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Materials, Volume 17, Issue 10 (May-2 2024) – 299 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Tin oxide (SnO2) and titanium oxide (TiO2) have often been utilized as key components in the electron transport layers (ETLs) of lead–halide perovskite solar cells (PSCs). We investigated the formation of nanoparticulate SnO2/TiO2 solid solutions via a sintering process and evaluated the effect of Li-doping on the performance of PSCs. Successive spin-coating and sintering of the integrated double layers, i.e., a layer of single-nanometer-scale SnO2 particles and Li-containing titanium isopropoxide precursors, enabled the production of a Li-doped SnO2-based solid solution with TiO2. This process could offer a beneficial approach as an alternative to conventional SnO2 ETLs for optimizing the performance of PSCs. View this paper
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10 pages, 2769 KiB  
Article
Single-Walled Carbon Nanotube-Reinforced PEDOT: PSS Hybrid Electrodes for High-Performance Ionic Electroactive Polymer Actuator
by Haoxiang Tao, Guangyao Hu, Shun Lu, Bing Li, Yongxing Zhang and Jie Ru
Materials 2024, 17(10), 2469; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ma17102469 - 20 May 2024
Viewed by 622
Abstract
Ionic electroactive polymer (iEAP) actuators are recognized as exceptional candidates for artificial muscle development, with significant potential applications in bionic robotics, space exploration, and biomedical fields. Here, we developed a new iEAP actuator utilizing high-purity single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs)-reinforced poly(3, 4-ethylenedioxythiophene)/poly(4-styrenesulfonate) (PEDOT: PSS, [...] Read more.
Ionic electroactive polymer (iEAP) actuators are recognized as exceptional candidates for artificial muscle development, with significant potential applications in bionic robotics, space exploration, and biomedical fields. Here, we developed a new iEAP actuator utilizing high-purity single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs)-reinforced poly(3, 4-ethylenedioxythiophene)/poly(4-styrenesulfonate) (PEDOT: PSS, PP) hybrid electrodes and a Nafion/EMIBF4 ion-exchange membrane via a straightforward and efficient spray printing technique. The SWCNT/PP actuator exhibits significantly enhanced electric conductivity (262.9 S/cm) and specific capacitance (22.5 mF/cm2), benefitting from the synergistic effect between SWCNTs and PP. These improvements far surpass those observed in activated carbon aerogel bucky-gel-electrode-based actuators. Furthermore, we evaluated the electroactive behaviors of the SWCNT/PP actuator under alternating square-wave voltages (1–3 V) and frequencies (0.01–100 Hz). The results reveal a substantial bending displacement of 6.44 mm and a high bending strain of 0.61% (at 3 V, 0.1 Hz), along with a long operating stability of up to 10,000 cycles (at 2 V, 1 Hz). This study introduces a straightforward and efficient spray printing technique for the successful preparation of iEAP actuators with superior electrochemical and electromechanical properties as intended, which hold promise as artificial muscles in the field of bionic robotics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Structure and Properties of Carbon Nanotube Composites)
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19 pages, 9237 KiB  
Article
Improvements in Wear and Corrosion Resistance of Ti-W-Alloyed Gray Cast Iron by Tailoring Its Microstructural Properties
by Abdul Razaq, Peng Yu, Adnan Raza Khan, Xiao-Yuan Ji, Ya-Jun Yin, Jian-Xin Zhou and Taher A. Shehabeldeen
Materials 2024, 17(10), 2468; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ma17102468 - 20 May 2024
Viewed by 533
Abstract
The improved wear and corrosion resistance of gray cast iron (GCI) with enhanced mechanical properties is a proven stepping stone towards the longevity of its versatile industrial applications. In this article, we have tailored the microstructural properties of GCI by alloying it with [...] Read more.
The improved wear and corrosion resistance of gray cast iron (GCI) with enhanced mechanical properties is a proven stepping stone towards the longevity of its versatile industrial applications. In this article, we have tailored the microstructural properties of GCI by alloying it with titanium (Ti) and tungsten (W) additives, which resulted in improved mechanical, wear, and corrosion resistance. The results also show the nucleation of the B-, D-, and E-type graphite flakes with the A-type graphite flake in the alloyed GCI microstructure. Additionally, the alloyed microstructure demonstrated that the ratio of the pearlite volume percentage to the ferrite volume percentage was improved from 67/33 to 87/13, whereas a reduction in the maximum graphite length and average grain size from 356 ± 31 µm to 297 ± 16 µm and 378 ± 18 µm to 349 ± 19 µm was detected. Consequently, it improved the mechanical properties and wear and corrosion resistance of alloyed GCI. A significant improvement in Brinell hardness, yield strength, and tensile strength of the modified microstructure from 213 ± 7 BHN to 272 ± 8 BHN, 260 ± 3 MPa to 310 ± 2 MPa, and 346 ± 12 MPa to 375 ± 7 MPa was achieved, respectively. The substantial reduction in the wear rate of alloyed GCI from 8.49 × 10−3 mm3/N.m to 1.59 × 10−3 mm3/N.m resulted in the upgradation of the surface roughness quality from 297.625 nm to 192.553 nm. Due to the increase in the corrosion potential from −0.5832 V to −0.4813 V, the impedance of the alloyed GCI was increased from 1545 Ohm·cm2 to 2290 Ohm·cm2. On the basis of the achieved experimental results, it is suggested that the reliability of alloyed GCI based on experimentally validated microstructural compositions can be ensured during the operation of plants and components in a severe wear and corrosive environment. It can be predicted that the proposed alloyed GCI components are capable of preventing the premature failure of high-tech components susceptible to a wear and corrosion environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Precision Manufacturing of Advanced Alloys and Composites)
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19 pages, 8227 KiB  
Article
Analysis of the Asymmetrical Rolling of Ultra-Thin Strips Considering Elastic Deformation of the Strips
by Qilin Zhao, Xianlei Hu and Xianghua Liu
Materials 2024, 17(10), 2467; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ma17102467 - 20 May 2024
Viewed by 394
Abstract
In normal cold rolling, the elastic deformation of the strip is typically ignored because of the dominant plastic deformation. However, this neglect may introduce additional errors when the strip is very thin. The aim of this study is to investigate the characteristics of [...] Read more.
In normal cold rolling, the elastic deformation of the strip is typically ignored because of the dominant plastic deformation. However, this neglect may introduce additional errors when the strip is very thin. The aim of this study is to investigate the characteristics of the deformation region and thickness reduction in the asymmetrical rolling of ultra-thin strips. Mathematical models were developed based on the slab method, with consideration of the elastic deformation of the strips, and employed in the simulation calculation. The percentage of the three zones and the thickness reduction were analyzed using the simulation results. An increase in the speed ratio results in an increase in the reduction ratio, which is influenced by parameters, such as front tension, back tension, friction coefficient, and entry thickness. The elastic deformation of the strip reduces the tension and the roll pressure and causes the reduction ratio to decrease. The findings and conclusions of this study may be helpful to the mill operating in the asymmetrical rolling process of ultra-thin strips. Full article
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13 pages, 2497 KiB  
Article
Investigation of the Strain–Stress Field in Nanoscale Multilayer Systems by the Phase Plane Method
by Dmitrii Belous, Anna Badalyan, Alexei Khomenko and Alexander Goncharov
Materials 2024, 17(10), 2466; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ma17102466 - 20 May 2024
Viewed by 569
Abstract
This paper presents the results of the study of stress relaxation fields, deformation, and temperature of the system of nanostructured multilayer coatings. In the work, a nonlinear relationship between strain and stress was used to take into account nonlinear effects in the mechanism [...] Read more.
This paper presents the results of the study of stress relaxation fields, deformation, and temperature of the system of nanostructured multilayer coatings. In the work, a nonlinear relationship between strain and stress was used to take into account nonlinear effects in the mechanism of nanostructure formation. The paper assumes that a friction surface is provided by the self-organization of shear components: both stress and strain on the one hand, and temperature on the other. The studied objects are described in the adiabatic approximation, taking into account the fact of the evolution of stresses and strains. With the help of phase portraits of the system, the dependence of the deformation processes on the stresses arising in the system without coating and with coating is shown. It is shown that the rate of change of deformation depends on the characteristics of the mechanical impact on the coating and on the amount of stress and deformation. A conclusion is drawn regarding the transition process in the presence of two regions (Hooke and plastic deformation) in the corresponding phase portrait of the strain–stress field of the system. The results of the work can be used to determine the effective parameters of a coating in the analysis of experimental time dependences of stresses. Full article
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16 pages, 5855 KiB  
Article
High-Performance Materials Improve the Early Shrinkage, Early Cracking, Strength, Impermeability, and Microstructure of Manufactured Sand Concrete
by Mingming Zhang, Shan Gao, Tong Liu, Shuyu Guo and Shuotian Zhang
Materials 2024, 17(10), 2465; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ma17102465 - 20 May 2024
Viewed by 501
Abstract
The poor early shrinkage and cracking performances of manufactured sand concrete, waste powder concrete, and recycled aggregate concrete are the main difficulties in engineering applications. To solve these problems, early shrinkage and cracking, strength, and impermeability tests were performed on high-volume stone powder [...] Read more.
The poor early shrinkage and cracking performances of manufactured sand concrete, waste powder concrete, and recycled aggregate concrete are the main difficulties in engineering applications. To solve these problems, early shrinkage and cracking, strength, and impermeability tests were performed on high-volume stone powder manufactured sand concrete mixed with fly ash and slag powder (FS), a shrinkage-reducing agent (SRA), polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) fibers, and a superabsorbent polymer (SAP). Furthermore, the microstructures and pore structures of these concretes were revealed using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The results showed that the mixture of FS, SRA, PVA fibers, and SAP could effectively inhibit the shrinkage strain and cracking area of the concrete. The effect of the SAP on reducing the early shrinkage of the concrete is the greatest, and the shrinkage strain can be reduced by 76.49%. The PVA fibers had the most obvious effect on inhibiting the early cracking of the concrete, and the total cracking area was reduced by 66.91%. Significantly, the incorporation of the FS can improve the particle gradation and the pore structure and improve its compactness. The PVA fibers not only provide good carriers for cement-based materials but also enhance the bonding force between the particles inside the concrete, filling the pores inside the concrete, inhibiting the loss of water, and reducing the generation of internal microcracks. The FS and PVA can reduce the shrinkage and cracking risk and improve the strength and impermeability of the concrete. Although the SRA and SAP can reduce the shrinkage and cracking risks, it will lead to a significant decrease in the later strength and impermeability. The main reason is that the SRA leads to an increase in micropores in the matrix and microcracks near the aggregate, which are not conducive to the development of the strength and penetration resistance of the MS. Similarly, the SAP can promote the rapid formation of ettringite (Aft) at an early age and improve the early shrinkage, early cracking, and early strength of the concrete. However, with an increase in age, the residual pores, after SAP dehydration, will cause the deterioration of the concrete pore structure, resulting in the deterioration of the strength and impermeability. Full article
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22 pages, 4294 KiB  
Review
Advances in Materials with Self-Healing Properties: A Brief Review
by Rashid Dallaev
Materials 2024, 17(10), 2464; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ma17102464 - 20 May 2024
Viewed by 721
Abstract
The development of materials with self-healing capabilities has garnered considerable attention due to their potential to enhance the durability and longevity of various engineering and structural applications. In this review, we provide an overview of recent advances in materials with self-healing properties, encompassing [...] Read more.
The development of materials with self-healing capabilities has garnered considerable attention due to their potential to enhance the durability and longevity of various engineering and structural applications. In this review, we provide an overview of recent advances in materials with self-healing properties, encompassing polymers, ceramics, metals, and composites. We outline future research directions and potential applications of self-healing materials (SHMs) in diverse fields. This review aims to provide insights into the current state-of-the-art in SHM research and guide future efforts towards the development of innovative and sustainable materials with enhanced self-repair capabilities. Each material type showcases unique self-repair mechanisms tailored to address specific challenges. Furthermore, this review investigates crack healing processes, shedding light on the latest developments in this critical aspect of self-healing materials. Through an extensive exploration of these topics, this review aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the current landscape and future directions in self-healing materials research. Full article
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12 pages, 6907 KiB  
Article
Flexible Nanofiber Pressure Sensors with Hydrophobic Properties for Wearable Electronics
by Yang Liu, Baoxiu Wang, Jiapeng Chen, Min Zhu and Zhenlin Jiang
Materials 2024, 17(10), 2463; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ma17102463 - 20 May 2024
Viewed by 534
Abstract
In recent years, flexible pressure sensors have received considerable attention for their potential applications in health monitoring and human–machine interfaces. However, the development of flexible pressure sensors with excellent sensitivity performance and a variety of advantageous characteristics remains a significant challenge. In this [...] Read more.
In recent years, flexible pressure sensors have received considerable attention for their potential applications in health monitoring and human–machine interfaces. However, the development of flexible pressure sensors with excellent sensitivity performance and a variety of advantageous characteristics remains a significant challenge. In this paper, a high-performance flexible piezoresistive pressure sensor, BC/ZnO, is developed with a sensitive element consisting of bacterial cellulose (BC) nanofibrous aerogel modified by ZnO nanorods. The BC/ZnO pressure sensor exhibits excellent mechanical and hydrophobic properties, as well as a high sensitivity of −15.93 kPa−1 and a wide range of detection pressure (0.3–20 kPa), fast response (300 ms), and good cyclic durability (>1000). Furthermore, the sensor exhibits excellent sensing performance in real-time monitoring of a wide range of human behaviors, including mass movements and subtle physiological signals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Smart Materials)
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20 pages, 6928 KiB  
Article
Hybrid Nanoparticles from Random Polyelectrolytes and Carbon Dots
by Sophia Theodoropoulou, Antiopi Vardaxi, Antonia Kagkoura, Nikos Tagmatarchis and Stergios Pispas
Materials 2024, 17(10), 2462; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ma17102462 - 20 May 2024
Viewed by 531
Abstract
The present study concerns the preparation of hybrid nanostructures composed of carbon dots (CDs) synthesized in our lab and a double-hydrophilic poly(2-dimethylaminoethyl methacrylate-co-oligo(ethylene glycol) methyl ether methacrylate) (P(DMAEMA-co-OEGMA)) random copolymer through electrostatic interactions between the negatively charged CDs [...] Read more.
The present study concerns the preparation of hybrid nanostructures composed of carbon dots (CDs) synthesized in our lab and a double-hydrophilic poly(2-dimethylaminoethyl methacrylate-co-oligo(ethylene glycol) methyl ether methacrylate) (P(DMAEMA-co-OEGMA)) random copolymer through electrostatic interactions between the negatively charged CDs and the positively charged DMAEMA segments of the copolymer. The synthesis of P(DMAEMA-co-OEGMA) copolymer was conducted through RAFT polymerization. Furthermore, the copolymer was converted into a strong cationic random polyelectrolyte through quaternization of the amine groups of DMAEMA segments with methyl iodide (CH3I), and it was subsequently utilized for the complexation with the carbon dots. The molecular, physicochemical, and photophysical characterization of the aqueous solution of the copolymers and their hybrid nanoparticles was conducted using dynamic and electrophoretic light scattering (DLS, ELS) and spectroscopic techniques, such as UV-Vis, fluorescence (FS), and FT-IR spectroscopy. In addition, studies of their aqueous solution using DLS and ELS showed their responsiveness to external stimuli (pH, temperature, ionic strength). Finally, the interaction of selected hybrid nanoparticles with iron (III) ions was confirmed through FS spectroscopy, demonstrating their potential application for heavy metal ions sensing. Full article
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16 pages, 6942 KiB  
Article
The Effects of Calcium Nitrite on the Mechanical Properties and Microstructure of Early-Age Frozen Cement Paste
by Lijun Wan, Maopei Yu, Enze Wu and Yongqi Zhao
Materials 2024, 17(10), 2461; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ma17102461 - 20 May 2024
Viewed by 421
Abstract
The objective of this paper is to investigate the effect of calcium nitrite (CN) on improving the mechanical properties and microstructures of early-frozen cement paste. Cement pastes containing 1%, 1.5%, 2%, 2.5%, and 3% CN were prepared. One batch of samples was frozen [...] Read more.
The objective of this paper is to investigate the effect of calcium nitrite (CN) on improving the mechanical properties and microstructures of early-frozen cement paste. Cement pastes containing 1%, 1.5%, 2%, 2.5%, and 3% CN were prepared. One batch of samples was frozen at −6 °C for 7 days and then cured at 20 °C, and the other batch of samples was directly cured at 20 °C as a control. The compressive strength, ultrasonic pulse velocity, and resistivity of all specimens at different target ages were measured under these two curing conditions. The hydration products and microstructures of typical samples were observed using XRD and scanning SEM. The results showed that the addition of 1.5% CN could promote cement hydration and enhance slurry densification, thereby increasing the compressive strength, ultrasonic pulse velocity, and electrical resistivity of the slurry, and positively affecting the early freezing resistance of the slurry. However, when the CN dosage exceeded 1.5%, the internal structure of the slurry was loose and porous due to the generation of a large amount of nitrite–AFm, which negatively affects the properties of the cement paste. In addition, the effectiveness of CN is only limited to temperature environments above −6 °C. Concrete antifreeze suitable for lower temperatures still requires further research. Full article
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12 pages, 6957 KiB  
Article
Strength–Plasticity Relationship and Intragranular Nanophase Distribution of Hybrid (GNS + SiCnp)/Al Composites Based on Heat Treatment
by Jiajia Zhang, Mingfang Qian, Zhenggang Jia, Xuexi Zhang, Aibin Li, Guisong Wang and Lin Geng
Materials 2024, 17(10), 2460; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ma17102460 - 20 May 2024
Viewed by 483
Abstract
The distribution of reinforcements and interfacial bonding state with the metal matrix are crucial factors in achieving excellent comprehensive mechanical properties for aluminum (Al) matrix composites. Normally, after heat treatment, graphene nanosheets (GNSs)/Al composites experience a significant loss of strength. Here, better performance [...] Read more.
The distribution of reinforcements and interfacial bonding state with the metal matrix are crucial factors in achieving excellent comprehensive mechanical properties for aluminum (Al) matrix composites. Normally, after heat treatment, graphene nanosheets (GNSs)/Al composites experience a significant loss of strength. Here, better performance of GNS/Al was explored with a hybrid strategy by introducing 0.9 vol.% silicon carbide nanoparticles (SiCnp) into the composite. Pre-ball milling of Al powders and 0.9 vol.% SiCnp gained Al flakes that provided a large dispersion area for 3.0 vol.% GNS during the shift speed ball milling process, leading to uniformly dispersed GNS for both as-sintered and as-extruded (0.9 vol.% SiCnp + 3.0 vol.% GNS)/Al. High-temperature heat treatment at 600 °C for 60 min was performed on the as-extruded composite, giving rise to intragranular distribution of SiCnp due to recrystallization and grain growth of the Al matrix. Meanwhile, nanoscale Al4C3, which can act as an additional reinforcing nanoparticle, was generated because of an appropriate interfacial reaction between GNS and Al. The intragranular distribution of both nanoparticles improves the Al matrix continuity of composites and plays a key role in ensuring the plasticity of composites. As a result, the work hardening ability of the heat-treated hybrid (0.9 vol.% SiCnp + 3.0 vol.% GNS)/Al composite was well improved, and the tensile elongation increased by 42.7% with little loss of the strength. The present work provides a new strategy in achieving coordination on strength–plasticity of Al matrix composites. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Study on Advanced Metal Matrix Composites (2nd Edition))
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15 pages, 7502 KiB  
Article
Rheological Properties and 3D Printing Behavior of PCL and DMSO2 Composites for Bio-Scaffold
by Jae-Won Jang, Kyung-Eun Min, Cheolhee Kim, Chien Wern and Sung Yi
Materials 2024, 17(10), 2459; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ma17102459 - 20 May 2024
Viewed by 380
Abstract
The significance of rheology in the context of bio three-dimensional (3D) printing lies in its impact on the printing behavior, which shapes material flow and the layer-by-layer stacking process. The objective of this study is to evaluate the rheological and printing behaviors of [...] Read more.
The significance of rheology in the context of bio three-dimensional (3D) printing lies in its impact on the printing behavior, which shapes material flow and the layer-by-layer stacking process. The objective of this study is to evaluate the rheological and printing behaviors of polycaprolactone (PCL) and dimethyl sulfone (DMSO2) composites. The rheological properties were examined using a rotational rheometer, employing a frequency sweep test. Simultaneously, the printing behavior was investigated using a material extrusion 3D printer, encompassing varying printing temperatures and pressures. Across the temperature range of 120–140 °C, both PCL and PCL/DMSO2 composites demonstrated liquid-like behavior, with a higher loss modulus than storage modulus. This behavior exhibited shear-thinning characteristics. The addition of DMSO2 10, 20, and 30 wt% into the PCL matrix reduced a zero-shear viscosity of 33, 46, and 74% compared to PCL, respectively. The materials exhibited extrusion velocities spanning from 0.0850 to 6.58 mm/s, with velocity being governed by the reciprocal of viscosity. A significant alteration in viscosity by temperature change directly led to a pronounced fluctuation in extrusion velocity. Extrusion velocities below 0.21 mm/s led to the production of unstable printed lines. The presence of distinct viscosities altered extrusion velocity, flow rate, and strut diameter. This phenomenon allowed the categorization of pore shape into three zones: irregular, normal, and no-pore zones. It underscored the importance of comprehending the rheological aspects of biomaterials in enhancing the overall quality of bio-scaffolds during the 3D printing process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Processes)
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17 pages, 5784 KiB  
Article
Advanced Computational Analysis of Cobalt-Based Superalloys through Crystal Plasticity
by Shahriyar Keshavarz, Carelyn E. Campbell and Andrew C. E. Reid
Materials 2024, 17(10), 2458; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ma17102458 - 20 May 2024
Viewed by 400
Abstract
This study introduces an advanced computational method aimed at accelerating continuum-scale processes using crystal plasticity approaches to predict mechanical responses in cobalt-based superalloys. The framework integrates two levels, namely, sub-grain and homogenized, at the meso-scale through crystal plasticity finite element (CPFE) platforms. The [...] Read more.
This study introduces an advanced computational method aimed at accelerating continuum-scale processes using crystal plasticity approaches to predict mechanical responses in cobalt-based superalloys. The framework integrates two levels, namely, sub-grain and homogenized, at the meso-scale through crystal plasticity finite element (CPFE) platforms. The model is applicable across a temperature range from room temperature up to 900 °C, accommodating various dislocation mechanisms in the microstructure. The sub-grain level explicitly incorporates precipitates and employs a dislocation density-based constitutive model that is size-dependent. In contrast, the homogenized level utilizes an activation energy-based constitutive model, implicitly representing the γ phase for efficiency in computations. This level considers the effects of composition and morphology on mechanical properties, demonstrating the potential for cobalt-based superalloys to rival nickel-based superalloys. The study aims to investigate the impacts of elements including tungsten, tantalum, titanium, and chromium through the homogenized constitutive model. The model accounts for the locking mechanism to address the cross-slip of screw dislocations at lower temperatures as well as the glide and climb mechanism to simulate diffusions at higher temperatures. The model’s validity is established across diverse compositions and morphologies, as well as various temperatures, through comparison with experimental data. This advanced computational framework not only enables accurate predictions of mechanical responses in cobalt-based superalloys across a wide temperature range, but also provides valuable insights into the design and optimization of these materials for high-temperature applications. Full article
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15 pages, 4476 KiB  
Article
The Microstructure and Mechanical Properties of Si3N4f/BN/SiBCN Microcomposites Fabricated by the PIP Process
by Zhiyou Gong, Zhongkai Xu, Jian Zhang, Ruisong Guo, Yao Han, Xiaohong Sun, Zhuang Yuan, Xinqi Zhao, Bingqing Zhang and Chunming Zheng
Materials 2024, 17(10), 2457; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ma17102457 - 20 May 2024
Viewed by 443
Abstract
SiBCN ceramics based on SiC, BN and Si3N4 structures have good comprehensive properties such as high-temperature resistance, oxidation resistance, creep resistance and long life, which makes it one of the very promising ceramic material systems in military and aerospace fields, [...] Read more.
SiBCN ceramics based on SiC, BN and Si3N4 structures have good comprehensive properties such as high-temperature resistance, oxidation resistance, creep resistance and long life, which makes it one of the very promising ceramic material systems in military and aerospace fields, etc. In this study, SiBCN ceramics, as well as Si3N4f/BN/SiBCN microcomposites, were prepared by a polymer infiltration pyrolysis method using PBSZ as the polymer precursor. The PBSZ was completely ceramized by pyrolysis at 900 °C. The weight loss and elemental bonding forms of the products after the pyrolysis of the precursors hardly changed from 600 °C to 900 °C. After pyrolysis at 600 °C for 4 h and using the BN coating obtained from twice deposition as the interfacial phase, a more desirable weak interface of fiber/matrix with a binding strength of 21.96 ± 2.01 MPa can be obtained. Si3N4f/BN/SiBCN ceramic matrix microcomposites prepared under the same pyrolysis conditions have a relatively good tensile strength of 111.10 MPa while retaining a weak interface between the fibers and the matrix. The results of the study provide more theoretical and methodological support for the application of new composite structural ceramic material systems. Full article
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14 pages, 3344 KiB  
Article
Anisotropic Hyperelastic Strain Energy Function for Carbon Fiber Woven Fabrics
by Renye Cai, Heng Zhang, Chenxiang Lai, Zexin Yu, Xiangkun Zeng, Min Wu, Yankun Wang, Qisen Huang, Yiwei Zhu and Chunyu Kong
Materials 2024, 17(10), 2456; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ma17102456 - 20 May 2024
Viewed by 459
Abstract
The present paper introduces an innovative strain energy function (SEF) for incompressible anisotropic fiber-reinforced materials. This SEF is specifically designed to understand the mechanical behavior of carbon fiber-woven fabric. The considered model combines polyconvex invariants forming an integrity basisin polynomial form, which is [...] Read more.
The present paper introduces an innovative strain energy function (SEF) for incompressible anisotropic fiber-reinforced materials. This SEF is specifically designed to understand the mechanical behavior of carbon fiber-woven fabric. The considered model combines polyconvex invariants forming an integrity basisin polynomial form, which is inspired by the application of Noether’s theorem. A single solution can be obtained during the identification because of the relationship between the SEF we have constructed and the material parameters, which are linearly dependent. The six material parameters were precisely determined through a comparison between the closed-form solutions from our model and the corresponding tensile experimental data with different stretching ratios, with determination coefficients consistently reaching a remarkable value of 0.99. When considering only uniaxial tensile tests, our model can be simplified from a quadratic polynomial to a linear polynomial, thereby reducing the number of material parameters required from six to four, while the fidelity of the model’s predictive accuracy remains unaltered. The comparison between the results of numerical calculations and experiments proves the efficiency and accuracy of the method. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Carbon Materials)
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27 pages, 14831 KiB  
Article
Prediction of Aggregate Packing with Tubular Macrocapsules in the Inert Structure of Self-Healing Concrete Based on Dewar’s Particle Packing Model
by Harry Hermawan, Alicia Simons, Silke Teirlynck, Giovanni Anglani, Pedro Serna, Jean-Marc Tulliani, Paola Antonaci, Peter Minne and Elke Gruyaert
Materials 2024, 17(10), 2455; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ma17102455 - 19 May 2024
Viewed by 642
Abstract
This paper brings a new insight into understanding the influence of macrocapsules in packing systems, which can be useful in designing the inert structure of self-healing concrete. A variety of tubular macrocapsules, in terms of types and sizes, was used to assess the [...] Read more.
This paper brings a new insight into understanding the influence of macrocapsules in packing systems, which can be useful in designing the inert structure of self-healing concrete. A variety of tubular macrocapsules, in terms of types and sizes, was used to assess the capsules’ effect in the packing, together with various aggregate types and fractions. The voids ratios (U) of aggregate mixtures were evaluated experimentally and compared with the prediction via the particle packing model of Dewar. The packing of coarse particles was found to be considerably affected by the presence of macrocapsules, while no capsules’ effect on the packing of fine particles was attained. A higher capsule dosage and capsule aspect ratio led to a higher voids ratio. In the formulation of the inert structure, the packing disturbance due to capsules can be minimised by increasing the content of fine aggregates over coarse aggregates. Dewar’s model showed a good compatibility with experimental results in the absence of capsules. However, the model needed to be upgraded for the introduction of tubular macrocapsules. Accordingly, the effect of macrocapsules was extensively analysed and a ‘U model’ for capsules (with some limitations) was finally proposed, offering a high predicting accuracy. Full article
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36 pages, 11021 KiB  
Review
Nano-Enhanced Phase Reinforced Magnesium Matrix Composites: A Review of the Matrix, Reinforcement, Interface Design, Properties and Potential Applications
by Jiao-Yi Ren, Guan-Cheng Ji, Hao-Rui Guo, Yu-Meng Zhou, Xin Tan, Wen-Fang Zheng, Qian Xing, Jia-Yi Zhang, Jing-Ran Sun, Hong-Yu Yang, Feng Qiu and Qi-Chuan Jiang
Materials 2024, 17(10), 2454; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ma17102454 - 19 May 2024
Viewed by 774
Abstract
Magnesium matrix composites are essential lightweight metal matrix composites, following aluminum matrix composites, with outstanding application prospects in automotive, aerospace lightweight and biomedical materials because of their high specific strength, low density and specific stiffness, good casting performance and rich resources. However, the [...] Read more.
Magnesium matrix composites are essential lightweight metal matrix composites, following aluminum matrix composites, with outstanding application prospects in automotive, aerospace lightweight and biomedical materials because of their high specific strength, low density and specific stiffness, good casting performance and rich resources. However, the inherent low plasticity and poor fatigue resistance of magnesium hamper its further application to a certain extent. Many researchers have tried many strengthening methods to improve the properties of magnesium alloys, while the relationship between wear resistance and plasticity still needs to be further improved. The nanoparticles added exhibit a good strengthening effect, especially the ceramic nanoparticles. Nanoparticle-reinforced magnesium matrix composites not only exhibit a high impact toughness, but also maintain the high strength and wear resistance of ceramic materials, effectively balancing the restriction between the strength and toughness. Therefore, this work aims to provide a review of the state of the art of research on the matrix, reinforcement, design, properties and potential applications of nano-reinforced phase-reinforced magnesium matrix composites (especially ceramic nanoparticle-reinforced ones). The conventional and potential matrices for the fabrication of magnesium matrix composites are introduced. The classification and influence of ceramic reinforcements are assessed, and the factors influencing interface bonding strength between reinforcements and matrix, regulation and design, performance and application are analyzed. Finally, the scope of future research in this field is discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue High Performance Alloy and Its Nanocomposites)
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23 pages, 9554 KiB  
Article
Effects of a Complex Environment on Fatigue and Self-Healing Characterization of Asphalt Composites Containing Rock Asphalt
by Ruixia Li, Shangjun Yu, Hailong Chen, Jiahui Wu, Yijun Chen and Jinchao Yue
Materials 2024, 17(10), 2453; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ma17102453 - 19 May 2024
Viewed by 438
Abstract
In recent years, asphalt pavement has been subjected to varied environmental conditions during its service life, conditions that predispose it to deformation and cracking. To enhance the performance of asphalt pavement, rock asphalt has been selected as a modifier due to its good [...] Read more.
In recent years, asphalt pavement has been subjected to varied environmental conditions during its service life, conditions that predispose it to deformation and cracking. To enhance the performance of asphalt pavement, rock asphalt has been selected as a modifier due to its good compatibility with virgin asphalt binder and its ability to improve the fatigue cracking resistance of asphalt mixtures. Although scholars have conducted some studies on rock asphalt mixtures, research on the fatigue and self-healing performance of these mixtures under conditions such as ultraviolet (UV) aging and freeze–thaw remains limited. This paper presents findings from a study that employs a combined fatigue-healing test to assess the impact of such complex environmental factors on the fatigue and self-healing properties of fine aggregate matrix (FAM) mixtures containing three types of rock asphalts, i.e., Buton, Qingchuan (QC), and Uintaite Modifier (UM). The analysis of fatigue-healing test results, grounded in viscoelastic continuum damage (VECD) theory, indicates that rock asphalt can extend the fatigue life of FAM mixtures, albeit with a concomitant decrease in their self-healing capabilities. The study further reveals that UV aging, freeze–thaw, and UV aging–freeze–thaw conditions all led to a diminution in the fatigue and self-healing properties of FAM mixtures. However, FAM mixtures containing rock asphalt demonstrated greater resilience against these reductions. Atomic force microscope (AFM) results indicate that UV aging reduced the number of bee-structures and enlarged their area, whereas the incorporation of rock asphalt enhanced the uniformity of these structures’ distribution, thereby improving the fatigue cracking resistance of FAM mixtures. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) analysis reveals that while UV aging increased the carbonyl and sulfoxide indices within the asphalt binder, rock asphalt is effective in mitigating this effect to a certain degree, thereby enhancing the aging resistance of FAM mixtures. Full article
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20 pages, 6167 KiB  
Article
An Experimental Parametric Optimisation for Laser Engraving and Texturing to Integrate Zirconia Ceramic Blocks into Stainless Steel Cutlery: A State-of-the-Art Aesthetically Improved Perspective
by Vipin Richhariya, Georgina Miranda and Filipe Samuel Silva
Materials 2024, 17(10), 2452; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ma17102452 - 19 May 2024
Viewed by 464
Abstract
Cutlery and flatware designs are an everchanging phenomenon of the manufacturing industry. Worldwide hospitality businesses demand perpetual evolution in terms of aesthetics, designs, patterns, colours, and materials due to customers’ demands, modernisation, and fierce competition. To thrive in this competitive market, modern fabrication [...] Read more.
Cutlery and flatware designs are an everchanging phenomenon of the manufacturing industry. Worldwide hospitality businesses demand perpetual evolution in terms of aesthetics, designs, patterns, colours, and materials due to customers’ demands, modernisation, and fierce competition. To thrive in this competitive market, modern fabrication techniques must be flexible, adoptive, fast, and cost effective. For decades, static designs and trademark patterns were achieved through moulds, limiting production to a single cutlery type per mould. However, with the advent of laser engraving and design systems, the whole business of cutlery production has been revolutionised. This study explores the possibility of creating diverse designs for stainless steel 304 flatware sets without changing the entire production process. The research analyses three key laser process parameters, power, scanning speed, and number of passes, and their impacts on the resulting geometry, depth of cut, surface roughness, and material removed. These parameters are comprehensively studied and analysed for steel and zirconia ceramic. The study details the effects of power, scanning speed, number of passages, and fluence on engraved geometry. Fluence (power*number of passages/scanning speed) positively influences outputs and presents a positive trend. Medium power settings and higher scanning speeds with the maximum number of passages produce high-quality, low-roughness optimised cavities with the ideal geometric accuracy for both materials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Manufacturing Processes and Systems)
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21 pages, 11447 KiB  
Article
Experimental Study on the Microfabrication and Mechanical Properties of Freeze–Thaw Fractured Sandstone under Cyclic Loading and Unloading Effects
by Taoying Liu, Wenbin Cai, Yeshan Sheng and Jun Huang
Materials 2024, 17(10), 2451; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ma17102451 - 19 May 2024
Viewed by 476
Abstract
A series of freeze–thaw cycling tests, as well as cyclic loading and unloading tests, have been conducted on nodular sandstones to investigate the effect of fatigue loading and freeze–thaw cycling on the damage evolution of fractured sandstones based on damage mechanics theory, the [...] Read more.
A series of freeze–thaw cycling tests, as well as cyclic loading and unloading tests, have been conducted on nodular sandstones to investigate the effect of fatigue loading and freeze–thaw cycling on the damage evolution of fractured sandstones based on damage mechanics theory, the microstructure and sandstone pore fractal theory. The results show that the number of freeze–thaw cycles, the cyclic loading level, the pore distribution and the complex program are important factors affecting the damage evolution of rocks. As the number of freeze–thaw cycles rises, the peak strength, modulus of elasticity, modulus of deformation and damping ratio of the sandstone all declined. Additionally, the modulus of elasticity and deformation increase nonlinearly as the cyclic load level rises. With the rate of increase decreasing, while the dissipation energy due to hysteresis increases gradually and at an increasing rate, and the damping ratio as a whole shows a gradual decrease, with a tendency to increase at a later stage. The NRM (Nuclear Magnetic Resonance) demonstrated that the total porosity and micro-pores of the sandstone increased linearly with the number of freeze–thaw cycles and that the micro-porosity was more sensitive to freeze–thaw, gradually shifting towards meso-pores and macro-pores; simultaneously, the SEM (Scanning Electron Microscope) indicated that the more freeze–thaw cycles there are, the more micro-fractures and holes grow and penetrate each other and the more loose the structure is, with an overall nest-like appearance. To explore the mechanical behavior and mechanism of cracked rock in high-altitude and alpine areas, a damage model under the coupling of freeze–thaw-fatigue loading was established based on the loading and unloading response ratio theory and strain equivalence principle. Full article
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16 pages, 9127 KiB  
Article
Characteristics of Si (C,N) Silicon Carbonitride Layers on the Surface of Ni–Cr Alloys Used in Dental Prosthetics
by Leszek Klimek, Marcin Makówka, Anna Sobczyk-Guzenda and Zofia Kula
Materials 2024, 17(10), 2450; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ma17102450 - 19 May 2024
Viewed by 555
Abstract
Chromium- and cobalt-based alloys, as well as chrome–nickel steels, are most used in dental prosthetics. Unfortunately, these alloys, especially nickel-based alloys, can cause allergic reactions. A disadvantage of these alloys is also insufficient corrosion resistance. To improve the properties of these alloys, amorphous [...] Read more.
Chromium- and cobalt-based alloys, as well as chrome–nickel steels, are most used in dental prosthetics. Unfortunately, these alloys, especially nickel-based alloys, can cause allergic reactions. A disadvantage of these alloys is also insufficient corrosion resistance. To improve the properties of these alloys, amorphous Si (C,N) coatings were deposited on the surfaces of metal specimens. This paper characterizes coatings of silicon carbide nitrides, deposited by the magnetron sputtering method on the surface of nickel–chromium alloys used in dental prosthetics. Depending on the deposition parameters, coatings with varying carbon to nitrogen ratios were obtained. The study analyzed their structure and chemical and phase composition. In addition, a study of surface wettability and surface roughness was performed. Based on the results obtained, it was found that amorphous coatings of Si (C,N) type with thicknesses of 2 to 4.5 µm were obtained. All obtained coatings increase the value of surface free energy. The study showed that Si (C,N)-type films can be used in dental prosthetics as protective coatings. Full article
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10 pages, 8804 KiB  
Article
A Peel Test Method to Characterize the Decay Law of Prepreg Tape Tack at Different Temperatures
by Jiaqi Shi, Wang Wang, Yuequan Wang, Junwei Qi and Jun Xiao
Materials 2024, 17(10), 2449; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ma17102449 - 19 May 2024
Viewed by 372
Abstract
The tack of prepreg is a key factor affecting the automatic tape laying process. During the manufacturing process of large composite parts, prepreg material may be stored at room temperature for several days, resulting in a decrease in its tack. In this study, [...] Read more.
The tack of prepreg is a key factor affecting the automatic tape laying process. During the manufacturing process of large composite parts, prepreg material may be stored at room temperature for several days, resulting in a decrease in its tack. In this study, a new tack test tool was designed, and the decay rate of prepreg tack at different temperatures was tested. We proposed a prepreg tack decay model, which assumes that the main factor in tack decay is the reduction in resin chain activity during storage. The maximum deviation between the model calculation results and the experimental results of the tack decay rate is 9.7%. This study also proposed a new statistical unit for prepreg tack, which can establish the relationship between the tack of prepreg and its remaining storage time and reduce prepreg management costs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Advanced Composites Manufacturing and Plastics Processing)
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14 pages, 5722 KiB  
Article
Cluster-Assisted Mesoplasma Chemical Vapor Deposition for Fast Epitaxial Growth of SiGe/Si Heterostructures: A Molecular Dynamics Simulation Study
by Wen-bo Wang, Wenfang Li, Ryoshi Ohta and Makoto Kambara
Materials 2024, 17(10), 2448; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ma17102448 - 19 May 2024
Viewed by 384
Abstract
Co-condensation of mixed SiGe nanoclusters and impingement of SiGe nanoclusters on a Si substrate were applied using molecular dynamics (MD) simulation in this study to mimic the fast epitaxial growth of SiGe/Si heterostructures under mesoplasma chemical vapor deposition (CVD) conditions. The condensation dynamics [...] Read more.
Co-condensation of mixed SiGe nanoclusters and impingement of SiGe nanoclusters on a Si substrate were applied using molecular dynamics (MD) simulation in this study to mimic the fast epitaxial growth of SiGe/Si heterostructures under mesoplasma chemical vapor deposition (CVD) conditions. The condensation dynamics and properties of the SiGe nanoclusters during the simulations were investigated first, and then the impingement of transient SiGe nanoclusters on both Si smooth and trench substrate surfaces under varying conditions was studied theoretically. The results show that the mixed nanoclusters as precursors demonstrate potential for enhancing epitaxial SiGe film growth at a high growth rate, owing to their loosely bound atomic structures and high mobility on the substrate surface. By varying cluster sizes and substrate temperatures, this study also reveals that smaller clusters and higher substrate temperatures contribute to faster structural ordering and smoother surface morphologies. Furthermore, the formed layers display a consistent SiGe composition, closely aligning with nominal values, and the cluster-assisted deposition method achieves the epitaxial bridging of heterostructures during cluster impingement, highlighting its additional distinctive characteristics. The implications of this work make it clear that the mechanism of fast alloyed epitaxial film growth by cluster-assisted mesoplasma CVD is critical for extending it as a versatile platform for synthesizing various epitaxial films. Full article
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23 pages, 6508 KiB  
Article
The Influence of the Alkylamino Group on the Solvatochromic Behavior of 5-(4-substituted-arylidene)-1,3-dimethylpyrimidine-2,4,6-triones: Synthesis, Spectroscopic and Computational Studies
by Ilona Pyszka, Przemysław Krawczyk and Beata Jędrzejewska
Materials 2024, 17(10), 2447; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ma17102447 - 19 May 2024
Viewed by 362
Abstract
Advances in electronics and medical diagnostics have made organic dyes extremely popular as key functional materials. From a practical viewpoint, it is necessary to assess the spectroscopic and physicochemical properties of newly designed dyes. In this context, the condensation of 1,3-dimethylbarbituric acid with [...] Read more.
Advances in electronics and medical diagnostics have made organic dyes extremely popular as key functional materials. From a practical viewpoint, it is necessary to assess the spectroscopic and physicochemical properties of newly designed dyes. In this context, the condensation of 1,3-dimethylbarbituric acid with electron-rich alkylaminobenzaldehyde derivatives has been described, resulting in a series of merocyanine-type dyes. These dyes exhibit intense blue-light absorption but weak fluorescence. An electron-donating alkylamino group at position C4 is responsible for the solvatochromic behavior of the dyes since the lone electron pair of the nitrogen atom is variably delocalized toward the barbituric ring, which exhibits electron-withdrawing properties. This was elucidated, taking into account the different geometry of the amino group. The intramolecular charge transfer in the molecules is responsible for the relatively high redshift in absorption and fluorescence spectra. Additionally, an increase in solvent polarity moves the absorption and fluorescence to lower energy regions. The observed solvatochromism is discussed in terms of the four-parameter Catalán solvent polarity scale. The differences in the behavior of the dyes were quantified with the aid of time-dependent density functional theory calculations. The obtained results made it possible to find regularities linking the basic spectroscopic properties of the compounds with their chemical structure. This is important in the targeted search for new, practically important dyes. Full article
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14 pages, 11756 KiB  
Article
Abrasion Wear Resistance of Precipitation-Hardened Al-Zn-Mg Alloy
by Tomislav Rodinger, Helena Lukšić, Danko Ćorić and Vera Rede
Materials 2024, 17(10), 2446; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ma17102446 - 19 May 2024
Viewed by 399
Abstract
The heat treatment of aluminum alloys is very important in industries where low weight in combination with high wear resistance, good strength, and hardness are important. However, depending on their chemical composition, aluminum alloys are subjected to different mechanical and thermal treatments to [...] Read more.
The heat treatment of aluminum alloys is very important in industries where low weight in combination with high wear resistance, good strength, and hardness are important. However, depending on their chemical composition, aluminum alloys are subjected to different mechanical and thermal treatments to achieve the most favorable properties. In this study, an Al-Zn-Mg alloy was heat-treated including solution annealing at 490 °C for 1 h with subsequent artificial aging at 130, 160, and 190 °C for 1, 5, and 9 h. The hardness (HV1) and abrasive wear resistance with three different abrasive grain sizes were measured for all samples. The highest hardness was measured for the samples artificially aged at 130 °C/5 h, 227 HV1, while the lowest hardness was measured for the samples aged at 190 °C/9 h. The highest and the lowest wear resistance was also observed for the same state, i.e., artificially aged at 130 °C/5 h and 190 °C/9 h, respectively. The critical abrasive grain size was detected for some samples, where a decrease in wear rate was observed with an increase in the abrasive grain size from the medium value to the largest. The Response Surface Methodology (RSM) was applied to demonstrate the influence of the input parameters on the material wear rate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tribology in Croatia: Challenges and Development)
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8 pages, 2325 KiB  
Article
Photoluminescence Spectra Correlations with Structural Distortion in Eu3+- and Ce3+-Doped Y3Al5-2x(Mg,Ge)xO12 (x = 0, 1, 2) Garnet Phosphors
by Heonji Ha, Sungjun Yang and Sangmoon Park
Materials 2024, 17(10), 2445; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ma17102445 - 19 May 2024
Viewed by 374
Abstract
Garnet-type materials consisting of Y3Al5-2x(Mg,Ge)xO12 (x = 0, 1, 2), combined with Eu3+ or Ce3+ activator ions, were prepared by a solid-state method to determine the structural and optical correlations. The structure [...] Read more.
Garnet-type materials consisting of Y3Al5-2x(Mg,Ge)xO12 (x = 0, 1, 2), combined with Eu3+ or Ce3+ activator ions, were prepared by a solid-state method to determine the structural and optical correlations. The structure of Y3Al5-2x(Mg,Ge)xO12 (x = 1, 2) was determined to be a cubic unit cell (Ia-3d), which contains an 8-coordinated Y3+ site with octahedral (Mg,Al)O6 and tetrahedral (Al,Ge)O4 polyhedra, using synchrotron powder X-ray diffraction. When Eu3+ or Ce3+ ions were substituted for the Y3+ site in the Y3Al5-2x(Mg,Ge)xO12 host lattices, the emission spectra showed a decrease in the magnetic dipole f-f Eu3+ transition and a redshift of the d-f Ce3+ transition, related to centrosymmetry and crystal field splitting, respectively. These changes were monitored according to the increase in Mg2+ and Ge4+ contents. The dodecahedral and octahedral edge sharing was identified as a key distortion factor for the structure-correlated luminescence in the Eu3+/Ce3+-doped Y3Al5-2x(Mg,Ge)xO12 garnet phosphors. Full article
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25 pages, 6307 KiB  
Article
On the Determination of Elastic Properties of Single-Walled Nitride Nanotubes Using Numerical Simulation
by Nataliya A. Sakharova, André F. G. Pereira, Jorge M. Antunes, Bruno M. Chaparro, Tomás G. Parreira and José V. Fernandes
Materials 2024, 17(10), 2444; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ma17102444 - 18 May 2024
Viewed by 505
Abstract
In recent years, tubular nanostructures have been related to immense advances in various fields of science and technology. Considerable research efforts have been centred on the theoretical prediction and manufacturing of non-carbon nanotubes (NTs), which meet modern requirements for the development of novel [...] Read more.
In recent years, tubular nanostructures have been related to immense advances in various fields of science and technology. Considerable research efforts have been centred on the theoretical prediction and manufacturing of non-carbon nanotubes (NTs), which meet modern requirements for the development of novel devices and systems. In this context, diatomic inorganic nanotubes formed by atoms of elements from the 13th group of the periodic table (B, Al, Ga, In, Tl) and nitrogen (N) have received much research attention. In this study, the elastic properties of single-walled boron nitride, aluminium nitride, gallium nitride, indium nitride, and thallium nitride nanotubes were assessed numerically using the nanoscale continuum modelling approach (also called molecular structural mechanics). The elastic properties (rigidities, surface Young’s and shear moduli, and Poisson’s ratio) of nitride nanotubes are discussed with respect to the bond length of the corresponding diatomic hexagonal lattice. The results obtained contribute to a better understanding of the mechanical response of nitride compound-based nanotubes, covering a broad range, from the well-studied boron nitride NTs to the hypothetical thallium nitride NTs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Advanced Nanomaterials and Nanotechnology)
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16 pages, 4474 KiB  
Article
Viscoelastic Analysis of Asphalt Concrete with a Digitally Reconstructed Microstructure
by Marek Klimczak
Materials 2024, 17(10), 2443; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ma17102443 - 18 May 2024
Viewed by 418
Abstract
In the finite element analysis of asphalt concrete (AC), it is nowadays common to incorporate the information from the underlying scales to study the overall response of this material. Heterogeneity observed at the asphalt mixture scale is analyzed in this paper. Reliable finite [...] Read more.
In the finite element analysis of asphalt concrete (AC), it is nowadays common to incorporate the information from the underlying scales to study the overall response of this material. Heterogeneity observed at the asphalt mixture scale is analyzed in this paper. Reliable finite element analysis (FEA) of asphalt concrete comprises a set of complex issues. The two main aspects of the asphalt concrete FEA discussed in this study are: (1) digital reconstruction of the asphalt pavement microstructure using processing of the high-quality images; and (2) FEA of the asphalt concrete idealized samples accounting for the viscoelastic material model. Reconstruction of the asphalt concrete microstructure is performed using a sequence of image processing operations (binarization, removing holes, filtering, segmentation and boundaries detection). Geometry of the inclusions (aggregate) are additionally simplified in a controlled mode to reduce the numerical cost of the analysis. As is demonstrated in the study, the introduced geometry simplifications are justified. Computational cost reduction exceeds of several orders of magnitude additional modeling error occurring due to the applied simplification technique. Viscoelastic finite element analysis of the AC identified microstructure is performed using the Burgers material model. The analysis algorithm is briefly described with a particular focus on the computational efficiency aspects. In order to illustrate the proposed approach, a set of 2D problems is solved. Numerical results confirm both the effectiveness of the self-developed code and the applicability of the Burgers model to the analyzed class of AC analysis problems. Further research directions are also described to highlight the potential benefits of the developed approach to numerical modeling of asphalt concrete. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Experimental Tests and Numerical Analysis of Construction Materials)
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16 pages, 3070 KiB  
Article
Influence of Carboxymethyl Cellulose as a Thickening Agent for Glauber’s Salt-Based Low Temperature PCM
by Jay Thakkar, Sai Bhargav Annavajjala, Margaret J. Sobkowicz and Jan Kosny
Materials 2024, 17(10), 2442; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ma17102442 - 18 May 2024
Viewed by 599
Abstract
This work is focused on a novel, promising low temperature phase change material (PCM), based on the eutectic Glauber’s salt composition. To allow phase transition within the refrigeration range of temperatures of +5 °C to +12 °C, combined with a high repeatability of [...] Read more.
This work is focused on a novel, promising low temperature phase change material (PCM), based on the eutectic Glauber’s salt composition. To allow phase transition within the refrigeration range of temperatures of +5 °C to +12 °C, combined with a high repeatability of melting–freezing processes, and minimized subcooling, the application of three variants of sodium carboxymethyl cellulose (Na-CMC) with distinct molecular weights (700,000, 250,000, and 90,000) is considered. The primary objective is to optimize the stabilization of this eutectic PCM formulation, while maintaining the desired enthalpy level. Preparation methods are refined to ensure repeatability in mixing components, thereby optimizing performance and stability. Additionally, the influence of Na-CMC molecular weight on stabilization is examined through differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), T-history, and rheology tests. The PCM formulation of interest builds upon prior research in which borax, ammonium chloride, and potassium chloride were used as additives to sodium sulfate decahydrate (Glauber’s salt), prioritizing environmentally responsible materials. The results reveal that CMC with molecular weights of 250 kg/mol and 90 kg/mol effectively stabilize the PCM without phase separation issues, slowing crystallization kinetics. Conversely, CMC of 700 kg/mol proved ineffective due to the disruption of gel formation at its low gel point, hindering higher concentrations. Calculations of ionic concentration indicate higher Na ion content in PCM stabilized with 90 kg/mol CMC, suggesting increased ionic interactions and gel strength. A tradeoff is discovered between the faster crystallization in lower molecular weight CMC and the higher concentration required, which increases the amount of inert material that does not participate in the phase transition. After thermal cycling, the best formulation had a latent heat of 130 J/g with no supercooling, demonstrating excellent performance. This work advances PCM’s reliability as a thermal energy storage solution for diverse applications and highlights the complex relationship between Na-CMC molecular weight and PCM stabilization. Full article
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14 pages, 14922 KiB  
Article
Influence of Fibre Orientation on the Slotting Quality of CFRP Composites Using the Multi-Tooth Mill
by Ying Zhai, Shuwei Lv, Defeng Yan, Shuaishuai Wang, Junyi Lin, Chunyu Mao, Qihao Xu and Jiyu Liu
Materials 2024, 17(10), 2441; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ma17102441 - 18 May 2024
Viewed by 416
Abstract
Carbon fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP) composites, prized for their exceptional properties, often encounter surface quality issues during slotting due to their inherent heterogeneity. This paper tackles CFRP slotting challenges by employing multi-tooth mills in experiments with various fibre orientations and tool feed rates. In-plane [...] Read more.
Carbon fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP) composites, prized for their exceptional properties, often encounter surface quality issues during slotting due to their inherent heterogeneity. This paper tackles CFRP slotting challenges by employing multi-tooth mills in experiments with various fibre orientations and tool feed rates. In-plane scratching tests are performed under linearly varying loads; then, slotting experiments are conducted at different parameters. The scratching test results indicate that the fibre orientation and cutting angles have significant influences on forces and fracture process. The slotting experiments demonstrate that cutting forces and surface roughness Sa of the bottom slotting surface are notably affected by the fibre orientation, with disparities between up-milling and down-milling sides. Reorganising Sa data by local fibre cutting angle θ highlights consistent Sa variations between up-milling and down-milling sides for 0° ≤ θ ≤ 90°, with lower Sa on the up-milling side. However, for 90° < θ ≤ 150°, Sa variations diverge, with lower Sa on the down-milling side. Unexpectedly, Sa on the down-milling side decreases with increasing θ in this range. Additionally, the tool feed rate exerts a more pronounced influence on Sa on the up-milling side. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Precision Machining and Micro-/Nano Manufacturing)
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17 pages, 6127 KiB  
Article
Influence of Solute Drag Effect and Interphase Precipitation of Nb on Ferrite Transformation
by Yiming Cai, Ran Wei, Duoduo Jin, Honghong Wang, Xiangliang Wan, Chengyang Hu and Kaiming Wu
Materials 2024, 17(10), 2440; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ma17102440 - 18 May 2024
Viewed by 403
Abstract
The significant impact of Nb on ferrite transformation, both in terms of solute drag effect (SDE) and interphase precipitation, was investigated quantitatively. Ferrite transformation kinetics were characterized using thermal expansion experiments and theoretical calculations. The microstructures were characterized using high−temperature confocal laser scanning [...] Read more.
The significant impact of Nb on ferrite transformation, both in terms of solute drag effect (SDE) and interphase precipitation, was investigated quantitatively. Ferrite transformation kinetics were characterized using thermal expansion experiments and theoretical calculations. The microstructures were characterized using high−temperature confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM), a field−emission scanning electron microscope (FESEM), and a transmission electron microscope (TEM). Under a higher driving force, interphase precipitations were observed in the sample with a higher Nb content. A three−dimensional (3D) reconstruction method was used to convert the two−dimensional (2D) image of interphase precipitation into a three−dimensional model for a more typical view. The SDE and interphase precipitation had opposite effects on the kinetics of ferrite transformation. A lower Nb content showed a strong contribution to the SDE, which delayed ferrite transformation. A higher concentration of Nb was expected to enhance the SDE, but the inhibition effect was eliminated by the interphase precipitation of NbC during interfacial migration. Both the experimental results and theoretical calculations confirmed this phenomenon. Full article
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