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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Utilization of Recycled Material Sources for Wood-Polypropylene Composites: Effect on Internal Composite Structure, Particle Characteristics and Physico-Mechanical Properties
Fibers 2018, 6(4), 86; https://doi.org/10.3390/fib6040086 - 07 Nov 2018
Cited by 5
Abstract
In this study, various wood material sources were used for the manufacture of wood-polymer composites (WPC). The materials were categorised as virgin wood particles (VWP), reprocessed WPC particles (RWP) and recycled thermoset composite particles (RCP) and derived from two virgin wood sources, three-layer [...] Read more.
In this study, various wood material sources were used for the manufacture of wood-polymer composites (WPC). The materials were categorised as virgin wood particles (VWP), reprocessed WPC particles (RWP) and recycled thermoset composite particles (RCP) and derived from two virgin wood sources, three-layer particleboards, medium-density fibreboards (MDF) boards, or two different wood/polypropylene composites. All produced wood-polypropylene compounds contained 60% wood material and were manufactured using a co-rotating extruder. Malleated polypropylene was used as a coupling agent. Specimens were injection moulded and subsequently tested for their physico-mechanical properties. To characterize particles before and after processing, dynamic image analysis (DIA) measurement were performed. Additionally, X-ray micro-computed tomography (XµCT) was used to characterize the internal structure of the composites and to verify the obtained particle’s characteristics. It was found that length and aspect ratio of particles were remarkably different before and after processing (loss in length of 15–70% and aspect ratio of 10–40%). Moreover, there were notably differences between the particle sources (RCP retained the highest length and aspect ratio values, followed by VWP and RWP). The results suggest that increased aspect ratios can indeed significantly improve mechanical properties (up to 300% increase in impact bending strength and 75% increase in tensile strength, comparing WPC based either on virgin spruce or MDF material). This phenomenon is suggested to be partially superimposed by improved dispersion of particles, which is expected due to lower variance and increased mechanical properties of RWP composites. However, no notable alterations were observed for composite density. Reprocessed WPC and, particularly, RCP material have proved to be an appealing raw material substitute for the manufacturing of wood–polymer composites. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wood Plastic Composites)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Use of Ginger Nanofibers for the Preparation of Cellulose Nanocomposites and Their Antimicrobial Activities
Fibers 2018, 6(4), 79; https://doi.org/10.3390/fib6040079 - 15 Oct 2018
Cited by 8
Abstract
Ginger residues left after the extraction of active ingredients from ginger rhizomes are considered to be a bio-waste, available in abundance and very rarely used. Extraction and isolation of natural nanofibers from the agro-waste is economical, environmentally benign, and an alternate strategy to [...] Read more.
Ginger residues left after the extraction of active ingredients from ginger rhizomes are considered to be a bio-waste, available in abundance and very rarely used. Extraction and isolation of natural nanofibers from the agro-waste is economical, environmentally benign, and an alternate strategy to replace synthetic fibers. Here, we report, for the first time, the isolation of ginger nanofibers (GNF) from ginger rhizomes spent by acid hydrolysis and followed by high-pressure homogenization. Scanning electron microscopy was utilized to identify the surface morphology of the GNF and the widths ranged between 130 to 200 nm. Structural analysis of GNF was identified by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, Differential scanning calorimetry, and X-ray diffraction methods. This GNF was used to make natural nanocomposites by the solvent-casting method reinforcement, using potato starch (PS) and tapioca starch (TS), and was characterized through various methods. These composites were prepared by the addition of 1, 3, 5, and 7 weight % of GNF with PS or TS. Among these, 5% of the GNF composites of these starches showed very high mechanical properties. The antibacterial test showed that the bionanocomposites with 5% GNF exhibited good antibacterial activity against Bacillus cereus, Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, and Salmonella typhimurium, due to the addition of GNF in the biopolymer matrices. The viable use of GNF from the unexploited ginger agro-waste would create additional profit and it would help to diminish a large amount of waste generation. Thus, the developed bio-composite could also be employed for development of packing materials and be used in medical applications, such as wound healing pads and medical disposables. Full article
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Mechanical Behavior of High-Performance Yarns Transversely Loaded by Different Indenters
Fibers 2018, 6(4), 69; https://doi.org/10.3390/fib6040069 - 23 Sep 2018
Cited by 5
Abstract
In this study, we performed off-axis transverse loading experiments to study the stress concentration developed in a high-performance yarn with different indenters. A universal testing machine was utilized to perform quasi-static transverse loading experiments on Twaron® yarns. Seven different round indenters possessing [...] Read more.
In this study, we performed off-axis transverse loading experiments to study the stress concentration developed in a high-performance yarn with different indenters. A universal testing machine was utilized to perform quasi-static transverse loading experiments on Twaron® yarns. Seven different round indenters possessing radius of curvature ranging from 0.20 to 4.50 mm were employed in the experiments. In addition, post-mortem failure analysis was performed on the recovered specimens via a scanning electron microscope. From the transverse loading experiments, the results showed that, as the radius of curvature of the indenters increased, the concentrated load decreased, causing the failure surfaces to change from a combination of kink band, snapped-back, and localized shear to only fibrillations. The concentrated stresses were predicted by a strain energy model when loaded by an indenter with a radius of curvature smaller than 1.59 mm. For indenters larger than 1.59 mm, the specimens failed in fibrillation, the concentrated stresses agreed well with the stresses predicted by quasi-static circular curved beam theory. Full article
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Understanding Dispersion of Revolver-Type Anti-Resonant Hollow Core Fibers
Fibers 2018, 6(4), 68; https://doi.org/10.3390/fib6040068 - 20 Sep 2018
Cited by 4
Abstract
Here, we analyze the dispersion behavior of revolver-type anti-resonant hollow core fibers, revealing that the chromatic dispersion of this type of fiber geometry is dominated by the resonances of the glass annuluses, whereas the actual arrangement of the anti-resonant microstructure has a minor [...] Read more.
Here, we analyze the dispersion behavior of revolver-type anti-resonant hollow core fibers, revealing that the chromatic dispersion of this type of fiber geometry is dominated by the resonances of the glass annuluses, whereas the actual arrangement of the anti-resonant microstructure has a minor impact. Based on these findings, we show that the dispersion behavior of the fundamental core mode can be approximated by that of a tube-type fiber, allowing us to derive analytic expressions for phase index, group-velocity dispersion and zero-dispersion wavelength. The resulting equations and simulations reveal that the emergence of zero group velocity dispersion in anti-resonant fibers is fundamentally associated with the adjacent annulus resonance which can be adjusted mainly via the glass thickness of the anti-resonant elements. Due to their generality and the straightforward applicability, our findings will find application in all fields addressing controlling and engineering of pulse dispersion in anti-resonant hollow core fibers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hollow core optical fibers) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Further Progress in Functional Interlayers with Controlled Mechanical Properties Designed for Glass Fiber/Polyester Composites
Fibers 2018, 6(3), 58; https://doi.org/10.3390/fib6030058 - 16 Aug 2018
Cited by 6
Abstract
Compatible interlayers must be coated on reinforcing fibers to ensure effective stress transfer from the polymer matrix to the fiber in high-performance polymer composites. The mechanical properties of the interlayer, and its interfacial adhesion on both interfaces with the fiber and polymer matrix [...] Read more.
Compatible interlayers must be coated on reinforcing fibers to ensure effective stress transfer from the polymer matrix to the fiber in high-performance polymer composites. The mechanical properties of the interlayer, and its interfacial adhesion on both interfaces with the fiber and polymer matrix are among the key parameters that control the performance of polymer composite through the interphase region. Plasma-synthesized interlayers, in the form of variable materials from polymer-like to glass-like films with a Young’s modulus of 10–52 GPa, were deposited on unsized glass fibers used as reinforcements in glass fiber/polyester composites. Modulus Mapping (dynamic nanoindentation testing) was successfully used to examine the mechanical properties across the interphase region on cross-sections of the model composite in order to distinguish the fiber, the interlayer, and the modified and bulk polymer matrix. The interfacial shear strength for plasma-coated fibers in glass fiber/polyester composites, determined from the microindentation test, was up to 36% higher than those of commercially sized fibers. The effects of fiber pretreatment, single and double interlayers, and post-treatment of the interlayer on interfacial shear strength were also discussed. Functional interlayers with high shear yield strength and controlled physicochemical properties are promising for high-performance polymer composites with a controlled interphase. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Glass Fibers 2018)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Interface Characterization of Epoxy Resin Nanocomposites: A Molecular Dynamics Approach
Fibers 2018, 6(3), 54; https://doi.org/10.3390/fib6030054 - 07 Aug 2018
Cited by 2
Abstract
In polymer nanocomposites, the interface region between the matrix and the fillers has been identified as a key interaction region that strongly determines the properties of the final material. Determining its structure is crucial from several points of view, from modeling (i.e., properties [...] Read more.
In polymer nanocomposites, the interface region between the matrix and the fillers has been identified as a key interaction region that strongly determines the properties of the final material. Determining its structure is crucial from several points of view, from modeling (i.e., properties prediction) to materials science (i.e., understanding properties/structure relationships). In the presented paper, a method for characterizing the interface region of polymer nanocomposites is described using molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. In particular, the structure of the polymer within the interface region together with its dimension in terms of thickness were analyzed through density profiles. Epoxy resin nanocomposites based on diglycidyl ether of bisphenol A (DGEBA) were studied using this approach, and the interface region with triple walled carbon nanotubes (TWCNT) and carbon fibers (CF) was characterized. The effect of carbon nanotube diameter, type of hardener, and effect of epoxy resin cross-linking degree on interface thickness were analyzed using MD models. From this analysis no general rule on the effect of these parameters on the interface thickness could be established, since in some cases overlapping effects between the analyzed parameters were observed, and each specific case needs to be analyzed independently in detail. Results show that the diameter has an impact on interface thickness, but this effect is affected by the cross-linking degree of the epoxy resin. The type of hardener also has a certain influence on the interface thickness. Full article
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Investigation of a New Strengthening Technique for RC Deep Beams Using Carbon FRP Ropes as Transverse Reinforcements
Fibers 2018, 6(3), 52; https://doi.org/10.3390/fib6030052 - 25 Jul 2018
Cited by 23
Abstract
The effectiveness of a new retrofitting technique to upgrade the structural behaviour of reinforced concrete (RC) deep beams without steel stirrups using carbon fibre-reinforced polymer (CFRP) ropes as the only transverse shear reinforcement is experimentally investigated. Five shear-critical beams with rectangular and T-shaped [...] Read more.
The effectiveness of a new retrofitting technique to upgrade the structural behaviour of reinforced concrete (RC) deep beams without steel stirrups using carbon fibre-reinforced polymer (CFRP) ropes as the only transverse shear reinforcement is experimentally investigated. Five shear-critical beams with rectangular and T-shaped cross-section are tested under monotonic loading. The strengthening schemes include (a) one vertical and one diagonal single-link CFRP rope that are internally applied through the web of the rectangular beam using an embedded through-section (ETS) system and (b) two vertical U-shaped double-link ropes that are applied around the perimeter of the web of the flanged beam using a near-surface-mounted (NSM) system. In both cases, the free lengths of the CFRP ropes have been properly anchored using epoxy bonded lap splices of the rope as NSM at (a) the top and the bottom of the web of the rectangular beam and (b) the top of the slab of the T-beam. Promising results have been derived, since the proposed strengthening technique enhanced the strength and altered the brittle shear failure to a ductile flexural one. The experimental results of this study were also used to check the validity of an analytical approach to predict the strength of shear strengthened deep beams using FRP ropes as transverse link reinforcement. Full article
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Influence of Steel and Macro-Synthetic Fibers on Concrete Properties
Fibers 2018, 6(3), 47; https://doi.org/10.3390/fib6030047 - 11 Jul 2018
Cited by 11
Abstract
Fiber addition has become one of the most prevalent methods for enhancing the tensile behavior of concrete. Fibers reduce cracking phenomena and improve the energy absorption capacity of the structure. On the other hand, the introduction of fibers can introduce a negative impact [...] Read more.
Fiber addition has become one of the most prevalent methods for enhancing the tensile behavior of concrete. Fibers reduce cracking phenomena and improve the energy absorption capacity of the structure. On the other hand, the introduction of fibers can introduce a negative impact on concrete workability, whose loss is influenced by different parameters (among which are fiber content and fiber type). In this context, an exploratory study on the influence of steel (high stiffness) and macro-synthetic (low stiffness) fibers on the fresh properties of concrete was carried out, considering workability and air content, as well as resultant mechanical performance. Four fiber types at two volume fractions (0.5% and 1.0%) were studied in two base concretes with different water-to-cement ratios (0.45 and 0.50) by using the slump test, DIN flow table test and air content meter. An additional parameter for the DIN flow table test is proposed herein to quantify the potential preferential flow direction caused by fiber orientation and entanglement. Air meter results showed that the fibers caused only a slight increase in concrete air content; this agreed well with the results of mechanical testing, which showed no apparent effect on measured compressive strength. In addition, it was captured that, for a given fiber volume fraction, steel fibers more adversely affected Fiber Reinforced Concrete (FRC) workability as compared to polypropylene ones, while the opposite result was obtained considering FRC toughness. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advancements in Fiber Reinforced Concrete And its Applications)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Engineering a Costume for Performance Using Illuminated LED-Yarns
Fibers 2018, 6(2), 35; https://doi.org/10.3390/fib6020035 - 01 Jun 2018
Cited by 10
Abstract
A goal in the field of wearable technology is to blend electronics with textile fibers to create garments that drape and conform as normal, with additional functionality provided by the embedded electronics. This can be achieved with electronic yarns (E-yarns), in which electronics [...] Read more.
A goal in the field of wearable technology is to blend electronics with textile fibers to create garments that drape and conform as normal, with additional functionality provided by the embedded electronics. This can be achieved with electronic yarns (E-yarns), in which electronics are integrated within the fibers of a yarn. A challenge is incorporating non-stretch E-yarns with stretch fabric that is desirable for some applications. To address this challenge, E-yarns containing LEDs were embroidered onto the stretch fabric of a unitard used as part of a carnival costume. A zig-zag pattern of attachment of E-yarns was developed. Tensile testing showed this pattern was successful in preventing breakages within the E-yarns. Use in performance demonstrated that a dancer was unimpeded by the presence of the E-yarns within the unitard, but also a weakness in the junctions between E-yarns was observed, requiring further design work and reinforcement. The level of visibility of the chosen red LEDs within black E-yarns was low. The project demonstrated the feasibility of using E-yarns with stretch fabrics. This will be particularly useful in applications where E-yarns containing sensors are required in close contact with skin to provide meaningful on-body readings, without impeding the wearer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electronically Active Textiles) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Production of Nanocellulose from Pineapple Leaf Fibers via High-Shear Homogenization and Ultrasonication
Fibers 2018, 6(2), 28; https://doi.org/10.3390/fib6020028 - 03 May 2018
Cited by 23
Abstract
In this study, the isolation and characterization of nanocellulose from pineapple leaf fibers (PLF) were carried out. Chemical pretreatment included pulping, bleaching, and acid hydrolysis to remove lignin, hemicellulose, and extractive substances were conducted. This was followed by high-shear homogenization and ultrasonication to [...] Read more.
In this study, the isolation and characterization of nanocellulose from pineapple leaf fibers (PLF) were carried out. Chemical pretreatment included pulping, bleaching, and acid hydrolysis to remove lignin, hemicellulose, and extractive substances were conducted. This was followed by high-shear homogenization and ultrasonication to produce nanocellulose. Morphological changes to the PLF due to treatment were investigated using scanning electron microscopy (SEM). This showed that the PLF had a diameter of 1–10 µm after high-shear homogenizing. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) indicated that the nanofibers after ultrasonication for 60 min showed 40–70 nm diameters. Particle size analysis (PSA) indicates that the fibers had an average diameter of 68 nm. Crystallinity index was determined by X-ray diffraction (XRD) and had the highest value after acid hydrolysis at 83% but after 60 min ultrasonication, this decreased to 62%. Meanwhile, Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy showed there was no chemical structure change after acid hydrolysis. The most significant finding from thermal gravimetric analysis (TGA) is that the higher degradation temperature of nanofibers indicates superior thermal stability over untreated fiber. These results indicate that PLF waste could become a viable source of commercially valuable nanocellulose. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biopolymer Nanofiber)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Fabrication of Shatter-Proof Metal Hollow-Core Optical Fibers for Endoscopic Mid-Infrared Laser Applications
Fibers 2018, 6(2), 24; https://doi.org/10.3390/fib6020024 - 18 Apr 2018
Cited by 4
Abstract
A method for fabricating robust and thin hollow-core optical fibers that carry mid-infrared light is proposed for use in endoscopic laser applications. The fiber is made of stainless steel tubing, eliminating the risk of scattering small glass fragments inside the body if the [...] Read more.
A method for fabricating robust and thin hollow-core optical fibers that carry mid-infrared light is proposed for use in endoscopic laser applications. The fiber is made of stainless steel tubing, eliminating the risk of scattering small glass fragments inside the body if the fiber breaks. To reduce the inner surface roughness of the tubing, a polymer base layer is formed prior to depositing silver and optical-polymer layers that confine light inside the hollow core. The surface roughness is greatly decreased by re-coating thin polymer base layers. Because of this smooth base layer surface, a uniform optical-polymer film can be formed around the core. As a result, clear interference peaks are observed in both the visible and mid-infrared regions. Transmission losses were also low for the carbon dioxide laser used for medical treatments as well as the visible laser diode used for an aiming beam. Measurements of bending losses for these lasers demonstrate the feasibility of the designed fiber for endoscopic applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hollow core optical fibers) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Restrained Shrinkage Cracking of Fiber-Reinforced High-Strength Concrete
Fibers 2018, 6(1), 12; https://doi.org/10.3390/fib6010012 - 19 Feb 2018
Cited by 16
Abstract
Concrete shrinkage and volume reduction happens due to the loss of moisture, which eventually results in cracks and more concrete deformation. In this study, the effect of polypropylene (PP), steel, glass, basalt, and polyolefin fibers on compressive and flexural strength, drying shrinkage, and [...] Read more.
Concrete shrinkage and volume reduction happens due to the loss of moisture, which eventually results in cracks and more concrete deformation. In this study, the effect of polypropylene (PP), steel, glass, basalt, and polyolefin fibers on compressive and flexural strength, drying shrinkage, and cracking potential, using the ring test at early ages of high-strength concrete mixtures, was investigated. The restrained shrinkage test was performed on concrete ring specimens according to the ASTM C1581 standard. The crack width and age of restrained shrinkage cracking were the main parameters studied in this research. The results indicated that the addition of fiber increases the compressive strength by 16%, 20%, and 3% at the age of 3, 7, and 28 days, respectively, and increases the flexural toughness index up to 7.7 times. Steel and glass fibers had a better performance in flexural strength, but relatively poor action in the velocity reduction and cracking time of the restrained shrinkage. Additionally, cracks in all concrete ring specimens except for the polypropylene-containing mixture, was developed to a full depth crack. The mixture with polypropylene fiber indicated a reduction in crack width up to 62% and an increasing age cracking up to 84%. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advancements in Fiber Reinforced Concrete And its Applications)
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Open AccessFeature PaperEditor’s ChoiceCommunication
Investigation of the Mechanical Properties of Flax Cell Walls during Plant Development: The Relation between Performance and Cell Wall Structure
Fibers 2018, 6(1), 6; https://doi.org/10.3390/fib6010006 - 17 Jan 2018
Cited by 14
Abstract
The development of flax (Linum usitatissimum L.) fibers was studied to obtain better insight on the progression of their high mechanical performances during plant growth. Fibers at two steps of plant development were studied, namely the end of the fast growth period [...] Read more.
The development of flax (Linum usitatissimum L.) fibers was studied to obtain better insight on the progression of their high mechanical performances during plant growth. Fibers at two steps of plant development were studied, namely the end of the fast growth period and at plant maturity, each time at three plant heights. The indentation modulus of the fiber cell wall was characterized by atomic force microscopy (AFM) using peak-force quantitative nano-mechanical property mapping (PF-QNM). Changes in the cell wall modulus with the cell wall thickening were highlighted. For growing plants, fibers from top and middle heights show a loose inner Gn layer with a lower indentation modulus than mature fibers, which exhibit thickened homogeneous cell walls made only of a G layer. The influence of these changes in the fiber cell wall on the mechanical performances of extracted elementary fibers was also emphasized by tensile tests. In addition, Raman spectra were recorded on samples from both growing and mature plants. The results suggest that, for the fiber cell wall, the cellulose contribution increases with fiber maturity, leading to a greater cell wall modulus of flax fibers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Bast Fibers)
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Open AccessFeature PaperEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Effect of Filler Orientation on the Electrical Conductivity of Carbon Fiber/PMMA Composites
Fibers 2018, 6(1), 3; https://doi.org/10.3390/fib6010003 - 01 Jan 2018
Cited by 15
Abstract
The electrical conductivity of extruded carbon fiber (CF)/Polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) composites with controlled CF aspect ratio and filler fractions ranging from 0 to 50 vol. % has been investigated and analyzed. The composites were extruded through a capillary rheometer, utilizing either 1-mm or 3-mm [...] Read more.
The electrical conductivity of extruded carbon fiber (CF)/Polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) composites with controlled CF aspect ratio and filler fractions ranging from 0 to 50 vol. % has been investigated and analyzed. The composites were extruded through a capillary rheometer, utilizing either 1-mm or 3-mm diameter extrusion dies, resulting in cylindrical composite filaments of two different diameters. Since the average CF orientation becomes more aligned with the extrusion flow when the diameter of the extrusion dies decreases, the relationship between conductivity and average fiber orientation could therefore be examined. The room temperature conductivities of the extruded filaments as a function of CF fractions were fitted to the McLachlan general effective medium (GEM) equation and the percolation thresholds were determined to 20.0 ± 2.5 vol. % and 32.0 ± 5.9 vol. % for the 3-mm (with CFs oriented less) and 1-mm (with CFs oriented more) filaments, respectively. It turned out that the oriented CFs in the composite shift the percolation threshold to a higher value, however, the conductivity above the percolation threshold is higher for composites with oriented CFs. A novel approach based on the Balberg excluded volume theory was proposed to explain this counterintuitive phenomenon. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbon Fiber Reinforced Composites)
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Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceReview
Gas-Liquid Hollow Fiber Membrane Contactors for Different Applications
Fibers 2018, 6(4), 76; https://doi.org/10.3390/fib6040076 - 10 Oct 2018
Cited by 15
Abstract
Gas-liquid membrane contactors that were based on hollow fiber membranes are the example of highly effective hybrid separation processes in the field of membrane technology. Membranes provide a fixed and well-determined interface for gas/liquid mass transfer without dispensing one phase into another while [...] Read more.
Gas-liquid membrane contactors that were based on hollow fiber membranes are the example of highly effective hybrid separation processes in the field of membrane technology. Membranes provide a fixed and well-determined interface for gas/liquid mass transfer without dispensing one phase into another while their structure (hollow fiber) offers very large surface area per apparatus volume resulted in the compactness and modularity of separation equipment. In many cases, stated benefits are complemented with high separation selectivity typical for absorption technology. Since hollow fiber membrane contactors are agreed to be one of the most perspective methods for CO2 capture technologies, the major reviews are devoted to research activities within this field. This review is focused on the research works carried out so far on the applications of membrane contactors for other gas-liquid separation tasks, such as water deoxygenation/ozonation, air humidity control, ethylene/ethane separation, etc. A wide range of materials, membranes, and liquid solvents for membrane contactor processes are considered. Special attention is given to current studies on the capture of acid gases (H2S, SO2) from different mixtures. The examples of pilot-scale and semi-industrial implementation of membrane contactors are given. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Hollow Fiber Membrane)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceReview
A Review on Biopolymer-Based Fibers via Electrospinning and Solution Blowing and Their Applications
Fibers 2018, 6(3), 45; https://doi.org/10.3390/fib6030045 - 02 Jul 2018
Cited by 14
Abstract
Electrospinning, for the last few decades, has been extensively acknowledged for its ability to manufacture a macro/nanofibrous architecture from biopolymers, which is otherwise difficult to obtain, in a cost effective and user-friendly technique. Such biopolymer nanofibers can be tailored to meet applications such [...] Read more.
Electrospinning, for the last few decades, has been extensively acknowledged for its ability to manufacture a macro/nanofibrous architecture from biopolymers, which is otherwise difficult to obtain, in a cost effective and user-friendly technique. Such biopolymer nanofibers can be tailored to meet applications such as drug delivery, tissue engineering, filtration, fuel cell, and food packaging etc. Due to their structural uniqueness, chemical and mechanical stability, functionality, super-high surface area-to-volume ratio, and one-dimensional orientation, electrospun biopolymer nanofibers have been proven to be extremely beneficial. A parallel method in nonwoven methodologies called “Solution Blowing” has also become a potential candidate to fabricate a similar type of architecture from biopolymer fibers, and is gaining popularity among researchers, despite its recent advent in early 2000’s. This review chiefly focuses on the fabrication of biopolymer macro/nanofibers via electrospinning and solution blowing, and several applications of such fiber architectures. Biopolymers include plant- and animal-derived biopolymers, such as cellulose, lignin, chitin, and chitosan, as well as proteins and their derivatives. The fabrication of biopolymer fibers from these biopolymers alone or as blends, predominantly with biodegradable polymers like Polyvinyl alcohol (PVA), Polyethylene Oxide (PEO), Polyethylene glycol (PEG), poly (lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA) etc., or non-biodegradable polymers like polyamide, Polyacrylonitrile (PAN) etc., will be discussed in detail, along with the applications of several composites of such sort. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biopolymer Nanofiber)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceReview
Revolver Hollow Core Optical Fibers
Fibers 2018, 6(2), 39; https://doi.org/10.3390/fib6020039 - 07 Jun 2018
Cited by 22
Abstract
Revolver optical fibers (RF) are special type of hollow-core optical fibers with negative curvature of the core-cladding boundary and with cladding that is formed by a one ring layer of capillaries. The physical mechanisms contributing to the waveguiding parameters of RFs are discussed. [...] Read more.
Revolver optical fibers (RF) are special type of hollow-core optical fibers with negative curvature of the core-cladding boundary and with cladding that is formed by a one ring layer of capillaries. The physical mechanisms contributing to the waveguiding parameters of RFs are discussed. The optical properties and possible applications of RFs are reviewed. Special attention is paid to the mid-IR hydrogen Raman lasers that are based on RFs and generating in the wavelength region from 2.9 to 4.4 μm. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hollow core optical fibers) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessFeature PaperEditor’s ChoiceReview
Key Stages of Fiber Development as Determinants of Bast Fiber Yield and Quality
Fibers 2018, 6(2), 20; https://doi.org/10.3390/fib6020020 - 02 Apr 2018
Cited by 5
Abstract
Plant fibers find wide application in various fields that demand specific parameters of fiber quality. To develop approaches for the improvement of yield and quality of bast fibers, the knowledge of the fiber developmental stages and of the key molecular players that are [...] Read more.
Plant fibers find wide application in various fields that demand specific parameters of fiber quality. To develop approaches for the improvement of yield and quality of bast fibers, the knowledge of the fiber developmental stages and of the key molecular players that are responsible for a certain parameter, are vitally important. In the present review the key stages of fiber development, such as initiation, intrusive growth, and formation of thickened cell wall layers (secondary and tertiary cell walls) are considered, as well as the impact of each of these stages on the final parameters of fiber yield and quality. The problems and perspectives of crop quality regulation are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Bast Fibers)
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Open AccessFeature PaperEditor’s ChoiceReview
Synthetic Strategies for the Fabrication of Cationic Surface-Modified Cellulose Nanocrystals
Fibers 2018, 6(1), 15; https://doi.org/10.3390/fib6010015 - 05 Mar 2018
Cited by 5
Abstract
Cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) are renewable nanosized materials with exceptional physicochemical properties that continue to garner a high level of attention in both industry and academia for their potential high-end material applications. These rod-shaped CNCs are appealing due to their non-toxic, carbohydrate-based chemical structure, [...] Read more.
Cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) are renewable nanosized materials with exceptional physicochemical properties that continue to garner a high level of attention in both industry and academia for their potential high-end material applications. These rod-shaped CNCs are appealing due to their non-toxic, carbohydrate-based chemical structure, large surface area, and the presence of ample surface hydroxyl groups for chemical surface modifications. CNCs, generally prepared from sulfuric acid-mediated hydrolysis of native cellulose, display an anionic surface that has been exploited for a number of applications. However, several recent studies showed the importance of CNCs’ surface charge reversal towards the design of functional cationic CNCs. Cationization of CNCs could further open up other innovative applications, in particular, bioapplications such as gene and drug delivery, vaccine adjuvants, and tissue engineering. This mini-review focuses mainly on the recent covalent synthetic methods for the design and fabrication of cationic CNCs as well as their potential bioapplications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Developments in Cellulose Based Nanomaterials)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceReview
Advances on Polymer Optical Fiber Gratings Using a KrF Pulsed Laser System Operating at 248 nm
Fibers 2018, 6(1), 13; https://doi.org/10.3390/fib6010013 - 01 Mar 2018
Cited by 17
Abstract
This paper presents the achievements and progress made on the polymer optical fiber (POF) gratings inscription in different types of Fiber Bragg Gratings (FBGs) and long period gratings (LPGs). Since the first demonstration of POFBGs in 1999, significant progress has been made where [...] Read more.
This paper presents the achievements and progress made on the polymer optical fiber (POF) gratings inscription in different types of Fiber Bragg Gratings (FBGs) and long period gratings (LPGs). Since the first demonstration of POFBGs in 1999, significant progress has been made where the inscription times that were higher than 1 h have been reduced to 15 ns with the application of the krypton fluoride (KrF) pulsed laser operating at 248 nm and thermal treatments such as the pre-annealing of fibers. In addition, the application of dopants such as benzyl dimethyl ketal (BDK) has provided a significant decrease of the fiber inscription time. Furthermore, such improvements lead to the possibility of inscribing POF gratings in 850 nm and 600 nm, instead of only the 1550 nm region. The progress on the inscription of different types of polymer optical fiber Bragg gratings (POFBGs) such as chirped POFBGs and phase-shifted POFBGs are also reported in this review. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Optical Fiber Communications)
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