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Fibers, Volume 6, Issue 3 (September 2018)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) The interface region of polymer nanocomposites based on epoxy resins of diglycidyl ether of [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle Phase-Separated Alumina–Silica Glass-Based Erbium-Doped Fibers for Optical Amplifier: Material and Optical Characterization along with Amplification Properties
Fibers 2018, 6(3), 67; https://doi.org/10.3390/fib6030067
Received: 3 August 2018 / Revised: 10 September 2018 / Accepted: 12 September 2018 / Published: 17 September 2018
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Abstract
In this paper, we present phase-separated alumina–silica glass-based Er3+-doped optical fibers made by a modified chemical vapor deposition (MCVD) process in combination with a solution doping (SD) technique. The fibers exhibited better optical performance than other silica-based host glasses—both in terms
[...] Read more.
In this paper, we present phase-separated alumina–silica glass-based Er3+-doped optical fibers made by a modified chemical vapor deposition (MCVD) process in combination with a solution doping (SD) technique. The fibers exhibited better optical performance than other silica-based host glasses—both in terms of spectral broadening and flattening of the gain spectra in the C band (1530–1560 nm) region—as well as an improved lifetime. These phase-separated erbium-doped fibers (EDF) promoted longer Er–O bond lengths and also hexa- and penta-coordinated Al3+ ions instead of the fourfold coordination found in non-phase-separated EDF. It was observed that the higher coordination numbers of Er3+ and Al3+ ions in phase-separated glass hosts led to more homogeneous and inhomogeneous broadening, resulting in better flatness of the gain spectrum with 1.2 dB more gain compared to the non-phase-separated EDF. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Optical Fiber Communications)
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Open AccessArticle Thulium-Doped Silica Fibers with Enhanced Fluorescence Lifetime and Their Application in Ultrafast Fiber Lasers
Fibers 2018, 6(3), 66; https://doi.org/10.3390/fib6030066
Received: 22 August 2018 / Revised: 11 September 2018 / Accepted: 14 September 2018 / Published: 16 September 2018
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Abstract
In this work we report on the thulium-doped silica-based optical fibers with increased fluorescence lifetime of the 3F4 level thanks to the modification of the local environment of thulium ions by high content of alumina. The determination of the cross-relaxation energy-transfer
[...] Read more.
In this work we report on the thulium-doped silica-based optical fibers with increased fluorescence lifetime of the 3F4 level thanks to the modification of the local environment of thulium ions by high content of alumina. The determination of the cross-relaxation energy-transfer coefficients from the measurements of the fluorescence lifetimes of the 3F4 and 3H4 energy levels of Tm3+ ions in the experimentally prepared optical fiber is provided as well. Preforms of optical fibers were prepared either by conventional solution-doping of Tm3+ and Al3+ ions or by dispersion-doping of Tm3+ ions with alumina nanoparticles. Optical fibers were characterized by means of Tm, Al, and Ge concentrations, refractive index profiles, optical spectral absorption and luminescence, and by time-resolved fluorescence spectroscopy. Highly aluminium-codoped thulium silicate optical fibers exhibited fluorescence lifetimes of over ~500 μs with maximum value of 756 μs, which means a fluorescence lifetime enhancement when compared to the thulium-doped fibers reported elsewhere. We show an application of the thulium-doped fiber in a compact all-fiber ring laser that is passively mode-locked by using graphene-based saturable absorber. The output pulsewidth and repetition rate were 905 fs and 32.67 MHz, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue SWIR and MWIR Fiber-Based Coherent Sources)
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Open AccessArticle Novel Model for the Angle and Skewness Dependent Transmission Behavior of Step-Index Polymer Optical Fiber
Fibers 2018, 6(3), 65; https://doi.org/10.3390/fib6030065
Received: 10 August 2018 / Revised: 3 September 2018 / Accepted: 4 September 2018 / Published: 5 September 2018
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Abstract
Step-index polymer optical fibers (SI-POFs) are deployed in both sensing and data transmission systems. The optical transmission behavior of these fibers is complex and affected by intrinsic influences like modal dispersion, scattering and attenuation as well as extrinsic influences like the launching condition
[...] Read more.
Step-index polymer optical fibers (SI-POFs) are deployed in both sensing and data transmission systems. The optical transmission behavior of these fibers is complex and affected by intrinsic influences like modal dispersion, scattering and attenuation as well as extrinsic influences like the launching condition and the angular sensitivity of the receiver. Since a proper modeling of the transmission behavior is important in order to evaluate the suitability of the fiber for a specific application, we present a novel model for step-index multi-mode fibers (SI-MMFs) which considers all the previously mentioned impacts. Furthermore, the model differentiates scattering and attenuation for propagating rays not only by their propagating angle θ z but also by the skewness θ ϕ . It is therefore possible to distinguish between guided, tunneling and refracted modes. The model uses scatter and attenuation data from previously published measurements of an SI-POF and computes the impulse response of the transmission system which is transferred to the frequency domain to derive the amplitude and phase response. A possible application for SI-POF is the length or strain measurement of the fiber by measuring the phase of a harmonically modulated signal. These sensors rely on a linear relation between the length of the fiber and the phase of the modulated signal. We demonstrate the application of the model by simulating the length measurement error that occurs for these sensors by obtaining the phase response for the corresponding optical transmission system. Furthermore, we will demonstrate the flexibility of the model by varying several influences including the excitation of different mode categories and evaluate the impact on the measurement error. Finally, we compare the simulated length error derived from the model to real data obtained from a cutback measurement. An implementation of the model, which was used for all simulations in this paper, is publicly available. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plastic Optical Fibers)
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Open AccessArticle Shrinkage Cracking of Concrete Slabs-On-Grade: A Numerical Parametric Study
Fibers 2018, 6(3), 64; https://doi.org/10.3390/fib6030064
Received: 18 August 2018 / Revised: 31 August 2018 / Accepted: 3 September 2018 / Published: 5 September 2018
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Abstract
Industrial pavements are thin slabs on a continuous support subjected to restrained shrinkage and loads. The use of fibers as an alternative reinforcement to steel welded wire mesh and rebars is today an extensive practice for the reinforcement of concrete slabs-on-grade. Despite the
[...] Read more.
Industrial pavements are thin slabs on a continuous support subjected to restrained shrinkage and loads. The use of fibers as an alternative reinforcement to steel welded wire mesh and rebars is today an extensive practice for the reinforcement of concrete slabs-on-grade. Despite the widespread use of fiber reinforcement, the corresponding benefits in controlling cracking phenomena due to shrinkage are generally not considered in the design process of Fiber Reinforced Concrete (FRC) slabs-on-grade. The post-cracking performance provided by glass macro-fibers at low crack openings is particularly convenient in structures with a high degree of redundancy. Referring to service conditions, it is well known that concrete shrinkage as well as thermal effects tend to be the principal reasons for the initial crack formation in slabs-on-grade. A numerical study on the risk of cracking due to shrinkage in ground-supported slabs is presented herein. Special attention is devoted to the evaluation of the beneficial effects of glass fibers in controlling cracking phenomena due to shrinkage. The numerical analyses are carried out on jointless pavements of different sizes. Since shrinkage stresses in slabs-on-grade are considerably influenced by external constraints which limit the contractions, different subgrade conditions have been also considered. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Effects of Pitch-Based Short Carbon Fibers on the Workability, Unit Weight, and Air Content of Mortar Composite
Fibers 2018, 6(3), 63; https://doi.org/10.3390/fib6030063
Received: 15 July 2018 / Revised: 22 August 2018 / Accepted: 27 August 2018 / Published: 30 August 2018
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Abstract
Pitch is a viscoelastic polymer material consisting of aromatic hydrocarbons. It is used to produce carbon fibers with sheet-like crystal structures. The aim of the work presented in this paper was to evaluate the effects of pitch-based short carbon fibers on the workability,
[...] Read more.
Pitch is a viscoelastic polymer material consisting of aromatic hydrocarbons. It is used to produce carbon fibers with sheet-like crystal structures. The aim of the work presented in this paper was to evaluate the effects of pitch-based short carbon fibers on the workability, unit weight, and air content of freshly mixed mortar composite. Experimental investigation was carried out on five different types of mortar composite, including a control mortar. Four mortar composites were prepared including pitch-based short carbon fibers with 1–4% volume contents. The fresh mortar composites were tested to determine their slump, inverted slump cone flow (flow time, mass flow, and volume flow), unit weight, and air content. In addition, the correlation between the slump and flow time of various mortar composites was determined. It was found that the slump decreased with the increasing volume content of carbon fibers. The flow time of mortar composite increased, and therefore its mass flow and volume flow decreased with a greater volume content of carbon fibers. The slump was strongly correlated with the flow time, with a correlation coefficient of 0.9782. Furthermore, the unit weight of the fresh mortar composite decreased due to the incorporation of carbon fibers. However, amongst the different carbon fiber reinforced mortar composites, the mortar with 3% fiber volume content provided the highest unit weight. The air content results were consistent with the unit weight results. The change in air content of various mortar composites followed a trend reciprocal to that of unit weights. When the overall effects of carbon fibers were compared, it was observed that the fiber volume content higher than 3% resulted in a significantly low workability and provided a much lower unit weight with greater entrapped air content. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbon Fiber Reinforced Composites)
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Open AccessArticle Moisture Absorption and Opacity of Starch-Based Biocomposites Reinforced with Cellulose Fiber from Bengkoang
Fibers 2018, 6(3), 62; https://doi.org/10.3390/fib6030062
Received: 17 July 2018 / Revised: 18 August 2018 / Accepted: 24 August 2018 / Published: 29 August 2018
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Abstract
Cellulose fiber was isolated from bengkoang (Pachyrhizus erosus) tuber peel. A suspension consisting of distilled water, starch, and glycerol was mixed with various cellulose loadings (0, 2, 6, and 10 g) then gelatinized using a hot plate with a magnetic stirrer.
[...] Read more.
Cellulose fiber was isolated from bengkoang (Pachyrhizus erosus) tuber peel. A suspension consisting of distilled water, starch, and glycerol was mixed with various cellulose loadings (0, 2, 6, and 10 g) then gelatinized using a hot plate with a magnetic stirrer. The biocomposite gel was sonicated using an ultrasonication probe (47.78 W/cm2 for 4 min). Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) micrographs for the fracture surface of resulting biocomposite films displayed a rougher surface than starch film, indicating fiber dispersion in the matrix. The opacity and moisture resistance of biocomposite films increased with the addition of cellulose. The opacity was at a maximum value (243.05 AUnm) with 10 g fiber, which was 11.27% higher than the starch film without cellulose. Moisture absorption of this biocomposite was 16.79% lower than the starch film. Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) confirmed this more hydrophobic nature with lower transmittance at –OH stretching in the composite than the starch film. The addition of cellulose fiber into the matrix also increased the crystallinity index. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Fibre Biocomposites)
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Open AccessArticle The Degradation of Cellulose by Radio Frequency Plasma
Fibers 2018, 6(3), 61; https://doi.org/10.3390/fib6030061
Received: 27 July 2018 / Revised: 20 August 2018 / Accepted: 23 August 2018 / Published: 24 August 2018
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Abstract
This paper describes the results of using oxygen (O2) plasma to treat both greige and scoured cotton yarns to cause significant degradation of cellulose. This study is an effort to reduce hazardous caustic chemicals commonly used to make the cellulose molecule
[...] Read more.
This paper describes the results of using oxygen (O2) plasma to treat both greige and scoured cotton yarns to cause significant degradation of cellulose. This study is an effort to reduce hazardous caustic chemicals commonly used to make the cellulose molecule more accessible for uses in such applications as biofuels. Through high power density, 0.46 W/cm2, and the study of varying exposure times, we find longer durations of 30 min to 90 min result in significant cellulose structure degradation. Due to waxes and contaminants found on greige yarns, scoured yarn degradation occurs at shorter exposure times than greige yarns, however, both experience tearing and pitting with longer exposures. This study provides evidence that significant degradation of cellulosic yarns can be achieved through high power density O2 plasma exposure. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Experimental Study on Dynamic and Thermal Behaviour of Chopped Glass, Sisal, and Flax Fiber-Reinforced Gears
Fibers 2018, 6(3), 60; https://doi.org/10.3390/fib6030060
Received: 9 July 2018 / Revised: 8 August 2018 / Accepted: 14 August 2018 / Published: 20 August 2018
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Abstract
Recently, there has been rapid growth in research and innovation in natural fiber composites. The main reasons for the interest on these reinforcements over synthetic fiber reinforcements are their low environmental impact, low cost, and high flexural strength, which supports their potential across
[...] Read more.
Recently, there has been rapid growth in research and innovation in natural fiber composites. The main reasons for the interest on these reinforcements over synthetic fiber reinforcements are their low environmental impact, low cost, and high flexural strength, which supports their potential across a wide range of applications. One of the promising applications of polymeric composite is polymeric gears, used in power and motion transmission work under different loads and speeds. In this work, polymeric spur gears are manufactured with various reinforcements like glass, sisal, and flax fiber in 15% and 20% weight percentage, and the gears are produced by molding process. The performance and wear of the gears are tested using a dynamic testing procedure. The tested gears are analyzed for modifications in tooth profile using scanning electron microscope. The weight loss as well as the thermal capability is studied using a contactless infra-red temperature (FLIR) camera. From the result, it is understood that the natural fiber-reinforced gears can be used for smooth and noiseless operation especially in intermittent applications. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Influence of Furfuryl Alcohol Fiber Pre-Treatment on the Moisture Absorption and Mechanical Properties of Flax Fiber Composites
Fibers 2018, 6(3), 59; https://doi.org/10.3390/fib6030059
Received: 31 July 2018 / Revised: 16 August 2018 / Accepted: 17 August 2018 / Published: 19 August 2018
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Abstract
Poor moisture resistance of natural fiber reinforced bio-composites is a major concern in structural applications. Many efforts have been devoted to alleviate degradation of bio-composites caused by moisture absorption. Among them, fiber pre-treatment has been proven to be effective. This paper proposes an
[...] Read more.
Poor moisture resistance of natural fiber reinforced bio-composites is a major concern in structural applications. Many efforts have been devoted to alleviate degradation of bio-composites caused by moisture absorption. Among them, fiber pre-treatment has been proven to be effective. This paper proposes an alternative “green” fiber pretreatment with furfuryl alcohol. Pre-treatments with different parameters were performed and the influence on the mechanical properties of fiber bundles and composites was investigated. Moisture resistance of composites was evaluated by water absorption tests. Mechanical properties of composites with different water contents were analyzed in tensile tests. The results show that furfuryl alcohol pretreatment is a promising method to improve moisture resistance and mechanical properties (e.g., Young’s modulus increases up to 18%) of flax fiber composites. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Fibre Biocomposites)
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Open AccessArticle Further Progress in Functional Interlayers with Controlled Mechanical Properties Designed for Glass Fiber/Polyester Composites
Fibers 2018, 6(3), 58; https://doi.org/10.3390/fib6030058
Received: 19 July 2018 / Revised: 7 August 2018 / Accepted: 14 August 2018 / Published: 16 August 2018
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Abstract
Compatible interlayers must be coated on reinforcing fibers to ensure effective stress transfer from the polymer matrix to the fiber in high-performance polymer composites. The mechanical properties of the interlayer, and its interfacial adhesion on both interfaces with the fiber and polymer matrix
[...] Read more.
Compatible interlayers must be coated on reinforcing fibers to ensure effective stress transfer from the polymer matrix to the fiber in high-performance polymer composites. The mechanical properties of the interlayer, and its interfacial adhesion on both interfaces with the fiber and polymer matrix are among the key parameters that control the performance of polymer composite through the interphase region. Plasma-synthesized interlayers, in the form of variable materials from polymer-like to glass-like films with a Young’s modulus of 10–52 GPa, were deposited on unsized glass fibers used as reinforcements in glass fiber/polyester composites. Modulus Mapping (dynamic nanoindentation testing) was successfully used to examine the mechanical properties across the interphase region on cross-sections of the model composite in order to distinguish the fiber, the interlayer, and the modified and bulk polymer matrix. The interfacial shear strength for plasma-coated fibers in glass fiber/polyester composites, determined from the microindentation test, was up to 36% higher than those of commercially sized fibers. The effects of fiber pretreatment, single and double interlayers, and post-treatment of the interlayer on interfacial shear strength were also discussed. Functional interlayers with high shear yield strength and controlled physicochemical properties are promising for high-performance polymer composites with a controlled interphase. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Glass Fibers 2018)
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Open AccessArticle An Upper Bound of Longitudinal Elastic Modulus for Unidirectional Fibrous Composites as Obtained from Strength of Materials Approach
Fibers 2018, 6(3), 57; https://doi.org/10.3390/fib6030057
Received: 30 April 2018 / Revised: 25 July 2018 / Accepted: 3 August 2018 / Published: 15 August 2018
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Abstract
In this paper, the authors introduce an upper bound of the longitudinal elastic modulus of unidirectional fibrous composites to strength of materials approach, provided that the fibre is much stiffer than the matrix. In the mathematical derivations resulting in this bound, the concept
[...] Read more.
In this paper, the authors introduce an upper bound of the longitudinal elastic modulus of unidirectional fibrous composites to strength of materials approach, provided that the fibre is much stiffer than the matrix. In the mathematical derivations resulting in this bound, the concept of boundary interphase between filler and matrix was also taken into consideration. The novel element of this work is that the authors have not taken into account any particular variation law to approach the stiffness of this intermediate phase. The theoretical predictions were compared with those obtained from some accurate analytical models as well as with experimental data found in the literature, and a satisfactory accordance was observed. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Reinforcement Systems for Carbon Concrete Composites Based on Low-Cost Carbon Fibers
Fibers 2018, 6(3), 56; https://doi.org/10.3390/fib6030056
Received: 13 July 2018 / Revised: 31 July 2018 / Accepted: 6 August 2018 / Published: 8 August 2018
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Abstract
Carbon concrete polyacrylonitrile (PAN)/lignin-based carbon fiber (CF) composites are a new promising material class for the building industry. The replacement of the traditional heavy and corroding steel reinforcement by carbon fiber (CF)-based reinforcements offers many significant advantages: a higher protection of environmental resources
[...] Read more.
Carbon concrete polyacrylonitrile (PAN)/lignin-based carbon fiber (CF) composites are a new promising material class for the building industry. The replacement of the traditional heavy and corroding steel reinforcement by carbon fiber (CF)-based reinforcements offers many significant advantages: a higher protection of environmental resources because of lower CO2 consumption during cement production, a longer lifecycle and thus, much less damage to structural components and a higher degree of design freedom because lightweight solutions can be realized. However, due to cost pressure in civil engineering, completely new process chains are required to manufacture CF-based reinforcement structures for concrete. This article describes the necessary process steps in order to develop CF reinforcement: (1) the production of cost-effective CF using novel carbon fiber lines, and (2) the fabrication of CF rebars with different geometry profiles. It was found that PAN/lignin-based CF is currently the promising material with the most promise to meet future market demands. However, significant research needs to be undertaken in order to improve the properties of lignin-based and PAN/lignin-based CF, respectively. The CF can be manufactured to CF-based rebars using different manufacturing technologies which are developed at a prototype level in this study. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Determination and Characterization of the Wool Fiber Yield of Kenyan Sheep Breeds: An Economically Sustainable Practical Approach for Kenya
Fibers 2018, 6(3), 55; https://doi.org/10.3390/fib6030055
Received: 4 June 2018 / Revised: 31 July 2018 / Accepted: 6 August 2018 / Published: 8 August 2018
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Abstract
The aim of this paper is to study wool fiber resources from Kenya that have been obtained from different breeds in order to characterize the basic properties of their wool to help improve the economic value of Kenyan wool. The Kenyan sheep industry
[...] Read more.
The aim of this paper is to study wool fiber resources from Kenya that have been obtained from different breeds in order to characterize the basic properties of their wool to help improve the economic value of Kenyan wool. The Kenyan sheep industry has received less attention in terms of research and development when compared with large livestock. Wool quality and yield are essential to obtaining good returns in the international market. This study was conducted to analyze the wool yields and qualitative index of Kenyan sheep. The wool samples were taken from 95 crossbreed Dorper sheep comprising 23 males and 72 females between the ages of one and five years. Wool samples from the shoulders, flanks, back belly and legs were taken for analysis. The mean fleece weight was 2.04 ± 0.06 kg, with coefficient of variation of 37% for all the selected sheep; the average for the males was 2.06 ± 0.06 kg and the average for females was 2.02 ± 0.08 kg. The variation in the fleece weight was in the range of 0.7–3.3 kg. The yield percentages and impurities were analyzed and reported. The wide variations in fleece weight, the increase in sheep population and the trend of raw wool export suggests that there is potential for improving economic traits. Kenya can obtain trade benefits related to the wool industry by becoming a member of International Wool Trade Organization and by following economically sustainable practical approaches. It is essential to have good international and regional cooperation with countries that can share knowledge and training as well as marketing and information. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Interface Characterization of Epoxy Resin Nanocomposites: A Molecular Dynamics Approach
Fibers 2018, 6(3), 54; https://doi.org/10.3390/fib6030054
Received: 16 July 2018 / Revised: 3 August 2018 / Accepted: 6 August 2018 / Published: 7 August 2018
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Abstract
In polymer nanocomposites, the interface region between the matrix and the fillers has been identified as a key interaction region that strongly determines the properties of the final material. Determining its structure is crucial from several points of view, from modeling (i.e., properties
[...] Read more.
In polymer nanocomposites, the interface region between the matrix and the fillers has been identified as a key interaction region that strongly determines the properties of the final material. Determining its structure is crucial from several points of view, from modeling (i.e., properties prediction) to materials science (i.e., understanding properties/structure relationships). In the presented paper, a method for characterizing the interface region of polymer nanocomposites is described using molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. In particular, the structure of the polymer within the interface region together with its dimension in terms of thickness were analyzed through density profiles. Epoxy resin nanocomposites based on diglycidyl ether of bisphenol A (DGEBA) were studied using this approach, and the interface region with triple walled carbon nanotubes (TWCNT) and carbon fibers (CF) was characterized. The effect of carbon nanotube diameter, type of hardener, and effect of epoxy resin cross-linking degree on interface thickness were analyzed using MD models. From this analysis no general rule on the effect of these parameters on the interface thickness could be established, since in some cases overlapping effects between the analyzed parameters were observed, and each specific case needs to be analyzed independently in detail. Results show that the diameter has an impact on interface thickness, but this effect is affected by the cross-linking degree of the epoxy resin. The type of hardener also has a certain influence on the interface thickness. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Experimental Investigation of the Physical and Mechanical Properties of Sisal Fiber-Reinforced Concrete
Fibers 2018, 6(3), 53; https://doi.org/10.3390/fib6030053
Received: 16 June 2018 / Revised: 4 July 2018 / Accepted: 11 July 2018 / Published: 1 August 2018
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Abstract
Concrete is a very popular material in the construction industry—it is, however, susceptible to quasi-brittle failure and restricted energy absorption after yielding. The incorporation of short discrete fibers has shown great promise in addressing these shortfalls. A natural fiber such as sisal is
[...] Read more.
Concrete is a very popular material in the construction industry—it is, however, susceptible to quasi-brittle failure and restricted energy absorption after yielding. The incorporation of short discrete fibers has shown great promise in addressing these shortfalls. A natural fiber such as sisal is renewable, cheap, and easily available. It has also exhibited good tensile strength and can significantly improve the performance of concrete. In this study, the physical and mechanical properties of sisal fiber-reinforced concrete were reported. Sisal fibers were added in the mix at percentages of 0.5%, 1.0%, 1.5%, and 2.0% by weight of cement. Physical properties measured are workability, water absorption, and density while mechanical properties reported are compression strength, split tensile strength, and static modulus of elasticity. The computed modulus of elasticity of sisal fiber-reinforced concrete was compared with predicted values in some common design codes. From the study, it was concluded that sisal fiber can enhance the split tensile strength and Young’s modulus of concrete but cannot improve its workability, water absorption, and compressive strength. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advancements in Fiber Reinforced Concrete And its Applications)
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Open AccessArticle Investigation of a New Strengthening Technique for RC Deep Beams Using Carbon FRP Ropes as Transverse Reinforcements
Fibers 2018, 6(3), 52; https://doi.org/10.3390/fib6030052
Received: 10 June 2018 / Revised: 4 July 2018 / Accepted: 19 July 2018 / Published: 25 July 2018
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Abstract
The effectiveness of a new retrofitting technique to upgrade the structural behaviour of reinforced concrete (RC) deep beams without steel stirrups using carbon fibre-reinforced polymer (CFRP) ropes as the only transverse shear reinforcement is experimentally investigated. Five shear-critical beams with rectangular and T-shaped
[...] Read more.
The effectiveness of a new retrofitting technique to upgrade the structural behaviour of reinforced concrete (RC) deep beams without steel stirrups using carbon fibre-reinforced polymer (CFRP) ropes as the only transverse shear reinforcement is experimentally investigated. Five shear-critical beams with rectangular and T-shaped cross-section are tested under monotonic loading. The strengthening schemes include (a) one vertical and one diagonal single-link CFRP rope that are internally applied through the web of the rectangular beam using an embedded through-section (ETS) system and (b) two vertical U-shaped double-link ropes that are applied around the perimeter of the web of the flanged beam using a near-surface-mounted (NSM) system. In both cases, the free lengths of the CFRP ropes have been properly anchored using epoxy bonded lap splices of the rope as NSM at (a) the top and the bottom of the web of the rectangular beam and (b) the top of the slab of the T-beam. Promising results have been derived, since the proposed strengthening technique enhanced the strength and altered the brittle shear failure to a ductile flexural one. The experimental results of this study were also used to check the validity of an analytical approach to predict the strength of shear strengthened deep beams using FRP ropes as transverse link reinforcement. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Heat and Mass Transfer Properties of Sugar Maple Wood Treated by the Thermo-Hygro-Mechanical Densification Process
Fibers 2018, 6(3), 51; https://doi.org/10.3390/fib6030051
Received: 29 June 2018 / Revised: 13 July 2018 / Accepted: 17 July 2018 / Published: 24 July 2018
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Abstract
This study investigated the evolution of the density, gas permeability, and thermal conductivity of sugar maple wood during the thermo-hygro-mechanical densification process. The results suggested that the oven-dry average density of densified samples was significantly higher than that of the control samples. However,
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This study investigated the evolution of the density, gas permeability, and thermal conductivity of sugar maple wood during the thermo-hygro-mechanical densification process. The results suggested that the oven-dry average density of densified samples was significantly higher than that of the control samples. However, the oven-dry density did not show a linear increase with the decrease of wood samples thickness. The radial intrinsic gas permeability of the control samples was 5 to 40 times higher than that of densified samples, which indicated that the void volume of wood was reduced notably after the densification process. The thermal conductivity increased by 0.5–1.5 percent for an increase of one percent moisture content for densified samples. The thermal conductivity of densified wood was lower than that of the control samples. The densification time had significant effects on the oven-dry density and gas permeability. Both densification time and moisture content had significant effects on thermal conductivity but their interaction effect was not significant. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Fibre Biocomposites)
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Open AccessArticle Effect of Fabric Integration on the Physical and Optical Performance of Electroluminescent Fibers for Lighted Textile Applications
Fibers 2018, 6(3), 50; https://doi.org/10.3390/fib6030050
Received: 20 April 2018 / Revised: 12 July 2018 / Accepted: 13 July 2018 / Published: 17 July 2018
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Abstract
The advent of electroluminescent (EL) fibers, which emit light in response to an applied electric field, has opened the door for fabric-integrated light emission and displays in textiles. However, there have been few technical publications over the past few years about the performance
[...] Read more.
The advent of electroluminescent (EL) fibers, which emit light in response to an applied electric field, has opened the door for fabric-integrated light emission and displays in textiles. However, there have been few technical publications over the past few years about the performance of these light emitting fibers inside functional fabrics. Thus, there is limited information on the effect of integration on the physical and optical performance of such devices. In this work, alternating current powder-based EL (ACPEL) fibers were evaluated under a range of operating conditions both inside and outside of a knit matrix to understand how the EL fiber device performance changed inside a functional fabric. The device efficiency, adjustable brightness, and mechanical properties of these fibers are presented. The effects of fabric integration on the light-emitting fibers as well as the supporting knit fabric are discussed as they relate to the practical applications of this technology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electronically Active Textiles)
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Open AccessReview Multiscale Frictional Properties of Cotton Fibers: A Review
Fibers 2018, 6(3), 49; https://doi.org/10.3390/fib6030049
Received: 3 May 2018 / Revised: 29 June 2018 / Accepted: 9 July 2018 / Published: 13 July 2018
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Abstract
This review discusses the important concept of cotton fiber friction at both the macro- and nanoscale. First, the technological importance of fiber friction and its role in fiber breakage during fiber processing is discussed. Next, previous studies on frictional properties of cotton fibers
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This review discusses the important concept of cotton fiber friction at both the macro- and nanoscale. First, the technological importance of fiber friction and its role in fiber breakage during fiber processing is discussed. Next, previous studies on frictional properties of cotton fibers are reviewed and different experimental procedures to measure friction between fibers or against another surface are evaluated. Friction models developed to explain friction process during various experimental procedures are considered and their limitations are discussed. Since interpretation of friction processes at the macroscale can be challenging (mainly due to difficulties in analyzing the multiple asperities in contact), a separate section is devoted to surveying studies on the emerging field of single-asperity friction experiments with atomic force microscope (AFM). Special attention is given to studies on nanoscale frictional characteristics of rough viscoelastic surfaces (e.g., plant cuticular biopolymers and cotton fibers). Due to the close relationship between friction and adhesion hysteresis at the nanoscale, adhesion studies with AFM on viscoelastic surfaces are also reviewed. Lastly, recommendations are made for future research in the field of frictional properties of cotton fibers. Full article
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Open AccessReview A Brief Review of New Fiber Microsphere Geometries
Fibers 2018, 6(3), 48; https://doi.org/10.3390/fib6030048
Received: 13 June 2018 / Revised: 29 June 2018 / Accepted: 6 July 2018 / Published: 11 July 2018
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Abstract
A brief review of new fiber microsphere geometries is presented. Simple microspheres working as Fabry–Perot cavities are interrogated in reflection and in transmission. Two microspheres were also spliced together, and subjected to different physical parameters. These structures are an alternative solution for load
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A brief review of new fiber microsphere geometries is presented. Simple microspheres working as Fabry–Perot cavities are interrogated in reflection and in transmission. Two microspheres were also spliced together, and subjected to different physical parameters. These structures are an alternative solution for load measurement and, when read in transmission, it is also possible to apply strain. Moreover, the structure is capable of being used under extreme ambient temperatures up to 900 °C. Random signal in cleaved microspheres was demonstrated with the possibility of using it for random laser or sensing applications. All this work was developed at the Centre for Applied Photonics, INESC TEC. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Optical Fiber Communications)
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Open AccessArticle Influence of Steel and Macro-Synthetic Fibers on Concrete Properties
Fibers 2018, 6(3), 47; https://doi.org/10.3390/fib6030047
Received: 5 June 2018 / Revised: 25 June 2018 / Accepted: 29 June 2018 / Published: 11 July 2018
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Abstract
Fiber addition has become one of the most prevalent methods for enhancing the tensile behavior of concrete. Fibers reduce cracking phenomena and improve the energy absorption capacity of the structure. On the other hand, the introduction of fibers can introduce a negative impact
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Fiber addition has become one of the most prevalent methods for enhancing the tensile behavior of concrete. Fibers reduce cracking phenomena and improve the energy absorption capacity of the structure. On the other hand, the introduction of fibers can introduce a negative impact on concrete workability, whose loss is influenced by different parameters (among which are fiber content and fiber type). In this context, an exploratory study on the influence of steel (high stiffness) and macro-synthetic (low stiffness) fibers on the fresh properties of concrete was carried out, considering workability and air content, as well as resultant mechanical performance. Four fiber types at two volume fractions (0.5% and 1.0%) were studied in two base concretes with different water-to-cement ratios (0.45 and 0.50) by using the slump test, DIN flow table test and air content meter. An additional parameter for the DIN flow table test is proposed herein to quantify the potential preferential flow direction caused by fiber orientation and entanglement. Air meter results showed that the fibers caused only a slight increase in concrete air content; this agreed well with the results of mechanical testing, which showed no apparent effect on measured compressive strength. In addition, it was captured that, for a given fiber volume fraction, steel fibers more adversely affected Fiber Reinforced Concrete (FRC) workability as compared to polypropylene ones, while the opposite result was obtained considering FRC toughness. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advancements in Fiber Reinforced Concrete And its Applications)
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Open AccessArticle Developing Novel Temperature Sensing Garments for Health Monitoring Applications
Fibers 2018, 6(3), 46; https://doi.org/10.3390/fib6030046
Received: 30 April 2018 / Revised: 7 July 2018 / Accepted: 9 July 2018 / Published: 10 July 2018
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Abstract
Embedding temperature sensors within textiles provides an easy method for measuring skin temperature. Skin temperature measurements are an important parameter for a variety of health monitoring applications, where changes in temperature can indicate changes in health. This work uses a temperature sensing yarn,
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Embedding temperature sensors within textiles provides an easy method for measuring skin temperature. Skin temperature measurements are an important parameter for a variety of health monitoring applications, where changes in temperature can indicate changes in health. This work uses a temperature sensing yarn, which was fully characterized in previous work, to create a series of temperature sensing garments: armbands, a glove, and a sock. The purpose of this work was to develop the design rules for creating temperature sensing garments and to understand the limitations of these devices. Detailed design considerations for all three devices are provided. Experiments were conducted to examine the effects of contact pressure on skin contact temperature measurements using textile-based temperature sensors. The temperature sensing sock was used for a short user trial where the foot skin temperature of five healthy volunteers was monitored under different conditions to identify the limitations of recording textile-based foot skin temperature measurements. The fit of the sock significantly affected the measurements. In some cases, wearing a shoe or walking also heavily influenced the temperature measurements. These variations show that textile-based foot skin temperature measurements may be problematic for applications where small temperature differences need to be measured. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electronically Active Textiles)
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Open AccessReview A Review on Biopolymer-Based Fibers via Electrospinning and Solution Blowing and Their Applications
Fibers 2018, 6(3), 45; https://doi.org/10.3390/fib6030045
Received: 18 April 2018 / Revised: 24 May 2018 / Accepted: 8 June 2018 / Published: 2 July 2018
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Abstract
Electrospinning, for the last few decades, has been extensively acknowledged for its ability to manufacture a macro/nanofibrous architecture from biopolymers, which is otherwise difficult to obtain, in a cost effective and user-friendly technique. Such biopolymer nanofibers can be tailored to meet applications such
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Electrospinning, for the last few decades, has been extensively acknowledged for its ability to manufacture a macro/nanofibrous architecture from biopolymers, which is otherwise difficult to obtain, in a cost effective and user-friendly technique. Such biopolymer nanofibers can be tailored to meet applications such as drug delivery, tissue engineering, filtration, fuel cell, and food packaging etc. Due to their structural uniqueness, chemical and mechanical stability, functionality, super-high surface area-to-volume ratio, and one-dimensional orientation, electrospun biopolymer nanofibers have been proven to be extremely beneficial. A parallel method in nonwoven methodologies called “Solution Blowing” has also become a potential candidate to fabricate a similar type of architecture from biopolymer fibers, and is gaining popularity among researchers, despite its recent advent in early 2000’s. This review chiefly focuses on the fabrication of biopolymer macro/nanofibers via electrospinning and solution blowing, and several applications of such fiber architectures. Biopolymers include plant- and animal-derived biopolymers, such as cellulose, lignin, chitin, and chitosan, as well as proteins and their derivatives. The fabrication of biopolymer fibers from these biopolymers alone or as blends, predominantly with biodegradable polymers like Polyvinyl alcohol (PVA), Polyethylene Oxide (PEO), Polyethylene glycol (PEG), poly (lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA) etc., or non-biodegradable polymers like polyamide, Polyacrylonitrile (PAN) etc., will be discussed in detail, along with the applications of several composites of such sort. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biopolymer Nanofiber)
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Open AccessArticle Effect of Bitumen Emulsion and Polyester Resin Mixture on the Physico-Mechanical and Degradable Properties of Jute Fabrics
Fibers 2018, 6(3), 44; https://doi.org/10.3390/fib6030044
Received: 16 April 2018 / Revised: 12 June 2018 / Accepted: 13 June 2018 / Published: 25 June 2018
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Abstract
Jute fabric samples were treated, with different formulations, using various proportions of bitumen emulsion and polyester (PE) resin in combined solutions. Styrene monomer was used as solvent, methyl ethyl ketone peroxide as cross-linking agent and cobalt naphtha as curing agent. The fabric specimens
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Jute fabric samples were treated, with different formulations, using various proportions of bitumen emulsion and polyester (PE) resin in combined solutions. Styrene monomer was used as solvent, methyl ethyl ketone peroxide as cross-linking agent and cobalt naphtha as curing agent. The fabric specimens were immersed in the solution for 10–15 min, then pressed by a roller and dried at room temperature for 24 h. According to the percentage of bitumen emulsion and PE resin, the jute samples were obtained as J0 (untreated or raw jute), J1 (20% bitumen emulsion +10% PE), and J2 (10% bitumen emulsion +20% PE). It was revealed that tensile strength (TS) increased with bitumen emulsion and PE resin mixture treatment on both directions of jute fabrics where J2 showed the highest improvement of TS which were 61.4% and 44.7% for warp and weft direction respectively. Tensile strength (TS) decreased for all the samples in both directions after soil degradation. After 90 days, the untreated sample was totally degraded. Treated samples exhibited better stability than untreated ones in soil medium. Weight loss by soil degradation, moisture regain, moisture content and water uptake tests of the treated and untreated jute samples were also performed. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) analysis was conducted to analyze the fiber surfaces of raw and treated jute fibers, finding significant differences as a result of treatment. Finally, the strategy of combining bitumen emulsion and PE resin for treatment, rather than using only PE resin, was found to produce a jute fabric which was not only better in all the above respects but also would be cheaper to produce. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Bast Fibers)
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Open AccessReview 3D Printed Hollow-Core Terahertz Fibers
Fibers 2018, 6(3), 43; https://doi.org/10.3390/fib6030043
Received: 22 May 2018 / Revised: 14 June 2018 / Accepted: 15 June 2018 / Published: 21 June 2018
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Abstract
This paper reviews the subject of 3D printed hollow-core fibers for the propagation of terahertz (THz) waves. Several hollow and microstructured core fibers have been proposed in the literature as candidates for low-loss terahertz guidance. In this review, we focus on 3D printed
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This paper reviews the subject of 3D printed hollow-core fibers for the propagation of terahertz (THz) waves. Several hollow and microstructured core fibers have been proposed in the literature as candidates for low-loss terahertz guidance. In this review, we focus on 3D printed hollow-core fibers with designs that cannot be easily created by conventional fiber fabrication techniques. We first review the fibers according to their guiding mechanism: photonic bandgap, antiresonant effect, and Bragg effect. We then present the modeling, fabrication, and characterization of a 3D printed Bragg and two antiresonant fibers, highlighting the advantages of using 3D printers as a path to make the fabrication of complex 3D fiber structures fast and cost-effective. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hollow core optical fibers)
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