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Fibers, Volume 9, Issue 1 (January 2021) – 7 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): The figure shows a comparison between the experimental data and computing results of high-energy single-pulse propagation in optical fiber. The paper discusses the novel approaches to the numerical integration of the coupled nonlinear Schrödinger equations system for few-mode wave propagation. The mathematical model assumes the propagation of up to nine modes of light in an optical fiber. The suggested approach has a higher resolution—up to three times or more in comparison with the split-step Fourier method—since there is no need to produce direct and inverse Fourier transforms at each integration step. The key advantage of the developed approach is the calculation of any number of modes propagated in the fiber. View this paper.
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Editorial
Acknowledgment to Reviewers of Fibers in 2020
Fibers 2021, 9(1), 7; https://doi.org/10.3390/fib9010007 - 19 Jan 2021
Viewed by 556
Abstract
Peer review is the driving force of journal development, and reviewers are gatekeepers who ensure that Fibers maintains its standards for the high quality of its published papers [...] Full article
Review
Techniques for Modelling and Optimizing the Mechanical Properties of Natural Fiber Composites: A Review
Fibers 2021, 9(1), 6; https://doi.org/10.3390/fib9010006 - 14 Jan 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1218
Abstract
The study of natural fiber-based composites through the use of computational techniques for modelling and optimizing their properties has emerged as a fast-growing approach in recent years. Ecological concerns associated with synthetic fibers have made the utilisation of natural fibers as a reinforcing [...] Read more.
The study of natural fiber-based composites through the use of computational techniques for modelling and optimizing their properties has emerged as a fast-growing approach in recent years. Ecological concerns associated with synthetic fibers have made the utilisation of natural fibers as a reinforcing material in composites a popular approach. Computational techniques have become an important tool in the hands of many researchers to model and analyze the characteristics that influence the mechanical properties of natural fiber composites. This recent trend has led to the development of many advanced computational techniques and software for a profound understanding of the characteristics and performance behavior of composite materials reinforced with natural fibers. The large variations in the characteristics of natural fiber-based composites present a great challenge, which has led to the development of many computational techniques for composite materials analysis. This review seeks to infer, from conventional to contemporary sources, the computational techniques used in modelling, analyzing, and optimizing the mechanical characteristics of natural fiber reinforced composite materials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Fibers and Composites: Science and Applications)
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Article
Cellulose Dissolution in Ionic Liquid under Mild Conditions: Effect of Hydrolysis and Temperature
Fibers 2021, 9(1), 5; https://doi.org/10.3390/fib9010005 - 06 Jan 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 949
Abstract
This study investigated the effect of acid hydrolysis of cellulose on its dissolution under mild conditions in ionic liquid, 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium acetate/N,N-dimethylacetamide (BMIMAc/DMAc). Acid hydrolysis of high molecular weight (MW) cotton cellulose (DP > 4000) was carried out to produce hydrolyzed cotton (HC) samples [...] Read more.
This study investigated the effect of acid hydrolysis of cellulose on its dissolution under mild conditions in ionic liquid, 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium acetate/N,N-dimethylacetamide (BMIMAc/DMAc). Acid hydrolysis of high molecular weight (MW) cotton cellulose (DP > 4000) was carried out to produce hydrolyzed cotton (HC) samples for dissolution. The HC samples were characterized using gel permeation chromatography (GPC), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), X-ray diffraction (XRD), and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), and the dissolution process was monitored using polarized light microscopy (PLM). It was found that the drastic decrease of the MW of cellulose did not result in improvement of its dissolution at room temperature. As compared to original cotton cellulose, the high amount of undissolved fibers in HC solutions led to unstable rheological behavior of HC solutions. Agglomeration and inhomogeneous dispersion of HC, and increased crystallinity, in this case, likely made the diffusion of BMIMAc/DMAc more difficult to the inside of the polymeric network of cellulose at ambient temperature, thereby hindering the dissolution. However, increasing the temperature from room temperature to 35 °C and 55 °C, led to a significant improvement in cellulose dissolution. This phenomenon implies that reducing the MW of cellulose might not be able to improve its dissolution under certain conditions. During the dissolution process, the physical properties of cellulose including fiber aggregation status, solvent diffusivity, and cellulose crystallinity may play a critical role compared to the MW, while the MW may not be an important factor. This finding may help further understand the mechanism of cellulose dissolution and seek better strategies to dissolve cellulose under mild conditions for industrial applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Progress in Cellulose Dissolution and Regeneration)
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Review
Mechanical and Dielectric Properties of Aligned Electrospun Fibers
Fibers 2021, 9(1), 4; https://doi.org/10.3390/fib9010004 - 06 Jan 2021
Viewed by 1300
Abstract
This review paper examines the current state-of-the-art in fabrication of aligned fibers via electrospinning techniques and the effects of these techniques on the mechanical and dielectric properties of electrospun fibers. Molecular orientation, system configuration to align fibers, and post-drawing treatment, like hot/cold drawing [...] Read more.
This review paper examines the current state-of-the-art in fabrication of aligned fibers via electrospinning techniques and the effects of these techniques on the mechanical and dielectric properties of electrospun fibers. Molecular orientation, system configuration to align fibers, and post-drawing treatment, like hot/cold drawing process, contribute to better specific strength and specific stiffness properties of nanofibers. The authors suggest that these improved, aligned nanofibers, when applied in composites, have better mechanical and dielectric properties for many structural and multifunctional applications, including advanced aerospace applications and energy storage devices. For these applications, most fiber alignment electrospinning research has focused on either mechanical property improvement or dielectric property improvement alone, but not both simultaneously. Relative to many other nanofiber formation techniques, the electrospinning technique exhibits superior nanofiber formation when considering cost and manufacturing complexity for many situations. Even though the dielectric property of pure nanofiber mat may not be of general interest, the analysis of the combined effect of mechanical and dielectric properties is relevant to the present analysis of improved and aligned nanofibers. A plethora of nanofibers, in particular, polyacrylonitrile (PAN) electrospun nanofibers, are discussed for their mechanical and dielectric properties. In addition, other types of electrospun nanofibers are explored for their mechanical and dielectric properties. An exploratory study by the author demonstrates the relationship between mechanical and dielectric properties for specimens obtained from a rotating mandrel horizontal setup. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Synthesis and Characterization of Nanomaterials)
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Article
New Textile for Personal Protective Equipment—Plasma Chitosan/Silver Nanoparticles Nylon Fabric
Fibers 2021, 9(1), 3; https://doi.org/10.3390/fib9010003 - 06 Jan 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1472
Abstract
Fabric structures are prone to contamination with microorganisms, as their morphology and ability to retain moisture creates a proper environment for their growth. In this work, a novel, easily processed and cheap coating for a nylon fabric with antimicrobial characteristics was developed. After [...] Read more.
Fabric structures are prone to contamination with microorganisms, as their morphology and ability to retain moisture creates a proper environment for their growth. In this work, a novel, easily processed and cheap coating for a nylon fabric with antimicrobial characteristics was developed. After plasma treatment, made to render the fabric surface more reactive sites, the fabric was impregnated with chitosan and silver nanoparticles by simply dipping it into a mixture of different concentrations of both components. Silver nanoparticles were previously synthesized using the Lee–Meisel method, and their successful obtention was proven by UV–Vis, showing the presence of the surface plasmon resonance band at 410 nm. Nanoparticles with 25 nm average diameter observed by STEM were stable, mainly in the presence of chitosan, which acted as a surfactant for silver nanoparticles, avoiding their aggregation. The impregnated fabric possessed bactericidal activity higher for Gram-positive Staphylococcus aureus than for Gram-negative Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteria for all combinations. The percentage of live S. aureus and P. aeruginosa CFU was reduced to less than 20% and 60%, respectively, when exposed to each of the coating combinations. The effect was more pronounced when both chitosan and silver were present in the coating, suggesting an effective synergy between these components. After a washing process, the antimicrobial effect was highly reduced, suggesting that the coating is unstable after washing, being almost completely removed from the fabric. Nevertheless, the new-coated fabric can be successfully used in single-use face masks. To our knowledge, the coating of nylon fabrics intended for face-mask material with both agents has never been reported. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Synthesis and Characterization of Nanomaterials)
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Article
The Mechanical Properties of PVC Nanofiber Mats Obtained by Electrospinning
Fibers 2021, 9(1), 2; https://doi.org/10.3390/fib9010002 - 05 Jan 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1193
Abstract
This paper investigates the mechanical properties of oriented polyvinyl chloride (PVC) nanofiber mats, which, were obtained by electrospinning a PVC solution. PVC was dissolved in a solvent mixture of tetrahydrofuran/dimethylformamide. Electrospinning parameters used in our work were, voltage 20 kV; flow rate 0.5 [...] Read more.
This paper investigates the mechanical properties of oriented polyvinyl chloride (PVC) nanofiber mats, which, were obtained by electrospinning a PVC solution. PVC was dissolved in a solvent mixture of tetrahydrofuran/dimethylformamide. Electrospinning parameters used in our work were, voltage 20 kV; flow rate 0.5 mL/h; the distance between the syringe tip and collector was 15 cm. The rotating speed of the drum collector was varied from 500 to 2500 rpm with a range of 500 rpm. Nanofiber mats were characterized by scanning electron microscope, thermogravimetric analysis, differential scanning calorimetry methods. The mechanical properties of PVC nanofiber mats, such as tensile strength, Young’s modulus, thermal degradation, and glass transition temperature were also analyzed. It was shown that, by increasing the collector’s rotation speed from 0 (flat plate collector) to 2500 rpm (drum collector), the average diameter of PVC nanofibers decreased from 313 ± 52 to 229 ± 47 nm. At the same time, it was observed that the mechanical properties of the resulting nanofiber mats were improved: tensile strength increased from 2.2 ± 0.2 MPa to 9.1 ± 0.3 MPa, Young’s modulus from 53 ± 14 to 308 ± 19 MPa. Thermogravimetric analysis measurements showed that there was no difference in the process of thermal degradation of nanofiber mats and PVC powders. On the other hand, the glass transition temperature of nanofiber mats and powders did show different values, such values were 77.5 °C and 83.2 °C, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Fibers and Composites)
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Article
Numerical Method for Coupled Nonlinear Schrödinger Equations in Few-Mode Fiber
Fibers 2021, 9(1), 1; https://doi.org/10.3390/fib9010001 - 02 Jan 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1222
Abstract
This paper discusses novel approaches to the numerical integration of the coupled nonlinear Schrödinger equations system for few-mode wave propagation. The wave propagation assumes the propagation of up to nine modes of light in an optical fiber. In this case, the light propagation [...] Read more.
This paper discusses novel approaches to the numerical integration of the coupled nonlinear Schrödinger equations system for few-mode wave propagation. The wave propagation assumes the propagation of up to nine modes of light in an optical fiber. In this case, the light propagation is described by the non-linear coupled Schrödinger equation system, where propagation of each mode is described by own Schrödinger equation with other modes’ interactions. In this case, the coupled nonlinear Schrödinger equation system (CNSES) solving becomes increasingly complex, because each mode affects the propagation of other modes. The suggested solution is based on the direct numerical integration approach, which is based on a finite-difference integration scheme. The well-known explicit finite-difference integration scheme approach fails due to the non-stability of the computing scheme. Owing to this, here we use the combined explicit/implicit finite-difference integration scheme, which is based on the implicit Crank–Nicolson finite-difference scheme. It ensures the stability of the computing scheme. Moreover, this approach allows separating the whole equation system on the independent equation system for each wave mode at each integration step. Additionally, the algorithm of numerical solution refining at each step and the integration method with automatic integration step selection are used. The suggested approach has a higher performance (resolution)—up to three times or more in comparison with the split-step Fourier method—since there is no need to produce direct and inverse Fourier transforms at each integration step. The key advantage of the developed approach is the calculation of any number of modes propagated 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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