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J. Compos. Sci., Volume 8, Issue 2 (February 2024) – 41 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): The article compares two exfoliation methods of multilayered silicate to achieve new corn starch-based nanocomposites with improved filler dispersion, homogeneous morphology with few defects, improved thermal behavior, undegraded aspect, white in color, good balance between elastic and plastic deformation, and suitable functional properties for various applications. The two exfoliation methods considered are the shear stress and temperature action during melt compounding and the thermo-mechanical pre-treatment of the silicate in a plasticizer, common to the two polymers from the blends, before melt compounding. The results prove that pre-treatment of the filler before embedding it into the desired matrix limits the electrostatic attractions between the silicate lamellae and promotes the formation of the exfoliated-intercalated nanocomposites. View this paper
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13 pages, 5241 KiB  
Article
Experimental Investigation of Influence of Fibre Orientation on the Dynamic Properties of Carbon Fibre and Intra-Ply Woven Carbon-Kevlar/Epoxy Hybrid Composite
by Umanath R. Poojary and Sriharsha Hegde
J. Compos. Sci. 2024, 8(2), 78; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs8020078 - 17 Feb 2024
Viewed by 966
Abstract
Composite materials are popular substitutes for conventional materials owing to their high strength-to-weight ratio. Reinforcements in the form of woven fabric clothes are common due to their ease of availability and preparation. The use of hybrid intra-ply as reinforcements synergises the advantages of [...] Read more.
Composite materials are popular substitutes for conventional materials owing to their high strength-to-weight ratio. Reinforcements in the form of woven fabric clothes are common due to their ease of availability and preparation. The use of hybrid intra-ply as reinforcements synergises the advantages of more than one type of fibre. The current work focuses on the preparation of woven carbon fibre (CF) and carbon–Kevlar (CF-K) intra-ply hybrid fibre-based composites. Epoxy resin was used as the matrix and balsa sheet was used as the sandwich material. The angle of orientation of the woven fibre cloth was varied from 0° to 45° along the direction of loading. The dynamic properties of prepared samples were experimentally investigated using an impact hammer test. The natural frequency and damping ratio were influenced by the angle of orientation and the fibre reinforcement. The CF-K hybrid composite showed better dynamic properties when compared with the CF composite. The natural frequency was highest for the 0° sample, it reduced with the angle of orientation, and a reverse trend was observed for damping ratio. Both CF- and CF-K-based composites showed similar trends. The storage modulus variation also showed a similar trend as that of the natural frequency for both types of samples with orientation, but a reverse trend was observed for loss modulus, i.e., the loss modulus increased with the change in the angle of orientation, indicating the improvement in energy storage ability of the composite. Full article
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15 pages, 2932 KiB  
Article
On the Double-Double Laminate Buckling Optimum for the 18-Panel ‘Horse-Shoe’ Reference Case
by Erik Kappel
J. Compos. Sci. 2024, 8(2), 77; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs8020077 - 16 Feb 2024
Viewed by 841
Abstract
The Double-Double (DD) laminate family allows for simplification in the context of buckling analysis. Stacking-sequence discussions, known from conventional-laminate optimization, made from 0, ±45, 90 plies, omit for DD. The recently presented DD-specific buckling relation is applied [...] Read more.
The Double-Double (DD) laminate family allows for simplification in the context of buckling analysis. Stacking-sequence discussions, known from conventional-laminate optimization, made from 0, ±45, 90 plies, omit for DD. The recently presented DD-specific buckling relation is applied in this article to the 18-panel, ‘horse-shoe’ laminate blending reference case. The use case addresses the challenge of identifying a compatible group of laminates for differently loaded, adjacent regions, as it is a common scenario in wing covers and fuselage skins. The study demonstrates how the novel DD-laminate buckling relation simplifies the process of determining a buckling optimum for a group of laminates. The process of determining the optimum blended DD panel is presented. Its determined mass is compared with minimum masses, presented in earlier studies, which focus on stacking optimization and blending for more conventional ply orientations and laminate stacking conventions. Full article
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17 pages, 3297 KiB  
Article
Experimental Comparative Analysis of the Through-Thickness and In-Plane Compression Moduli of Unidirectional CFRP Laminates
by Raffael Bogenfeld
J. Compos. Sci. 2024, 8(2), 76; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs8020076 - 13 Feb 2024
Viewed by 988
Abstract
This study explores the experimental characterization of the through-thickness compression properties in unidirectional laminates using cube compression tests. Cubical specimens, each with an edge length of 10 mm, were symmetrically outfitted with biaxial strain gauges and subjected to a compression test. While similar [...] Read more.
This study explores the experimental characterization of the through-thickness compression properties in unidirectional laminates using cube compression tests. Cubical specimens, each with an edge length of 10 mm, were symmetrically outfitted with biaxial strain gauges and subjected to a compression test. While similar methodologies exist in the literature, this work primarily addresses the potential biases inherent in the testing procedure and their mitigation. The influence of friction-induced non-uniform deformation behavior is compensated through a scaling of the stiffness measurements using finite element (FE) analysis results. This scaling significantly enhances the accuracy of the resulting parameters of the experiments. The ultimate failure of the specimens, originating from stress concentrations at the edges, resulted in fracture angles ranging between 60° and 67°. Such fracture patterns, consistent with findings from other researchers, are attributed to shear stress induced by friction at the load introduction faces. The key findings of this research are the comparisons between the through-thickness modulus (E33c) and strength (X33c) and their in-plane counterparts (E22c and X22c). The results indicate deteriorations of E33c and X33c from E22c and X22c by margins of 5% and 7%, respectively. Furthermore, the results for E22c and X22c were compared with the results obtained through a standard test, revealing a 12% enhancement in strength X22c and 4% underestimated stiffness E22c in the cube compression test. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Characterization and Modelling of Composites, Volume III)
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22 pages, 12402 KiB  
Article
Tannins as Biobased Molecules for Surface Treatments of Flax Wrapped Rovings for Epoxy/Flax Fabrics Biocomposites: Influence on Mechanical Properties through a Multi-Scale Approach
by Khouloud Tilouche-Guerdelli, Clément Lacoste, Didier Perrin, Pierre-Jacques Liotier, Pierre Ouagne, Jacopo Tirillò, Fabrizio Sarasini and Anne Bergeret
J. Compos. Sci. 2024, 8(2), 75; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs8020075 - 13 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1185
Abstract
The present study examined the effect of biobased molecules grafted onto wrapped flax rovings on the mechanical properties of fabrics designed for epoxy-based biocomposites, aiming to optimize fiber/matrix adhesion. Biobased solutions, such as tannins from quebracho, were used to treat wrapped flax rovings [...] Read more.
The present study examined the effect of biobased molecules grafted onto wrapped flax rovings on the mechanical properties of fabrics designed for epoxy-based biocomposites, aiming to optimize fiber/matrix adhesion. Biobased solutions, such as tannins from quebracho, were used to treat wrapped flax rovings in comparison to a non-biobased aminosilane solution used as a reference. The chemical treatment is performed using an innovative lab-scale impregnation line. The influence of the solution concentration has been investigated. SEM-EDX and FT-IR confirmed the grafting efficiency of molecules on wrapped rovings. Plain and 5-harness satin fabrics were then manufactured at lab scale with the resulting functionalized rovings. Tensile tests were carried out on rovings and on fabrics. A concentration of 1% silane is sufficient to improve the mechanical properties of rovings and fabrics. The addition of NaOH to tannins strengthens flax fiber rovings more than tannins alone, and the weave pattern influences mechanical performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Biocomposites, Volume II)
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15 pages, 10460 KiB  
Article
Preparation of Nanoporous Carbon from Rice Husk with Improved Textural Characteristics for Hydrogen Sorption
by Bakhytzhan Lesbayev, Nurgali Rakhymzhan, Gaukhar Ustayeva, Yerkebulan Maral, Meiram Atamanov, Moldir Auyelkhankyzy and Ayazhan Zhamash
J. Compos. Sci. 2024, 8(2), 74; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs8020074 - 11 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1127
Abstract
This study proposes a method to control the pore-forming process by performing preliminary mechanical activation of the initial rice husk before carbonization. Preliminary mechanical activation of the initial rice husk leads to the loosening of the intercellular substance and its partial depolymerization, thereby [...] Read more.
This study proposes a method to control the pore-forming process by performing preliminary mechanical activation of the initial rice husk before carbonization. Preliminary mechanical activation of the initial rice husk leads to the loosening of the intercellular substance and its partial depolymerization, thereby increasing the availability of its internal structure for pore formation during carbonization and chemical activation. Using the method described above, nanoporous carbon was obtained with a Brunauer–Emmett–Teller (BET)-calculated specific surface area of 2713 m2/g, a micropore specific surface area calculated by using the Dubinina–Radushkevich (D-R) method of 3099 m2/g, and a total pore volume calculated by using the Barett–Joyner–Halenda (BJH) method of 1.625 cm3/g. Due to these characteristics, the adsorption capacity in the obtained sample was for hydrogen 3.7 wt.% at a temperature of −190 °C and a pressure of 9 kgf/cm2, which is 29.7% higher than the adsorption capacity of nanoporous carbon obtained based on rice husk without mechanical activation. The composite “carbon–platinum” NC-2/Pt10%, at a temperature of 20 °C and a pressure of 9 kgf/cm2, showed an increase in sorption capacity of 27% compared to pure nanoporous carbon NC-2, which is explained by the emergence of the spillover effect. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Composites Manufacturing and Processing)
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18 pages, 4018 KiB  
Article
Polymer Composites of Low-Density Polyethylene (LDPE) with Elongated Hematite (α-Fe2O3) Particles of Different Shapes
by Ljerka Kratofil Krehula, Ana Peršić, Nina Popov and Stjepko Krehula
J. Compos. Sci. 2024, 8(2), 73; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs8020073 - 11 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1051
Abstract
Due to the intensive search for new types of advanced polymer materials for targeted applications, this work offers insight into the properties of low-density polyethylene/hematite composites. The specific feature of this study lies in the use of elongated hematite particles of different shapes. [...] Read more.
Due to the intensive search for new types of advanced polymer materials for targeted applications, this work offers insight into the properties of low-density polyethylene/hematite composites. The specific feature of this study lies in the use of elongated hematite particles of different shapes. Uniform ellipsoid-, peanut- and rod-shaped hematite particles were hydrothermally synthesized and incorporated into the polymer matrix of low-density polyethylene (LDPE). LDPE/hematite composites are prepared by melt mixing. Hematite particles are characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and powder X-ray diffraction (PXRD). The pure LDPE polymer and LDPE/hematite composites were studied by FT-IR and UV-Vis-NIR spectroscopy and by thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). The determination of the mechanical and barrier properties was also carried out. The obtained results indicate the influence of the elongated particles on the improvement of LDPE properties. An increase in thermal stability and UV-absorption was observed as well as the improvement of mechanical and barrier properties. The improvement of the composites’ properties in comparison to the pure LDPE is especially visible in the composites prepared with low content of hematite (0.25%). LDPE/hematite composites have promising characteristics for application as packaging materials with enhanced mechanical, thermal and barrier properties as well as UV-protective materials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Progress in Polymer Composites, Volume III)
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20 pages, 7257 KiB  
Article
Increasing the Efficiency of Multilayered Silicate Melt Incorporation into Starch-Based Polymeric Matrices
by Doina Dimonie, Ramona Marina Grigorescu, Bogdan Trică, Celina-Maria Damian, Eugeniu Vasile, Roxana Trusca, Cristian-Andi Nicolae, Diana Constantinescu-Aruxandei and Florin Oancea
J. Compos. Sci. 2024, 8(2), 72; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs8020072 - 11 Feb 2024
Viewed by 957
Abstract
This article compares two exfoliation options of multilayered silicate, one considering the action of shear stress and temperature during melt compounding and another taking into account the action of the thermo-mechanical pretreatment of multilayered silicate in a plasticizer common to the starch and [...] Read more.
This article compares two exfoliation options of multilayered silicate, one considering the action of shear stress and temperature during melt compounding and another taking into account the action of the thermo-mechanical pretreatment of multilayered silicate in a plasticizer common to the starch and polyvinyl alcohol (PVOH), the two polymers from the compound. Increasing the action time of the shear stress and temperature during melt compounding proved to be an ineffective method for silicate exfoliation following the high degradability of starch and PVOH under thermo-mechanical conditions and the loss of hydration of the multilayered silicate under thermo-mechanical conditions. The obtained results prove that, by pretreating before embedding into the desired starch-PVOH matrix, it was possible to cancel the electrostatic attractions between the component lamellae of a multilayered silicate. During melt compounding with the two polymers, new attractions between the obtained lamellae and the polar groups of each polymer from the blend were settled, and so, without the usage of a liquid plasticizer, exfoliated intercalated nanocomposites were achieved. The improved properties and the practical importance of the new nanocomposites regards the obtaining of a non-degradable material that has a white color, better elastic properties and thermal stability, and a higher dissipation capacity of deformation energy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Polymer Composites)
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15 pages, 12447 KiB  
Article
Damage Model of Carbon-Fiber-Reinforced Concrete Based on Energy Conversion Principle
by Ruiqi Zheng, Jianyong Pang, Jian Sun, Yongqiang Su and Guoping Xu
J. Compos. Sci. 2024, 8(2), 71; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs8020071 - 10 Feb 2024
Viewed by 981
Abstract
In order to enhance the practical application of carbon-fiber-reinforced concrete (CFRC) in engineering, it is necessary to study the damage mechanism of CFRC. Experimental research on the mechanical properties of CFRC under multiple strain rates was conducted. Five different fiber contents were analyzed [...] Read more.
In order to enhance the practical application of carbon-fiber-reinforced concrete (CFRC) in engineering, it is necessary to study the damage mechanism of CFRC. Experimental research on the mechanical properties of CFRC under multiple strain rates was conducted. Five different fiber contents were analyzed to study the compressive strength and tensile strength of CFRC, and the damage characteristics of CFRC under multiple strain rates were analyzed based on failure modes and energy changes. An energy-based damage constitutive model was established. The results showed the following: (1) When the carbon fiber content was 0.4%, CFRC had the best comprehensive performance, with a 15.02% increase in compressive strength and a 51.12% increase in tensile strength. With the increase in strain rate, the compressive strength of the concrete increased. (2) Under high strain rates, carbon fiber significantly enhanced the compressive strength of the concrete, and the input energy, elastic strain energy, and dissipated energy increased. The peak value of the elastic strain energy conversion rate increased, and the minimum value of the dissipated energy conversion rate decreased. (3) Under the same strain rate, the CFRC had a larger inflection point of dissipated energy corresponding to the strain compared to the reference group of concrete during the loading process. A constitutive model for CFRC was established based on damage mechanics and probability statistics. The research results will provide theoretical references for the application of carbon-fiber-reinforced concrete. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbon Fiber Composites, Volume III)
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24 pages, 2052 KiB  
Review
Thermal Effects and Glass Crystallization in Composite Matrices for Immobilization of the Rare-Earth Element–Minor Actinide Fraction of High-Level Radioactive Waste
by Sergey V. Yudintsev, Michael I. Ojovan and Victor I. Malkovsky
J. Compos. Sci. 2024, 8(2), 70; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs8020070 - 10 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1112
Abstract
The current policy of managing high-level waste (HLW) derived in the closed nuclear fuel cycle consists in their vitrification into B-Si or Al-P vitreous forms. These compounds have rather limited capacity with respect to the HLW (5–20 wt%), and their properties change over [...] Read more.
The current policy of managing high-level waste (HLW) derived in the closed nuclear fuel cycle consists in their vitrification into B-Si or Al-P vitreous forms. These compounds have rather limited capacity with respect to the HLW (5–20 wt%), and their properties change over time due to devitrification of the glasses. Cardinal improvement in the management of HLW can be achieved by their separation onto groups of elements with similar properties, followed by their immobilization in robust waste forms (matrices) and emplacement in deep disposal facilities. One of the possible fractions contains trivalent rare-earth elements (REEs) and minor actinides (MAs = Am and Cm). REEs are the fission products of actinides, which are mainly represented by stable isotopes of elements from La to Gd as well as Y. This group also contains small amounts of short-lived radionuclides with half-lives (T1/2) from 284 days (144Ce) to 90 years (151Sm), including 147Pm (T1/2 = 2.6 years), 154Eu (T1/2 = 8.8 years), and 155Eu (T1/2 = 5 years). However, the main long-term environmental hazard of the REE–MA fraction is associated with Am and Cm, with half-lives from 18 years (244Cm) to 8500 years (245Cm), and their daughter products: 237Np (T1/2 = 2.14 × 106 years), 239Pu (T1/2 = 2.41 × 104 years), 240Pu (T1/2 = 6537 years), and 242Pu (T1/2 = 3.76 × 105 years), which should be immobilized into a durable waste form that prevents their release into the environment. Due to the heat generated by decaying radionuclides, the temperature of matrices with an REE–MA fraction will be increased by hundreds of centigrade above ambient. This process can be utilized by selecting a vitreous waste form that will crystallize to form durable crystalline phases with long-lived radionuclides. We estimated the thermal effects in a potential REE–MA glass composite material based on the size of the block, the content of waste, the time of storage before immobilization and after disposal, and showed that it is possible to select the waste loading, size of blocks, and storage time so that the temperature of the matrix during the first decades will reach 500–700 °C, which corresponds to the optimal range of glass crystallization. As a result, a glass–ceramic composite will be produced that contains monazite ((REE,MA)PO4) in phosphate glasses; britholite (Cax(REE,MA)10-x(SiO4)6O2) or zirconolite ((Ca,REE,MA)(Zr,REE,MA)(Ti,Al,Fe)2O7), in silicate systems. This possibility is confirmed by experimental data on the crystallization of glasses with REEs and actinides (Pu, Am). The prospect for the disposal of glasses with the REE–MA fraction in deep boreholes is briefly considered. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Composites Applications)
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12 pages, 4763 KiB  
Article
Effect of Silicon Nanoparticles on Moisture Absorption and Fracture Toughness of Polymethyl Methacrylate Matrix Nanocomposites
by Mohammad Ali Golshokouh, Nima Refahati and Pouyan Roodgar Saffari
J. Compos. Sci. 2024, 8(2), 69; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs8020069 - 09 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1067
Abstract
The effect of silicon nanoparticles with different percentages (2, 5, 7, and 10 wt.%) on moisture absorption in environments with different pHs (5, 6, 7, 8, 9) as well as fracture toughness of polymethyl methacrylate is discussed. The samples were prepared using pressure [...] Read more.
The effect of silicon nanoparticles with different percentages (2, 5, 7, and 10 wt.%) on moisture absorption in environments with different pHs (5, 6, 7, 8, 9) as well as fracture toughness of polymethyl methacrylate is discussed. The samples were prepared using pressure molding. Fracture strength was tested via the three-point bending method according to the ASTM D5045 standard and moisture absorption rate according to the absorption test according to the ASTM D570 standard. SEM images show that up to 7%, the dispersion of silica nanoparticles is acceptable, but the homogeneity is not acceptable at 10%. The results indicate that the increase in silica nanoparticles has improved the fracture toughness of the manufactured parts. The highest fracture toughness improvement is about 57% in the optimal state at 5%. Also, increasing silica nanoparticles increased the moisture absorption in the produced samples. In addition, as the acidic or base of the liquid moves to neutral, the reaction between the base polymer molecules and the test liquid decreases and, so, the moisture absorption also increases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Nanocomposites)
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17 pages, 3406 KiB  
Article
Design, Preparation, and Characterization of Polycaprolactone–Chitosan Nanofibers via Electrospinning Techniques for Efficient Methylene Blue Removal from Aqueous Solutions
by Hind M. Saleh, Salim Albukhaty, Ghassan M. Sulaiman and Mosleh M. Abomughaid
J. Compos. Sci. 2024, 8(2), 68; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs8020068 - 09 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1152
Abstract
The effective removal of organic dyes from aqueous solutions is of paramount importance in addressing environmental pollution challenges. Methylene blue (MB), a prevalent cationic dye in various industries, has raised concerns due to its persistence and potential adverse effects on ecosystems. This study [...] Read more.
The effective removal of organic dyes from aqueous solutions is of paramount importance in addressing environmental pollution challenges. Methylene blue (MB), a prevalent cationic dye in various industries, has raised concerns due to its persistence and potential adverse effects on ecosystems. This study explores the design, preparation, and characterization of Polycaprolactone–Chitosan (PCL–CH) nanofibers via electrospinning for the removal of MB. PCL, known for its biodegradability and mechanical properties, serves as the primary matrix, while chitosan (CH), with its biocompatibility and amino functionalities, offers enhanced adsorption potential. The electrospinning process yields nanofibers with tailored compositions and controlled morphology. The synthesized nanofibers are systematically characterized, encompassing structural analysis by Fourier transform infrared (FT–IR), spectroscopy, morphology, and composition assessment via Field emission scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM) and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS), zeta potential, as well as rheological behavior evaluation. The adsorption uptake of MB onto these nanofibers is investigated, considering the influence of solution pH and initial dye concentration. The results reveal significant enhancements in adsorption capacity, especially with the incorporation of CH, with the PCL–CH 30% nanofibers exhibiting outstanding performance. The pH-dependent behavior underscores the importance of environmental factors in the adsorption process, while higher dye concentrations provide a stronger driving force for adsorption. These findings position PCL–CH nanofibers as promising adsorbents for the efficient removal of MB and potentially other organic contaminants from aqueous solutions. The study contributes to the development of sustainable materials for environmental remediation, wastewater treatment, and related applications, aligning with ongoing efforts to address water pollution challenges. Full article
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17 pages, 882 KiB  
Review
Polylactic Acid Polymer Matrix (Pla) Biocomposites with Plant Fibers for Manufacturing 3D Printing Filaments: A Review
by Victor Hugo M. Almeida, Raildo M. Jesus, Gregório M. Santana and Thaís B. Pereira
J. Compos. Sci. 2024, 8(2), 67; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs8020067 - 09 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1359
Abstract
The escalating global demand for polymer products and the consequent disposal challenge necessitate technological and sustainable solutions. Recent advances in the development of materials used in 3D printing equipment are described in this review, with a focus on new biocomposite materials. The investigation [...] Read more.
The escalating global demand for polymer products and the consequent disposal challenge necessitate technological and sustainable solutions. Recent advances in the development of materials used in 3D printing equipment are described in this review, with a focus on new biocomposite materials. The investigation delves into biocomposites comprising PLA and its blends with other polymers, reinforced by plant fibers, with a particular focus on research conducted over the last five years. The information related to the raw materials’ physical, chemical, and processing properties necessary for creating biocomposite filament and printed parts were summarized. The best results in terms of tensile and flexural strength were presented and discussed, signposting future research avenues and desirable objectives. The findings elucidate that the inclusion of plant fibers led to a reduction in mechanical strength relative to pure PLA; however, when smaller particle sizes of plant fibers were added in volumes below 10%, it resulted in improved performance. Moreover, physical and/or chemical pretreatment of fibers, along with the isolation of cellulose fibrils, emerged as pivotal strategies for bolstering mechanical strengths. Noteworthy are the promising prospects presented by the incorporation of additives, while the refinement of printing parameters is key to improving the tensile and flexural strength of printed components. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Progress in Polymer Composites, Volume III)
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14 pages, 5877 KiB  
Article
Synergistic Enhancement of the Mechanical Properties of Epoxy-Based Coir Fiber Composites through Alkaline Treatment and Nanoclay Reinforcement
by Puneethraj Hebbalu Puttaswamygowda, Sathyashankara Sharma, Achutha Kini Ullal and Manjunath Shettar
J. Compos. Sci. 2024, 8(2), 66; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs8020066 - 08 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1020
Abstract
This study explores the synergistic effects of incorporating coir fibers and nanoclay into epoxy resin composites. Coir, a renewable and cost-effective natural fiber, undergoes an alkaline treatment to influence its ability to form strong interfacial bonding with the epoxy matrix. To further enhance [...] Read more.
This study explores the synergistic effects of incorporating coir fibers and nanoclay into epoxy resin composites. Coir, a renewable and cost-effective natural fiber, undergoes an alkaline treatment to influence its ability to form strong interfacial bonding with the epoxy matrix. To further enhance the mechanical properties of the composite, montmorillonite nanoclay, surface-modified with aminopropyltriethoxysilane and octadecyl amine, is introduced. The research investigates different combinations of coir fiber content (20, 30, and 40 wt%) and nanoclay loading (0, 2, and 4 wt%) with epoxy resin. The composites are fabricated through an open molding process, and the mechanical properties are evaluated using tensile and flexural tests according to the ASTM D638 and D7264 standards, respectively. The tensile and flexural strengths of the 40 wt% coir fiber-reinforced epoxy composite are found to be 77.99 MPa and 136.13 MPa, which are 44% and 23% greater than pure epoxy, respectively. Furthermore, the strengths displayed a 23% improvement in tensile strength with 4 wt% and a 31.4% improvement in flexural strength with 2 wt% nanoclay as additional reinforcement. Scanning electron microscopy is employed for fractographic analysis of the fractured specimens from the tensile test. The study underscores the importance of understanding the interplay between natural fibers, nanoclay, and epoxy resin for optimizing the composite’s performance in real-world applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Composites and Fibers, Volume II)
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15 pages, 2477 KiB  
Article
Modeling of a Process Window for Tailored Reinforcements in Overmolding Processes
by Philipp K. W. Picard, Tim A. Osswald, Swen Zaremba and Klaus Drechsler
J. Compos. Sci. 2024, 8(2), 65; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs8020065 - 08 Feb 2024
Viewed by 931
Abstract
This study explores cost-effective and customized composite applications by strategically placing carbon fiber-reinforced thermoplastics in multi-material designs. The focus is on developing a model for the simultaneous processing of non-reinforced and reinforced thermoplastic layers, with the aim of identifying essential parameters to minimize [...] Read more.
This study explores cost-effective and customized composite applications by strategically placing carbon fiber-reinforced thermoplastics in multi-material designs. The focus is on developing a model for the simultaneous processing of non-reinforced and reinforced thermoplastic layers, with the aim of identifying essential parameters to minimize insert flow and ensure desired fiber orientation and positional integrity. The analysis involves an analytical solution for two layered power-law fluids in a squeeze flow setup, aiming to model the combined flow behavior of Newtonian and pseudo-plastic fluids, highlighting the impact of the non-Newtonian nature. The behavior reveals a non-linear trend in the radial flow ratio towards the logarithmic consistency index ratio compared to a linear trend for Newtonian fluids. While a plateau regime of consistency index ratios presents challenges in flow reduction for both layers, exceeding this ratio, depending on the height ratio of the layers, enables a viable overmolding process. Therefore, attention is required when selectively placing tailored composites with long-fiber-reinforced thermoplastics or unidirectional reinforcements to avoid operating in the plateau region, which can be managed through appropriate cavity or tool designs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Advanced Composites Manufacturing and Plastics Processing)
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20 pages, 9484 KiB  
Article
Self-Unfolding Properties of Smart Grid-Reinforced Membrane Origami
by Haotian Hu, Zhenmeng Xia, Qiang Tao, Zixin Ye, Kaifeng Yuan and Leying Song
J. Compos. Sci. 2024, 8(2), 64; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs8020064 - 07 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1283
Abstract
Origami-based membrane structures have shown great potential to revolutionize the construction of deployable and lightweight space structures in the future. However, the efficient unfolding mechanism puts forward major challenges to the practical realization of space-deployable structures. Here, a smart grid-reinforced membrane origami (SGRMO) [...] Read more.
Origami-based membrane structures have shown great potential to revolutionize the construction of deployable and lightweight space structures in the future. However, the efficient unfolding mechanism puts forward major challenges to the practical realization of space-deployable structures. Here, a smart grid-reinforced membrane origami (SGRMO) is presented. The unfolding action hinges upon the application of forces facilitated by shape memory polymer composites (SMPCs). Subsequent locking action ensues through the restoration of the initial rigidity, accomplished via cooling mechanisms. This novel structure achieves the required lightweight and functionality by employing the grid design concept and effectively reduces the decline in unfolding extent caused by irreversible plastic deformation at the crease. Its recovery properties, including unfolding angle, distance, and surface precision, are experimentally and analytically investigated under different conditions. The results indicate that the structure can be reliably unfolded into the predefined shapes. In the case of Miura-SGRMO, the optimal surface precision is attained when the angle-ψ registers at 30°. The results of this study are expected to serve as the design of ultra-large flexible solar arrays and deployable antenna structures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Composites and Fibers, Volume II)
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13 pages, 2376 KiB  
Article
Efficient and Rapid Removal of Nickel Ions from Electroplating Wastewater Using Micro-/Nanostructured Biogenic Manganese Oxide Composite
by Jiaoqing Li, Li Li, Yongxuan Liu, Jin Liu and Lin Li
J. Compos. Sci. 2024, 8(2), 63; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs8020063 - 07 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1421
Abstract
Manganese oxides reportedly exhibit pronounced adsorption capacities for numerous heavy-metal ions owing to their unique structural properties. Herein, a biogenic manganese oxide (BMO) composite was developed and used to remove Ni ions from Ni2+-containing electroplating wastewater. The formation of BMO and [...] Read more.
Manganese oxides reportedly exhibit pronounced adsorption capacities for numerous heavy-metal ions owing to their unique structural properties. Herein, a biogenic manganese oxide (BMO) composite was developed and used to remove Ni ions from Ni2+-containing electroplating wastewater. The formation of BMO and the micro-/nanoscale fine microstructure were characterized via scanning/high-resolution transmission electron microscopies and X-ray diffraction assays. Under the optimized conditions, with an adsorption temperature of 50 °C, pH 6, the BMO composite showed a 100% removal efficiency within a rapid equilibrium reaction time of 20 min towards an initial Ni2+ concentration of 10 mg L−1 and a remarkable removal capacity of 416.2 mg g−1 towards an initial Ni2+ concentration of 600 mg L−1 in Ni-electroplating wastewater. The pseudo-second-order equation was applicable to sorption data at low initial Ni2+ concentrations of 10–50 mg L−1 over the time course. Moreover, Freundlich isotherm models fitted the biosorption equilibrium data well. Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopic analysis validated that the removal capacity of the BMO composite was closely associated with structural groups. In five continuous cycles of adsorption/desorption, the BMO composite exhibited high Ni2+ removal and recovery capacities, thereby showing an efficient and continuous performance potential in treating Ni2+-containing industrial wastewater. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Characterization of Polymer Nanocomposites)
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24 pages, 2701 KiB  
Article
Effects of γ-Irradiation and Sample Aging on the AC-Electrical Properties of Epoxy/ZnO/CB Hybrid Nanocomposites
by Mohammad younes Almarahfeh, Hassan K. Juwhari, Ziad M. Elimat and Ziad M. Alqudah
J. Compos. Sci. 2024, 8(2), 62; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs8020062 - 06 Feb 2024
Viewed by 998
Abstract
The goal of this paper is to study the effects of gamma irradiation and samples’ aging on the AC-electrical properties of hybrid epoxy resin as a function of frequency, temperature, and (zinc oxide) ZnO content (0, 0.049, 0.099, 0.149, and 0.199 wt) at [...] Read more.
The goal of this paper is to study the effects of gamma irradiation and samples’ aging on the AC-electrical properties of hybrid epoxy resin as a function of frequency, temperature, and (zinc oxide) ZnO content (0, 0.049, 0.099, 0.149, and 0.199 wt) at 0.001 wt of conductive (carbon black) CB nanoparticles. The irradiation processes were administered at room temperature in a gamma chamber utilizing a Cobalt 60 source of average energy = 1.25 MeV with doses = 100, 750, and 1000 Gy. The AC-electrical properties, including the impedance, dielectric constant, dielectric loss, conductivity, and activation energy of the nanocomposites, were initially studied after years of sample preparations. The collected empirical data were later analyzed before and after the gamma irradiation. The results showed that exposing samples to different doses of gamma radiation affects these AC-electrical properties significantly. It was found that the energy gap decreased as the dosage of gamma radiation increased. This could be explained as the gamma-irradiation processes induce changes in the structure of the epoxy hybrid nanocomposites by reinforcing the metal–polymer bonding and hence, causing the release of more free electrons inside the hybrid nanocomposites. Moreover, the sample aging results showed that the AC-electrical conductivity decreased with time for all samples. Hence, this study demonstrated why the γ-irradiation technique can be considered a powerful way to treat, recover, and/or enhance the electrical features of the tested epoxy hybrid nanocomposites. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Nanocomposites)
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14 pages, 5586 KiB  
Article
Water Uptake Behavior of Injection-Molded Wood–Plastic Composites
by Christoph Burgstaller and Károly Renner
J. Compos. Sci. 2024, 8(2), 61; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs8020061 - 06 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1252
Abstract
Wood–plastic composites (WPC) are partially biobased composite materials that exhibit appealing properties, but also some drawbacks. One is the inherent propensity to take up water, which influences different composite properties. In this work, we investigated the general water uptake behavior of injection-molded WPC [...] Read more.
Wood–plastic composites (WPC) are partially biobased composite materials that exhibit appealing properties, but also some drawbacks. One is the inherent propensity to take up water, which influences different composite properties. In this work, we investigated the general water uptake behavior of injection-molded WPC and applied a simple model to evaluate different formulations. We found that the major influence is the wood content, but also, wood particle size showed a distinct influence on the water uptake speed, while the saturation concentration correlated with the equilibrium moisture content of the wood. The mechanical properties, such as elastic modulus and tensile strength, were reduced with increasing water uptake, and the reduction correlated with wood content and the moisture content of the wood, while the particle size did not show an influence in the investigated region. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Research on Bio-Based Polymer Composites)
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19 pages, 3584 KiB  
Article
Deterioration of Cementitious Materials in Wastewater Treatment Plants’ Pumping Stations and Sand-Trap Structures
by Nedson T. Kashaija, Viktória Gável, Krett Gergely, Kovago Akos, Miklós Kürthy, Csaba Szabó, Erika Tóth and Zsuzsanna Szabó-Krausz
J. Compos. Sci. 2024, 8(2), 60; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs8020060 - 05 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1392
Abstract
Wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) are critical infrastructures for wastewater management, and their durability is crucial. Due to their excellent water tightness and strength, cementitious materials are used to build WWTPs. However, the performance of these materials is affected by aggressive environments. There are [...] Read more.
Wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) are critical infrastructures for wastewater management, and their durability is crucial. Due to their excellent water tightness and strength, cementitious materials are used to build WWTPs. However, the performance of these materials is affected by aggressive environments. There are few in situ experiments in the literature regarding the deterioration of cementitious materials in WWTPs. This paper investigates their deterioration mechanisms in a sewage pumping station and a sand-trap structure of a WWTP. In situ experiment was conducted by exposing cement specimens in both locations for 1, 2, 3 and 7 months. The physical and morphological changes of the specimens were examined using stereo microscopy and scanning electron microscopy, whereas the mineralogical/solid phase changes were examined using X-ray diffraction. The results showed that the specimens from the pumping station formed colored surface products, which were confirmed to be secondary minerals (i.e., gypsum and ettringite), whereas there were no colored surface products in the sand-trap structure. The results demonstrated that cementitious materials subjected to wastewater vapors (in a pumping station) had higher deterioration effects than those subjected to wastewater liquid (in a sand-trap structure), suggesting that the wastewater vapors are more aggressive toward cementitious materials than wastewater liquids. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Composites for Construction Industry)
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17 pages, 3947 KiB  
Article
Polyamide Electrospun Nanofibers Functionalized with Silica and Titanium Dioxide Nanoparticles for Efficient Dye Removal
by Safaa Saleh, Ahmed Salama, Ola M. Awad, Roberto De Santis, Vincenzo Guarino and Emad Tolba
J. Compos. Sci. 2024, 8(2), 59; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs8020059 - 04 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1242
Abstract
In this work, novel multifunctional electrospun nanofibrous membranes made of polyamide (PA6) and loaded with silica (SiO2) and/or titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanoparticles were fabricated. SiO2 NPs were first prepared and then characterized by TEM, FE-SEM, and FTIR, and [...] Read more.
In this work, novel multifunctional electrospun nanofibrous membranes made of polyamide (PA6) and loaded with silica (SiO2) and/or titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanoparticles were fabricated. SiO2 NPs were first prepared and then characterized by TEM, FE-SEM, and FTIR, and by using XRD techniques, confirming the formation of cristobalite tetragonal crystals with high purity. Different nanofibrous mats, loaded with SiO2 NPs, TiO2 NPs, or both SiO2 and TiO2 NPs, were investigated. Morphological studies indicated that SiO2 and TiO2 nanoparticles tend to be arranged along the fiber surface, also promoting the formation of anatase nanorods when they are mixed into the nanofibers. In this last scenario, mechanical tests have demonstrated that the presence of SiO2 contributed to balancing the mechanical response of fibers that are negatively affected by the presence of TiO2 NPs—as confirmed by tensile tests. More interestingly, the presence of SiO2 did not negatively affect the antibacterial response against different bacteria populations (i.e., Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumonia, Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus subtilis, and Candida albicans), which is mainly ascribable to the presence of TiO2 particles. Accordingly, the TiO2- and TiO2/SiO2-loaded fibers showed higher methylene blue (MB) absorption values—i.e., 26 mg/g and 27 mg/g—respectively, compared to the SiO2-loaded fibers (23 mg/g), with kinetics in good agreement with the second-order kinetic model. The obtained findings pave the way for the formation of novel antibacterial membranes with a promising use in water purification. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Biocomposites, Volume II)
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12 pages, 671 KiB  
Article
Alterations in Surface Gloss and Hardness of Direct Dental Resin Composites and Indirect CAD/CAM Composite Block after Single Application of Bifluorid 10 Varnish: An In Vitro Study
by Tamer M. Hamdy, Ali Abdelnabi, Maha S. Othman and Rania E. Bayoumi
J. Compos. Sci. 2024, 8(2), 58; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs8020058 - 03 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1031
Abstract
The surface characteristics of the restorative material are essential to its longevity. Since resin composites are polymeric-based materials, they could be degraded when exposed to oral conditions and chemical treatment. Certain chemical solutions, such as fluoride varnish, have the potential to deteriorate the [...] Read more.
The surface characteristics of the restorative material are essential to its longevity. Since resin composites are polymeric-based materials, they could be degraded when exposed to oral conditions and chemical treatment. Certain chemical solutions, such as fluoride varnish, have the potential to deteriorate the resin composite’s surface properties such as gloss and hardness. The current study aimed to assess and compare the surface gloss and hardness of different types of dental resin composites (nanohybrid, ormocer, bulk-fill flowable direct composites, and indirect CAD/CAM resin composite blocks (BreCAM.HIPC)) after a single application of Bifluorid 10 varnish. A total of 80 disc-shaped resin composite specimens were evenly distributed in four groups of 20 specimens. These were divided into two equal subgroups of specimens with topical fluoride (TF) application (n = 10) and without TF application (n = 10). The specimens were examined for surface gloss and hardness. Independent sample t-test was used to investigate statistically the effect of TF on the gloss as well as the hardness of each material. One-way ANOVA and post hoc tests were used to assess the difference in gloss and hardness among the materials without and with TF application. The significance level was adjusted to p ≤ 0.05. The results of gloss showed that the TF application led to a significant reduction in gloss values of all tested composites. The gloss among the various materials was significantly different. The TF had no significant effect on the hardness of nanohybrid, bulk-fill flowable, and BreCAM.HIPC composites (p = 0.8, 0.6, and 0.3, respectively). On the other hand, the hardness of ormocer was significantly reduced after TF application. Comparing the different resin composite materials, the hardness significantly differed. This study concluded that surface gloss and hardness seem to be impacted by the type and composition of the resin composites and vary depending on fluoride application. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovations in Direct and Indirect Dental Composite Restorations)
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10 pages, 6230 KiB  
Article
CoCuMgAl-Mixed-Oxide-Based Catalysts with Fine-Tunable Composition for the Hydrogenation of Furan Compounds
by Liudmila N. Stepanova, Roman M. Mironenko, Mikhail V. Trenikhin, Aleksandra N. Serkova, Aleksei N. Salanov and Aleksandr V. Lavrenov
J. Compos. Sci. 2024, 8(2), 57; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs8020057 - 02 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1167
Abstract
Catalysts based on CoCuMgAl mixed oxides were synthesized and studied in the hydrogenations of furfural and 5-hydroxymethylfurfural under different conditions. The changes in the structural properties of the catalysts at different stages of their preparation were studied using a set of physical methods [...] Read more.
Catalysts based on CoCuMgAl mixed oxides were synthesized and studied in the hydrogenations of furfural and 5-hydroxymethylfurfural under different conditions. The changes in the structural properties of the catalysts at different stages of their preparation were studied using a set of physical methods (XRD, SEM, and TEM). It was shown that the fine regulation of the chemical compositions of the mixed oxides (i.e., changes in the Co/Cu ratio) made it possible to vary the structure, morphology, and catalytic properties of the samples. The phase composition of catalysts with Co/Cu = 1 did not change during the catalytic reaction, although the initial catalysts had a less-homogeneous morphology. 5-hydroxymethylfurfural conversion was higher for the samples with Co/Cu = 1. Furfural conversion increased when raising the Co/Cu ratio. The selectivity toward furfuryl alcohol for the catalyst with Co/Cu = 2 under mild conditions of furfural hydrogenation was more than 99%. The results obtained are important for the development of the scientific foundations of the preparation of hydrogenation catalysts with a fine-tunable composition in order to obtain the desired hydrogenation products. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metal Composites, Volume II)
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16 pages, 7169 KiB  
Article
Effects of the Injection Material and Resin Layer on the Mechanical Properties of Carbon Fiber-Reinforced Thermoplastic (CFRTP) Press and Injection Hybrid Molded Parts
by Kazuto Tanaka and Masaki Taniguchi
J. Compos. Sci. 2024, 8(2), 56; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs8020056 - 01 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1178
Abstract
In the press and injection hybrid molded parts of fiber-reinforced thermoplastics (FRTPs), failure at the interface between the surface material (the outer shell) and the ribs (the injection part) or that at the injection part has become an issue. Adding a resin layer [...] Read more.
In the press and injection hybrid molded parts of fiber-reinforced thermoplastics (FRTPs), failure at the interface between the surface material (the outer shell) and the ribs (the injection part) or that at the injection part has become an issue. Adding a resin layer to the rib roots at the same time that the ribs are molded through injection has been proposed, which may increase the mechanical properties and reduce the material cost. To prevent failure at the injection part, the use of fiber-reinforced resin as an injection material has been suggested. This approach contributes to a higher bond strength by lowering the molding shrinkage rate. In this study, the hat-shaped parts of carbon fiber-reinforced thermoplastics (CFRTPs) with fiber-reinforced and neat resin layers at the rib root were fabricated through press and injection hybrid molding, and their mechanical properties were evaluated through three-point bending tests. The effects of the resin layer at the rib root and the existence or nonexistence of fiber reinforcement on the mechanical properties, as well as the relationship between the material cost and the mechanical properties, were clarified through an experiment and FEM analysis. The bond strength was also evaluated through tensile tests that were undertaken at the rib root. Molded parts with neat PA6 and glass fiber-reinforced PA6 resin layers at the rib roots showed higher bond strength than those without resin layers. In a three-point bending test of a CFRTP hat-shaped part with a resin layer at the rib roots, the use of a 1 mm thick CFRTP laminate for the outer shell and glass fiber-reinforced PA6 resin as the injection material showed the same stiffness as a part that used a 2 mm thick CFRTP laminate for the outer shell. FEM analysis showed that the resin layer prevented the concentration of strain at the rib roots, and the model that used a 1 mm thick CFRTP laminate for the outer shell and glass fiber-reinforced PA6 resin as the injection material showed the best specific stiffness in this study. By adding a resin layer to the rib roots, the fabrication of molded parts with excellent specific stiffness was enabled at a small increase in cost. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbon Fiber Composites, Volume III)
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20 pages, 6328 KiB  
Article
Numerical and Experimental Characterisation of Polylactic Acid (PLA) Processed by Additive Manufacturing (AM): Bending and Tensile Tests
by Mariana P. Salgueiro, Fábio A. M. Pereira, Carlos L. Faria, Eduardo B. Pereira, João A. P. P. Almeida, Teresa D. Campos, Chaari Fakher, Andrea Zille, Quyền Nguyễn and Nuno Dourado
J. Compos. Sci. 2024, 8(2), 55; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs8020055 - 01 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1044
Abstract
In additive manufacturing (AM), one of the most popular procedures is material extrusion (MEX). The materials and manufacturing parameters used in this process have a significant impact on a printed product’s quality. The purpose of this work is to investigate the effects of [...] Read more.
In additive manufacturing (AM), one of the most popular procedures is material extrusion (MEX). The materials and manufacturing parameters used in this process have a significant impact on a printed product’s quality. The purpose of this work is to investigate the effects of infill percentage and filament orientation on the mechanical properties of printed structures. For this reason, the characterisation of polylactic acid (PLA) was done numerically using the finite element method and experimentally through mechanical tests. The experiments involved three-point bending and tensile tests. The results showed that mechanical performance is highly dependent on these processing parameters mainly when the infill percentage is less than 100%. The highest elastic modulus was exhibited for structures with filament align at 0° and 100% infill, while the lowest one was verified for specimen filament aligned at 0° and 30% infill. The results demonstrated that the process parameters have a significant impact on mechanical performance, particularly when the infill percentage is less than 100%. Structures with filament aligned at 0° and 100% infill showed the maximum elastic modulus, whereas specimens with filament oriented at 0° and 30% infill showed the lowest. The obtained numerical agreement indicated that an inverse method based only on the load–displacement curve can yield an accurate value for this material’s elastic modulus. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Additive Manufacturing of Advanced Composites)
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11 pages, 4752 KiB  
Article
Nanocomposite Material Based on Polyvinyl Alcohol Modified with Carbon Nanotubes: Mechanism of Formation and Electronic Energy Structure
by Lusine Elbakyan, Irina Zaporotskova and David Hayrapetyan
J. Compos. Sci. 2024, 8(2), 54; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs8020054 - 30 Jan 2024
Viewed by 1096
Abstract
The physical chemistry of surface phenomena in polymers is an important issue when studying the interaction of polymers with solid surfaces. This is due to the fact that most of the modern polymer materials are heterogeneous systems with highly developed phase separation surfaces. [...] Read more.
The physical chemistry of surface phenomena in polymers is an important issue when studying the interaction of polymers with solid surfaces. This is due to the fact that most of the modern polymer materials are heterogeneous systems with highly developed phase separation surfaces. An example of such materials can be reinforced plastic, filled thermoplastics, reinforced rubber, paint coatings, etc. Polymer adsorption at the boundary of the phase separation process in solids plays an important role in the reinforcing effect of fillers, adhesion, gluing and obtaining composite materials with high strength properties. Compositions based on polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) modified with carbon nanotubes (CNTs) can be used as an interesting and informative system for studying the structure and properties of polymer nanocomposites, especially in a highly oriented state. PVA has one of the simplest chemical structure among the polymers, containing a functional (hydroxyl) group capable of participating in interphase interactions. In turn, carbon nanotubes with unique strength properties are currently products of industrial production, which makes it possible to control and modify their properties. To prove the possibility of creating new composite materials with improved strength characteristics, the mechanisms of interaction between PVA and CNTs are studied by modeling the adsorption processes of a polymer fragment on the outer surface of single-layer carbon nanotubes of different chirality, performed within the framework of the modern DFT calculation method. The main adsorption characteristics of the process and the features of the electron energy structure of the resulting composite systems are determined. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Characterization of Polymer Nanocomposites)
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30 pages, 9183 KiB  
Review
Review on Conductive Polymer Composites for Supercapacitor Applications
by Melkie Getnet Tadesse, Abdella Simegnaw Ahmmed and Jörn Felix Lübben
J. Compos. Sci. 2024, 8(2), 53; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs8020053 - 30 Jan 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1815
Abstract
The rising demand for energy storage systems with high power density, rapid charge/discharge capabilities, and long cycle life has pushed extensive research into advanced materials for supercapacitor applications. There are several materials under investigation, and among these materials, conductive polymer composites have emerged [...] Read more.
The rising demand for energy storage systems with high power density, rapid charge/discharge capabilities, and long cycle life has pushed extensive research into advanced materials for supercapacitor applications. There are several materials under investigation, and among these materials, conductive polymer composites have emerged as promising candidates due to their unique combination of electrical conductivity, flexibility, and facile synthesis. This review provides a comprehensive analysis of recent advancements in the development and application of conductive polymer composites for supercapacitor applications. The review begins with an overview of the fundamental principles governing electrical conductivity mechanism, applications of conductive polymers and the specific requirements for materials employed for these devices. Subsequently, it delves into the properties of conductive polymers and the challenges associated with their implementation for supercapacitors, highlighting the limitations of pristine conductive polymers and the strategies employed to overcome these drawbacks through composite formation. In this review, conductive polymer composites and their applications on supercapacitors are explored, and their advantages and disadvantages are discussed. Finally, the electromechanical properties of each conductive polymer composite are elaborated. Full article
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18 pages, 4667 KiB  
Article
The Unstable Fracture of Multifilament Tows
by Jacques Lamon
J. Compos. Sci. 2024, 8(2), 52; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs8020052 - 30 Jan 2024
Viewed by 965
Abstract
The present paper investigates the unexpected unstable failure observed commonly on fiber tows tensile-tested under strain-controlled loading, although the force on the fibers should theoretically be relaxed under controlled strain. A model of the reaction of the load train when the fibers break [...] Read more.
The present paper investigates the unexpected unstable failure observed commonly on fiber tows tensile-tested under strain-controlled loading, although the force on the fibers should theoretically be relaxed under controlled strain. A model of the reaction of the load train when the fibers break under strain-controlled conditions is proposed. The criterion for instability is based on the comparison of the filament strength gradient and the overstress induced by the reaction of the load train when the fibers fail. The contribution of multiplet filament failures attributed to the fiber inter-friction and stress waves was taken into account. The compliance of the load train for the test results considered in the present paper was measured. It is shown that, depending on the number of filaments sharing the overload, the values of the structural parameters, and the fiber characteristics, the condition of unstable failure may have been fulfilled by the SiC fiber tows that were tested in house, as discussed in the present paper. The critical parameters that were identified and quantified include the load train compliance, gauge length, fiber stiffness, and bonding of the tow ends. This should allow the proper conditions for stable failure. Important implications for the validity and an analysis of the strengths derived from the unstable fracture of the tows are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Journal of Composites Science in 2023)
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13 pages, 5122 KiB  
Article
Capacitive Properties of Ferrimagnetic NiFe2O4-Conductive Polypyrrole Nanocomposites
by Michael MacDonald and Igor Zhitomirsky
J. Compos. Sci. 2024, 8(2), 51; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs8020051 - 30 Jan 2024
Viewed by 1105
Abstract
This investigation addresses increasing interest in advanced composite materials, combining capacitive properties and spontaneous magnetization for energy storage applications in supercapacitors. The capacitive properties of ferrimagnetic NiFe2O4 (NFO) spinel nanoparticles with magnetization of 30 emu g−1 were enhanced using [...] Read more.
This investigation addresses increasing interest in advanced composite materials, combining capacitive properties and spontaneous magnetization for energy storage applications in supercapacitors. The capacitive properties of ferrimagnetic NiFe2O4 (NFO) spinel nanoparticles with magnetization of 30 emu g−1 were enhanced using high-energy ball-milling and the use of advanced dispersant, which facilitated charge transfer. NFO electrodes with an active mass of 40 mg cm−2 showed a capacitance of 1.46 F cm−2 in 0.5 M Na2SO4 electrolyte in a negative potential range. The charging mechanism in the negative potential range in Na2SO4 electrolyte was proposed. NFO was combined with conductive polypyrrole polymer for the fabrication of composites. The analysis of the capacitive behavior of the composites using cyclic voltammetry, chronopotentiometry and impedance spectroscopy at different electrode potentials revealed synergy of contributions of NFO and PPy. The highest capacitance of 6.64 F cm−2 was obtained from cyclic voltammetry data. The capacitance, impedance, and magnetic properties can be varied by variation of electrode composition. Composite electrodes are promising for application in anodes of asymmetric magnetic supercapacitors for energy storage and magnetically enhanced capacitive water purification devices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Conductive Polymer Composites, Volume II)
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14 pages, 9975 KiB  
Article
Development of a Novel Lightweight Utility Pole Using a New Hybrid Reinforced Composite—Part 2: Numerical Simulation and Design Procedure
by Qianjiang Wu and Farid Taheri
J. Compos. Sci. 2024, 8(2), 50; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs8020050 - 30 Jan 2024
Viewed by 1001
Abstract
The first paper of this two-part series discussed the development of a novel lightweight 3D wood dowel-reinforced glass epoxy hybrid composite material (3DdrFRP) and its manufacturing procedures. It also experimentally compared the performance of scaled utility poles made from conventional 2D E-glass epoxy [...] Read more.
The first paper of this two-part series discussed the development of a novel lightweight 3D wood dowel-reinforced glass epoxy hybrid composite material (3DdrFRP) and its manufacturing procedures. It also experimentally compared the performance of scaled utility poles made from conventional 2D E-glass epoxy and 3DdrFRP materials. In the second part, the development of robust, efficient, and fairly accurate nonlinear finite element (FE) models is outlined. The models are calibrated based on experimental results and used to simulate the performance of equivalent 2D and 3D poles, proving the integrity of the numerical models. Additionally, a simplified analytical calculation method is developed for practicing engineers to evaluate the stiffness of 3D-DrFRP poles fairly accurately and quickly. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Characterization and Modelling of Composites, Volume III)
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14 pages, 3837 KiB  
Article
Investigating the Electrical and Mechanical Properties of Polystyrene (PS)/Untreated SWCNT Nanocomposite Films
by Pooyan Parnian and Alberto D’Amore
J. Compos. Sci. 2024, 8(2), 49; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs8020049 - 29 Jan 2024
Viewed by 1200
Abstract
This paper presents a study of the electrical and mechanical properties of polystyrene (PS)/carbon nanotube (CNT) composites prepared using the doctor blade technique. The nanocomposite films of PS/CNT were prepared by casting a composite solution of PS/CNT in tetrahydrofuran (THF) on a glass [...] Read more.
This paper presents a study of the electrical and mechanical properties of polystyrene (PS)/carbon nanotube (CNT) composites prepared using the doctor blade technique. The nanocomposite films of PS/CNT were prepared by casting a composite solution of PS/CNT in tetrahydrofuran (THF) on a glass substrate using a doctor blade and drying in an oven. The nanocomposite films were then characterized using a tensile test and the four-point probe method to evaluate their mechanical properties and electrical conductivity. The experimental results were used to analyze the unpredicted behavior of the nanocomposite films. The experimental results showed that the electrical conductivity of the nanocomposite films became almost insensitive or unmeasurable with increasing CNT content for very dilute PS–THF solutions. In contrast, at higher PS concentrations, film conductivity increased to a given CNT threshold and then decreased. Based on PS–THF viscosity–concentration data, a discussion is elaborated that partially justifies the experimental results. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Characterization of Polymer Nanocomposites)
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