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J. Compos. Sci., Volume 5, Issue 6 (June 2021) – 24 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): While an airbrake has already been designed for Endeavour’s Darwin I rocket, there is still room for curiosity-driven improvement. Here, a Flasher origami airbrake is designed as a bilayer composite of segmented quasi-isotropic CFRP on a carbon fibre woven membrane. When stowed, the airbrake has a 3D structure that aligns flush with the fuselage of the rocket; however, when actuated to an open state, it becomes a flat 2D plate that increases drag. The Flasher origami airbrake is lower in weight and volume and has a 6-fold higher drag-to-torque ratio than the current Darwin I airbrake design. This paper elucidates the noteworthy potential for the application of origami composite technologies in rocket engineering. View this paper.
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Article
Study of the Effect of the A206/1.0 wt. % γAl2O3 Nanocomposites Content on the Portevin-Le Chatelier Phenomenon in Al/0.5 wt. % Mg Alloys
J. Compos. Sci. 2021, 5(6), 163; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs5060163 - 21 Jun 2021
Viewed by 262
Abstract
The Portevin-Le Chatelier (PLC) phenomenon or dynamic strain aging in Al–0.5 wt. % Mg alloys was investigated at different strain rates. This research also examined the effect of γAl2O3 nanoparticles on the PLC phenomenon. A nanocomposite made of A206/1.0 wt. [...] Read more.
The Portevin-Le Chatelier (PLC) phenomenon or dynamic strain aging in Al–0.5 wt. % Mg alloys was investigated at different strain rates. This research also examined the effect of γAl2O3 nanoparticles on the PLC phenomenon. A nanocomposite made of A206/1.0 wt. % γAl2O3 was manufactured to this purpose and then, added to an Al–0.5 wt. % Mg melt to obtain ingots of Al–0.5 wt. % Mg–20 wt. % A206/1.0 wt. % γAl2O3 and Al–0.5 wt. % Mg–10 wt. % A206/1.0 wt. % γAl2O3 with 6 mm diameter. Cold deformation allowed manufacturing 1 mm diameter wires using the 6 mm diameter ingots. A 300 °C solution treatment, followed by rapid cooling in ice water permitted to retain Mg atoms in solid solution. The tensile tests performed on the wires revealed the PLC phenomenon upon the tensile stress vs. strain plastic zone. The phenomenon was quantified using MatLab™ and statistical analysis. The results demonstrated how the alumina nanoparticles can diminish the serration amplitude of the PLC phenomenon. Full article
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Review
A Comprehensive Review of Polymeric Wastewater Purification Membranes
J. Compos. Sci. 2021, 5(6), 162; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs5060162 - 21 Jun 2021
Viewed by 435
Abstract
Synthetic membranes are currently employed for multiple separation applications in various industries. They may have been prepared from organic or inorganic materials. Present research majorly focuses on polymeric (i.e., organic) membranes because they show better flexibility, pore formation mechanism, and thermal and chemical [...] Read more.
Synthetic membranes are currently employed for multiple separation applications in various industries. They may have been prepared from organic or inorganic materials. Present research majorly focuses on polymeric (i.e., organic) membranes because they show better flexibility, pore formation mechanism, and thermal and chemical stability, and demand less area for installation. Dendritic, carbon nanotube, graphene and graphene oxide, metal and metal oxide, zwitter-ionic, and zeolite-based membranes are among the most promised water treatment membranes. This paper critically reviews the ongoing developments to utilize nanocomposite membranes to purify water. Various membranes have been reported to study their resistance and fouling properties. A special focus is given towards multiple ways in which these nanocomposite membranes can be employed. Therefore, this review provides a platform to develop the awareness of current research and motivate its readers to make further progress for utilizing nanocomposite membranes in water purification. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Multidisciplinary Composites)
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Article
Mathematical Simulation of the Wettability of Al2O3 Substrate through Different Aluminum Alloys
J. Compos. Sci. 2021, 5(6), 161; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs5060161 - 20 Jun 2021
Viewed by 300
Abstract
The wetting process of a ceramic substrate (Al2O3) with and without carbon coating by means of aluminum-based alloys has been investigated. A mathematical simulation that predicts wettability in the systems under study is proposed, taking into account the diffusional [...] Read more.
The wetting process of a ceramic substrate (Al2O3) with and without carbon coating by means of aluminum-based alloys has been investigated. A mathematical simulation that predicts wettability in the systems under study is proposed, taking into account the diffusional effects of the used constituents. The prediction of the mathematical simulation is compared with the experimental results obtained for the same systems in question. From the results obtained, it was found that the wettability of a liquid droplet of aluminum and aluminum alloys on an alumina (Al2O3) substrate with and without carbon coating can be well represented by the proposed mathematical diffusion simulation. On the other hand, the control mechanism of the contact angle in relation to the deposition of a thin layer of carbon on the ceramic substrate (Al2O3) and the presence of metals such as La and Y in the aluminum alloy, give way to the formation of Al4C3, La2O3 and Y2O3 and these types of reaction help in the decrease of the contact angle. Full article
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Review
An Overview of the Design of Chitosan-Based Fiber Composite Materials
J. Compos. Sci. 2021, 5(6), 160; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs5060160 - 17 Jun 2021
Viewed by 313
Abstract
Chitosan composite fibrous materials continue to generate significant interest for wastewater treatment, food packaging, and biomedical applications. This relates to the relatively high surface area and porosity of such fibrous chitosan materials that synergize with their unique physicochemical properties. Various methods are involved [...] Read more.
Chitosan composite fibrous materials continue to generate significant interest for wastewater treatment, food packaging, and biomedical applications. This relates to the relatively high surface area and porosity of such fibrous chitosan materials that synergize with their unique physicochemical properties. Various methods are involved in the preparation of chitosan composite fibrous materials, which include the modification of the biopolymer that serve to alter the solubility of chitosan, along with post-treatment of the composite materials to improve the water stability or to achieve tailored functional properties. Two promising methods to produce such composite fibrous materials involve freeze-drying and electrospinning. Future developments of such composite fibrous materials demands an understanding of the various modes of preparation and methods of structural characterization of such materials. This review contributes to an understanding of the structure–property relationships of composite fibrous materials that contain chitosan, along with an overview of recent advancements concerning their preparation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Composites and Fibers)
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Article
Overmoulding of Additively Manufactured Titanium Inserts Using Polyoxymethylene (POM)—Evaluation of Bond Quality as a Function of Process Parameters
J. Compos. Sci. 2021, 5(6), 159; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs5060159 - 15 Jun 2021
Viewed by 328
Abstract
Due to their process-induced porous surfaces, additively manufactured structures are not optimized for applications in which friction is a key factor. To improve the frictional properties of additively manufactured titanium inserts of various thicknesses, two tribologically optimized POM materials, which differ in terms [...] Read more.
Due to their process-induced porous surfaces, additively manufactured structures are not optimized for applications in which friction is a key factor. To improve the frictional properties of additively manufactured titanium inserts of various thicknesses, two tribologically optimized POM materials, which differ in terms of filler composition and contents, were used to overmould the inserts. The titanium inserts were manufactured in two different building directions, resulting in a variation in surface roughness. The main challenge with respect to overmoulding is to maintain an even, thin plastic layer on the titanium insert. In order to evaluate the adhesion between plastic and metal, the interface is examined by optical microscopy and assessment of the peeling resistance. The peeling test shows that the overmoulded titanium inserts with a higher surface roughness are characterized by a higher peeling resistance. It is further revealed that the POM material with a special filler concept shows superior peeling resistance. Full article
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Article
Chromatic Conductive Polymer Nanocomposites of Poly (p-Phenylene Ethynylene)s and Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes
J. Compos. Sci. 2021, 5(6), 158; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs5060158 - 14 Jun 2021
Viewed by 449
Abstract
We report on dispersions and thin films of chromatic conductive nanocomposites of poly(p-phenylene ethynylene)s (PPEs) and single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) generated via solution mixing. The linear, conjugated PPEs with dialkyl- and dialkyloxy-side chain groups are shown to debundle and disperse high [...] Read more.
We report on dispersions and thin films of chromatic conductive nanocomposites of poly(p-phenylene ethynylene)s (PPEs) and single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) generated via solution mixing. The linear, conjugated PPEs with dialkyl- and dialkyloxy-side chain groups are shown to debundle and disperse high concentration (up to 2.5 mg/mL) SWNTs in various organic solvents. The solubilization of SWNTs and PPE wrapping is accompanied with the change in the solution color. Ultraviolet visible absorption spectra of nanocomposite solutions demonstrate a new absorption peak at a higher wavelength, supporting the observed chromatism. Fluorescence spectra of nanocomposite solutions display significant quenching of the fluorescence intensity and the Stern–Volmer model is used to analyze fluorescence quenching. Electron microscopy of the chromatic solid films of high mass fraction PPE/SWNT nanocomposites obtained by vacuum filtration reveals the debundled SWNTs in the PPE matrix. The tensile strength and Young’s modulus of these PPE/SWNT nanocomposite films are as high as 150 MPa and 15 GPa, respectively. The composite films exhibit remarkably high conductivities, ranging from ~1000 S/m to ~10,000 S/m for 10 wt% and 60 wt% SWNT nanocomposites, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Conductive Polymer Composites)
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Article
A Multi-Scale Method for Designing Hybrid Fiber-Reinforced Composite Drive Shafts with Carbon Nanotube Inclusions
J. Compos. Sci. 2021, 5(6), 157; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs5060157 - 10 Jun 2021
Viewed by 538
Abstract
In this paper, the modal and linear buckling analysis of a laminated composite drive shaft reinforced by 11 multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) was carried out using an analytical approach, as well as the finite element method (FEM). The theoretical model is based on [...] Read more.
In this paper, the modal and linear buckling analysis of a laminated composite drive shaft reinforced by 11 multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) was carried out using an analytical approach, as well as the finite element method (FEM). The theoretical model is based on classical laminated theory (CLT). The fundamental frequency and the critical buckling torque were determined for different fiber orientation angles. The Halpin–Tsai model was employed to calculate the elastic modulus of composites having randomly oriented nanotubes. The effect of various carbon nanotube (CNT) volume fractions in the epoxy resin matrix on the material properties of unidirectional composite laminas was also analyzed. The fundamental frequency and the critical buckling torque obtained by the finite element analysis and the analytical method for different fiber orientation angles were in good agreement with each other. The results were verified with data available in the open literature, where possible. For the first time in the literature, the influence of CNT fillers on various composite drive shaft design parameters such as the fundamental frequency, critical speed, and critical buckling torque of a hybrid fiber-reinforced composite drive shaft is finally predicted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Characterization and Modelling of Composites, Volume II)
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Article
Impact of Fly Ash on Time-Dependent Properties of Agro-Waste Lightweight Aggregate Concrete
J. Compos. Sci. 2021, 5(6), 156; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs5060156 - 10 Jun 2021
Viewed by 449
Abstract
The utilization of by-products and waste materials to substitute for the natural or manufactured resources is considered as a practical way to obtain green building materials. In concrete mixtures, amongst the many available options, Fly Ash (FA) as a by-product pozzolan has been [...] Read more.
The utilization of by-products and waste materials to substitute for the natural or manufactured resources is considered as a practical way to obtain green building materials. In concrete mixtures, amongst the many available options, Fly Ash (FA) as a by-product pozzolan has been used as a partial replacement of cement. As for the aggregates, lightweight agro-waste oil palm shell (OPS) can be used as a replacement to conventional aggregate for the production of lightweight aggregate concrete. The present communication aims to investigate the impact of FA on time-dependent development properties of OPS lightweight aggregate concrete, including density, water absorption, compressive strength up to 120-days, and drying shrinkage up to the age of 365-days under standard moist curing, partially early curing, and non-curing conditions. Additionally, drying shrinkage crack development was investigated. In this study, two series of concrete mixtures with different substitution levels of OPS (0%, 50%, and 100%) and FA were tested. From the obtained results, it was concluded that the incorporation of fly ash in OPS concrete reduces the density and compressive strength values. Dually, the initial and final water absorption values plus the rate of drying shrinkage at early and long-term ages increased. On top of that, a high potential of drying shrinkage crack, especially for mixtures with 100% OPS, was identified. Full article
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Article
Development and Mechanical Characterisation of Al6061-Al2O3-Graphene Hybrid Metal Matrix Composites
J. Compos. Sci. 2021, 5(6), 155; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs5060155 - 10 Jun 2021
Viewed by 518
Abstract
MMC based on aluminium (Al) were produced for light-weight applications especially in aviation and automobile areas. Present paper deals with the fabrication and mechanical performance of AA6061 matrix composites fortified with Al2O3 (alumina) and graphene particulates. Fluid metallurgy method namely [...] Read more.
MMC based on aluminium (Al) were produced for light-weight applications especially in aviation and automobile areas. Present paper deals with the fabrication and mechanical performance of AA6061 matrix composites fortified with Al2O3 (alumina) and graphene particulates. Fluid metallurgy method namely stir casting route was employed for fabricating the hybrid composites. Al2O3p and graphene powder are mixed in different weight fractions in which graphene (1 wt. %) particle reinforcement is held consistent and Al2O3 reinforcement is differed freely with 5, 10 and 15 wt. %. Using optical analyser and SEM equipment, microstructural examination is carried out and the result reveals that the graphene and Al2O3 particles prevalently are homogeneously appropriated on the grain limits of Al matrix and Al2O3 particles are disseminated between graphene in the as-cast AA6061 MMC’s. Detailed analysis on investigation of the microstructure and mechanical aspects of Al6061-graphene-Al2O3p composites is presented by following ASTM guidelines; results uncovered that with increment in reinforcement particles, there is an enhancement in the hardness, ultimate strength, yield strength and a decline in the elongation values was however noticed when contrasted with Al6061 alloy. Fractography investigation revealed dimples in unreinforced alloy and the composite. Full article
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Article
Understanding the Coupling Effect between Lignin and Polybutadiene Elastomer
J. Compos. Sci. 2021, 5(6), 154; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs5060154 - 08 Jun 2021
Viewed by 597
Abstract
From an environmental and economic viewpoint, it is a win–win strategy to use materials obtained from renewable resources for the production of high-performance elastomer composites. Lignin, being a renewable biomass, was employed as a functional filler material to obtain an elastomer composite with [...] Read more.
From an environmental and economic viewpoint, it is a win–win strategy to use materials obtained from renewable resources for the production of high-performance elastomer composites. Lignin, being a renewable biomass, was employed as a functional filler material to obtain an elastomer composite with a higher degree of mechanical performance. In the presence of a suitable coupling agent, an elevated temperature was preferred for the reactive mixing of lignin with polybutadiene rubber (BR). It is quite fascinating that the mechanical performance of this composite was comparable with carbon black-filled composites. The extraordinary reinforcing behavior of lignin in the BR matrix was understood by an available model of rubber reinforcement. In rubber composite preparation, the interfacial interaction between polybutadiene rubber and lignin in the presence of a coupling agent enabled the efficient dispersion of lignin into the rubber matrix, which is responsible for the excellent mechanical properties of the rubber composites. The rubber composites thus obtained may lead to the development of a sustainable and cost-effective end product with reliable performance. This novel approach could be implemented in other type of elastomeric materials, enabling a genuine pathway toward a sustainable globe. Full article
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Article
Study on the Melting Temperature, the Jumps of Volume, Enthalpy and Entropy at Melting Point, and the Debye Temperature for the BCC Defective and Perfect Interstitial Alloy WSi under Pressure
J. Compos. Sci. 2021, 5(6), 153; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs5060153 - 07 Jun 2021
Viewed by 469
Abstract
The objective of this study is to determine the analytic expressions of the Helmholtz free energy, the equilibrium vacancy concentration, the melting temperature, the jumps of volume, enthalpy the mean nearest neighbor distance and entropy at melting point, the Debye temperature for the [...] Read more.
The objective of this study is to determine the analytic expressions of the Helmholtz free energy, the equilibrium vacancy concentration, the melting temperature, the jumps of volume, enthalpy the mean nearest neighbor distance and entropy at melting point, the Debye temperature for the BCC defective, the limiting temperature of absolute stability for the crystalline state, and for the perfect binary interstitial alloy. The results obtained from the expressions are combined with the statistical moment method, the limiting condition of the absolute stability at the crystalline state, the Clausius–Clapeyron equation, the Debye model and the Gruneisen equation. Our numerical calculations of obtained theoretical results were carried out for alloy WSi under high temperature and pressure. Our calculated melting curve and relation between the melting temperature and the silicon concentration for WSi are in good agreement with other calculations. Our calculations for the jumps of volume, enthalpy and entropy, and the Debye temperature for WSi predict and orient experimental results in the future. Full article
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Article
Impact Resistance of Fibre Reinforced Composite Railway Freight Tank Wagons
J. Compos. Sci. 2021, 5(6), 152; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs5060152 - 04 Jun 2021
Viewed by 586
Abstract
The use of fibre reinforced composite materials is one method by which the lightweighting of rail vehicles can be achieved. However, the issue of impact damage, amongst other challenges, limits their safety certification. This issue is accentuated by the high levels of loading [...] Read more.
The use of fibre reinforced composite materials is one method by which the lightweighting of rail vehicles can be achieved. However, the issue of impact damage, amongst other challenges, limits their safety certification. This issue is accentuated by the high levels of loading a rail vehicle may be subjected to during service. This paper addresses the significance of pre-tension on large composite structures, specifically for a composite redesign of a pressure vessel for a freight tank wagon. Preloading was determined to be detrimental to the overall impact resistance of a large composite vessel. At 15.71 J of impact energy, there was a 22% increase in mean absorbed energy for a uniaxially loaded panel over an unloaded panel. However, there was only a 4% difference in penetration depth between uniaxial and biaxial loading. A novel finding from these results is that the effects of preloading are more profound if the loading does not act parallel to a principal fibre direction. Matrix cracking and delaminations are the most common failure modes observed for specimens under low-velocity impact and are intensified by preload. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Composite Process Modeling and Characterization)
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Article
Study of the Physical Behavior of a New Composite Material Based on Fly Ash from the Combustion of Coal in an Ultra-Supercritical Thermal Power Plant
J. Compos. Sci. 2021, 5(6), 151; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs5060151 - 03 Jun 2021
Viewed by 521
Abstract
Given the amount of industrial waste produced and collected in the world today, a recycling and recovery process is needed. The study carried out on this subject focuses on the valorization of one of these industrial wastes, namely the fly ash produced by [...] Read more.
Given the amount of industrial waste produced and collected in the world today, a recycling and recovery process is needed. The study carried out on this subject focuses on the valorization of one of these industrial wastes, namely the fly ash produced by an ultra-supercritical coal power plant. This paper describes the use and recovery of fly ash as a high percentage reinforcement for the development of a new high-performance composite material for use in various fields. The raw material, fly ash, comes from the staged combustion of coal, which occurs in the furnace of an ultra-supercritical boiler of a coal-fired power plant. Mechanical compression, thermal conductivity, and erosion tests are used to study the mechanical, thermal, and erosion behavior of this new composite material. The mineralogical and textural analyses of samples were characterized using Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM). SEM confirmed the formation of a new composite by a polymerization reaction. The results obtained are very remarkable, with a high Young’s modulus and a criterion of insulation, which approves the presence of a potential to be exploited in the different fields of materials. In conclusion, the composite material presented in this study has great potential for building material and could represent interesting candidates for the smart city. Full article
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Article
Numerical Simulation of the Forming Process of Veneer Laminates
J. Compos. Sci. 2021, 5(6), 150; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs5060150 - 03 Jun 2021
Viewed by 561
Abstract
In automotive manufacturing, laminated veneer sheets are formed to have 3D geometries for the production of trim parts with wood surfaces. Nowadays, investigation of the formability requires extensive tests with prototype tools, due to the brittle, anisotropic and inhomogeneous material behaviors. The present [...] Read more.
In automotive manufacturing, laminated veneer sheets are formed to have 3D geometries for the production of trim parts with wood surfaces. Nowadays, investigation of the formability requires extensive tests with prototype tools, due to the brittle, anisotropic and inhomogeneous material behaviors. The present paper provides numerical methods for the simulation of the forming process of veneers with non-woven backings. Therefore, a conventional forming process of an interior trim part surface is carried out experimentally and numerically, using veneer samples with different individual textures originating from the characteristic growth ring structure. Gray scale images of these samples are mapped to finite element models to account for the wood-specific structure. The forming simulation process comprises two steps, where a gravity simulation depicts the initial position of the blank sheets and the closing of the tool induces the material deformation. The virtual forming of the digital twins accurately reproduces the wrinkling behavior observed in experimental studies. Based on the proposed methods, the design process of manufacturing wood trim parts based on tedious prototype tooling can be replaced by a fully virtual forming process taking into account the individual growth-related properties of the veneer structure. Full article
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Systematic Review
Dental Bulk-Fill Resin Composites Polymerization Efficiency: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
J. Compos. Sci. 2021, 5(6), 149; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs5060149 - 02 Jun 2021
Viewed by 554
Abstract
Dental Bulk-Fill Composites (BFCs) and Bulk-Fill Flowables (BFFs) were introduced in the market to facilitate efficient bulk filling of cavities up to 5 mm. The aim of this study was to synthesize the literature investigating their polymerization efficiency. A comprehensive search of PubMed [...] Read more.
Dental Bulk-Fill Composites (BFCs) and Bulk-Fill Flowables (BFFs) were introduced in the market to facilitate efficient bulk filling of cavities up to 5 mm. The aim of this study was to synthesize the literature investigating their polymerization efficiency. A comprehensive search of PubMed and the Cochrane Library from 2010 to January 2019 was performed using the medical subject headings. Screening of the titles, abstracts and full text was performed. Data extraction for relevant information was done on the included studies. Clinically relevant parameters were selected to present the study estimates (meta-analysis) using a random effects model for polymerization efficiency (Degree of Conversion (DC) and Depth of Cure (DoC)). Twenty one studies fulfilled the inclusion criteria and were included in the analysis reporting seven BFCs and nine BFFs. Ten materials reported acceptable DC values of above 55% and ten materials reported adequate DoC values. Most of the stated materials reported adequate DC and DoC values in at least one investigation with BFFs showing higher and more acceptable values compared to packable BFCs. It is suggested that future studies be carried out using a standard methodology following the ISO 4049 standard and manufacturer’s instructions to compare results. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Composites: Biomaterials in Dental Fields)
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Article
Aligned Collagen-CNT Nanofibrils and the Modulation Effect on Ovarian Cancer Cells
J. Compos. Sci. 2021, 5(6), 148; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs5060148 - 02 Jun 2021
Viewed by 526
Abstract
Fibrillar collagen is a one-dimensional biopolymer and is the most abundant structural protein in the extracellular matrix (ECM) of connective tissues. Due to the unique properties of carbon nanotubes (CNTs), considerable attention has been given to the application of CNTs in developing biocomposite [...] Read more.
Fibrillar collagen is a one-dimensional biopolymer and is the most abundant structural protein in the extracellular matrix (ECM) of connective tissues. Due to the unique properties of carbon nanotubes (CNTs), considerable attention has been given to the application of CNTs in developing biocomposite materials for tissue engineering and drug delivery. When introduced to tissues, CNTs inevitably interact and integrate with collagen and impose a discernible effect on cells in the vicinity. The positive effect of the collagen-CNT (COL-CNT) matrix in tissue regeneration and the cytotoxicity of free CNTs have been investigated extensively. In this study, we aimed to examine the effect of COL-CNT on mediating the interaction between the matrix and SKOV3 ovarian cancer cells. We generated unidirectionally aligned collagen and COL-CNT nanofibrils, mimicking the structure and dimension of collagen fibrils in native tissues. AFM analysis revealed that the one-dimensional structure, high stiffness, and low adhesion of COL-CNT greatly facilitated the polarization of SKOV3 cells by regulating the β-1 integrin-mediated cell–matrix interaction, cytoskeleton rearrangement, and cell migration. Protein and gene level analyses implied that both collagen and COL-CNT matrices induced the epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT), and the COL-CNT matrix prompted a higher level of cell transformation. However, the induced cells expressed CD44 at a reduced level and MMP2 at an increased level, and they were responsive to the chemotherapy drug gemcitabine. The results suggested that the COL-CNT matrix induced the transdifferentiation of the epithelial cancer cells to mature, less aggressive, and less potent cells, which are inapt for tumor metastasis and chemoresistance. Thus, the presence of CNT in a collagen matrix is unlikely to cause an adverse effect on cancer patients if a controlled dose of CNT is used for drug delivery or tissue regeneration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bio-Abio Nanocomposites for Bio-Applications)
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Article
The Design of Carbon Fibre Composite Origami Airbrakes for Endeavour’s Darwin I Rocket
J. Compos. Sci. 2021, 5(6), 147; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs5060147 - 01 Jun 2021
Viewed by 685
Abstract
This paper concerns the conceptual design of a carbon fibre composite airbrake intended for use on the Endeavour Darwin I rocket. The airbrake design is based on a Flasher origami model and we research its actuation mechanism, its ability to increase drag, and [...] Read more.
This paper concerns the conceptual design of a carbon fibre composite airbrake intended for use on the Endeavour Darwin I rocket. The airbrake design is based on a Flasher origami model and we research its actuation mechanism, its ability to increase drag, and its mechanical behaviour when actuated. The aim of this work was to improve upon the current ‘Pancake’ airbrake model and we find that the origami Flasher generates six times more drag at a given torque. The Flasher is designed to be built of quasi-isotropic CFRP resting on a carbon fibre woven membrane. When subjected to distributed loads from drag, the Flasher presses into the membrane material causing it to stress at levels of 1.4 GPa. Taking into account a safety factor of 1.2 for the rocket airbrake, this stress lies far below the failure stress of the carbon fibre woven membrane. In this work, the composite Flasher origami airbrake design offers improvements in drag and weight reduction, and will withstand drag forces when actuated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geometrical and Structural Design of Load Bearing Composites)
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Article
Stress-Strain Behaviour and Mechanical Strengths of Concrete Incorporating Mixed Recycled Plastics
J. Compos. Sci. 2021, 5(6), 146; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs5060146 - 30 May 2021
Viewed by 985
Abstract
Different types of recycled plastic have been used in concrete and most studies have focused on the behaviour of a single type of plastic. However, separating plastic wastes increases the cost and time of processing. To tackle this problem, this research presents an [...] Read more.
Different types of recycled plastic have been used in concrete and most studies have focused on the behaviour of a single type of plastic. However, separating plastic wastes increases the cost and time of processing. To tackle this problem, this research presents an experimental investigation to determine the effect of incorporating different combinations of three types of recycled plastic waste aggregates—Polyethylene terephthalate (PET), High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) and Polypropylene (PP)—at different replacement ratios of coarse aggregate on physical and mechanical properties of concrete. The combinations include two plastic types at 10% and 20% replacement ratios and three plastic types at 15% and 30% replacement ratios. The performance of the plastic concrete was assessed based on various physical and mechanical properties including workability, fresh and dry densities, air content, compressive, indirect tensile and flexural strengths, modulus of elasticity, stress-strain behaviour and ultrasonic pulse velocity. It is found that the workability of Mixed Recycled Plastic Concrete (MRPC) at a low replacement rate is independent of the type of plastic. The minimum reduction in the compressive strength, indirect tensile and modulus of elasticity were achieved by R3 (PET + PP) at 10% replacement, while R5 (HDPE + PP) at 10% replacement achieved the highest flexural strength and ultrasonic pulse velocity values. The findings suggest that the mixed recycled plastics have a good possibility to partially replace coarse aggregates in concrete which will benefit the plastics recycling community and environment. Furthermore, the study will provide guidance to the concrete industry concerning the effect of the implementation of unsorted mixed types of plastic as coarse aggregates in the production of concrete. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Journal of Composites Science in 2021)
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Review
Artificial Intelligence Application in Solid State Mg-Based Hydrogen Energy Storage
J. Compos. Sci. 2021, 5(6), 145; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs5060145 - 29 May 2021
Viewed by 743
Abstract
The use of Mg-based compounds in solid-state hydrogen energy storage has a very high prospect due to its high potential, low-cost, and ease of availability. Today, solid-state hydrogen storage science is concerned with understanding the material behavior of different compositions and structure when [...] Read more.
The use of Mg-based compounds in solid-state hydrogen energy storage has a very high prospect due to its high potential, low-cost, and ease of availability. Today, solid-state hydrogen storage science is concerned with understanding the material behavior of different compositions and structure when interacting with hydrogen. Finding a suitable material has remained an elusive idea, and therefore, this review summarizes works by various groups, the milestones they have achieved, and the roadmap to be taken on the study of hydrogen storage using low-cost magnesium composites. Mg-based compounds are further examined from the perspective of artificial intelligence studies, which helps to improve prediction of their properties and hydrogen storage performance. There exist several techniques to improve the performance of Mg-based compounds: microstructure modification, use of catalytic additives, and composition regulation. Microstructure modification is usually achieved by employing different synthetic techniques like severe plastic deformation, high energy ball milling, and cold rolling, among others. These synthetic approaches are discussed herein. In this review, a discussion of key parameters and operating conditions are highlighted in a view to finding high storage capacity and faster kinetics. Furthermore, recent approaches like machine learning have found application in guiding the experimental design. Hence, this review paper also explores how machine learning techniques have been utilized to fasten the materials research. It is however noted that this study is not exhaustive in itself. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Composites for Energy Storage Applications)
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Article
The Performance of Filava-Polysiloxane, Silres® H62C Composite in High Temperature Application
J. Compos. Sci. 2021, 5(6), 144; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs5060144 - 27 May 2021
Viewed by 662
Abstract
The research aim is to investigate the performance of novel enriched mineral fibres (Filava) in polysiloxane SLIRES H62 resin. Specimens were manufactured using a vacuum bagging process and oven cured at 250 °C. Specimens were prepared for flexural testing according to BS EN [...] Read more.
The research aim is to investigate the performance of novel enriched mineral fibres (Filava) in polysiloxane SLIRES H62 resin. Specimens were manufactured using a vacuum bagging process and oven cured at 250 °C. Specimens were prepared for flexural testing according to BS EN ISO 14125:1998 to obtain flexural strength, modulus, and elongation. The mechanical strength was compared to similar composites, with the aim of determining composite performance index. The flexural modulus (9.7 GPa), flexural strength (83 MPa), and flexural strain (2.9%) were obtained from a three-point bending test. In addition, the study investigates the thermal properties of the composite using a state-of-art Zwick Roell high temperature tensile rig. The results showed Filava/Polysiloxane Composites had an ultimate tensile strength 400 MPa, Young’s modulus 16 GPa and strain 2.5% at 1000 °C, and no smoke and ash were observed during pyrolysis. Ongoing research is currently taking place to use Filava-H62 in fire-retardant enclosure for lithium-ferro-phosphate Batteries used in electric trucks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Multi-functional Composites and Metamaterials)
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Article
Practical Rubber Pre-Treatment Approch for Concrete Use—An Experimental Study
J. Compos. Sci. 2021, 5(6), 143; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs5060143 - 26 May 2021
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Abstract
There is a lot of ongoing active research all over the world looking for various applications of used tyre rubber, to increase its utilisation rate. One of the common research applications is to incorporate rubber into concrete as a partial replacement for conventional [...] Read more.
There is a lot of ongoing active research all over the world looking for various applications of used tyre rubber, to increase its utilisation rate. One of the common research applications is to incorporate rubber into concrete as a partial replacement for conventional aggregates. However, due to its poor bonding performance with cement paste, the utilisation of rubber in concrete has been hindered to date. A cost-effective and time-saving rubber pre-treatment method is of great interest, especially for the concrete industry. Out of all the various pre-treatment methods, soaking rubber particles in water is the most cost-effective and least complex method. In addition, sodium sulphate accelerates the hydration reaction of the cement composites. This study looks at the effect of soaking crumb rubber in tap water for short (2 h) and long (24 h) durations, and the optimised duration was then compared with soaking the crumb rubber in a 5% concentration of sodium sulphate solution. Compressive strength, bond behaviour, and rubber/cement interfacial transition zone (ITZ) were investigated using X-ray diffraction (XRD) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) analysis. The results demonstrate that a soaking duration of 2 h provides much better performance in both the strength and bond properties compared to 24-h soaking. A further improvement in the 7-day strength was achieved with the rubber soaked in 5% sodium sulphate solution for 2 h, providing a more practical and economical rubber pre-treatment method for concrete industry use. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Progress in Rubber Blends and Composites Technology)
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Article
Physico-Mechanical Study of CMC/BFO/PoPD Nanocomposite Films Reinforced with Cellulose Nanocrystals (CNCMCC) for Effective Photocatalytic Removal of Methyl Orange
J. Compos. Sci. 2021, 5(6), 142; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs5060142 - 25 May 2021
Viewed by 359
Abstract
The present study was conducted to develop a nanocomposite film of carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) reinforced with cellulose nanocrystals isolated from microcrystalline cellulose (CNCMCC) in the presence of bismuth ferrite (BFO)/poly-o-phenylenediamine (PoPD). The physicochemical properties, the mechanical and thermal stability, and its [...] Read more.
The present study was conducted to develop a nanocomposite film of carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) reinforced with cellulose nanocrystals isolated from microcrystalline cellulose (CNCMCC) in the presence of bismuth ferrite (BFO)/poly-o-phenylenediamine (PoPD). The physicochemical properties, the mechanical and thermal stability, and its photocatalytic activity towards the removal of methyl orange (MO) were determined. Results show that the integration of CNCMCC into the CMC matrix enhanced the mechanical strength of the film. The tensile strength (TS) of the nanocomposite film increased from 0.205 to 0.244 MPa, while elongation at break (EB) decreased from 201.44 to 168.78% in the presence of 20 wt.% of CNCMCC. The incorporation of CNCMCC in the CMC matrix substantially enhanced the nanocomposite’s thermal stability from 181.16 to 185.59 °C and decreased the degradation residue from 72.64 to 63.16%. The determination of the photocatalytic activity of the CMC/CNCMCC/BFO/PoPD composite film revealed the removal of methyl orange (MO) of 93.64% with high structural integrity after 3 h of treatment. Thus, the isolated CNCMCC-reinforced CMC/BFO/PoPD composite film can be used as a photocatalyst for the removal of organic pollutants from wastewater, including the methyl orange. Full article
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Article
Dielectric Properties of Wood-Polymer Composites: Effects of Frequency, Fiber Nature, Proportion, and Chemical Composition
J. Compos. Sci. 2021, 5(6), 141; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs5060141 - 24 May 2021
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Abstract
The characterization of the dielectric properties of wood–polymer composites (WPCs) is essential to understand their interaction with electromagnetic fields and evaluate their potential use for new applications. Thus, dielectric spectroscopy monitored the evolution of the dielectric properties of WPCs over a wide frequency [...] Read more.
The characterization of the dielectric properties of wood–polymer composites (WPCs) is essential to understand their interaction with electromagnetic fields and evaluate their potential use for new applications. Thus, dielectric spectroscopy monitored the evolution of the dielectric properties of WPCs over a wide frequency range of 1 MHz to 1 GHz. WPCs were prepared using mixtures of different proportions (40%, 50%, and 60%) of wood and bark fibers from various species, high-density polyethylene, and maleated polyethylene (3%) by a two-step process, extrusion and compression molding. Results indicated that wood fibers modify the resistivity of polyethylene at low frequencies but have no effect at microwave frequencies. Increasing the fiber content increases the composites’ dielectric properties. The fibers’ cellulose content explains the variation in the dielectric properties of composites reinforced with fibers from different wood species. Indeed, composites with high cellulose content show higher dielectric constants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Biocomposites)
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Article
Controlled Magnetic Isolation and Decoupling of Perpendicular FePt Films by Capping Ultrathin Cu(002) Nano-Islands
J. Compos. Sci. 2021, 5(6), 140; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs5060140 - 21 May 2021
Viewed by 438
Abstract
This study investigated the ultrathin Cu(002) capping nano-island effects on the magnetic characterizations and microstructure of epitaxial FePt(001) films directly fabricated on MgO(001) substrates at the relatively low temperature of 300 °C via electron-beam deposition. The enhancement of the coercivity is attributed to [...] Read more.
This study investigated the ultrathin Cu(002) capping nano-island effects on the magnetic characterizations and microstructure of epitaxial FePt(001) films directly fabricated on MgO(001) substrates at the relatively low temperature of 300 °C via electron-beam deposition. The enhancement of the coercivity is attributed to the lowered exchange coupling of FePt magnetic grains that begun from Cu atom behavior of spreading in many directions mainly along grain boundaries due to its lower surface energy than that of pure Fe or Pt. The measurement of angular-dependent coercivity shows a tendency of a domain-wall motion shift toward the rotation of the reverse-domain type upon the thickness of the Cu capping nano-island layer atop the FePt films. The intergranular interaction was clarified by the Kelly–Henkel plot, which indicated that there was strong exchange coupling (positive δM) between neighboring grains in the FePt continuous films without Cu capping nano-islands. On the other hand, a negative δM value was gained when the FePt films were capped with a Cu(002) single layer, indicating that the Cu capping layer can be used to control the strength of intergrain exchange coupling between the adjacent FePt grains and thicker Cu(002) capping nano-islands toward magnetic isolation; thus, there was an existence of dipole interaction in our designed Cu/FePt composite structure of stacked films. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Journal of Composites Science in 2021)
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