Metals2015, 5(3), 1397-1413; doi:10.3390/met5031397 (registering DOI) - published 31 July 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Over these last few years, there has been a growing interest in developing mechanical components from submicrometric materials due to the significant improvement that these materials present compared to their original state. This present research work deals with the study of the mechanical properties of a connecting rod isothermally forged from different starting materials. These materials are as follows: annealed aluminum alloy (AA) 5754, the same alloy previously deformed through equal channel angular pressing (ECAP) and a third case where the previously ECAP-processed material is subjected to a recovery heat treatment. A comparison is made between finite volume (FV) simulations and experimental tests with respect to hardness, plastic strain and forging force. Furthermore, the improvement in the mechanical properties of the connecting rod forged from predeformed material is evaluated in comparison to the connecting rod forged with annealed material. The microstructure of both cases is also compared at the end of the manufacturing process.
Metals2015, 5(3), 1387-1396; doi:10.3390/met5031387 (registering DOI) - published 30 July 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Al-Ti-B master alloys are widely used in the aluminum industry as grain refiners for the control of the microstructure of the aluminum alloys. The SHS (self-propagating high-temperature synthesis) is an ex situ method that uses exothermic reactions to sustain the chemical reaction in a combustion wave. The advantages of SHS are the low energy requirement, simplicity and product purity. However, the raw material used has to be very pure, with a very small size leading to the necessity of a reactor with a protective gas to produce the reaction. The purpose of this investigation is to fabricate SHS master alloys with commercial standard raw materials, with lower purity and higher grain size without a reactor or protective gas in order to (1) decrease the price and (2) improve the productivity of master alloy manufacturing. The possibility of using cheap borated salts instead of expensive pure boron has been studied. Different compositions of aluminum master alloy have been developed. Bigger TiB2 grain size has been obtained when using bigger commercial raw materials. Larger titanium powder can produce an aluminum master alloy with a maximum of 30% of aluminum without reactor. In comparison, SHS reaction is much more difficult when using finer titanium powder.
Metals2015, 5(3), 1371-1386; doi:10.3390/met5031371 - published 29 July 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Electrochemically deposited polymers, also called “synthetic metals”, have emerged as potential candidates for chemical sensing due to their interesting and tunable chemical, electrical, and structural properties. In particular, most of these polymers (including polypyrrole, polyaniline, polythiophene) and their derivatives can be used as the sensitive layer of conductimetric gas sensors because of their conducting properties. An important advantage of polymer-based gas sensors is their efficiency at room temperature. This characteristic is interesting since most of the commercially-available sensors, usually based on metal oxides, work at high temperatures (300–400 °C). Consequently, polymer-based gas sensors are playing a growing role in the improvement of public health and environment control because they can lead to gas sensors operating with rapid detection, high sensitivity, small size, and specificity in atmospheric conditions. In this review, the recent advances in electrodeposited polymer-based gas sensors are summarized and discussed. It is shown that the sensing characteristics of electrodeposited polymers can be improved by chemical functionalization, nanostructuration, or mixing with other functional materials to form composites or hybrid materials.
Metals2015, 5(3), 1349-1370; doi:10.3390/met5031349 - published 27 July 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Pyrrolyl squaraines, both dyes and polymers, were first reported in 1965 and since then a fascinating body of work has been produced investigating the chemistry of these interesting molecules. A major aspect of these molecules that makes them so appealing to those researchers who have contributed to this field over the last 50 years is their chemical versatility. In this review, subjects, such as the synthetic history, an understanding of the molecular structure, an overview of the optical properties, a discussion of both the electrical conduction properties, and magnetic properties, plus use of the particles of pyrrolyl squaraines, are presented. Furthermore, previously published results are not just presented; they are in certain cases collated and used to both highlight and explain important aspects of pyrrolyl squaraine chemistry.
Metals2015, 5(3), 1328-1348; doi:10.3390/met5031328 - published 23 July 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Excavation followed by landfilling is the most common method for treating soils contaminated by metals. However, as this solution is not sustainable, alternative techniques are required. Chemical soil washing is one such alternative. The aim of this experimental lab-scale study is to develop a remediation and metal recovery method for Cu contaminated sites. The method is based on the washing of soil or ash (combusted soil/bark) with acidic waste liquids followed by electrolytic Cu recovery by means of bioelectrochemical systems (BES). The results demonstrate that a one- or two-step acidic leaching process followed by water washing removes >80 wt. % of the Cu. Copper with 99.7–99.9 wt. % purity was recovered from the acidic leachates using BES. In all experiments, electrical power was generated during the reduction of Cu. This clearly indicates that Cu can also be recovered from dilute solutions. Additionally, the method has the potential to wash co-pollutants such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and oxy-PAHs.
Metals2015, 5(3), 1315-1327; doi:10.3390/met5031315 - published 22 July 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: This work presents the mechanical behavior modeling of commercial purity titanium subjected to severe plastic deformation (SPD) during post-SPD compression, at temperatures of 600-900 °C and at strain rates of 0.001-0.1 s−1. The flow response of the ultra-fine grained microstructure is modeled using the modified Johnson-Cook model as a predictive tool, aiding high temperature forming applications. It was seen that the model was satisfactory at all deformation conditions except for the deformation temperature of 600 °C. In order to improve the predictive capability, the model was extended with a corrective term for predictions at temperatures below 700 °C. The accuracy of the model was displayed with reasonable agreement, resulting in error levels of less than 5% at all deformation temperatures.