Special Issue "Advanced Composite Materials and Structures for Aerospace, Automotive and Civil Engineering Applications"

A special issue of Materials (ISSN 1996-1944). This special issue belongs to the section "Advanced Composites".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 March 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Sotirios A. Grammatikos
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Guest Editor
Director of Advanced & Sustainable Engineering Materials Lab (ASEMlab), Leader of Research Group Sustainable Composites, Department of Manufacturing and Civil Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Interests: Advanced composites; polymer composites; nanocomposites; innovative solutions for materials

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The increasing demand for greener and smarter structures imposes the need for new engineering technologies, digitalization, and materials with multiple abilities disrupting the aerospace, automotive, and infrastructure industry in various ways. New materials, processing methods, characterization, and modelling tools are continuously developed with a view to reduce structural weight, minimize environmental impact, reduce energy consuption and provide advanced solutions aiming at safe and maintenance-free structures. These advanced smart materials exploit enabling technologies for new functionalities, without compromising structural integrity.

This Special Issue is dedicated to studying radically new composite material formulations, special treatments, recyclability, intelligent features, engineering phenomena, and new manufacturing concepts bringing new composite material trends in the aerospace, automotive, and civil engineering areas. New material trends are paving the way towards the next generation of composite materials for structural and non-structural applications. Researchers from the academic and industrial sphere are invited to publish results of their research and latest achievements in this field.

Research works that focus on progressive materials and technologies, new characterization techniques to study the relationship between microstructure and structural properties, and also physical and numerical simulation studies are especially encouraged.

Prof. Dr. Sotirios A. Grammatikos
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • polymers
  • composites
  • sustainability
  • multifunctionality
  • self-sensing
  • energy storage
  • energy harvesting
  • recycling
  • fibre coatings
  • modelling

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Influence of Aluminum Surface Treatment on Tensile and Fatigue Behavior of Thermoplastic-Based Hybrid Laminates
Materials 2020, 13(14), 3080; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13143080 - 10 Jul 2020
Abstract
Hybrid laminates consist of layers of different materials, which determine the mechanical properties of the laminate itself. Furthermore, the structure and interfacial properties between the layers play a key role regarding the performance under load and therefore need to be investigated in respect [...] Read more.
Hybrid laminates consist of layers of different materials, which determine the mechanical properties of the laminate itself. Furthermore, the structure and interfacial properties between the layers play a key role regarding the performance under load and therefore need to be investigated in respect to industrial applicability. In this regard, a hybrid laminate comprised of AA6082 aluminum alloy sheets and glass and carbon fiber-reinforced thermoplastic (polyamide 6) is investigated in this study with a focus on the influence of aluminum surface treatment application on tensile and fatigue behavior. Four different aluminum surface treatments are discussed (adhesion promoter, mechanical blasting, phosphating, and anodizing), which were characterized by Laser Scanning Microscopy. After the thermal consolidation of the hybrid laminate under defined pressure, double notch shear tests and tensile tests were performed and correlated to determine the resulting interfacial strength between the aluminum sheet surface and the fiber-reinforced plastic, and its impact on tensile performance. To investigate the performance of the laminate under fatigue load in LCF and HCF regimes, a short-time procedure was applied consisting of resource-efficient instrumented multiple and constant amplitude tests. Digital image correlation, thermography, and hysteresis measurement methods were utilized to gain information about the aluminum surface treatment influence on fatigue damage initiation and development. The results show that fatigue-induced damage initiation, development, and mechanisms differ significantly depending on the applied aluminum surface treatment. The used measurement technologies proved to be suitable for this application and enabled correlations in between, showing that the hybrid laminates damage state, in particular regarding the interfacial bonding of the layers, can be monitored not just through visual recordings of local strain and temperature development, but also through stress-displacement hysteresis analysis. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
High Temperature Mechanical Properties of a Vented Ti-6Al-4V Honeycomb Sandwich Panel
Materials 2020, 13(13), 3008; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13133008 - 06 Jul 2020
Abstract
For aerospace applications, honeycomb sandwich panels may have small perforations on the cell walls of the honeycomb core to equilibrate the internal core pressure with external gas pressure, which prevent face-sheet/core debonding due to pressure build-up at high temperature. We propose a new [...] Read more.
For aerospace applications, honeycomb sandwich panels may have small perforations on the cell walls of the honeycomb core to equilibrate the internal core pressure with external gas pressure, which prevent face-sheet/core debonding due to pressure build-up at high temperature. We propose a new form of perforation on the cell walls of honeycomb sandwich panels to reduce the influence of the perforations on the cell walls on the mechanical properties. In this paper, the high temperature mechanical properties of a new vented Ti-6Al-4V honeycomb sandwich panel were investigated. A vented Ti-6AL-4V honeycomb sandwich panel with 35Ti-35Zr-15Cu-15Ni as the filler alloy was manufactured by high-temperature brazing. The element distribution of the brazed joints was examined by means of SEM (scanning electron microscopy) and EDS (energy-dispersive spectroscopy) analyses. Compared to the interaction between the face-sheets and the brazing filler, the diffusion and reaction between the honeycomb core and the brazing filler were stronger. The flatwise compression and flexural mechanical properties of the vented honeycomb sandwich panels were investigated at 20, 160, 300, and 440 °C, respectively. The flatwise compression strength, elastic modulus, and the flexural strength of the vented honeycomb sandwich panels decreased with the increase of temperature. Moreover, the flexural strength of the L-direction sandwich panels was larger than that of the W-direction sandwich panels at the same temperature. More importantly, the vented honeycomb sandwich panels exhibited good compression performance similar to the unvented honeycomb sandwich panels, and the open holes on the cell walls have no negative effect on the compression performance of the honeycomb sandwich panels in these conditions. The damage morphology observed by SEM revealed that the face-sheets and the brazing zone show ductile and brittle fracture behaviors, respectively. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
3D Printed Thermoelectric Polyurethane/Multiwalled Carbon Nanotube Nanocomposites: A Novel Approach towards the Fabrication of Flexible and Stretchable Organic Thermoelectrics
Materials 2020, 13(12), 2879; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13122879 - 26 Jun 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Three-dimensional (3D) printing of thermoelectric polymer nanocomposites is reported for the first time employing flexible, stretchable and electrically conductive 3D printable thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU)/multiwalled carbon nanotube (MWCNT) filaments. TPU/MWCNT conductive polymer composites (CPC) have been initially developed employing melt-mixing and extrusion processes. TPU [...] Read more.
Three-dimensional (3D) printing of thermoelectric polymer nanocomposites is reported for the first time employing flexible, stretchable and electrically conductive 3D printable thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU)/multiwalled carbon nanotube (MWCNT) filaments. TPU/MWCNT conductive polymer composites (CPC) have been initially developed employing melt-mixing and extrusion processes. TPU pellets and two different types of MWCNTs, namely the NC-7000 MWCNTs (NC-MWCNT) and Long MWCNTs (L-MWCNT) were used to manufacture TPU/MWCNT nanocomposite filaments with 1.0, 2.5 and 5.0 wt.%. 3D printed thermoelectric TPU/MWCNT nanocomposites were fabricated through a fused deposition modelling (FDM) process. Raman and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) revealed the graphitic nature and morphological characteristics of CNTs. SEM and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) exhibited an excellent CNT nanodispersion in the TPU matrix. Tensile tests showed no significant deterioration of the moduli and strengths for the 3D printed samples compared to the nanocomposites prepared by compression moulding, indicating an excellent interlayer adhesion and mechanical performance of the 3D printed nanocomposites. Electrical and thermoelectric investigations showed that L-MWCNT exhibits 19.8 ± 0.2 µV/K Seebeck coefficient (S) and 8.4 × 103 S/m electrical conductivity (σ), while TPU/L-MWCNT CPCs at 5.0 wt.% exhibited the highest thermoelectric performance (σ = 133.1 S/m, S = 19.8 ± 0.2 µV/K and PF = 0.04 μW/mK2) among TPU/CNT CPCs in the literature. All 3D printed samples exhibited an anisotropic electrical conductivity and the same Seebeck coefficient in the through- and cross-layer printing directions. TPU/MWCNT could act as excellent organic thermoelectric material towards 3D printed thermoelectric generators (TEGs) for potential large-scale energy harvesting applications. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Three-Dimensional (3D) Conductive Network of CNT-Modified Short Jute Fiber-Reinforced Natural Rubber: Hierarchical CNT-Enabled Thermoelectric and Electrically Conductive Composite Interfaces
Materials 2020, 13(11), 2668; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13112668 - 11 Jun 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Jute fibers (JFs) coated with multiwall carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) have been introduced in a natural rubber (NR) matrix creating a three-dimensional (3D) electrically conductive percolated network. The JF-CNT endowed electrical conductivity and thermoelectric properties to the final composites. CNT networks fully covered the [...] Read more.
Jute fibers (JFs) coated with multiwall carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) have been introduced in a natural rubber (NR) matrix creating a three-dimensional (3D) electrically conductive percolated network. The JF-CNT endowed electrical conductivity and thermoelectric properties to the final composites. CNT networks fully covered the fiber surfaces as shown by the corresponding scanning electron microscopy (SEM) analysis. NR/JF-CNT composites, at 10, 20 and 30 phr (parts per hundred gram of rubber) have been manufactured using a two-roll mixing process. The highest value of electrical conductivity (σ) was 81 S/m for the 30 phr composite. Thermoelectric measurements revealed slight differences in the Seebeck coefficient (S), while the highest power factor (PF) was 1.80 × 10−2 μW/m K−2 for the 30 phr loading. The micromechanical properties and electrical response of the composite’s conductive interface have been studied in peak force tapping quantitative nanomechanical (PFT QNM) and conductive atomic force microscopy (c-AFM) mode. The JF-CNT create an electrically percolated network at all fiber loadings endowing electrical and thermoelectric properties to the NR matrix, considered thus as promising thermoelectric stretchable materials. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Copper Filled Poly(Acrylonitrile-co-Butadiene-co-Styrene) Composites for Laser-Assisted Selective Metallization
Materials 2020, 13(10), 2224; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13102224 - 12 May 2020
Abstract
Selective metallization of polymeric materials using the technique known as laser direct structuring (LDS) is intensively developed. In this technique, metallized products can be manufactured by injection molding or by 3D printing process if rapid prototyping is need. Special additives present in the [...] Read more.
Selective metallization of polymeric materials using the technique known as laser direct structuring (LDS) is intensively developed. In this technique, metallized products can be manufactured by injection molding or by 3D printing process if rapid prototyping is need. Special additives present in the polymer matrix enable direct electroless metallization only on the surface which was laser activated. This paper presents the results of using copper microparticles introduced into the poly(acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene) (ABS) matrix at various amounts (up to about 5 vol %). ABS was selected due to its good processing and mechanical properties and as one of the most common thermoplastics used in 3D printing. The influence of copper on structural, mechanical, and processing properties as well as on the effects of laser surface activation were determined. Two types of infrared lasers were tested for surface activation: Nd:YAG fiber laser (λ = 1064 nm) and CO2 laser (λ = 10.6 µm). Various irradiation parameters (power, scanning speed, and frequency) were applied to find suitable conditions for laser surface activation and electroless metallization. It was found that the composites tested can be effectively metallized using the Nd:YAG laser, but only in a narrow range of radiation parameters. Activation with CO2 laser failed, regardless of applied irradiation conditions. It resulted from the fact that ablation rate and thickness of modified surface layer for CO2 were lower than for Nd:YAG laser using the same irradiation parameters (power, speed, and frequency of laser beams), thus the laser wavelength was crucial for successful surface activation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Experimental Study on Mechanical Properties of the Sandwich Composite Structure Reinforced by Basalt Fiber and Nomex Honeycomb
Materials 2020, 13(8), 1870; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13081870 - 16 Apr 2020
Cited by 3
Abstract
The new sandwich composite structure formed by basalt fiber resin-based sheets and Nomex honeycomb has the advantages of being lightweight and environmentally friendly, as well as having excellent electromagnetic performance. It has very important application prospects in traditional and emerging fields. In this [...] Read more.
The new sandwich composite structure formed by basalt fiber resin-based sheets and Nomex honeycomb has the advantages of being lightweight and environmentally friendly, as well as having excellent electromagnetic performance. It has very important application prospects in traditional and emerging fields. In this paper, the mechanical properties of this new sandwich composite structure are studied. The results show that, under the condition of flatwise compression, increasing the height of the honeycomb is conducive to improving the compressive capacity of the structure. However, the height should be controlled within a certain range in case of instability and yield of the honeycomb; under the bending conditions, the bending failure mode of the composite structure has gone through five stages. Owing to the honeycomb manufacturing process, the orientation of the honeycomb also has a great influence on the bending strength of the structure. After further analysis, it is found that basalt fiber sheets contribute the most to the bending stiffness of the structure, and the main role of honeycomb is to provide out-of-plane support. In both cases, the failure of specimens is ductile, and the combined structure still has a small amount of bearing capacity and maintains structural integrity. Research on this new type of composite structural material is very beneficial for promoting the application and development of green and lightweight special functional materials. Full article
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