Scholarly Research Excellence

Digital Open Science Index

Commenced in January 2007 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 197

Photopolymerization of Dimethacrylamide with (Meth)acrylates
A photopolymerizable dimethacrylamide was synthesized and copolymerized with the selected (meth)acrylates. The polymerization rate, degree of conversion, gel time, and compressive strength of the formed neat resins were investigated. The results show that in situ photo-polymerization of the synthesized dimethacrylamide with comonomers having an electron-withdrawing and/or acrylate group dramatically increased the polymerization rate, degree of conversion, and compressive strength. On the other hand, an electron-donating group on either carbon-carbon double bond or the ester linkage slowed down the polymerization. In contrast, the triethylene glycol dimethacrylate-based system did not show a clear pattern. Both strong hydrogen-bonding between (meth)acrylamide and organic acid groups may be responsible for higher compressive strengths. Within the limitation of this study, the photo-polymerization of dimethacrylamide can be greatly accelerated by copolymerization with monomers having electron-withdrawing and/or acrylate groups. The monomers with methacrylate group can significantly reduce the polymerization rate and degree of conversion.
Effect of Curing Temperature on Mechanical Properties of Jute Fiber Reinforced Polylactic Acid Based Green Composite
Global warming, growing awareness of the environment, waste management issues, dwindling fossil resources, and rising oil prices resulted to increase the research in the materials that are friendly to our health and environment. Due to these reasons, green products are increasingly being promoted for sustainable development. In this work, fully biodegradable green composites have been developed using jute fibers as reinforcement and poly lactic acid as matrix material by film stacking technique. The effect of curing temperature during development of composites ranging from 160 °C, 170 °C, 180 °C and 190 °C was investigated for various mechanical properties. Results obtained from various tests indicate that impact strength decreases with an increase in curing temperature, but tensile and flexural strength increases till 180 °C, thereafter both the properties decrease. This study gives an optimum curing temperature for the development of jute/PLA composites.
First Person View Camera Based Quadcopter with Raspberry Pi

This paper studies in details about the need of quadcopter in various fields especially in the place of remote area where the road transportation facility is very less. It is used to monitor and collect data in a specific region. The movement of this quadcopter is controlled by the Raspberry Pi. FPV camera is used for capturing the image and will transmit the image to the receiver which can be monitored using an android smart phone. This is mainly used for surveillance purpose and hidden activities can be captured.

Preparation and Characterization of Maltodextrin Microcapsules Containing Walnut Green Husk Extract

In recent years, the field of natural antimicrobial and antioxidant compounds is one of the main research topics in the food industry. Application of agricultural residues is mainly cheap, and available resources are receiving increased attention. Walnut green husk is one of the agricultural residues that is considered as natural compounds with biological properties because of phenolic compounds. In this study, maltodextrin 10% was used for microencapsulation of walnut green husk extract. At first, the extract was examined to consider extraction yield, total phenolic compounds, and antioxidant activation. The results showed the extraction yield of 81.43%, total phenolic compounds of 3997 [mg GAE/100 g], antioxidant activity [DPPH] of 84.85% for walnut green husk extract. Antioxidant activity is about 75%-81% and by DPPH. At the next stage, microencapsulation was done by spry-drying method. The microencapsulation efficiency was 72%-79%. The results of SEM tests confirmed this microencapsulation process. In addition, microencapsulated and free extract was more effective on gram-positive bacteria’s rather than the gram-negative ones. According to the study, walnut green husk can be used as a cheap antioxidant and antimicrobial compounds due to sufficient value of phenolic compounds.

Graft Copolymerization of Cellulose Acetate with Nitro-N-Amino Phenyl Maleimides

The construction of Nitro -N-amino phenyl maleimide branches onto Cellulose acetate (CA) substrate by free radical graft copolymerization using benzoyl peroxide as initiator led to formation of highly thermal stable copolymers as shown from the results of gravimetric analysis (TGA). CA-g-2,4-dinitro amino phenyl maleimide exhibited higher thermal stability than the CA-g-4-nitro amino phenyl maleimide as shown from the initial decomposition temperature (To). This is due to the ability of nitro group to form hydrogen bonding with hydroxyl group of the glucopyranose ring which increases the crystallinity of polymeric matrix. The crystalline shapes representing the graft part are clearly distinct in the Emission scanning electron microscope (ESEM) morphology of the copolymer. A suggested reaction mechanism for the grafting process was also discussed.

Investigation of Physical Properties of Asphalt Binder Modified by Recycled Polyethylene and Ground Tire Rubber

Modification of asphalt is a fundamental method around the world mainly on the purpose of providing more durable pavements which lead to diminish repairing cost during the lifetime of highways. Various polymers such as styrene-butadiene-styrene (SBS) and ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) make up the greater parts of the all-over asphalt modifiers generally providing better physical properties of asphalt by decreasing temperature dependency which eventually diminishes permanent deformation on highways such as rutting. However, some waste and low-cost materials such as recycled plastics and ground rubber tire have been attempted to utilize in asphalt as modifier instead of manufactured polymer modifiers due to decreasing the eventual highway cost. On the other hand, the usage of recycled plastics has become a worldwide requirement and awareness in order to decrease the pollution made by waste plastics. Hence, finding an area in which recycling plastics could be utilized has been targeted by many research teams so as to reduce polymer manufacturing and plastic pollution. To this end, in this paper, thermoplastic dynamic vulcanizate (TDV) obtained from recycled post-consumer polyethylene and ground tire rubber (GTR) were used to provide an efficient modifier for asphalt which decreases the production cost as well and finally might provide an ecological solution by decreasing polymer disposal problems. TDV was synthesized by the chemists in the research group by means of the abovementioned components that are considered as compatible physical characteristic of asphalt materials. TDV modified asphalt samples having different rate of proportions of 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 wt.% TDV modifier were prepared. Conventional tests, such as penetration, softening point and roll thin film oven (RTFO) tests were performed to obtain fundamental physical and aging properties of the base and modified binders. The high temperature performance grade (PG) of binders was determined by Superpave tests conducted on original and aged binders. The multiple stress creep and recovery (MSCR) test which is relatively up-to-date method for classifying asphalts taking account of their elasticity abilities was carried out to evaluate PG plus grades of binders. The results obtained from performance grading, and MSCR tests were also evaluated together so as to make a comparison between the methods both aiming to determine rheological parameters of asphalt. The test results revealed that TDV modification leads to a decrease in penetration, an increase in softening point, which proves an increasing stiffness of asphalt. DSR results indicate an improvement in PG for modified binders compared to base asphalt. On the other hand, MSCR results that are compatible with DSR results also indicate an enhancement on rheological properties of asphalt. However, according to the results, the improvement is not as distinct as observed in DSR results since elastic properties are fundamental in MSCR. At the end of the testing program, it can be concluded that TDV can be used as modifier which provides better rheological properties for asphalt and might diminish plastic waste pollution since the material is 100% recycled.

The Role of Initiator in the Synthesis of Poly(Methyl Methacrylate)-Layered Silicate Nanocomposites through Bulk Polymerization

The structure-property relationship and initiator effect on bulk polymerized poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA)–oragnomodified layered silicate nanocomposites was investigated. In this study, we used 2, 2'-azobis (4-methoxy-2,4-dimethyl valeronitrile and benzoyl peroxide initiators for bulk polymerization. The bulk polymerized nanocomposites’ morphology was investigated by X-ray diffraction and transmission electron microscopy. The type of initiator strongly influences the physiochemical properties of the polymer nanocomposite. The thermal degradation of PMMA in the presence of nanofiller was studied. 5 wt% weight loss temperature (T5d) increased as compared to pure PMMA. The peak degradation temperature increased for the nanocomposites. Differential scanning calorimetry and dynamic mechanical analysis were performed to investigate the glass transition temperature and the nature of the constrained region as the reinforcement mechanism respectively. Furthermore, the optical properties such as UV-Vis and Total Luminous Transmission of nanocomposites are examined.

Biodegradable Cellulose-Based Materials for the Use in Food Packaging

Cellulose acetate (CA) is a natural biodegradable polymer. It forms transparent films by the casting technique. CA suffers from high degree of water permeability as well as the low thermal stability at high temperatures. To adjust the CA polymeric films to the manufacture of food packaging, its thermal and mechanical properties should be improved. The modification of CA by grafting it with N-Amino phenyl maleimide (N-APhM) led to the construction of hydrophobic branches throughout the polymeric matrix which reduced its wettability as compared to the parent CA. The branches built onto the polymeric chains had been characterized by UV/Vis, 13C-NMR and ESEM. The improvement of the thermal properties was investigated and compared to the parent CA using thermal gravimetric analysis (TGA), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), differential thermal analysis (DTA), contact angle and mechanical testing measurements. The results revealed that the water-uptake was reduced by increasing the graft percentage. The thermal and mechanical properties were also improved.

Antimicrobial and Aroma Finishing of Organic Cotton Knits Using Vetiver Oil Microcapsules for Health Care Textiles

Eco-friendly textiles are gaining importance among the consumers and textile manufacturers in the healthcare sector due to increased environmental pollution which leads to several health and environmental hazards. Hence, the research was designed to cultivate and develop the organic cotton knit, to prepare and characterize the Vetiver oil microcapsules for textile finishing and to access the wash durability of finished knits. The cotton SAHANA variety grown under organic production systems was processed and spun into 30 single yarn dyed with four natural colorants (Arecanut slurry, Eucalyptus leaves, Pomegranate rind and Indigo) and eco dyed yarn was further used for development of single jersy knitted fabric. Vetiveria zizanioides is an aromatic grass which is being traditionally used in medicine and perfumery. Vetiver essential oil was used for preparation of microcapsules by interfacial polymerization technique subjected to Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry (GCMS), Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR), Thermo Gravimetric Analyzer (TGA) and Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) for characterization of microcapsules. The knitted fabric was finished with vetiver oil microcapsules by exhaust and pad dry cure methods. The finished organic knit was assessed for laundering on antimicrobial efficiency and aroma intensity. GCMS spectral analysis showed that, diethyl phthalate (28%) was the major compound found in vetiver oil followed by isoaromadendrene epoxide (7.72%), beta-vetivenene (6.92%), solavetivone (5.58%), aromadenderene, azulene and khusimol. Bioassay explained that, the vetiver oil and diluted vetiver oil possessed greater zone of inhibition against S. aureus and E. coli than the coconut oil. FTRI spectra of vetiver oil and microcapsules possessed similar peaks viz., C-H, C=C & C꞊O stretching and additionally oil microcapsules possessed the peak of 3331.24 cm-1 at 91.14 transmittance was attributed to N-H stretches. TGA of oil microcapsules revealed that, there was a minimum weight loss (5.835%) recorded at 467.09°C compared to vetiver oil i.e., -3.026% at the temperature of 396.24°C. The shape of the microcapsules was regular and round, some were spherical in shape and few were rounded by small aggregates. Irrespective of methods of application, organic cotton knits finished with microcapsules by pad dry cure method showed maximum zone of inhibition compared to knits finished by exhaust method against S. aureus and E. coli. The antimicrobial activity of the finished samples was subjected to multiple washing which indicated that knits finished with pad dry cure method showed a zone of inhibition even after 20th wash and better aroma retention compared to knits finished with the exhaust method of application. Further, the group of respondents rated that the 5th washed samples had the greater aroma intensity in both the methods than the other samples. Thus, the vetiver microencapsulated organic cotton knits are free from hazardous chemicals and have multi-functional properties that can be suitable for medical and healthcare textiles.

Study on the Application of Lime to Improve the Rheological Properties of Polymer Modified Bitumen

Bitumen is one of the most applicable materials in pavement engineering. It is a binding material with unique viscoelastic properties, especially when it mixes with polymer. In this study, to figure out the viscoelastic behaviour of the polymer modified with bitumen (PMB), a series of dynamic shearing rheological (DSR) tests were conducted. Four percentages of lime (i.e. 1%, 2%, 4% and 5%) were mixed with PMB and tested under four different temperatures including 64ºC, 70ºC, 76ºC and 82ºC. The results indicated that complex shearing modulus (G*) increased by increasing the frequency due to raised resistance against deformation. The phase angle (δ) showed a decreasing trend by incrementing the frequency. The addition of lime percentages increased the complex modulus value and declined phase angle parameter. Increasing the temperature decreased the complex modulus and increased the phase angle until 70ºC. The decreasing trend of rutting factor with increasing temperature revealed that rutting factor improved by the addition of the lime to the PMB.

Numerical Study for Compressive Strength of Basalt Composite Sandwich Infill Panel

In this study, we investigated the buckling performance of basalt fiber reinforced polymer (BFRP) sandwich infill panels. Fiber Reinforced Polymer (FRP) is a major evolution for energy dissipation when used as infill material of frame structure, a basic Polymer Matrix Composite (PMC) infill wall system consists of two FRP laminates surrounding an infill of foam core. Furthermore, this type of component is for retrofitting and strengthening frame structure to withstand the seismic disaster. In-plane compression was considered in the numerical analysis with ABAQUS platform to determine the buckling failure load of BFRP infill panel system. The present result shows that the sandwich BFRP infill panel system has higher resistance to buckling failure than those of glass fiber reinforced polymer (GFRP) infill panel system, i.e. 16% increase in buckling resistance capacity.

Buckling Resistance of Basalt Fiber Reinforced Polymer Infill Panel Subjected to Elevated Temperatures

Performance of Basalt Fiber Reinforced Polymer (BFRP) sandwich infill panel system under diagonal compression was studied by means of numerical analysis. Furthermore, the variation of temperature was considered to affect the mechanical properties of BFRP, since their composition was based on polymeric material. Moreover, commercial finite element analysis platform ABAQUS was used to model and analyze this infill panel system. Consequently, results of the analyses show that the overall performance of BFRP panel had a 15% increase compared to that of GFRP infill panel system. However, the variation of buckling load in terms of temperature for the BFRP system showed a more sensitive nature compared to those of GFRP system.

Flow Performance of Hybrid Cement Based Mortars
The workability of hybrid alkaline cements is a field of knowledge that still needs further research efforts. This paper reports experimental results of 32 hybrid cement mixes regarding the joint effect of sodium hydroxide concentration, the use of a commercial superplasticizer and a biopolymer on the flow and compressive strength performance. The results show that the use of commercial admixtures led to a slightly increase in the flow of mortars with lower sodium hydroxide concentration.
Mechanical Properties of Hybrid Cement Based Mortars Containing Two Biopolymers
The use of bio-based admixtures on construction materials is a recent trend that is gaining momentum. However, to our knowledge, no studies have been reported concerning the use of biopolymers on hybrid cement based mortars. This paper reports experimental results regarding the study of the influence of mix design of 43 hybrid cement mortars containing two different biopolymers on its mechanical performance. The results show that the use of the biopolymer carrageenan is much more effective than the biopolymer xanthan concerning the increase in compressive strength. An optimum biopolymer content was found.
Preparation and Characterization of Pectin Based Proton Exchange Membranes Derived by Solution Casting Method for Direct Methanol Fuel Cells
Direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs) are considered to be one of the most promising candidates for portable and stationary applications in the view of their advantages such as high energy density, easy manipulation, high efficiency and they operate with liquid fuel which could be used without requiring any fuel-processing units. Electrolyte membrane of DMFC plays a key role as a proton conductor as well as a separator between electrodes. Increasing concern over environmental protection, biopolymers gain tremendous interest owing to their eco-friendly bio-degradable nature. Pectin is a natural anionic polysaccharide which plays an essential part in regulating mechanical behavior of plant cell wall and it is extracted from outer cells of most of the plants. The aim of this study is to develop and demonstrate pectin based polymer composite membranes as methanol impermeable polymer electrolyte membranes for DMFCs. Pectin based nanocomposites membranes are prepared by solution-casting technique wherein pectin is blended with chitosan followed by the addition of optimal amount of sulphonic acid modified Titanium dioxide nanoparticle (S-TiO2). Nanocomposite membranes are characterized by Fourier Transform-Infra Red spectroscopy, Scanning electron microscopy, and Energy dispersive spectroscopy analyses. Proton conductivity and methanol permeability are determined into order to evaluate their suitability for DMFC application. Pectin-chitosan blends endow with a flexible polymeric network which is appropriate to disperse rigid S-TiO2 nanoparticles. Resulting nanocomposite membranes possess adequate thermo-mechanical stabilities as well as high charge-density per unit volume. Pectin-chitosan natural polymeric nanocomposite comprising optimal S-TiO2 exhibits good electrochemical selectivity and therefore desirable for DMFC application.
Improving Gas Separation Performance of Poly(Vinylidene Fluoride) Based Membranes Containing Ionic Liquid

Polymer based membranes are one of the low-cost technologies available for the gas separation. Three major elements required for a commercial gas separating membrane are high permeability, high selectivity, and good mechanical strength. Poly(vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF) is a commercially available fluoropolymer and a widely used membrane material in gas separation devices since it possesses remarkable thermal, chemical stability, and excellent mechanical strength. The PVDF membrane was chemically modified by soaking in different ionic liquids and dried. The thermal behavior of modified membranes was investigated by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), and thermogravimetry (TGA), and the results clearly show the best affinity between the ionic liquid and the polymer support. The porous structure of the PVDF membranes was clearly seen in the scanning electron microscopy (SEM) images. The CO₂ permeability of blended membranes was explored in comparison with the unmodified matrix. The ionic liquid immobilized in the hydrophobic PVDF support exhibited good performance for separations of CO₂/N₂. The improved permeability of modified membrane (PVDF-IL) is attributed to the high concentration of nitrogen rich imidazolium moieties.

Synthesis of Highly Sensitive Molecular Imprinted Sensor for Selective Determination of Doxycycline in Honey Samples
Doxycycline (DXy) is a cycline antibiotic, most frequently prescribed to treat bacterial infections in veterinary medicine. However, its broad antimicrobial activity and low cost, lead to an intensive use, which can seriously affect human health. Therefore, its spread in the food products has to be monitored. The scope of this work was to synthetize a sensitive and very selective molecularly imprinted polymer (MIP) for DXy detection in honey samples. Firstly, the synthesis of this biosensor was performed by casting a layer of carboxylate polyvinyl chloride (PVC-COOH) on the working surface of a gold screen-printed electrode (Au-SPE) in order to bind covalently the analyte under mild conditions. Secondly, DXy as a template molecule was bounded to the activated carboxylic groups, and the formation of MIP was performed by a biocompatible polymer by the mean of polyacrylamide matrix. Then, DXy was detected by measurements of differential pulse voltammetry (DPV). A non-imprinted polymer (NIP) prepared in the same conditions and without the use of template molecule was also performed. We have noticed that the elaborated biosensor exhibits a high sensitivity and a linear behavior between the regenerated current and the logarithmic concentrations of DXy from 0.1 pg.mL−1 to 1000 pg.mL−1. This technic was successfully applied to determine DXy residues in honey samples with a limit of detection (LOD) of 0.1 pg.mL−1 and an excellent selectivity when compared to the results of oxytetracycline (OXy) as analogous interfering compound. The proposed method is cheap, sensitive, selective, simple, and is applied successfully to detect DXy in honey with the recoveries of 87% and 95%. Considering these advantages, this system provides a further perspective for food quality control in industrial fields.
A Sensitive Approach on Trace Analysis of Methylparaben in Wastewater and Cosmetic Products Using Molecularly Imprinted Polymer

Parabens are the antimicrobial molecules largely used in cosmetic products as a preservative agent. Among them, the methylparaben (MP) is the most frequently used ingredient in cosmetic preparations. Nevertheless, their potential dangers led to the development of sensible and reliable methods for their determination in environmental samples. Firstly, a sensitive and selective molecular imprinted polymer (MIP) based on screen-printed gold electrode (Au-SPE), assembled on a polymeric layer of carboxylated poly(vinyl-chloride) (PVC-COOH), was developed. After the template removal, the obtained material was able to rebind MP and discriminate it among other interfering species such as glucose, sucrose, and citric acid. The behavior of molecular imprinted sensor was characterized by Cyclic Voltammetry (CV), Differential Pulse Voltammetry (DPV) and Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy (EIS) techniques. Then, the biosensor was found to have a linear detection range from 0.1 pg.mL-1 to 1 ng.mL-1 and a low limit of detection of 0.12 fg.mL-1 and 5.18 pg.mL-1 by DPV and EIS, respectively. For applications, this biosensor was employed to determine MP content in four wastewaters in Meknes city and two cosmetic products (shower gel and shampoo). The operational reproducibility and stability of this biosensor were also studied. Secondly, another MIP biosensor based on tungsten trioxide (WO3) functionalized by gold nanoparticles (Au-NPs) assembled on a polymeric layer of PVC-COOH was developed. The main goal was to increase the sensitivity of the biosensor. The developed MIP biosensor was successfully applied for the MP determination in wastewater samples and cosmetic products.

Investigations of Flame Retardant Properties of Beneficiated Huntite and Hydromagnesite Mineral Reinforced Polymer Composites

Huntite and hydromagnesite minerals have been used as additive materials to achieve incombustible material due to their inflammability property. Those fire retardants materials can help to extinguish in the early stages of fire. Thus dispersion of the flame can be prevented even if the fire started. Huntite and hydromagnesite minerals are known to impart fire-proofing of the polymer composites. However, the additives used in the applications led to deterioration in the mechanical properties due to the usage of high amount of the powders in the composites. In this study, by enriching huntite and hydromagnesite, it was aimed to use purer minerals to reinforce the polymer composites. Thus, predictably, using purer mineral will lead to use lower amount of mineral powders. By this manner, the minerals free from impurities by various processes were added to the polymer matrix with different loading level and grades. Different types of samples were manufactured, and subsequently characterized by XRD, SEM-EDS, XRF and flame-retardant tests. Tensile strength and elongation at break values were determined according to loading levels and grades. Besides, a comparison on the properties of the polymer composites produced by using of minerals with and without impurities was performed. As a result of the work, it was concluded that it is required to use beneficiated minerals to provide better fire-proofing behaviors in the polymer composites.

Flexural Properties of Halloysite Nanotubes-Polyester Nanocomposites Exposed to Aggressive Environment

This study aimed to investigate the effect of aggressive environment on the flexural properties of halloysite nanotubes-polyester nanocomposites. Results showed that the addition of halloysite nanotubes into polyester matrix was found to improve flexural properties of the nanocomposites in dry condition and after water-methanol exposure. Significant increase in surface roughness was also observed and measured by Alicona Infinite Focus optical microscope.

Wet Polymeric Precipitation Synthesis for Monophasic Tricalcium Phosphate

Tricalcium phosphate (β-Ca3(PO4)2, β-TCP) powders were synthesized using wet polymeric precipitation method for the first time to our best knowledge. The results of X-ray diffraction analysis showed the formation of almost single a Ca-deficient hydroxyapatite (CDHA) phase of a poor crystallinity already at room temperature. With continuously increasing the calcination temperature up to 800 °C, the crystalline β-TCP was obtained as the main phase. It was demonstrated that infrared spectroscopy is very effective method to characterize the formation of β-TCP. The SEM results showed that β-TCP solids were homogeneous having a small particle size distribution. The β-TCP powders consisted of spherical particles varying in size from 100 to 300 nm. Fabricated β-TCP specimens were placed to the bones of the rats and maintained for 1-2 months.

Study of Biocomposites Based of Poly(Lactic Acid) and Olive Husk Flour
In this work, the composites were prepared with poly(lactic acid) (PLA) and olive husk flour (OHF) with different percentages (10, 20 and 30%) using extrusion method followed by injection molding. The morphological, mechanical properties and thermal behavior of composites were investigated. Tensile strength and elongation at break of composites showed a decreasing trend with increasing fiber content. On the other hand, Young modulus and storage modulus were increased. The addition of OHF resulted in a decrease in thermal stability of composites. The presence of OHF led to an increase in percentage of crystallinity (Xc) of PLA matrix.
Artificial Neural Network Model Based Setup Period Estimation for Polymer Cutting
The paper presents the results and industrial applications in the production setup period estimation based on industrial data inherited from the field of polymer cutting. The literature of polymer cutting is very limited considering the number of publications. The first polymer cutting machine is known since the second half of the 20th century; however, the production of polymer parts with this kind of technology is still a challenging research topic. The products of the applying industrial partner must met high technical requirements, as they are used in medical, measurement instrumentation and painting industry branches. Typically, 20% of these parts are new work, which means every five years almost the entire product portfolio is replaced in their low series manufacturing environment. Consequently, it requires a flexible production system, where the estimation of the frequent setup periods' lengths is one of the key success factors. In the investigation, several (input) parameters have been studied and grouped to create an adequate training information set for an artificial neural network as a base for the estimation of the individual setup periods. In the first group, product information is collected such as the product name and number of items. The second group contains material data like material type and colour. In the third group, surface quality and tolerance information are collected including the finest surface and tightest (or narrowest) tolerance. The fourth group contains the setup data like machine type and work shift. One source of these parameters is the Manufacturing Execution System (MES) but some data were also collected from Computer Aided Design (CAD) drawings. The number of the applied tools is one of the key factors on which the industrial partners’ estimations were based previously. The artificial neural network model was trained on several thousands of real industrial data. The mean estimation accuracy of the setup periods' lengths was improved by 30%, and in the same time the deviation of the prognosis was also improved by 50%. Furthermore, an investigation on the mentioned parameter groups considering the manufacturing order was also researched. The paper also highlights the manufacturing introduction experiences and further improvements of the proposed methods, both on the shop floor and on the quotation preparation fields. Every week more than 100 real industrial setup events are given and the related data are collected.
Elaboration and Characterization of Self-Compacting Mortar Based Biopolymer
Lignin is a molecule derived from wood and also generated as waste from the paper industry. With a view to its valorization and protection of the environment, we are interested in its use as a superplasticizer-type adjuvant in mortars and concretes to improve their mechanical strengths. The additives of the concrete have a very strong influence on the properties of the fresh and / or hardened concrete. This study examines the development and use of industrial waste and lignin extracted from a renewable natural source (wood) in cementitious materials. The use of these resources is known at present as a definite resurgence of interest in the development of building materials. Physicomechanical characteristics of mortars are determined by optimization quantity of the natural superplasticizer. The results show that the mechanical strengths of mortars based on natural adjuvant have improved by 20% (64 MPa) for a W/C ratio = 0.4, and the amount of natural adjuvant of dry extract needed is 40 times smaller than commercial adjuvant. This study has a scientific impact (improving the performance of the mortar with an increase in compactness and reduction of the quantity of water), ecological use of the lignin waste generated by the paper industry) and economic reduction of the cost price necessary to elaboration of self-compacting mortars and concretes).
Submicron Laser-Induced Dot, Ripple and Wrinkle Structures and Their Applications

Polymers exposed to laser or plasma treatment or modified with different wet methods which enable the introduction of nanoparticles or biologically active species, such as amino-acids, may find many applications both as biocompatible or anti-bacterial materials or on the contrary, can be applied for a decrease in the number of cells on the treated surface which opens application in single cell units. For the experiments, two types of materials were chosen, a representative of non-biodegradable polymers, polyethersulphone (PES) and polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) as biodegradable material. Exposure of solid substrate to laser well below the ablation threshold can lead to formation of various surface structures. The ripples have a period roughly comparable to the wavelength of the incident laser radiation, and their dimensions depend on many factors, such as chemical composition of the polymer substrate, laser wavelength and the angle of incidence. On the contrary, biopolymers may significantly change their surface roughness and thus influence cell compatibility. The focus was on the surface treatment of PES and PHB by pulse excimer KrF laser with wavelength of 248 nm. The changes of physicochemical properties, surface morphology, surface chemistry and ablation of exposed polymers were studied both for PES and PHB. Several analytical methods involving atomic force microscopy, gravimetry, scanning electron microscopy and others were used for the analysis of the treated surface. It was found that the combination of certain input parameters leads not only to the formation of optimal narrow pattern, but to the combination of a ripple and a wrinkle-like structure, which could be an optimal candidate for cell attachment. The interaction of different types of cells and their interactions with the laser exposed surface were studied. It was found that laser treatment contributes as a major factor for wettability/contact angle change. The combination of optimal laser energy and pulse number was used for the construction of a surface with an anti-cellular response. Due to the simple laser treatment, we were able to prepare a biopolymer surface with higher roughness and thus significantly influence the area of growth of different types of cells (U-2 OS cells).

Constitutive Modeling of Different Types of Concrete under Uniaxial Compression
The cost of experiments on different types of concrete has raised the demand for prediction of their behavior with numerical analysis. In this research, an advanced numerical model has been presented to predict the complete elastic-plastic behavior of polymer concrete (PC), high-strength concrete (HSC), high performance concrete (HPC) along with different steel fiber contents under uniaxial compression. The accuracy of the numerical response was satisfactory as compared to other conventional simple models such as Mohr-Coulomb and Drucker-Prager. In order to predict the complete elastic-plastic behavior of specimens including softening behavior, disturbed state concept (DSC) was implemented by nonlinear finite element analysis (NFEA) and hierarchical single surface (HISS) failure criterion, which is a failure surface without any singularity.
Study of Metakaolin-Based Geopolymer with Addition of Polymer Admixtures
In the present work, metakaolin-based geopolymer including different polymer admixtures was studied. Different types of commercial polymer admixtures VINNAPAS® and polyethylene glycol of different relative molecular weight were used as polymer admixtures. The main objective of this work is to investigate the influence of different types of admixtures on the properties of metakaolin-based geopolymer mortars considering their different dosage. Mechanical properties, such as flexural and compressive strength were experimentally determined. Also, study of the microstructure of selected specimens by using a scanning electron microscope was performed. The results showed that the specimen with addition of 1.5% of VINNAPAS® 7016 F and 10% of polyethylene glycol 400 achieved maximum mechanical properties.
Recycled Waste Glass Powder as a Partial Cement Replacement in Polymer-Modified Mortars

The aim of this study was to observe the behavior of polymer-modified cement mortars with regard to the use of a pozzolanic admixture. Polymer-modified mortars (PMMs) containing various types of waste glass (waste packing glass and fluorescent tube glass) were produced always with 20% of cement substituted with a pozzolanic-active material. Ethylene/vinyl acetate copolymer (EVA) was used for polymeric modification. The findings confirm the possibility of using the waste glass examined herein as a partial substitute for cement in the production of PMM, which contributes to the preservation of non-renewable raw material resources and to the efficiency of waste glass material reuse.

Experimental Study of Different Types of Concrete in Uniaxial Compression Test

Polymer concrete (PC) is a distinct concrete with superior characteristics in comparison to ordinary cement concrete. It has become well-known for its applications in thin overlays, floors and precast components. In this investigation, the mechanical properties of PC with different epoxy resin contents, ordinary cement concrete (OCC) and lightweight concrete (LC) have been studied under uniaxial compression test. The study involves five types of concrete, with each type being tested four times. Their complete elastic-plastic behavior was compared with each other through the measurement of volumetric strain during the tests. According to the results, PC showed higher strength, ductility and energy absorption with respect to OCC and LC.

Effect of Water Hardness and Free Residual Chlorine on Black Tea Brew

Water used for brewing tea plays a major role in the quality of tea. Water with higher hardness gives very dark coloured brew. This study was conducted to determine the effect of water hardness and free residual chlorine on the quality of black tea liquor. Theaflavin (TF) and Thearubigin (TR) levels are lower in comparison with the tea brewed in distilled water. At the same time, there is an increase in High Polymerized Substance (HPS) and Total Liquor Colour (TLC). While water with higher hardness has a negative impact on tea brew, water with high concentration of free residual chlorine did not affect the quality of tea brew.

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