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J. Compos. Sci., Volume 4, Issue 2 (June 2020) – 50 articles

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Open AccessArticle
TiO2@lipophilic Porphyrin Composites: New Insights into Tuning the Photoreduction of Cr(VI) to Cr(III) in Aqueous Phase
J. Compos. Sci. 2020, 4(2), 82; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs4020082 - 26 Jun 2020
Viewed by 180
Abstract
Metal-free and Cu(II)-lipophilic porphyrins [H2Pp and Cu(II)Pp] loaded on titanium dioxide in the anatase phase (TiO2) were prepared and used as a heterogeneous catalyst for the photoreduction of Cr(VI) to Cr(III) in aqueous suspensions under UV–Vis light irradiation. TiO [...] Read more.
Metal-free and Cu(II)-lipophilic porphyrins [H2Pp and Cu(II)Pp] loaded on titanium dioxide in the anatase phase (TiO2) were prepared and used as a heterogeneous catalyst for the photoreduction of Cr(VI) to Cr(III) in aqueous suspensions under UV–Vis light irradiation. TiO2 impregnated with copper(II) porphyrin [TiO2@Cu(II)Pp] was the most effective in photocatalyst reduction of toxic chromate Cr(VI) to non-toxic chromium Cr(III). We further evaluated an experimental design with the scope of fast optimization of the process conditions related to the use of TiO2 or TiO2-porphyrin based photocatalysts. A full factorial design as a chemometric tool was successfully employed for screening the affecting factors involved in photoconversion catalysis, with the modification of TiO2 both with porphyrin H2Pp and Cu(II)Pp. The studied experimental factors were the catalyst amount, the concentration of Cr(VI) ions, and the pH of the medium. The performed multivariate approach was successfully used for fast fitting and better evaluation of significant factors affecting the experimental responses, with the advantage of reducing the number of available experiments. Thus, the stability of the optimized TiO2 embedded Cu(II)Pp was investigated, confirming the high reproducibility and suitability for environmental purposes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bimetallic Composites for Oxidation and Reduction Catalysis)
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Open AccessArticle
Development of Chlorhexidine Loaded Halloysite Nanotube Based Experimental Resin Composite with Enhanced Physico-Mechanical and Biological Properties for Dental Applications
J. Compos. Sci. 2020, 4(2), 81; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs4020081 - 25 Jun 2020
Viewed by 156
Abstract
Objective: The objective of this study was to explore the effect of Chlorhexidine-loaded Halloysite nanotubes (HNT/CHX) fillers (diverse mass fractions from 1 to 10 wt.%) on physicochemical, morphological and biological properties of newly developed experimental dental resin composite, in order to compare with [...] Read more.
Objective: The objective of this study was to explore the effect of Chlorhexidine-loaded Halloysite nanotubes (HNT/CHX) fillers (diverse mass fractions from 1 to 10 wt.%) on physicochemical, morphological and biological properties of newly developed experimental dental resin composite, in order to compare with the properties of composites composed of conventional glass fillers. Methods: The dental resin composites were prepared by incorporating various proportions of HNT/CHX. Six different groups of specimens: control group and five groups composed of varied mass fractions of HNT/CHX (e.g., 1.0, 2.5, 5.0, 7.5 and 10 wt.%) as fillers in each group were fabricated. Mechanical properties of the composites were monitored, using UTM. The degree of conversion of dental resin composites and their depth of cure were also evaluated. Antimicrobial properties of dental composites were studied in vitro by applying agar diffusion test on strain Streptococcus mutans and cytotoxicity were studied using NIH-3T3 cell line. Results: The incorporation of varied mass fractions (1.0 to 5.0 wt.%) of HNT/CHX in dental resins composites enhanced mechanical properties considerably with significant antibacterial activity. The slight decrease in curing depth and degree of conversion values of composites indicates its durability. No cytotoxicity was noticed on NIH-3T3 cell lines. Significance: Consistent distribution of HNT/CHX as a filler into dental composites could substantially improve not only mechanical properties but also biological properties of dental composites. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Variable Stiffness Composites: Optimal Design Studies
J. Compos. Sci. 2020, 4(2), 80; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs4020080 - 24 Jun 2020
Viewed by 166
Abstract
This research work has two main objectives, being the first related to the characterization of variable stiffness composite plates’ behavior by carrying out a comprehensive set of analyses. The second objective aims at obtaining the optimal fiber paths, hence the characteristic angles associated [...] Read more.
This research work has two main objectives, being the first related to the characterization of variable stiffness composite plates’ behavior by carrying out a comprehensive set of analyses. The second objective aims at obtaining the optimal fiber paths, hence the characteristic angles associated to its definition, that yield maximum fundamental frequencies, maximum critical buckling loads, or minimum transverse deflections, both for a single ply and for a three-ply variable stiffness composite. To these purposes one considered the use of the first order shear deformation theory in connection to an adaptive single objective method. From the optimization studies performed it was possible to conclude that significant behavior improvements may be achieved by using variable stiffness composites. Hence, for simply supported three-ply laminates which were the cases where a major impact can be observed, it was possible to obtain a maximum transverse deflection decrease of 11.26%, a fundamental frequency increase of 5.61%, and a buckling load increase of 51.13% and 58.01% for the uniaxial and biaxial load respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Journal of Composites Science in 2020)
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Open AccessArticle
Preparation and Characterization of an Electrospun PLA-Cyclodextrins Composite for Simultaneous High-Efficiency PM and VOC Removal
J. Compos. Sci. 2020, 4(2), 79; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs4020079 - 23 Jun 2020
Viewed by 176
Abstract
Electrospinning is known to be a facile and effective technique to fabricate fibers of a controlled diameter-distribution. Among a multitude of polymers available for the purpose, the attention should be addressed to the environmentally compatible ones, with a special focus on sustainability. Polylactic [...] Read more.
Electrospinning is known to be a facile and effective technique to fabricate fibers of a controlled diameter-distribution. Among a multitude of polymers available for the purpose, the attention should be addressed to the environmentally compatible ones, with a special focus on sustainability. Polylactic acid (PLA) is a widespread, non-toxic polymer, originating from renewable sources and it can degrade into innocuous products. While the production of fibrous membranes is attractive for airborne particles filtration applications, their impact on the removal of gaseous compounds is generally neglected. In this study, electrospun PLA-based nanofibers were functionalized with cyclodextrins, because of their characteristic hydrophobic central cavity and a hydrophilic outer surface, in order to provide adsorptive properties to the composite. The aim of this work is to investigate a hybrid composite, from renewable sources, for the combined filtration of particulate matter (PM) and adsorption of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Results show how their inclusion into the polymer strongly affects the fiber morphology, while their attachment onto the fiber surface only positively affects the filtration efficiency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Composites: Fabrication and Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
Tensile Properties of Z-Pin Reinforced Laminates with Circumferentially Notched Z-Pins
J. Compos. Sci. 2020, 4(2), 78; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs4020078 - 23 Jun 2020
Viewed by 149
Abstract
This paper describes experimental investigations on the in-plane tensile properties of unidirectional carbon-fibre/epoxy laminates reinforced with circumferentially notched z-pins with different notch designs. From the results it can be concluded that the application of circumferential notches at the z-pin surface with constant notch [...] Read more.
This paper describes experimental investigations on the in-plane tensile properties of unidirectional carbon-fibre/epoxy laminates reinforced with circumferentially notched z-pins with different notch designs. From the results it can be concluded that the application of circumferential notches at the z-pin surface with constant notch depth of 20 μm and distance of 100 μm has no significant effect on the in-plane tensile strength values, regardless of the notch designs investigated. For circular and rectangular notch designs, no dependence of the tensile strength from the notch depth could be observed. Only changing the notch distances at a constant notch depth and width leads to small increases in the tensile strength values with increasing notch distance. The determined tensile modulus values indicate that there are no substantial deviations between laminates reinforced with unnotched and circumferentially notched z-pins, no matter which notch design is considered. It can be observed that there are no dependencies of the tensile modulus from notch depth and distance. Therefore, it can be assumed that the microstructural changes influencing the in-plane tensile properties will not be changed, or only to a very small extent, by the presence of notches on the pin surface. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Fiber Reinforced Polymer Composites)
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Open AccessArticle
Parameter Identification of Fiber Orientation Models Based on Direct Fiber Simulation with Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics
J. Compos. Sci. 2020, 4(2), 77; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs4020077 - 22 Jun 2020
Viewed by 269
Abstract
The behavior of fiber suspensions during flow is of fundamental importance to the process simulation of discontinuous fiber reinforced plastics. However, the direct simulation of flexible fibers and fluid poses a challenging two-way coupled fluid-structure interaction problem. Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics (SPH) offers a [...] Read more.
The behavior of fiber suspensions during flow is of fundamental importance to the process simulation of discontinuous fiber reinforced plastics. However, the direct simulation of flexible fibers and fluid poses a challenging two-way coupled fluid-structure interaction problem. Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics (SPH) offers a natural way to treat such interactions. Hence, this work utilizes SPH and a bead chain model to compute a shear flow of fiber suspensions. The introduction of a novel viscous surface traction term is key to achieve full agreement with Jeffery’s equation. Careful modelling of contact interactions between fibers is introduced to model suspensions in the non-dilute regime. Finally, parameters of the Reduced-Strain Closure (RSC) orientation model are identified using ensemble averages of multiple SPH simulations implemented in PySPH and show good agreement with literature data. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Discontinuous Fiber Composites, Volume II)
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Open AccessArticle
Peridynamic Mindlin Plate Formulation for Functionally Graded Materials
J. Compos. Sci. 2020, 4(2), 76; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs4020076 - 19 Jun 2020
Viewed by 183
Abstract
In this study, a new peridynamic Mindlin plate formulation is presented which is suitable for the analysis of functionally graded materials. The governing equations of peridynamic formulation are obtained by using Euler-Lagrange equations in conjunction with Taylor’s expansion. To validate the new formulation, [...] Read more.
In this study, a new peridynamic Mindlin plate formulation is presented which is suitable for the analysis of functionally graded materials. The governing equations of peridynamic formulation are obtained by using Euler-Lagrange equations in conjunction with Taylor’s expansion. To validate the new formulation, three different numerical benchmark problems are considered for a Mindlin plate subjected to simply supported, fully clamped and mixed (clamped-simply supported) boundary conditions. Peridynamic results are compared against results from finite element analysis and a good agreement is observed between the two methods. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Journal of Composites Science in 2020)
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Open AccessReview
Metal–Organic Framework (MOF) through the Lens of Molecular Dynamics Simulation: Current Status and Future Perspective
J. Compos. Sci. 2020, 4(2), 75; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs4020075 - 17 Jun 2020
Viewed by 302
Abstract
As hybrid porous structures with outstanding properties, metal–organic frameworks (MOFs) have entered into a large variety of industrial applications in recent years. As a result of their specific structure, that includes metal ions and organic linkers, MOFs have remarkable and tunable properties, such [...] Read more.
As hybrid porous structures with outstanding properties, metal–organic frameworks (MOFs) have entered into a large variety of industrial applications in recent years. As a result of their specific structure, that includes metal ions and organic linkers, MOFs have remarkable and tunable properties, such as a high specific surface area, excellent storage capacity, and surface modification possibility, making them appropriate for many industries like sensors, pharmacies, water treatment, energy storage, and ion transportation. Although the volume of experimental research on the properties and performance of MOFs has multiplied over a short period of time, exploring these structures from a theoretical perspective such as via molecular dynamics simulation (MD) requires a more in-depth focus. The ability to identify and demonstrate molecular interactions between MOFs and host materials in which they are incorporates is of prime importance in developing next generations of these hybrid structures. Therefore, in the present article, we have presented a brief overview of the different MOFs’ properties and applications from the most recent MD-based studies and have provided a perspective on the future developments of MOFs from the MD viewpoint. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metal-Organic Framework (MOF)-based Composites)
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Open AccessArticle
Developing an Equivalent Solid Material Model for BCC Lattice Cell Structures Involving Vertical and Horizontal Struts
J. Compos. Sci. 2020, 4(2), 74; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs4020074 - 17 Jun 2020
Viewed by 187
Abstract
In this study, a body-centered cubic (BCC) lattice unit cell occupied inside a frame structure to create a so-called “InsideBCC” is considered. The equivalent quasi-isotropic properties required to describe the material behavior of the InsideBCC unit cell are equivalent Young’s modulus ( E [...] Read more.
In this study, a body-centered cubic (BCC) lattice unit cell occupied inside a frame structure to create a so-called “InsideBCC” is considered. The equivalent quasi-isotropic properties required to describe the material behavior of the InsideBCC unit cell are equivalent Young’s modulus ( E e ) , equivalent shear modulus ( G e ) , and equivalent Poisson’s ratio ( ν e ) . The finite element analysis (FEA) based computational approach is used to simulate and calculate the mechanical responses of InsideBCC unit cell, which are the mechanical responses of the equivalent solid. Two separates finite element models are then developed for samples under compression: one with a 6 × 6 × 4 cell InsideBCC lattice cell structure (LCS) and one completely solid with equivalent solid properties obtained from a unit cell model. In addition, 6 × 6 × 4 cell specimens are fabricated on a fused deposition modeling (FDM) uPrint SEplus 3D printer using acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) material and tested experimentally under quasi-static compression load. Then, the results extracted from the finite element simulation of both the entire lattice and the equivalent solid models are compared with the experimental data. A good agreement between the experimental stress–strain behavior and that obtained from the FEA models is observed within the linear elastic limit. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Characterization and Modelling of Composites)
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Open AccessReview
Advances in Manufacturing Composite Carbon Nanofiber-Based Aerogels
J. Compos. Sci. 2020, 4(2), 73; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs4020073 - 16 Jun 2020
Viewed by 218
Abstract
This article provides an overview on manufacturing composite carbon nanofiber-based aerogels through freeze casting technology. As known, freeze casting is a relatively new manufacturing technique for generating highly porous structures. During the process, deep cooling is used first to rapidly solidify a well-dispersed [...] Read more.
This article provides an overview on manufacturing composite carbon nanofiber-based aerogels through freeze casting technology. As known, freeze casting is a relatively new manufacturing technique for generating highly porous structures. During the process, deep cooling is used first to rapidly solidify a well-dispersed slurry. Then, vacuum drying is conducted to sublimate the solvent. This allows the creation of highly porous materials. Although the freeze casting technique was initially developed for porous ceramics processing, it has found various applications, especially for making aerogels. Aerogels are highly porous materials with extremely high volume of free spaces, which contributes to the characteristics of high porosity, ultralight, large specific surface area, huge interface area, and in addition, super low thermal conductivity. Recently, carbon nanofiber aerogels have been studied to achieve exceptional properties of high stiffness, flame-retardant and thermal-insulating. The freeze casting technology has been reported for preparing carbon nanofiber composite aerogels for energy storage, energy conversion, water purification, catalysis, fire prevention etc. This review deals with freeze casting carbon nanofiber composite materials consisting of functional nanoparticles with exceptional properties. The content of this review article is organized as follows. The first part will introduce the general freeze casting manufacturing technology of aerogels with the emphasis on how to use the technology to make nanoparticle-containing composite carbon nanofiber aerogels. Then, modeling and characterization of the freeze cast particle-containing carbon nanofibers will be presented with an emphasis on modeling the thermal conductivity and electrical conductivity of the carbon nanofiber network aerogels. After that, the applications of the carbon nanofiber aerogels will be described. Examples of energy converters, supercapacitors, secondary battery electrodes, dye absorbents, sensors, and catalysts made from composite carbon nanofiber aerogels will be shown. Finally, the perspectives to future work will be presented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Composite Carbon Fibers)
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Open AccessArticle
A Commercial Carbonaceous Anode with a-Si Layers by Plasma Enhanced Chemical Vapor Deposition for Lithium Ion Batteries
J. Compos. Sci. 2020, 4(2), 72; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs4020072 - 11 Jun 2020
Viewed by 179
Abstract
In this study, we propose a mass production-able and low-cost method to fabricate the anodes of Li-ion battery. Carbonaceous anodes, integrated with thin amorphous silicon layers by plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition, can improve the performance of specific capacity and coulombic efficiency for [...] Read more.
In this study, we propose a mass production-able and low-cost method to fabricate the anodes of Li-ion battery. Carbonaceous anodes, integrated with thin amorphous silicon layers by plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition, can improve the performance of specific capacity and coulombic efficiency for Li-ion battery. Three different thicknesses of a-Si layers (320, 640, and 960 nm), less than 0.1 wt% of anode electrode, were deposited on carbonaceous electrodes at low temperature 200 °C. Around 30 mg of a-Si by plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) can improve the specific capacity ~42%, and keep coulombic efficiency of the half Li-ion cells higher than 85% after first cycle charge-discharge test. For the thirty cyclic performance and rate capability, capacitance retention can maintain above 96%. The thicker a-Si layers on carbon anodes, the better electrochemical performance of anodes with silicon-carbon composites we get. The traditional carbonaceous electrodes can be deposited a-Si layers easily by plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition, which is a method with high potential for industrialization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Graphene Oxide Composites)
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Open AccessArticle
A Machine Learning Model to Detect Flow Disturbances during Manufacturing of Composites by Liquid Moulding
J. Compos. Sci. 2020, 4(2), 71; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs4020071 - 10 Jun 2020
Viewed by 168
Abstract
In this work, a supervised machine learning (ML) model was developed to detect flow disturbances caused by the presence of a dissimilar material region in liquid moulding manufacturing of composites. The machine learning model was designed to predict the position, size and relative [...] Read more.
In this work, a supervised machine learning (ML) model was developed to detect flow disturbances caused by the presence of a dissimilar material region in liquid moulding manufacturing of composites. The machine learning model was designed to predict the position, size and relative permeability of an embedded rectangular dissimilar material region through use of only the signals corresponding to an array of pressure sensors evenly distributed on the mould surface. The burden of experimental tests required to train in an efficient manner such predictive models is so high that favours its substitution with synthetically-generated simulation datasets. A regression model based on the use of convolutional neural networks (CNN) was developed and trained with data generated from mould-filling simulations carried out through use of OpenFoam as numerical solver. The evolution of the pressure sensors through the filling time was stored and used as grey-level images containing information regarding the pressure, the sensor location within the mould and filling time. The trained CNN model was able to recognise the presence of a dissimilar material region from the data used as inputs, meeting accuracy expectation in terms of detection. The purpose of this work was to establish a general framework for fully-synthetic-trained machine learning models to address the occurrence of manufacturing disturbances without placing emphasis on its performance, robustness and optimization. Accuracy and model robustness were also addressed in the paper. The effect of noise signals, pressure sensor network size, presence of different shape dissimilar regions, among others, were analysed in detail. The ability of ML models to examine and overcome complex physical and engineering problems such as defects produced during manufacturing of materials and parts is particularly innovative and highly aligned with Industry 4.0 concepts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Characterization and Modelling of Composites)
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Open AccessReview
Progress of Bio-Calcium Carbonate Waste Eggshell and Seashell Fillers in Polymer Composites: A Review
J. Compos. Sci. 2020, 4(2), 70; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs4020070 - 09 Jun 2020
Viewed by 245
Abstract
Disposal of massive amounts of eggshells and seashells from processing industries is a challenge. In recent years, there has been a focus to reuse these waste resources in the production of new thermoplastic and thermoset polymer materials. This paper reviews eggshell and seashell [...] Read more.
Disposal of massive amounts of eggshells and seashells from processing industries is a challenge. In recent years, there has been a focus to reuse these waste resources in the production of new thermoplastic and thermoset polymer materials. This paper reviews eggshell and seashell production by country and provides a perspective on the quantity of bio-calcium carbonate that could be produced annually from these wastes. The achievements obtained from the addition of recycled bio-calcium carbonate fillers (uncoated/unmodified) in polymer composites with a focus on tensile strength, flexural strength and impact toughness are discussed. To improve compatibility between calcium carbonate (mineral and bio-based) fillers and polymers, studies on surface modifiers are reviewed. Knowledge gaps and future research and development thoughts are outlined. Developing novel and innovative composites for this waste material could bring additional revenue to egg and seafood processors and at the same time reduce any environmental impact. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Progress in Polymer Composites)
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Open AccessReview
Fiber Orientation Predictions—A Review of Existing Models
J. Compos. Sci. 2020, 4(2), 69; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs4020069 - 08 Jun 2020
Viewed by 230
Abstract
Fiber reinforced polymers are key materials across different industries. The manufacturing processes of those materials have typically strong impact on their final microstructure, which at the same time controls the mechanical performance of the part. A reliable virtual engineering design of fiber-reinforced polymers [...] Read more.
Fiber reinforced polymers are key materials across different industries. The manufacturing processes of those materials have typically strong impact on their final microstructure, which at the same time controls the mechanical performance of the part. A reliable virtual engineering design of fiber-reinforced polymers requires therefore considering the simulation of the process-induced microstructure. One relevant microstructure descriptor in fiber-reinforced polymers is the fiber orientation. This work focuses on the modeling of the fiber orientation phenomenon and presents a historical review of the different modelling approaches. In this context, the article describes different macroscopic fiber orientation models such as the Folgar-Tucker, nematic, reduced strain closure (RSC), retarding principal rate (RPR), anisotropic rotary diffusion (ARD), principal anisotropic rotary diffusion (pARD), and Moldflow rotary diffusion (MRD) model. We discuss briefly about closure approximations, which are a common mathematical element of those macroscopic fiber orientation models. In the last section, we introduce some micro-scale numerical methods for simulating the fiber orientation phenomenon, such as the discrete element method (DEM), the smoothed particle hydrodynamics (SPH) method and the moving particle semi-implicit (MPS) method. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Discontinuous Fiber Composites, Volume II)
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Open AccessTechnical Note
Remanufacturing of Woven Carbon Fibre Fabric Production Waste into High Performance Aligned Discontinuous Fibre Composites
J. Compos. Sci. 2020, 4(2), 68; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs4020068 - 06 Jun 2020
Viewed by 287
Abstract
The composites industry generates considerable volumes of waste in a wide variety of forms, from the production of by-products to end-of-life parts. This paper focuses on the remanufacturing of dry fibre off-cuts, produced during the composite fabric weaving process, into highly aligned discontinuous [...] Read more.
The composites industry generates considerable volumes of waste in a wide variety of forms, from the production of by-products to end-of-life parts. This paper focuses on the remanufacturing of dry fibre off-cuts, produced during the composite fabric weaving process, into highly aligned discontinuous fibre prepreg tapes with High Performance Discontinuous Fibre (HiPerDiF) technology. Unidirectional laminate specimens are prepared using various combinations of fibre lengths and tested in tension, obtaining a stiffness of 80 GPa, a strength of 800 MPa, and a failure strain of 1%. Several applications are envisaged for the produced tape: adhesive film, feedstock for filament winding, and tow for weaved fabrics. This work demonstrates the possibility to extract value from what is currently considered manufacturing waste. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Composite Carbon Fibers)
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Open AccessArticle
Experimental Investigations on the Influence of Different Notch Designs on the Pullout Performance of Circumferentially Notched Z-pins
J. Compos. Sci. 2020, 4(2), 67; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs4020067 - 05 Jun 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 172
Abstract
The results of experimental research on the pullout properties of circumferentially notched z-pins with various notch designs are presented in this paper. Investigations on notched z-pins with four different notch designs—rectangular, circular, triangular, and sinusoidal—inserted into unidirectional (UD) and quasi-isotropic (QI) laminates were [...] Read more.
The results of experimental research on the pullout properties of circumferentially notched z-pins with various notch designs are presented in this paper. Investigations on notched z-pins with four different notch designs—rectangular, circular, triangular, and sinusoidal—inserted into unidirectional (UD) and quasi-isotropic (QI) laminates were carried out in order to assess the influence of notch design and laminate structure on the resulting z-pin pullout properties. It can be shown that the application of circumferential notches at the z-pin surface causes significant increases in pullout forces and consequently, on the resulting pullout energies, regardless of which notch design is considered. The effect of notched z-pins is higher in a quasi-isotropic than in a unidirectional laminate structure. The highest enhancements of the pullout energy were found on quasi-isotropic laminates with circular and sinusoidal notch designs with increases of up to 69%, in comparison to measurements on samples with unnotched z-pins. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Study of the Interlaminar Fracture Toughness of Unidirectional Flax/Epoxy Composites
J. Compos. Sci. 2020, 4(2), 66; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs4020066 - 05 Jun 2020
Viewed by 230
Abstract
Having environmental and economic advantages, flax fibers have been recognized as a potential replacement for glass fibers as reinforcement in epoxy composites for various applications. Its widening applications require employing failure criteria and analysis methods for engineering design, analysis, and optimization of this [...] Read more.
Having environmental and economic advantages, flax fibers have been recognized as a potential replacement for glass fibers as reinforcement in epoxy composites for various applications. Its widening applications require employing failure criteria and analysis methods for engineering design, analysis, and optimization of this material. Among different failure modes, delamination is known as one of the earliest ones in laminated composites and needs to be studied in detail. However, the delamination characteristics of unidirectional (UD) flax/epoxy composites in pure Mode I has rarely been addressed, while Mode II and Mixed-mode I/II have never been addressed before. This work studies and evaluates the interlaminar fracture toughness and delamination behavior of UD flax/epoxy composite under Mode I, Mode II, and Mixed-mode I/II loading. The composites were tested following corresponding ASTM standards and fulfilled all the requirements. The interlaminar fracture toughness of the composite were determined and validated based on the specific characteristics of natural fibers. Considering the variation in the composite structure configuration and its effects, the results of interlaminar fracture toughness fit in the range of those reported for similar composites in the literature and provide a basis for the material properties of this composite. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Characterization and Modelling of Composites)
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Open AccessArticle
Nonisothermal Crystallization Kinetics of Polylactic Acid under the Influence of Polyolefin Elastomers
J. Compos. Sci. 2020, 4(2), 65; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs4020065 - 02 Jun 2020
Viewed by 249
Abstract
Crystallization kinetics of various blends of poly(lactic acid) (PLA)/polyolefin elastomer (POE) was studied through nonisothermal experimental investigations and theoretical approaches. The PLA/POE blends were prepared in a melt mixing process by using two types of POEs and compatibilizers. The rubber phases used were [...] Read more.
Crystallization kinetics of various blends of poly(lactic acid) (PLA)/polyolefin elastomer (POE) was studied through nonisothermal experimental investigations and theoretical approaches. The PLA/POE blends were prepared in a melt mixing process by using two types of POEs and compatibilizers. The rubber phases used were adopted on the basis of polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) type olefin elastomers. The effects of two kinds of compatibilizers containing ethylene vinyl acetate copolymer (EVA) and ethylene acrylic ester-glycidyl methacrylate terpolymer (EGMA) on the morphology and various parameters of crystallization of PLA were investigated using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and differential scanning calorimeter (DSC) measurements, respectively. The morphology investigations on PLA blends containing PP based olefin elastomers showed that the introduction of EGMA compatibilizer into the matrix led to a more than 100% reduction in the size of the rubber droplets. The experimental measurements of crystallization behavior of various PLA/POE blends showed that the POEs and compatibilizers could cause a fall in the initial crystallization temperature more than 13 °C. The theoretical approaches used for studying the kinetics of crystallization of PLA in the presence of various POEs and compatibilizers indicated a decrease in the crystallinity of PLA and a 64% reduction in the activation energy compared to the neat PLA. The results suggest that the largest variation in the crystallization kinetic parameters of PLA was resulted from the PP based olefin elastomer and EGMA compatibilizer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Progress in Rubber Blends and Composites Technology)
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Open AccessArticle
Surface Modification of Flax Fibers for Manufacture of Engineering Thermoplastic Biocomposites
J. Compos. Sci. 2020, 4(2), 64; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs4020064 - 01 Jun 2020
Viewed by 263
Abstract
The aim of this feasibility study is to develop application-oriented natural fiber-reinforced biocomposites with improved mechanical and durability performance. The biocomposites were manufactured via a film-stacking process of epoxy-coated flax textiles and polyamide 6 (PA6). The fabricated biocomposites were subjected to thermo-oxidative ageing [...] Read more.
The aim of this feasibility study is to develop application-oriented natural fiber-reinforced biocomposites with improved mechanical and durability performance. The biocomposites were manufactured via a film-stacking process of epoxy-coated flax textiles and polyamide 6 (PA6). The fabricated biocomposites were subjected to thermo-oxidative ageing for 250, 500 and 1000 h and tested with regard to tensile properties. The results show that the biocomposites with epoxy-coated flax fibers possess considerably higher tensile properties compared with the reference specimens under all tested conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Journal of Composites Science in 2020)
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Open AccessArticle
Four Point Flexural Response of Acrylonitrile–Butadiene–Styrene
J. Compos. Sci. 2020, 4(2), 63; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs4020063 - 31 May 2020
Viewed by 242
Abstract
Acrylonitrile–Butadiene–Styrene (ABS) is a very significant and widely used amorphous thermoplastic that possesses high impact resistance, toughness, and heat resistance. Bending collapse is a predominant failure of polymeric structural members in the vehicle environment under angled and unsymmetrical collisions. Therefore, it becomes critical [...] Read more.
Acrylonitrile–Butadiene–Styrene (ABS) is a very significant and widely used amorphous thermoplastic that possesses high impact resistance, toughness, and heat resistance. Bending collapse is a predominant failure of polymeric structural members in the vehicle environment under angled and unsymmetrical collisions. Therefore, it becomes critical to investigate the flexural behavior of the ABS beam and find its energy absorption capabilities under a transverse loading scenario. Four-point bending tests were carried out at different strain rates and at two different span lengths to investigate the deformation behavior of ABS. This paper examines the influence of strain rate, friction coefficient, Generalized Incremental Stress-State MOdel (GISSMO) and Damage Initiation and Evolution (DIEM) damage models, yield surfaces, and the span length on the four-point flexural behavior of the ABS polymeric material. A Semi-Analytical material model (SAMP_1) in LSDYNA was utilized to numerically evaluate the behavior of ABS under four-point bending. From extensive investigative explorations, it was found that the flexural behavior of ABS is dependent upon the span length, loading strain rate, and friction coefficient between the specimen and the supports. The modeling of damage was successfully exemplified by using the inherent damage law of the SAMP-1 material model, GISSMO, and DIEM damage formulations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Journal of Composites Science in 2020)
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Open AccessArticle
Fracture Analysis of Particulate Metal Matrix Composite Using X-ray Tomography and Extended Finite Element Method (XFEM)
J. Compos. Sci. 2020, 4(2), 62; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs4020062 - 30 May 2020
Viewed by 268
Abstract
Particle reinforced metal matrix composites (MMCs) offer high strength, low density, and high stiffness, while maintaining reasonable cost. The damage process in these MMCs starts with either the fracture of particles or by the de-cohesion of the particle-matrix interfaces. In this study, the [...] Read more.
Particle reinforced metal matrix composites (MMCs) offer high strength, low density, and high stiffness, while maintaining reasonable cost. The damage process in these MMCs starts with either the fracture of particles or by the de-cohesion of the particle-matrix interfaces. In this study, the extended finite elements method (XFEM) has been used in conjunction with X-ray synchrotron tomography to study fracture mechanisms in these materials under tensile loading. The initial 3D reconstructed microstructure from X-ray tomography has been used as a basis for the XFEM to simulate the damage in the 20 vol.% SiC particle reinforced 2080 aluminum alloy composite when tensile loading is applied. The effect of mesh sensitivity on the Weibull probability has been studied based on a single sphere and several particles with realistic geometries. Additionally, the effect of shape and volume of particles on the Weibull fracture probability was studied. The evolution of damage with the applied traction has been evaluated using simulation and compared with the experimental results obtained from in situ tensile testing. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Recent Advances on the Design Automation for Performance-Optimized Fiber Reinforced Polymer Composite Components
J. Compos. Sci. 2020, 4(2), 61; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs4020061 - 29 May 2020
Viewed by 291
Abstract
Advanced manufacturing techniques, such as automated fiber placement and additive manufacturing enables the fabrication of fiber-reinforced polymer composite components with customized material and structural configurations. In order to take advantage of this customizability, the design process for fiber-reinforced polymer composite components needs to [...] Read more.
Advanced manufacturing techniques, such as automated fiber placement and additive manufacturing enables the fabrication of fiber-reinforced polymer composite components with customized material and structural configurations. In order to take advantage of this customizability, the design process for fiber-reinforced polymer composite components needs to be improved. Machine learning methods have been identified as potential techniques capable of handling the complexity of the design problem. In this review, the applications of machine learning methods in various aspects of structural component design are discussed. They include studies on microstructure-based material design, applications of machine learning models in stress analysis, and topology optimization of fiber-reinforced polymer composites. A design automation framework for performance-optimized fiber-reinforced polymer composite components is also proposed. The proposed framework aims to provide a comprehensive and efficient approach for the design and optimization of fiber-reinforced polymer composite components. The challenges in building the models required for the proposed framework are also discussed briefly. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Strain State Detection in Composite Structures: Review and New Challenges
J. Compos. Sci. 2020, 4(2), 60; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs4020060 - 25 May 2020
Viewed by 317
Abstract
Developing an advanced monitoring system for strain measurements on structural components represents a significant task, both in relation to testing of in-service parameters and early identification of structural problems. This paper aims to provide a state-of-the-art review on strain detection techniques in composite [...] Read more.
Developing an advanced monitoring system for strain measurements on structural components represents a significant task, both in relation to testing of in-service parameters and early identification of structural problems. This paper aims to provide a state-of-the-art review on strain detection techniques in composite structures. The review represented a good opportunity for direct comparison of different novel strain measurement techniques. Fibers Bragg grating (FBG) was discussed as well as non-contact techniques together with semiconductor strain gauges (SGs), specifically infrared (IR) thermography and the digital image correlation (DIC) applied in order to detect strain and failure growth during the tests. The challenges of the research community are finally discussed by opening the current scenario to new objectives and industrial applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Characterization and Modelling of Composites)
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Open AccessArticle
Experimental Validation of a Direct Fiber Model for Orientation Prediction
J. Compos. Sci. 2020, 4(2), 59; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs4020059 - 25 May 2020
Viewed by 250
Abstract
Predicting the fiber orientation of reinforced molded components is required to improve their performance and safety. Continuum-based models for fiber orientation are computationally very efficient; however, they lack in a linked theory between fiber attrition, fiber–matrix separation and fiber alignment. This work, therefore, [...] Read more.
Predicting the fiber orientation of reinforced molded components is required to improve their performance and safety. Continuum-based models for fiber orientation are computationally very efficient; however, they lack in a linked theory between fiber attrition, fiber–matrix separation and fiber alignment. This work, therefore, employs a particle level simulation which was used to simulate the fiber orientation evolution within a sliding plate rheometer. In the model, each fiber is accounted for and represented as a chain of linked rigid segments. Fibers experience hydrodynamic forces, elastic forces, and interaction forces. To validate this fundamental modeling approach, injection and compression molded reinforced polypropylene samples were subjected to a simple shear flow using a sliding plate rheometer. Microcomputed tomography was used to measure the orientation tensor up to 60 shear strain units. The fully characterized microstructure at zero shear strain was used to reproduce the initial conditions in the particle level simulation. Fibers were placed in a periodic boundary cell, and an idealized simple shear flow field was applied. The model showed a faster orientation evolution at the start of the shearing process. However, agreement with the steady-state aligned orientation for compression molded samples was found. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Discontinuous Fiber Composites, Volume II)
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Open AccessArticle
Finite Element Modeling of the Fiber-Matrix Interface in Polymer Composites
J. Compos. Sci. 2020, 4(2), 58; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs4020058 - 20 May 2020
Viewed by 306
Abstract
Polymer composites are used in numerous industries due to their high specific strength and high specific stiffness. Composites have markedly different properties than both the reinforcement and the matrix. Of the several factors that govern the final properties of the composite, the interface [...] Read more.
Polymer composites are used in numerous industries due to their high specific strength and high specific stiffness. Composites have markedly different properties than both the reinforcement and the matrix. Of the several factors that govern the final properties of the composite, the interface is an important factor that influences the stress transfer between the fiber and matrix. The present study is an effort to characterize and model the fiber-matrix interface in polymer matrix composites. Finite element models were developed to study the interfacial behavior during pull-out of a single fiber in continuous fiber-reinforced polymer composites. A three-dimensional (3D) unit-cell cohesive damage model (CDM) for the fiber/matrix interface debonding was employed to investigate the effect of interface/sizing coverage on the fiber. Furthermore, a two-dimensional (2D) axisymmetric model was used to (a) analyze the sensitivity of interface stiffness, interface strength, friction coefficient, and fiber length via a parametric study; and (b) study the shear stress distribution across the fiber-interface-matrix zone. It was determined that the force required to debond a single fiber from the matrix is three times higher if there is adequate distribution of the sizing on the fiber. The parametric study indicated that cohesive strength was the most influential factor in debonding. Moreover, the stress distribution model showed the debonding mechanism of the interface. It was observed that the interface debonded first from the matrix and remained in contact with the fiber even when the fiber was completely pulled out. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Characterization and Modelling of Composites)
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Open AccessArticle
Synthesis of Hematite Nanodiscs from Natural Laterites and Investigating Their Adsorption Capability of Removing Ni2+ and Cd2+ Ions from Aqueous Solutions
J. Compos. Sci. 2020, 4(2), 57; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs4020057 - 20 May 2020
Viewed by 232
Abstract
In this work, disc-like hematite (Fe2O3) nanoparticles were prepared using a readily available inexpensive earth material, ferruginous laterite, via a low-cost synthesis route. Prepared hematite nanoparticles were characterized using X-Ray diffraction (XRD), inductively coupled plasma mass spectroscopy (ICP-MS), particle [...] Read more.
In this work, disc-like hematite (Fe2O3) nanoparticles were prepared using a readily available inexpensive earth material, ferruginous laterite, via a low-cost synthesis route. Prepared hematite nanoparticles were characterized using X-Ray diffraction (XRD), inductively coupled plasma mass spectroscopy (ICP-MS), particle size analyzer (PSA), Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and nitrogen adsorption-desorption analyzer. The performance of hematite nanoparticles was evaluated as a heavy metal ion adsorbent. Batch adsorption experiments were conducted to study the adsorption behaviour of Ni2+ and Cd2+ ions as a function of the amount of adsorbent, contact time, and pH. Adsorption data fitted to the linearized Langmuir and Freundlich kinetic models were compared and discussed. The correlation coefficient (R2) was used to determine the best fit kinetic model. Our data fitted the Langmuir kinetic model well and the highest adsorption efficiencies were found to be 62.5 mg/g for Ni2+ and 200 mg/g for Cd2+, respectively. Due to high surface area, pore volume with active sites, and sorption capabilities, hematite nanoparticles can be used as efficient and economical nano-adsorbents for the removal of Ni2+ and Cd2+ ions from industrial wastewater. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metal Composites)
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of Pulp Fiber and Epoxidized Tung Oil Content on the Properties of Biocomposites Based on Polylactic Acid
J. Compos. Sci. 2020, 4(2), 56; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs4020056 - 19 May 2020
Viewed by 231
Abstract
Recently, various environmental-friendly materials have been investigated and developed, especially composites of polylactic acid (PLA) and plant fibers. This paper investigates the effects of pulp fiber (PF) and epoxidized Tung oil (ETO) content on the properties of biocomposites, based on polylactic acid. The [...] Read more.
Recently, various environmental-friendly materials have been investigated and developed, especially composites of polylactic acid (PLA) and plant fibers. This paper investigates the effects of pulp fiber (PF) and epoxidized Tung oil (ETO) content on the properties of biocomposites, based on polylactic acid. The bleached pulp fiber reinforced PLA (PLA/PF) composites with 10–50 wt% fiber contents and 0–15% epoxidized Tung oil contents (with a certain number of fiber) were prepared in an internal mixer (Plastograph® EC) at 150 °C. The mechanical properties of PLA/PF composites were improved significantly. The pulp fiber reinforced PLA composites, with the fiber content of 30 wt%, were found to have the highest mechanical properties. The tensile and flexural properties of PLA/Tung oil-soaked-pulp fiber composites were higher than those of PLA/Tung oil unsoaked pulp fiber composites. In addition, the degradation temperature of PLA-based composites decreased after adding more pulp fiber. The pulp fibers were well-dispersed in the PLA matrix with the content up to 30 wt%. The interaction between pulp fiber and PLA matrix improved by the addition of epoxidized Tung oil. Epoxidized Tung oil also improved tensile and flexural strength of composite materials when it was added with a number of below 10% of fiber. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Multifunctional Composites)
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Open AccessArticle
Nonisothermal Cure Kinetics of Epoxy/Polyvinylpyrrolidone Functionalized Superparamagnetic Nano-Fe3O4 Composites: Effect of Zn and Mn Doping
J. Compos. Sci. 2020, 4(2), 55; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs4020055 - 18 May 2020
Viewed by 263
Abstract
The effects of the bulk and surface modification of nanoparticles on the cure kinetics of low-filled epoxy nanocomposites containing electrochemically synthesized polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) functionalized superparamagnetic iron oxide (PVP-SPIO), Zn-doped PVP-SPIO (Zn-PVP-SPIO), and Mn-doped PVP-SPIO (Mn-PVP-SPIO) were studied using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and [...] Read more.
The effects of the bulk and surface modification of nanoparticles on the cure kinetics of low-filled epoxy nanocomposites containing electrochemically synthesized polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) functionalized superparamagnetic iron oxide (PVP-SPIO), Zn-doped PVP-SPIO (Zn-PVP-SPIO), and Mn-doped PVP-SPIO (Mn-PVP-SPIO) were studied using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and cure kinetics analyses. Integral and differential isoconversional methods were used to calculate the activation energies () and consequently propose the appropriate reaction model for the curing reaction under nonisothermal conditions. According to the alteration of versus the fractional extent of conversion, the Eα trend was changed through the partial replacement of Fe2+ sites by the Zn2+ and Mn2+ cations in the general formula of MxFe3-xO4, due to smaller amounts of energy being required for curing by the incorporation of Zn-PVP-SPIO and Mn-PVP-SPIO nanoparticles into the epoxy resin. A good agreement was observed between the theoretical calculation and the observed calorimetric data for the model validation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Thermal Behavior of Thermoset Composites)
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Open AccessArticle
Photocatalytic Degradation of Organic Micropollutants in Water by Zr-MOF/GO Composites
J. Compos. Sci. 2020, 4(2), 54; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs4020054 - 12 May 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 464
Abstract
Nanocomposites of UiO-66 and graphene oxide (UiO-66_GO) were prepared with different GO contents by a one-step hydrothermal method, and their photocatalytic activities for the degradation of carbamazepine (CBZ) were investigated under ranges of GO loading, catalyst dose, initial pollutant concentration, and solution pH. [...] Read more.
Nanocomposites of UiO-66 and graphene oxide (UiO-66_GO) were prepared with different GO contents by a one-step hydrothermal method, and their photocatalytic activities for the degradation of carbamazepine (CBZ) were investigated under ranges of GO loading, catalyst dose, initial pollutant concentration, and solution pH. The UiO-66_GO nanocomposites showed photocatalytic rate constant up to 0.0136 min−1 for CBZ degradation and its high overall removal efficiency (>90%) in 2 h. The photocatalytic rate constant over the UiO-66_GO nanocomposite was about 2.8 and 1.7 times higher than those over pristine GO and UiO-66, respectively. The enhancement of photocatalytic activity by GO was attributed to increased surface area and porosity, improved light absorption, and narrowed band gap. The composite also showed substantial recyclability and stability over five consecutive cycles of photocatalytic degradation. The experimental results indicated that O2●− and OH are the responsible radicals for photocatalytic degradation, which helped us propose a photocatalytic mechanism for the enhanced CBZ photodegradation. This work provides a reference for the development of GO-based composite photocatalysts and expands the application of UiO-66 as a photocatalyst for the degradation of persistent micropollutants in water. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Graphene Oxide Composites)
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Open AccessArticle
Characterization of Enhanced ITZ in Engineered Polypropylene Fibers for Bond Improvement
J. Compos. Sci. 2020, 4(2), 53; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs4020053 - 11 May 2020
Viewed by 289
Abstract
The interfacial transition zone (ITZ) is well known to be a zone of high porosity and lesser strength and is the weak zone in the fiber-reinforced matrix. This study aims to evaluate the improvement in the bonding between engineered polypropylene fibers and the [...] Read more.
The interfacial transition zone (ITZ) is well known to be a zone of high porosity and lesser strength and is the weak zone in the fiber-reinforced matrix. This study aims to evaluate the improvement in the bonding between engineered polypropylene fibers and the surrounding mortar matrix. The improvement was implemented by modifying the ITZ, which develops between the fibers and the cementitious matrix. Two commercially available repair materials have been used in this study, Mix M and Mix P. Mix M served as the base material for the prepared fibers, whereas Mix P is a fiber-reinforced repair mortar and provides a comparison. A total of six types of mixes have been investigated. The improved bonding is tested by coating the polypropylene fibers with supplementary cementitious materials (SCM) using an innovative patented concept. In this study, silica fume and metakaolin are used as the SCM because of their fine size and pozzolanic capacity. The study involves multiple items of investigation, including mechanical tests such as compressive strength, direct tensile strength, and three-point bending tests. Energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) of the different mixes helped in evaluating and analyzing the ITZ between the fiber and matrix. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Composites and Fibers)
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