Materials2015, 8(3), 959-965; doi:10.3390/ma8030959 - published 5 March 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The substitutional doping approach has been shown to be an effective strategy to improve ZT of Bi2Te3-based thermoelectric raw materials. We herein report the Fe-doping effects on electronic and thermal transport properties of polycrystalline bulks of p-type Bi0.48Sb1.52Te3. After a small amount of Fe-doping on Bi/Sb-sites, the power factor could be enhanced due to the optimization of carrier concentration. Additionally, lattice thermal conductivity was reduced by the intensified point-defect phonon scattering originating from the mass difference between the host atoms (Bi/Sb) and dopants (Fe). An enhanced ZT of 1.09 at 300 K was obtained in 1.0 at% Fe-doped Bi0.48Sb1.52Te3 by these synergetic effects.
Materials2015, 8(3), 932-958; doi:10.3390/ma8030932 - published 5 March 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The goal of the current publication is to provide a comprehensive literature review on the topic of dental implant materials. The following paper focuses on conventional titanium implants and more recently introduced and increasingly popular zirconia implants. Major subtopics include the material science and the clinical considerations involving both implant materials and the influence of their physical properties on the treatment outcome. Titanium remains the gold standard for the fabrication of oral implants, even though sensitivity does occur, though its clinical relevance is not yet clear. Zirconia implants may prove to be promising in the future; however, further in vitro and well-designed in vivo clinical studies are needed before such a recommendation can be made. Special considerations and technical experience are needed when dealing with zirconia implants to minimize the incidence of mechanical failure.
Materials2015, 8(3), 914-931; doi:10.3390/ma8030914 - published 4 March 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Fe-Al intermetallic alloys with aluminum content over 60 at% are in the area of the phase equilibrium diagram that is considerably less investigated in comparison to the high-symmetry Fe3Al and FeAl phases. Ambiguous crystallographic information and incoherent data referring to the phase equilibrium diagrams placed in a high-aluminum range have caused confusions and misinformation. Nowadays unequivocal material properties description of FeAl2, Fe2Al5 and FeAl3 intermetallic alloys is still incomplete. In this paper, the influence of aluminum content and processing parameters on phase composition is presented. The occurrence of low-symmetry FeAl2, Fe2Al5 and FeAl3 structures determined by chemical composition and phase transformations was defined by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) examinations. These results served to verify diffraction investigations (XRD) and to explain the mechanical properties of cast materials such as: hardness, Young’s modulus and fracture toughness evaluated using the nano-indentation technique.
Materials2015, 8(3), 899-913; doi:10.3390/ma8030899 - published 3 March 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: A full-scale experimental program was used in this study to investigate the structural behavior of novel insulated concrete sandwich wall panels (SWPs) reinforced with grid-type glass-fiber-reinforced polymer (GFRP) shear connectors. Two kinds of insulation-expanded polystyrene (EPS) and extruded polystyrene (XPS) with 100 mm thickness were incased between the two concrete wythes to meet the increasing demand for the insulation performance of building envelope. One to four GFRP shear grids were used to examine the degree of composite action of the two concrete wythes. Ten specimens of SWPs were tested under displacement control subjected to four-point concentrated loads. The test results showed that the SWPs reinforced with GFRP grids as shear connectors developed a high degree of composite action resulting in high flexural strength. The specimens with EPS foam exhibited an enhanced load-displacement behavior compared with the specimens with XPS because of the relatively stronger bond between insulation and concrete. In addition, the ultimate strength of the test results was compared to the analytical prediction with the mechanical properties of only GRFP grids. The specimens with EPS insulation presented higher strength-based composite action than the ones with XPS insulation.
Materials2015, 8(3), 884-898; doi:10.3390/ma8030884 - published 2 March 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The effect of carbon black on the mechanical properties of elastomers is of great interest, because the filler is one of principal ingredients for the manufacturing of rubber products. While fillers can be used to enhance the properties of elastomers, including stress-free swelling resistance in solvent, it is widely known that the introduction of fillers yields significant inelastic responses of elastomers under cyclic mechanical loading, such as stress-softening, hysteresis and permanent set. When a filled elastomer is under mechanical deformation, the filler acts as a strain amplifier in the rubber matrix. Since the matrix local strain has a profound effect on the material’s ability to absorb solvent, the study of the effect of carbon black content on the swelling characteristics of elastomeric components exposed to solvent in the presence of mechanical deformation is a prerequisite for durability analysis. The aim of this study is to investigate the effect of carbon black content on the swelling of elastomers in solvent in the presence of static mechanical strains: simple extension and simple torsion. Three different types of elastomers are considered: unfilled, filled with 33 phr (parts per hundred) and 66 phr of carbon black. The peculiar role of carbon black on the swelling characteristics of elastomers in solvent in the presence of mechanical strain is explored.
Materials2015, 8(3), 867-883; doi:10.3390/ma8030867 - published 2 March 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Titanium (Ti) and its alloys are amongst the most commonly-used biomaterials in orthopedic and dental applications. The Ti-aluminum-vanadium alloy (Ti6Al4V) is widely used as a biomaterial for these applications by virtue of its favorable properties, such as high tensile strength, good biocompatibility and excellent corrosion resistance. TiO2 nanotube (NTs) layers formed by anodization on Ti6Al4V alloy have been shown to improve osteoblast adhesion and function when compared to non-anodized material. In his study, NTs were grown on a Ti6Al4V alloy by anodic oxidation for 5 min using a super-oxidative aqueous solution, and their in vitro biocompatibility was investigated in pig periosteal osteoblasts and cartilage chondrocytes. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy dispersion X-ray analysis (EDX) and atomic force microscopy (AFM) were used to characterize the materials. Cell morphology was analyzed by SEM and AFM. Cell viability was examined by fluorescence microscopy. Cell adhesion was evaluated by nuclei staining and cell number quantification by fluorescence microscopy. The average diameter of the NTs was 80 nm. The results demonstrate improved cell adhesion and viability at Day 1 and Day 3 of cell growth on the nanostructured material as compared to the non-anodized alloy. In conclusion, this study evidences the suitability of NTs grown on Ti6Al4V alloy using a super-oxidative water and a short anodization process to enhance the adhesion and viability of osteoblasts and chondrocytes. The results warrant further investigation for its use as medical implant materials.