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Fibers, Volume 9, Issue 11 (November 2021) – 13 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Layer-by-layer (LbL) deposition with phytic acid (PA), chitosan (CH), urea, and copper(II)sulphate (CuSO4) was used to obtain flame retardant and antimicrobial cotton. Limiting oxygen index (LOI) of cotton treated with 12BL of PA/CH-urea+Cu2+ was 26% and the sample passed VFT. Peak heat release rate (pHRR) obtained by microscale combustion calorimeter (MCC) showed a reduction of more than 61% as well as the reduction of the total heat release (THR) of more than 54% relative to untreated cotton. Antibacterial testing shows 100% reduction of gram-negative Klebsiella pneumoniae and gram-positive Staphylococcus aureus. LbL proved to be an ecologically-friendly multifunctional nanocoating and efficient alternative to commercial treatments.View this paper
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Article
Seismic Behavior of Steel-Fiber-Reinforced High-Strength Concrete Shear Wall with CFST Columns: Experimental Investigation
Fibers 2021, 9(11), 75; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/fib9110075 - 22 Nov 2021
Viewed by 237
Abstract
To improve the seismic behavior of shear walls, a new composite shear wall composed of a steel-fiber-reinforced high-strength concrete (SFRHC) web and two square concrete-filled steel tube (CFST) columns, namely a steel-fiber-reinforced concrete shear wall with CFST columns, is proposed in this paper. [...] Read more.
To improve the seismic behavior of shear walls, a new composite shear wall composed of a steel-fiber-reinforced high-strength concrete (SFRHC) web and two square concrete-filled steel tube (CFST) columns, namely a steel-fiber-reinforced concrete shear wall with CFST columns, is proposed in this paper. Therefore, the main purpose of this paper is to present an experimental investigation of the seismic behavior of the SFRHC shear wall with CFST columns. Pseudo-static tests were carried out on seven composite shear walls, and the seismic performance of the shear walls was studied and quantified in terms of the aspects of energy consumption, ductility and stiffness degradation. Furthermore, the experimental results indicated that adding steel fiber can effectively restrain the crack propagation of composite shear walls and further help to improve the ductility and energy dissipation capacity of composite shear walls and delay the degradation of their lateral stiffness and force. Moreover, the seismic behavior of the SFRHC shear wall with CFST columns was obviously superior to that of the conventionally reinforced shear wall, in terms of load-bearing capacity, ductility, stiffness and energy dissipation capacity, because of the confinement effect of the CFST columns on the web. Finally, the preliminary study demonstrated that the composite shear wall has good potential to be used in regions with high seismic risk. Full article
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Article
Mechanical Performance of Fused Filament Fabricated and 3D-Printed Polycarbonate Polymer and Polycarbonate/Cellulose Nanofiber Nanocomposites
Fibers 2021, 9(11), 74; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/fib9110074 - 18 Nov 2021
Viewed by 248
Abstract
In this study, nanocomposites were fabricated with polycarbonate (PC) as the matrix material. Cellulose Nanofiber (CNF) at low filler loadings (0.5 wt.% and 1.0 wt.%) was used as the filler. Samples were produced using melt mixing extrusion with the Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) [...] Read more.
In this study, nanocomposites were fabricated with polycarbonate (PC) as the matrix material. Cellulose Nanofiber (CNF) at low filler loadings (0.5 wt.% and 1.0 wt.%) was used as the filler. Samples were produced using melt mixing extrusion with the Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) process. The optimum 3D-printing parameters were experimentally determined and the required specimens for each tested material were manufactured using FFF 3D printing. Tests conducted for mechanical performance were tensile, flexural, impact, and Dynamic Mechanical Analysis (DMA) tests, while images of the side and the fracture area of the specimens were acquired using Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), aiming to determine the morphology of the specimens and the fracture mechanism. It was concluded that the filler’s ratio addition of 0.5 wt.% created the optimum performance when compared to pure PC and PC CNF 1.0 wt.% nanocomposite material. Full article
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Article
Experimental Study on Evaluation of Replacing Minimum Web Reinforcement with Discrete Fibers in RC Deep Beams
Fibers 2021, 9(11), 73; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/fib9110073 - 11 Nov 2021
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Abstract
This study investigates the possibility of replacing the minimum web reinforcement in deep beams with discrete fibers. Additionally, the equivalent dosage of fibers required to obtain similar performance of the deep beam with minimum web reinforcement is investigated. Deep beams made of plain [...] Read more.
This study investigates the possibility of replacing the minimum web reinforcement in deep beams with discrete fibers. Additionally, the equivalent dosage of fibers required to obtain similar performance of the deep beam with minimum web reinforcement is investigated. Deep beams made of plain concrete with no fibers, beams with minimum web reinforcement as per AASHTO LFRD recommendations (0.3% in both horizontal and vertical), and with a 0.5% volume fraction of steel, macro-synthetic and hybrid fibers are tested at a shear span to height ratio (a/h) of one. Test results show that the presence of 0.3% web reinforcement in horizontal and vertical directions increased the peak load by 25% compared to the plain concrete beams. However, it did not significantly change the first diagonal crack load. With the addition of 0.5% of steel, macro-synthetic and hybrid fibers, the peak load increased by 49%, 42%, and 63%, respectively, compared to the plain concrete specimen. The addition of steel fibers significantly improved the first cracking load. In contrast, macro-synthetic fibers did not affect the first cracking load but improved the ductility with higher deflections at peak. Hybridization of steel and macro synthetic fibers showed improved performance compared to the individual fibers of the same volume in peak load and ductility. Test results showed that a 0.5% volume fraction of discrete macro steel or synthetic or hybrid fibers can be used to completely replace the minimum web reinforcement (0.3% in both directions). Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Fiber-Reinforced Cementitious Composites)
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Communication
Angle-Resolved Hollow-Core Fiber-Based Curvature Sensing Approach
Fibers 2021, 9(11), 72; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/fib9110072 - 04 Nov 2021
Viewed by 305
Abstract
We propose and theoretically study a new hollow-core fiber-based curvature sensing approach with the capability of detecting both curvature radius and angle. The new sensing method relies on a tubular-lattice fiber that encompasses, in its microstructure, tubes with three different thicknesses. By adequately [...] Read more.
We propose and theoretically study a new hollow-core fiber-based curvature sensing approach with the capability of detecting both curvature radius and angle. The new sensing method relies on a tubular-lattice fiber that encompasses, in its microstructure, tubes with three different thicknesses. By adequately choosing the placement of the tubes within the fiber cross-section, and by exploring the spectral shifts of the fiber transmitted spectrum due to the curvature-induced mode field distributions’ displacements, we demonstrate a multi-axis curvature sensing method. In the proposed platform, curvature radii and angles are retrieved via a suitable calibration routine, which is based on conveniently adjusting empirical functions to the fiber response. Evaluation of the sensing method performance for selected cases allowed the curvature radii and angles to be determined with percentual errors of less than 7%. The approach proposed herein provides a promising path for the accomplishment of new curvature sensors able to resolve both the curvature radius and angle. Full article
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Article
Tensile, Flexural, and Morphological Properties of Jute/Oil Palm Pressed Fruit Fibers Reinforced High Density Polyethylene Hybrid Composites
Fibers 2021, 9(11), 71; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/fib9110071 - 02 Nov 2021
Viewed by 304
Abstract
The incorporation of materials that were formally regarded as agricultural wastes into polymeric matrix has drawn the attention of many researchers in recent years. This research focused on reinforcing high-density polyethylene (HDPE) matrix with treated jute fiber (JF)/oil palm pressed fruit fibers (OPPFF) [...] Read more.
The incorporation of materials that were formally regarded as agricultural wastes into polymeric matrix has drawn the attention of many researchers in recent years. This research focused on reinforcing high-density polyethylene (HDPE) matrix with treated jute fiber (JF)/oil palm pressed fruit fibers (OPPFF) at varying weight proportions. JF and OPPFF were cut to 2.5 mm length and were chemically treated thereafter with 1 M and 1.5 M sodium hydroxide solution respectively. The composites were produced using the compression molding technique. The morphological characterization of the fibers and composites for untreated and treated samples was studied with the aid of a scanning electron microscope (SEM). Tensile and flexural properties of the produced composite samples were also determined. From the result, the surface morphology of the fiber after treatment showed that there was obvious exposure of the fiber surface and removal of impurities as this influenced the microstructure of the composites and in turn the tensile and flexural properties. Hence, it was observed that 20 wt.% treated jute fiber addition shows the most significant enhancements in terms of tensile and flexural properties. The study exposed the effect of surface modification of JF/OPPF hybridization on HDPE matrix composite. Full article
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Article
Calcium Chloride Treated Highly Elastane Cotton Fabrics as Antibacterial, Comfortable and Environmentally Friendly Materials
Fibers 2021, 9(11), 70; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/fib9110070 - 02 Nov 2021
Viewed by 318
Abstract
In the paper, the results of experiments on high elastane cotton crochet warp knitting fabrics treated with different calcium chloride solutions by the pad-dry-cure method have been reported. The tests for evaluating the antibacterial activity, thermophysiological comfort properties, physical performance of the samples [...] Read more.
In the paper, the results of experiments on high elastane cotton crochet warp knitting fabrics treated with different calcium chloride solutions by the pad-dry-cure method have been reported. The tests for evaluating the antibacterial activity, thermophysiological comfort properties, physical performance of the samples were performed. In addition, the characterization analyses, including SEM, EDX, FTIR-attenuated total reflectance (ATR), and XRD, afforded indications of the good crosslinking of the CaCl2 onto the cotton/elastane samples. At a higher degree of activity, the calcium-chloride-treated fabrics were rated as having good antibacterial activity, being exceptionally breathable, and being comfortable with good physical properties such as stiffness, handle, and whiteness properties. Full article
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Article
Environmentally Benign Phytic Acid-Based Nanocoating for Multifunctional Flame-Retardant/Antibacterial Cotton
Fibers 2021, 9(11), 69; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/fib9110069 - 31 Oct 2021
Viewed by 428
Abstract
Environmentally benign layer-by-layer (LbL) deposition was used to obtain flame-retardant and antimicrobial cotton. Cotton was coated with 8, 10, and 12 phytic acid (PA) and chitosan (CH)-urea bilayers (BL) and then immersed into copper (II) sulfate (CuSO4) solution. Our findings were [...] Read more.
Environmentally benign layer-by-layer (LbL) deposition was used to obtain flame-retardant and antimicrobial cotton. Cotton was coated with 8, 10, and 12 phytic acid (PA) and chitosan (CH)-urea bilayers (BL) and then immersed into copper (II) sulfate (CuSO4) solution. Our findings were that 12 BL of PA/CH-urea + Cu2+ were able to stop flame on cotton during vertical flammability testing (VFT) with a limiting oxygen index (LOI) value of 26%. Microscale combustion calorimeter (MCC) data showed a reduction of peak heat release rates (pHRR) of more than 61%, while the reduction of total heat release (THR) was more than 54%, relative to untreated cotton. TG-IR analysis of 12 BL-treated cotton showed the release of water, methane, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, and aldehydes, while by adding Cu2+ ions, the treated cotton produces a lower amount of methane. Treated cotton also showed no levoglucosan. The intumescent behavior of the treatment was indicated by the bubbled structure of the post-burn char. Antibacterial testing showed a 100% reduction of Klebsiella pneumoniae and Staphylococcus aureus. In this study, cotton was successfully functionalized with a multifunctional ecologically benign flame-retardant and antibacterial nanocoating, by means of LbL deposition. Full article
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Article
Natural-Fibrous Lime-Based Mortar for the Rapid Retrofitting of Heritage Masonry Buildings
Fibers 2021, 9(11), 68; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/fib9110068 - 30 Oct 2021
Viewed by 285
Abstract
The present work aims to define the mechanical behavior of a new composite material for the preservation and enhancement of the vast historical and architectural heritage particularly vulnerable to environmental and seismic actions. The new composite represents a novelty in the landscape of [...] Read more.
The present work aims to define the mechanical behavior of a new composite material for the preservation and enhancement of the vast historical and architectural heritage particularly vulnerable to environmental and seismic actions. The new composite represents a novelty in the landscape of the fibrous mortars and consists of natural hydraulic lime (NHL)-based mortar, strengthened by Sisal short fibers randomly oriented in the mortar matrix. The developed mortar ensures the chemical-physical compatibility with the original features of the historical masonry structures (especially in stone and clay) aiming to pursue the effectiveness and durability of the intervention. The use of vegetal fibers (i.e., the Sisal one) is an exciting challenge for the construction industry considering that they require a lower level of industrialization for their processing, and therefore, their costs are considerably lower, as compared to the most common synthetic/metal fibers. Samples of Sisal-composite are tested in three-point bending, aiming to estimate both their bending stress and fracture energy. Tensile and compressive tests were also performed on the composite samples, while water retention and slump test were performed on the fresh mix. At last, the tensile tests on the Sisal strand were performed to evaluate the tensile stress of both strand and wire. An original mechanical interpretation is proposed to explain two interesting phenomena that arose from the analysis of experimental data. The comparison among the performances of unreinforced and reinforced mortar suggests that the use of short fibers is recommendable as coating in the retrofitting interventions alternatively to the long uni or bi-directional fiber strands adopted in the classic fibrous reinforcement (i.e., FRCM). The proposed composite also ensures mix-independent great workability, excellent ductility, and strength, and it can be considered a promising alternative to the classic fiber-reinforcing systems. As final remarks, the use of fiber F1 (length of 24 mm) with respect to fiber F2 (length of 13 mm) is more recommendable in the retrofitting interventions of historical buildings, ensuring higher strength and/or ductility for the composite. Full article
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Erratum
Erratum: Sakhabutdinov et al. Numerical Method for Coupled Nonlinear Schrödinger Equations in Few-Mode Fiber. Fibers 2021, 9, 1
Fibers 2021, 9(11), 67; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/fib9110067 - 29 Oct 2021
Viewed by 167
Abstract
The authors wish to make a change to the author names (adding a new author—Ildaris M [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Optical Fibers as a Key Element of Distributed Sensor Systems)
Article
Cyclic Response of Bolted and Hybrid Pultruded FRP Beam-Column Joints between I-Shaped Sections
Fibers 2021, 9(11), 66; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/fib9110066 - 28 Oct 2021
Viewed by 303
Abstract
This paper presents cyclic behaviour of bolted and hybrid–combined bolted and bonded fibre reinforced polymer (FRP) beam-to-column joints between I-shaped members using steel and FRP cleats. Five full-scale cyclic tests are carried out to study moment-rotation behaviour, cyclic response, and failure patterns. The [...] Read more.
This paper presents cyclic behaviour of bolted and hybrid–combined bolted and bonded fibre reinforced polymer (FRP) beam-to-column joints between I-shaped members using steel and FRP cleats. Five full-scale cyclic tests are carried out to study moment-rotation behaviour, cyclic response, and failure patterns. The test parameters include position of cleat (flange or combined web and flange), fastening method (bolting or hybrid–combining bolting and bonding) and cleat material (steel or FRP). First two tests had bolted and hybrid joints with steel flange and web double angles. Next two tests had the same joint detailing but with no web cleats. Last test used bolted joint only with FRP web and flange cleats. Three failure modes were observed: shear-out failure of the beam’s bolted zone, adhesive debonding with shear-out failure and delamination cracking. Cyclic performance of the joints was assessed by hysteresis moment-rotation curves and accumulated dissipated energy. Hybrid joints showed the best overall cyclic performance with accumulated dissipated energy about 75% higher than the bolted joints. Bolted joints with FRP cleats exhibited the worst cyclic performance. Flange cleated joints showed similar performance to web and flange cleated joints. Full article
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Article
Influence of Polypropylene, Carbon and Hybrid Coated Fiber on the Interfacial Microstructure Development of Cementitious Composites
Fibers 2021, 9(11), 65; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/fib9110065 - 26 Oct 2021
Viewed by 339
Abstract
Concrete is the most used construction material in the world; however, its deficiency in shrinkage and low tensile resistance is undeniable. Used as secondary reinforcement, fibers can modify concrete properties in various ways. Carbon-fiber-reinforced concrete is highly suitable to maintain longevity of infrastructure [...] Read more.
Concrete is the most used construction material in the world; however, its deficiency in shrinkage and low tensile resistance is undeniable. Used as secondary reinforcement, fibers can modify concrete properties in various ways. Carbon-fiber-reinforced concrete is highly suitable to maintain longevity of infrastructure where corrosion of steel can shorten the useful service life of the structure while polypropylene fibers can mostly improve the shrinkage of concrete. However, the biggest challenge with fiber-reinforced concrete is the appearance of the poorly structured interfacial transition zone around the fibers. In this study, environmentally friendly and low-cost attempts were made to coat fibers with fly ash to enhance the structure of mortar around the fibers. Coated carbon and polypropylene fibers were used in mortar in single and hybrid forms to investigate the efficiency of fiber coating methods on mechanical and durability properties of fiber-reinforced cement mortar. A minimal dosage of 0.25% and 0.5% (by volume) PAN-based carbon fiber and polypropylene fiber was added to mortar to make low-cost mixes. Compressive, tensile and three-point bending tests were done after 14 and 28 days of curing, and the results were analyzed. The results showed higher compressive strength in coated fiber-reinforced samples and comparable results in tensile strength, flexural strength, and toughness parameters. Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) photos and Energy-Dispersive X-ray (EDX) analysis approved the efficacy of the coating methods. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Fiber-Reinforced Cementitious Composites)
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Article
Increasing the Performance of a Fiber-Reinforced Concrete for Protective Facilities
Fibers 2021, 9(11), 64; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/fib9110064 - 25 Oct 2021
Viewed by 414
Abstract
The use of fiber in cement materials is a promising and effective replacement for bar reinforcement. A wide range of fiber-reinforced concretes based on composite binders with increased impact strength characteristics have been developed. The synthesized composites included the composite binder made of [...] Read more.
The use of fiber in cement materials is a promising and effective replacement for bar reinforcement. A wide range of fiber-reinforced concretes based on composite binders with increased impact strength characteristics have been developed. The synthesized composites included the composite binder made of Portland cement, silica, and carbonate additives. Basalt and steel were used as fibers. The nature of the influence of the composition and manufacturing technology of cement composites on the dynamic hardening coefficient has been established, while the growth of these indicators is achieved by creating a denser interfacial transition zone between the cement paste, aggregate, and fiber as a result of improving the homogeneity of the concrete mixture and controlling the consistency. Workability indicators (slump flow up to 730 mm; spreading time up to a diameter of 50 cm is up to 3 s) allow them to be classified as self-compacting concrete mixtures. An increase in the values of the impact strength coefficient by a factor of 5.5, the dynamic hardening coefficient by almost 70% as a result of interfacial interaction between fibers and binder matrix in the concrete composite, as well as absorption of impact energy by fiber, was revealed. The formula describing the effect of the loading rate on the coefficient of dynamic hardening of fiber-reinforced concrete has been refined. The fracture processes of the obtained materials have been established: after the initiation of primary cracks, the structure of the composite absorbs impact energy for a long time, while in the inelastic range (the onset of cracking and peak loads), a large number of secondary cracks appear. Full article
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Article
Properties of Mexican Tropical Palm Oil Flower and Fruit Fibers for Their Prospective Use in Eco-Friendly Construction Material
Fibers 2021, 9(11), 63; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/fib9110063 - 25 Oct 2021
Viewed by 352
Abstract
The palm oil industry is the leading source of palm oil waste fibers. The disposal of palm oil waste fibers by burning or dumping causes environmental issues such as the emission of CO2 and a diminution in soil fertility. Natural fiber reuse [...] Read more.
The palm oil industry is the leading source of palm oil waste fibers. The disposal of palm oil waste fibers by burning or dumping causes environmental issues such as the emission of CO2 and a diminution in soil fertility. Natural fiber reuse in construction materials such as concrete, mortar and adobe bricks as reinforcement provides a possible eco-friendly solution for fiber waste management. Palm oil flower fibers (POFL) obtained from palm oil empty fruit bunches and palm oil fruit fibers (POFR) obtained from palm oil fruit are two important types of palm oil fibers. Valorization of palm oil fibers requires a detailed analysis of their physical, chemical and mechanical characteristics. In this research, tropical palm oil flower and palm oil fruit fibers from Mexico were studied. Fiber extraction, preparation and testing were performed to observe their characteristics, which include water absorption, density, length, section estimation, chemical composition, thermal conductivity, thermal analysis (ATG) and tensile strength. The length, diameter and density of natural fibers have a significant influence on the strength and quality of composite materials. The characteristics of fibers vary with their chemical composition. Mechanical testing of palm oil fibers indicates a large variation in the tensile strength of palm oil flower and fruit fibers. Both palm oil flower and palm oil fruit fibers exhibit bilinear tensile load–deflection behavior associated with the alignment of cellulose along their fiber axis. The thermal characteristics of fibers indicate low thermal stability and thermal conductivity, which are essential for their use in building materials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Fiber-Reinforced Cementitious Composites)
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