Special Issue "Advanced Materials for Defense: Designing for Performance"

A special issue of Applied Sciences (ISSN 2076-3417). This special issue belongs to the section "Materials Science and Engineering".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2020) | Viewed by 10094

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Raul Fangueiro
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Guest Editor
1. Fibrenamics, Institute of Innovation on Fiber-based Materials and Composites, University of Minho, 4710-057 Guimarães, Portugal
2. Centre for Textile Science and Technology (2C2T), University of Minho, 4710-057 Guimarães, Portugal
Interests: fibrous and composite materials; nanofibers; advanced textiles; smart composites
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Diana Ferreira
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Centre for Textile Science and Technology (2C2T), University of Minho, 4710-057 Guimarães, Portugal
Interests: CBRN protective materials; nanofibers; natural fibers; functionalization of fibrous structures; synthesis of nanoparticles; piezoresistive materials; localized drug delivery systems; wound dressing systems; photodynamic therapy
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Filipe Teixeira-Dias
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute for Infrastructure and Environment (IIE), School of Engineering, The University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh EH9 3JL, UK
Interests: computational and applied mechanics; impulsive dynamics; structural dynamics; materials, structures and systems for energy absorption; armour and protection systems; sports impact and human bio-dynamics, crashworthiness, numerical and analytical methods
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

I would like to invite you to submit your research to the Special Issue of Applied Sciences on “Advanced Materials for Defense: Designing for Performance”. This Special Issue aims to attract leading researchers in the area of advanced materials to be used in the defence field in an effort to highlight the latest exciting developments to promote concrete applications.

Accepted contributions will include topics within the scope of the following domains:

Air domain
Performance / Low-Weight Design for military Applications;
Improved Modeling of failure and damage propagation;
Materials for additive manufacturing;
High-temperature composites for missiles and jet engines;
Integration of Structural Health Monitoring Systems.

Naval domain
Self-healing materials or coatings;
Monitoring of signature;
New armored solutions;
Repair by additive manufacturing;
Structural health monitoring of structures;
Lightweight Structure / New design concept for deck with metallic solutions.

Land domain
Reparability (monitoring, repair, assessment);
New lighter protections;
New protection capability with light weight structures;
New lighter protections for soldier.

Cross-cutting domain
Graphene-based technologies;
Novel manufacturing processes, automated layer up, and in-situ process verification;
Multifunctional materials for dynamic, multispectral camouflage;
Self-indicating materials;
Structural health monitoring and verification of manufacturing processes;
or Smart textiles to collect, analyse and transmit information, to protect.

Best Regards,

Prof. Dr. Raul Fangueiro;
Dr. Filipe Teixeira-Dias;
Dr. Diana Ferreira
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Applied Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2300 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • ballistic and blast materials;
  • camaleonic materials;
  • auxetic materials;
  • multiscale and multygrade materials;
  • shear thickness fluids;
  • materials energy and impact absorption;
  • selfsensing composites;
  • smart textiles;
  • smart composites;
  • materials for CBRN detection/protection;

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

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Article
Polylactic Acid/Carbon Nanoparticle Composite Filaments for Sensing
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(6), 2580; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11062580 - 15 Mar 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 937
Abstract
Polylactic acid (PLA) is a bio-based, biodegradable polymer that presents high potential for biomedical and sensing applications. Ongoing works reported in the literature concern mainly applications based on 3D printing, while textile applications are hindered by the limited flexibility of PLA and its [...] Read more.
Polylactic acid (PLA) is a bio-based, biodegradable polymer that presents high potential for biomedical and sensing applications. Ongoing works reported in the literature concern mainly applications based on 3D printing, while textile applications are hindered by the limited flexibility of PLA and its composite filaments. In the present work, PLA/multiwall carbon nanotube (MWCNT) composite filaments were produced with enhanced flexibility and electrical conductivity, which may be applied on a textile structure. A biodegradable plasticizer was incorporated in the nanocomposites, aiming at improving MWCNT dispersion and increasing the flexibility of the filaments. Filaments were produced with a range of compositions and their morphology was characterized as well as their thermal, thermomechanical, and electrical properties. Selected compositions were tested for sensing activity using saturated acetone vapor, demonstrating a suitable response and potential for the application in fabrics with sensing capacity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Materials for Defense: Designing for Performance)
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Article
Smart Fibrous Structures Produced by Electrospinning Using the Combined Effect of PCL/Graphene Nanoplatelets
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(3), 1124; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11031124 - 26 Jan 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1074
Abstract
Over the years, the development of adaptable monitoring systems to be integrated into soldiers’ body gear, making them as comfortable and lightweight as possible (avoiding the use of rigid electronics), has become essential. Electrospun microfibers are a great material for this application due [...] Read more.
Over the years, the development of adaptable monitoring systems to be integrated into soldiers’ body gear, making them as comfortable and lightweight as possible (avoiding the use of rigid electronics), has become essential. Electrospun microfibers are a great material for this application due to their excellent properties, especially their flexibility and lightness. Their functionalization with graphene nanoplatelets (GNPs) makes them a fantastic alternative for the development of innovative conductive materials. In this work, electrospun membranes based on polycaprolactone (PCL) were impregnated with different GNPs concentrations in order to create an electrically conductive surface with piezoresistive behavior. All the samples were properly characterized, demonstrating the homogeneous distribution and the GNPs’ adsorption onto the membrane’s surfaces. Additionally, the electrical performance of the developed systems was studied, including the electrical conductivity, piezoresistive behavior, and Gauge Factor (GF). A maximum electrical conductivity value of 0.079 S/m was obtained for the 2%GNPs-PCL sample. The developed piezoresistive sensor showed high sensitivity to external pressures and excellent durability to repetitive pressing. The best value of GF (3.20) was obtained for the membranes with 0.5% of GNPs. Hence, this work presents the development of a flexible piezoresistive sensor, based on electrospun PCL microfibers and GNPs, utilizing simple methods. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Materials for Defense: Designing for Performance)
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Article
Preparation and Impact Resistance Properties of Hybrid Silicone-Ceramics Composites
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(24), 9098; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10249098 - 19 Dec 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 836
Abstract
This article presents the method of preparation a new type of ballistic armor based on hybrid silicone-ceramic (HSC) composites with considerable flexibility. An experimental study on the ballistic behavior of HSC composites connected with soft body armor is presented against FSP.22 fragments. The [...] Read more.
This article presents the method of preparation a new type of ballistic armor based on hybrid silicone-ceramic (HSC) composites with considerable flexibility. An experimental study on the ballistic behavior of HSC composites connected with soft body armor is presented against FSP.22 fragments. The effect of Al2O3 ceramics on the ballistic performance of HSC composite was investigated, and the fragmentation resistance process of the composite armor combining the HSC composite and soft aramid insert is clarified. Furthermore, impact resistance tests made with a drop tower which allows for a gravity drop of a mass along vertical guides onto a sample placed with an energy of 5 J were performed. The results presented in this paper show that the HSC composites can be successfully used as a hard body armor. However, they do not exhibit the properties of absorbing the impact energy generated during the drop tower tests. The test results show that the ballistic performance of composite armors is influenced by the hardness and Young modulus of ceramics and soft body armor panel. Additionally, in the article, the results of mechanical properties of silicones used for preparation of composites were presented and compiled to determine their role in the performance of impact protection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Materials for Defense: Designing for Performance)
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Article
Developing Tungsten-Filled Metal Matrix Composite Materials Using Laser Powder Bed Fusion
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(24), 8869; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10248869 - 11 Dec 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 713
Abstract
The additive manufacturing technique laser powder bed fusion (L-PBF) opens up potential to process metal matrix composites (MMCs) with new material pairings free from limitations of conventional production techniques. In this work, we present a study on MMC material development using L-PBF. The [...] Read more.
The additive manufacturing technique laser powder bed fusion (L-PBF) opens up potential to process metal matrix composites (MMCs) with new material pairings free from limitations of conventional production techniques. In this work, we present a study on MMC material development using L-PBF. The generated composite material is composed of an X3NiCoMoTi 18-9-5 steel as matrix and spherical tungsten particles as filler material. A Design of Experiment (DoE)-based process parameter adaption leads to an Archimedean density close to the theoretical density in the case of 60 vol% tungsten content. A maximum ultimate tensile strength of 836 MPa is obtained. A failure analysis reveals a stable bonding of the tungsten particles to the steel matrix. This encourages the investigation of further material combinations. An additional heat treatment of the MMC indicates the potential to design specific material properties; it also highlights the complexity of such treatments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Materials for Defense: Designing for Performance)
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Article
Hydrophobic Fluorinated Porous Organic Frameworks for Enhanced Adsorption of Nerve Agents
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(24), 8789; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10248789 - 08 Dec 2020
Viewed by 822
Abstract
Humidity in the air can significantly limit the adsorption capacity of porous materials used for the removal of chemical warfare agents (CWAs). Therefore, in this work, we prepared a porous organic material (C-1) and its fluoride derivative (C-1-F) via a Schiff base reaction [...] Read more.
Humidity in the air can significantly limit the adsorption capacity of porous materials used for the removal of chemical warfare agents (CWAs). Therefore, in this work, we prepared a porous organic material (C-1) and its fluoride derivative (C-1-F) via a Schiff base reaction and determined their structure and morphological properties, hydrophobicity, and adsorption capacity. Compared to the parent C-1 material, both the channel and particle surface of C-1-F were highly hydrophobic, thus stabilizing the fluorinated porous material under various humidity conditions. Dimethyl methyl phosphonate was used as a nerve agent simulant to examine the efficiency of the synthesized porous materials, indicating that C-1-F had a higher adsorption capacity than C-1 under dry conditions. Moreover, unlike C-1, the adsorption capacity of hydrophobic C-1-F was not affected even under a relative humidity of 20%, and it is still able to maintain high adsorption capacity at a relative humidity of 60%, suggesting its high application potential in the removal of CWAs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Materials for Defense: Designing for Performance)
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Article
Experimental Investigation of Thin-Walled UHPFRCC Modular Barrier for Blast and Ballistic Protection
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(23), 8716; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10238716 - 05 Dec 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 658
Abstract
The static response of ballistic panels and also its resistance to blast and ballistic impact is investigated in the framework of this study. By connecting individual ballistic panels together, the protective barrier can be constructed. The protective barrier can be featured as a [...] Read more.
The static response of ballistic panels and also its resistance to blast and ballistic impact is investigated in the framework of this study. By connecting individual ballistic panels together, the protective barrier can be constructed. The protective barrier can be featured as a system with high mobility and versatility that is achieved by linking basic interlocking plate elements together. The resulting protective barrier can be shaped according to many possible scenarios in a wall with various possible opening angles and a small post with the tetragonal base or a larger post with the hexagonal ground plan. The material solution of the protective barrier benefits from the application of ultra-high-performance fibre-reinforced cement-based composites (UHPFRCC), which meets the requirements for enhanced resistance against extreme loads such as blast or impact. Besides, by using UHPFRCC, thin and slender design can be adopted, which is advantageous in many ways. Slender design results in a lower weight, allowing for easy manipulation and replacement. To verify the behavior of the panels, the proposed barrier was subjected to various loadings at different strain rates. The experimental campaign demonstrated that the protective barrier has a reasonable load-bearing capacity and also sufficient resistance against projectile impact and blast effects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Materials for Defense: Designing for Performance)
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Article
Prediction of Residual Stress of Carburized Steel Based on Machine Learning
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(21), 7759; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10217759 - 02 Nov 2020
Viewed by 874
Abstract
In recent years, the number of machine learning applications (especially those involving deep learning) applied to predicting and discovering material properties has been increasing. This paper is based on using microstructure and carbon content to train machine learning models to predict the residual [...] Read more.
In recent years, the number of machine learning applications (especially those involving deep learning) applied to predicting and discovering material properties has been increasing. This paper is based on using microstructure and carbon content to train machine learning models to predict the residual stress of carburized steel. First, a semantic segmentation model of the material organization structure (SegModel-MOS) was constructed based on the AlexNet network and initially trained on the PASCAL VOC2012 dataset. Then, the trained model was fine-tuned on an enhanced homemade dataset consisting of optical microstructures. The experimental results show that SegModel-MOS can distinguish acicular martensite, retained austenite, and lath martensite in microstructures. Finally, we used both support vector machine (SVM) and decision tree (DT) algorithms to establish a mapping relationship between the microstructure, carbon content, and residual stress to predict the residual stress of steel from its microstructure and carbon content. The experiments verified that the prediction model constructed in this study exhibits high accuracy and can directly predict residual stress without requiring any long-term measurements. Thus, the developed model provides a new approach to the study of residual stress in steel. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Materials for Defense: Designing for Performance)
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Article
Ultra-Strong Knits for Personal Protective Equipment
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(18), 6197; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10186197 - 07 Sep 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 841
Abstract
This work focused on the development of ultra-strong knitted fabrics for personal protective equipment used for protection against mechanical damages. Such knits have to have enhanced mechanical strength properties, which strongly depend on knitting pattern and structural characteristics. Six variants of weft knitted [...] Read more.
This work focused on the development of ultra-strong knitted fabrics for personal protective equipment used for protection against mechanical damages. Such knits have to have enhanced mechanical strength properties, which strongly depend on knitting pattern and structural characteristics. Six variants of weft knitted structures were developed and knitted from ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene and additional elastomeric component. The elastomeric component was used to increase the elasticity and toughness of knits; however, it had a high influence on mechanical properties, as well. The performed mechanical tests allowed us to identify dependence of mechanical properties, such as breaking force and elongation at break and resistance to abrasion, tearing, cutting and puncture, on architecture and structural parameters of the knits. Obtained results demonstrate that elastomeric component has high influence on mechanical properties knits and can change the principal mechanical behaviour of knits. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Materials for Defense: Designing for Performance)
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Article
Enhancing the Ballistic Performances of 3D Warp Interlock Fabric Through Internal Structure as New Material for Seamless Female Soft Body Armor Development
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(14), 4873; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10144873 - 16 Jul 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1124
Abstract
This paper investigates the effects of warp yarns ratios on the ballistic performances of three-dimensional (3D) warp interlock p-aramid fabrics. Four 3D warp interlock variants with different binding and stuffer warp yarns ratios were designed and developed. Except for warp yarns ratios, similar [...] Read more.
This paper investigates the effects of warp yarns ratios on the ballistic performances of three-dimensional (3D) warp interlock p-aramid fabrics. Four 3D warp interlock variants with different binding and stuffer warp yarns ratios were designed and developed. Except for warp yarns ratios, similar fabric parameters and manufacturing conditions were considered. Two-dimensional (2D) woven fabric having similar material characteristics and recommended for female seamless soft body armor are also considered for comparisons. Five ballistic panels, one from 2D plain weave fabric and the rest four from the other 3D warp interlock variants were prepared in a non-angled layer alignment and non-stitched but bust-shaped molded form. The ballistic test is carried out according to NIJ (National Institute of Justice) standard-level IIIA. Back Face Signature (BFS) was then modeled and measured to compute both trauma and panels’ energy-absorbing capability. The result showed significant ballistic improvement in the 3D warp interlock variant with optimum warp yarns ratios over traditional 2D plain weave fabrics. 3D warp interlock fabric panel made with 66.6% binding and 33.3% stuffer warp yarn ratio revealed both lower BFS depth and higher energy absorbing capacity (%) than other panels made of 2D plain weave and 3D warp interlock fabric variants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Materials for Defense: Designing for Performance)
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Review

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Review
Nanomaterials and Cross-Cutting Technologies for Fostering Smart Electrochemical Biosensors in the Detection of Chemical Warfare Agents
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(2), 720; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11020720 - 13 Jan 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1284
Abstract
The smart, rapid, and customizable detection of chemical warfare agents is a huge issue for taking the proper countermeasures in a timely fashion. The printing techniques have established the main pillar to develop miniaturized electrochemical biosensors for onsite and fast detection of nerve [...] Read more.
The smart, rapid, and customizable detection of chemical warfare agents is a huge issue for taking the proper countermeasures in a timely fashion. The printing techniques have established the main pillar to develop miniaturized electrochemical biosensors for onsite and fast detection of nerve and mustard agents, allowing for a lab on a chip in the chemical warfare agent sector. In the fast growth of novel technologies, the combination of miniaturized electrochemical biosensors with flexible electronics allowed for the delivery of useful wearable sensors capable of fast detection of chemical warfare agents. The wearable microneedle sensor array for minimally invasive continuous electrochemical detection of organophosphorus nerve agents, as well as the wearable paper-based origami functionalized with nanomaterials for mustard agents in the gas phase, represent two examples of the forefront devices developed in the chemical warfare agent detection field. This review will highlight the most promising electrochemical biosensors developed by exploiting nanomaterials and cross-cutting technologies for the fabrication of smart and sensitive electrochemical biosensors for the detection of chemical warfare agents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Materials for Defense: Designing for Performance)
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