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Fibers, Volume 10, Issue 10 (October 2022) – 12 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Nearly 8 million tons of crustacean shells are discarded annually, preventing the valorization of chitin and calcium carbonate components. We revealed crustacean chitin reduces self-aggregation when added to cellulose to offer reductions in viscosity post-drying. Polysaccharide nanofibers display high viscosity from hydrogen bonding, which we addressed through crustacean nanofibers. Because of the enhanced surface area from reduced fibre aggregation, the chitin–cellulose blend was tested for a prominent need of high surface areas: coagulation. Preliminary experiments showed that crustacean matrices, especially those containing calcium carbonate, induced clotting. A materials platform is offered for bio-based nanofiber production to overcome difficult-to-address polysaccharide self-aggregation effects. View this paper
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Article
Angular Momentum of Leaky Modes in Hollow-Core Fibers
Fibers 2022, 10(10), 92; https://doi.org/10.3390/fib10100092 - 21 Oct 2022
Viewed by 426
Abstract
It is known that angular momentum (AM) is an important characteristic of light, which can be separated into the spin (SAM) and orbital parts (OAM). The dynamical properties of the spin and orbital angular momentums are determined by the polarization and spatial degrees [...] Read more.
It is known that angular momentum (AM) is an important characteristic of light, which can be separated into the spin (SAM) and orbital parts (OAM). The dynamical properties of the spin and orbital angular momentums are determined by the polarization and spatial degrees of freedom of light. In addition to optical vortex beams possessing spatial polarization and phase singularities, optical fibers can be used to generate and propagate optical modes with the orbital and spin parts of the angular momentum. In this paper, using the example of hollow-core fibers, we demonstrate the fact that their leaky air core modes also have an orbital part of AM in the case of circular polarization arising from the spin–orbit interaction of the air core modes. The reason for the appearance of AM is the leakage of the air core mode energy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Feature Papers in Fibers)
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Article
Production and 3D Printing of a Nanocellulose-Based Composite Filament Composed of Polymer-Modified Cellulose Nanofibrils and High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) for the Fabrication of 3D Complex Shapes
Fibers 2022, 10(10), 91; https://doi.org/10.3390/fib10100091 - 21 Oct 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 597
Abstract
This work aims to produce a 3D-printable bio-based filament composed of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and chemically modified cellulose nanofibrils. Printing using HDPE as a raw material is challenging due to its massive shrinkage and warping problems. This paper presents a new method to [...] Read more.
This work aims to produce a 3D-printable bio-based filament composed of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and chemically modified cellulose nanofibrils. Printing using HDPE as a raw material is challenging due to its massive shrinkage and warping problems. This paper presents a new method to overcome those difficulties by enhancing the mechanical properties and achieving better print quality. This was achieved using modified cellulose nanofibrils (CNFs) as fillers. Firstly, CNF was converted to a CNF-based macroinitiator through an esterification reaction, followed by a surface-initiated single-electron transfer living radical polymerization (SI-SET-LRP) of the hydrophobic monomer stearyl acrylate. Poly stearyl acrylate-grafted cellulose nanofibrils, CNF-PSAs, were synthesized, purified and characterized with ATR-FTIR, 13C CP-MAS NMR, FE-SEM and water contact angle measurements. A composite was successfully produced using a twin-screw extruder with a CNF-PSA content of 10 wt.%. Mechanical tests were carried out with tensile testing. An increase in the mechanical properties, up to 23% for the Young’s modulus, was observed. A morphologic analysis also revealed the good matrix/CNF compatibility, as no CNF aggregates could be observed. A reduction in the warping behavior for the composite filament compared to HDPE was assessed using a circular arc method. The 3D printing of complex objects using the CNF-PSA/HDPE filament resulted in better print quality when compared to the object printed with neat HDPE. Therefore, it could be concluded that CNF-PSA was a suitable filler for the reinforcement of HDPE, thus, rendering it suitable for 3D printing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Cellulose and Cellulose Derivatives)
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Article
Wavelength Sensing Based on Whispering Gallery Mode Mapping
Fibers 2022, 10(10), 90; https://doi.org/10.3390/fib10100090 - 19 Oct 2022
Viewed by 506
Abstract
We demonstrate a wavelength sensor based on whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators. For the first time, multiple polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) microspheres were simultaneously attached to a tapered fiber. WGM resonances from these commercially available PMMA microspheres were observed with a NIR camera, monitoring [...] Read more.
We demonstrate a wavelength sensor based on whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators. For the first time, multiple polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) microspheres were simultaneously attached to a tapered fiber. WGM resonances from these commercially available PMMA microspheres were observed with a NIR camera, monitoring the scattered light. Circulating light in the WGMs was scattered on the outer layer of the microspheres and appeared as bright spots due to scattering defects. For each laser wavelength fed into the tapered fiber, the light interfered differently for the various sizes of PMMA microspheres. We measured scattered light intensity for different wavelengths and created a barcode for each microsphere. Combining these barcodes into a mode map allowed for unknown wavelength detection. A tunable laser around 1550 nm was used for measurements. As a result, a laser wavelength sensor system with a detection limit of 5 pm was demonstrated. The principles of increasing selectivity, as well as creating a compact device, were discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fiber Laser Sources II)
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Article
Propagation of Terahertz Surface Plasmon Polaritons in a Dielectric Fiber with a Metal Wire Core
Fibers 2022, 10(10), 89; https://doi.org/10.3390/fib10100089 - 19 Oct 2022
Viewed by 383
Abstract
The influence of the conductivity and radius of metal wires embedded into the dielectric fiber on the velocity and attenuation length of terahertz surface plasmon polaritons has been theoretically investigated. It was shown that the phase velocities and attenuation lengths increase with increasing [...] Read more.
The influence of the conductivity and radius of metal wires embedded into the dielectric fiber on the velocity and attenuation length of terahertz surface plasmon polaritons has been theoretically investigated. It was shown that the phase velocities and attenuation lengths increase with increasing conductivity and radius of the wire. With increasing frequency, the velocity of surface plasmon waves increases and the propagation length decreases. The effect of the dielectric coating on the propagation velocity of surface electromagnetic waves is analyzed. It is shown that the coating leads to a decrease in the phase velocity and an increase in the propagation length of surface plasmon waves. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plasmonic Fibers—Metal-Dielectric Hybrid Schemes of Optic Fibers)
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Review
Analysis of the Passive Stabilization Methods of Optical Frequency Comb in Ultrashort-Pulse Erbium-Doped Fiber Lasers
Fibers 2022, 10(10), 88; https://doi.org/10.3390/fib10100088 - 14 Oct 2022
Viewed by 608
Abstract
In this review paper, we describe the current state of the art to stabilize the output radiation of ultrashort-pulse (USP) fiber lasers and analyze passive methods to reduce the magnitude of fluctuations in the amplitude–frequency noise of output radiation. Regarding main noise characterization [...] Read more.
In this review paper, we describe the current state of the art to stabilize the output radiation of ultrashort-pulse (USP) fiber lasers and analyze passive methods to reduce the magnitude of fluctuations in the amplitude–frequency noise of output radiation. Regarding main noise characterization in mode-locked fiber lasers, we further consider the influence on laser operation of primary generation regimes starting up in cavities, such as solitons, stretched pulses, similaritons, and dissipative solitons. Then, we proceed to analyze the external and internal factors that affect the stability of the output radiation characteristics depending on the mode-locking mechanism and the resonator scheme. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fiber Laser Sources II)
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Article
A Unique Crustacean-Based Chitin Platform to Reduce Self-Aggregation of Polysaccharide Nanofibers
Fibers 2022, 10(10), 87; https://doi.org/10.3390/fib10100087 - 14 Oct 2022
Viewed by 448
Abstract
Every year, over 8 million tons of crustacean shells are discarded. However, there exists an opportunity for valorizing the chitin and calcium carbonate part of the composition of the shells. Our study revealed crustacean chitin reduces self-aggregation effects. It was shown that crustacean-based [...] Read more.
Every year, over 8 million tons of crustacean shells are discarded. However, there exists an opportunity for valorizing the chitin and calcium carbonate part of the composition of the shells. Our study revealed crustacean chitin reduces self-aggregation effects. It was shown that crustacean-based nanofibers alone or added to cellulose offer unprecedented reductions in viscosity even after drying to produce foams impossible for cellulose. Polysaccharide nanofibers suffer from increased viscosity from strong hydrogen bonding addressed by the incorporation of crustacean-based nanofibers. The ability of the nanocomposite to overcome self-aggregation and collapse was attributed to organized chitin nanofiber morphology in the crustacean matrix. As a result of enhanced surface area from reduced fiber aggregation, the chitin/crustacean-cellulose blend was tested for a biomedical application requiring a high surface area: coagulation. Preliminary experiments showed the crustacean matrices, especially those containing calcium carbonate, induced blood clotting when 35 s. A materials platform is proposed for bio-based nanofiber production overcoming intractable and difficult-to-address self-aggregation effects associated with polysaccharides. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Feature Papers in Fibers)
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Article
Flexural Strengthening of Reinforced Concrete Beams with Variable Compressive Strength Using Near-Surface Mounted Carbon-Fiber-Reinforced Polymer Strips [NSM-CFRP]
Fibers 2022, 10(10), 86; https://doi.org/10.3390/fib10100086 - 13 Oct 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 621
Abstract
An experimental and analytical investigation was conducted on reinforced concrete (RC) beams strengthened in flexure using the near-surface mounted carbon-fiber-reinforced polymers (NSM-CFRPs) technique. A total of 11 full-scale RC rectangular beams were cast and tested under a monotonic three-point bending test, up to [...] Read more.
An experimental and analytical investigation was conducted on reinforced concrete (RC) beams strengthened in flexure using the near-surface mounted carbon-fiber-reinforced polymers (NSM-CFRPs) technique. A total of 11 full-scale RC rectangular beams were cast and tested under a monotonic three-point bending test, up to failure. The main test variables adopted in this study were the concrete compressive strength (high, medium, and low), the number of CFRP strips, and the strip length. The results indicated that the use of NSM-CFRPs strips in different configurations efficiently increased the load-carrying capacity of the strengthened RC beams, in which all these beams exhibited a higher moment resistance than the corresponding un-strengthened beam. Results also showed that all strengthening schemes were successful in increasing the flexural capacity of the specimens tested. Such increases ranged between 10.36% and 52.28%. Notably, a significant improvement in the ultimate load ratio was observed with beams having a low compressive strength of 17-MPa, then followed by the beams with medium strength (32-MPa), and finally beams with high compressive strength (47-MPa). The NSM technique reduced the occurrence possibility of the CFRP de-bonding failure mode. Furthermore, the test results were compared with theoretical predictions using the ACI 440.2R17 guidelines and showed a good agreement between these results. Full article
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Article
Valorization of Potential Post-Consumer Polyethylene (PE) Plastics Waste and Ethiopian Indigenous Highland Bamboo (EHB) for Wood Plastic Composite (WPC): Experimental Evaluation and Characterization
Fibers 2022, 10(10), 85; https://doi.org/10.3390/fib10100085 - 08 Oct 2022
Viewed by 720
Abstract
The best approaches to minimizing resource scarcity, removing valuable waste streams, and re-establishing a circular economic chain of recycled thermoplastics are to cascade them into product life cycles and their valorization combined with sustainable raw materials. As one part of this goal, WPC [...] Read more.
The best approaches to minimizing resource scarcity, removing valuable waste streams, and re-establishing a circular economic chain of recycled thermoplastics are to cascade them into product life cycles and their valorization combined with sustainable raw materials. As one part of this goal, WPC was formulated from three recycled PE plastic wastes: linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE), medium-density polyethylene (MDPE), high-density polyethylene (HDPE), and underutilized EHB. The chemical composition of EHD, chemical structure, crystallinity, melting and crystallization points, residual metal additives, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) of recycled PE were investigated using standard chromatographic and spectroscopic methods such as HPAEC-UV/VIS, FTIR, DSC, GC/MSD, and XPS. The properties of WPC formulations from different compositions of bamboo particles (BP) as dispersed phase, individual recycled PE plastics, and equal melt blend (EM) as polymer matrix were investigated extensively and measured with a known standard. These comprised tensile strength (TS), modulus of elasticity (TM), flexural strength (FS), modulus of rupture (FM), and unnotched impact strength (UIS). It also included the effect of various alkaline surface treatment ranges on the interface surface interaction. The results show improved mechanical properties for all blending ratios of surface-treated BP, which resulted from better encapsulation in the polymer matrix. Despite its inherent immiscibility, WPC formulation from equal melt blending revealed unusual properties compared to separate phase blends, which is attributed to thermally induced cross-linking. This implies that melt blending of the weakest and cheapest recycled LLDPE with relatively cheap recycled MDPE and HDPE improves the properties of the blend, particularly toughness, while simultaneously retaining some of their properties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Trends in Natural Fibers and Composites)
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Article
Laboratory Investigation of Sand-Geosynthetic Interface Friction Parameters Using Cost-Effective Vertical Pullout Apparatus
Fibers 2022, 10(10), 84; https://doi.org/10.3390/fib10100084 - 30 Sep 2022
Viewed by 524
Abstract
The current research has been carried out to investigate the interactive behaviour of soil-geosynthetic interfaces. A cost-effective vertical pullout test (VPT) apparatus was designed for this purpose. A series of laboratory direct shear tests (DSTs) and vertical pullout tests (VPT) were carried out [...] Read more.
The current research has been carried out to investigate the interactive behaviour of soil-geosynthetic interfaces. A cost-effective vertical pullout test (VPT) apparatus was designed for this purpose. A series of laboratory direct shear tests (DSTs) and vertical pullout tests (VPT) were carried out using three types of sands and four different types of geosynthetics. All three sandy samples used in this research were classified as poorly graded sand (SP) as per the Unified Soil Classification System (USCS) with median grain size ranging between 0.39~0.2 mm. The geosynthetics used were three woven and one non-woven with a tensile force of 3.3 kN/m~103.8 kN/m. The direct shear test revealed that geometric properties of geosynthetics have an influence on interface shear resistance. Interface friction angle varies between 29.2~38.3. Vertical pullout (VPT) test results show that the pullout force is in the range of 23.9~31.4. The interface friction angle by both direct and vertical pullout tests is more for coarse-grained soils than for fine-grained soils. Interface friction angles from pullout tests were around 19% smaller than direct shear tests. The interface efficiency ranged from 0.69 to 0.97 for all soils; meanwhile, for non-woven geotextiles, the efficiency values are up to 22% higher as compared to woven geotextiles due to theirtexture. The present research indicates that interface friction parameters can be efficiently determined through the interface of a cost-effective VPT which is also comparable with DST. The reliable values of interface efficiency can be obtained for soil-geosynthetic interfaces which can optimize the design and omits the need forassumed conservative values of friction parameters. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbon Fibers from Sustainable Precursors)
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Article
Mercerization of Agricultural Waste: Sweet Clover, Buckwheat, and Rapeseed Straws
Fibers 2022, 10(10), 83; https://doi.org/10.3390/fib10100083 - 28 Sep 2022
Viewed by 684
Abstract
This research presents the alkali treatment effect on three types of agricultural residues: sweet clover (SCS), buckwheat (BS), and rapeseed straws (RS). The aim of the study was to find the optimal treatment conditions for each straw type, and to assess the potential [...] Read more.
This research presents the alkali treatment effect on three types of agricultural residues: sweet clover (SCS), buckwheat (BS), and rapeseed straws (RS). The aim of the study was to find the optimal treatment conditions for each straw type, and to assess the potential of sweet clover straw as reinforcement for polymer composites in comparison to buckwheat and rapeseed. The straws were ground and treated for 15, 30, and 60 min using NaOH at concentrations of 2, 5, and 10%. To investigate the treatment results on the SCS, BS, and RS fibers, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy, optical microscope, X-ray diffraction, and thermogravimetric analysis were used. Results indicate that the optimal room-temperature alkaline-treatment conditions of SCS fibers were the same as those for RS treated with 2% NaOH solution for 30 min. These conditions were milder in comparison to those used for the treatment of BS: 60 min in a 5% NaOH solution. During the treatment, noncellulosic substances were largely removed, and the aspect ratio of the fibers was increased, and the destruction temperature, crystallinity, and morphology were also affected. Consequently, SCS has promising potential for use in polymer composites. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Fibers II)
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Article
Investigating the Mechanical Performance on Static and Shock Wave Loading of Aramid Fiber-Reinforced Concrete
Fibers 2022, 10(10), 82; https://doi.org/10.3390/fib10100082 - 26 Sep 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 582
Abstract
Fiber-reinforced concrete (FRC) has been used for over a century to improve the mechanical properties of concrete. Kevlar ® 29 fiber (KF) is one of the most popular aramid fibers used in industrial products. This research investigated the effect of the fiber length, [...] Read more.
Fiber-reinforced concrete (FRC) has been used for over a century to improve the mechanical properties of concrete. Kevlar ® 29 fiber (KF) is one of the most popular aramid fibers used in industrial products. This research investigated the effect of the fiber length, the weight ratio of fiber to cement, the mix-proportion of two fiber lengths, and the sizing on the fiber surface on the mechanical properties of Kevlar fiber-reinforced concrete (KFRC) under static, dynamic, and shock wave loadings. Two lengths of chopped KF and three different weight ratios of fiber to cement were mixed in the KFRC specimens for comparison. Moreover, this study also compared how the five mix-proportions of two fiber lengths affected the mechanical properties of mix-proportion KFRC. KF was dispersed by the pneumatic method first, and then, the separated KF was mixed into the concrete to make KFRC. The results indicated that the KFRC specimens with a 10‰ weight ratio of fiber to cement exhibited the maximum compressive, flexural, and splitting tensile strengths, regardless of whether the fiber length was 12 mm or 24 mm. The main finding showed that the specimen mixed with 24 mm KF could endure the highest impact resistance under different impact energies. From the shock wave test, the external damage on the front and rear faces of all KFRC slabs and the KFRC slab reinforced with two layers of KF sheets was less than that of the benchmark slab. The testing results showed that KF greatly enhanced the static and dynamic mechanical performances of concrete, and the KFRC specimen with a 10‰ weight ratio and 24 mm length KF with sizing exhibited the best performance. Full article
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Article
Numerical Study of Mid-IR Ultrashort Pulse Reconstruction Based on Processing of Spectra Converted in Chalcogenide Fibers with High Kerr Nonlinearity
Fibers 2022, 10(10), 81; https://doi.org/10.3390/fib10100081 - 21 Sep 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 591
Abstract
Ultrashort optical pulses play an important role in fundamental research and applications. It is important to have reliable information about pulse parameters such as duration, intensity profile, and phase. Numerous methods for characterizing pulses in the near-IR range have been well developed by [...] Read more.
Ultrashort optical pulses play an important role in fundamental research and applications. It is important to have reliable information about pulse parameters such as duration, intensity profile, and phase. Numerous methods for characterizing pulses in the near-IR range have been well developed by now. However, there is a challenge with pulse measurement in the mid-IR, which is largely related to the underdeveloped component base in this spectral range. We investigate by means of numerical simulations a simple method of pulse reconstruction applicable in the mid-IR. The method is based on measuring and processing only the initial pulse spectrum and two converted spectra in elements with Kerr nonlinearity for different B-integrals characterizing nonlinear phase accumulation. The hardware implementation of the proposed method is very simple. This method requires only a one-dimensional data set, has no moving parts in the optical scheme, and allows for working with high-energy as well as low-energy pulses. We propose a novel simple, efficient, noise-tolerant algorithm for data processing that assumes spectral phase approximation by a polynomial function. We demonstrate numerically the reconstruction of mid-IR ultrashort pulses, namely 3 μm wavelength pulses, using commercial chalcogenide As2S3-based glass fibers as nonlinear elements. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Feature Papers in Fibers)
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