a high-energy ball mill on composite desorption properties were examined. The influence of microstructure on the dehydration temperature and hydrogen desorption kinetics was monitored. Morphological and microstructural studies of [...] Read more.
The effects of catalysis using vanadium as an additive (2 and 5 wt.%) in a high-energy ball mill on composite desorption properties were examined. The influence of microstructure on the dehydration temperature and hydrogen desorption kinetics was monitored. Morphological and microstructural studies of the synthesized sample were performed by X-ray diffraction (XRD), laser particle size distribution (PSD), and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) methods, while differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) determined thermal properties. To further access amorph species in the milling blend, the absorption spectra were obtained by FTIR-ATR analysis (Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy attenuated total reflection). The results show lower apparent activation energy (Eapp) and H2 desorption temperature are obtained for milling bland with 5 wt.% added vanadium. The best explanation of hydrogen desorption reaction shows the Avrami-Erofeev model for parameter n = 4. Since the obtained value of apparent activation energy is close to the Mg-H bond-breaking energy, one can conclude that breaking this bond would be the rate-limiting step of the process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydrogen Storage in Metal Hydrides and Related Materials)
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13 pages, 25857 KiB  
Article
Mechanical and Structural Characterization of Laser-Cladded Medium-Entropy FeNiCr-B4C Coatings
Materials 2023, 16(15), 5479; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma16155479 - 04 Aug 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 825
Abstract
Equiatomic medium-entropy alloy (MEA) FeNiCr-B4C (0, 1, and 3 wt.% B4C) coatings were deposited onto an AISI 1040 steel substrate using pulsed laser cladding. Based on an SEM microstructural analysis, it was found that the cross-sections of all the [...] Read more.
Equiatomic medium-entropy alloy (MEA) FeNiCr-B4C (0, 1, and 3 wt.% B4C) coatings were deposited onto an AISI 1040 steel substrate using pulsed laser cladding. Based on an SEM microstructural analysis, it was found that the cross-sections of all the obtained specimens were characterized by an average coating thickness of 400 ± 20 μm, a sufficiently narrow (100 ± 20 μm) “coating–substrate” transition zone, and the presence of a small number of defects, including cracks and pores. An XRD analysis showed that the formed coatings consisted of a single face-centered cubic (FCC) γ-phase and the space group Fm-3m, regardless of the B4C content. However, additional TEM analysis of the FeNiCr coating with 3 wt.% B4C revealed a two-phase FCC structure consisting of grains (FCC-1 phase, Fm-3m) up to 1 µm in size and banded interlayers (FCC-2 phase, Fm-3m) between the grains. The grains were clean with a low density of dislocations. Raman spectroscopy confirmed the presence of B4C carbides inside the FeNiCr (1 and 3 wt.% B4C) coatings, as evidenced by detected peaks corresponding to amorphous carbon and peaks indicating the stretching of C-B-C chains. The mechanical characterization of the FeNiCr-B4C coatings specified that additions of 1 and 3 wt.% B4C resulted in a notable increase in microhardness of 16% and 38%, respectively, with a slight decrease in ductility of 4% and 10%, respectively, compared to the B4C-free FeNiCr coating. Thus, the B4C addition can be considered a promising method for strengthening laser-cladded MEA FeNiCr-B4C coatings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Steel Materials: Structure, Processing, and Properties)
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11 pages, 6387 KiB  
Communication
Novel Mesoporous and Multilayered Yb/N-Co-Doped CeO2 with Enhanced Oxygen Storage Capacity
Materials 2023, 16(15), 5478; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma16155478 - 04 Aug 2023
Viewed by 556
Abstract
A cubic fluorite-type CeO2 with mesoporous multilayered morphology was synthesized by the solvothermal method followed by calcination in air, and its oxygen storage capacity (OSC) was quantified by the amount of O2 consumption per gram of CeO2 based on hydrogen [...] Read more.
A cubic fluorite-type CeO2 with mesoporous multilayered morphology was synthesized by the solvothermal method followed by calcination in air, and its oxygen storage capacity (OSC) was quantified by the amount of O2 consumption per gram of CeO2 based on hydrogen temperature programmed reduction (H2–TPR) measurements. Doping CeO2 with ytterbium (Yb) and nitrogen (N) ions proved to be an effective route to improving its OSC in this work. The OSC of undoped CeO2 was 0.115 mmol O2/g and reached as high as 0.222 mmol O2/g upon the addition of 5 mol.% Yb(NO3)3∙5H2O, further enhanced to 0.274 mmol O2/g with the introduction of 20 mol.% triethanolamine. Both the introductions of Yb cations and N anions into the CeO2 lattice were conducive to the formation of more non-stoichiometric oxygen vacancy (VO) defects and reducible–reoxidizable Cen+ ions. To determine the structure performance relationships, the partial least squares method was employed to construct two linear functions for the doping level vs. lattice parameter and [VO] vs. OSC/SBET. Full article
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13 pages, 5089 KiB  
Article
The Effects of Zirconium and Yttrium Addition on the Microstructure and Hardness of AlCuMgMn Alloy when Applying In Situ Heating during the Laser Melting Process
Materials 2023, 16(15), 5477; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma16155477 - 04 Aug 2023
Viewed by 667
Abstract
This paper studies the effect of the laser melting process (LMP) on the microstructure and hardness of a new modified AlCuMgMn alloy with zirconium (Zr) and Yttrium (Y) elements. Homogenized (480 °C/8 h) alloys were laser-surface-treated at room temperature and a heating platform [...] Read more.
This paper studies the effect of the laser melting process (LMP) on the microstructure and hardness of a new modified AlCuMgMn alloy with zirconium (Zr) and Yttrium (Y) elements. Homogenized (480 °C/8 h) alloys were laser-surface-treated at room temperature and a heating platform with in situ heating conditions was used in order to control the formed microstructure by decreasing the solidification rate in the laser-melted zone (LMZ). Modifying the AlCuMgMn alloy with 0.4 wt% Zr and 0.6 wt% Y led to a decrease in grain size by 25% with a uniform grain size distribution in the as-cast state due to the formation of Al3(Y, Zr). The homogenization dissolved the nonequilibrium intermetallic phases into the (Al) matrix and spheroidized and fragmentized the equilibrium phase’s particles, which led to the solidification of the crack-free LM zone with a nonuniform grain structure. The microstructure in the LMZ was improved by using the in situ heating approach, which decreased the temperature gradient between the BM and the melt pool. Two different microstructures were observed: ultrafine grains at the boundaries of the melted pool due to the extremely high concentration of optimally sized Al3(Y, Zr) and fine equiaxed grains at the center of the LMZ. The combination of the presence of ZrY and applying a heating platform during the LMP increased the hardness of the LMZ by 1.14 times more than the hardness of the LMZ of the cast AlCuMgMn alloy. Full article
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14 pages, 6434 KiB  
Article
Effects of Wire Electrical Discharge Finishing Cuts on the Surface Integrity of Additively Manufactured Ti6Al4V Alloy
Materials 2023, 16(15), 5476; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma16155476 - 04 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 583
Abstract
The Selective laser melting (SLM) technology of recent years allows for building complex-shaped parts with difficult-to-cut materials such as Ti6Al4V alloy. Nevertheless, the surface integrity after SLM is characterized by surface roughness and defects in the microstructure. The use of additional finishing technology, [...] Read more.
The Selective laser melting (SLM) technology of recent years allows for building complex-shaped parts with difficult-to-cut materials such as Ti6Al4V alloy. Nevertheless, the surface integrity after SLM is characterized by surface roughness and defects in the microstructure. The use of additional finishing technology, such as machining, laser polishing, or mechanical polishing, is used to achieve desired surface properties. In this study, improving SLM Ti6Al4V alloy surface integrity using wire electrical discharge machining (WEDM) is proposed. The influence of finishing WEDM cuts and the discharge energy on the surface roughness parameters Sa, Svk, Spk, and Sk and the composition of the recast layer were investigated. The proposed finishing technology allows for significant improvement of the surface roughness by up to 88% (from Sa = 6.74 µm to Sa = 0.8 µm). Furthermore, the SEM analyses of surface morphology indicate improving surface integrity properties by removing the balling effect, unmelted particles, and the presence of microcracks. EDS analysis of the recast layer indicated a significant influence of discharge energy and the polarization of the electrode on its composition and thickness. Depending on the used discharge energy and the number of finishing cuts, changes in the composition of the material in the range of 2 to 10 µm were observed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nonconventional Technology in Materials Processing-Volume 2)
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18 pages, 6987 KiB  
Article
Experimental Study on the Dynamic Fracture Characteristics of Mortar–Rock Interface Zones with Different Interface Inclinations and Shapes
Materials 2023, 16(15), 5475; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma16155475 - 04 Aug 2023
Viewed by 788
Abstract
There has been little research on the impact resistance of mortar–rock slope protection structures. To ensure that the mortar–rock interface has good adhesion properties under the action of impact loading, in this paper, based on fracture mechanics theory, a theoretical impact model was [...] Read more.
There has been little research on the impact resistance of mortar–rock slope protection structures. To ensure that the mortar–rock interface has good adhesion properties under the action of impact loading, in this paper, based on fracture mechanics theory, a theoretical impact model was established for mortar–rock binary material. Dynamic fracture tests were carried out on mortar–rock interfaces using the split-Hopkinson pressure bar (SHPB) system. The Brazilian disc (CSTBD) specimen was prepared with one half in granite and the other half in mortar. The specimen used for the dynamic impact test was 48 mm in diameter and 25 mm thick. The effects caused by the change in interface inclination and interface shape on the dynamic fracture mode were discussed. The dynamic model parameters were obtained for different inclination angles and interfaces. The results show that both the interface inclination and interface shape have significant effects on the dynamic mechanical properties of the mortar–rock binary material. The fracture modes of the mortar–rock specimens can be classified into three types. When the interface inclination is 0°, the specimen shows shear damage with an interface fracture; when the interface inclination is in the range of 0–90°, the dynamic splitting strength of the mortar–rock material increases with increasing interface inclination, and the interface undergoes composite fracture; and when the interface inclination is 90°, the dynamic splitting strength of the specimen reaches its peak, and the interface undergoes tensile fracture. The mortar–rock interface damage follows the M-C criterion. The roughness of the interface shape has a large influence on the dynamic splitting strength of the specimens. The rougher the interface shape, the higher the interface cleavage strength and the higher the peak load that causes the material to damage. The results of this study can provide a reference for the design of mortar–rubble structures to meet the demand for impact resistance and have strong engineering application value. Full article
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12 pages, 4937 KiB  
Review
Performance Review of Strain-Hardening Cementitious Composites in Structural Applications
Materials 2023, 16(15), 5474; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma16155474 - 04 Aug 2023
Viewed by 695
Abstract
Strain-hardening cementitious composites (SHCC) are an attractive construction material with obvious advantages of large strain capacity and high strength, as well as excellent workability and easy processing using conventional equipment. Moreover, SHCC can be designed with varied mix proportions in order to satisfy [...] Read more.
Strain-hardening cementitious composites (SHCC) are an attractive construction material with obvious advantages of large strain capacity and high strength, as well as excellent workability and easy processing using conventional equipment. Moreover, SHCC can be designed with varied mix proportions in order to satisfy various requirements and expectations to overcome the shortages of existing construction materials. However, the behavior of SHCC in the structural application is varied from that of SHCC material, which is reviewed and presented in this paper, focusing on the flexural and shear behavior of the SHCC member and the SHCC layer used for strengthening reinforced concrete (RC). The reviewed results demonstrate that both the zero-span tensile behavior of the stress concentration and the uniaxial tensile behavior of the bending effect can influence the crack propagation patterns of multiple fine cracks in the SHCC strengthening layer, in which the crack distribution within the SHCC layer is limited near the existing crack in the RC substrate member in the zero-span tensile behavior. Moreover, the crack propagation patterns of the SHCC strengthening layer are changed with varied layer thicknesses, and the SHCC strengthening layer, even with a small thickness, can significantly increase the shear load carrying capacity of the shear strengthened RC member. This work provides the foundations for promoting SHCC material in the structural application of repairing or retrofitting concrete structures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Analysis and Performance of Reinforced Concrete Structures)
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15 pages, 8639 KiB  
Article
Aluminium Matrix Composite Materials Reinforced by 3D-Printed Ceramic Preforms
Materials 2023, 16(15), 5473; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma16155473 - 04 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1004
Abstract
This article employed the fused deposition modelling (FDM) method and gas-pressure infiltration to manufacture alumina/AlSi12 composites. Porous ceramic skeletons were prepared by FDM 3D printing of two different alumina powder-filed filaments. The organic component was removed using a combination of solvent and heat [...] Read more.
This article employed the fused deposition modelling (FDM) method and gas-pressure infiltration to manufacture alumina/AlSi12 composites. Porous ceramic skeletons were prepared by FDM 3D printing of two different alumina powder-filed filaments. The organic component was removed using a combination of solvent and heat debinding, and the materials were then sintered at 1500 °C to complete the process. Thermogravimetric tests and DTA analysis were performed to develop an appropriate degradation and sintering program. Manufactured skeletons were subjected to microstructure analysis, porosity analysis, and bending test. The sintering process produced porous alumina ceramic samples with no residual carbon content. Open porosity could occur due to the binder’s degradation. Liquid metal was infiltrated into the ceramic, efficiently filling any open pores and forming a three-dimensional network of the aluminium phase. The microstructure and characteristics of the fabricated materials were investigated using high-resolution scanning electron microscopy, computer tomography, hardness testing, and bending strength testing. The developed composite materials are characterized by the required structure—low porosity and homogenous distribution of the reinforcing phase, better mechanical properties than their matrix and more than twice as high hardness. Hence, the developed innovative technology of their manufacturing can be used in practice. Full article
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