Editor’s Choice Articles

Editor’s Choice articles are based on recommendations by the scientific editors of MDPI journals from around the world. Editors select a small number of articles recently published in the journal that they believe will be particularly interesting to readers, or important in the respective research area. The aim is to provide a snapshot of some of the most exciting work published in the various research areas of the journal.

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33 pages, 5043 KiB  
Review
Recent Trends in Treatment and Fabrication of Plant-Based Fiber-Reinforced Epoxy Composite: A Review
J. Compos. Sci. 2023, 7(3), 120; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs7030120 - 15 Mar 2023
Cited by 40 | Viewed by 3881
Abstract
Natural fiber (NF) is one of the many resources that nature has provided. NFs decompose quickly and are biodegradable, renewable, and cost-effective. It may be scavenged from a variety of plant and animal sources. They are employed as reinforcing materials in polymers for [...] Read more.
Natural fiber (NF) is one of the many resources that nature has provided. NFs decompose quickly and are biodegradable, renewable, and cost-effective. It may be scavenged from a variety of plant and animal sources. They are employed as reinforcing materials in polymers for NF composite development. Because of its environmental friendliness and long-term survivability, NF is growing in appeal among academics and researchers for usage in polymer composites. This study aims to offer a thorough evaluation of the most suitable and widely utilized natural fiber-reinforced polymer composites (NFPCs), along with their manufacture, processing, and applications. It also defines several external treatments of NF and their influence on the characteristics of NFPCs. The characteristics of NFPCs are affected by fiber supply, fiber type, and fiber structure. Numerous physical and chemical treatments were tested to see how they affected the thermal and strength properties of natural fiber-reinforced thermoplastic and thermosetting composites. Several polymer composite fabrication techniques were also studied. NFPCs have several disadvantages, notably low fire protection, poor strength properties, and greater moisture absorption, which have prevented their application. It is shown how NFPCs are employed in a variety of industries, particularly automotive and research industries. The review discovered that intentionally changing the regular fiber enhanced the thermochemical and physico-mechanical properties of the NFPCs by means of improving the grip between the fiber surface and the polymer framework. This study aims to provide important and fundamental facts on NF and their composites, which will aid in new investigations, the creation of a creative framework for polymer composite types, and the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Composites for Construction Industry)
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40 pages, 14077 KiB  
Review
An Overview of the Recent Advances in Composite Materials and Artificial Intelligence for Hydrogen Storage Vessels Design
J. Compos. Sci. 2023, 7(3), 119; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs7030119 - 14 Mar 2023
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 7390
Abstract
The environmental impact of CO2 emissions is widely acknowledged, making the development of alternative propulsion systems a priority. Hydrogen is a potential candidate to replace fossil fuels for transport applications, with three technologies considered for the onboard storage of hydrogen: storage in [...] Read more.
The environmental impact of CO2 emissions is widely acknowledged, making the development of alternative propulsion systems a priority. Hydrogen is a potential candidate to replace fossil fuels for transport applications, with three technologies considered for the onboard storage of hydrogen: storage in the form of a compressed gas, storage as a cryogenic liquid, and storage as a solid. These technologies are now competing to meet the requirements of vehicle manufacturers; each has its own unique challenges that must be understood to direct future research and development efforts. This paper reviews technological developments for Hydrogen Storage Vessel (HSV) designs, including their technical performance, manufacturing costs, safety, and environmental impact. More specifically, an up-to-date review of fiber-reinforced polymer composite HSVs was explored, including the end-of-life recycling options. A review of current numerical models for HSVs was conducted, including the use of artificial intelligence techniques to assess the performance of composite HSVs, leading to more sophisticated designs for achieving a more sustainable future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Lightweight Composites Materials: Sustainability and Applications)
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15 pages, 611 KiB  
Review
Heavy Metal Removal from Aqueous Solutions Using Biomaterials and/or Functional Composites: Recent Advances and the Way Forward in Wastewater Treatment Using Digitalization
J. Compos. Sci. 2023, 7(2), 84; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs7020084 - 16 Feb 2023
Cited by 21 | Viewed by 2648
Abstract
Due to its low cost, over the past decades, biosorption technology has been extensively carried out to treat heavy metal-laden wastewater using biosorbents. Recent studies on heavy metal biosorption mechanisms and the simulation of mathematical modeling on the biosorption process have enhanced scientific [...] Read more.
Due to its low cost, over the past decades, biosorption technology has been extensively carried out to treat heavy metal-laden wastewater using biosorbents. Recent studies on heavy metal biosorption mechanisms and the simulation of mathematical modeling on the biosorption process have enhanced scientific understanding about the binding between target metal cations and the functional group on different surfaces of biomasses as a biosorbent. However, so far, none have provided an overview of mechanistic studies on heavy metal removal from aqueous solutions using inexpensive biosorbents. To close this knowledge gap, this article discusses the applicability of the surface complexation (SC) model for biosorption of a target pollutant. Insightful ideas and directions of future research in wastewater treatment using digital technologies are also presented. It was conclusive from a literature survey of 115 articles (1987–2023) that Aspergillus niger, Penicillium chrysogenum, and Rhizopus nigricans represent biomaterials that have substantial adsorption capacities, up to 200 mg of Au(I)/g, 142 mg of Th/g, and 166 mg of Pb(II)/g, respectively. The metal-binding mechanisms involved include ion exchange, surface complexation, and micro-precipitation. Ion exchange is the only mechanisms that play key roles in sequestering heavy metal using fungal cells with chitin and chitosan. X-ray energy dispersion (XED) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) analysis were used to evaluate biosorption mechanisms of the inorganic pollutants using physico-chemical characterization on the cell surfaces of the biomass. As metal removal by the biosorbent is affected by its surface properties, surface complexation also occurs. The affinity of the surface complexation depends on the type of functional groups such as phosphate, carboxyl, and amine. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Composite Materials for Environmental Applications)
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15 pages, 3111 KiB  
Review
Influence of Natural Fiber Content on the Frictional Material of Brake Pads—A Review
J. Compos. Sci. 2023, 7(2), 72; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs7020072 - 09 Feb 2023
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 2441
Abstract
Research into the use of eco-friendly materials, such as natural fibers, in brake pads has gained momentum in the last few decades. This can be attributed to the potential of natural fibers to replace traditional materials in tribological applications such as braking pads. [...] Read more.
Research into the use of eco-friendly materials, such as natural fibers, in brake pads has gained momentum in the last few decades. This can be attributed to the potential of natural fibers to replace traditional materials in tribological applications such as braking pads. The harmful impact of the commonly-used brake pad materials, such as metal and mineral fibers, on human health and the environment necessitates the development of eco-friendly alternatives. Natural fibers, such as banana peels, palm kernels, and palm slag, have been shown to be a viable replacement for traditional brake pad materials. This article reviews the literature on the use of different natural fibers in brake pads and their impact on the physical, mechanical, and tribological properties. Trends for density, porosity, hardness, coefficient of friction (COF), and wear rate are observed. The recommended formulations to yield the optimum properties, according to the perspective of several studies, are showcased. In addition, the effect of asbestos material and natural fibers on life-cycle assessment and CO2 emission is highlighted. This article is an attempt to provide a foundation for future researchers in the field of natural fiber-reinforced composites for brake pad applications. Full article
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39 pages, 2687 KiB  
Review
Biobased Polymer Composites: A Review
J. Compos. Sci. 2022, 6(9), 255; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs6090255 - 05 Sep 2022
Cited by 29 | Viewed by 5605
Abstract
Global environmental concerns, as well as the rapid depletion of non-renewable fossil fuel-based resources, have prompted research into the development of sustainable, environmentally friendly, and biodegradable materials for use in a variety of high-end applications. To mitigate the environmental setbacks caused by nonbiodegradable [...] Read more.
Global environmental concerns, as well as the rapid depletion of non-renewable fossil fuel-based resources, have prompted research into the development of sustainable, environmentally friendly, and biodegradable materials for use in a variety of high-end applications. To mitigate the environmental setbacks caused by nonbiodegradable materials, the development of biocomposites with improved mechanical performance is gradually gaining momentum. Natural fibers such as hemp, flax, and sisal have been well incorporated into biocomposite development. Nonetheless, the impact of functional moieties in their life cycle cannot be underestimated. In this review paper, a detailed discussion of the characteristics and components of biocomposites is presented. The treatment of composite materials (alkali and acetylation), as well as several manufacturing processes (hand layup, 3D printing, extrusion, etc.) and the applications of biocomposites, which are not limited to the aerospace industry, packaging, biomedicine, etc., are presented. Biocomposites with excellent durability, performance, serviceability, and reliability must be produced to expand their applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Biocomposites)
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59 pages, 712 KiB  
Review
A Comprehensive Review on Fly Ash-Based Geopolymer
J. Compos. Sci. 2022, 6(8), 219; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs6080219 - 27 Jul 2022
Cited by 34 | Viewed by 4156
Abstract
The discovery of an innovative category of inorganic geopolymer composites has generated extensive scientific attention and the kaleidoscopic development of their applications. The escalating concerns over global warming owing to emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), a primary greenhouse gas, from the [...] Read more.
The discovery of an innovative category of inorganic geopolymer composites has generated extensive scientific attention and the kaleidoscopic development of their applications. The escalating concerns over global warming owing to emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), a primary greenhouse gas, from the ordinary Portland cement industry, may hopefully be mitigated by the development of geopolymer construction composites with a lower carbon footprint. The current manuscript comprehensively reviews the rheological, strength and durability properties of geopolymer composites, along with shedding light on their recent key advancements viz., micro-structures, state-of-the-art applications such as the immobilization of toxic or radioactive wastes, digital geopolymer concrete, 3D-printed fly ash-based geopolymers, hot-pressed and foam geopolymers, etc. They have a crystal-clear role to play in offering a sustainable prospect to the construction industry, as part of the accessible toolkit of building materials—binders, cements, mortars, concretes, etc. Consequently, the present scientometric review manuscript is grist for the mill and aims to contribute as a single key note document assessing exhaustive research findings for establishing the viability of fly ash-based geopolymer composites as the most promising, durable, sustainable, affordable, user and eco-benevolent building materials for the future. Full article
17 pages, 3182 KiB  
Review
Failures and Flaws in Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) Additively Manufactured Polymers and Composites
J. Compos. Sci. 2022, 6(7), 202; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs6070202 - 08 Jul 2022
Cited by 28 | Viewed by 3882
Abstract
In this review, the potential failures and flaws associated with fused deposition modeling (FDM) or fused filament fabrication (FFF) 3D printing technology are highlighted. The focus of this article is on presenting the failures and flaws that are caused by the operational standpoints [...] Read more.
In this review, the potential failures and flaws associated with fused deposition modeling (FDM) or fused filament fabrication (FFF) 3D printing technology are highlighted. The focus of this article is on presenting the failures and flaws that are caused by the operational standpoints and which are based on the many years of experience with current and emerging materials and equipment for the 3D printing of polymers and composites using the FDM/FFF method. FDM or FFF 3D printing, which is also known as an additive manufacturing (AM) technique, is a material processing and fabrication method where the raw material, usually in the form of filaments, is added layer-by-layer to create a three-dimensional part from a computer designed model. As expected, there are many advantages in terms of material usage, fabrication time, the complexity of the part, and the ease of use in FDM/FFF, which are extensively discussed in many articles. However, to upgrade the application of this technology from public general usage and prototyping to large-scale production use, as well as to be certain about the integrity of the parts even in a prototype, the quality and structural properties of the products become a big concern. This study provides discussions and insights into the potential factors that can cause the failure of 3D printers when producing a part and presents the type and characteristics of potential flaws that can happen in the produced parts. Common defects posed by FDM printing have been discussed, and common nondestructive detection methods to identify these flaws both in-process and after the process is completed are discussed. The discussions on the failures and flaws in machines provides useful information on troubleshooting the process if they happen, and the review on the failures and flaws in parts helps researchers and operators learn about the causes and effects of the flaws in a practical way. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Characterization and Modelling of Composites, Volume II)
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13 pages, 305 KiB  
Review
Comparison between Conventional PMMA and 3D Printed Resins for Denture Bases: A Narrative Review
J. Compos. Sci. 2022, 6(3), 87; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs6030087 - 10 Mar 2022
Cited by 30 | Viewed by 7177
Abstract
The aim of the current paper is to review the available literature reporting on comparative studies of heat-cured resins and three-dimensionally printed biomaterials for denture bases in terms of their composition, properties, fabrication techniques and clinical performance. The methodology included applying a search [...] Read more.
The aim of the current paper is to review the available literature reporting on comparative studies of heat-cured resins and three-dimensionally printed biomaterials for denture bases in terms of their composition, properties, fabrication techniques and clinical performance. The methodology included applying a search strategy, defining inclusion and exclusion criteria, selecting studies to summarize the results. Searches of PubMed, Scopus, and Embase databases were performed independently by three reviewers to gather literature published between 2018 and 2021. A total of 135 titles were obtained from the electronic databases, and the application of exclusion criteria resulted in the identification of 42 articles pertaining to conventional and 3D printed technology for removable dentures. The main disadvantages of the heat-cured resins for removable dentures are that they require lots of special equipment, skilled personnel and time. Emerging technologies, such as 3D printed dentures, have the potential to alleviate these problems allowing for faster patient rehabilitation. With the development of digital dentistry, it is becoming increasingly necessary to use 3D printed resin materials for the manufacturing of removable dentures. However, further research is required on the existing and developing materials to allow for advancement and increase its application in removable prosthodontics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Journal of Composites Science in 2022)
27 pages, 4310 KiB  
Review
Bioactive Calcium Phosphate-Based Composites for Bone Regeneration
J. Compos. Sci. 2021, 5(9), 227; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs5090227 - 27 Aug 2021
Cited by 45 | Viewed by 5058
Abstract
Calcium phosphates (CaPs) are widely accepted biomaterials able to promote the regeneration of bone tissue. However, the regeneration of critical-sized bone defects has been considered challenging, and the development of bioceramics exhibiting enhanced bioactivity, bioresorbability and mechanical performance is highly demanded. In this [...] Read more.
Calcium phosphates (CaPs) are widely accepted biomaterials able to promote the regeneration of bone tissue. However, the regeneration of critical-sized bone defects has been considered challenging, and the development of bioceramics exhibiting enhanced bioactivity, bioresorbability and mechanical performance is highly demanded. In this respect, the tuning of their chemical composition, crystal size and morphology have been the matter of intense research in the last decades, including the preparation of composites. The development of effective bioceramic composite scaffolds relies on effective manufacturing techniques able to control the final multi-scale porosity of the devices, relevant to ensure osteointegration and bio-competent mechanical performance. In this context, the present work provides an overview about the reported strategies to develop and optimize bioceramics, while also highlighting future perspectives in the development of bioactive ceramic composites for bone tissue regeneration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioceramic Composites)
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52 pages, 17200 KiB  
Review
New Advances and Future Possibilities in Forming Technology of Hybrid Metal–Polymer Composites Used in Aerospace Applications
J. Compos. Sci. 2021, 5(8), 217; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs5080217 - 13 Aug 2021
Cited by 44 | Viewed by 8209
Abstract
Fibre metal laminates, hybrid composite materials built up from interlaced layers of thin metals and fibre reinforced adhesives, are future-proof materials used in the production of passenger aircraft, yachts, sailplanes, racing cars, and sports equipment. The most commercially available fibre–metal laminates are carbon [...] Read more.
Fibre metal laminates, hybrid composite materials built up from interlaced layers of thin metals and fibre reinforced adhesives, are future-proof materials used in the production of passenger aircraft, yachts, sailplanes, racing cars, and sports equipment. The most commercially available fibre–metal laminates are carbon reinforced aluminium laminates, aramid reinforced aluminium laminates, and glass reinforced aluminium laminates. This review emphasises the developing technologies for forming hybrid metal–polymer composites (HMPC). New advances and future possibilities in the forming technology for this group of materials is discussed. A brief classification of the currently available types of FMLs and details of their methods of fabrication are also presented. Particular emphasis was placed on the methods of shaping FMLs using plastic working techniques, i.e., incremental sheet forming, shot peening forming, press brake bending, electro-magnetic forming, hydroforming, and stamping. Current progress and the future directions of research on HMPCs are summarised and presented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metal Composites)
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33 pages, 2662 KiB  
Review
Conducting Polymeric Composites Based on Intrinsically Conducting Polymers as Electromagnetic Interference Shielding/Microwave Absorbing Materials—A Review
J. Compos. Sci. 2021, 5(7), 173; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs5070173 - 04 Jul 2021
Cited by 42 | Viewed by 4271
Abstract
The development of sophisticated telecommunication equipment and other electro-electronic devices resulted in a kind of electromagnetic pollution that affects the performance of other equipment as well as the health of human beings. Intrinsically conducting polymers (ICP), mainly polyaniline and polypyrrole, have been considered [...] Read more.
The development of sophisticated telecommunication equipment and other electro-electronic devices resulted in a kind of electromagnetic pollution that affects the performance of other equipment as well as the health of human beings. Intrinsically conducting polymers (ICP), mainly polyaniline and polypyrrole, have been considered as promising candidates for applications in efficient electromagnetic interference shielding (EMI) due to their ease of preparation, light weight, good conductivity and corrosion resistance. One of the important advantages of these materials is the capability to interact with the EM radiation through both absorption and reflection mechanisms thus enlarging the field of application. In this context, this review article describes a recent overview of the existing methods to produce intrinsically conducting polymers and their blends for electromagnetic shielding application. Additionally, it highlights the relationship between preparation methods reported in the literature with the structure and properties, such as electrical conductivity, electromagnetic shielding effectiveness (EMI SE), complex permittivity and permeability of these materials. Furthermore, a brief theory related to the electromagnetic mechanism and techniques for measuring the microwave absorbing properties are also discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Journal of Composites Science in 2021)
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30 pages, 5261 KiB  
Review
Recent Advances in Geopolymer Technology. A Potential Eco-Friendly Solution in the Construction Materials Industry: A Review
J. Compos. Sci. 2021, 5(4), 109; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs5040109 - 17 Apr 2021
Cited by 36 | Viewed by 5515
Abstract
In the last ten years, the Portland cement industry has received wide criticism due to its related high embodied energy and carbon dioxide footprint. Recently, numerous “clean” strategies and solutions were developed. Among these, geopolymer technology is gaining growing interest as a functional [...] Read more.
In the last ten years, the Portland cement industry has received wide criticism due to its related high embodied energy and carbon dioxide footprint. Recently, numerous “clean” strategies and solutions were developed. Among these, geopolymer technology is gaining growing interest as a functional way to design more eco-friendly construction materials and for waste management issues suffered by various industries. Previous research has highlighted the attractive engineering properties of geopolymeric materials, especially in terms of mechanical properties and durability, resulting in even higher performance than ordinary concrete. This review provides a comprehensive analysis of current state-of-the-art and implementations on geopolymer concrete materials, investigating how the key process factors (such as raw materials, synthesis regime, alkali concentration, water dosage, and reinforcement fillers) affect the rheological, microstructural, durability, and mechanical properties. Finally, the paper elucidates some noteworthy aspects for future research development: innovative geopolymer-based formulations (including alkali-activated blends for additive manufacturing and thermo-acoustic insulating cellular compounds), concrete applications successfully scaled in the civil-architectural fields, and the perspective directions of geopolymer technology in terms of commercialization and large-scale diffusion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue From Waste to Advance Composite Materials)
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19 pages, 2163 KiB  
Review
A Brief Overview of Recent Progress in Porous Silica as Catalyst Supports
J. Compos. Sci. 2021, 5(3), 75; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs5030075 - 06 Mar 2021
Cited by 62 | Viewed by 6473
Abstract
Porous silica particles have shown applications in various technological fields including their use as catalyst supports in heterogeneous catalysis. The mesoporous silica particles have ordered porosity, high surface area, and good chemical stability. These interesting structural or textural properties make porous silica an [...] Read more.
Porous silica particles have shown applications in various technological fields including their use as catalyst supports in heterogeneous catalysis. The mesoporous silica particles have ordered porosity, high surface area, and good chemical stability. These interesting structural or textural properties make porous silica an attractive material for use as catalyst supports in various heterogeneous catalysis reactions. The colloidal nature of the porous silica particles is highly useful in catalytic applications as it guarantees better mass transfer properties and uniform distribution of the various metal or metal oxide nanocatalysts in solution. The catalysts show high activity, low degree of metal leaching, and ease in recycling when supported or immobilized on porous silica-based materials. In this overview, we have pointed out the importance of porous silica as catalyst supports. A variety of chemical reactions catalyzed by different catalysts loaded or embedded in porous silica supports are studied. The latest reports from the literature about the use of porous silica-based materials as catalyst supports are listed and analyzed. The new and continued trends are discussed with examples. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Progress in Si-based Ceramic and Composites)
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38 pages, 10149 KiB  
Review
Fused Deposition Modelling of Fibre Reinforced Polymer Composites: A Parametric Review
J. Compos. Sci. 2021, 5(1), 29; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs5010029 - 16 Jan 2021
Cited by 64 | Viewed by 8058
Abstract
Fused deposition modelling (FDM) is a widely used additive layer manufacturing process that deposits thermoplastic material layer-by-layer to produce complex geometries within a short time. Increasingly, fibres are being used to reinforce thermoplastic filaments to improve mechanical performance. This paper reviews the available [...] Read more.
Fused deposition modelling (FDM) is a widely used additive layer manufacturing process that deposits thermoplastic material layer-by-layer to produce complex geometries within a short time. Increasingly, fibres are being used to reinforce thermoplastic filaments to improve mechanical performance. This paper reviews the available literature on fibre reinforced FDM to investigate how the mechanical, physical, and thermal properties of 3D-printed fibre reinforced thermoplastic composite materials are affected by printing parameters (e.g., printing speed, temperature, building principle, etc.) and constitutive materials properties, i.e., polymeric matrices, reinforcements, and additional materials. In particular, the reinforcement fibres are categorized in this review considering the different available types (e.g., carbon, glass, aramid, and natural), and obtainable architectures divided accordingly to the fibre length (nano, short, and continuous). The review attempts to distil the optimum processing parameters that could be deduced from across different studies by presenting graphically the relationship between process parameters and properties. This publication benefits the material developer who is investigating the process parameters to optimize the printing parameters of novel materials or looking for a good constituent combination to produce composite FDM filaments, thus helping to reduce material wastage and experimental time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Fiber Reinforced Polymer Composites)
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33 pages, 3337 KiB  
Review
Composite Material Recycling Technology—State-of-the-Art and Sustainable Development for the 2020s
J. Compos. Sci. 2021, 5(1), 28; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs5010028 - 15 Jan 2021
Cited by 148 | Viewed by 20788
Abstract
Recently, significant events took place that added immensely to the sociotechnical pressure for developing sustainable composite recycling solutions, namely (1) a ban on composite landfilling in Germany in 2009, (2) the first major wave of composite wind turbines reaching their End-of-Life (EoL) and [...] Read more.
Recently, significant events took place that added immensely to the sociotechnical pressure for developing sustainable composite recycling solutions, namely (1) a ban on composite landfilling in Germany in 2009, (2) the first major wave of composite wind turbines reaching their End-of-Life (EoL) and being decommissioned in 2019–2020, (3) the acceleration of aircraft decommissioning due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and (4) the increase of composites in mass production cars, thanks to the development of high volume technologies based on thermoplastic composites. Such sociotechnical pressure will only grow in the upcoming decade of 2020s as other countries are to follow Germany by limiting and banning landfill options, and by the ever-growing number of expired composites EoL waste. The recycling of fiber reinforced composite materials will therefore play an important role in the future, in particular for the wind energy, but also for aerospace, automotive, construction and marine sectors to reduce environmental impacts and to meet the demand. The scope of this manuscript is a clear and condensed yet full state-of-the-art overview of the available recycling technologies for fiber reinforced composites of both low and high Technology Readiness Levels (TRL). TRL is a framework that has been used in many variations across industries to provide a measurement of technology maturity from idea generation (basic principles) to commercialization. In other words, this work should be treated as a technology review providing guidelines for the sustainable development of the industry that will benefit the society. The authors propose that one of the key aspects for the development of sustainable recycling technology is to identify the optimal recycling methods for different types of fiber reinforced composites. Why is that the case can be answered with a simple price comparison of E-glass fibers (~2 $/kg) versus a typical carbon fiber on the market (~20 $/kg)—which of the two is more valuable to recover? However, the answer is more complicated than that—the glass fiber constitutes about 90% of the modern reinforcement market, and it is clear that different technologies are needed. Therefore, this work aims to provide clear guidelines for economically and environmentally sustainable End-of-Life (EoL) solutions and development of the fiber reinforced composite material recycling. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue From Waste to Advance Composite Materials)
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15 pages, 2187 KiB  
Review
Modeling Strategies of Finite Element Simulation of Reinforced Concrete Beams Strengthened with FRP: A Review
J. Compos. Sci. 2021, 5(1), 19; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs5010019 - 08 Jan 2021
Cited by 46 | Viewed by 7684
Abstract
Fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) composites do not only possess superior mechanical properties, but can also be easy to tailor, install, and maintain. As such, FRPs offer novel and attractive solutions to facilitate strengthening and/or retrofitting of aging, weakened, and upgraded structures. Despite the availability [...] Read more.
Fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) composites do not only possess superior mechanical properties, but can also be easy to tailor, install, and maintain. As such, FRPs offer novel and attractive solutions to facilitate strengthening and/or retrofitting of aging, weakened, and upgraded structures. Despite the availability of general code provisions, the design and analysis of FRP-strengthened concrete structures is both tedious and complex—especially in scenarios associated with unique loading conditions. As such, designers often leverage advanced finite element (FE) simulation as a mean to understand and predict the performance of FRP-strengthened structures. In order to narrow this knowledge gap, this paper details suitable strategy for developing and carrying out advanced FE simulations on FRP-strengthened concrete structures. The paper also covers techniques related to simulating adhesives (bonding agents), material constitutive properties and plasticity (cracking/crushing of concrete, yielding of steel reinforcement, and delamination of FRP laminates), as well as different material types of FRP (CFRP, GFRP, and their hybrid combinations), and FRP strengthening systems (sheets, plates, NSM, and rods) under various loading conditions including ambient, earthquake, and fire. The principles, thumb rules, and findings of this work can be of interest to researchers, practitioners, and students. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Composites and Fibers)
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18 pages, 3194 KiB  
Review
Cyanobacterial Extracellular Polymeric Substances for Heavy Metal Removal: A Mini Review
J. Compos. Sci. 2021, 5(1), 1; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs5010001 - 23 Dec 2020
Cited by 72 | Viewed by 3721
Abstract
Heavy metals from various natural and anthropogenic sources are becoming a chief threat to the aquatic system owing to their toxic and lethal effect. The treatment of such contaminated wastewater is one of the prime concerns in this field. For decades, a huge [...] Read more.
Heavy metals from various natural and anthropogenic sources are becoming a chief threat to the aquatic system owing to their toxic and lethal effect. The treatment of such contaminated wastewater is one of the prime concerns in this field. For decades, a huge array of innovative biosorbents is used for heavy metal removal. Though extensive microbes and their biomolecules have been experimented and have showed great potential but most of them have failed to have the substantial breakthrough for the practical application. The present review emphasis on the potential utilization of the cyanobacteria for the heavy metal removal along with the toxic effect imposed by the pollutant. Furthermore, the effect of significant parameters, plausible mechanistic insights of the heavy metal toxicity imposed onto the cyanobacteria is also discussed in detail. The role of extrapolymeric substances and metallothionein secreted by the microbes are also elaborated. The review was evident that the cyanobacterial species have a huge potential towards the heavy metal removal from the aqueous system ranging from very low to very high concentrations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Composite Nanostructures for Energy and Environment Applications)
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46 pages, 23602 KiB  
Review
Recent Advances in Preparation, Mechanisms, and Applications of Thermally Conductive Polymer Composites: A Review
J. Compos. Sci. 2020, 4(4), 180; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs4040180 - 29 Nov 2020
Cited by 56 | Viewed by 7064
Abstract
At present, the rapid accumulation of heat and the heat dissipation of electronic equipment and related components are important reasons that restrict the miniaturization, high integration, and high power of electronic equipment. It seriously affects the performance and life of electronic devices. Hence, [...] Read more.
At present, the rapid accumulation of heat and the heat dissipation of electronic equipment and related components are important reasons that restrict the miniaturization, high integration, and high power of electronic equipment. It seriously affects the performance and life of electronic devices. Hence, improving the thermal conductivity of polymer composites (TCPCs) is the key to solving this problem. Compared with manufacturing intrinsic thermally conductive polymer composites, the method of filling the polymer matrix with thermally conductive fillers can better-enhance the thermal conductivity (λ) of the composites. This review starts from the thermal conduction mechanism and describes the factors affecting the λ of polymer composites, including filler type, filler morphology and distribution, and the functional surface treatment of fillers. Next, we introduce the preparation methods of filled thermally conductive polymer composites with different filler types. In addition, some commonly used thermal-conductivity theoretical models have been introduced to better-analyze the thermophysical properties of polymer composites. We discuss the simulation of λ and the thermal conduction process of polymer composites based on molecular dynamics and finite element analysis methods. Meanwhile, we briefly introduce the application of polymer composites in thermal management. Finally, we outline the challenges and prospects of TCPCs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Composites: Fabrication and Applications)
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20 pages, 1518 KiB  
Review
Carbon Nanotubes (CNTs): A Potential Nanomaterial for Water Purification
J. Compos. Sci. 2020, 4(3), 135; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs4030135 - 10 Sep 2020
Cited by 69 | Viewed by 14517
Abstract
Nanomaterials such as carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have been used as an excellent material for catalysis, separation, adsorption and disinfection processes. CNTs have grabbed the attention of the scientific community and they have the potential to adsorb most of the organic compounds from water. [...] Read more.
Nanomaterials such as carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have been used as an excellent material for catalysis, separation, adsorption and disinfection processes. CNTs have grabbed the attention of the scientific community and they have the potential to adsorb most of the organic compounds from water. Unlike, reverse osmosis (RO), nanofiltration (NF) and ultrafiltration (UF) membranes aligned CNT membranes can act as high-flow desalination membranes. CNTs provide a relatively safer electrode solution for biosensors. The article is of the utmost importance for the scientists and technologists working in water purification technologies to eliminate the water crisis in the future. This review summarizes about the application of CNTs in water purification. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Composite Materials for Water Purification)
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39 pages, 8378 KiB  
Review
Mechanisms of Origin and Classification of Out-of-Plane Fiber Waviness in Composite Materials—A Review
J. Compos. Sci. 2020, 4(3), 130; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs4030130 - 04 Sep 2020
Cited by 64 | Viewed by 10704
Abstract
Out-of-plane fiber waviness, also referred to as wrinkling, is considered one of the most significant effects that occur in composite materials. It significantly affects mechanical properties, such as stiffness, strength and fatigue and; therefore, dramatically reduces the load-carrying capacity of the material. Fiber [...] Read more.
Out-of-plane fiber waviness, also referred to as wrinkling, is considered one of the most significant effects that occur in composite materials. It significantly affects mechanical properties, such as stiffness, strength and fatigue and; therefore, dramatically reduces the load-carrying capacity of the material. Fiber waviness is inherent to various manufacturing processes of fiber-reinforced composite parts. They cannot be completely avoided and thus have to be tolerated and considered as an integral part of the structure. Because of this influenceable but in many cases unavoidable nature of fiber waviness, it might be more appropriate to consider fiber waviness as effects or features rather than defects. Hence, it is important to understand the impact of different process parameters on the formation of fiber waviness in order to reduce or, in the best case, completely avoid them as early as possible in the product and process development phases. Mostly depending on the chosen geometry of the part and the specific manufacturing process used, different types of fiber waviness result. In this study, various types of waviness are investigated and a classification scheme is developed for categorization purposes. Numerous mechanisms of wrinkling were analyzed, leading to several recommendations to prevent wrinkle formation, not only during composite processing, but also at an earlier design stage, where generally several influence factors are defined. Full article
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22 pages, 619 KiB  
Review
Mechanical Properties of Short Polymer Fiber-Reinforced Geopolymer Composites
J. Compos. Sci. 2020, 4(3), 128; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs4030128 - 01 Sep 2020
Cited by 48 | Viewed by 3481
Abstract
The article describes the state of the art in reinforced geopolymers, taking into consideration various types of polymer fiber reinforcements, such as polypropylene, polyethylene, or polylactic acid. The description is focused on the usage of polymer short fibers and the mechanical properties of [...] Read more.
The article describes the state of the art in reinforced geopolymers, taking into consideration various types of polymer fiber reinforcements, such as polypropylene, polyethylene, or polylactic acid. The description is focused on the usage of polymer short fibers and the mechanical properties of the geopolymer composites. However, to show a wider research background, numerous references are discussed concerning the selected studies on reinforcing geopolymer composites with long fibers and fabrics. The research method applied in the article is the critical analysis of literature sources, including a comparison of new material with other materials used in similar applications. The results of the research are discussed in a comparative context and the properties of the composites are juxtaposed with the properties of the standard materials used in the construction industry. Potential applications in the construction industry are presented. Moreover, the contemporary research challenges for geopolymer materials reinforced with fibers are presented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Journal of Composites Science in 2020)
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43 pages, 10329 KiB  
Review
Recycling Waste Tires into Ground Tire Rubber (GTR)/Rubber Compounds: A Review
J. Compos. Sci. 2020, 4(3), 103; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs4030103 - 31 Jul 2020
Cited by 98 | Viewed by 18471
Abstract
Recycling and recovery of waste tires is a serious environmental problem since vulcanized rubbers require several years to degrade naturally and remain for long periods of time in the environment. This is associated to a complex three dimensional (3D) crosslinked structure and the [...] Read more.
Recycling and recovery of waste tires is a serious environmental problem since vulcanized rubbers require several years to degrade naturally and remain for long periods of time in the environment. This is associated to a complex three dimensional (3D) crosslinked structure and the presence of a high number of different additives inside a tire formulation. Most end-of-life tires are discarded as waste in landfills taking space or incinerated for energy recovery, especially for highly degraded rubber wastes. All these options are no longer acceptable for the environment and circular economy. However, a great deal of progress has been made on the sustainability of waste tires via recycling as this material has high potential being a source of valuable raw materials. Extensive researches were performed on using these end-of-life tires as fillers in civil engineering applications (concrete and asphalt), as well as blending with polymeric matrices (thermoplastics, thermosets or virgin rubber). Several grinding technologies, such as ambient, wet or cryogenic processes, are widely used for downsizing waste tires and converting them into ground tire rubber (GTR) with a larger specific surface area. Here, a focus is made on the use of GTR as a partial replacement in virgin rubber compounds. The paper also presents a review of the possible physical and chemical surface treatments to improve the GTR adhesion and interaction with different matrices, including rubber regeneration processes such as thermomechanical, microwave, ultrasonic and thermochemical producing regenerated tire rubber (RTR). This review also includes a detailed discussion on the effect of GTR/RTR particle size, concentration and crosslinking level on the curing, rheological, mechanical, aging, thermal, dynamic mechanical and swelling properties of rubber compounds. Finally, a conclusion on the current situation is provided with openings for future works. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Progress in Rubber Blends and Composites Technology)
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23 pages, 3532 KiB  
Review
3D-Printed Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymer Composites: A Systematic Review
J. Compos. Sci. 2020, 4(3), 98; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs4030098 - 24 Jul 2020
Cited by 106 | Viewed by 10914
Abstract
Fiber reinforced composites offer exceptional directional mechanical properties, and combining their advantages with the capability of 3D printing has resulted in many innovative research fronts. This review aims to summarize the methods and findings of research conducted on 3D-printed carbon fiber reinforced composites. [...] Read more.
Fiber reinforced composites offer exceptional directional mechanical properties, and combining their advantages with the capability of 3D printing has resulted in many innovative research fronts. This review aims to summarize the methods and findings of research conducted on 3D-printed carbon fiber reinforced composites. The review is focused on commercially available printers and filaments, as their results are reproducible and the findings can be applied to functional parts. As the process parameters can be readily changed in preparation of a 3D-printed part, it has been the focus of many studies. In addition to typical composite driving factors such as fiber orientation, fiber volume fraction and stacking sequence, printing parameters such as infill density, infill pattern, nozzle speed, layer thickness, built orientation, nozzle and bed temperatures have shown to influence mechanical properties. Due to the unique advantages of 3D printing, in addition to conventional unidirectional fiber orientation, concentric fiber rings have been used to optimize the mechanical performance of a part. This review surveys the literature in 3D printing of chopped and continuous carbon fiber composites to provide a reference for the state-of-the-art efforts, existing limitations and new research frontiers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbon-Based Polymer Nanocomposites)
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23 pages, 807 KiB  
Review
Progress of Bio-Calcium Carbonate Waste Eggshell and Seashell Fillers in Polymer Composites: A Review
J. Compos. Sci. 2020, 4(2), 70; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs4020070 - 09 Jun 2020
Cited by 95 | Viewed by 14696
Abstract
Disposal of massive amounts of eggshells and seashells from processing industries is a challenge. In recent years, there has been a focus to reuse these waste resources in the production of new thermoplastic and thermoset polymer materials. This paper reviews eggshell and seashell [...] Read more.
Disposal of massive amounts of eggshells and seashells from processing industries is a challenge. In recent years, there has been a focus to reuse these waste resources in the production of new thermoplastic and thermoset polymer materials. This paper reviews eggshell and seashell production by country and provides a perspective on the quantity of bio-calcium carbonate that could be produced annually from these wastes. The achievements obtained from the addition of recycled bio-calcium carbonate fillers (uncoated/unmodified) in polymer composites with a focus on tensile strength, flexural strength and impact toughness are discussed. To improve compatibility between calcium carbonate (mineral and bio-based) fillers and polymers, studies on surface modifiers are reviewed. Knowledge gaps and future research and development thoughts are outlined. Developing novel and innovative composites for this waste material could bring additional revenue to egg and seafood processors and at the same time reduce any environmental impact. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Progress in Polymer Composites)
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22 pages, 6169 KiB  
Review
The Use of Composite Materials in 3D Printing
J. Compos. Sci. 2020, 4(2), 42; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs4020042 - 22 Apr 2020
Cited by 88 | Viewed by 10848
Abstract
Nowadays, all production, from the smallest ones to large companies, and research activities are affected by the use of 3D printing technology. The major limitation, in order to cover as many fields of application as possible, is represented by the set of 3D [...] Read more.
Nowadays, all production, from the smallest ones to large companies, and research activities are affected by the use of 3D printing technology. The major limitation, in order to cover as many fields of application as possible, is represented by the set of 3D printable materials and their limited spectrum of physico-chemical properties. To expand this spectrum and employ the 3D-printed objects in areas such as biomedical, mechanical, electronical and so on, the introduction of fibers or particles in a polymer matrix has been widely studied and applied. In this review, all those studies that proposed modified polymer presenting advantages associated with rapid prototyping are reported. Full article
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16 pages, 6155 KiB  
Article
The Synergic Effects of FDM 3D Printing Parameters on Mechanical Behaviors of Bronze Poly Lactic Acid Composites
J. Compos. Sci. 2020, 4(1), 17; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs4010017 - 03 Feb 2020
Cited by 37 | Viewed by 5023
Abstract
In this paper, the influence of layer thickness (LT), infill percentage (IP), and extruder temperature (ET) on the maximum failure load, thickness, and build time of bronze polylactic acid (Br-PLA) composites 3D printed by the fused deposition modeling (FDM) was investigated via an [...] Read more.
In this paper, the influence of layer thickness (LT), infill percentage (IP), and extruder temperature (ET) on the maximum failure load, thickness, and build time of bronze polylactic acid (Br-PLA) composites 3D printed by the fused deposition modeling (FDM) was investigated via an optimization method. PLA is a thermoplastic aliphatic polyester obtained from renewable sources, such as fermented plant starch, especially made by corn starch. The design of experiment (DOE) approach was used for optimization parameters, and 3D printings were optimized according to the applied statistical analyses to reach the best features. The maximum value of failure load and minimum value of the build time were considered as optimization criteria. Analysis of variance results identified the layer thickness as the main controlled variable for all responses. Optimum solutions were examined by experimental preparation to assess the efficiency of the optimization method. There was a superb compromise among experimental outcomes and predictions of the response surface method, confirming the reliability of predictive models. The optimum setting for fulfilling the first criterion could result in a sample with more than 1021 N maximum failure load. Finally, a comparison of maximum failure from PLA with Br-PLA was studied. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Multifunctional Composites)
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14 pages, 3118 KiB  
Communication
Application of Chitosan-Clay Biocomposite Beads for Removal of Heavy Metal and Dye from Industrial Effluent
J. Compos. Sci. 2020, 4(1), 16; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs4010016 - 01 Feb 2020
Cited by 58 | Viewed by 7792
Abstract
In recent years, there has been increasing interest in developing green biocomposite for industrial wastewater treatment. In this study, prawn-shell-derived chitosan (CHT) and kaolinite rich modified clay (MC) were used to fabricate biocomposite beads with different compositions. Prepared composite beads were characterized by [...] Read more.
In recent years, there has been increasing interest in developing green biocomposite for industrial wastewater treatment. In this study, prawn-shell-derived chitosan (CHT) and kaolinite rich modified clay (MC) were used to fabricate biocomposite beads with different compositions. Prepared composite beads were characterized by FTIR, and XRD, and SEM. The possible application of the beads was evaluated primarily by measuring the adsorption efficiency in standard models of lead (II) and methylene blue (MB) dye solution, and the results show a promising removal efficiency. In addition, the composites were used to remove Cr (VI), Pb (II), and MB from real industrial effluents. From tannery effluent, 50.90% of chromium and 39.50% of lead ions were removed by composites rich in chitosan and 31.50% of MB was removed from textile effluent by a composite rich in clay. Moreover, the composite beads were found to be activated in both acidic and basic media depending on their composition, which gives a scope to their universal application in dye and heavy metal removal from wastewater from various industries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Journal of Composites Science in 2019)
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15 pages, 3084 KiB  
Review
Structural Health Monitoring for Advanced Composite Structures: A Review
J. Compos. Sci. 2020, 4(1), 13; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs4010013 - 27 Jan 2020
Cited by 129 | Viewed by 10444
Abstract
Condition-based maintenance refers to the installation of permanent sensors on a structure/system. By means of early fault detection, severe damage can be avoided, allowing efficient timing of maintenance works and avoiding unnecessary inspections at the same time. These are the goals for structural [...] Read more.
Condition-based maintenance refers to the installation of permanent sensors on a structure/system. By means of early fault detection, severe damage can be avoided, allowing efficient timing of maintenance works and avoiding unnecessary inspections at the same time. These are the goals for structural health monitoring (SHM). The changes caused by incipient damage on raw data collected by sensors are quite small, and are usually contaminated by noise and varying environmental factors, so the algorithms used to extract information from sensor data need to focus on sensitive damage features. The developments of SHM techniques over the last 20 years have been more related to algorithm improvements than to sensor progress, which essentially have been maintained without major conceptual changes (with regards to accelerometers, piezoelectric wafers, and fiber optic sensors). The main different SHM systems (vibration methods, strain-based fiber optics methods, guided waves, acoustic emission, and nanoparticle-doped resins) are reviewed, and the main issues to be solved are identified. Reliability is the key question, and can only be demonstrated through a probability of detection (POD) analysis. Attention has only been paid to this issue over the last ten years, but now it is a growing trend. Simulation of the SHM system is needed in order to reduce the number of experiments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Journal of Composites Science in 2019)
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25 pages, 3210 KiB  
Review
Composite Reinforcement Architectures: A Review of Field-Assisted Additive Manufacturing for Polymers
J. Compos. Sci. 2020, 4(1), 1; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs4010001 - 18 Dec 2019
Cited by 33 | Viewed by 6736
Abstract
The demand for additively manufactured polymer composites with increased specific properties and functional microstructure has drastically increased over the past decade. The ability to manufacture complex designs that can maximize strength while reducing weight in an automated fashion has made 3D-printed composites a [...] Read more.
The demand for additively manufactured polymer composites with increased specific properties and functional microstructure has drastically increased over the past decade. The ability to manufacture complex designs that can maximize strength while reducing weight in an automated fashion has made 3D-printed composites a popular research target in the field of engineering. However, a significant amount of understanding and basic research is still necessary to decode the fundamental process mechanisms of combining enhanced functionality and additively manufactured composites. In this review, external field-assisted additive manufacturing techniques for polymer composites are discussed with respect to (1) self-assembly into complex microstructures, (2) control of fiber orientation for improved interlayer mechanical properties, and (3) incorporation of multi-functionalities such as electrical conductivity, self-healing, sensing, and other functional capabilities. A comparison between reinforcement shapes and the type of external field used to achieve mechanical property improvements in printed composites is addressed. Research has shown the use of such materials in the production of parts exhibiting high strength-to-weight ratio for use in aerospace and automotive fields, sensors for monitoring stress and conducting electricity, and the production of flexible batteries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Additive Manufacturing of Polymeric and Ceramic Composites)
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