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Fibers, Volume 8, Issue 6 (June 2020) – 11 articles

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Cover Story (view full-size image) Fibers (https://www.mdpi.com/journal/fibers) is a peer-reviewed scientific journal that publishes [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle
The Effect of Alcohol Precipitants on Structural and Morphological Features and Thermal Properties of Lyocell Fibers
Fibers 2020, 8(6), 43; https://doi.org/10.3390/fib8060043 - 26 Jun 2020
Viewed by 535
Abstract
This research examines the possibilities of regulating the structure of cellulose precursor fibers spun from solutions in N-methylmorpholine-N-oxide when replacing aqueous coagulation baths with thermodynamically softer alcohol baths at different temperatures. The fibers were spun by the dry jet–wet method [...] Read more.
This research examines the possibilities of regulating the structure of cellulose precursor fibers spun from solutions in N-methylmorpholine-N-oxide when replacing aqueous coagulation baths with thermodynamically softer alcohol baths at different temperatures. The fibers were spun by the dry jet–wet method in isobutanol coagulation baths with a temperature of 25 °C and 70 °C. The study of the phase state of the solvent–coagulant system using viscometry and point cloud methods revealed the temperature-concentration regions of the single-phase and two-phase states of the system. Using elemental analysis, DSC (differential scanning calorimetry) and XRD (X-ray diffraction) methods, it was shown that just spun fibers, due to the presence of a residual amount of solvent and coagulant in them, regardless of the temperature of the precipitator, have an amorphous structure. Additional washing with water completely washed away the solvent and coagulant as well, however, the structure of cellulose changes slightly, turning into a defective amorphous-crystalline one. A relationship was found between the phase composition, structure, and properties of just spun fibers and precursors washed with water. Thus, the loss of structural ordering of both just spun and washed cellulose fibers leads to a decrease in strength characteristics and an increase in deformation. The thermal behavior of the fibers is determined by their phase composition. Fibers just spun into hot alcohol containing a coagulant and traces of solvent acquire thermal stability up to 330 °C. During the pyrolysis of the obtained precursors up to 1000 °C, the value of the carbon yield doubles. The amorphized structure of the obtained fibers allows us to consider it as a model when analyzing the transformation of the structure of precursors during thermolysis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Precursors, Additives and Approaches for Carbon Fibers)
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Open AccessArticle
A Moving Interface Finite Element Formulation to Predict Dynamic Edge Debonding in FRP-Strengthened Concrete Beams in Service Conditions
Fibers 2020, 8(6), 42; https://doi.org/10.3390/fib8060042 - 24 Jun 2020
Viewed by 483
Abstract
A new methodology to predict interfacial debonding phenomena in fibre-reinforced polymer (FRP) concrete beams in the serviceability load condition is proposed. The numerical model, formulated in a bi-dimensional context, incorporates moving mesh modelling of cohesive interfaces in order to simulate crack initiation and [...] Read more.
A new methodology to predict interfacial debonding phenomena in fibre-reinforced polymer (FRP) concrete beams in the serviceability load condition is proposed. The numerical model, formulated in a bi-dimensional context, incorporates moving mesh modelling of cohesive interfaces in order to simulate crack initiation and propagation between concrete and FRP strengthening. Interface elements are used to predict debonding mechanisms. The concrete beams, as well as the FRP strengthening, follow a one-dimensional model based on Timoshenko beam kinematics theory, whereas the adhesive layer is simulated by using a 2D plane stress formulation. The implementation, which is developed in the framework of a finite element (FE) formulation, as well as the solution scheme and a numerical case study are presented. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Flexural Strengthening of RC Continuous T-Beams Using CFRP
Fibers 2020, 8(6), 41; https://doi.org/10.3390/fib8060041 - 20 Jun 2020
Viewed by 546
Abstract
In this paper, experimental investigations for strengthening reinforced concrete (RC) continuous beams were performed. Eighteen T-beams were cast, twelve of which were inverted T-beams where the flange portion of the T-beam was subjected to positive flexure to represent the support region of a [...] Read more.
In this paper, experimental investigations for strengthening reinforced concrete (RC) continuous beams were performed. Eighteen T-beams were cast, twelve of which were inverted T-beams where the flange portion of the T-beam was subjected to positive flexure to represent the support region of a continuous beam. Six of the T-beams were non-inverted where the web is subjected to positive flexure. Carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) sheets with different widths were considered, and different strengthening configurations with the same area of CFRP were investigated. The use of one-layer, multiple layers, or multiple strips of CFRP were evaluated to investigate the effect of these configurations on the ultimate capacity and ductility of the strengthened beams. From the experimental observation of the non-inverted beams, it was found that the ultimate load capacities of the CFRP-strengthened beams were enhanced by 4% to 90% compared to the control beam. Using multiple layers of CFRP sheets enhanced the stiffness of the beams by 4% to 46%, depending on the CFRP area and configurations. The debonding of CFRP before the ultimate failure provided additional ductility to the tested beams. For the strengthening of the inverted beams, it was found that the addition of CFRP strips did not increase the strength of the beams when the width of CFRP to beam width ratio was less than 0.25, but the ductility of the beam was enhanced slightly. The use of multiple strips was found to be a more effective way for the strengthening of the negative moment region than using multiple layers. This can also provide more desirable modes of failure than when applying CFRP in multiple layers. Ductility was found to be lower if multiple layers were used compared to other configurations. Moreover, it was observed that as the compressive strength of concrete increased the addition of the CFRP improved the beams ductility. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Experimental Study on the Effectiveness of Inorganic Bonding Materials for Near-Surface Mounting Shear Strengthening of Prestressed Concrete Beams
Fibers 2020, 8(6), 40; https://doi.org/10.3390/fib8060040 - 17 Jun 2020
Viewed by 633
Abstract
Use of organic resins such as epoxy and vinyl esters as bonding materials in fibre reinforced polymer (FRP) strengthening of concrete members is widely accepted. However, the performance of organic resins is compromised when exposed to high temperature and extreme weather conditions leading [...] Read more.
Use of organic resins such as epoxy and vinyl esters as bonding materials in fibre reinforced polymer (FRP) strengthening of concrete members is widely accepted. However, the performance of organic resins is compromised when exposed to high temperature and extreme weather conditions leading to reduced durability of the strengthened systems. The present study attempts to evaluate the effectiveness of inorganic (cement mortar and geopolymer mortar) bonding materials for shear strengthening of prestressed concrete (PSC) beams using the near-surface mounting (NSM) technique. Different types of bonding materials are used in this study for NSM shear strengthening including: (i) epoxy resin, (ii) high strength cement grout (HSCG) and (iii) geopolymer mortar. Bond tests were first conducted to evaluate the pull-out/bond strength of different bonding materials. Bond tests revealed that epoxy resin had the highest bond strength followed by geopolymer mortar and HSCG. Sixteen full-scale PSC beams were cast with and without stirrups. The beams were strengthened using NSM CFRP laminates oriented at 45-degree configuration and then tested under a three-point bending configuration. Experimental results revealed that the performance of high strength cement grout and geopolymer mortar was similar but with a lesser efficiency compared to the epoxy resin. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Cyclic Performance of RC Columns with Inadequate Lap Splices Strengthened with CFRP Jackets
Fibers 2020, 8(6), 39; https://doi.org/10.3390/fib8060039 - 13 Jun 2020
Viewed by 821
Abstract
The cyclic performance of non-seismically designed reinforced concrete (RC) columns, strengthened with carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) jackets, was analytically and experimentally investigated herein. Three cantilever column specimens were constructed, incorporating design parameters of the period 1950s–1970s, namely with concrete of a low [...] Read more.
The cyclic performance of non-seismically designed reinforced concrete (RC) columns, strengthened with carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) jackets, was analytically and experimentally investigated herein. Three cantilever column specimens were constructed, incorporating design parameters of the period 1950s–1970s, namely with concrete of a low compressive strength, plain steel bars, widely-spaced ties and inadequate lap splices of reinforcement. The specimens were strengthened using CFRP jackets and were subsequently subjected to cyclic inelastic lateral displacements. The main parameters examined were the length of the lap splices, the acceptable relative bar slipping value and the width of the jackets. The hysteresis behaviors of the enhanced columns were compared, while also being evaluated with respect to those of two original columns and to the seismic performance of a control specimen with continuous reinforcement, tested in a previous work. An analytical formulation was proposed for accurately predicting the seismic responses of the column specimens, comparing the actual shear stress value with the ultimate shear capacity of the concrete in the lap splice region. The test results verified the predictions of the analytical model, regarding the seismic performance of the strengthened columns. Moreover, the influences of the examined parameters in securing the ductile hysteresis performance were evaluated. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
MESO-Scale Modeling of CFRP-Confined Concrete: Microplane-Based Approach
Fibers 2020, 8(6), 38; https://doi.org/10.3390/fib8060038 - 13 Jun 2020
Viewed by 636
Abstract
The present paper shows the results of three-dimensional (3D) meso-scale numerical simulations that were performed on unconfined and Carbon Fibre Reinforced Polymer (CFRP)-confined concrete specimens under uniaxial compression. The numerical results are compared with available experimental data. The meso-scale structure of concrete is [...] Read more.
The present paper shows the results of three-dimensional (3D) meso-scale numerical simulations that were performed on unconfined and Carbon Fibre Reinforced Polymer (CFRP)-confined concrete specimens under uniaxial compression. The numerical results are compared with available experimental data. The meso-scale structure of concrete is composed by two phases, namely: the coarse aggregate and the mortar matrix. The presence of Interfacial Transition Zone (ITZ) is neglected. A simple generation procedure is used to randomly place the coarse aggregate inside the concrete specimens. The finite element code MASA is used to perform the three-dimensional (3D) Finite Element meso-scale simulations. The constitutive laws for mortar and epoxy resin are based on the microplane model, while an elastic-brittle behavior is assumed for the fibers. Aggregate in concrete is considered to be linear elastic. The adopted meso-scale model for concrete can realistically reproduce the mechanical behavior of both unconfined and CFRP-confined specimens. However, in the case of small corner radius, the effect of confinement predicted by the model is overestimated with respect to the experimental results. This is partially related to the simplifications introduced in the model in terms of aggregate volumetric fraction (10%) and aggregate size distribution. It is shown that a more detailed meso-scale model, which is characterized by 30% of the coarse aggregate and realistic aggregate size distribution, can better capture the interaction between the concrete heterogeneity and the confining effect provided by CFRP. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Determination and Review of Physical and Mechanical Properties of Raw and Treated Coconut Fibers for Their Recycling in Construction Materials
Fibers 2020, 8(6), 37; https://doi.org/10.3390/fib8060037 - 12 Jun 2020
Viewed by 643
Abstract
In order to reduce the dependency on conventional materials and negative environmental impacts, one of the main responsibilities of the construction field is to find new eco-friendly resources to replace the traditional materials partially. Natural fibers were known as potential candidates for the [...] Read more.
In order to reduce the dependency on conventional materials and negative environmental impacts, one of the main responsibilities of the construction field is to find new eco-friendly resources to replace the traditional materials partially. Natural fibers were known as potential candidates for the reinforcement of structures in civil engineering by virtue of their advantages. Among the different kinds of vegetable fibers, coconut fiber has been exploited in a limited way over the past few years. This paper aims at evaluating the different properties of local coconut fibers (Vietnam). Several laboratory tests provide geometrical, physical, mechanical properties and durability properties that are compared with literature results obtained from similar natural fibers. The local coconut fibers tested demonstrated properties suitable for reinforced mortars. With adequate control of their preparation, they could be reused in the manufacture of mortars in the construction. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Influence of Milled Glass Fiber Fillers on Mode I & Mode II Interlaminar Fracture Toughness of Epoxy Resin for Fabrication of Glass/Epoxy Composites
Fibers 2020, 8(6), 36; https://doi.org/10.3390/fib8060036 - 11 Jun 2020
Viewed by 627
Abstract
The present work is focused on improving mode I and mode II delamination resistance of glass/epoxy composite laminates (50 wt.% of glass fibers) with milled glass fibers, added in various amounts (2.5, 5, 7.5 and 10% of the epoxy weight). Including fillers in [...] Read more.
The present work is focused on improving mode I and mode II delamination resistance of glass/epoxy composite laminates (50 wt.% of glass fibers) with milled glass fibers, added in various amounts (2.5, 5, 7.5 and 10% of the epoxy weight). Including fillers in the interlayer enhances the delamination resistance by providing a bridging effect, therefore demanding additional energy to initiate the crack in the interlaminar domain, which results in turn in enhanced fracture toughness. The maximal increase of mode I and mode II fracture toughness and of flexural strength was obtained by the addition of 5% milled glass fiber. The mechanism observed suggests that crack propagation is stabilized even leading to its arrest/deflection, as a considerable amount of milled glass fiber filler was oriented transverse to the crack path. In contrast, at higher filler loading, tendency towards stress concentration grows due to local agglomeration and improper dispersion of excess fillers in inter/intralaminar resin channel, causing poor adhesion to the matrix, which leads to reduction in fracture toughness, strength and strain to failure. Fractured surfaces analyzed using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) revealed a number of mechanisms, such as crack deflection, individual debonding and filler/matrix interlocking, all contributing in various ways to improve fracture toughness. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Comparative Study of the Performance of Slender Reinforced Concrete Columns with Different Cross-Sectional Shapes
Fibers 2020, 8(6), 35; https://doi.org/10.3390/fib8060035 - 04 Jun 2020
Viewed by 836
Abstract
Most reinforced concrete (RC) structures are constructed with square/rectangular columns. The cross-section size of these types of columns is much larger than the thickness of their partitions. Therefore, parts of these columns are protruded out of the partitions. The emergence of columns edges [...] Read more.
Most reinforced concrete (RC) structures are constructed with square/rectangular columns. The cross-section size of these types of columns is much larger than the thickness of their partitions. Therefore, parts of these columns are protruded out of the partitions. The emergence of columns edges out of the walls has some disadvantages. This limitation is difficult to be overcome with square or rectangular columns. To solve this problem, new types of RC columns called specially shaped reinforced concrete (SSRC) columns have been used as hidden columns. Besides, the use of SSRC columns provides many structural and architectural advantages as compared with rectangular columns. Therefore, this study was conducted to explain the structural performance of slender SSRC columns experimentally and numerically via nonlinear finite element analysis. The study is based on nine RC specimens tested up to failure, as well as eighteen finite element (FE) models analyzed by Abaqus soft wear program. The use of SSRC columns led to increase strength by about 12% and reduce deformations, especially with slenderness ratio more than 40 as compared with equivalent square-shaped columns. Two design formulas were proposed to determine the compressive strength of SSRC columns under concentric loading. The results obtained indicate a good structural performance of SSRC columns when compared with equivalent square-shaped columns. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Original Solution of Coupled Nonlinear Schrödinger Equations for Simulation of Ultrashort Optical Pulse Propagation in a Birefringent Fiber
Fibers 2020, 8(6), 34; https://doi.org/10.3390/fib8060034 - 03 Jun 2020
Viewed by 770
Abstract
This paper discusses approaches to the numerical integration of the coupled nonlinear Schrödinger equations system, different from the generally accepted approach based on the method of splitting according to physical processes. A combined explicit/implicit finite-difference integration scheme based on the implicit Crank–Nicolson finite-difference [...] Read more.
This paper discusses approaches to the numerical integration of the coupled nonlinear Schrödinger equations system, different from the generally accepted approach based on the method of splitting according to physical processes. A combined explicit/implicit finite-difference integration scheme based on the implicit Crank–Nicolson finite-difference scheme is proposed and substantiated. It allows the integration of a nonlinear system of equations with a choice of nonlinear terms from the previous integration step. The main advantages of the proposed method are: its absolute stability through the use of an implicit finite-difference integration scheme and an integrated mechanism for refining the numerical solution at each step; integration with automatic step selection; performance gains (or resolutions) up to three or more orders of magnitude due to the fact that there is no need to produce direct and inverse Fourier transforms at each integration step, as is required in the method of splitting according to physical processes. An additional advantage of the proposed method is the ability to calculate the interaction with an arbitrary number of propagation modes in the fiber. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Optical Fibers as a Key Element of Distributed Sensor Systems)
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Open AccessReview
Impact of Alternative Stabilization Strategies for the Production of PAN-Based Carbon Fibers with High Performance
Fibers 2020, 8(6), 33; https://doi.org/10.3390/fib8060033 - 26 May 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 843
Abstract
The aim of this work is to review a possible correlation of composition, thermal processing, and recent alternative stabilization technologies to the mechanical properties. The chemical microstructure of polyacrylonitrile (PAN) is discussed in detail to understand the influence in thermomechanical properties during stabilization [...] Read more.
The aim of this work is to review a possible correlation of composition, thermal processing, and recent alternative stabilization technologies to the mechanical properties. The chemical microstructure of polyacrylonitrile (PAN) is discussed in detail to understand the influence in thermomechanical properties during stabilization by observing transformation from thermoplastic to ladder polymer. In addition, relevant literature data are used to understand the comonomer composition effect on mechanical properties. Technologies of direct fiber heating by irradiation have been recently involved and hold promise to enhance performance, reduce processing time and energy consumption. Carbon fiber manufacturing can provide benefits by using higher comonomer ratios, similar to textile grade or melt-spun PAN, in order to cut costs derived from an acrylonitrile precursor, without suffering in regard to mechanical properties. Energy intensive processes of stabilization and carbonization remain a challenging field of research in order to reduce both environmental impact and cost of the wide commercialization of carbon fibers (CFs) to enable their broad application. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Precursors, Additives and Approaches for Carbon Fibers)
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