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J. Compos. Sci., Volume 8, Issue 5 (May 2024) – 33 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Graphene hybrid-filler polymer composites stand out in material science for their remarkable properties, particularly in heavy industries. These composites blend graphene's strength and conductivity with various fillers, offering multifunctional capabilities. This paper reviews key factors such as filler type, concentration, and processing methods that significantly influence composite performance and applications in aerospace, automotive, electronics, and energy storage, enhancing stability and efficiency. View this paper
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16 pages, 4170 KiB  
Article
Mechanical Characterization of Recyclable and Non-Recyclable Bio-Epoxy Resins for Aerospace Applications
by Laurent Mezeix, Prateek Gupta, Christophe Bouvet and Komkrisd Wongtimnoi
J. Compos. Sci. 2024, 8(5), 191; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs8050191 - 20 May 2024
Viewed by 639
Abstract
The use of composites in the aerospace industry has been increasing exponentially. However, conventional epoxy resins, derived from petroleum sources, are not sustainable, making them non-degradable and environmentally harmful. In order to foster a sustainable environment, replacing conventional thermoset epoxies with bio-sourced carbon [...] Read more.
The use of composites in the aerospace industry has been increasing exponentially. However, conventional epoxy resins, derived from petroleum sources, are not sustainable, making them non-degradable and environmentally harmful. In order to foster a sustainable environment, replacing conventional thermoset epoxies with bio-sourced carbon epoxies is imperative. With the enhancement in technology, it is possible to combine vegetable oils or bio-based copolymers with resins to make it recyclable in nature. Hence, it is necessary to study bio-based epoxies and carry out material characterization and see how they behave differently from conventional epoxies. This study examines the mechanical properties of different types of epoxy resins, which includes conventional, recyclable, and non-recyclable bio-epoxies. Tensile, bending, fracture toughness, and compression tests are performed in accordance with ASTM and ISO standards. The results show that the recyclable bio-epoxy exhibits comparable or superior properties when compared with conventional and non-recyclable bio-epoxies, particularly in terms of impact resistance. Recyclable epoxy, examined in the current study, shows a 73% higher strain energy release rate as compared to conventional epoxy. These results suggest that bio-epoxies could serve as a viable alternative to conventional epoxy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Biocomposites, Volume II)
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17 pages, 52966 KiB  
Article
Mechanical Analysis and Simulation of Wood Textile Composites
by Claudia L. von Boyneburgk, Dimitri Oikonomou, Werner Seim and Hans-Peter Heim
J. Compos. Sci. 2024, 8(5), 190; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs8050190 - 18 May 2024
Viewed by 433
Abstract
Wood Textile Composites (WTCs) represent a new and innovative class of materials in the field of natural fiber composites. Consisting of fabrics made from willow wood strips (Salix americana) and polypropylene (PP), this material appears to be particularly suitable for structural [...] Read more.
Wood Textile Composites (WTCs) represent a new and innovative class of materials in the field of natural fiber composites. Consisting of fabrics made from willow wood strips (Salix americana) and polypropylene (PP), this material appears to be particularly suitable for structural applications in lightweight construction. Since the threads of the fabric are significantly oversized compared to classic carbon or glass rovings, fundamental knowledge of the mechanical properties of the material is required. The aim of this study was to investigate whether WTCs exhibit classic behavior in terms of fiber composite theory and to classify them in relation to comparable composite materials. It was shown that WTCs meet all the necessary conditions for fiber-reinforced composites in tensile, bending, and compression tests and can be classified as natural-fiber-reinforced polypropylene composites. In addition, it was investigated whether delamination between the fiber and matrix can be simulated by using experimentally determined mechanical data as input. Using finite element analysis (FEA), it was shown that the shear stress components of a stress tensor in the area of the interface between the fiber and matrix are responsible for delamination in the composite material. It was also shown that the resistance to shear stress depends on the geometric conditions of the reinforcing fabric. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Characterization and Modelling of Composites, Volume III)
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13 pages, 5575 KiB  
Article
The Conversion of Li2SnO3 Li-Ion Hybrid Supercapacitors from Pastes Containing LiCl-SnCl2 Liquid Precursors Using an Atmospheric-Pressure Plasma Jet
by Hong-Kai Chen, Heng-Min Chang, Bo-Yan Hong, Shuo-En Yu, I-Chih Ni, Chih-I Wu, Cheng-Che Hsu, I-Chun Cheng and Jian-Zhang Chen
J. Compos. Sci. 2024, 8(5), 189; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs8050189 - 18 May 2024
Viewed by 524
Abstract
We fabricate lithium tin-based oxide Li2SnO3 on carbon cloth from a gel-state precursor containing LiCl and SnCl2·2H2O using a nitrogen atmospheric-pressure plasma jet (APPJ). APPJ treatment provides both a high-temperature environment for the conversion of precursor [...] Read more.
We fabricate lithium tin-based oxide Li2SnO3 on carbon cloth from a gel-state precursor containing LiCl and SnCl2·2H2O using a nitrogen atmospheric-pressure plasma jet (APPJ). APPJ treatment provides both a high-temperature environment for the conversion of precursor into Li2SnO3 and nitrogen plasma reactive species for electrode surface modification. Here, the best electrochemical performance for the Li2SnO3 Li-ion hybrid supercapacitors (Li–HSCs) is achieved with 480 s of APPJ processing. The areal capacity of the 480 s APPJ-processed Li2SnO3 Li–HSCs reached 46.113 mC/cm2. The results indicate that APPJ is an effective tool for the rapid conversion processing of Li2SnO3 electrodes for Li–HSCs. Full article
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12 pages, 2167 KiB  
Article
Effect of the Incorporation of Olive Tree Pruning Sawdust in the Production of Lightweight Mortars
by Marina Oya-Monzón, Dolores Eliche-Quesada and M. Dolores La Rubia
J. Compos. Sci. 2024, 8(5), 188; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs8050188 - 17 May 2024
Viewed by 479
Abstract
In order to reduce energy consumption in buildings, this study used olive pruning sawdust (OTPS) instead of natural sand in the production of lightweight mortars. Different percentages of natural sand substitution were tested: 0, 10, 25, and 50% by volume of sand over [...] Read more.
In order to reduce energy consumption in buildings, this study used olive pruning sawdust (OTPS) instead of natural sand in the production of lightweight mortars. Different percentages of natural sand substitution were tested: 0, 10, 25, and 50% by volume of sand over 7 and 28 days of curing time. Additionally, the influence of a chemical pretreatment in an aqueous solution of calcium hydroxide on the OTPS was also evaluated to mineralize the wood before its addition to the mortar mixture. Mortars with OTPS incorporations were characterized by volumetric shrinkage, bulk density, and capillary water absorption. Mechanical behavior was tested through compression and flexural tests. The addition of this byproduct decreased bulk density and increased mortar porosity. Pretreating olive pruning sawdust with an aqueous solution of calcium hydroxide was effective for wood mineralization, resulting in physical and mechanical properties superior to mortars without pretreatment. The results showed that a maximum addition of 10% by volume of OTPS treated with calcium hydroxide solution produced lighter mortars with similar mechanical properties to the control mortar. Adding higher amounts of pretreated olive pruning (25–50% by volume) led to a more pronounced deterioration of mechanical properties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Composite Construction Materials, Volume II)
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18 pages, 4892 KiB  
Article
Analytical and Experimental Behaviour of GFRP-Reinforced Concrete Columns under Fire Loading
by Ana Almerich-Chulia, Pedro Martin-Concepcion, Jesica Moreno-Puchalt and Jose Miguel Molines-Cano
J. Compos. Sci. 2024, 8(5), 187; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs8050187 - 16 May 2024
Viewed by 465
Abstract
Fire engineering endeavours to mitigate injury or the loss of life in the event of a fire. This is achieved primarily through fire prevention, containment, and extinguishment measures. Should prevention fail, the structural integrity of buildings, coupled with effective evacuation strategies, becomes paramount. [...] Read more.
Fire engineering endeavours to mitigate injury or the loss of life in the event of a fire. This is achieved primarily through fire prevention, containment, and extinguishment measures. Should prevention fail, the structural integrity of buildings, coupled with effective evacuation strategies, becomes paramount. While glass fibre-reinforced polymer (GFRP) materials have demonstrated efficacy in reinforcing concrete elements, their performance under fire conditions, notably in comparison to steel, necessitates a deeper understanding for structural applications. This study experimentally and numerically investigates the fire performance of GFRP-reinforced concrete (RC) columns subjected to only fire load without additional external loads. The research aims to ascertain the fire resistance based on the thickness of the concrete coating and the ultimate tensile strength of GFRP rebars after 90 min of fire exposure. Four GFRP-RC columns were subjected to a standardized fire curve on all sides in the experimental program. In the analytical program, a theoretical model was developed using the heat transfer module of the COMSOL software. The results of both analyses were very close, indicating the reliability of the procedure used. Based on the findings, recommendations regarding the fire resistance of GFRP-RC columns were formulated for structural applications. Results from this research provide the civil engineering community with data that will help them continue using FRP materials as internal reinforcement for concrete. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Composites and Fibers, Volume II)
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11 pages, 2402 KiB  
Article
Influence of Silica Nanoparticles on the Physical Properties of Random Polypropylene
by Evangelia Delli, Dimitrios Gkiliopoulos, Evangelia Vouvoudi, Dimitrios N. Bikiaris, Thomas Kehagias and Konstantinos Chrissafis
J. Compos. Sci. 2024, 8(5), 186; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs8050186 - 16 May 2024
Viewed by 474
Abstract
Random polypropylene is considered an alternative material to regular polypropylene for applications where improved impact and creep resistance, as well as stiffness, are required. Random polypropylene nanocomposites reinforced with dimethyldichlorosilane-treated silica particles were prepared using meltmixing. The effect of varying the nanoparticles’ content [...] Read more.
Random polypropylene is considered an alternative material to regular polypropylene for applications where improved impact and creep resistance, as well as stiffness, are required. Random polypropylene nanocomposites reinforced with dimethyldichlorosilane-treated silica particles were prepared using meltmixing. The effect of varying the nanoparticles’ content on the structural, mechanical, damping and thermal behavior of the nanocomposites was investigated. The results indicated the improved deformation potential, fracture toughness, and energy storage capacity of the matrix with increasing the filler content. It was observed that the use of high filler fractions limited the reinforcing efficiency of the SiO2 nanoparticles due to the formation of large agglomerates. The nanoparticles’ segregation was initially advised by modeling Young’s modulus but was also confirmed by electron imaging. Examination of the thermal properties of the nanocomposites indicated the limited effect of the nanoparticles on the melting behavior along with the thermal stability of the matrix. These results confirmed the usage of silica nanoparticles as a way of further improving the mechanical and thermomechanical properties of random polypropylene. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Journal of Composites Science in 2024)
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10 pages, 1999 KiB  
Communication
Properties of Composites Based on Polylactide Filled with Cork Filler
by Mariusz Fabijański
J. Compos. Sci. 2024, 8(5), 185; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs8050185 - 16 May 2024
Viewed by 644
Abstract
Introducing fillers into polymeric materials is one of the methods of modifying the properties or reducing the costs of polymeric materials. Thanks to their use, it is possible to obtain new materials with interesting mechanical and chemical properties. Some features are often improved [...] Read more.
Introducing fillers into polymeric materials is one of the methods of modifying the properties or reducing the costs of polymeric materials. Thanks to their use, it is possible to obtain new materials with interesting mechanical and chemical properties. Some features are often improved among the new materials obtained, while others deteriorate. In this work, an attempt was made to obtain a polymer composite based on PLA filled with cork flour in amounts of 5%, 10%, 15%, 20% and 30% by weight. The processing and sample preparation process using injection molding technology was assessed and the basic mechanical properties were assessed. The research shows that it is possible to obtain PLA products with a cork filler without the mixing process on an extruder, but only by using an injection molding machine and appropriately selecting the parameters of the technological process. Tests of mechanical properties showed deterioration of parameters, but not to such an extent that the obtained composites were disqualified from use in products that are not subject to heavy mechanical loads. The undoubted advantage of the obtained materials is maintaining their so-called “green” character and thus the ability to biodegrade. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Progress in Polymer Composites, Volume III)
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25 pages, 12969 KiB  
Article
Mechanical Characterization of Hybrid Steel Wire Mesh/Basalt/Epoxy Fiber-Reinforced Polymer Composite Laminates
by Mohamad Yusuf Bin Salim, Ali Farokhi Nejad, Mohd Yazid Yahya, Tobias Dickhut and Seyed Saeid Rahimian Koloor
J. Compos. Sci. 2024, 8(5), 184; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs8050184 - 15 May 2024
Viewed by 530
Abstract
Hybrid composite materials have been widely used to advance the mechanical responses of fiber-reinforced composites by utilizing different types of fibers and fillers in a single polymeric matrix. This study incorporated three types of fibers: basalt woven fiber and steel (AISI304) wire meshes [...] Read more.
Hybrid composite materials have been widely used to advance the mechanical responses of fiber-reinforced composites by utilizing different types of fibers and fillers in a single polymeric matrix. This study incorporated three types of fibers: basalt woven fiber and steel (AISI304) wire meshes with densities of 100 and 200. These fibers were mixed with epoxy resin to generate plain composite laminates. Three fundamental mechanical tests (tensile, compression, and shear) were conducted according to the corresponding ASTM standards to characterize the steel wire mesh/basalt/epoxy FRP composites used as plain composite laminates. To investigate the flexural behavior of the hybrid laminates, various layer configurations and thickness ratios were examined using a design of experiments (DoE) matrix. Hybrid samples were chosen for flexural testing, and the same procedure was employed to develop a finite element (FE) model. Material properties from the initial mechanical testing procedure were integrated into plain and hybrid composite laminate simulations. The second FE model simulated the behavior of hybrid laminates under flexural loading; this was validated through experimental data. The results underwent statistical analysis, highlighting the optimal configuration of hybrid composite laminates in terms of flexural strength and modulus; we found an increase of up to 25% in comparison with the plain composites. This research provides insights into the potential improvements offered by hybrid composite laminates, generating numerical models for predicting various laminate configurations produced using hybrid steel wire mesh/basalt/epoxy FRP composites. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hybrid Metal Matrix Composites)
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23 pages, 10540 KiB  
Review
Unveiling the Influential Factors and Heavy Industrial Applications of Graphene Hybrid Polymer Composites
by Zulfiqar Ali, Saba Yaqoob, Jinhong Yu and Alberto D’Amore
J. Compos. Sci. 2024, 8(5), 183; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs8050183 - 13 May 2024
Viewed by 735
Abstract
Graphene hybrid-filler polymer composites have emerged as prominent materials that revolutionize heavy industries. This review paper encapsulates an in-depth analysis of different influential factors, such as filler/graphene type, aspect ratios, dispersion methods, filler-matrix compatibility, fiber orientation, synergistic effects, different processing techniques, and post-curing [...] Read more.
Graphene hybrid-filler polymer composites have emerged as prominent materials that revolutionize heavy industries. This review paper encapsulates an in-depth analysis of different influential factors, such as filler/graphene type, aspect ratios, dispersion methods, filler-matrix compatibility, fiber orientation, synergistic effects, different processing techniques, and post-curing conditions, which affect the processing and properties of graphene hybrid polymer composites, as well as their resultant applications. Additionally, it discusses the substantial role of graphene reinforcement with other fillers, such as carbon nanotubes, silica, nano-clays, and metal oxides, to produce functionalized hybrid polymer composites with synergistically enhanced tailored properties, offering solutions for heavy industries, including aerospace, automotive, electronics, and energy harvesting. This review concludes with some suggestions and an outlook on the future of these composite materials by emphasizing the need for continued research to fully optimize their potential. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Progress in Polymer Composites, Volume III)
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10 pages, 1045 KiB  
Article
Comparative Investigation of Thermal Properties Improvement of Nano-Enhanced Organic Phase Change Materials
by Aravindh Madhavankutty Ambika, Gopi Kannan Kalimuthu and Veerakumar Chinnasamy
J. Compos. Sci. 2024, 8(5), 182; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs8050182 - 13 May 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 639
Abstract
Thermal energy storage (TES) using phase change materials (PCMs) is one of the potential solutions for stockpiling thermal energy and utilizing it for different applications, which results in effective energy usage. The main drawback of organic PCMs in practical applications is poor heat [...] Read more.
Thermal energy storage (TES) using phase change materials (PCMs) is one of the potential solutions for stockpiling thermal energy and utilizing it for different applications, which results in effective energy usage. The main drawback of organic PCMs in practical applications is poor heat transfer due to low thermal conductivity (TC). Therefore, investigations into nano-enhanced PCMs are being explored to improve their thermophysical properties. In this work, the various thermophysical characteristics of nano-enhanced lauryl alcohol as a PCM were investigated using carbon-based and metallic nanoparticles. The results indicated that the addition of nanoparticles improved its thermal properties and affected other physical properties, such as viscosity. The latent heat was degraded with the addition of nanoparticles. The results revealed that by adding MWCNTs and CuO nanoparticles, a maximum of 82.6% and 49.6% improvement in TC was achieved, respectively. The maximum drop in latent heat during melting and freezing for the PCM with MWCNTs was about 10.1% and 9.3%, respectively, whereas for the PCM with CuO, they were about 11% and 10.3%, respectively. The lowest supercooling for the PCM with MWCNTs and CuO nanoparticles was 8.6 and 8.3 °C, respectively. The present work confirms that nano-enhanced PCMs can be a potential material for storing thermal energy for various applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Composites for Energy Storage Applications, Volume II)
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34 pages, 13027 KiB  
Article
New Accomplishments on the Equivalence of the First-Order Displacement-Based Zigzag Theories through a Unified Formulation
by Marco Di Sciuva and Matteo Sorrenti
J. Compos. Sci. 2024, 8(5), 181; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs8050181 - 12 May 2024
Viewed by 575
Abstract
The paper presents a critical review and new accomplishments on the equivalence of the first-order displacement-based zigzag theories for laminated composite and sandwich structures. Zigzag theories (ZZTs) have widely spread among researchers over the last few decades thanks to their accuracy in predicting [...] Read more.
The paper presents a critical review and new accomplishments on the equivalence of the first-order displacement-based zigzag theories for laminated composite and sandwich structures. Zigzag theories (ZZTs) have widely spread among researchers over the last few decades thanks to their accuracy in predicting the response of multilayered composite and sandwich structures while retaining the simplicity of their underlying equivalent single-layer (ESL) theory. The displacement field consists of two main contributions: the global one, able to describe the overall structural behaviour, and the local layer-wise one that considers the transverse shear continuity at the layer interfaces that describe the “zigzag” displacement pattern typical of multilayered structures. In the framework of displacement-based linear ZZTs, various assumptions have been made on the local contribution, and different theories have been deduced. This paper aims to provide a unified formulation for first-order ZZTs, highlighting some common aspects and underlying equivalencies with existing formulations. The mathematical demonstrations and the numerical examples prove the equivalence of the approaches to characterising local zigzag enrichment. Finally, it is demonstrated that the kinematic assumptions are the discriminants of the ZZTs’ accuracy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Journal of Composites Science in 2024)
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17 pages, 9430 KiB  
Article
Bolt-Hole Elongation of Woven Carbon-Epoxy Composite Plates and Joints Using the Digital Image Correlation Technique
by Masoud Mehrabian, Aouni Lakis, Jr. and Rachid Boukhili
J. Compos. Sci. 2024, 8(5), 180; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs8050180 - 12 May 2024
Viewed by 525
Abstract
The elongation of the bolt hole is an important parameter for assessing the failure of bolted joints. However, direct experimental measurement using strain gauges and extensometers is difficult. This article shows that digital image correlation (DIC) can overcome the difficulties and provide important [...] Read more.
The elongation of the bolt hole is an important parameter for assessing the failure of bolted joints. However, direct experimental measurement using strain gauges and extensometers is difficult. This article shows that digital image correlation (DIC) can overcome the difficulties and provide important indications of the failure mechanisms of bolted joints. Hole elongation was measured using DIC in the following carbon/epoxy composite configurations: standard open-hole tensile (OHT) and filled-hole tensile (FHT), single-lap shear only-bolted (OB), and single-lap shear hybrid-bolted/bonded (HBB) joints. For each configuration, the hole-elongation changes were tracked for cross-ply (CP) and quasi-isotropic (QI) stacking sequences with two thicknesses. In the tensile load direction for OHT and FHT cases, CP showed a greater hole elongation than QI. However, the opposite trend was observed in the transverse direction. In OB joints, bypass loads contributed more to the hole elongation than bearing action. In HBB joints, it has been observed that the adhesive significantly reduces hole elongation, particularly for CP configurations. Moreover, it was found that in HBB joints, hole elongation was independent of laminate lay-up, while it was very determinative in OB joints. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Progress in Hybrid Composites)
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17 pages, 3673 KiB  
Article
Technological Analysis of the Production of Nickel-Containing Composite Materials
by Bauyrzhan Kelamanov, Dauren Yessengaliyev, Otegen Sariev, Askhat Akuov, Yerulan Samuratov, Talgat Zhuniskaliyev, Yerbol Kuatbay, Yerbol Mukhambetgaliyev, Olga Kolesnikova, Assel Zhumatova, Zukhra Karaidarova and Assylbek Abdirashit
J. Compos. Sci. 2024, 8(5), 179; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs8050179 - 12 May 2024
Viewed by 735
Abstract
The article presents the results of obtaining a composite material by sintering nickel-containing raw materials mixed with carbon-containing materials, namely using coke and semi-coke. The sintering process was performed at a charge layer height of 240 mm and the temperature of the lower [...] Read more.
The article presents the results of obtaining a composite material by sintering nickel-containing raw materials mixed with carbon-containing materials, namely using coke and semi-coke. The sintering process was performed at a charge layer height of 240 mm and the temperature of the lower layer was T = 1200 °C. The results of the sieve analysis showed (a fraction of 10 mm) that the yield of a suitable composite material using coke was 68.3% and with semi-coke 67.0%. The average nickel and chromium content in the composite materials was 1.42% and 3.07%, accordingly. As a result of determining the strength characteristics of the obtained composite materials with various reducing agents by dropping from a height of 2 m onto a steel pallet, it was found that the obtained composite materials have high mechanical properties in terms of strength of 81% and 89.2%. The results of the elemental composition at the studied points and the thermal analysis of the studied composite material are presented. The mineralogical composition of the composite material is presented in the form of serpentine and nontronite, and the empty rock is made of quartz and talc. The activation energy of thermal analysis by the method of non-isothermal kinetics were calculated. The results of experiments on the production of composite materials from nickel-containing raw materials will be recommended for obtaining the optimal composition of composite materials at the stage of pilot tests and industrial development of the developed technology for processing nickel ores of the Republic of Kazakhstan. For the processing of nickel-poor nickel ores, it is of great importance to obtain optimal technological and technical and economic indicators that ensure low cost of nickel in the resulting product. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metal Composites, Volume II)
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16 pages, 2790 KiB  
Article
Development of New Polyimide/Spirulina Hybrid Materials: Preparation and Characterization
by Magdalena Aflori, Diana Serbezeanu, Alina Mirela Ipate, Adina Maria Dobos and Daniela Rusu
J. Compos. Sci. 2024, 8(5), 178; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs8050178 - 12 May 2024
Viewed by 739
Abstract
This study presents the synthesis and characterization of polyimide (PI-2) films incorporated with spirulina powder for potential biomedical applications. The synthesis of PI-2 was achieved through a two-step polycondensation reaction using N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone (NMP) as the solvent. The incorporation of spirulina was systematically varied [...] Read more.
This study presents the synthesis and characterization of polyimide (PI-2) films incorporated with spirulina powder for potential biomedical applications. The synthesis of PI-2 was achieved through a two-step polycondensation reaction using N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone (NMP) as the solvent. The incorporation of spirulina was systematically varied to investigate its effects on the structural and surface properties of the hybrid materials. Scanning electron microscopy revealed a tightly bound interface between spirulina and the PI-2 matrix, indicating effective dispersion and strong interfacial adhesion. Profilometry and Raman spectroscopy confirmed the homogeneous integration of spirulina within the polymer matrix, with resulting variations in surface roughness and chemistry. Contact angle measurements demonstrated altered wettability characteristics, with increased hydrophilicity observed with spirulina incorporation. Furthermore, blood component interaction studies indicated the variations in adhesion behavior observed for red blood cells, platelets, and plasma proteins. Water uptake studies revealed enhanced absorption capacity in PI-2 films loaded with spirulina, highlighting their potential suitability for applications requiring controlled hydration. Overall, this comprehensive characterization elucidates the potential of PI-2/spirulina hybrid materials for diverse biomedical applications, offering tunable properties that can be tailored to specific requirements. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Progress in Polymer Composites, Volume III)
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13 pages, 2791 KiB  
Article
Verification of the Inverse Scale Effect Hypothesis on Viscosity and Diffusion by Azo-Amino Acid Schiff Base Copper Complexes
by Yoshitora Wadayama, Ai Kaneda, Taiga Imae, Daisuke Nakane and Takashiro Akitsu
J. Compos. Sci. 2024, 8(5), 177; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs8050177 - 10 May 2024
Viewed by 443
Abstract
Microdroplets generated in microfluidic devices are attracting attention as a new chemical reaction field and are expected to improve reactivity. One of the effects of microscaling is that the ratio of the force that acts on the diffusion and movement of substances to [...] Read more.
Microdroplets generated in microfluidic devices are attracting attention as a new chemical reaction field and are expected to improve reactivity. One of the effects of microscaling is that the ratio of the force that acts on the diffusion and movement of substances to gravity is different from that of ordinary solvents. Recently, we proposed a hypothesis for determining reaction acceleration through micro-miniaturization: If a reaction is inhibited by setting the volume and viscosity of the solution to conditions that are unfavorable to the reaction on a normal scale, that reaction can be promoted in microfluidics. Therefore, for the purpose of this verification, (1) we used an amino acid Schiff base copper(II) complex with an azobenzene group to demonstrate the polarization-induced orientation in a polymer film (the redirection that is mechanically maintained in a soft matter matrix). Numerical data on optical anisotropy parameters were reported. (2) When the reaction is confirmed to be promoted in laminar flow in a microfluidic device and its azo derivative, a copper(II) complex is used to increase the solvent viscosity or diffusion during synthesis on a normally large scale. We will obtain and discuss data on the investigation of changing the solvent volume as a region. The range of experimental conditions for volume and viscosity did not lead to an improvement in synthetic yield, nor did (3) the comparison of solvents and viscosity for single-crystal growth of amino acid Schiff base copper(II) complexes having azobenzene groups. A solvent whose viscosity was measured was used, but microcrystals were obtained using the diffusion method. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Progress in Hybrid Composites)
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14 pages, 3636 KiB  
Article
Influence of Physical–Mechanical Strength and Water Absorption Capacity on Sawdust–Waste Paper–Recycled Plastic Hybrid Composite for Ceiling Tile Application
by Berhanu Tolessa Amena and Nazia Hossain
J. Compos. Sci. 2024, 8(5), 176; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs8050176 - 10 May 2024
Viewed by 673
Abstract
In recent times, there has been a notable surge in the interest in promoting environmentally conscious products, particularly within the building industry where the focus has shifted towards sustainable materials. In this study, as a sustainable building material, ceiling tiles have been fabricated [...] Read more.
In recent times, there has been a notable surge in the interest in promoting environmentally conscious products, particularly within the building industry where the focus has shifted towards sustainable materials. In this study, as a sustainable building material, ceiling tiles have been fabricated as a composite board containing waste materials, namely waste paper, sawdust, recycled polyethylene terephthalate (PET), and epoxy resin, and characterized comprehensively through physical and mechanical tests, density, thickness swelling (TS), modulus of elasticity (MOE), modulus of rupture (MOR), and flexural strength (FS) for product stability. A total of nine composites were fabricated with different ratios through molding techniques, and the characterization results were compared to determine the optimized stable ratio of composite composition. The composition of 25% waste paper, 15% sawdust, 10% recycled PET, and 50% epoxy resin presented the maximum FS compared to the other composite ratios. Water absorption (WA) and thickness swelling were evaluated after immersion durations of 1–24 h. The findings revealed that as the density increased, the sawdust content within the matrix decreased from 25–35%. Concurrently, an increase in recycled PET content resulted in decreased water absorption and thickness swelling. Significantly, the MOE, MOR, and FS demonstrated optimal values at 864.256 N/mm2, 12.786 N/mm2, and 4.64 MPa, respectively. These observations represent the excellent qualities of this hybrid composite board, particularly in terms of sustainability, stability, and water absorption capacity. Moreover, its lightweight nature and ability to support ceiling loads further enhance its appeal for construction applications. This study not only advances the discourse on sustainable construction materials but also fosters opportunities for broader acceptance and innovation within the industry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recycled Polymer Composites: Futuristic Sustainable Material)
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14 pages, 1697 KiB  
Article
Analysis of Intact/Delaminated Composite and Sandwich Beams Using a Higher-Order Modeling Technique
by Yuan Feng, Abdul Hamid Sheikh and Guanzhen Li
J. Compos. Sci. 2024, 8(5), 175; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs8050175 - 10 May 2024
Viewed by 577
Abstract
A simple higher-order model (HOM) is presented in this study for the bending analysis of an intact or delaminated composite and sandwich beam. This model adopts the concept of sub-laminates to simulate multilayered structures, and each sub-laminate takes cubic variation for axial displacement [...] Read more.
A simple higher-order model (HOM) is presented in this study for the bending analysis of an intact or delaminated composite and sandwich beam. This model adopts the concept of sub-laminates to simulate multilayered structures, and each sub-laminate takes cubic variation for axial displacement and linear variation for transverse displacement through the thickness. A sub-laminate possesses displacement components at its surfaces (bottom and top) that provide a straightforward way to improve the accuracy of prediction by stacking several sub-laminates. Thus, analysts will have the flexibility to balance the computational cost and the accuracy by selecting an appropriate sub-lamination scheme. The proposed model was implemented by developing a C0 beam element that has only displacement unknowns. The model was used to solve numerical examples of composite and sandwich beams to demonstrate its performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Characterization and Modelling of Composites, Volume III)
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17 pages, 9700 KiB  
Article
An Experimental Study Incorporating Carbon Fiber Composite Bars and Wraps for Concrete Performance and Failure Insight
by Ali Akbarpour, Jeffery Volz and Shreya Vemuganti
J. Compos. Sci. 2024, 8(5), 174; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs8050174 - 9 May 2024
Viewed by 644
Abstract
Corrosion of conventional steel reinforcement is responsible for numerous structurally deficient bridges, which is a multi-billion-dollar challenge that creates a vicious cycle of maintenance, repair, and replacement of infrastructure. Repair of existing structures with fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) has become widespread due to multiple [...] Read more.
Corrosion of conventional steel reinforcement is responsible for numerous structurally deficient bridges, which is a multi-billion-dollar challenge that creates a vicious cycle of maintenance, repair, and replacement of infrastructure. Repair of existing structures with fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) has become widespread due to multiple advantages. Carbon FRP’s superior tensile strength and stiffness make it particularly effective in shear and flexural strengthening of reinforced concrete (RC) beams. This experimental study incorporates carbon fiber polymer composite bars and wraps to study and report on the flexural behavior of RC beams. By employing a combination of CFRP bar and wrap for strengthening RC beams, this study observed an approximate 95% improvement in flexural load capacity relative to control RC beams without strengthening. This substantial enhancement highlights the effectiveness of integrating CFRP in structural applications. Nevertheless, the key observation is the failure mode due to this combination providing significant insights into the changes facilitated by this combination approach. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbon Fiber Composites, Volume III)
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14 pages, 31971 KiB  
Article
Computational Investigation of the Mechanical Response of a Bioinspired Nacre-like Nanocomposite under Three-Point Bending
by Xingzi Yang, Md Jalal Uddin Rumi and Xiaowei Zeng
J. Compos. Sci. 2024, 8(5), 173; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs8050173 - 7 May 2024
Viewed by 931
Abstract
Natural biological nanocomposites, like nacre, demonstrate extraordinary fracture toughness, surpassing their base materials, attributed to their intricate staggered hierarchical architectures integrating hard and soft phases. The enhancement of toughness in these composites is often linked to the crack-deflection mechanism. Leveraging the core design [...] Read more.
Natural biological nanocomposites, like nacre, demonstrate extraordinary fracture toughness, surpassing their base materials, attributed to their intricate staggered hierarchical architectures integrating hard and soft phases. The enhancement of toughness in these composites is often linked to the crack-deflection mechanism. Leveraging the core design principles that enhance durability, resilience, and robustness in organic materials, this paper describes the use of computational modeling and simulation to perform a three-point bending test on a 3D staggered nanocomposite intentionally crafted to mimic the detailed microstructure of nacre. We adopted a previously proposed interfacial zone model that conceptualizes the “relatively soft” layer as an interface between the “hard” mineral tablets and the microstructure’s interlayer spaces to examine how the microstructure and interface characteristics affect the mechanical responses and failure mechanisms. By comparing the model’s predictions with experimental data on natural nacre, the simulations unveil the mechanisms of tablet separation through adjacent layer sliding and crack deflection across interfacial zones. This study offers a robust numerical method for investigating the fracture toughening mechanisms and damage evolution and contributes to a deeper understanding of the complex interplays within biomimetic materials. Full article
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20 pages, 1348 KiB  
Review
Quality of Life of Dialysis Patients: Exploring the Influence of Membrane Hemocompatibility and Dialysis Practices on Psychosocial and Physical Symptoms
by Victoria Doan, Ahmed Shoker and Amira Abdelrasoul
J. Compos. Sci. 2024, 8(5), 172; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs8050172 - 7 May 2024
Viewed by 694
Abstract
Hemodialysis (HD) is a life-sustaining membrane-based therapy that is essential for managing kidney failure. However, it can have significant physical and psychological effects on patients due to chronic or acute consequences related to membrane bioincompatibility. End-stage renal disease (ESRD) patients on hemodialysis have [...] Read more.
Hemodialysis (HD) is a life-sustaining membrane-based therapy that is essential for managing kidney failure. However, it can have significant physical and psychological effects on patients due to chronic or acute consequences related to membrane bioincompatibility. End-stage renal disease (ESRD) patients on hemodialysis have a high incidence of psychiatric illness, particularly depression and anxiety disorders, and poor quality of life has been observed. Dialysis can also lead to physical symptoms of its own, such as fatigue, loss of appetite, anemia, low blood pressure, and fluid overload, in addition to the symptoms associated with kidney failure. Therefore, this critical review aims to comprehensively understand the impact of dialysis membrane bioincompatibility and the use of varying molecular weight cut-off membranes on the physical and psychological symptoms experienced by dialysis patients. We analyzed the latest research on the correlation between major inflammatory biomarkers released in patients’ blood due to membrane incompatibility, as well as the critical influence of low levels of hemoglobin and vital proteins such as human serum albumin due to the use of high-cut-off membranes and correlated these factors with the physical and psychological symptoms experienced by dialysis patients. Furthermore, our study aims to provide valuable insights into the impact of dialysis on critical symptoms, higher hospitalization rates, and the quality of life of First Nations, as well as child and youth dialysis patients, in addition to diabetic dialysis patients. Our goal is to identify potential interventions aiming to optimize the dialysis membrane and minimize its negative effects on patients, ultimately improving their well-being and long-term outcomes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biocomposites)
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14 pages, 2486 KiB  
Article
Thermomechanical Responses and Energy Conversion Efficiency of a Hybrid Thermoelectric–Piezoelectric Layered Structure
by Zhihe Jin and Jiashi Yang
J. Compos. Sci. 2024, 8(5), 171; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs8050171 - 6 May 2024
Viewed by 617
Abstract
This paper develops a thermoelectric (TE)–piezoelectric (PE) hybrid structure with the PE layer acting as both a support membrane and a sensor for the TE film for microelectronics applications. The TE and PE layers are assumed to be perfectly bonded mechanically and thermally [...] Read more.
This paper develops a thermoelectric (TE)–piezoelectric (PE) hybrid structure with the PE layer acting as both a support membrane and a sensor for the TE film for microelectronics applications. The TE and PE layers are assumed to be perfectly bonded mechanically and thermally but electrically shielded and insulated with each other. The thermo-electro-mechanical responses of the hybrid bilayer under the TE generator operation conditions are obtained, and the influence of the PE layer on the TE energy conversion efficiency is investigated. The numerical results for a Bi2Te3/PZT-5H bilayer structure show that large compressive stresses develop in both the PE and TE layers. With a decrease in the PE layer thickness, the magnitude of the maximum compressive stress in the PE layer increases whereas the maximum magnitude of the stress in the TE layer decreases. The numerical result of the TE energy conversion efficiency shows that increasing the PE layer thickness leads to lower energy conversion efficiencies. A nearly 40% reduction in the peak efficiency is observed with a PE layer of the same thickness as that of the TE layer. These results suggest that design of TE films with supporting/sensing membranes must consider both aspects of energy conversion efficiency and the thermomechanical reliability of both the TE and PE layers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Theoretical and Computational Investigation on Composite Materials)
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12 pages, 2000 KiB  
Article
Chemical and Thermal Analysis of Fly Ash-Reinforced Aluminum Matrix Composites (AMCs)
by Siti Syazwani Nordin, Ervina Efzan Mhd Noor and Palanisamy Chockalingam
J. Compos. Sci. 2024, 8(5), 170; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs8050170 - 2 May 2024
Viewed by 575
Abstract
Fly ash has been utilized as a reinforcing material in the production of aluminum matrix composites, and in this investigation, Al-Si (LM6) fly ash composites were fabricated using the compocasting method. Various compositions of fly ash were incorporated into the samples (4, 5 [...] Read more.
Fly ash has been utilized as a reinforcing material in the production of aluminum matrix composites, and in this investigation, Al-Si (LM6) fly ash composites were fabricated using the compocasting method. Various compositions of fly ash were incorporated into the samples (4, 5 and 6 wt%), and the preparation temperature ranged from 560 to 800 °C. This study investigated the thermal (CTE and DTA) and chemical properties (XRD) of fly ash reinforcement and the aluminum melt in the composites. The results revealed that composites with 5 wt% of fly ash exhibited the lowest CTE value compared to those with 4 and 6 wt%. This observation was corroborated by XRD analysis, indicating a reaction between the fly ash particles and the aluminum melt. However, the DTA analysis did not find a significant impact of the addition of fly ash on the melting temperature of the prepared composites. In contrast, this study identified and investigated the existence of reaction effects between the fly ash particles and the aluminum melt. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Composites Manufacturing and Processing)
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11 pages, 2756 KiB  
Article
A Mechanical Model for Stress Relaxation of Polylactic Acid/Thermoplastic Polyurethane Blends
by Yi-Sheng Jhao, Hao Ouyang, Chien-Chao Huang, Fuqian Yang and Sanboh Lee
J. Compos. Sci. 2024, 8(5), 169; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs8050169 - 1 May 2024
Viewed by 773
Abstract
Polylactic acid (PLA) is considered a promising biodegradable polymer alternative. Due to its high brittleness, composite materials made by melt blending thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) with PLA can enhance the toughness of PLA. To understand the forced aging caused by stress relaxation in polymer [...] Read more.
Polylactic acid (PLA) is considered a promising biodegradable polymer alternative. Due to its high brittleness, composite materials made by melt blending thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) with PLA can enhance the toughness of PLA. To understand the forced aging caused by stress relaxation in polymer materials, this study explains the stress relaxation experiments of PLA/TPU blends with different mass ratios under applied strain through mechanical model simulations. The Kelvin representation of the standard linear solid model (SLSM) is used to analyze the stress relaxation data of TPU/PLA blends, successfully explaining that the Young’s moduli (E1 and E2) of springs decrease with increasing temperature and TPU content. The viscosity coefficient of the PLA/TPU blends decreases with increasing temperature, and its reciprocal follows the Arrhenius law. For TPU/PLA blends with increased concentration of TPU, the activation energy for stress relaxation shows a linear decrease, confirmed by the glass transition point measured by DMA, indicating that it does not involve chemical reactions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Progress in Polymer Composites, Volume III)
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11 pages, 15756 KiB  
Article
Advanced Integration of Microwave Kiln Technology in Enhancing the Lost-Wax Glass Casting Process: A Study on Methodological Innovations and Practical Implications
by Shu-Chen Cheng, Ming-Shan Kao and Jiunn-Jer Hwang
J. Compos. Sci. 2024, 8(5), 168; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs8050168 - 1 May 2024
Viewed by 1346
Abstract
Lost-wax glass casting, an esteemed yet technically demanding art form, traditionally relies on specialized, costly kiln equipment, presenting significant barriers to artists regarding equipment affordability, energy efficiency, and the technical mastery required for temperature control. Therefore, this study introduces an innovative approach by [...] Read more.
Lost-wax glass casting, an esteemed yet technically demanding art form, traditionally relies on specialized, costly kiln equipment, presenting significant barriers to artists regarding equipment affordability, energy efficiency, and the technical mastery required for temperature control. Therefore, this study introduces an innovative approach by integrating a microwave kiln with standard household microwave ovens, thus facilitating the lost-wax glass casting process. This methodological adaptation allows artists to employ readily available home appliances for glass creation, significantly reducing the process’s cost and complexity. Our experimental investigations reveal that, by using a 500W household microwave oven for heating, the silicon carbide (SiC) in microwave kilns can efficiently absorb microwave energy, allowing the kilns to reach temperatures exceeding 700 °C, a critical threshold for casting glass softening. We further demonstrate that by adjusting the number of heating cycles, producing high-quality, three-dimensional(3D) glass artworks is feasible, even for large-scale projects. In addition, the microwave kiln can be used as an effective cooling tool to uniformly cool the formed casting glass. This study presents a possible alternative to conventional kiln technology and marks a paradigm shift in glassmaking, offering a more accessible and sustainable avenue for artists and practitioners. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functional Composites: Fabrication and Application)
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18 pages, 4294 KiB  
Article
Examining Mechanical Property Differences in Concrete with Natural and Synthetic Fiber Additives
by Walid Fouad Edris, Samy Elbialy, Ayman El-Zohairy, Ashraf Mohamed Soliman, Shymaa M. M. Shawky, Tarek Ibrahim Selouma and Abd Al-Kader A. Al Sayed
J. Compos. Sci. 2024, 8(5), 167; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs8050167 - 30 Apr 2024
Viewed by 745
Abstract
The rapid growth of Natural Fiber Laminate (NFL) innovation is a direct response to environmental challenges, positioning these materials as superior alternatives to synthetic fiber composites. This paper delved into the outcomes of an extensive experimental study investigating the influence of sisal fiber [...] Read more.
The rapid growth of Natural Fiber Laminate (NFL) innovation is a direct response to environmental challenges, positioning these materials as superior alternatives to synthetic fiber composites. This paper delved into the outcomes of an extensive experimental study investigating the influence of sisal fiber (SLF), banana fiber (BF), and glass fiber (GF) on the mechanical and microstructural characteristics of concrete. The water absorption curves were established for sisal fiber concrete (SLFC), banana fiber concrete (BFC), and glass fiber concrete (GFC). Furthermore, Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) observations were conducted to perform microanalysis and failure analysis of the tested specimens. The results revealed significant improvements in the concrete containing fibers compared to its counterpart in fiber-free concrete. For mixtures with a water-to-binder (W/B) ratio of 0.3, the most optimal mix (GF-30-135) showed improvements in compressive strength, flexural strength, and splitting tensile strengths by 4.13%, 8.93%, and 10.10%, respectively. On the other hand, for W/B of 0.4, mix GF-30-135 showed improvements of 5.05%, 8.55%, and 11.60%, respectively. Furthermore, as the fiber content increased, microscopic analyses revealed a weakening of the bond between the fibers and the rest of the matrix, contributing to the deterioration of the mechanical properties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Fiber Composites)
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3 pages, 172 KiB  
Editorial
Editorial for the Special Issue on Multidisciplinary Composites
by Swadesh Kumar Singh, Suresh Kumar Tummala, Satyanarayana Kosaraju and Julfikar Haider
J. Compos. Sci. 2024, 8(5), 166; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs8050166 - 30 Apr 2024
Viewed by 664
Abstract
The remarkable blend of features that advanced composites can provide, such as high stiffness, good strength-to-weight ratio, good corrosion resistance, design freedom, and product variety, has expanded their applicability [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Multidisciplinary Composites)
21 pages, 6413 KiB  
Article
Acid-Free Processing of Phosphorite Ore Fines into Composite Fertilizers Using the Mechanochemical Activation Method
by Kamshat Bazhirova, Kurmanbek Zhantasov, Tynlybek Bazhirov, Alexandr Kolesnikov, Zarina Toltebaeva and Nurlybek Bazhirov
J. Compos. Sci. 2024, 8(5), 165; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs8050165 - 29 Apr 2024
Viewed by 565
Abstract
The relevance of involving substandard raw materials for the production of composite phosphorus-containing fertilizer production is significant due to the problem of providing food products for the growing population of the Earth. The main raw materials for phosphorus and composite phosphorus-containing fertilizer production [...] Read more.
The relevance of involving substandard raw materials for the production of composite phosphorus-containing fertilizer production is significant due to the problem of providing food products for the growing population of the Earth. The main raw materials for phosphorus and composite phosphorus-containing fertilizer production are natural phosphate ores—phosphorites. However, in the process of mining and crushing, ~55–60% phosphorite ore fines are formed—a fraction of less than 10 mm, which is unsuitable for traditional processing into composite phosphorus-containing fertilizers. This article presents the results of physicochemical studies of the substandard fine fraction of phosphorite ore and the results of the studies of the possibility of their direct processing into phosphorus and composition of phosphorus-containing fertilizers using methods of mechanical and mechanochemical activation in the “Activator 4” planetary mill. The findings of the studies performed confirm the rather high efficiency of phosphorite ore fines’ mechanical activation and phosphorite-containing mixtures’ mechanochemical activation, which make it possible to significantly increase the content of assimilable phosphorus pentoxide P2O5 in composite phosphorus-containing fertilizers. The proposed innovative technology has fundamental differences from existing technologies, since the mechanochemical activation of a mixture of phosphorite ore fines and functional components will allow for direct acid-free and waste-free processing into phosphorus and composite phosphorus-containing mineral fertilizers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Composites Manufacturing and Processing)
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19 pages, 6308 KiB  
Article
Ultrasonic-Assisted Electrodeposition of Mn-Doped NiCo2O4 for Enhanced Photodegradation of Methyl Red, Hydrogen Production, and Supercapacitor Applications
by Kuan-Ching Lee, Timm Joyce Tiong, Guan-Ting Pan, Thomas Chung-Kuang Yang, Kasimayan Uma, Zong-Liang Tseng, Aleksandar N. Nikoloski and Chao-Ming Huang
J. Compos. Sci. 2024, 8(5), 164; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs8050164 - 29 Apr 2024
Viewed by 704
Abstract
This paper presents a novel ultrasonic-assisted electrodeposition process of Mn-doped NiCo2O4 onto a commercial nickel foam in a neutral electroplating bath (pH = 7.0) under an ultrasonic power of 1.2 V and 100 W. Different sample properties were studied based [...] Read more.
This paper presents a novel ultrasonic-assisted electrodeposition process of Mn-doped NiCo2O4 onto a commercial nickel foam in a neutral electroplating bath (pH = 7.0) under an ultrasonic power of 1.2 V and 100 W. Different sample properties were studied based on their crystallinity through X-ray diffraction (XRD), morphology was studied through scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and photodegradation was studied through ultraviolet–visible (UV–Vis) spectrophotometry. Based on the XRD results, the dominant crystallite phase obtained was shown to be a pure single NiCo2O4 phase. The optical properties of the photocatalytic film showed a range of energy band gaps between 1.72 and 1.73 eV from the absorption spectrum. The surface hydroxyl groups on the catalytic surface of the Mn-doped NiCo2O4 thin films showed significant improvements in removing methyl red via photodegradation, achieving 88% degradation in 60 min, which was approximately 1.6 times higher than that of pure NiCo2O4 thin films. The maximum hydrogen rate of the composite films under 100 mW/cm2 illumination was 38 μmol/cm2 with a +3.5 V external potential. The electrochemical performance test also showed a high capacity retention rate (96% after 5000 charge–discharge cycles), high capacity (260 Fg−1), and low intrinsic resistance (0.8 Ω). This work concludes that the Mn-doped NiCo2O4 hybrid with oxygen-poor conditions (oxygen vacancies) is a promising composite electrode candidate for methyl red removal, hydrogen evolution, and high-performance hybrid supercapacitor applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanocomposites for Supercapacitor Application)
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16 pages, 7182 KiB  
Article
Effect of Chitin Nanocrystal Deacetylation on a Nature-Mimicking Interface in Carbon Fiber Composites
by Abdellatif M. Abdel-Mohsen, Rasha M. Abdel-Rahman, Lukáš Kalina, Vishakha Vishakha, Ludmila Kaprálková, Pavel Němeček, Josef Jančář and Ivan Kelnar
J. Compos. Sci. 2024, 8(5), 163; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs8050163 - 26 Apr 2024
Viewed by 688
Abstract
The formation of a rigid, tough interface based on a nacre-like structure in carbon fiber (CF) composites is a promising way to eliminate low delamination resistance. An effective method of coating CFs is electrophoretic deposition (EPD), which, in the case of dissimilar components [...] Read more.
The formation of a rigid, tough interface based on a nacre-like structure in carbon fiber (CF) composites is a promising way to eliminate low delamination resistance. An effective method of coating CFs is electrophoretic deposition (EPD), which, in the case of dissimilar components like graphene oxide (GO) and polymeric glue, usually requires chemical bonding/strong interactions. In this work, we focus on chitin nanocrystals (ChNCs), leading to an excellent mechanical performance of artificial nacre, where favorable interactions and bonding with GO are controlled by degrees of deacetylation (5, 15, and 30%). We prepared coatings based on GO/ChNC adducts with 95/5, 90/10, 50/50, and 25/75 ratios using optimized EPD conditions (pH, concentration, voltage, and time). The prepared materials were characterized using FTIR, TEM, XPS, SEM, DLS, and XRD. SEM evaluation indicates the formation of a homogeneous interlayer, which has a fair potential for chemical bonding with the epoxy matrix. Short-beam testing of epoxy matrix composites indicates that the coating does not decrease stiffness and has a relatively low dependence on composition. Therefore, all coatings are promising for a detailed study of delamination resistance using laminate samples. Moreover, facile EPD from the water solution/suspension has a fair potential for industrial applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbon Fiber Composites, Volume III)
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9 pages, 6388 KiB  
Communication
Microfluidic Synthesis and Properties of Thermoresponsive Hydrogel Core–Shell Particles
by Klaus-Peter Kronfeld, Johann Michael Köhler and Thomas Ellinger
J. Compos. Sci. 2024, 8(5), 162; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs8050162 - 26 Apr 2024
Viewed by 623
Abstract
An approach is demonstrated for the generation of swellable core–shell particles in the sub-millimeter range using a one-step microfluidic method. Particles are made of an agarose gel core and a shell consisting of hydrogel based on crosslinked poly-(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNIPAM). Solidification of the core [...] Read more.
An approach is demonstrated for the generation of swellable core–shell particles in the sub-millimeter range using a one-step microfluidic method. Particles are made of an agarose gel core and a shell consisting of hydrogel based on crosslinked poly-(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNIPAM). Solidification of the core was achieved by cooling below the sol–gel temperature, while the shell was cured by photoinitiated co-polymerization. The shell of the particles is reversibly thermoresponsive; it contracts upon heating, releasing water, and becomes hydrophobic. The transition temperature as well as the stability of the particles are mainly affected by the shell monomer composition, while they are less affected by the type of the core material. Such composite particles remain swellable after drying. Full article
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