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J. Compos. Sci., Volume 4, Issue 1 (March 2020) – 32 articles

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Open AccessArticle
The Emergent Behaviour of Thermal Networks and Its Impact on the Thermal Conductivity of Heterogeneous Materials and Systems
J. Compos. Sci. 2020, 4(1), 32; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs4010032 - 23 Mar 2020
Viewed by 420
Abstract
The properties of thermal networks are examined to understand the effective thermal conductivity of heterogeneous two-phase composite materials and systems. At conditions of high contrast in thermal conductivity of the individual phases (k1 and k2), where k1 << [...] Read more.
The properties of thermal networks are examined to understand the effective thermal conductivity of heterogeneous two-phase composite materials and systems. At conditions of high contrast in thermal conductivity of the individual phases (k1 and k2), where k1 << k2 or k1 >> k2, the effective thermal conductivity of individual networks of the same composition was seen to be highly sensitive to the distribution of the phases and the presence of percolation paths across the network. However, when the contrast in thermal conductivities of the two phases was modest (k1/k2 ~ 10−2 to 102), the thermal networks were observed to exhibit an emergent response with a low variability in the effective thermal conductivity of mixtures of the same composition. A logarithmic mixing rule is presented to predict the network response in the low variability region. Excellent agreement between the model, mixing rule and experimental data is observed for a range two-phase porous and granular media. The modelling approach provides new insights into the design of multi-phase composites for thermal management applications and the interpretation or prediction of their heat transfer properties. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Review of Through-the-Thickness Reinforced z-Pinned Composites
J. Compos. Sci. 2020, 4(1), 31; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs4010031 - 20 Mar 2020
Viewed by 286
Abstract
This work reviews the effects of z-Pins used in composite laminates as through-the-thickness reinforcement to increase the composite’s properties in the out-of-plane direction. The paper presents the manufacture and microstructure of this reinforcement type while also incorporating the impact of z-Pins on the [...] Read more.
This work reviews the effects of z-Pins used in composite laminates as through-the-thickness reinforcement to increase the composite’s properties in the out-of-plane direction. The paper presents the manufacture and microstructure of this reinforcement type while also incorporating the impact of z-Pins on the mechanical properties of the composite. Mechanical properties include tensile, compression, flexure properties in static, dynamic and fatigue loads. Additionally, mode I and mode II properties in both static and fatigue loading are presented, as well as hygrothermal, impact and compression after impact properties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Journal of Composites Science in 2019)
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Open AccessArticle
Influence of the Fibre Content, Exposure Time, and Compaction Pressure on the Mechanical Properties of Ultraviolet-Cured Composites
J. Compos. Sci. 2020, 4(1), 30; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs4010030 - 20 Mar 2020
Viewed by 231
Abstract
A new process for the impregnation, consolidation, and curing of glass-fibre-reinforced polyester composites was developed to reduce manufacturing costs and secure end properties that compete with other traditional materials. This new process, based on the ultraviolet (UV) curing of prepregs, could be a [...] Read more.
A new process for the impregnation, consolidation, and curing of glass-fibre-reinforced polyester composites was developed to reduce manufacturing costs and secure end properties that compete with other traditional materials. This new process, based on the ultraviolet (UV) curing of prepregs, could be a viable alternative to infusion and other processes. In this paper, we showed that glass fibre composites 3 mm thick could be easily formed using suitable photoinitiating systems. We achieved improved mechanical properties through the application of favourable parameters to traditional manufacturing processes such as hand lay-up and infusion. The prepreg polymerization was monitored by dielectric analysis (DEA), and we evaluated the relationship between the UV radiation exposure time and curing degree. Both the exposure time and compaction pressure affected the fibre content of composites and interlaminar shear strength. Experimental results showed that compaction pressures higher than 4 bar are necessary to increase the mechanical properties of the UV-cured composites. Finally, the properties of the composites manufactured by this new process were compared to the properties of composites manufactured using traditional processes such as hand lay-up and infusion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Journal of Composites Science in 2019)
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Open AccessArticle
The Influence and Action Mechanization of Mineral Mixed Material on High Fluidity Potassium Magnesium Phosphate Cement (MKPC)
J. Compos. Sci. 2020, 4(1), 29; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs4010029 - 19 Mar 2020
Viewed by 275
Abstract
Potassium magnesium phosphate cement (MKPC) is a type of chemically bonded ceramic material that has higher performance compared to traditional Portland cement. To develop the spraying and crack pouring process of MKPC, the mechanical properties, volume deformation, hydration temperature, and water stability of [...] Read more.
Potassium magnesium phosphate cement (MKPC) is a type of chemically bonded ceramic material that has higher performance compared to traditional Portland cement. To develop the spraying and crack pouring process of MKPC, the mechanical properties, volume deformation, hydration temperature, and water stability of the high-fluidity MKPC with different mineral mixed materials and their influence laws were studied. The effects of phase composition and micromorphology of hydration products on the properties of MKPC and its mechanism were analyzed using X-ray diffraction (XRD), thermogravimetry/differential thermal analysis (TG/DTA), and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The results show that fly ash and metakaolin will not reduce the fluidity of MKPC paste because of their material properties, and silica fume will reduce the fluidity of MKPC paste because of its large specific surface area and high water absorption. Metakaolin can react with phosphate to form aluminum phosphate gel and fill the pores between the crystals because it has a higher activity, which can significantly improve its compressive strength. However, during the later stage of hydration, there will be slight expansion, which would reduce its bonding flexural strength. The MKPC-hardened paste mixed with silicon ash has optimal stability: therefore, it has the highest bonding flexural strength. Microcosmic analysis shows that mineral mixed material plays a physical filling role and participates in the hydration reaction as an active ingredient to improve the early hydration degree, which can change the crystal size and micromorphology of MKPC-hardened paste and make the structure more compact. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Electrical Conductivity and Electromagnetic Shielding Effectiveness of Bio-Composites
J. Compos. Sci. 2020, 4(1), 28; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs4010028 - 18 Mar 2020
Viewed by 249
Abstract
In this paper, the electrical conductivity and electromagnetic shielding effectiveness of two bio-composites are studied by experimental testing and numerical models. Two monolithic composites with partly bio-based content were manufactured. The first bio-composite is made of a carbon fiber fabric prepreg and a [...] Read more.
In this paper, the electrical conductivity and electromagnetic shielding effectiveness of two bio-composites are studied by experimental testing and numerical models. Two monolithic composites with partly bio-based content were manufactured. The first bio-composite is made of a carbon fiber fabric prepreg and a partly bio-based (rosin) epoxy resin (CF/Rosin). The second bio-composite is a combination of prepregs of carbon fiber fabric/epoxy resin and flax fiber fabric/epoxy resin (CF-Flax/Epoxy). A single line infusion process was used prior to the curing step in the autoclave. Both variants are exemplary for the possibility of introducing bio-based materials in high performance CFRP. In-plane and out-of-plane electrical conductivity tests were conducted according to Airbus standards AITM2 0064 and AITM2 0065, respectively. Electromagnetic shielding effectiveness tests were conducted based on the standard ASTM D 4935-10. Materials were prepared at the German Aerospace Center (DLR), while characterization tests were conducted at the University of Patras. In addition to the tests, numerical models of representative volume elements were developed, using the DIGIMAT software, to predict the electrical conductivity of the two bio-composites. The preliminary numerical results show a good agreement with the experimental results. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Use of Conductive Polymers Embedded Macro Porous Pei and Ionic Liquid Form of Pei Cryogels for Potential Conductometric Sensor Application to CO2
J. Compos. Sci. 2020, 4(1), 27; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs4010027 - 13 Mar 2020
Viewed by 254
Abstract
Polyethyleneimine (PEI) cryogels with interconnected superporous morphology were synthesized via the cryopolymerization technique. Then, conductive polymers, poly(Aniline) (PANi), poly(Pyrrole) (PPy), and poly(Thiophene) (PTh) were prepared within these PEI cryogels. Then, the conductive polymer embedding PEI composites’ characterization was carried morphologically using scanning electron [...] Read more.
Polyethyleneimine (PEI) cryogels with interconnected superporous morphology were synthesized via the cryopolymerization technique. Then, conductive polymers, poly(Aniline) (PANi), poly(Pyrrole) (PPy), and poly(Thiophene) (PTh) were prepared within these PEI cryogels. Then, the conductive polymer embedding PEI composites’ characterization was carried morphologically using scanning electron microscope (SEM) by means of Fourier Transform Infrared Radiation (FT-IR) spectrometer, and by means of electrical conductivity measurements using an electrometer. Among all the prepared cryogel conductive polymer composites, the highest value in terms of conductivity was determined for PEI/PANi cryogel composites with 4.80 × 10−3 S.cm−1. Afterward, to prepare polymeric ionic liquid (PIL) forms of PEI and PEI/PANi composites. To assess the effect of anions on the conductivities of the prepared composites, PEI-based cryogels were anion ex-changed after protonation with HCl by treatment of aqueous solutions of sodium dicyanamide (Na+[N(CN)2]), ammonium hexafluorophosphate (NH4+[PF6]), sodium tetrafluoroborate (Na+[BF4]), and potassium thiocyanate (K+[SCN]), separately. Furthermore, PEI-based cryogel composites and their PIL forms were tested as a sensor for CO2 gas. The higher conductivity changes were observed on bare PEI cryogel and PEI+[BF4] PIL cryogels with 1000-fold decrease on conductivity upon 240 min CO2 exposure. The sensitivity and recovery percent of bare PEI and PEI+[BF4] PIL cryogels were shown almost the same with a two-fold decrease in the presence of 0.009 mole of CO2 gas, and approximately 30% recovery after the fifth consecutive reuse. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Conductive Polymer Composites)
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Open AccessArticle
Dielectric Properties of All-Organic Coatings: Comparison of PEDOT and PANI in Epoxy Matrices
J. Compos. Sci. 2020, 4(1), 26; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs4010026 - 11 Mar 2020
Viewed by 257
Abstract
The technological demands imposed on dielectrics and electrical insulation materials are being increasing with the transition from traditional to smart grids. Epoxy resin/conductive polymer (CP) blends with high dielectric permittivity have been prepared by means of a straightforward methodology. Poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) (PEDOT) and polyaniline [...] Read more.
The technological demands imposed on dielectrics and electrical insulation materials are being increasing with the transition from traditional to smart grids. Epoxy resin/conductive polymer (CP) blends with high dielectric permittivity have been prepared by means of a straightforward methodology. Poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) (PEDOT) and polyaniline (PANI), doped with p-tosylate and ammonium peroxide sulfate (APS), respectively, were synthesized and blended with an epoxy matrix. The addition of 3 wt % of PEDOT and PANI results in permittivity values of 68.9 and 9.5, respectively at 0.1 Hz—1300 and 111 times higher than pure resin. Hence, PEDOT is more effective than PANI at improving the permittivity of the epoxy resin. Moreover, the material retains the electrical insulation of the resin and exhibits a slight increase in thermal conductivity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Conductive Polymer Composites)
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Open AccessArticle
Structure and Dielectric Properties of Electroactive Tetraaniline Grafted Non-Polar Elastomers
J. Compos. Sci. 2020, 4(1), 25; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs4010025 - 10 Mar 2020
Viewed by 362
Abstract
Intrinsic modification of polybutadiene and block copolymer styrene–butadiene–styrene with the electrically conducting emeraldine salt of tetraaniline (TANI) via a three-step grafting method, is reported in this work. Whilst the TANI oligomer grafted at a similar rate to both polybutadiene and styrene–butadiene–styrene under the [...] Read more.
Intrinsic modification of polybutadiene and block copolymer styrene–butadiene–styrene with the electrically conducting emeraldine salt of tetraaniline (TANI) via a three-step grafting method, is reported in this work. Whilst the TANI oligomer grafted at a similar rate to both polybutadiene and styrene–butadiene–styrene under the same conditions, the resulting elastomers exhibited vastly different properties. 1 mol% TANI-PB exhibited an increased relative permittivity of 5.9, and a high strain at break of 156%, whilst 25 mol% TANI-SBS demonstrated a relative permittivity of 6.2 and a strain at break of 186%. The difference in the behaviour of the two polymers was due to the compatibilisation of TANI by styrene in SBS through π-π stacking, which prevented the formation of a conducting TANI network in SBS at. Without the styrene group, TANI-PB formed a phase separated structure with high levels of TANI grafting. Overall, it was concluded that the polymer chain structure, the morphology of the modified elastomers, and the degree of grafting of TANI, had the greatest effect on the mechanical and dielectric properties of the resultant elastomers. This work paves the way for an alternative approach to the extrinsic incorporation of conducting groups into unsaturated elastomers, and demonstrates dielectric elastomers with enhanced electrical properties for use in actuation devices and energy harvesting applications. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Effects of Geometry and Chemical Composition of Nanoparticles on The Fracture Toughness of iPP Nanocomposites
J. Compos. Sci. 2020, 4(1), 24; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs4010024 - 29 Feb 2020
Viewed by 320
Abstract
This research deals with possible hybrid effects in the fracture energy of hybrid nanocomposites while taking a critical approach toward the currently-prevailing engineering practice of applying classical composite micromechanics to nanocomposites. For this purpose, different nanoparticles were embedded in an isotactic polypropylene matrix. [...] Read more.
This research deals with possible hybrid effects in the fracture energy of hybrid nanocomposites while taking a critical approach toward the currently-prevailing engineering practice of applying classical composite micromechanics to nanocomposites. For this purpose, different nanoparticles were embedded in an isotactic polypropylene matrix. The particles had different geometries (fibrous and platelets) and different chemical structures (organic vapor grown carbon nanofibers (VGCF); graphene nanoplatelets (GNP); and inorganic nanoclays, SiO2 nanofibers, and ZrO2 nanofibers). Almost all the composite systems presented improvements in the fracture energy, whereas the iPP/VGCF/GNP presented a positive hybrid effect. The main conclusion was that each nanocomposite system should be analyzed individually according to the constituent properties; the quality of the dispersion; and, primarily, by the type of interaction between the particles and the matrix. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Carbon Nanotube Composites)
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Open AccessArticle
The Synergistic Effects of Sio2 Nanoparticles and Organic Photostabilizers for Enhanced Weathering Resistance of Acrylic Polyurethane Coating
J. Compos. Sci. 2020, 4(1), 23; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs4010023 - 26 Feb 2020
Viewed by 272
Abstract
This study aims to evaluate the synergical effects of SiO2 nanoparticles (nano-SiO2) and organic photostabilizers (Tinuvin 384 (T384) and Tinuvin 292 (T292)) on the weathering resistance of acrylic polyurethane coating. Data obtained from infrared (IR), field emission scanning electron microscopy [...] Read more.
This study aims to evaluate the synergical effects of SiO2 nanoparticles (nano-SiO2) and organic photostabilizers (Tinuvin 384 (T384) and Tinuvin 292 (T292)) on the weathering resistance of acrylic polyurethane coating. Data obtained from infrared (IR), field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM), and weight loss of coatings (before and after aging test), suggest that the SiO2 nanoparticles play a dual role, as both reinforcer and UV absorber, thus improving effectively both the mechanical properties and the weathering resistance of polyurethane acrylic coatings. The nanocomposite coating containing 2 wt % nano-SiO2, 2 wt % T384, and 1 wt % T292 exhibits excellent weathering and abrasion resistances, offering a durable outdoor application. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Multifunctional Composites)
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Open AccessArticle
Theoretical Design Strategies, Strengths, Costs, and Environmental Impacts of Triple Composite Beams Utilizing Glass Compressive Reinforcement
J. Compos. Sci. 2020, 4(1), 22; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs4010022 - 24 Feb 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 277
Abstract
Due to increasing costs and growing environmental concerns pertaining to the construction of structures, an alternative form of reinforcement has been proposed through our studies; through a new beam design methodology, referred to as triple composite beams, glass can be used as a [...] Read more.
Due to increasing costs and growing environmental concerns pertaining to the construction of structures, an alternative form of reinforcement has been proposed through our studies; through a new beam design methodology, referred to as triple composite beams, glass can be used as a cost-competitive and more environmentally friendly macro-scale compressive reinforcement. The cost competitiveness of glasses derives from their large compressive strength (in general 1000 MPa; >1100 MPa for fused quartz). To support the triple composite design architecture, equations have been developed using Euler–Bernoulli beam theory and the method of transformed sections and compared against finite element modeling determined stresses. Our results show that the average stress was more accurate but less precise than fully considering binder, assuming the binder did not contribute to the cross-section of the beam. The paper concludes by presenting a flexural reinforcement utilization ratio (R), which predicts the ability of a reinforcement-binder combination to utilize the reinforcement to maximum stress effectively while ignoring bonding strength. This R ratio suggests that while concrete is a low cost, it cannot be used in a glass-reinforced beam as the concrete is too stiff compared to the glass. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Moisture Absorption of Carbon/Epoxy Nanocomposites
J. Compos. Sci. 2020, 4(1), 21; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs4010021 - 20 Feb 2020
Viewed by 290
Abstract
Moisture absorption of composites with nanoscale carbon additives such as carbon nanotubes, carbon nanofibers, graphite nanoplatelets, and carbon black is investigated using thermogravimetric data and a non-Fickian hindered diffusion (Langmuir-type) model. The moisture absorption parameters are determined using this model for six different [...] Read more.
Moisture absorption of composites with nanoscale carbon additives such as carbon nanotubes, carbon nanofibers, graphite nanoplatelets, and carbon black is investigated using thermogravimetric data and a non-Fickian hindered diffusion (Langmuir-type) model. The moisture absorption parameters are determined using this model for six different types of carbon/epoxy nanocomposites. The absorption behaviors obtained at different humidity levels and thermal environments are recovered by minimizing the error between the experimental data and model predictions, thus enabling the accurate determination of the moisture equilibrium level. The absorption behavior and the weight gain of all nanocomposites are shown to be accurately represented by this model over the entire absorption period. The presence of carbon nanomaterials is found to induce varying levels of non-Fickian behavior, governed by the nondimensional hindrance coefficient. This behavior is enhanced with the nanomaterial content and separate from the slight non-Fickian behavior of all neat epoxy samples. The molecular bonding during diffusion, as well as the interfacial moisture storage, could be among the reasons for non-Fickian behavior and should be included in the absorption models for accurate characterization of carbon/epoxy nanocomposites. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Journal of Composites Science in 2019)
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Open AccessArticle
Hydrothermal Carbon/Carbon Nanotube Composites as Electrocatalysts for the Oxygen Reduction Reaction
J. Compos. Sci. 2020, 4(1), 20; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs4010020 - 17 Feb 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 361
Abstract
The oxygen reduction reaction is an essential reaction in several energy conversion devices such as fuel cells and batteries. So far, the best performance is obtained by using platinum-based electrocatalysts, which make the devices really expensive, and thus, new and more affordable materials [...] Read more.
The oxygen reduction reaction is an essential reaction in several energy conversion devices such as fuel cells and batteries. So far, the best performance is obtained by using platinum-based electrocatalysts, which make the devices really expensive, and thus, new and more affordable materials should be designed. Biomass-derived carbons were prepared by hydrothermal carbonization in the presence of carbon nanotubes with different oxygen surface functionalities to evaluate their effect on the final properties. Additionally, nitrogen functional groups were also introduced by ball milling the carbon composite together with melamine. The oxygen groups on the surface of the carbon nanotubes favor their dispersion into the precursor mixture and the formation of a more homogenous carbon structure with higher mechanical strength. This type of structure partially avoids the crushing of the nanotubes and the carbon spheres during the ball milling, resulting in a carbon composite with enhanced electrical conductivity. Undoped and N-doped composites were used as electrocatalysts for the oxygen reduction reaction. The onset potential increases by 20% due to the incorporation of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and nitrogen, which increases the number of active sites and improves the chemical reactivity, while the limiting current density increases by 47% due to the higher electrical conductivity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Carbon Nanotube Composites)
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Open AccessArticle
Improving Mechanical, Thermal and Damping Properties of NiTi (Nitinol) Reinforced Aluminum Nanocomposites
J. Compos. Sci. 2020, 4(1), 19; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs4010019 - 15 Feb 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 323
Abstract
In the present study, Ni50Ti50 (NiTi) particle reinforced aluminum nanocomposites were fabricated using microwave sintering and subsequently hot extrusion. The effect of NiTi (0, 0.5, 1.0, and 1.5 vol %) content on the microstructural, mechanical, thermal, and damping properties of [...] Read more.
In the present study, Ni50Ti50 (NiTi) particle reinforced aluminum nanocomposites were fabricated using microwave sintering and subsequently hot extrusion. The effect of NiTi (0, 0.5, 1.0, and 1.5 vol %) content on the microstructural, mechanical, thermal, and damping properties of the extruded Al-NiTi nanocomposites was studied. Compared to the unreinforced aluminum, hardness, ultimate compression/tensile strength and yield strength increased by 105%, 46%, 45%, and 41% while elongation and coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) decreased by 49% and 22%, respectively. The fabricated Al-1.5 NiTi nanocomposite exhibited significantly higher damping capacity (3.23 × 10−4) and elastic modulus (78.48 ± 0.008 GPa) when compared to pure Al. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Preparation of Multicomponent Biocomposites and Characterization of Their Physicochemical and Mechanical Properties
J. Compos. Sci. 2020, 4(1), 18; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs4010018 - 06 Feb 2020
Viewed by 361
Abstract
This work focused on a mutual comparison and characterization of the physicochemical properties of three-component polymer composites. Binary polyaniline–chitosan (PANI–CHT) composites were synthesized by in situ polymerization of PANI onto CHT. Ternary composites were prepared by blending with a third component, polyvinyl alcohol [...] Read more.
This work focused on a mutual comparison and characterization of the physicochemical properties of three-component polymer composites. Binary polyaniline–chitosan (PANI–CHT) composites were synthesized by in situ polymerization of PANI onto CHT. Ternary composites were prepared by blending with a third component, polyvinyl alcohol (PVA). Composites with variable PANI:CHT (25:75, 50:50 and 75:25) weight ratios were prepared whilst fixing the composition of PVA. The structure and physicochemical properties of the composites were evaluated using thermal analysis (thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC)) and spectroscopic methods (infrared (IR), nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR)). The equilibrium and dynamic adsorption properties of composites were evaluated by solvent swelling in water, water vapour adsorption and dye adsorption isotherms. The electrical conductivity was estimated using current–voltage curves. The mechanical properties of the samples were evaluated using dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA) and correlated with the structural parameters of the composites. The adsorption and swelling properties paralleled the change in the electrical and mechanical properties of the materials. In most cases, samples with higher content of chitosan exhibit higher adsorption and mechanical properties, and lower conductivity. Acid-doped samples showed much higher adsorption, swelling, and electrical conductivity than their undoped analogues. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Journal of Composites Science in 2019)
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Open AccessArticle
The Synergic Effects of FDM 3D Printing Parameters on Mechanical Behaviors of Bronze Poly Lactic Acid Composites
J. Compos. Sci. 2020, 4(1), 17; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs4010017 - 03 Feb 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 543
Abstract
In this paper, the influence of layer thickness (LT), infill percentage (IP), and extruder temperature (ET) on the maximum failure load, thickness, and build time of bronze polylactic acid (Br-PLA) composites 3D printed by the fused deposition modeling (FDM) was investigated via an [...] Read more.
In this paper, the influence of layer thickness (LT), infill percentage (IP), and extruder temperature (ET) on the maximum failure load, thickness, and build time of bronze polylactic acid (Br-PLA) composites 3D printed by the fused deposition modeling (FDM) was investigated via an optimization method. PLA is a thermoplastic aliphatic polyester obtained from renewable sources, such as fermented plant starch, especially made by corn starch. The design of experiment (DOE) approach was used for optimization parameters, and 3D printings were optimized according to the applied statistical analyses to reach the best features. The maximum value of failure load and minimum value of the build time were considered as optimization criteria. Analysis of variance results identified the layer thickness as the main controlled variable for all responses. Optimum solutions were examined by experimental preparation to assess the efficiency of the optimization method. There was a superb compromise among experimental outcomes and predictions of the response surface method, confirming the reliability of predictive models. The optimum setting for fulfilling the first criterion could result in a sample with more than 1021 N maximum failure load. Finally, a comparison of maximum failure from PLA with Br-PLA was studied. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Multifunctional Composites)
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Open AccessCommunication
Application of Chitosan-Clay Biocomposite Beads for Removal of Heavy Metal and Dye from Industrial Effluent
J. Compos. Sci. 2020, 4(1), 16; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs4010016 - 01 Feb 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 661
Abstract
In recent years, there has been increasing interest in developing green biocomposite for industrial wastewater treatment. In this study, prawn-shell-derived chitosan (CHT) and kaolinite rich modified clay (MC) were used to fabricate biocomposite beads with different compositions. Prepared composite beads were characterized by [...] Read more.
In recent years, there has been increasing interest in developing green biocomposite for industrial wastewater treatment. In this study, prawn-shell-derived chitosan (CHT) and kaolinite rich modified clay (MC) were used to fabricate biocomposite beads with different compositions. Prepared composite beads were characterized by FTIR, and XRD, and SEM. The possible application of the beads was evaluated primarily by measuring the adsorption efficiency in standard models of lead (II) and methylene blue (MB) dye solution, and the results show a promising removal efficiency. In addition, the composites were used to remove Cr (VI), Pb (II), and MB from real industrial effluents. From tannery effluent, 50.90% of chromium and 39.50% of lead ions were removed by composites rich in chitosan and 31.50% of MB was removed from textile effluent by a composite rich in clay. Moreover, the composite beads were found to be activated in both acidic and basic media depending on their composition, which gives a scope to their universal application in dye and heavy metal removal from wastewater from various industries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Journal of Composites Science in 2019)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Animal Biopolymer-Plant Biomass Composites: Synergism and Improved Sorption Efficiency
J. Compos. Sci. 2020, 4(1), 15; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs4010015 - 01 Feb 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 344
Abstract
Pelletized biomaterial composites that contain chitosan (C) and torrefied wheat straw (S) at variable weight composition (C:S) were prepared using a facile blending process. The fractional content of the wheat straw was studied to elucidate the role of biomass on the pelletized product [...] Read more.
Pelletized biomaterial composites that contain chitosan (C) and torrefied wheat straw (S) at variable weight composition (C:S) were prepared using a facile blending process. The fractional content of the wheat straw was studied to elucidate the role of biomass on the pelletized product and effects of S-content on the physicochemical properties relevant to adsorption phenomena. Chitosan pellets (with and without S) were characterized by spectroscopic (FT-IR and 13C NMR) and thermal (TGA and DSC) techniques to provide support for their respective C:S composition. Confocal microscopy using fluorescein (FL) as a dye probe revealed the presence and an increase in the accessibility of the active sites for the composite pellets according to the S-content (wt %). Equilibrium and kinetic sorption studies using FL and reactive black (RB) dyes revealed an incremental adsorption affinity of the pellets with anionic dyes in variable charge states (FL and RB). The trend for dye adsorption parallels the incremental S-content (wt %) in the composite pellets. This study reports a first-example of a low-cost, facile, and sustainable approach for the valorization of straw and chitosan suitable for sorption-based applications in aqueous media. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Journal of Composites Science in 2019)
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Open AccessArticle
Nitrogen-Doped Carbon Nanotube/Polypropylene Composites with Negative Seebeck Coefficient
J. Compos. Sci. 2020, 4(1), 14; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs4010014 - 28 Jan 2020
Viewed by 395
Abstract
This study describes the application of multi-walled carbon nanotubes that were nitrogen-doped during their synthesis (N-MWCNTs) in melt-mixed polypropylene (PP) composites. Different types of N-MWCNTs, synthesized using different methods, were used and compared. Four of the five MWCNT grades showed negative Seebeck coefficients [...] Read more.
This study describes the application of multi-walled carbon nanotubes that were nitrogen-doped during their synthesis (N-MWCNTs) in melt-mixed polypropylene (PP) composites. Different types of N-MWCNTs, synthesized using different methods, were used and compared. Four of the five MWCNT grades showed negative Seebeck coefficients (S), indicating n-type charge carrier behavior. All prepared composites (with a concentration between 2 and 7.5 wt% N-MWCNTs) also showed negative S values, which in most cases had a higher negative value than the corresponding nanotubes. The S values achieved were between 1.0 μV/K and −13.8 μV/K for the N-MWCNT buckypapers or powders and between −4.7 μV/K and −22.8 μV/K for the corresponding composites. With a higher content of N-MWCNTs, the increase in electrical conductivity led to increasing values of the power factor (PF) despite the unstable behavior of the Seebeck coefficient. The highest power factor was achieved with 4 wt% N-MWCNT, where a suitable combination of high electrical conductivity and acceptable Seebeck coefficient led to a PF value of 6.1 × 10−3 µW/(m·K2). First experiments have shown that transient absorption spectroscopy (TAS) is a useful tool to study the carrier transfer process in CNTs in composites and to correlate it with the Seebeck coefficient. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Carbon Nanotube Composites)
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Open AccessReview
Structural Health Monitoring for Advanced Composite Structures: A Review
J. Compos. Sci. 2020, 4(1), 13; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs4010013 - 27 Jan 2020
Viewed by 464
Abstract
Condition-based maintenance refers to the installation of permanent sensors on a structure/system. By means of early fault detection, severe damage can be avoided, allowing efficient timing of maintenance works and avoiding unnecessary inspections at the same time. These are the goals for structural [...] Read more.
Condition-based maintenance refers to the installation of permanent sensors on a structure/system. By means of early fault detection, severe damage can be avoided, allowing efficient timing of maintenance works and avoiding unnecessary inspections at the same time. These are the goals for structural health monitoring (SHM). The changes caused by incipient damage on raw data collected by sensors are quite small, and are usually contaminated by noise and varying environmental factors, so the algorithms used to extract information from sensor data need to focus on sensitive damage features. The developments of SHM techniques over the last 20 years have been more related to algorithm improvements than to sensor progress, which essentially have been maintained without major conceptual changes (with regards to accelerometers, piezoelectric wafers, and fiber optic sensors). The main different SHM systems (vibration methods, strain-based fiber optics methods, guided waves, acoustic emission, and nanoparticle-doped resins) are reviewed, and the main issues to be solved are identified. Reliability is the key question, and can only be demonstrated through a probability of detection (POD) analysis. Attention has only been paid to this issue over the last ten years, but now it is a growing trend. Simulation of the SHM system is needed in order to reduce the number of experiments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Journal of Composites Science in 2019)
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Open AccessEditorial
Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Journal of Composites Science in 2019
J. Compos. Sci. 2020, 4(1), 12; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs4010012 - 20 Jan 2020
Viewed by 266
Abstract
The editorial team greatly appreciates the reviewers who have dedicated their considerable time and expertise to the journal’s rigorous editorial process over the past 12 months, regardless of whether the papers are finally published or not [...] Full article
Open AccessArticle
A Dimensionless Characteristic Number for Process Selection and Mold Design in Composites Manufacturing: Part I—Theory
J. Compos. Sci. 2020, 4(1), 11; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs4010011 - 18 Jan 2020
Viewed by 451
Abstract
The present article introduces a dimensionless number devised to assist composite engineers in the fabrication of continuous fiber composites by Liquid Composite Molding (LCM), i.e., by injecting a liquid polymer resin through a fibrous reinforcement contained in a closed mold. This dimensionless number [...] Read more.
The present article introduces a dimensionless number devised to assist composite engineers in the fabrication of continuous fiber composites by Liquid Composite Molding (LCM), i.e., by injecting a liquid polymer resin through a fibrous reinforcement contained in a closed mold. This dimensionless number is calculated by integrating the ratio of the injection pressure to the liquid viscosity over the cavity filling time. It is hereby called the “injectability number” and provides an evaluation of the difficulty to inject a liquid into a porous material for a given part geometry, permeability distribution, and position of the inlet gate. The theoretical aspects behind this new concept are analyzed in Part I of the article, which demonstrates the invariance of the injectability number with respect to process parameters like constant and varying injection pressure or flow rate. Part I also details how process engineers can use the injectability number to address challenges in composite fabrication, such as process selection, mold design, and parameter optimization. Thanks to the injectability number, the optimal position of the inlet gate can be assessed and injection parameters scaled to speed up mold design. Part II of the article completes the demonstration of the novel concept by applying it to a series of LCM process examples of increasing complexity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Journal of Composites Science in 2019)
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Open AccessArticle
A Dimensionless Characteristic Number for Process Selection and Mold Design in Composites Manufacturing: Part II—Applications
J. Compos. Sci. 2020, 4(1), 10; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs4010010 - 18 Jan 2020
Viewed by 350
Abstract
The dimensionless “injectability number” was devised to assist composite engineers in the fabrication of continuous fiber composites by Liquid Composite Molding (LCM), i.e., by injecting a liquid polymer resin through a fibrous reinforcement contained in a mold cavity. Part I of [...] Read more.
The dimensionless “injectability number” was devised to assist composite engineers in the fabrication of continuous fiber composites by Liquid Composite Molding (LCM), i.e., by injecting a liquid polymer resin through a fibrous reinforcement contained in a mold cavity. Part I of this article introduced the injectability number as the integral of the ratio of the injection pressure to the resin viscosity over the cavity filling time and analyzed the theoretical aspects behind this new concept. For a given mold configuration and reinforcement material characteristics, the invariance of the injectability number with regard to process parameters was demonstrated, and an initial verification in unidirectional injection cases was conducted. Part II completes the analysis by evaluating the injectability number in more complex application cases, confirming its invariance properties. The investigation, which was carried out using numerical simulations of different LCM processes and injection strategies, examined the fabrication of various composite parts: a rectangular laminate, a hood for automotive applications, a reservoir box and a fuselage section for the aerospace industry. The results indicate that more efficient injection strategies lead to lower values of the injectability number, thus enabling the use of this dimensionless number as a tool to assess the difficulty to manufacture a given part by LCM as well as to guide process selection and compare different mold configurations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Journal of Composites Science in 2019)
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Open AccessArticle
Does the Type of Polymer and Carbon Nanotube Structure Control the Electromagnetic Shielding in Melt-Mixed Polymer Nanocomposites?
J. Compos. Sci. 2020, 4(1), 9; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs4010009 - 15 Jan 2020
Viewed by 365
Abstract
A suitable polymer matrix and well dispersed conducting fillers forming an electrically conducting network are the prime requisites for modern age electromagnetic shield designing. An effective polymer-based shield material is designed that can attenuate 99.9% of incident electromagnetic (EM) radiation at a minimum [...] Read more.
A suitable polymer matrix and well dispersed conducting fillers forming an electrically conducting network are the prime requisites for modern age electromagnetic shield designing. An effective polymer-based shield material is designed that can attenuate 99.9% of incident electromagnetic (EM) radiation at a minimum thickness of <0.5 mm. This is accomplished by the choice of a suitable partially crystalline polymer matrix while comparing non-polar polypropylene (PP) with polar polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) and a best suited filler nanomaterial by comparing different types of carbon nanotubes such as; branched, single-walled and multi-walled carbon nanotubes, which were added in only 2 wt %. Different types of interactions (polar-polar and CH-π and donor-acceptor) make b-MWCNT more dispersible in the PVDF matrix, which together with high crystallinity resulted in the best electrical conductivity and electromagnetic shielding ability of this composite. This investigation additionally conceals the issues related to the thickness of the shield material just by stacking individual thin nanocomposite layers containing different carbon nanotube (CNT) types with 0.3 mm thickness in a simple manner and finally achieves 99.999% shielding efficiency at just 0.9 mm thickness when using a suitable order of the different PVDF based nanocomposites. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Carbon Nanotube Composites)
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Open AccessArticle
Anionic Polymerization of ε-Caprolactam under the Influence of Water: 2. Kinetic Model
J. Compos. Sci. 2020, 4(1), 8; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs4010008 - 10 Jan 2020
Viewed by 346
Abstract
The reaction kinetics of anionic polymerization for the production of anionic polyamide 6 (aPA6) are widely understood. It is also known that this reaction is very sensitive to external influences such as water. This paper analyzes and quantifies the influence of water on [...] Read more.
The reaction kinetics of anionic polymerization for the production of anionic polyamide 6 (aPA6) are widely understood. It is also known that this reaction is very sensitive to external influences such as water. This paper analyzes and quantifies the influence of water on the reaction of ε-caprolactam to anionic polyamide 6. A kinetic model is developed in which the reactive molecules of the activator and catalyst are defined as variables and the concentrations of activator and catalyst as well as water content are considered. A model for the calculation of the reaction kinetics is established and validated with experimental data. The developed model can be used to predict the influence and compensation of water by addition of surplus activator and catalyst during the polymerization of ε-caprolactam. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Compensation of Water Influence on Anionic Polymerization of ε-Caprolactam: 1. Chemistry and Experiments
J. Compos. Sci. 2020, 4(1), 7; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs4010007 - 09 Jan 2020
Viewed by 323
Abstract
The activated anionic ring opening polymerization of ε-caprolactam to polyamide 6 is highly sensitive to external influences such as water. Based on an initial theory, preliminary reaction kinetic tests are carried out with the aim of compensating the influence of the water by [...] Read more.
The activated anionic ring opening polymerization of ε-caprolactam to polyamide 6 is highly sensitive to external influences such as water. Based on an initial theory, preliminary reaction kinetic tests are carried out with the aim of compensating the influence of the water by increasing the activator and catalyst concentration. Different formulations of activator and catalyst were studied to understand the influence of water on the concentration of activator and catalyst. It was found that the compensation of added water with activator and catalyst restores the original reaction time. The test plates produced are examined with regard to their mechanical characteristics and the polymer properties. The results of the mechanical characterization show no significant impairment after compensation of the added water. The physical properties of the matrix show degradation with repeated compensation. However, the residual ε-caprolactam content remains below the critical value of 1% for three of the four investigated formulations. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Hybrid Effect in In-Plane Loading of Carbon/Glass Fibre Based Inter- and Intraply Hybrid Composites
J. Compos. Sci. 2020, 4(1), 6; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs4010006 - 05 Jan 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 463
Abstract
Experimental studies are presented on quasi-static tensile and compressive loading of composites hybridised at two levels: intraply and interply. Consistent reinforcements in the form of novel unidirectional fabrics were developed using T700SC carbon and E-CR glass fibres. Composites were manufactured using Resin Transfer [...] Read more.
Experimental studies are presented on quasi-static tensile and compressive loading of composites hybridised at two levels: intraply and interply. Consistent reinforcements in the form of novel unidirectional fabrics were developed using T700SC carbon and E-CR glass fibres. Composites were manufactured using Resin Transfer Moulding process with epoxy resin and characterised to ensure consistency and comparability, further enabling easier understanding and confirmation of hybrid effect in a reliable way. Failure strain in tension for interply hybrid revealed a positive hybrid effect of +7.4%, while interply hybrid showed a negative hybrid effect of −6.4% in compression. Intraply hybrid with three carbon and three glass tows blocked together demonstrated the best mechanical performance among all hybrids; synergistic effects of +17.8% and +39.6% in tensile and compressive strength, respectively, was observed for this hybrid configuration. The results show that different hybridisation strategies can be exploited to balance cost and performance of composites for structural and lightweight applications. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of Submicron Glass Fiber Modification on Mechanical Properties of Short Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymer Composite with Different Fiber Length
J. Compos. Sci. 2020, 4(1), 5; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs4010005 - 02 Jan 2020
Viewed by 429
Abstract
In this research, three kinds of carbon fiber (CF) with lengths of 1, 3, and 25 mm were prepared for processing composite. The effect of submicron glass fiber addition (sGF) on mechanical properties of composites with different CF lengths was investigated and compared [...] Read more.
In this research, three kinds of carbon fiber (CF) with lengths of 1, 3, and 25 mm were prepared for processing composite. The effect of submicron glass fiber addition (sGF) on mechanical properties of composites with different CF lengths was investigated and compared throughout static tests (i.e., bending, tensile, and impact), as well as the tension-tension fatigue test. The strengths of composites increased with the increase of CF length. However, there was a significant improvement when the fiber length changed from 1 to 3 mm. The mechanical performance of 3 and 25 mm was almost the same when having an equal volume fraction, except for the impact resistance. Comparing the static strengths when varying the sGF content, an improvement of bending strength was confirmed when sGF was added into 1 mm composite due to toughened matrix. However, when longer fiber was used and fiber concentration was high, mechanical properties of composite were almost dependent on the CF. Therefore, the modification effect of matrix due to sGF addition disappeared. In contrast to the static strengths, the fatigue durability of composites increased proportionally to the content of glass fiber in the matrix, regardless to CF length. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
UV-Cured Poly(Ethylene Glycol) Diacrylate/Carbon Nanostructure Thin Films. Preparation, Characterization, and Electrical Properties
J. Compos. Sci. 2020, 4(1), 4; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs4010004 - 01 Jan 2020
Viewed by 432
Abstract
Carbon nanoallotropes such as carbon nanotubes, graphene, and their derivatives have been combined with a plethora of polymers in the last years to develop new composite materials with interesting properties and applications. However, the area of photopolymer composites with carbon nanostructures has not [...] Read more.
Carbon nanoallotropes such as carbon nanotubes, graphene, and their derivatives have been combined with a plethora of polymers in the last years to develop new composite materials with interesting properties and applications. However, the area of photopolymer composites with carbon nanostructures has not been analogously explored. In the present article, we study the photopolymerization of poly(ethylene glycol)diacrylate (PEGDA) enriched with different carbon nanoallotropes like graphene, pristine and chemically modified carbon nanotubes (CNTs and fCNTs), and a hybrid of graphene and CNTs. The products were characterized by several microscopic and spectroscopic techniques and the electrical conductivity was studied as a function of the concentrations of carbon nanoallotropes. In general, stable thin films were produced with a concentration of carbon nanostructures up to 8.5%, although the addition of carbon nanostructures in PEGDA decreases the degree of photopolymerization, and PEDGA/carbon nanostructure composites showed electrical conductivity at a relatively low percentage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Conductive Polymer Composites)
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Open AccessArticle
Smart Thermomechanochemical Composite Materials Driven by Different Forms of Electromagnetic Radiation
J. Compos. Sci. 2020, 4(1), 3; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs4010003 - 01 Jan 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 395
Abstract
Photo-thermo-mechanochemical (P-T-MCh) nanocomposites provide a mechanical and/or chemical output (MCh) in response to a photonic (P) input, with the thermal (T) flux being the coupling factor. The nanocomposite combines a photon absorbing nanomaterial with a thermosensitive hydrogel matrix. Conjugated (absorbing in the near [...] Read more.
Photo-thermo-mechanochemical (P-T-MCh) nanocomposites provide a mechanical and/or chemical output (MCh) in response to a photonic (P) input, with the thermal (T) flux being the coupling factor. The nanocomposite combines a photon absorbing nanomaterial with a thermosensitive hydrogel matrix. Conjugated (absorbing in the near infrared (NIR, 750–850 nm) wavelength range) polymer (polyaniline, PANI) nanostructures are dispersed in cross-linked thermosensitive (poly(N-isopropylacrylamide), PNIPAM) hydrogel matrices, giving the nanocomposite P-T-MCh properties. Since PANI is a conductive polymer, electromagnetic radiation (ER) such as radiofrequency (30 kHz) and microwaves (2.4 GHz) could also be used as an input. The alternating electromagnetic field creates eddy currents in the PANI, which produces heat through the Joule effect. A new kind of “product” nanocomposite is then produced, where ER drives the mechanochemical properties of the material through thermal coupling (electromagnetic radiation thermomechanochemical, ER-T-MCh). Both optical absorption and conductivity of PANI depend on its oxidation and protonation state. Therefore, the ER-T-MCh materials are able to react to the surroundings properties (pH, redox potential) becoming a smart (electromagnetic radiation thermomechanochemical) (sER-T-MCh) material. The volume changes of the sER-T-MCh materials are reversible since the size and shape is recovered by cooling. No noticeable damage was observed after several cycles. The mechanical properties of the composite materials can be set by changing the hydrogel matrix. Four methods of material fabrication are described. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Conductive Polymer Composites)
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