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Performance, Durability, and Recyclability of Sustainable Composites for Engineering Applications

A special issue of Materials (ISSN 1996-1944).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 May 2023) | Viewed by 4774

Special Issue Editors

Department of Manufacturing and Civil Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, 7491 Gjøvik, Norway
Interests: polymer composites; natural (green) materials; recycling; sustainability and durability aspects in aerospace; energy; automotive; infrastructure and building applications
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
CERIS, Instituto Superior Técnico, University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal
Interests: advanced composite materials; FRP materials; GFRP profiles; construction technology
Composite Construction Laboratory (CCLab), Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Station 16, Bâtiment BP, CH-1015 Lausanne, Switzerland
Interests: Fatigue of composites; fracturelife predictions; structural design

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The increasing demand for greener engineering structures imposes the need for new composite materials that are friendlier to the environment and that are able to replace current engineering materials in aerospace, automotive, civil engineering, and marine applications. New polymers, new adhesives, new fibre reinforcements, nanoparticles, new sizings, new composites, new processing methods, new End-of-Life (EoL) treatments as well as characterization and modelling tools are continuously being developed with a view to develop radically new sustainable composites for engineering applications, reducing their environmental impact and contributing to the circular economy. These sustainable engineering composites aim to replace current synthetic non-recyclable composite material solutions without compromising structural integrity and performance.

This Special Issue is dedicated to the study of radically new sustainable composite material trends in the aerospace, space, automotive, civil engineering, and marine industries as well as in other fields. New material trends are paving the way towards the next generation of composite materials for sustainable structural and non-structural engineering applications. Researchers from both academia and industry are invited to publish the results of their research and latest achievements in this field.

Research works that focus on progressive materials and technologies, durability studies with a focus on lifetime prediction, new recycling methodologies, new characterization techniques to study the relationship between microstructure and structural properties and their effect on long-term performance, and physical and numerical simulation studies are especially encouraged.

Prof. Dr. Sotirios A. Grammatikos
Prof. Dr. João R. Correia
Prof. Dr. Anastasios P. Vassilopoulos
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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

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

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 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
  • fibre reinforced composites
  • bio-based
  • natural fibres
  • sustainability
  • durability
  • performance
  • recycling
  • engineering
  • circular economy
  • circularity

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

23 pages, 10425 KiB  
Article
On the Response to Hygrothermal Ageing of Fully Recyclable Flax and Glass Fibre Reinforced Polymer Composites
Materials 2023, 16(17), 5848; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma16175848 - 26 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 889
Abstract
The present work studies the response to hygrothermal ageing of natural fibre composites (NFCs) against synthetic fibre composites when using three different types of polymers as matrices. For ageing, coupons were fully immersed in distilled water at 23, 40, and 60 °C for [...] Read more.
The present work studies the response to hygrothermal ageing of natural fibre composites (NFCs) against synthetic fibre composites when using three different types of polymers as matrices. For ageing, coupons were fully immersed in distilled water at 23, 40, and 60 °C for a total ageing period of 56 days. Flax fibre-reinforced composites, using two recyclable polymer systems: (i) a bio-based recyclable epoxy and (ii) an acrylic-based liquid thermoplastic resin, were tested against conventional glass fibre-reinforced composites employing a synthetic (petroleum-based) epoxy. Different fibre/polymer matrix material combinations were tested to evaluate the effects of hygrothermal ageing degradation on the reinforcement, matrix, and fibre/matrix interface. The hygrothermal ageing response of unaged and aged composite coupons was assessed in terms of flexural and viscoelastic performance, physicochemical properties, and microscopy (SEM—Scanning Electron Microscopy). Full article
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18 pages, 4682 KiB  
Article
Freeze–Thaw Durability of Basalt Fibre Reinforced Bio-Based Unsaturated Polyester Composite
Materials 2023, 16(15), 5411; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma16155411 - 02 Aug 2023
Viewed by 777
Abstract
This paper presents an experimental study of the wet freeze–thaw (FT) durability of a fibre–polymer composite produced by vacuum infusion using an innovative bio-based unsaturated polyester resin (UPR) and basalt fibres. As the benchmark, an equivalent composite produced with a conventional (oil-based) UPR [...] Read more.
This paper presents an experimental study of the wet freeze–thaw (FT) durability of a fibre–polymer composite produced by vacuum infusion using an innovative bio-based unsaturated polyester resin (UPR) and basalt fibres. As the benchmark, an equivalent composite produced with a conventional (oil-based) UPR was also tested. The composites were preconditioned in water immersion for 30 days at 20 °C followed by exposure to wet FT for up to 300 cycles; each FT cycle consisted of 3 h in dry freezing condition (−20 °C) and 8 h in thawing condition (23 °C) submerged in water. The composites’ properties were assessed after preconditioning and after 100, 200, and 300 FT cycles, through mechanical (tensile, compressive, in-plane shear, interlaminar shear) and thermomechanical (dynamic mechanical analysis) tests. Gravimetric and scanning electron microscope analyses were also carried out. The results obtained show that the preconditioning stage, involving water immersion, caused most of the damage, with property reductions of 5% to 39% in the bio-composite, while in the oil-composite they ranged between 4% and 22%, being higher for matrix-dominated properties. On the other hand, FT alone had an insignificant effect on the degradation of material properties; after exposure to FT, property recovery was observed, specifically in matrix-dominated properties, such as interlaminar shear strength, which recovered by 12% in the bio-composite during exposure to FT. The overall performance of the bio-composite was inferior to the conventional one, especially during the preconditioning stage, and this was attributed to the hydrophilicity of some of the components of its bio-based resin. Full article
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15 pages, 5316 KiB  
Article
Assessing the Long-Term Performance of Adhesive Joints in Space Structures during Interplanetary Exploration
Materials 2023, 16(14), 4978; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma16144978 - 13 Jul 2023
Viewed by 1038
Abstract
Spacecraft experience minimal mechanical loads in space, but with the development of reusable spacecraft for interplanetary exploration and repeated landings, structures will be subjected to increased mechanical stress. The impact of the space environment on the aging of adhesive materials used in space [...] Read more.
Spacecraft experience minimal mechanical loads in space, but with the development of reusable spacecraft for interplanetary exploration and repeated landings, structures will be subjected to increased mechanical stress. The impact of the space environment on the aging of adhesive materials used in space structures over long-term applications is not well understood. This study investigates two commonly used adhesives in spacecraft assembly, namely Scotch-Weld™ EC-2216 and Scotch-Weld™ EC-9323-2, under two aging conditions: (1) high-energy electron irradiation using a Van de Graaf accelerator, and (2) thermal vacuum cycling. The research evaluates the evolution of intrinsic adhesive properties and adhesion to CFRP (carbon fiber-reinforced polymer) and aluminum adherents before and after exposure to these environmental conditions through tensile tests, peel tests, double-cantilever beam (DCB) tests, and dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA). Full article
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15 pages, 4842 KiB  
Article
Bio-Based Pultruded CFRP Laminates: Bond to Concrete and Structural Performance of Full-Scale Strengthened Reinforced Concrete Beams
Materials 2023, 16(14), 4974; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma16144974 - 12 Jul 2023
Viewed by 781
Abstract
This paper presents an experimental study about the use of innovative bio-based pultruded carbon-fiber-reinforced polymer (CFRP) laminates for structural strengthening. The bio-based laminates were produced in the framework of an applied research project (BioLam) using a resin system with 50% (wt.%) bio-based content, [...] Read more.
This paper presents an experimental study about the use of innovative bio-based pultruded carbon-fiber-reinforced polymer (CFRP) laminates for structural strengthening. The bio-based laminates were produced in the framework of an applied research project (BioLam) using a resin system with 50% (wt.%) bio-based content, obtained from renewable resources. In the first part of the study, their tensile and interlaminar shear properties were characterized and compared with those of conventional oil-based CFRP laminates. In the second part of the study, the bond behavior to concrete of both types of CFRP laminates applied according to the externally bonded reinforcement (EBR) technique was assessed by means of single-lap shear tests performed on CFRP-strengthened concrete blocks; the experimental results obtained from these tests were then used in a numerical procedure to calibrate local bond vs. slip laws for both types of laminates. The final part of this study comprised four-point bending tests on full-scale EBR-CFRP-strengthened reinforced concrete (RC) beams to assess the structural efficacy of the bio-based laminates; these were benchmarked with tests performed on similar RC beams strengthened with conventional CFRP laminates. The results obtained in this study show that the (i) material properties, (ii) the bond behavior to concrete, and (iii) the structural efficacy of the developed bio-based CFRP laminates are comparable to those of their conventional counterparts, confirming their potential to be used in the strengthening of RC structures. Full article
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