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Advanced Applications of Sustainable Resins and Fibers in Polymer and Cementitious Composites

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 20 October 2024 | Viewed by 7291

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Department of Production Engineering, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Design, Kaunas University of Technology, LT-51424 Kaunas, Lithuania
Interests: composite materials and green technologies

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Resins, fibers, and their composites play major roles in the production of lightweight materials, with applications in construction, wind turbine blades, automobiles, aircraft, aerospace, military, navy, biomedical, alternatives, etc. However, recently there have been many concerns regarding their toxicity, energy consumption during manufacturing, undegraded end-life product, and emissions. To motivate our scientific community to switch to sustainable industries and materials and encourage investment in them, we have launched this Special Issue to highlight new resins and their modification technologies, which have rendered them more eco-friendly, less toxic, and increased their performance. Similarly, we aim to showcase advances in the creation of new sustainable natural fibers, the modification of traditional fibers and their advanced applications in polymer and cementitious composites. Additionally, studies related to the investigation of the technical economy of manufacturing and the extraction of these materials within the concept of circular economy and their environmental impacts are very welcome as a contribution to the transition to the green economy.

Dr. Samy Yousef
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • sustainable resins
  • sustainable fibers
  • fiber-reinforced composites
  • degradable bioresins
  • natural fibers
  • fiber extraction from composite waste
  • techno-economic analysis

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

14 pages, 4885 KiB  
Article
Preparation and Properties of Attapulgite/Brucite Fiber-Based Highly Absorbent Polymer Composite
by Caihong Deng, Xinming Zhai, Wenrong Li, Qian Li, Rui Xiong and Fuyang Lu
Materials 2024, 17(8), 1913; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma17081913 - 20 Apr 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 684
Abstract
The ATP-BF-P(HEC-AA-AMPS) composite highly absorbent polymer was copolymerized with acrylic acid (AA) and 2-acrylamido-2-methylpropane sulfonic acid (AMPS) using an aqueous solution method with attapulgite (ATP) and attapulgite (ATP) as a matrix. The prepared ATP-BF-P(HEC-AA-AMPS) was characterized in terms of microstructure and tested for [...] Read more.
The ATP-BF-P(HEC-AA-AMPS) composite highly absorbent polymer was copolymerized with acrylic acid (AA) and 2-acrylamido-2-methylpropane sulfonic acid (AMPS) using an aqueous solution method with attapulgite (ATP) and attapulgite (ATP) as a matrix. The prepared ATP-BF-P(HEC-AA-AMPS) was characterized in terms of microstructure and tested for its water absorption capacity, water retention properties, and pH dynamic sensing ability. The results showed that the synthesized ATP-BF-P(HEC-AA-AMPS) had a rough and porous surface and a high water absorption capacity and rate, almost reaching the maximum water absorption around 20 min, and demonstrated excellent water retention performance at low and medium temperatures. ATP-BF-P(HEC-AA-AMPS) has a sensitive dynamic sensing ability in different pH solutions, with a high swelling capacity between pH 6.0 and 10.0. When the pH value exceeded 10.0, the swelling rate decreased rapidly. Additionally, the thermal stability and mechanical strength of the highly absorbent polymers were significantly improved after blending with ATP and BF. Full article
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17 pages, 3904 KiB  
Article
Innovative Materials Based on Epoxy Resin for Use as Seat Elements in Bulk Transport
by Angelika Plota-Pietrzak, Leszek Czechowski, Sebastian Miszczak and Anna Masek
Materials 2024, 17(8), 1829; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma17081829 - 16 Apr 2024
Viewed by 723
Abstract
The subject of this research is the development of epoxy composites with a defined service life for the purpose of seat elements in rail vehicles, which will be more environmentally friendly. The produced materials based on epoxy resin filled with PLA or PLA [...] Read more.
The subject of this research is the development of epoxy composites with a defined service life for the purpose of seat elements in rail vehicles, which will be more environmentally friendly. The produced materials based on epoxy resin filled with PLA or PLA and quercetin were subjected to solar aging tests for 800 h to investigate the impact of the additives used on the aging behavior of the epoxy matrix. Firstly, the TGA analysis showed that the use of the proposed additives allowed for the maintenance of the thermal stability of the epoxy resin. Moreover, based on an optical microscopy test, it was noticed that the introduction of PLA and PLA with quercetin did not contribute to an increase in matrix defects. The one-directional tensile tests carried out before and after solar aging showed that the presence of polylactide in epoxy composites causes a slight growth of the stiffness and strength. Based on contact angle and color change measurements, it was found that quercetin was oxidized, thus ensuring protection for the epoxy matrix. This phenomenon was confirmed by FTIR study, where the carbonyl index (CI) value for the R-PLA-Q composite was lower than for the reference sample. The obtained composite structures may be a good alternative to traditionally used systems as seat elements in rail vehicles, which are not only characterized by high aging resistance but are also more eco-friendly. Full article
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13 pages, 3968 KiB  
Article
Impact of Metal Salt Oxidants and Preparation Technology on Efficacy of Bacterial Cellulose/Polypyrrole Flexible Conductive Fiber Membranes
by Sixuan Tao, Qun Yang, Huili Qiu, Jie Zhu, Weimian Zhou, Juan Su, Ning Zhang, Lihui Xu, Hong Pan, Hongjuan Zhang and Jiping Wang
Materials 2024, 17(6), 1281; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma17061281 - 10 Mar 2024
Viewed by 843
Abstract
In this study, we investigated the preparation and characterization of flexible conductive fiber membranes (BC/PPy) using different metal salt oxidants on bacterial cellulose (BC) and pyrrole (Py) in the in situ polymerization and co-blended methods, respectively. The effects of these oxidants, namely, ferric [...] Read more.
In this study, we investigated the preparation and characterization of flexible conductive fiber membranes (BC/PPy) using different metal salt oxidants on bacterial cellulose (BC) and pyrrole (Py) in the in situ polymerization and co-blended methods, respectively. The effects of these oxidants, namely, ferric chloride hexahydrate (FeCl3·6H2O) and silver nitrate (AgNO3), on the structural characterization, conductivity, resistance value and thermal stability of the resulting materials were assessed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). A comparative study revealed that the BC/PPy conductive fiber membrane prepared using FeCl3·6H2O as the oxidant had a resistance value of 12 Ω, while the BC/PPy conductive fiber membrane prepared using AgNO3 as the oxidant had an electrical resistance value of 130 Ω. The conductivity of the same molar ratio of BC/PPy prepared using FeCl3·6H2O as an oxidant was 10 times higher than that of the BC/PPy prepared using AgNO3 as an oxidant. Meanwhile, the resistance values of the conductive fiber membranes prepared from BC and PPy by the co-blended method were much higher than the BC/PPy prepared by in situ polymerization. SEM and XPS analyses revealed that when FeCl3·6H2O was used as the oxidant, the Fe-doped polypyrrole conductive particles could form uniform and dense conductive layers on the BC nanofiber surfaces. These two metal salt oxidants demonstrated differences in the binding sites between PPy and BC. Full article
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19 pages, 12343 KiB  
Article
The Effects of Hybrid Steel/Basalt Fibers on the Durability of Concrete Pavement against Freeze–Thaw Cycles
by Jianqiao Yu, Zijing Yi, Zhigang Zhang, Dawei Liu and Junxin Ran
Materials 2023, 16(22), 7137; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma16227137 - 12 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1063
Abstract
Freeze–thaw (F-T) is one of the principal perils afflicting concrete pavements. A remedial strategy used during construction encompasses the integration of hybrid fibers into the concrete matrix. An extant research gap persists in elucidating the damage mechanism inherent in hybrid steel fiber (SF)- [...] Read more.
Freeze–thaw (F-T) is one of the principal perils afflicting concrete pavements. A remedial strategy used during construction encompasses the integration of hybrid fibers into the concrete matrix. An extant research gap persists in elucidating the damage mechanism inherent in hybrid steel fiber (SF)- and basalt fiber (BF)-reinforced concrete subjected to F-T conditions. This paper empirically investigated the durability performance of hybrid fiber-reinforced concrete (HFRC) subjected to F-T cycles. The impact of SF/BF hybridization on mass loss, abrasion resistance, compressive strength, flexural strength, damaged layer thickness, and the relative dynamic modulus of elasticity (RDME) was examined. The damage mechanism was explored using micro-hardness and SEM analysis. The results indicate that incorporating hybrid SF/BF effectively enhances the F-T resistance of concrete and prolongs the service life of concrete pavement. The mechanisms underlying these trends can be traced back to robust bonding at the fiber/matrix interface. Randomly dispersed SFs and BFs contribute to forming a three-dimensional spatial structure within the concrete matrix, suppressing the expansion of internal cracks caused by accumulated hydrostatic pressure during the F-T cycle. This research outcome establishes a theoretical foundation for the application of HFRC to concrete pavements in cold regions. Full article
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17 pages, 3532 KiB  
Article
Pyrolysis Kinetic Behavior and Thermodynamic Analysis of PET Nonwoven Fabric
by Samy Yousef, Justas Eimontas, Nerijus Striūgas, Alaa Mohamed and Mohammed Ali Abdelnaby
Materials 2023, 16(18), 6079; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma16186079 - 5 Sep 2023
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1709
Abstract
This research aims to maximize polyethylene terephthalate (PET) nonwoven fabric waste and make it as a new source for benzoic acid extraction using a pyrolysis process. The treatment was performed using a thermogravimetric analyzer (TGA) and released products were characterized using FTIR spectroscopy [...] Read more.
This research aims to maximize polyethylene terephthalate (PET) nonwoven fabric waste and make it as a new source for benzoic acid extraction using a pyrolysis process. The treatment was performed using a thermogravimetric analyzer (TGA) and released products were characterized using FTIR spectroscopy and gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC–MS). The pyrolysis kinetic and thermodynamic behavior of PET fabric was also studied and simulated using different linear and nonlinear models. The results show that the PET fabric is very rich in volatile matter (80 wt.%) and can completely degrade under 490 °C with a weight loss of 84%. Meanwhile, the generated vapor was rich in the carbonylic C=O functional group (FTIR), and the GC–MS analysis concluded that benzoic acid was the major compound with an abundance of 75% that was achieved at the lowest heating rate (5 °C/min). The linear kinetic results showed that PET samples had an activation energy in the ranges of 193–256 kJ/mol (linear models) and ~161 kJ/mol (nonlinear models). The thermodynamic parameters, including enthalpy, Gibbs free energy, and entropy, were estimated in the ranges of 149–250 kJ/mol, 153–232 kJ/mol, and 256–356 J/mol K, respectively. Accordingly, pyrolysis treatment can be used to extract benzoic acid from PET fabric waste with a 134% increase in the benzoic acid abundance that can be recovered from PET bottle plastic waste. Full article
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12 pages, 2142 KiB  
Article
Recycling of Wind Turbine Blades into Microfiber Using Plasma Technology
by Žydrūnas Kavaliauskas, Romualdas Kėželis, Viktorija Grigaitienė, Liutauras Marcinauskas, Mindaugas Milieška, Vitas Valinčius, Rolandas Uscila, Vilma Snapkauskienė, Dovilė Gimžauskaitė and Arūnas Baltušnikas
Materials 2023, 16(8), 3089; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma16083089 - 13 Apr 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1744
Abstract
As the industry develops and energy demand increases, wind turbines are increasingly being used to generate electricity, resulting in an increasing number of obsolete turbine blades that need to be properly recycled or used as a secondary raw material in other industries. The [...] Read more.
As the industry develops and energy demand increases, wind turbines are increasingly being used to generate electricity, resulting in an increasing number of obsolete turbine blades that need to be properly recycled or used as a secondary raw material in other industries. The authors of this work propose an innovative technology not yet studied in the literature, where the wind turbine blades are mechanically shredded and micrometric fibers are formed from the obtained powder using plasma technologies. As shown by SEM and EDS studies, the powder is composed of irregularly shaped microgranules and the carbon content in the obtained fiber is lower by up to seven times compared with the original powder. Meanwhile, the chromatographic studies show that no hazardous to the environment gases are formed during the fiber production. It is worth mentioning that this fiber formation technology can be one of the additional methods for recycling wind turbine blades, and the obtained fiber can be used as a secondary raw material in the production of catalysts, construction materials, etc. Full article
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