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Appl. Sci., Volume 10, Issue 9 (May-1 2020) – 352 articles

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Cover Story (view full-size image) Zinc–air batteries (ZABs), which are safer and more cost-effective power sources than commercial [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of Tension–Compression Asymmetry on Bending of Steels
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(9), 3339; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10093339 - 11 May 2020
Viewed by 415
Abstract
Stainless steels (SUS) and dual-phase (DP) steels have tension-compression asymmetry (TCA) in mechanical responses to full loading cycles. This phenomenon can significantly influence sheet metal forming of such metals, however, it is difficult to describe this behaviour analytically. In this research, a novel [...] Read more.
Stainless steels (SUS) and dual-phase (DP) steels have tension-compression asymmetry (TCA) in mechanical responses to full loading cycles. This phenomenon can significantly influence sheet metal forming of such metals, however, it is difficult to describe this behaviour analytically. In this research, a novel analytical method for asymmetric elastic-plastic pure bending using the Cazacu–Barlat 2004 asymmetric yield function is proposed. It only uses material parameters in tension along with an asymmetry coefficient related to the yield function. Bending operations of SUS304 and DP980 are investigated as two case studies. In the pure bending for both SUS304 and DP980, moment–curvature diagrams are analytically obtained. Furthermore, linear and nonlinear springback behaviours of SUS304 are analytically investigated. Moreover, using the analytical model as a user-defined material, a numerical model is developed for both steels under pure bending. In the V-bending case of SUS304 with and without TCA effects, the springback behaviours of the material are investigated numerically. In addition, considering friction effects, the analytical method is further modified for predicting springback behaviours in the V-bending of 16 types of SUS304 with various strengths are determined. All the analytical and numerical results have good agreement with those experimental results from literature for validation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Manufacturing Technologies and Their Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
Isolation of Circulating Tumor Cells from Glioblastoma Patients by Direct Immunomagnetic Targeting
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(9), 3338; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10093338 - 11 May 2020
Viewed by 340
Abstract
Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most common form of primary brain cancer in adults and tissue biopsies for diagnostic purposes are often inaccessible. The postulated idea that brain cancer cells cannot pass the blood–brain barrier to form circulating tumor cells (CTCs) has recently been [...] Read more.
Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most common form of primary brain cancer in adults and tissue biopsies for diagnostic purposes are often inaccessible. The postulated idea that brain cancer cells cannot pass the blood–brain barrier to form circulating tumor cells (CTCs) has recently been overthrown and CTCs have been detected in the blood of GBM patients albeit in low numbers. Given the potential of CTCs to be analyzed for GBM biomarkers that may guide therapy decisions it is important to define methods to better isolate these cells. Here, we determined markers for immunomagnetic targeting and isolation of GBM-CTCs and confirmed their utility for CTC isolation from GBM patient blood samples. Further, we identified a new marker to distinguish isolated GBM-CTCs from residual lymphocytes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Circulating Biomarkers)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Chlorine Removal from U.S. Solid Waste Blends through Torrefaction
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(9), 3337; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10093337 - 11 May 2020
Viewed by 270
Abstract
The amount of solid waste generated annually is increasing around the world. Although the waste has a high calorific value, one major obstacle that may prevent it from becoming a feedstock for power applications is the existence of polyvinyl chloride (PVC), which causes [...] Read more.
The amount of solid waste generated annually is increasing around the world. Although the waste has a high calorific value, one major obstacle that may prevent it from becoming a feedstock for power applications is the existence of polyvinyl chloride (PVC), which causes corrosion and emission issues after combustion due to its high chlorine content. Torrefaction is known to release hydrochloric acid; thus, it has been applied in this study for the reduction of chlorine from potential waste feedstocks. Fiber-plastic (60–40%) waste blends, with different chlorine content levels, as well as PVC were used in the current study. Torrefaction was conducted at 400 °C. Chlorine and heat content were measured. Experimental results showed that organically bonded chlorine was reduced during torrefaction as a function of mass loss. The chlorine removal efficiency was only dependent on temperature and residence time, not chlorine level. The heat content of the sample increased with mass loss up to a maximum of ~34 MJ/kg at ~45% mass loss. It was also observed that at ~30% mass loss, the organic chlorine content per unit heat content reduced by ~90%, while the heat content was ~32 MJ/kg, and ~90% energy was retained. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Small Scale Energy from Waste and Biomass)
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Open AccessArticle
Non-REM Sleep Marker for Wearable Monitoring: Power Concentration of Respiratory Heart Rate Fluctuation
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(9), 3336; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10093336 - 11 May 2020
Viewed by 313
Abstract
A variety of heart rate variability (HRV) indices have been reported to estimate sleep stages, but the associations are modest and lacking solid physiological basis. Non-REM (NREM) sleep is associated with increased regularity of respiratory frequency, which results in the concentration of high [...] Read more.
A variety of heart rate variability (HRV) indices have been reported to estimate sleep stages, but the associations are modest and lacking solid physiological basis. Non-REM (NREM) sleep is associated with increased regularity of respiratory frequency, which results in the concentration of high frequency (HF) HRV power into a narrow frequency range. Using this physiological feature, we developed a new HRV sleep index named Hsi to quantify the degree of HF power concentration. We analyzed 11,636 consecutive 5-min segments of electrocardiographic (ECG) signal of polysomnographic data in 141 subjects and calculated Hsi and conventional HRV indices for each segment. Hsi was greater during NREM (mean [SD], 75.1 [8.3]%) than wake (61.0 [10.3]%) and REM (62.0 [8.4]%) stages. Receiver-operating characteristic curve analysis revealed that Hsi discriminated NREM from wake and REM segments with an area under the curve of 0.86, which was greater than those of heart rate (0.642), peak HF power (0.75), low-to-high frequency ratio (0.77), and scaling exponent α (0.77). With a cutoff >70%, Hsi detected NREM segments with 77% sensitivity, 80% specificity, and a Cohen’s kappa coefficient of 0.57. Hsi may provide an accurate NREM sleep maker for ECG and pulse wave signals obtained from wearable sensors. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Knowledge-Grounded Chatbot Based on Dual Wasserstein Generative Adversarial Networks with Effective Attention Mechanisms
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(9), 3335; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10093335 - 11 May 2020
Viewed by 242
Abstract
A conversation is based on internal knowledge that the participants already know or external knowledge that they have gained during the conversation. A chatbot that communicates with humans by using its internal and external knowledge is called a knowledge-grounded chatbot. Although previous studies [...] Read more.
A conversation is based on internal knowledge that the participants already know or external knowledge that they have gained during the conversation. A chatbot that communicates with humans by using its internal and external knowledge is called a knowledge-grounded chatbot. Although previous studies on knowledge-grounded chatbots have achieved reasonable performance, they may still generate unsuitable responses that are not associated with the given knowledge. To address this problem, we propose a knowledge-grounded chatbot model that effectively reflects the dialogue context and given knowledge by using well-designed attention mechanisms. The proposed model uses three kinds of attention: Query-context attention, query-knowledge attention, and context-knowledge attention. In our experiments with the Wizard-of-Wikipedia dataset, the proposed model showed better performances than the state-of-the-art model in a variety of measures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Utilisation of Ensemble Empirical Mode Decomposition in Conjunction with Cyclostationary Technique for Wind Turbine Gearbox Fault Detection
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(9), 3334; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10093334 - 11 May 2020
Viewed by 255
Abstract
In this paper the application of cyclostationary signal processing in conjunction with Ensemble Empirical Mode Decomposition (EEMD) technique, on the fault diagnostics of wind turbine gearboxes is investigated and has been highlighted. It is shown that the EEMD technique together with cyclostationary analysis [...] Read more.
In this paper the application of cyclostationary signal processing in conjunction with Ensemble Empirical Mode Decomposition (EEMD) technique, on the fault diagnostics of wind turbine gearboxes is investigated and has been highlighted. It is shown that the EEMD technique together with cyclostationary analysis can be used to detect the damage in complex and non-linear systems such as wind turbine gearbox, where the vibration signals are modulated with carrier frequencies and are superimposed. In these situations when multiple faults alongside noisy environment are present together, the faults are not easily detectable by conventional signal processing techniques such as FFT and RMS. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wind Power Technologies)
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Open AccessArticle
Impacts of Upstream Structures on Downstream Discharge in the Transboundary Imjin River Basin, Korean Peninsula
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(9), 3333; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10093333 - 11 May 2020
Viewed by 289
Abstract
The transboundary river basin is a great challenge for water management and disaster reduction due to its specific characteristics. In this study, upstream impacts from natural and artificial sources on the downstream discharge on the Imjin river basin, the well-known transboundary region in [...] Read more.
The transboundary river basin is a great challenge for water management and disaster reduction due to its specific characteristics. In this study, upstream impacts from natural and artificial sources on the downstream discharge on the Imjin river basin, the well-known transboundary region in the Korean peninsula, were evaluated using a hydrological model integrating a dam operation module at an hourly timescale. The module uses a concept of the AutoROM method as the operational rule to update the dam storage and decide water release. Dam storages were translated into water levels using a water level–storage curve. To quantify the impact of hydraulic structures on the Northern Imjin river basin, change in discharge was analyzed in four flood events (2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012). Dam failure scenarios were developed under conditions of the 2010 flood event, in which the releases of 100%, 80%, 50%, and 20% of water storage of Hwanggang dam were simulated. The results indicate that the amount of water released from upstream dams is the main cause of floods in the downstream region. To reduce the risk of floods in the downstream river basin, an optimal dam operation module and information on upstream dams play an important role and contribute to the effective use of water resources. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydrologic and Water Resources Investigations and Modeling)
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Open AccessArticle
Potential and Feasibility Study of Hybrid Wind–Hydroelectric Power System with Water-Pumping Storage: Jordan as a Case Study
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(9), 3332; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10093332 - 11 May 2020
Viewed by 248
Abstract
Periodic daily fluctuating demand for energy and power is a perceptible phenomenon, resulting in some moments of low demand for power and energy related to the huge energy comes from renewable energy systems, and some moments of peak load demand. This phenomenon, when [...] Read more.
Periodic daily fluctuating demand for energy and power is a perceptible phenomenon, resulting in some moments of low demand for power and energy related to the huge energy comes from renewable energy systems, and some moments of peak load demand. This phenomenon, when combined with the non-stationary operation of huge capacity of renewable energy systems, results in no stability of voltage and frequency. To assure continuous network stability and to avoid energy losses from renewable energy systems that are subject to such control system, a hybrid system with energy–power storage in the form of pumped-hydro storage is considered the most suitable technically. This paper presents the design, modeling, analysis, and feasibility study of a hybrid wind and water-pumping storage system. The system was designed and analyzed for King Talal Dam (KTD), which is in Northern Jordan. The importance of this study is that it is directed mainly to Jordan and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region in general. The Jordanian renewable energy market is a promising arena that encourages developers, investors, engineers, and companies to develop and install pure renewable energy systems and renewable energy hybrid projects for the generation of electricity. The analysis of wind data is carried out using the “windfarm” software with 5.16 m/s as average wind speed. It is followed by the design of the hybrid system, which is simulated for a daily operation of 2–3 h as peak load hours. Based on the technical outcomes, cost study and feasibility analyses are carried out with Jordanian market prices. The total estimated annual energy production is 26,663,933 kWh from 10 MW wind farm and 5.2 MW pumping storage system. The aforementioned studies showed that a similar hybrid system is not always fully commercially feasible. However, a pure pumped-storage system proved to be technically feasible and assisting the grid. The whole project analysis determines that such a system boosts the operational stability of the grid, increases the penetration of renewable energy systems and reduces the energy import. In addition, 15,100,000 tons of CO2-equivalent is estimated as annual emissions reduction in this study. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy)
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Open AccessArticle
A Coordination Space Model for Assemblability Analysis and Optimization during Measurement-Assisted Large-Scale Assembly
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(9), 3331; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10093331 - 11 May 2020
Viewed by 220
Abstract
The assembly process is sometimes blocked due to excessive dimension deviations during large-scale assembly. It is inefficient to improve the assembly quality by trial assembly, inspection, and accuracy compensation in the case of excessive deviations. Therefore, assemblability prediction by analyzing the measurement data, [...] Read more.
The assembly process is sometimes blocked due to excessive dimension deviations during large-scale assembly. It is inefficient to improve the assembly quality by trial assembly, inspection, and accuracy compensation in the case of excessive deviations. Therefore, assemblability prediction by analyzing the measurement data, assembly accuracy requirements, and the pose of parts is an effective way to discover the assembly deviations in advance for measurement-assisted assembly. In this paper, a coordination space model is constructed based on a small displacement torsor and assembly accuracy requirements. An assemblability analysis method is proposed to check whether the assembly can be executed directly. Aiming at the incoordination problem, an assemblability optimization method based on the union coordination space is proposed. Finally, taking the space manipulator assembly as an example, the result shows that the proposed method can improve assemblability with a better assembly quality and less workload compared to the least-squares method. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Computer-Aided Manufacturing and Design)
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Open AccessArticle
Implementation of a Blood Cold Chain System Using Blockchain Technology
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(9), 3330; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10093330 - 11 May 2020
Viewed by 269
Abstract
As the population structure changes due to lower fertility rates and rapid aging, the blood supply available for blood transfusion decreases and demand increases. In most countries, blood management information systems, led by national institutions, operate centrally. However, existing centralized blood management systems [...] Read more.
As the population structure changes due to lower fertility rates and rapid aging, the blood supply available for blood transfusion decreases and demand increases. In most countries, blood management information systems, led by national institutions, operate centrally. However, existing centralized blood management systems have limitations in that they lack detailed blood information and, moreover, information is not reflected in real time. To solve this problem, this paper presents an innovative blood cold chain system based on blockchain technology. The proposed system aims to increase information visibility by recording the overall information on the blood supply and providing detailed blood information such as blood consumption and disposal to the distributed ledger. In addition, this paper proposes direct blood transactions between medical institutions in cases of emergency. Currently, blockchain technologies are being actively employed in the supply chain management and medical fields in addition to financial systems. Particularly, private blockchain techniques with limited participants are relatively fast and reliable, making them suitable for B2B (Business-to-Business) transactions. Therefore, the proposed system is based on the architecture of Hyperledger Fabric, a private blockchain technology implemented by the Hyperledger Composer tool. Information in the proposed blood cold chain system cannot be forged or tampered with, and information recorded and shared in real time is kept transparent. In addition, allowing for B2B blood transaction in special circumstances will minimize the blood supply time and enable patients to be transfused quickly. Moreover, the surplus blood of medical institutions will be used to increase the usage rate relative to the supply amount. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Big Data and AI for Process Innovation in the Industry 4.0 Era)
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Open AccessArticle
Low-Power Laser Graphitization of High Pressure—High Temperature Nanodiamond Films
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(9), 3329; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10093329 - 11 May 2020
Viewed by 256
Abstract
Laser-induced graphitization of 100 nm monocrystals of diamond particles synthesized by high-pressure high-temperature (HP-HT) methods is not typically observed. The current study demonstrates the graphitization of 150 nm HP-HT nanodiamond particles in ca. 20-μm-thick thin films formed on a glass substrate when the [...] Read more.
Laser-induced graphitization of 100 nm monocrystals of diamond particles synthesized by high-pressure high-temperature (HP-HT) methods is not typically observed. The current study demonstrates the graphitization of 150 nm HP-HT nanodiamond particles in ca. 20-μm-thick thin films formed on a glass substrate when the intensity of a focused 633 nm He-Ne laser exceeds a threshold of ~ 33 kW/cm2. Graphitization is accompanied by green luminescence. The structure and morphology of the samples were investigated before and after laser excitation while using X-ray diffraction (XRD), Raman spectroscopy, atomic force (AFM), and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). These observations are explained by photoionization of [Ni-N]- and [N]-centers, leading to the excitation of electrons to the conduction band of the HP-HT nanodiamond films and an increase of the local temperature of the sample, causing the transformation of sp3 HP-HT nanodiamonds to sp2-carbon. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Laser Processing of Carbon Materials)
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Open AccessArticle
Online Database for Retrieval Information about Prebiotics and Their Activity
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(9), 3328; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10093328 - 11 May 2020
Viewed by 281
Abstract
The number of studies aimed at proving the prebiotic properties of certain substances or compositions has been actively increasing, which has led to a large accumulation of scientific information that is fragmented and not systematized. Moreover, a number of criteria have been applied [...] Read more.
The number of studies aimed at proving the prebiotic properties of certain substances or compositions has been actively increasing, which has led to a large accumulation of scientific information that is fragmented and not systematized. Moreover, a number of criteria have been applied in these studies. The lack of an accessible and convenient information space to compare the obtained results seems to hold back not only scientific development, but also practical development in this field. A database called the «On-line Database of Researches on Activity of Prebiotics» (ODRAP) is presented in this article, which contains information about both prebiotics and some probiotics, that were used in these researches. Currently, ODRAP collects 25 bacteria genera or their combinations, 59 bacteria species, 140 prebiotic substances, 61 prebiotic production companies, 2 methods of fermentation, and 271 analyzed articles from 2001 till 2019. To facilitate access to the database, a special Web-interface was created, which allows any user who opens the Web-page to obtain information about the features and activities of prebiotics, as well as to sort the data by species and genus of bacteria applied in tests, the chemical nature or source of prebiotics, and other parameters. The convenience of the Web-interface is that it allows access to the database, regardless of the user platform and from anywhere, via the Internet. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of Modified Flow Schemes of Heat Transfer Fluid on the Performance of a Solar Absorption–Cooling System for an Educational Building in Pakistan
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(9), 3327; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10093327 - 11 May 2020
Viewed by 407
Abstract
Performance of solar absorption cooling systems (SACS) is the focus of contemporary studies for decreasing the electrical energy consumption of buildings as the conventional cooling system of buildings is the main consumer of electrical energy during the summer season in hot–humid climates. In [...] Read more.
Performance of solar absorption cooling systems (SACS) is the focus of contemporary studies for decreasing the electrical energy consumption of buildings as the conventional cooling system of buildings is the main consumer of electrical energy during the summer season in hot–humid climates. In this study, the performance analysis of SACS by manipulating different flow schemes to the heat transfer fluid between different components of the system was performed. TRNSYS model of SACS in an education building located at the city of Peshawar (34.00 N, 71.54 E), Pakistan to encounter the peak cooling load of 108 kW (during operating hours of the building i.e., 09 a.m. to 05 p.m.) is developed and all possible flow schemes of heat transfer fluid between the system’s components were compared. In Scheme-1 (S-1), a conventional flow pattern is used in which the hot water exiting from the chiller unit flows directly toward the stratified thermal storage unit. In Scheme-2 (S-2), the modified flow pattern of hot water exiting from the chiller unit will divert towards the auxiliary unit, if its temperature exceeds the temperature at the hot side outlet of the tank. Another modified flow pattern is Scheme-3 (S-3) in which the hot water leaving the chiller to keep diverting towards the auxiliary unit unless the outlet temperature from the hotter side of the tank would reach the minimum driving temperature (109 °C) of the chiller’s operation. Simulations in TRNSYS evaluates the SACS’s performance of all the schemes (conventional and modified) for the whole summer season and for each month. In general, S-3 with evacuated tube solar collector results in better primary energy saving with the smallest collector area per kilowatt for achieving 50% primary energy saving for the whole summer season. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Solar Cooling Systems)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
The Role of Water in the Effect of Weak Combined Magnetic Fields on Production of Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) by Neutrophils
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(9), 3326; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10093326 - 11 May 2020
Viewed by 330
Abstract
Various models have been used to demonstrate the pronounced effects of the microwave frequency range electromagnetic fields, as well as weak and very weak combined collinear magnetic fields (CMF) with static and variable components in the order of micro- and nano-tesla. One of [...] Read more.
Various models have been used to demonstrate the pronounced effects of the microwave frequency range electromagnetic fields, as well as weak and very weak combined collinear magnetic fields (CMF) with static and variable components in the order of micro- and nano-tesla. One of such models, previously shown to be sensitive to variations in the parameters of applied magnetic fields, is the neutrophil respiratory burst. Using luminol-enhanced cell chemiluminescence assay, we studied the effects of the CMF exerted directly on neutrophil suspensions and, indirectly, through aqueous solutions. To experimentally create a uniform standard weak CMF with 60 µT static and 100 nT alternating magnetic field components, we engineered a shielded magnetic field induction device. CMF applied directly to neutrophils enhanced reactive oxygen species (ROS) production by more than 36%. The pronounced stimulating effect was observed only when using the signals that included the frequency of 12.6 Hz that corresponds to the ion cyclotron resonance (ICR) frequency of the hydrated hydronium ion. Similarly, to direct exposure, CMF pre-treatment of a water sample subsequently added to the neutrophil suspension increased ROS production by 66%. The effect of CMF pre-treatment was retained after a series of dilutions and mechanical treatment but disappeared in “magnetic vacuum” or without mechanical influence. Therefore, weak and super weak magnetic fields may indirectly, via water, activate ROS production by neutrophils, provided that modulation of super weak component of collinear field corresponds to the ICR frequency of the hydrated hydronium ion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electromagnetic Radiation in Biology and Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Room Temperature In-Situ Synthesis of Inorganic Lead Halide Perovskite Nanocrystals Sol Using Ultraviolet Polymerized Acrylic Monomers as Solvent and Their Composites with High Stability
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(9), 3325; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10093325 - 11 May 2020
Viewed by 258
Abstract
As a kind of promising optoelectrical material, all-inorganic perovskite nanocrystals CsPbX3 (X = Cl, Br, I) have attracted much attention, due to their excellent optoelectrical characteristics, in recent years. However, their synthesis approaches require rigorous conditions, including high temperature, eco-unfriendly solvent or [...] Read more.
As a kind of promising optoelectrical material, all-inorganic perovskite nanocrystals CsPbX3 (X = Cl, Br, I) have attracted much attention, due to their excellent optoelectrical characteristics, in recent years. However, their synthesis approaches require rigorous conditions, including high temperature, eco-unfriendly solvent or complex post-synthesis process. Herein, to overcome these issues, we reported a novel facile room temperature in-situ strategy using ultraviolet polymerizable acrylic monomer as solvent to synthesis CsPbX3 nanocrystals without a complex post-synthesis process. In this strategy, adequate soluble precursors of Cs, Pb and Br and reaction terminating agent 3-aminopropyltriethoxysilane (APTES) were used. The obtained CsPbBr3 nanocrystals showed a high photoluminescence quantum yields (PLQY) of 87.5%. The corresponding polymer composites, by adding light initiator and oligomer under ultraviolet light radiation, performed excellent stability in light, air, moisture and high temperature. The reaction process and the effect of the reaction terminating agent have been investigated in detail. This strategy is a universal one for synthesizing CsPbX3 nanocrystals covering visible light range by introducing HCl and ZnI2. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Nanotechnology and Applied Nanosciences)
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Open AccessArticle
Mechanical Performance Characterization of Lignin-Modified Asphalt Mixture
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(9), 3324; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10093324 - 10 May 2020
Viewed by 402
Abstract
Lignin, as a bio-based waste, has been utilized in the asphalt industry due to various advantages. This study aimed to investigate the effects of two lignin products (lignin powder and lignin fiber) on the mechanical properties of asphalt mixtures. The raveling, rutting, thermal [...] Read more.
Lignin, as a bio-based waste, has been utilized in the asphalt industry due to various advantages. This study aimed to investigate the effects of two lignin products (lignin powder and lignin fiber) on the mechanical properties of asphalt mixtures. The raveling, rutting, thermal and fatigue cracking resistance, and moisture susceptibility of different asphalt mixtures were respectively evaluated by the Cantabro test, wheel loading tracking test, semicircular bending test, four-point beam bending test, and freezing-thaw cyclic test. Results show that asphalt mixture with lignin powder-modified asphalt improved the overall mechanical performance. However, lignin fiber showed contradictory effects on certain mechanical properties, i.e., improved rutting resistance and thermal cracking resistance of asphalt mixture, degraded abrasion resistance, fatigue performance, and moisture stability. Therefore, cautions need to be taken when incorporating lignin fiber into asphalt mixture. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Study on the Improvement of Electrical Facility System of Automated External Defibrillators by Real-Time Measurement of Thoracic Impedance
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(9), 3323; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10093323 - 10 May 2020
Viewed by 346
Abstract
Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) is a serious emergency disease that has increased steadily every year. To this end, an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) is placed in a public place so that even non-professional medical personnel can respond to SCA. However, the thoracic impedance [...] Read more.
Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) is a serious emergency disease that has increased steadily every year. To this end, an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) is placed in a public place so that even non-professional medical personnel can respond to SCA. However, the thoracic impedance of patients changes due to CardioPulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and artificial respiration during first aid treatment. In addition, changes in chest statues due to gender, age, and accidents cause changes in thoracic impedance in real time. The change in thoracic impedance caused by this has a negative effect on the intended electrical energy of the automatic heart shocker to the emergency patient. To prove this, we divided it into adult and pediatric modes and experimented with the energy error of the AED according to the same impedance change. When the first peak current was up to 56.4 (A) and at least 8.4 (A) in the adult mode, the first peak current was up to 32.2 (A) and at least 4.8 (A), respectively, when the impedance changed, the error of the current figure occurred. In this paper, the inverse relationship between thoracic impedance and electric shock energy according to the state of the cardiac arrest patient is demonstrated through the results of the experiment, and the need for an electric facility system that can revise for changes in thoracic impedance of the cardiac arrest patient by reflecting them on electric shock energy in real time is presented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Applied Industrial Technologies)
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Open AccessArticle
Characterization of Shear Strain on PDMS: Numerical and Experimental Approaches
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(9), 3322; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10093322 - 10 May 2020
Viewed by 334
Abstract
Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) is one of the most popular elastomers and has been used in different fields, especially in biomechanics research. Among the many interesting features of this material, its hyperelastic behavior stands out, which allows the use of PDMS in various applications, like [...] Read more.
Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) is one of the most popular elastomers and has been used in different fields, especially in biomechanics research. Among the many interesting features of this material, its hyperelastic behavior stands out, which allows the use of PDMS in various applications, like the ones that mimic soft tissues. However, the hyperelastic behavior is not linear and needs detailed analysis, especially the characterization of shear strain. In this work, two approaches, numerical and experimental, were proposed to characterize the effect of shear strain on PDMS. The experimental method was implemented as a simple shear testing associated with 3D digital image correlation and was made using two specimens with two thicknesses of PDMS (2 and 4 mm). A finite element software was used to implement the numerical simulations, in which four different simulations using the Mooney–Rivlin, Yeoh, Gent, and polynomial hyperelastic constitutive models were performed. These approaches showed that the maximum value of shear strain occurred in the central region of the PDMS, and higher values emerged for the 2 mm PDMS thickness. Qualitatively, in the central area of the specimen, the numerical and experimental results have similar behaviors and the values of shear strain are close. For higher values of displacement and thicknesses, the numerical simulation results move further away from experimental values. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Mechanical Engineering)
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Open AccessArticle
Bonding Strength Characteristics of FA-Based Geopolymer Paste as a Repair Material When Applied on OPC Substrate
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(9), 3321; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10093321 - 10 May 2020
Viewed by 510
Abstract
This investigative study aims to study the mechanical and morphological properties of fly ash (FA)-based geopolymer paste as a repair material when applied on ordinary Portland cement (OPC) overlay concrete. The first part of this study investigates the optimal mix design of FA-based [...] Read more.
This investigative study aims to study the mechanical and morphological properties of fly ash (FA)-based geopolymer paste as a repair material when applied on ordinary Portland cement (OPC) overlay concrete. The first part of this study investigates the optimal mix design of FA-based geopolymer paste with various NaOH concentrations of 8, 10, 12, and 14 M, which were used later as a repair material. The second part studies the bonding strength using a slant shear test between the geopolymer repair material and OPC substrate concrete. The results showed that a shorter setting time corresponds to the higher NaOH molarity, within the range of 53 and 30 min at 8 and 14 M, respectively. The compressive strength of FA-based geopolymer paste was found to reach 92.5 MPa at 60 days. Also, from the slant shear test results, prism specimens with 125 mm length and 50 mm wide have a large bond strength of 11 MPa at 12 M. The scanning electron microscopy/energy-dispersive X-ray (SEM/EDX) analysis showed that the OPC substrate has a significant effect on slant shear bond strength, where the presence of free cations of Ca2+ on the OPC substrate surface contributed to the formation of calcium alumina-silicate hydrate gel (C-A-S-H) by building various cross-links of Ca-O-Si. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Concrete and Mortar with Non-conventional Materials)
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Open AccessArticle
Understanding the Relationship between User’s Subjective Feeling and the Degree of Side Curvature in Smartphone
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(9), 3320; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10093320 - 10 May 2020
Viewed by 325
Abstract
To develop a flexible display, smartphones with edge screens with curved displays on both sides of the main screen have been used widely. Considering that small differences in the form of smartphones, such as length, width, and thickness, could affect user experience, the [...] Read more.
To develop a flexible display, smartphones with edge screens with curved displays on both sides of the main screen have been used widely. Considering that small differences in the form of smartphones, such as length, width, and thickness, could affect user experience, the effects of the curvature of the edge screen should be identified. This study aimed to investigate the effects of the curvature of edge screens on subjective feelings of smartphone users and to find out the optimal curvature. In the experiment, four nonfunctional samples with different radii of curvature (4R/6R/8R/10R) were used as samples, and participants evaluated the five subjective feelings: grip/control comfort, front/side visibility, and stability of the samples with four usage patterns. Our results revealed that 8R is the optimal curvature for the edge screen based on subjective feelings in smartphone usage. Moreover, the effect of the curvature of the edge screen on grip comfort and control comfort varied according to the usage patterns. The results of this study can be applied to design of the curvature of edge screens in smartphones and it is expected that it will contribute to improvement of users’ satisfaction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue User Experience for Advanced Human–Computer Interaction)
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Open AccessArticle
Small-Size Square Ring 1-Bit Reconfigurable Transmitarray Unit Cell for C-Band Applications
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(9), 3319; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10093319 - 10 May 2020
Viewed by 303
Abstract
The paper presents a reconfigurable linear polarized transmitarray unit cell design with 1-bit phase quantization for C-band applications. The unit-cell structure consists of two square ring patches of reduced size, which are connected using a coupling element. Incorporating p-i-n diodes inside the coupling [...] Read more.
The paper presents a reconfigurable linear polarized transmitarray unit cell design with 1-bit phase quantization for C-band applications. The unit-cell structure consists of two square ring patches of reduced size, which are connected using a coupling element. Incorporating p-i-n diodes inside the coupling element allows controlling the current flow direction in the antennas and providing a 180° phase difference. An analysis of the unit-cell insertion loss contributed by small-size antennas and coupling between them is discussed. The p-i-n diode parasitic parameters are taken into consideration of the unit cell performance simulation. It was shown that the insertion loss caused by the p-i-n diodes parasitic parameters can be reduced. The original biasing circuitry providing p-i-n diodes control voltage is proposed. Simulation results of the reconfigurable unit cell are validated by measurements in a waveguide. As a result of measurements, the insertion loss is −2.3 dB at 5.9 GHz, the reflection coefficient module is less than −20 dB, the phase difference error does not exceed ± 1° in the passband, while 3-dB bandwidth corresponds to 180 MHz (3.4%). Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Electrical, Electronics and Communications Engineering)
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Open AccessArticle
Magnetic Resonance-Electrical Properties Tomography by Directly Solving Maxwell’s Curl Equations
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(9), 3318; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10093318 - 10 May 2020
Viewed by 301
Abstract
Magnetic Resonance-Electrical Properties Tomography (MR-EPT) is a method to reconstruct the electrical properties (EPs) of bio-tissues from the measured radiofrequency (RF) field in Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). Current MR-EPT approaches reconstruct the EP profile by solving a second-order partial differential wave equation problem, [...] Read more.
Magnetic Resonance-Electrical Properties Tomography (MR-EPT) is a method to reconstruct the electrical properties (EPs) of bio-tissues from the measured radiofrequency (RF) field in Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). Current MR-EPT approaches reconstruct the EP profile by solving a second-order partial differential wave equation problem, which is sensitive to noise and can induce large reconstruction artefacts near tissue boundaries and areas with inaccurate field measurements. In this paper, a novel MR-EPT approach is proposed, which is based on a direct solution to Maxwell’s curl equations. The distribution of EPs is calculated by iteratively fitting the RF field calculated by the finite-difference-time-domain (FDTD) technique to the measured values. To solve the time-consuming problem of the iterative fitting, a graphics processing unit (GPU) is used to accelerate the FDTD technique to process the field calculation kernel. The new EPT method was evaluated by investigating a numerical head phantom, and it was found that EP values can be accurately calculated and were relatively insensitive to simulated RF field errors. The feasibility of the proposed method was further validated using phantom-based experimental data collected from a 9.4 Tesla (T) Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) system. The results also indicated that more accurate EP values could be reconstructed from the new method compared with conventional methods. Moreover, even in the absence of phase information of the RF field, the proposed approach is still capable of offering robust EPT solutions, thus having improved practicality for potential clinical applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Applied Biosciences and Bioengineering)
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Open AccessArticle
Methods to Apply a 3-Parameter Logistic Model to Wind Turbine Data
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(9), 3317; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10093317 - 10 May 2020
Viewed by 318
Abstract
Power curves provided by wind turbine manufacturers are obtained under certain conditions that are different from those of real life operation and, therefore, they actually do not describe the behavior of these machines in wind farms. In those cases where one year of [...] Read more.
Power curves provided by wind turbine manufacturers are obtained under certain conditions that are different from those of real life operation and, therefore, they actually do not describe the behavior of these machines in wind farms. In those cases where one year of data is available, a logistic function may be fitted and used as an accurate model for such curves, with the advantage that it describes the power curve by means of a very simple mathematical expression. Building such a curve from data can be achieved by different methods, such as using mean values or, alternatively, all the possible values for given intervals. However, when using the mean values, some information is missing and when using all the values the model obtained can be wrong. In this paper, some methods are proposed and applied to real data for comparison purposes. Among them, the one that combines data clustering and simulation is recommended in order to avoid some errors made by the other methods. Besides, a data filtering recommendation and two different assessment procedures for the error provided by the model are proposed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wind Turbine Data, Analysis and Models)
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Open AccessArticle
Tool Quality Life during Ball End Milling of Titanium Alloy Based on Tool Wear and Surface Roughness Models
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(9), 3316; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10093316 - 10 May 2020
Viewed by 307
Abstract
The prediction and control of milling tool service performance is critical for milling tool design and machining. However, the existing prediction model can hardly quantify tool performance, or precisely describe the relationship between the tool performance and the design or milling parameters. This [...] Read more.
The prediction and control of milling tool service performance is critical for milling tool design and machining. However, the existing prediction model can hardly quantify tool performance, or precisely describe the relationship between the tool performance and the design or milling parameters. This study redefines the tool lifetime as a function of surface roughness and proposes a new geometric analysis method based on a time-varying wear model. The proposed method can be utilized to evaluate the relationship between tool wear and lifetime. The surface roughness, with respect to tool service performance, is expressed as a time-varying model of the tool and processing parameters. After experimental validation, the influence factors were analyzed through simulation. A generalized method for milling tool design was proposed and successfully applied to a tool performance design case, on a theoretical level. Additionally, the research results prove that basing the tool milling quality life on the surface roughness is extremely feasible and necessary. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
An Integrated System of Artificial Intelligence and Signal Processing Techniques for the Sorting and Grading of Nuts
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(9), 3315; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10093315 - 10 May 2020
Viewed by 313
Abstract
The existence of conversion industries to sort and grade hazelnuts with modern technology plays a vital role in export. Since most of the hazelnuts produced in Iran are exported to domestic and foreign markets without sorting and grading, it is necessary to have [...] Read more.
The existence of conversion industries to sort and grade hazelnuts with modern technology plays a vital role in export. Since most of the hazelnuts produced in Iran are exported to domestic and foreign markets without sorting and grading, it is necessary to have a well-functioning smart system to create added value, reduce waste, increase shelf life, and provide a better product delivery. In this study, a method is introduced to sort and grade hazelnuts by integrating audio signal processing and artificial neural network techniques. A system was designed and developed in which the produced sound, due to the collision of the hazelnut with a steel disk, was taken by the microphone placed under the steel disk and transferred to a PC via a sound card. Then, it was stored and processed by a program written in MATLAB software. A piezoelectric sensor and a circuit were used to eliminate additional ambient noise. The time-domain and wavelet domain features of the data were extracted using MATLAB software and were analyzed using Artificial Neural Network Toolbox. Seventy percent of the extracted data signals were used for training, 15% for validation, and the rest of the data was used to test the artificial neural network (Multilayer Perceptron network with Levenberg-Marquardt Learning algorithm). The model optimization and the number of neurons in the hidden layer were conducted based on mean square error (MSE) and prediction accuracy (PA). A total of 2400 hazelnuts were used to evaluate the system. The optimal neural network structure for sorting and grading hazelnuts was 4-21-3 (four neurons in input layers, 21 neurons in the hidden layer, and three outputs which are the desired classification). This neural network (NN) was used to classify hazelnut as big, small, hollow, or damaged. Results showed 96.1%, 89.3%, and 93.1% accuracy for big/small, hollow, or damaged hazelnuts were obtained, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applied Artificial Neural Networks)
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Open AccessArticle
Impact of Heart Rate Fragmentation on the Assessment of Heart Rate Variability
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(9), 3314; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10093314 - 10 May 2020
Viewed by 320
Abstract
Heart rate fragmentation (HRF) is a type of sinoatrial instability characterized by frequent (often every beat) appearance of inflection in the R-R interval time series, despite the electrocardiograms appearing to be sinus rhythm. Because the assessment of parasympathetic function by heart rate variability [...] Read more.
Heart rate fragmentation (HRF) is a type of sinoatrial instability characterized by frequent (often every beat) appearance of inflection in the R-R interval time series, despite the electrocardiograms appearing to be sinus rhythm. Because the assessment of parasympathetic function by heart rate variability (HRV) analysis depends on the assumption that the high-frequency component (HF, 0.15–0.4 Hz) of HRV is mediated solely by the cardiac parasympathetic nerve, HRF that is measured as a part of HF power confounds the parasympathetic functional assessment by HRV. In this study, we analyzed HRF in a 24-h electrocardiogram big data and investigated the changes in HRF with age and sex and its influence on the assessment of HRV. We observed that HRF is often observed during childhoods (0–20 year) and increased after 75 year, but it has a large impact on individual differences in HF power at ages 60–90. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Quick, Green and Simple Ultrasound-Assisted Extraction for the Valorization of Antioxidant Phenolic Acids from Moroccan Almond Cold-Pressed Oil Residues
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(9), 3313; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10093313 - 10 May 2020
Viewed by 333
Abstract
Almond (Prunus dulcis (Mill.) D.A. Webb) is one of the most important nut crops both in terms of area and production. Over the last few decades, an important part of the beneficial actions for health associated with their consumption was attributed to [...] Read more.
Almond (Prunus dulcis (Mill.) D.A. Webb) is one of the most important nut crops both in terms of area and production. Over the last few decades, an important part of the beneficial actions for health associated with their consumption was attributed to the phenolic compounds, mainly accumulated in almond skin. Interestingly, after cold-pressed oil extraction, most of these antioxidant phenolic compounds are retained in a skin-enriched by-product, a so-called almond cold-pressed oil residue. In Morocco, the fifth highest ranking producer in the world, this production generates an important part of this valuable byproduct. In the present study, using a multivariate Box–Behnken design, an ultrasound-assisted extraction method of phenolic compounds from Moroccan almond cold-pressed oil residue was developed and validated. Response surface methodology resulted in the optimal extraction conditions: the use of aqueous ethanol 53.0% (v/v) as a green solvent, applying an ultrasound frequency of 27.0 kHz for an extraction duration of 29.4 min. The present ultrasound-assisted extraction allowed substantial gains in terms of extraction efficiency compared to conventional heat reflux extraction. Applied to three different local Beldi genotypes growing at three different experimental sites, the optimal conditions for ultrasound-assisted extraction led to a total phenolic content of 13.86 mg/g dry weight. HPLC analysis revealed that the main phenolic compounds from this valuable byproduct were: chlorogenic acid followed by protocatechuic acid, p-hydroxybenzoic acid, and p-coumaric acid. The accumulation of these phenolic compounds appeared to be more dependent on the genetic background than on the environmental impact here represented by the three experimental culture sites. Both in vitro cell free and cellular antioxidant assays were performed, and revealed the great potential of these extracts. In particular, correlation analysis provided evidence of the prominent roles of chlorogenic acid, protocatechuic acid, and p-hydroxybenzoic acid. To summarize, the validated ultrasound-assisted extraction method presented here is a quick, green, simple and efficient for the possible valorization of antioxidant phenolic compounds from Moroccan almond cold-pressed oil residues, making it possible to generate extracts with attractive antioxidant activities for future nutraceutical and/or cosmetic applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Activity and Applications of Natural Compounds)
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of Incoherent Front Cover Glass on Current-Voltage Characteristics of Cu(In,Ga)Se2 Solar Cells: Investigation into Calculation Accuracy for Cover Glass Modeled as Optically Coherent or Incoherent
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(9), 3312; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10093312 - 09 May 2020
Viewed by 340
Abstract
We numerically investigate the effects of an incoherent front cover glass on the current–voltage (J–V) characteristics of a Cu(In,Ga)Se2 (CIGS) solar cell using an integrated optoelectronic model. A 3-mm cover glass—the thickness of which was larger than the coherence length of sunlight—was [...] Read more.
We numerically investigate the effects of an incoherent front cover glass on the current–voltage (J–V) characteristics of a Cu(In,Ga)Se2 (CIGS) solar cell using an integrated optoelectronic model. A 3-mm cover glass—the thickness of which was larger than the coherence length of sunlight—was incoherently modeled based on the equispaced thickness averaging method, where coherent simulation results of the wave equation were averaged over a set of equispaced phase thicknesses. The changes in optical power dissipation, absorptivity and electron–hole pair generation rate were calculated depending on the variation of the equispaced phase thickness. The calculation results of the J–V curves were obtained through numerical solutions of the coupled Poisson and continuity equations. By comparing the J–V curves calculated between coherently and incoherently modeled cover glass, we obtained a maximum ±0.54% deviation of the short-circuit current density. This demonstrates that the front cover glass should be modeled as optically incoherent to improve the calculation accuracy of the electrical J–V curves as well as the optical absorption characteristics in the optoelectronic modeling of CIGS solar cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Optics and Lasers)
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Open AccessReview
Circulating Tumor Cells in Metastatic Breast Cancer: Clinical Applications and Future Possibilities
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(9), 3311; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10093311 - 09 May 2020
Viewed by 278
Abstract
Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) have gained importance as an emerging biomarker in solid tumors in the last two decades. Several detection assays have been introduced by various study groups, with EpCAM-based CellSearch system being the most widely used and standardized technique. In breast [...] Read more.
Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) have gained importance as an emerging biomarker in solid tumors in the last two decades. Several detection assays have been introduced by various study groups, with EpCAM-based CellSearch system being the most widely used and standardized technique. In breast cancer, detection of CTCs correlates with clinical outcome in early and metastatic settings. CTC persistence beyond first cycle of palliative chemotherapy indicates poor response to treatment in metastatic situation. Beyond prognostication and therapy monitoring, CTC counts can guide treatment decisions in hormone receptor positive HER2-negative metastatic breast cancer. Furthermore, CTC-based therapy interventions are currently under investigation in clinical trials. In this review, we focus on the current state of knowledge and possible clinical applications of CTC diagnostics in patients with metastatic breast cancer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Circulating Biomarkers)
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Open AccessReview
Microstructure and Mechanical Properties of AISI 316L Produced by Directed Energy Deposition-Based Additive Manufacturing: A Review
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(9), 3310; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10093310 - 09 May 2020
Viewed by 303
Abstract
Directed energy deposition (DED) as a metal additive manufacturing technology can be used to produce or repair complex shape parts in a layer-wise process using powder or wire. Thanks to its advantages in the fabrication of net-shape and functionally graded components, DED could [...] Read more.
Directed energy deposition (DED) as a metal additive manufacturing technology can be used to produce or repair complex shape parts in a layer-wise process using powder or wire. Thanks to its advantages in the fabrication of net-shape and functionally graded components, DED could attract significant interest in the production of high-value parts for different engineering applications. Nevertheless, the industrialization of this technology remains challenging, mainly because of the lack of knowledge regarding the microstructure and mechanical characteristics of as-built parts, as well as the trustworthiness/durability of engineering parts produced by the DED process. Hence, this paper reviews the published data about the microstructure and mechanical performance of DED AISI 316L stainless steel. The data show that building conditions play key roles in the determination of the microstructure and mechanical characteristics of the final components produced via DED. Moreover, this review article sheds light on the major advancements and challenges in the production of AISI 316L parts by the DED process. In addition, it is found that in spite of different investigations carried out on the optimization of process parameters, further research efforts into the production of AISI 316L components via DED technology is required. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Materials Development by Additive Manufacturing Techniques)
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