Materials2015, 8(7), 4034-4049; doi:10.3390/ma8074034 (registering DOI) - published 3 July 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The use of near-surface mounted (NSM) fibre-reinforced polymer (FRP) bars is an interesting method for increasing the shear and flexural strength of existing timber members. This article examines the behaviour of carbon FRP (CFRP) bars in timber under direct pull-out conditions. The objective of this experimental program is to investigate the bond strength between composite bars and timber: bars were epoxied into small notches made into chestnut and fir wood members using a commercially-available epoxy system. Bonded lengths varied from 150 to 300 mm. Failure modes, stress and strain distributions and the bond strength of CFRP bars have been evaluated and discussed. The pull-out capacity in NSM CFRP bars at the onset of debonding increased with bonded length up to a length of 250 mm. While CFRP bar’s pull-out was achieved only for specimens with bonded lengths of 150 and 200 mm, bar tensile failure was mainly recorded for bonded lengths of 250 and 300 mm.
Materials2015, 8(7), 4022-4033; doi:10.3390/ma8074022 (registering DOI) - published 3 July 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Layered double hydroxides (LDHs) are an ultraviolet-light (UV) resistant material. In this study, LDHs were used to modify bitumen. The optical and UV aging properties of LDHs modified bitumen were investigated. Firstly, the thin films of bitumen, with and without LDHs, were prepared. By using the UV-Vis spectrophotometer, absorbance, reflectance, and transmittance of bituminous thin film were evaluated. The morphology of LDHs-modified bitumen was observed by using fluorescence microscopy (FM). Finally, the aging resistance of LDH-modified bitumen was investigated by using the UV-aging oven. Results indicated that the LDHs, especially with 5 wt % in the bitumen, can effectively absorb and reflect the UV light and improve the UV-aging resistance of bitumen. This implied that the addition of LDHs into bitumen had the potential to prolong the service life of asphalt pavement.
Materials2015, 8(7), 4004-4021; doi:10.3390/ma8074004 (registering DOI) - published 2 July 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: In this work, the effect of seven different sample orientations from 0° to 90° on pilot and non-pilot ignition of PMMA (poly(methyl methacrylate)) exposed to radiation has been studied with experimental and numerical methods. Some new and significant conclusions are drawn from the study, including a U-shape curve of ignition time and critical mass flux as sample angle increases for pilot ignition conditions. However, in auto-ignition, the ignition time and critical mass flux increases with sample angle α. Furthermore, a computational fluid dynamic model have been built based on the Fire Dynamics Simulator (FDS6) code to investigate the mechanisms controlling the dependence on sample orientation of the ignition of PMMA under external radiant heating. The results of theoretical analysis and modeling results indicate the decrease of total incident heat flux at sample surface plays the dominant role during the ignition processes of auto-ignition, but the volatiles gas flow has greater influence for piloted ignition conditions.
Materials2015, 8(7), 3992-4003; doi:10.3390/ma8073992 (registering DOI) - published 2 July 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: To provide a convenient and practical synthesis process for metal ion doping on the surface of nanoparticles in an assembled nanostructure, core-shell-structured La-doped SrTiO3 nanocubes with a Nb-doped surface layer were synthesized via a rapid synthesis combining a rapid sol-precipitation and hydrothermal process. The La-doped SrTiO3 nanocubes were formed at room temperature by a rapid dissolution of NaOH pellets during the rapid sol-precipitation process, and the Nb-doped surface (shell) along with Nb-rich edges formed on the core nanocubes via the hydrothermal process. The formation mechanism of the core-shell-structured nanocubes and their shape evolution as a function of the Nb doping level were investigated. The synthesized core-shell-structured nanocubes could be arranged face-to-face on a SiO2/Si substrate by a slow evaporation process, and this nanostructured 10 μm thick thin film showed a smooth surface.
Materials2015, 8(7), 3975-3991; doi:10.3390/ma8073975 (registering DOI) - published 2 July 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Shredded rubber tire is a geomaterial that is potentially useful in environmental and engineering projects. Here, we study the effect of particle size ratio on the thermal conductivity of granular mixtures containing rubber tire particles. Glass beads were mixed at various volume fractions with rubber particles of varying size. The 3D network model analysis using synthetic packed assemblies was used to determine the dominant factors influencing the thermal conduction of the mixtures. Results present that mixtures with varying size ratios exhibit different nonlinear evolutions of thermal conductivity values with mixture fractions. In particular, mixtures with large insulating materials (e.g., rubber particles) have higher thermal conduction that those with small ones. This is because the larger insulating particles allow better interconnectivity among the conductive particles, thereby avoiding the interruption of the thermal conduction of the conductive particles. Similar tests conducted with natural sand corroborate the significant effect of the relative size of the insulating particles. The 3D network model identifies the heterogeneity of local and effective thermal conductivity and the influence of connectivity among conductive particles. A supplementary examination of electrical conductivity highlights the significance of local and long-range connectivity on conduction paths in granular mixtures.
Materials2015, 8(7), 3960-3974; doi:10.3390/ma8073960 (registering DOI) - published 2 July 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Artificial cemented sand test samples were prepared by using ordinary Portland cement (OPC) as the cementing agent. Through uniaxial compression tests and consolidated drained triaxial compression tests, the stress-strain curves of the artificial cemented sand with different cementing agent contents (0.01, 0.03, 0.05 and 0.08) under various confining pressures (0.00 MPa, 0.25 MPa, 0.50 MPa and 1.00 MPa) were obtained. Based on the test results, the effect of the cementing agent content (Cv) on the physical and mechanical properties of the artificial cemented sand were analyzed and the Mohr-Coulomb strength theory was modified by using Cv. The research reveals that when Cv is high (e.g., Cv = 0.03, 0.05 or 0.08), the stress-strain curves of the samples indicate a strain softening behavior; under the same confining pressure, as Cv increases, both the peak strength and residual strength of the samples show a significant increase. When Cv is low (e.g., Cv = 0.01), the stress-strain curves of the samples indicate strain hardening behavior. From the test data, a function of Cv (the cementing agent content) with c′ (the cohesion force of the sample) and Δϕ′ (the increment of the angle of shearing resistance) is obtained. Furthermore, through modification of the Mohr-Coulomb strength theory, the effect of cementing agent content on the strength of the cemented sand is demonstrated.