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J. Compos. Sci., Volume 5, Issue 3 (March 2021) – 28 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): At the end of their life cycle, large amounts of tires are discarded in inappropriate places. This poses a serious environmental hazard, since tires cannot be simply degraded or reprocessed. The incorporation of waste tires, in the form of ground tire rubber (GTR), as filler substitute in rubber matrices is one viable strategy for addressing this issue. However, the low compatibility between GTR and the matrix leads to poor mechanical properties, even at low contents. The appropriate combination of cryogrinding and chemical surface treatments results as an option for tackling this limitation, giving added value to this waste, as well as enhanced mechanical performance. This approach could solve the environmental problem of post-consumer tires, favoring the development of sustainable materials. View this paper.
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Article
Effect of Graphene Oxide as a Reinforcement in a Bio-Epoxy Composite
J. Compos. Sci. 2021, 5(3), 91; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs5030091 - 23 Mar 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 727
Abstract
Graphene oxide (GO) has gained interest within the materials research community. The presence of functional groups on GO offers exceptional bonding capabilities and improved performance in lightweight polymer composites. A literature review on the tensile and flexural mechanical properties of synthetic epoxy/GO composites [...] Read more.
Graphene oxide (GO) has gained interest within the materials research community. The presence of functional groups on GO offers exceptional bonding capabilities and improved performance in lightweight polymer composites. A literature review on the tensile and flexural mechanical properties of synthetic epoxy/GO composites was conducted that showed differences from one study to another, which may be attributed to the oxidation level of the prepared GO. Herein, GO was synthesized from oxidation of graphite flakes using the modified Hummers method, while bio-epoxy/GO composites (0.1, 0.2, 0.3 and 0.6 wt.% GO) were prepared using a solution mixing route. The GO was characterized using Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and transmission electron microscope (TEM) analysis. The thermal properties of composites were assessed using thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). FTIR results confirmed oxidation of graphite was successful. SEM showed differences in fractured surfaces, which implies that GO modified the bio-epoxy polymer to some extent. Addition of 0.3 wt.% GO filler was determined to be an optimum amount as it enhanced the tensile strength, tensile modulus, flexural strength and flexural modulus by 23, 35, 17 and 31%, respectively, compared to pure bio-epoxy. Improvements in strength were achieved with considerably lower loadings than traditional fillers. Compared to the bio-epoxy, the 0.6 wt.% GO composite had the highest thermal stability and a slightly higher (positive) glass transition temperature (Tg) was increased by 3.5 °C, relative to the pristine bio-epoxy (0 wt.% GO). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Graphene Oxide Composites)
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Article
Structural Changes and Their Implications in Foamed Flexible Polyurethane Composites Filled with Rapeseed Oil-Treated Ground Tire Rubber
J. Compos. Sci. 2021, 5(3), 90; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs5030090 - 23 Mar 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 646
Abstract
The utilization of post-consumer car tires is an essential issue from an ecological and economic point of view. One of the simplest and the least harmful methods is their material recycling resulting in ground tire rubber (GTR), which can be further applied as [...] Read more.
The utilization of post-consumer car tires is an essential issue from an ecological and economic point of view. One of the simplest and the least harmful methods is their material recycling resulting in ground tire rubber (GTR), which can be further applied as fillers for polymer-based composites. Nevertheless, insufficient interfacial interactions implicate the necessity of GTR modification before introduction into polymer matrices. In this study, we investigated the influence of rapeseed oil-assisted thermo-mechanical treatment of GTR using a reactive extrusion process on the processing, structure, and performance of flexible polyurethane/GTR composite foams. Applied modifications affected the processing of polyurethane systems. They caused a noticeable reduction in the average cell size of foams, which was attributed to the potential nucleating activity of solid particles and changes in surface tension caused by the presence of oil. Such an effect was especially pronounced for the waste rapeseed oil, which resulted in the highest content of closed cells. Structural changes caused by GTR modification implicated the enhancement of foams’ strength. Mechanical performance was significantly affected by the applied modifications due to the changes in glass transition temperature. Moreover, the incorporation of waste GTR particles into the polyurethane matrix noticeably improved its thermal stability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue From Waste to Advance Composite Materials)
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Article
Comparative Study of the Reinforcement Type Effect on the Thermomechanical Properties and Burning of Epoxy-Based Composites
J. Compos. Sci. 2021, 5(3), 89; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs5030089 - 23 Mar 2021
Viewed by 517
Abstract
Aramid (AF), glass (GF), carbon (CF), basalt (BF), and flax (FF) fibers in the form of fabrics were used to produce the composites by hand-lay up method. The use of fabrics of similar grammage for composites’ manufacturing allowed for a comprehensive comparison of [...] Read more.
Aramid (AF), glass (GF), carbon (CF), basalt (BF), and flax (FF) fibers in the form of fabrics were used to produce the composites by hand-lay up method. The use of fabrics of similar grammage for composites’ manufacturing allowed for a comprehensive comparison of the properties of the final products. The most important task was to prepare a complex setup of mechanical and thermomechanical properties, supplemented by fire behavior analysis, and discuss both characteristics in their application range. The mechanical properties were investigated using tensile and flexural tests, as well as impact strength measurement. The investigation was improved by assessing thermomechanical properties under dynamic deformation conditions (dynamic mechanical–thermal analysis (DMTA)). All products were subjected to a fire test carried out using a cone calorimeter (CC). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Composites and Fibers)
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Article
Influence of a Dynamic Consolidation Force on In Situ Consolidation Quality of Thermoplastic Composite Laminate
J. Compos. Sci. 2021, 5(3), 88; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs5030088 - 22 Mar 2021
Viewed by 883
Abstract
For achieving high quality of in situ consolidation in thermoplastic Automated Fiber Placement, an approach is presented in this research work. The approach deals with the combination of material pre-heating and sub-ultrasonic vibration treatment. Therefore, this research work investigates the influence of frequency [...] Read more.
For achieving high quality of in situ consolidation in thermoplastic Automated Fiber Placement, an approach is presented in this research work. The approach deals with the combination of material pre-heating and sub-ultrasonic vibration treatment. Therefore, this research work investigates the influence of frequency dependent consolidation pressure on the consolidation quality. A simplified experimental setup was developed that uses resistance electrical heating instead of the laser to establish the thermal consolidation condition in a universal testing machine. Consolidation experiments with frequencies up to 1 kHz were conducted. The manufactured specimens are examined using laser scanning microscopy to evaluate the bonding interface and differential scanning calorimetry to evaluate the degree of crystallinity. Additionally, the vibration-assisted specimens were compared to specimens manufactured with static consolidation pressure only. As a result of the experimental study, the interlaminar pore fraction and degree of compaction show a positive dependency to higher frequencies. The porosity decreases from 0.60% to 0.13% while the degree of compaction increases from 8.64% to 12.49% when increasing the vibration frequency up to 1 kHz. The differential scanning calorimetry experiments show that the crystallinity of the matrix is not affected by vibration-assisted consolidation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Thermal Behavior of Thermoset Composites)
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Article
Laser Spot Welding and Electric Contact Points Using Copper/Single-Walled Carbon Nanotube Nanocomposite Synthesized by Laser Surface Implanting
J. Compos. Sci. 2021, 5(3), 87; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs5030087 - 22 Mar 2021
Viewed by 696
Abstract
In our previous studies, we have developed a wet process, denoted as laser surface implanting (LSI), to synthesize a copper/single-walled carbon nanotube (Cu–SWCNT) metal nanocomposite. The nanostructure of this Cu–SWCNT composite was shown to contain discernable SWCNT clusters in nanosizes inside the copper [...] Read more.
In our previous studies, we have developed a wet process, denoted as laser surface implanting (LSI), to synthesize a copper/single-walled carbon nanotube (Cu–SWCNT) metal nanocomposite. The nanostructure of this Cu–SWCNT composite was shown to contain discernable SWCNT clusters in nanosizes inside the copper matrix. Its hardness could achieve up to three times that of pure copper, verified by micro-hardness and nano-hardness tests. A focus ion beam bombardment test and a plane strain compression test show 2.5 times toughness improvement for the Cu-SWCNT composite. Based on these strength improvements, two potential applications for the Cu-SWCNT nanocomposite are proposed and their feasibilities are verified using specially design test rigs. The first application is related to creating long lasting electric contacts. The result shows that the Cu-SWCNT nanocomposite is highly wear-resistant. The contact area of the simulated electric contacts increases after repeated impact loading, which potentially could lower the contact resistance. The second application is to use the Cu-SWCNT implants as high strength spot weld for joining copper foils. A smaller weld with a higher strength reduces the power requirement of the laser and, consequently, the thermal distortion for higher-dimensional precision. The specially designed test rig for the weld strength characterization is a new contribution, providing a new testing capability for small and non-homogeneous samples not suitable for a standard tensile test machine. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Laser Fabrication of Composites)
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Review
Development of Carbon Fiber-Reinforced Thermoplastics for Mass-Produced Automotive Applications in Japan
J. Compos. Sci. 2021, 5(3), 86; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs5030086 - 22 Mar 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 853
Abstract
The application of carbon fiber-reinforced thermoplastics (CFRTPs) for automotive mass production is attracting increasing attention from researchers and engineers in related fields. This article presents recent developments in CFRTPs focusing on the systematic development of lightweight CFRTP applications for automotive mass production. Additionally, [...] Read more.
The application of carbon fiber-reinforced thermoplastics (CFRTPs) for automotive mass production is attracting increasing attention from researchers and engineers in related fields. This article presents recent developments in CFRTPs focusing on the systematic development of lightweight CFRTP applications for automotive mass production. Additionally, a related national project of Japan conducted at the University of Tokyo is also introduced. The basic development demands, the specific requirements of CFRTPs for lightweight applications in automotive mass production, and the current development status and basic scientific outputs are discussed. The development of high-performance CFRTPs (chopped carbon fiber tape-reinforced thermoplastics (CTTs)) and functional CFRTPs (carbon fiber mat-reinforced thermoplastics (CMTs)) is also introduced. The fabrication process control of CTTs is evaluated, which demonstrates the extreme importance of the mechanical performance. The ultralight lattice, toughened structures, and orientation designable components of CMTs provide a flexible multi-material solution for the proposed applications. Moreover, highly efficient carbon fiber recycling technology is discussed, with recycled carbon fibers exhibiting outstanding compatibility with CFRTPs. A cost sensitivity analysis of carbon fiber and CFRTPs is conducted to guarantee the feasibility and affordability of their application. This article also discusses the trends and sustainability of carbon fiber and CFRTPs usage. The importance of the object-oriented optimal development of CFRTPs is emphasized to efficiently exploit their advantages. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Carbon Fiber Reinforced Composite Materials)
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Article
Determination of Quantum Capacitance of Niobium Nitrides Nb2N and Nb4N3 for Supercapacitor Applications
J. Compos. Sci. 2021, 5(3), 85; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs5030085 - 20 Mar 2021
Viewed by 631
Abstract
The density of states and quantum capacitance of pure and doped Nb2N and Nb4N3 single-layer and multi-layer bulk structures are investigated using density functional theory calculations. The calculated value of quantum capacitance is quite high for pristine Nb [...] Read more.
The density of states and quantum capacitance of pure and doped Nb2N and Nb4N3 single-layer and multi-layer bulk structures are investigated using density functional theory calculations. The calculated value of quantum capacitance is quite high for pristine Nb2N and decent for Nb4N3 structures. However for cobalt-doped unpolarized structures, significant increase in quantum capacitance at Fermi level is observed in the case of Nb4N3 as compared to minor increase in case of Nb2N. These results show that pristine and doped Nb2N and Nb4N3 can be preferred over graphene as the electrode material for supercapacitors. The spin and temperature dependences of quantum capacitance for these structures are also investigated. Full article
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Article
Comparison of Specimen Geometries for Measuring Through-Thickness Tensile Mechanical Properties of Fibre-Reinforced Polymer Composites
J. Compos. Sci. 2021, 5(3), 84; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs5030084 - 16 Mar 2021
Viewed by 497
Abstract
Engineering design of fibre-reinforced polymer (FRP) composite components requires reliable methods for measuring out-of-plane mechanical properties in the through-thickness (T-T) material direction. Within this work, existing indirect and direct test methods and geometries for measuring T-T tensile properties have been evaluated through experimental [...] Read more.
Engineering design of fibre-reinforced polymer (FRP) composite components requires reliable methods for measuring out-of-plane mechanical properties in the through-thickness (T-T) material direction. Within this work, existing indirect and direct test methods and geometries for measuring T-T tensile properties have been evaluated through experimental testing and finite element analysis (FEA). Experimental testing showed variations, particularly in failure properties, for both indirect (failure strengths from 10–94 MPa) and direct (failure strengths from 48–62 MPa) geometries. Results were shown to be in good agreement with FEA, which also confirmed stress concentration factors. A linear relationship between the magnitude of stress concentration factors and experimentally determined T-T tensile failure strengths was observed for all but one of the direct geometries evaluated. Improved knowledge of stress concentration factors from this work should help instil confidence for industry to use T-T tensile properties determined from these methods. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Composite Process Modeling and Characterization)
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Article
On the Large Amplitude Forced Vibration Analysis of Composite Sectorial Plates
J. Compos. Sci. 2021, 5(3), 83; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs5030083 - 15 Mar 2021
Viewed by 603
Abstract
The nonlinear steady state large amplitude forced vibration response of a laminated composite annular sector plate is presented. The nonlinear governing equation of motion of the laminated composite annular sector plate has been obtained using kinematics of first-order shear deformation theory (FSDT) and [...] Read more.
The nonlinear steady state large amplitude forced vibration response of a laminated composite annular sector plate is presented. The nonlinear governing equation of motion of the laminated composite annular sector plate has been obtained using kinematics of first-order shear deformation theory (FSDT) and employing Hamilton’s principle. The governing equations of motion have been solved in a time domain using a modified shooting method and arc-length/pseudo-arc length continuation technique. The influence of the boundary condition, sector angle, and annularity ratio on the linear as well as nonlinear steady state forced vibration response has been investigated. The strain/stress variation across the thickness of the annular sector plate is presented to explain the reason for a decrease/increase in hardening nonlinear behaviour. The periodic variation of the non-linear steady state stress has also been obtained to throw light into the factors influencing the unequal stress half cycles and multiple cyclic stress reversals, which is detrimental to the fatigue design of laminated composite annular sectorial plates. The frequency spectra of the steady state stress reveals large even and odd higher harmonic contributions for different cases due to changes in the restoring force dynamics. The modal interaction/exchange during a cycle is demonstrated using a deformed configuration of the laminated annular sector plate. Full article
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Review
Transition Metal Oxides and Their Composites for Photocatalytic Dye Degradation
J. Compos. Sci. 2021, 5(3), 82; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs5030082 - 15 Mar 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 748
Abstract
Transition metal oxides (TMO) and their carbon composites have become a glittering upcoming material science candidate. Their interesting properties, such as their meticulous morphology, plentiful availability, flexible surface chemistry along with outstanding mechanical, thermal, and optical properties make them ideal for efficient photocatalytic [...] Read more.
Transition metal oxides (TMO) and their carbon composites have become a glittering upcoming material science candidate. Their interesting properties, such as their meticulous morphology, plentiful availability, flexible surface chemistry along with outstanding mechanical, thermal, and optical properties make them ideal for efficient photocatalytic dye degradation. An extensive range of TMO, and their carbon composites are reviewed highlighting the progression and opportunities for the photocatalytic degradation of dyes. Here, we concisely describe the numerous techniques to extend the optical absorption of these TMOs involving dye sensitization, metal doping, etc. Besides this, an overview of all aspects of dye degradation along with the prevailing challenges for future utilization and development of such nanocomposites towards highly efficient dye degradation system are also reported. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Composite Materials for Water Purification)
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Article
Analysis and Modeling of Wrinkling in Composite Forming
J. Compos. Sci. 2021, 5(3), 81; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs5030081 - 13 Mar 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 693
Abstract
Different approaches for the simulation of wrinkling during forming of textile reinforcements are presented. It is shown that 3D finite element modeling requires the consideration of an additional bending stiffness of the fibers. In shell-type modeling, the bending stiffness is important because it [...] Read more.
Different approaches for the simulation of wrinkling during forming of textile reinforcements are presented. It is shown that 3D finite element modeling requires the consideration of an additional bending stiffness of the fibers. In shell-type modeling, the bending stiffness is important because it conditions the size of the wrinkles. Different methods to take into account the bending stiffness independently of the tensile stiffness are presented. The onset and development of wrinkles during forming is a global problem that concerns all deformation modes. It is shown in examples that the shear locking angle is not sufficient to conclude about the development of wrinkles. This article highlights the two points common to the different cases of wrinkling of continuous fiber textile reinforcements: the quasi-inextensibility of the fibers and the possible slippage between the fibers. It presents and compares different approaches to consider these two aspects. The simulation of the simultaneous forming of multilayered textile reinforcements makes it possible to see the influence of the orientation of different plies which is an important factor with regard to wrinkling. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Journal of Composites Science in 2020)
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Article
Multiscale Characterization of E-Glass/Epoxy Composite Exposed to Extreme Environmental Conditions
J. Compos. Sci. 2021, 5(3), 80; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs5030080 - 12 Mar 2021
Viewed by 474
Abstract
Fiber-reinforced polymer matrix composites continue to attract scientific and industrial interest since they offer superior strength-, stiffness-, and toughness-to-weight ratios. The research herein characterizes two sets of E-Glass/Epoxy composite skins: stressed and unstressed. The stressed samples were previously installed in an underground power [...] Read more.
Fiber-reinforced polymer matrix composites continue to attract scientific and industrial interest since they offer superior strength-, stiffness-, and toughness-to-weight ratios. The research herein characterizes two sets of E-Glass/Epoxy composite skins: stressed and unstressed. The stressed samples were previously installed in an underground power distribution vault and were exposed to fire while the unstressed composite skins were newly fabricated and never-deployed samples. The mechanical, morphological, and elemental composition of the samples were methodically studied using a dynamic mechanical analyzer, a scanning electron microscope (SEM), and an x-ray diffractometer, respectively. Sandwich composite panels consisting of E-glass/Epoxy skin and balsa wood core were originally received, and the balsa wood was removed before any further investigations. Skin-only specimens with dimensions of ~12.5 mm wide, ~70 mm long, and ~6 mm thick were tested in a Dynamic Mechanical Analyzer in a dual-cantilever beam configuration at 5 Hz and 10 Hz from room temperature to 210 °C. Micrographic analysis using the SEM indicated a slight change in morphology due to the fire event but confirmed the effectiveness of the fire-retardant agents in quickly suppressing the fire. Accompanying Fourier transform infrared and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy studies corroborated the mechanical and morphological results. Finally, X-ray diffraction showed that the fire event consumed the surface level fire-retardant and the structural attributes of the E-Glass/Epoxy remained mainly intact. The results suggest the panels can continue field deployment, even after short fire incident. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Characterization and Modelling of Composites, Volume II)
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Article
Impact Damage Ascertainment in Composite Plates Using In-Situ Acoustic Emission Signal Signature Identification
J. Compos. Sci. 2021, 5(3), 79; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs5030079 - 12 Mar 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 598
Abstract
Barely visible impact damage (BVID) due to low velocity impact events in composite aircraft structures are becoming prevalent. BVID can have an adverse effect on the strength and safety of the structure. During aircraft inspections it can be extremely difficult to visually detect [...] Read more.
Barely visible impact damage (BVID) due to low velocity impact events in composite aircraft structures are becoming prevalent. BVID can have an adverse effect on the strength and safety of the structure. During aircraft inspections it can be extremely difficult to visually detect BVID. Moreover, it is also a challenge to ascertain if the BVID has in-fact caused internal damage to the structure or not. This paper describes a method to ascertain whether or not internal damage happened during the impact event by analyzing the high-frequency information contained in the recorded acoustic emission signal signature. Multiple 2 mm quasi-isotropic carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) composite coupons were impacted using the ASTM D7136 standard in a drop weight impact testing machine to determine the mass, height and energy parameters to obtain approximately 1” impact damage size in the coupons iteratively. For subsequent impact tests, four piezoelectric wafer active sensors (PWAS) were bonded at specific locations on each coupon to record the acoustic emission (AE) signals during the impact event using the MISTRAS micro-II digital AE system. Impact tests were conducted on these instrumented 2 mm coupons using previously calculated energies that would create either no damage or 1” impact damage in the coupons. The obtained AE waveforms and their frequency spectrums were analyzed to distinguish between different AE signatures. From the analysis of the recorded AE signals, it was verified if the structure had indeed been damaged due to the impact event or not. Using our proposed structural health monitoring technique, it could be possible to rapidly identify impact events that cause damage to the structure in real-time and distinguish them from impact events that do not cause damage to the structure. An invention disclosure describing our acoustic emission structural health monitoring technique has been filed and is in the process of becoming a provisional patent. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbon Fiber Composites)
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Article
Materials and Manufacturing Techniques for Polymeric and Ceramic Scaffolds Used in Implant Dentistry
J. Compos. Sci. 2021, 5(3), 78; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs5030078 - 11 Mar 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1182
Abstract
Preventive and regenerative techniques have been suggested to minimize the aesthetic and functional effects caused by intraoral bone defects, enabling the installation of dental implants. Among them, porous three-dimensional structures (scaffolds) composed mainly of bioabsorbable ceramics, such as hydroxyapatite (HAp) and β-tricalcium phosphate [...] Read more.
Preventive and regenerative techniques have been suggested to minimize the aesthetic and functional effects caused by intraoral bone defects, enabling the installation of dental implants. Among them, porous three-dimensional structures (scaffolds) composed mainly of bioabsorbable ceramics, such as hydroxyapatite (HAp) and β-tricalcium phosphate (β-TCP) stand out for reducing the use of autogenous, homogeneous, and xenogenous bone grafts and their unwanted effects. In order to stimulate bone formation, biodegradable polymers such as cellulose, collagen, glycosaminoglycans, polylactic acid (PLA), polyvinyl alcohol (PVA), poly-ε-caprolactone (PCL), polyglycolic acid (PGA), polyhydroxylbutyrate (PHB), polypropylenofumarate (PPF), polylactic-co-glycolic acid (PLGA), and poly L-co-D, L lactic acid (PLDLA) have also been studied. More recently, hybrid scaffolds can combine the tunable macro/microporosity and osteoinductive properties of ceramic materials with the chemical/physical properties of biodegradable polymers. Various methods are suggested for the manufacture of scaffolds with adequate porosity, such as conventional and additive manufacturing techniques and, more recently, 3D and 4D printing. The purpose of this manuscript is to review features concerning biomaterials, scaffolds macro and microstructure, fabrication techniques, as well as the potential interaction of the scaffolds with the human body. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioceramic Composites)
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Article
Design of a Lightweight Multifunctional Composite Railway Axle Utilising Coaxial Skins
J. Compos. Sci. 2021, 5(3), 77; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs5030077 - 07 Mar 2021
Viewed by 806
Abstract
The rising economic and environmental pressures associated with the generation and consumption of energy necessitates the need for lightweighting of railway vehicles. The railway axle is a prime candidate for lightweighting of the unsprung mass. The reduction of unsprung mass correlates to reduced [...] Read more.
The rising economic and environmental pressures associated with the generation and consumption of energy necessitates the need for lightweighting of railway vehicles. The railway axle is a prime candidate for lightweighting of the unsprung mass. The reduction of unsprung mass correlates to reduced track damage, energy consumption and total operating costs. This paper presents the design of a lightweight multifunctional hybrid metallic-composite railway axle utilising coaxial skins. The lightweight axle assembly comprises a carbon fibre reinforced polymer composite tube with steel stub axles bonded into either end. The structural hybrid metallic-composite railway axle is surrounded by coaxial skins each performing a specific function to meet the secondary requirements. A parametric sizing study is conducted to explore the sensitivity of the design parameters of the composite tube and the stub axle interaction through the adhesive joint. The optimised design parameters of the axle consist of a; composite tube outer diameter of 225 mm, composite tube thickness of 7 mm, steel stub axle extension thickness of 10 mm and a bond overlap length of 100 mm. The optimised hybrid metallic-composite railway axle design concept has a mass of 200 kg representing a reduction of 50% over the solid steel version. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Composite Process Modeling and Characterization)
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Article
S-N Curve Characterisation for Composite Materials and Prediction of Remaining Fatigue Life Using Damage Function
J. Compos. Sci. 2021, 5(3), 76; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs5030076 - 07 Mar 2021
Viewed by 1033
Abstract
S-N curve characterisation and prediction of remaining fatigue life are studied using polyethylene terephthalate glycol-modified (PETG). A new simple method for finding a data point at the lowest number of cycles for the Kim and Zhang S-N curve model is proposed to avoid [...] Read more.
S-N curve characterisation and prediction of remaining fatigue life are studied using polyethylene terephthalate glycol-modified (PETG). A new simple method for finding a data point at the lowest number of cycles for the Kim and Zhang S-N curve model is proposed to avoid the arbitrary choice of loading rate for tensile testing. It was demonstrated that the arbitrary choice of loading rate may likely lead to an erroneous characterisation for the prediction of the remaining fatigue life. The previously proposed theoretical method for predicting the remaining fatigue life of composite materials involving the damage function was verified at a stress ratio of 0.4 for the first time. Both high to low and low to high loadings were conducted for predicting the remaining fatigue lives and a good agreement between predictions and experimental results was found. Fatigue damage consisting of cracks and whitening is described. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Journal of Composites Science in 2021)
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Review
A Brief Overview of Recent Progress in Porous Silica as Catalyst Supports
J. Compos. Sci. 2021, 5(3), 75; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs5030075 - 06 Mar 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 919
Abstract
Porous silica particles have shown applications in various technological fields including their use as catalyst supports in heterogeneous catalysis. The mesoporous silica particles have ordered porosity, high surface area, and good chemical stability. These interesting structural or textural properties make porous silica an [...] Read more.
Porous silica particles have shown applications in various technological fields including their use as catalyst supports in heterogeneous catalysis. The mesoporous silica particles have ordered porosity, high surface area, and good chemical stability. These interesting structural or textural properties make porous silica an attractive material for use as catalyst supports in various heterogeneous catalysis reactions. The colloidal nature of the porous silica particles is highly useful in catalytic applications as it guarantees better mass transfer properties and uniform distribution of the various metal or metal oxide nanocatalysts in solution. The catalysts show high activity, low degree of metal leaching, and ease in recycling when supported or immobilized on porous silica-based materials. In this overview, we have pointed out the importance of porous silica as catalyst supports. A variety of chemical reactions catalyzed by different catalysts loaded or embedded in porous silica supports are studied. The latest reports from the literature about the use of porous silica-based materials as catalyst supports are listed and analyzed. The new and continued trends are discussed with examples. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Progress in Si-based Ceramic and Composites)
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Article
Analytical Solution for Static and Dynamic Analysis of Graphene-Based Hybrid Flexoelectric Nanostructures
J. Compos. Sci. 2021, 5(3), 74; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs5030074 - 06 Mar 2021
Viewed by 1012
Abstract
Owing to their applications in devices such as in electromechanical sensors, actuators and nanogenerators, the consideration of size-dependent properties in the electromechanical response of composites is of great importance. In this study, a closed-form solution based on the linear piezoelectricity, Kirchhoff’s plate theory [...] Read more.
Owing to their applications in devices such as in electromechanical sensors, actuators and nanogenerators, the consideration of size-dependent properties in the electromechanical response of composites is of great importance. In this study, a closed-form solution based on the linear piezoelectricity, Kirchhoff’s plate theory and Navier’s solution was developed, to envisage the electromechanical behaviors of hybrid graphene-reinforced piezoelectric composite (GRPC) plates, considering the flexoelectric effect. The governing equations and respective boundary conditions were obtained, using Hamilton’s variational principle for achieving static deflection and resonant frequency. Moreover, the different parameters considering aspect ratio, thickness of plate, different loadings (inline, point, uniformly distributed load (UDL), uniformly varying load (UVL)), the combination of different volume fraction of graphene and piezoelectric lead zirconate titanate are considered to attain the desired bending deflection and frequency response of GRPC. Different mode shapes and flexoelectric coefficients are also considered and the results reveal that the proper addition of graphene percentage and flexoelectric effect on the static and dynamic responses of GRPC plate is substantial. The obtained results expose that the flexoelectric effect on the piezoelastic response of the bending of nanocomposite plates are worth paying attention to, in order to develop a nanoelectromechanical system (NEMS). Our fundamental study sheds the possibility of evolving lightweight and high-performance NEMS applications over the existing piezoelectric materials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Multi-functional Composites and Metamaterials)
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Article
Consolidation and Tow Spreading of Digitally Manufactured Continuous Fiber Reinforced Composites from Thermoplastic Commingled Tow Using a Five-Axis Extrusion System
J. Compos. Sci. 2021, 5(3), 73; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs5030073 - 05 Mar 2021
Viewed by 493
Abstract
During the development of digitally manufactured, commingled tow continuous fiber reinforced composites, consolidation force was controlled using a controlled spring force that yielded a repeatable tow width. However, the use of the extruder face to consolidate the material requires that the extruder remain [...] Read more.
During the development of digitally manufactured, commingled tow continuous fiber reinforced composites, consolidation force was controlled using a controlled spring force that yielded a repeatable tow width. However, the use of the extruder face to consolidate the material requires that the extruder remain perpendicular to the placement surface throughout the process. When considering more complex tool contours including sloped surfaces, more than three axes of motion are necessary to maintain the perpendicularity of the extruder tip to the surface. In this effort, a five-axis system is developed and used to demonstrate the ability to consolidate over complex contours. In addition, the nozzle face temperatures required for good consolidation and wetout result in poor tow path fidelity when complex paths are introduced. The implementation of an automated, computer-controlled localized cooling system enables both good wetout and consolidation while also enabling more accurate changes in tow path due to improvements in local tow tack. With the development of the five-axis system it is also shown that the tow width can be adjusted by rotating the existing placement nozzle to angles not equal to 90°. Thus, through a combination of controlled localized cooling and real-time control of the nozzle angle, a possible approach to control of tow width, independent of the tow placement angle and radius of curvature during tow steering, is described. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Journal of Composites Science in 2020)
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Article
Damage by Improvised Incendiary Devices on Carbon Fiber-Reinforced Polymer Matrix Composites
J. Compos. Sci. 2021, 5(3), 72; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs5030072 - 05 Mar 2021
Viewed by 513
Abstract
This study focuses on short-term thermal degradation of polymer matrix composites by one-sided impact of improvised incendiary devices (IID). Specimens of two commercial composites HexPly® 8552/IM7 and M18-1/G939 with various thicknesses (1–8 mm) are systematically investigated as well as sandwich structures thereof, [...] Read more.
This study focuses on short-term thermal degradation of polymer matrix composites by one-sided impact of improvised incendiary devices (IID). Specimens of two commercial composites HexPly® 8552/IM7 and M18-1/G939 with various thicknesses (1–8 mm) are systematically investigated as well as sandwich structures thereof, applying various amounts of fire accelerant predominantly in laboratory scale fire tests. Results of preceding large-scale fire tests with IIDs justify the chosen conditions for the laboratory-scale fire tests. The aim is to correlate the amount of fire accelerant with heat damage and residual mechanical strength. Thermal damage is characterized visually and by ultrasonic testing, infrared spectroscopy, and residual interlaminar shear strength. Matrix degradation and combustion only contribute to the overall amount of released heat by the fire accelerant for thin and especially vertically aligned panels as tested by a cone calorimeter (without electrical heating), but not for horizontally orientated and thicker panels. Degradation processes are discussed in detail. Protective effects are observed for typical coatings, a copper mesh applied for protection against lightning strike, combinations thereof as well as an intumescent coating. Especially sandwich structures are prone to severe damage by assaults with IID, such as Molotov cocktails. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fire Safety of Structural Composites)
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Editorial
Editorial for the Special Issue on Discontinuous Fiber Composites, Volume II
J. Compos. Sci. 2021, 5(3), 71; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs5030071 - 05 Mar 2021
Viewed by 456
Abstract
This Special Issue on discontinuous fiber composites and its published papers, like its predecessor, give the polymer engineer and scientist an insight into challenges and research topics in the field of discontinuous fiber-reinforced composites [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Discontinuous Fiber Composites, Volume II)
Article
A Self-Healing System Based on Ester Crosslinks for Carbon Black-Filled Rubber Compounds
J. Compos. Sci. 2021, 5(3), 70; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs5030070 - 04 Mar 2021
Viewed by 759
Abstract
Carbon black-reinforced rubber compounds based on the blends of natural rubber (NR) and butadiene rubber (BR) for tire sidewall applications were formulated to investigate the self-healing efficacy of a modifier called EMZ. This modifier is based on epoxidized natural rubber (ENR) modified with [...] Read more.
Carbon black-reinforced rubber compounds based on the blends of natural rubber (NR) and butadiene rubber (BR) for tire sidewall applications were formulated to investigate the self-healing efficacy of a modifier called EMZ. This modifier is based on epoxidized natural rubber (ENR) modified with hydrolyzed maleic anhydride (HMA) as the ester crosslinking agent plus zinc acetate dihydrate (ZAD) as the transesterification catalyst. The influence of EMZ modifier content in sidewall compounds on processing characteristics, reinforcement, mechanical and fatigue properties, as well as property retentions, was investigated. Increasing the content of EMZ, the dump temperatures and Mooney viscosities of the compounds slightly increase, attributed to the presence of extra polymer networks and filler–rubber interactions. The bound rubber content and Payne effect show a good correction that essentially supports that the EMZ modifier gives enhanced filler–rubber interaction and reduced filler–filler interaction, reflecting the improved homogeneity of the composites. This is the key contribution to a better flex cracking resistance and a high fatigue-to-failure resistance when utilizing the EMZ modifier. To validate the property retentions, molecular damages were introduced to vulcanizates using a tensile stress–strain cyclic test following the Mullins effect concept. The property retentions are significantly enhanced with increasing EMZ content because the EMZ self-healing modifier provides reversible or dynamic ester linkages that potentially enable a bond-interchange mechanism of the crosslinks, leading to the intermolecular reparation of the rubber network. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Progress in Rubber Blends and Composites Technology)
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Article
Synthesis and Electrochemical Performance of Mesoporous NiMn2O4 Nanoparticles as an Anode for Lithium-Ion Battery
J. Compos. Sci. 2021, 5(3), 69; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs5030069 - 04 Mar 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 696
Abstract
NiMn2O4 (NMO) is a good alternative anode material for lithium-ion battery (LIB) application, due to its superior electrochemical activity. Current research shows that synthesis of NMO via citric acid-based combustion method envisaged application in the LIB, due to its good [...] Read more.
NiMn2O4 (NMO) is a good alternative anode material for lithium-ion battery (LIB) application, due to its superior electrochemical activity. Current research shows that synthesis of NMO via citric acid-based combustion method envisaged application in the LIB, due to its good reversibility and rate performance. Phase purity and crystallinity of the material is controlled by calcination at different temperatures, and its structural properties are investigated by X-ray diffraction (XRD). Composition and oxidation state of NMO are further investigated by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). For LIB application, lithiation delithiation potential and phase transformation of NMO are studied by cyclic voltammetry curve. As an anode material, initially, the average discharge capacity delivered by NMO is 983 mA·h/g at 0.1 A/g. In addition, the NMO electrode delivers an average discharge capacity of 223 mA·h/g after cell cycled at various current densities up to 10 A/g. These results show the potential applications of NMO electrodes for LIBs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Composites for Energy Storage and Conversion)
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Article
On the Use of Mechano-Chemically Modified Ground Tire Rubber (GTR) as Recycled and Sustainable Filler in Styrene-Butadiene Rubber (SBR) Composites
J. Compos. Sci. 2021, 5(3), 68; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs5030068 - 03 Mar 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 813
Abstract
The management of end-of-life tires (ELTs) is one of the main environmental issues that society faces nowadays. Recycling of ELTs appears as one feasible option for tackling the problem, although their incorporation as ground tire rubber (GTR) in other rubber matrices is limited [...] Read more.
The management of end-of-life tires (ELTs) is one of the main environmental issues that society faces nowadays. Recycling of ELTs appears as one feasible option for tackling the problem, although their incorporation as ground tire rubber (GTR) in other rubber matrices is limited due to poor compatibility. In this research, we report a successful combination of a cryo-grinding process with a chemical treatment for modifying the surface of GTR. Various cryo-grinding protocols were studied until a particle size of 100–150 µm was achieved. Chemical treatments with different acids were also analyzed, resulting in the optimal modification with sulfuric acid (H2SO4). Modified GTR was added to a styrene-butadiene rubber (SBR) matrix. The incorporation of 10 phr of this filler resulted in a composite with improved mechanical performance, with increments of 115% and 761% in tensile strength and elongation at break, respectively. These results validate the use of a recycled material from tire waste as sustainable filler in rubber composites. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Progress in Rubber Blends and Composites Technology)
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Article
Static Fatigue of SiC/SiC Minicomposites at High Temperatures Up to 1200 °C in Air: Multiscale Approach
J. Compos. Sci. 2021, 5(3), 67; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs5030067 - 28 Feb 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 479
Abstract
The present paper investigates the static fatigue behavior of Hi-Nicalon fiber-reinforced SiC–SiC minicomposites at high temperatures in the 900–1200 °C range, and under tensile stresses above the proportional limit. The stress–rupture time relation was analyzed with respect to subcritical crack growth in filaments [...] Read more.
The present paper investigates the static fatigue behavior of Hi-Nicalon fiber-reinforced SiC–SiC minicomposites at high temperatures in the 900–1200 °C range, and under tensile stresses above the proportional limit. The stress–rupture time relation was analyzed with respect to subcritical crack growth in filaments and fiber tow fracture. Slow crack growth from flaws located at the surface of filaments is driven by the oxidation of free carbon at the grain boundaries. Lifetime of the reinforcing tows depends on the statistical distribution of filament strength and on structural factors, which are enhanced by temperature increase. The rupture time data were plotted in terms of initial stresses on reinforcing filaments. The effect of temperature and load on the stress–rupture time relation for minicomposites was investigated using results of fractography and predictions of minicomposite lifetime using a model of subcritical growth for critical filaments. The critical filament is the one whose failure by slow crack-growth triggers unstable fracture of the minicomposite. This is identified by the strength–probability relation provided by the cumulative distribution function for filament strength at room temperature. The results were compared to the fatigue behavior of dry tows. The influence of various factors related to oxidation, including multiple failures, load sharing, and variability, was analyzed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Journal of Composites Science in 2020)
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Review
The Effect of Modifications of Activated Carbon Materials on the Capacitive Performance: Surface, Microstructure, and Wettability
J. Compos. Sci. 2021, 5(3), 66; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs5030066 - 26 Feb 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 822
Abstract
In this review, the efforts done by different research groups to enhance the performance of the electric double-layer capacitors (EDLCs), regarding the effect of the modification of activated carbon structures on the electrochemical properties, are summarized. Activated carbon materials with various porous textures, [...] Read more.
In this review, the efforts done by different research groups to enhance the performance of the electric double-layer capacitors (EDLCs), regarding the effect of the modification of activated carbon structures on the electrochemical properties, are summarized. Activated carbon materials with various porous textures, surface chemistry, and microstructure have been synthesized using several different techniques by different researchers. Micro-, meso-, and macroporous textures can be obtained through the activation/carbonization process using various activating agents. The surface chemistry of activated carbon materials can be modified via: (i) the carbonization of heteroatom-enriched compounds, (ii) post-treatment of carbon materials with reactive heteroatom sources, and (iii) activated carbon combined both with metal oxide materials dan conducting polymers to obtain composites. Intending to improve the EDLCs performance, the introduction of heteroatoms into an activated carbon matrix and composited activated carbon with either metal oxide materials or conducting polymers introduced a pseudo-capacitance effect, which is an additional contribution to the dominant double-layer capacitance. Such tricks offer high capacitance due to the presence of both electrical double layer charge storage mechanism and faradic charge transfer. The surface modification by attaching suitable heteroatoms such as phosphorus species increases the cell operating voltage, thereby improving the cell performance. To establish a detailed understanding of how one can modify the activated carbon structure regarding its porous textures, the surface chemistry, the wettability, and microstructure enable to enhance the performance of the EDLCs is discussed here in detail. This review discusses the basic key parameters which are considered to evaluate the performance of EDLCs such as cell capacitance, operating voltage, equivalent series resistance, power density, and energy density, and how these are affected by the modification of the activated carbon framework. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Journal of Composites Science in 2021)
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Article
Modeling and Simulations of the Sulfur Infiltration in Activated Carbon Fabrics during Composite Cathode Fabrication for Lithium-Sulfur Batteries
J. Compos. Sci. 2021, 5(3), 65; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs5030065 - 25 Feb 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 638
Abstract
During the manufacture of a composite cathode for lithium-sulfur (Li-S) batteries it is important to realize homogeneous infiltration of a specified amount of sulfur, targeted to be at least 5 mg cm−2 to achieve good battery performance in terms of high energy [...] Read more.
During the manufacture of a composite cathode for lithium-sulfur (Li-S) batteries it is important to realize homogeneous infiltration of a specified amount of sulfur, targeted to be at least 5 mg cm−2 to achieve good battery performance in terms of high energy density. A model of the sulfur infiltration is presented in this study, taking into account the pore size distribution of the porous cathode host, phase transitions in sulfur, and formation of different sulfur allotropes, depending on pore size, formation energy and available thermal energy. Simulations of sulfur infiltration into an activated carbon fabric at a hot-plate temperature of 175 °C for two hours predicted a composite cathode with 41 wt% sulfur (8.3 mg cm−2), in excellent agreement with the experiment. The pore size distribution of the porous carbon host proved critical for both the extent and form of retained sulfur, where pores below 0.4 nm could not accommodate any sulfur, pores between 0.4 and 0.7 nm retained S4 and S6 allotropes, and pores between 0.7 and 1.5 nm contained S8. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Journal of Composites Science in 2020)
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Article
The Influence of Pressure-Induced-Flow Processing on the Morphology, Thermal and Mechanical Properties of Polypropylene Blends
J. Compos. Sci. 2021, 5(3), 64; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs5030064 - 24 Feb 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 612
Abstract
The pressure-induced-flow (PIF) processing can effectively prepare high-performance polymer materials. This paper studies the influence of pressure-induced-flow processing on the morphology, thermodynamic and mechanical properties of polypropylene (PP)/polyamide 6 (PA6) blends, PP/polyolefin elastomer (POE) blends and PP/thermoplastic urethane (TPU) blends. The results show [...] Read more.
The pressure-induced-flow (PIF) processing can effectively prepare high-performance polymer materials. This paper studies the influence of pressure-induced-flow processing on the morphology, thermodynamic and mechanical properties of polypropylene (PP)/polyamide 6 (PA6) blends, PP/polyolefin elastomer (POE) blends and PP/thermoplastic urethane (TPU) blends. The results show that pressure-induced-flow processing can significantly improve the thermodynamic and mechanical properties of the blends by regulating internal structure. Research shows that the pressure-induced-flow processing can increase the strength and the toughness of the blends, particularly in PP/TPU blends. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Composites: Fabrication and Applications)
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