Open Science Research Excellence

Open Science Index

Commenced in January 2007 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 58

Thermal Characterization of Graphene Oxide-Epoxy Nanocomposites Produced by Aqueous Emulsion
The present study desired to obtain a nanocomposite of epoxy resin reinforced with graphene oxide (OG), for aerospace application, produced by aqueous emulsion. It was obtained proof bodies with 0.00 wt%, 0.10 wt%, 0.25 wt% and 0.50 wt% in weight of nanoparticles, to check the influence of it in the final quality of the obtained product. The validation of the results was done by the application thermal characterization by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). It was seen that the nanocomposite reinforced with 0.10 wt% of OG showed the best results, the average glass transition temperature, at 2 °C, compared to the pure resin.
Mechanical Investigation Approach to Optimize the High-Velocity Oxygen Fuel Fe-Based Amorphous Coatings Reinforced by B4C Nanoparticles

Fe-based amorphous feedstock powders are used as the matrix into which various ratios of hard B4C nanoparticles (0, 5, 10, 15, 20 vol.%) as reinforcing agents were prepared using a planetary high-energy mechanical milling. The ball-milled nanocomposite feedstock powders were also sprayed by means of high-velocity oxygen fuel (HVOF) technique. The characteristics of the powder particles and the prepared coating depending on their microstructures and nanohardness were examined in detail using nanoindentation tester. The results showed that the formation of the Fe-based amorphous phase was noticed over the course of high-energy ball milling. It is interesting to note that the nanocomposite coating is divided into two regions, namely, a full amorphous phase region and homogeneous dispersion of B4C nanoparticles with a scale of 10–50 nm in a residual amorphous matrix. As the B4C content increases, the nanohardness of the composite coatings increases, but the fracture toughness begins to decrease at the B4C content higher than 20 vol.%. The optimal mechanical properties are obtained with 15 vol.% B4C due to the suitable content and uniform distribution of nanoparticles. Consequently, the changes in mechanical properties of the coatings were attributed to the changes in the brittle to ductile transition by adding B4C nanoparticles.

Electrospinning and Characterization of Silk Fibroin/Gelatin Nanofibre Mats
In this study, Bombyx mori silk fibroin/gelatin (SF/GT) nanocomposite with different GT ratio (SF/GT 100/0, 90/10 and 70/30) were prepared by electrospinning process and crosslinked with glutaraldehyde (GA) vapor. Properties of crosslinked SF/GT nanocomposites were investigated by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), mechanical test, water uptake capacity (WUC) and porosity. From SEM images, it was found that fiber diameter increased as GT content increased. The results of mechanical test indicated that the SF/GT 70/30 nanocomposites had both the highest Young’s modulus of 342 MPa and the highest tensile strength of about 14 MPa. However, porosity and WUC decreased from 62% and 405% for pristine SF to 47% and 232% for SF/GT 70/30, respectively. This behavior can be related to higher degree of crosslinking as GT ratio increased which altered the structure and physical properties of scaffolds. This study showed that incorporation of GT into SF nanofibers can enhance mechanical properties of resultant nanocomposite, but the GA treatment should be optimized to control and fine-tune other properties to warrant their biomedical application.
Optimization of Carbon Nanotube Content of Asphalt Nanocomposites with Regard to Resistance to Permanent Deformation

This paper presents the results of the development of asphalt nanocomposites containing carbon nanotubes (CNTs) with high resistance to permanent deformation, aiming to increase the performance of asphalt surfaces in relation to the rutting problem. Asphalt nanocomposites were prepared with the addition of different proportions of CNTs (1%, 2% and 3%) in relation to the weight of asphalt binder. The base binder used was a conventional binder (50-70 penetration) classified as PG 58-22. The optimum percentage of CNT addition in the asphalt binder (base) was determined through the evaluation of the rheological and empirical characteristics of the nanocomposites produced. In order to evaluate the contribution and the effects of the nanocomposite (optimized) in relation to the rutting, the conventional and nanomodified asphalt mixtures were tested in a French traffic simulator (Orniéreur). The results obtained demonstrate the efficient contribution of the asphalt nanocomposite containing CNTs to the resistance to permanent deformation of the asphalt mixture.

ZnS and Graphene Quantum Dots Nanocomposite as Potential Electron Acceptor for Photovoltaics

Zinc sulphide (ZnS) quantum dots (QDs) were synthesized successfully via simple sonochemical method. X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and high resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) analysis revealed the average size of QDs of the order of 3.7 nm. The band gap of the QDs was tuned to 5.2 eV by optimizing the synthesis parameters. UV-Vis absorption spectra of ZnS QD confirm the quantum confinement effect. Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) analysis confirmed the formation of single phase ZnS QDs. To fabricate the diode, blend of ZnS QDs and P3HT was prepared and the heterojunction of PEDOT:PSS and the blend was formed by spin coating on indium tin oxide (ITO) coated glass substrate. The diode behaviour of the heterojunction was analysed, wherein the ideality factor was found to be 2.53 with turn on voltage 0.75 V and the barrier height was found to be 1.429 eV. ZnS-Graphene QDs nanocomposite was characterised for the surface morphological study. It was found that the synthesized ZnS QDs appear as quasi spherical particles on the graphene sheets. The average particle size of ZnS-graphene nanocomposite QDs was found to be 8.4 nm. From voltage-current characteristics of ZnS-graphene nanocomposites, it is observed that the conductivity of the composite increases by 104 times the conductivity of ZnS QDs. Thus the addition of graphene QDs in ZnS QDs enhances the mobility of the charge carriers in the composite material. Thus, the graphene QDs, with high specific area for a large interface, high mobility and tunable band gap, show a great potential as an electron-acceptors in photovoltaic devices.

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.
Effect of Gamma Irradiation on Structural and Optical Properties of ZnO/Mesoporous Silica Nanocomposite

The effect of gamma ray irradiation on morphology and optical properties of ZnO/Mesoporous silica (MPS) nanocomposite was studied. The ZnO/MPS nanocomposite was irradiated with gamma rays of doses 30, 60, and 90 kGy and dose-rate of irradiation was 0.15 kGy/hour. Irradiated samples are characterized with FE-SEM, FT-IR, UV-vis, and Photoluminescence (PL) spectrometers. SEM pictures showed that morphology changed from spherical to flake like morphology. UV-vis analysis showed that the band gap increased with increase of gamma ray irradiation dose. This enhancement of the band gap is assigned to the depletion of oxygen vacancies with irradiation. The intensity of PL peak decreased gradually with increase of gamma ray irradiation dose. The decrease in PL intensity is attributed to the decrease of oxygen vacancies at the interface due to poor interface and improper passivation between ZnO/MPS.

Preparation of Sorbent Materials for the Removal of Hardness and Organic Pollutants from Water and Wastewater

Ecological pollution is of great concern for human health and the environment. Numerous organic and inorganic pollutants usually discharged into the water caused carcinogenic or toxic effect for human and different life form. In this respect, this work aims to treat water contaminated by organic and inorganic waste using sorbent based on polystyrene. Therefore, two different series of adsorbent material were prepared; the first one included the preparation of polymeric sorbent from the reaction of styrene acrylate ester and alkyl acrylate. The second series involved syntheses of composite ion exchange resins of waste polystyrene and   amorphous carbon thin film (WPS/ACTF) by solvent evaporation using micro emulsion polymerization. The produced ACTF/WPS nanocomposite was sulfonated to produce cation exchange resins ACTF/WPSS nanocomposite. The sorbents of the first series were characterized using FTIR, 1H NMR, and gel permeation chromatography. The thermal properties of the cross-linked sorbents were investigated using thermogravimetric analysis, and the morphology was characterized by scanning electron microscope (SEM). The removal of organic pollutant was determined through absorption tests in a various organic solvent. The chemical and crystalline structure of nanocomposite of second series has been proven by studies of FTIR spectrum, X-rays, thermal analysis, SEM and TEM analysis to study morphology of resins and ACTF that assembled with polystyrene chain. It is found that the composite resins ACTF/WPSS are thermally stable and show higher chemical stability than ion exchange WPSS resins. The composite resin was evaluated for calcium hardness removal. The result is evident that the ACTF/WPSS composite has more prominent inorganic pollutant removal than WPSS resin. So, we recommend the using of nanocomposite resin as new potential applications for water treatment process.

Radiation Effects in the PVDF/Graphene Oxide Nanocomposites

Exposure to ionizing radiation has been found to induce changes in poly(vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF) homopolymers. The high dose gamma irradiation process induces the formation of C=C and C=O bonds in its [CH2-CF2]n main chain. The irradiation also provokes crosslinking and chain scission. All these radio-induced defects lead to changes in the PVDF crystalline structure. As a consequence, it is common to observe a decrease in the melting temperature (TM) and melting latent heat (LM) and some changes in its ferroelectric features. We have investigated the possibility of preparing nanocomposites of PVDF with graphene oxide (GO) through the radio-induction of molecular bonds. In this work, we discuss how the gamma radiation interacts with the nanocomposite crystalline structure.

Micropower Composite Nanomaterials Based on Porous Silicon for Renewable Energy Sources
The original controlled technology for power active nanocomposite membrane-electrode assembly engineering on the basis of porous silicon is presented. The functional nanocomposites were studied by electron microscopy and cyclic voltammetry methods. The application possibility of the obtained nanocomposites as high performance renewable energy sources for micro-power electronic devices is demonstrated.
The Effect of Addition of Dioctyl Terephthalate and Calcite on the Tensile Properties of Organoclay/Linear Low Density Polyethylene Nanocomposites

In recent years, polymer/clay nanocomposites have generated great interest in the polymer industry as a new type of composite material because of their superior properties, which includes high heat deflection temperature, gas barrier performance, dimensional stability, enhanced mechanical properties, optical clarity and flame retardancy when compared with the pure polymer or conventional composites. The investigation of change of the tensile properties of organoclay/linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) nanocomposites with the use of Dioctyl terephthalate (DOTP) (as plasticizer) and calcite (as filler) has been aimed. The composites and organoclay synthesized were characterized using the techniques such as XRD, HRTEM and FTIR techniques. The spectroscopic results indicate that platelets of organoclay were well dispersed within the polymeric matrix. The tensile properties of the composites were compared considering the stress-strain curve drawn for each composite and pure polymer. It was observed that the composites prepared by adding the plasticizer at different ratios and a certain amount of calcite exhibited different tensile behaviors compared to pure polymer.

Green Synthesis of Nanosilver-Loaded Hydrogel Nanocomposites for Antibacterial Application

Superabsorbent polymers (SAPs) or hydrogels with three-dimensional hydrophilic network structure are high-performance water absorbent and retention materials. The in situ synthesis of metal nanoparticles within polymeric network as antibacterial agents for bio-applications is an approach that takes advantage of the existing free-space into networks, which not only acts as a template for nucleation of nanoparticles, but also provides long term stability and reduces their toxicity by delaying their oxidation and release. In this work, SAP/nanosilver nanocomposites were successfully developed by a unique green process at room temperature, which involves in situ formation of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) within hydrogels as a template. The aim of this study is to investigate whether these AgNPs-loaded hydrogels are potential candidates for antimicrobial applications. Firstly, the superabsorbents were prepared through radical copolymerization via grafting and crosslinking of acrylamide (AAm) onto chitosan backbone (Cs) using potassium persulfate as initiator and N,N’-methylenebisacrylamide as the crosslinker. Then, they were hydrolyzed to achieve superabsorbents with ampholytic properties and uppermost swelling capacity. Lastly, the AgNPs were biosynthesized and entrapped into hydrogels through a simple, eco-friendly and cost-effective method using aqueous silver nitrate as a silver precursor and curcuma longa tuber-powder extracts as both reducing and stabilizing agent. The formed superabsorbents nanocomposites (Cs-g-PAAm)/AgNPs were characterized by X-ray Diffraction (XRD), UV-visible Spectroscopy, Attenuated Total reflectance Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR), Inductively Coupled Plasma (ICP), and Thermogravimetric Analysis (TGA). Microscopic surface structure analyzed by Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) has showed spherical shapes of AgNPs with size in the range of 3-15 nm. The extent of nanosilver loading was decreased by increasing Cs content into network. The silver-loaded hydrogel was thermally more stable than the unloaded dry hydrogel counterpart. The swelling equilibrium degree (Q) and centrifuge retention capacity (CRC) in deionized water were affected by both contents of Cs and the entrapped AgNPs. The nanosilver-embedded hydrogels exhibited antibacterial activity against Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus bacteria. These comprehensive results suggest that the elaborated AgNPs-loaded nanomaterials could be used to produce valuable wound dressing.

Electrophysical and Thermoelectric Properties of Nano-scaled In2O3:Sn, Zn, Ga-Based Thin Films: Achievements and Limitations for Thermoelectric Applications
The thermoelectric properties of nano-scaled In2O3:Sn films deposited by spray pyrolysis are considered in the present report. It is shown that multicomponent In2O3:Sn-based films are promising material for the application in thermoelectric devices. It is established that the increase in the efficiency of thermoelectric conversion at CSn~5% occurred due to nano-scaled structure of the films studied and the effect of the grain boundary filtering of the low energy electrons. There are also analyzed the limitations that may appear during such material using in devices developed for the market of thermoelectric generators and refrigerators. Studies showed that the stability of nano-scaled film’s parameters is the main problem which can limit the application of these materials in high temperature thermoelectric converters.
Induction Melting as a Fabrication Route for Aluminum-Carbon Nanotubes Nanocomposite

Increasing demands of contemporary applications for high strength and lightweight materials prompted the development of metal-matrix composites (MMCs). After the discovery of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) in 1991 (revealing an excellent set of mechanical properties) became one of the most promising strengthening materials for MMC applications. Additionally, the relatively low density of the nanotubes imparted high specific strengths, making them perfect strengthening material to reinforce MMCs. In the present study, aluminum-multiwalled carbon nanotubes (Al-MWCNTs) composite was prepared in an air induction furnace. The dispersion of the nanotubes in molten aluminum was assisted by inherent string action of induction heating at 790°C. During the fabrication process, multifunctional fluxes were used to avoid oxidation of the nanotubes and molten aluminum. Subsequently, the melt was cast in to a copper mold and cold rolled to 0.5 mm thickness. During metallographic examination using a scanning electron microscope, it was observed that the nanotubes were effectively dispersed in the matrix. The mechanical properties of the composite were significantly increased as compared to pure aluminum specimen i.e. the yield strength from 65 to 115 MPa, the tensile strength from 82 to 125 MPa and hardness from 27 to 30 HV for pure aluminum and Al-CNTs composite, respectively. To recognize the associated strengthening mechanisms in the nanocomposites, three foremost strengthening models i.e. shear lag model, Orowan looping and Hall-Petch have been critically analyzed; experimental data were found to be closely satisfying the shear lag model.

Polymer Mediated Interaction between Grafted Nanosheets

Polymer-particle interactions can be effectively utilized to produce composites that possess physicochemical properties superior to that of neat polymer. The incorporation of fillers with dimensions comparable to polymer chain size produces composites with extra-ordinary properties owing to very high surface to volume ratio. The dispersion of nanoparticles is achieved by inducing steric repulsion realized by grafting particles with polymeric chains. A comprehensive understanding of the interparticle interaction between these functionalized nanoparticles plays an important role in the synthesis of a stable polymer nanocomposite. With the focus on incorporation of clay sheets in a polymer matrix, we theoretically construct the polymer mediated interparticle potential for two nanosheets grafted with polymeric chains. The self-consistent field theory (SCFT) is employed to obtain the inhomogeneous composition field under equilibrium. Unlike the continuum models, SCFT is built from the microscopic description taking in to account the molecular interactions contributed by both intra- and inter-chain potentials. We present the results of SCFT calculations of the interaction potential curve for two grafted nanosheets immersed in the matrix of polymeric chains of dissimilar chemistry to that of the grafted chains. The interaction potential is repulsive at short separation and shows depletion attraction for moderate separations induced by high grafting density. It is found that the strength of attraction well can be tuned by altering the compatibility between the grafted and the mobile chains. Further, we construct the interaction potential between two nanosheets grafted with diblock copolymers with one of the blocks being chemically identical to the free polymeric chains. The interplay between the enthalpic interaction between the dissimilar species and the entropy of the free chains gives rise to a rich behavior in interaction potential curve obtained for two separate cases of free chains being chemically similar to either the grafted block or the free block of the grafted diblock chains.

Self-Sensing Concrete Nanocomposites for Smart Structures

In the field of civil engineering, Structural Health Monitoring is a topic of growing interest. Effective monitoring instruments permit the control of the working conditions of structures and infrastructures, through the identification of behavioral anomalies due to incipient damages, especially in areas of high environmental hazards as earthquakes. While traditional sensors can be applied only in a limited number of points, providing a partial information for a structural diagnosis, novel transducers may allow a diffuse sensing. Thanks to the new tools and materials provided by nanotechnology, new types of multifunctional sensors are developing in the scientific panorama. In particular, cement-matrix composite materials capable of diagnosing their own state of strain and tension, could be originated by the addition of specific conductive nanofillers. Because of the nature of the material they are made of, these new cementitious nano-modified transducers can be inserted within the concrete elements, transforming the same structures in sets of widespread sensors. This paper is aimed at presenting the results of a research about a new self-sensing nanocomposite and about the implementation of smart sensors for Structural Health Monitoring. The developed nanocomposite has been obtained by inserting multi walled carbon nanotubes within a cementitious matrix. The insertion of such conductive carbon nanofillers provides the base material with piezoresistive characteristics and peculiar sensitivity to mechanical modifications. The self-sensing ability is achieved by correlating the variation of the external stress or strain with the variation of some electrical properties, such as the electrical resistance or conductivity. Through the measurement of such electrical characteristics, the performance and the working conditions of an element or a structure can be monitored. Among conductive carbon nanofillers, carbon nanotubes seem to be particularly promising for the realization of self-sensing cement-matrix materials. Some issues related to the nanofiller dispersion or to the influence of the nano-inclusions amount in the cement matrix need to be carefully investigated: the strain sensitivity of the resulting sensors is influenced by such factors. This work analyzes the dispersion of the carbon nanofillers, the physical properties of the fresh dough, the electrical properties of the hardened composites and the sensing properties of the realized sensors. The experimental campaign focuses specifically on their dynamic characterization and their applicability to the monitoring of full-scale elements. The results of the electromechanical tests with both slow varying and dynamic loads show that the developed nanocomposite sensors can be effectively used for the health monitoring of structures.

Studying the Effect of Nanoclays on the Mechanical Properties of Polypropylene/Polyamide Nanocomposites
Nanocomposites based on polypropylene/polyamide 66 (PP/PA66) nanoblends containing organophilic montmorillonite (OMMT) and maleic anhydride grafted polypropylene (PP-g-MAH) were prepared by melt compounding method followed by injection molding. Two different types of nanoclays were used in this work. DELLITE LVF is the untreated nanoclay and DELLITE 67G is the treated one. The morphology of the nanocomposites was studied using the XR diffraction (XRD). The results indicate that the incorporation of treated nanoclay has a significant effect on the impact strength of PP/PA66 nanocomposites. Furthermore, it was found that XRD results revealed the intercalation, exfoliation of nanaclays of nanocomposites.
Influence of Organic Modifier Loading on Particle Dispersion of Biodegradable Polycaprolactone/Montmorillonite Nanocomposites
Natural sodium montmorillonite (NaMMT), Cloisite Na+ and two organophilic montmorillonites (OMMTs), Cloisites 20A and 15A were used. Polycaprolactone (PCL)/MMT composites containing 1, 3, 5, and 10 wt% of Cloisite Na+ and PCL/OMMT nanocomposites containing 5 and 10 wt% of Cloisites 20A and 15A were prepared via solution intercalation technique to study the influence of organic modifier loading on particle dispersion of PCL/ NaMMT composites. Thermal stabilities of the obtained composites were characterized by thermal analysis using the thermogravimetric analyzer (TGA) which showed that in the presence of nitrogen flow the incorporation of 5 and 10 wt% of filler brings some decrease in PCL thermal stability in the sequence: Cloisite Na+>Cloisite 15A > Cloisite 20A, while in the presence of air flow these fillers scarcely influenced the thermoxidative stability of PCL by slightly accelerating the process. The interaction between PCL and silicate layers was studied by Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy which confirmed moderate interactions between nanometric silicate layers and PCL segments. The electrical conductivity (σ) which describes the ionic mobility of the systems was studied as a function of temperature and showed that σ of PCL was enhanced on increasing the modifier loading at filler content of 5 wt%, especially at higher temperatures in the sequence: Cloisite Na+<Cloisite 20A<Cloisite 15A, and was then decreased to some extent with a further increase to 10 wt%. The activation energy Eσ obtained from the dependency of σ on temperature using Arrhenius equation was found to be lowest for the nanocomposite containing 5 wt% of Cloisite 15A. The dispersed behavior of clay in PCL matrix was evaluated by X-ray diffraction (XRD) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) analyses which revealed partial intercalated structures in PCL/NaMMT composites and semi-intercalated/semi-exfoliated structures in PCL/OMMT nanocomposites containing 5 wt% of Cloisite 20A or Cloisite 15A.
Studying the Intercalation of Low Density Polyethylene/Clay Nanocomposites after Different UV Exposures
This study attempts to understand the effect of different UV irradiation methods on the intercalation of LDPE/MMT nanocomposites, and its molecular behavior at certain isothermal crystallization temperature. Three different methods of UV exposure were employed using single composition of LDPE/MMT nanocomposites. All samples were annealed for 5 hours at a crystallization temperature of 100oC. The crystallization temperature was chosen to be at large supercooling temperature to ensure quick and complete crystallization. The raw material of LDPE consisted of two stable monoclinic and orthorhombic phases according to XRD results. The thermal behavior of both phases acted differently when UV exposure method was changed. The monoclinic phase was more dependent on the method used compared to the orthorhombic phase. The intercalation of clay, as well as, the non-isothermal crystallization temperature, has also shown a clear dependency on the type of UV exposure. A third phase that is thermally less stable was also observed. Its respond to UV irradiation was greater since it contains low molecular weight entities which make it more vulnerable to any UV exposure.
Microwave Absorption Properties of Low Density Polyethelene-Cobalt Ferrite Nanocomposite
Low density polyethylene (LDPE) nanocomposites with 3, 5 and 7 wt. % cobalt ferrite (CoFe2O4) nanopowder fabricated with extrusion mixing and followed up by hot press to reach compact samples. The transmission/reflection measurements were carried out with a network analyzer in the frequency range of 8-12 GHz. By increasing the percent of CoFe2O4 nanopowder, reflection loss (S11) increases, while transferring loss (S21) decreases. Reflectivity (R) calculations made using S11 and S21. Increase in percent of CoFe2O4 nanopowder up to 7 wt. % in composite leaded to higher reflectivity amount, and revealed that increasing the percent of CoFe2O4 nanopowder up to 7 wt. % leads to further microwave absorption in 8-12 GHz range.
Effect of Modified Layered Silicate Nanoclay on the Dynamic Viscoelastic Properties of Thermoplastic Polymers Nanocomposites
This work aims to investigate the structure–property relationship in ternary nanocomposites consisting of polypropylene as the matrix, polyamide 66 as the minor phase and treated nanoclay DELLITE 67G as the reinforcement. All PP/PA66/Nanoclay systems with polypropylene grafted maleic anhydride PP-g-MAH as a compatibilizer were prepared via melt compounding and characterized in terms of nanoclay content. Morphological structure was investigated by scanning electron microscopy. The rheological behavior of the nanocomposites was determined by various methods, viz melt flow index (MFI) and parallel plate rheological measurements. The PP/PP-g-MAH/PA66 nanocomposites showed a homogeneous morphology supporting the compatibility improvement between PP, PA66, and nanoclay. SEM results revealed the formation of nanocomposites as the nanoclay was intercalated and exfoliated. In the ternary nanocomposites, the rheological behavior showed that, the complex viscosity is increased with increasing the nanoclay. The results showed that the use of nanoclay affects the variations of storage modulus (G′), loss modulus (G″) and the melt elasticity.
Experimental Investigation of Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells Operated with Nanofiber and Nanofiber/Nanoparticle
Nanofibers are defined as fibers with diameters less than 100 nanometers. In this study, behaviours of activated carbon nanofiber (ACNF), carbon nanofiber (CNF), polyacrylonitrile/ carbon nanotube (PAN/CNT), polyvinyl alcohol/nanosilver (PVA/Ag) in proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells are investigated experimentally. This material was used as gas diffusion layer (GDL) in PEM fuel cells. In this study, the electrical conductivities of nanofiber and nanofiber/nanoparticles have been studied to understand their effects on PEM fuel cell performance. According to the experimental results, the maximum electrical conductivity performance of the fuel cell with nanofiber was found to be at PVA/Ag (at UConn condition). The electrical conductivities of CNF, ACNF, PAN/CNT are lower for PEM. The resistance of cell with PVA/Ag is lower than the resistance of cell with PAN/CNT, ACNF, CNF.
Molecular Dynamics Simulation for Buckling Analysis at Nanocomposite Beams
In the present study we have investigated axial buckling characteristics of nanocomposite beams reinforced by single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs). Various types of beam theories including Euler-Bernoulli beam theory, Timoshenko beam theory and Reddy beam theory were used to analyze the buckling behavior of carbon nanotube-reinforced composite beams. Generalized differential quadrature (GDQ) method was utilized to discretize the governing differential equations along with four commonly used boundary conditions. The material properties of the nanocomposite beams were obtained using molecular dynamic (MD) simulation corresponding to both short-(10,10) SWCNT and long- (10,10) SWCNT composites which were embedded by amorphous polyethylene matrix. Then the results obtained directly from MD simulations were matched with those calculated by the mixture rule to extract appropriate values of carbon nanotube efficiency parameters accounting for the scale-dependent material properties. The selected numerical results were presented to indicate the influences of nanotube volume fractions and end supports on the critical axial buckling loads of nanocomposite beams relevant to long- and short-nanotube composites.
The Effect of Geometrical Ratio and Nanoparticle Reinforcement on the Properties of Al-Based Nanocomposite Hollow Sphere Structures
In the present study, the properties of Al-Al2O3 nanocomposite hollow sphere structures were investigated. For this reason, the Al-based nanocomposite hollow spheres with different amounts of nano-alumina reinforcement (0-10wt %) and different ratio of thickness to diameter (t/D: 0.06-0.3) were prepared via a powder metallurgy method. Then, the effect of mentioned parameters was studied on physical and quasi static mechanical properties of their related prepared structures (open/closed cell) such as density, hardness, strength, and energy absorption. It was found that, as the t/D ratio increases the relative density, compressive strength and energy absorption increase. The highest values of strength and energy absorption were obtained from the specimen with 5 wt. % of nanoparticle reinforcement, t/D of 0.3 (t=1 mm, D=400μm) as 22.88 MPa and 13.24 MJ/m3, respectively. The moderate specific strength of prepared composites in the present study showed the good consistency with the properties of others low carbon steel composite with similar structure.
Rheological Properties of Polysulfone-Sepiolite Nanocomposites

Polysulfone (PSU) is a specialty engineering polymer having various industrial applications. PSU is especially used in waste water treatment membranes due to its good mechanical properties, structural and chemical stability. But it is a hydrophobic material and therefore its surface aim to pollute easily. In order to resolve this problem and extend the properties of membrane, PSU surface is rendered hydrophilic by addition of the sepiolite nanofibers. Sepiolite is one of the natural clays, which is a hydrate magnesium silicate fiber, also one of the well known layered clays of the montmorillonites where has several unique channels and pores within. It has also moisture durability, strength and low price. Sepiolite channels give great capacity of absorption and good surface properties. In this study, nanocomposites of commercial PSU and Sepiolite were prepared by solvent mixing method. Different organic solvents and their mixtures were used. Rheological characteristics of PSU-Sepiolite solvent mixtures were analyzed, the solubility of nanocomposite content in those mixtures were studied.

Structural and Optical Properties of Pr3+ Doped ZnO and PVA:Zn98Pr2O Nanocomposite Free Standing Film

In this work, we report, a systematic study on the structural and optical properties of Pr-doped ZnO nanostructures and PVA:Zn98Pr2O polymer matrix nanocomposites free standing films. These particles are synthesized through simple wet chemical route and solution casting technique at room temperature, respectively. Structural studies carried out by X-ray diffraction method confirm that the prepared pure ZnO and Pr doped ZnO nanostructures are in hexagonal wurtzite structure and the microstrain is increased upon doping. TEM analysis reveals that the prepared materials are in sheet like nature. Absorption spectra show free excitonic absorption band at 370 nm and red shift for the Pr doped ZnO nanostructures. The PVA:Zn98Pr2O composite film exhibits both free excitonic and PVA absorption bands at 282 nm. Fourier transform infrared spectral studies confirm the presence of A1 (TO) and E1 (TO) modes of Zn-O bond vibration and the formation of polymer composite materials.

Synthesis of Polystyrene Grafting Filler Nanoparticles: Effect of Grafting on Mechanical Reinforcement

A series of polystyrene (PS) nanoparticles were prepared by grafting polystyrene from both aggregated silica and colloidally dispersed silica nanoparticles using atom-transfer radical polymerisation (ATRP). Cross-linking and macroscopic gelation were minimised by using a miniemulsion system. The thermal and mechanical behaviour of the nanocomposites have been examined by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and dynamic mechanical thermal analysis (DMTA).

The Role of Halloysite’s Surface Area and Aspect Ratio on Tensile Properties of Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer Nanocomposites

The influence of three different types of halloysite nanotubes (HNTs) with different dimensions, namely as camel lake (CLA), Jarrahdale (JA) and Matauri Bay (MB), on their reinforcing ability of ethylene propylene dine monomer (EPDM) were investigated by varying the HNTs loading (from 0-15 phr). Mechanical properties of the nanocomposites improved with addition of all three HNTs, but CLA based nanocomposites exhibited a significant enhancement compared to the other HNTs. For instance, tensile properties of EPDM nanocomposites increased by 120%, 256% and 340% for MB, JA and CLA, respectively, with addition of 15 phr of HNTs. This could be due to the higher aspect ratio and higher surface area of CLA compared to others. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) of nanocomposites at 15 phr of HNT loadings showed low amounts of pulled-out nanotubes which confirmed the presence of more embedded nanotubes inside the EPDM matrix, as well as aggregates within the fracture surface of EPDM/HNT nanocomposites

Stabilization of Transition Metal Chromite Nanoparticles in Silica Matrix

This article presents summary on preparation and characterization of zinc, copper, cadmium and cobalt chromite nanocrystals, embedded in an amorphous silica matrix. The ZnCr2O4/SiO2, CuCr2O4/SiO2, CdCr2O4/SiO2 and CoCr2O4/SiO2 nanocomposites were prepared by a conventional sol-gel method under acid catalysis. Final heat treatment of the samples was carried out at temperatures in the range of 900−1200 ◦C to adjust the phase composition and the crystallite size, respectively. The resulting samples were characterized by Powder X-ray diffraction (PXRD), High Resolution Transmission Electron Microscopy (HRTEM), Raman/FTIR spectroscopy and magnetic measurements. Formation of the spinel phase was confirmed in all samples. The average size of the nanocrystals was determined from the PXRD data and by direct particle size observation on HRTEM; both results were correlated. The mean particle size (reviewed by HRTEM) was in the range from ∼4 to 46 nm. The results showed that the sol-gel method can be effectively used for preparation of the spinel chromite nanoparticles embedded in the silica matrix and the particle size is driven by the type of the cation A2+ in the spinel structure and the temperature of the final heat treatment. Magnetic properties of the nanocrystals were found to be just moderately modified in comparison to the bulk phases.

Use of Nanoclay in Various Modified Polyolefins

Polyethylene (PE), Polypropylene (PP), Polyethylene (vinyl acetate) (EVA) and PE-ionomer nanocomposite samples were prepared by mixing of the polymer with organofilized montmorillonite fillers Cloisite 93A and Dellite 67G. The amount of each modified montmorillonite (MMT) was fixed to 5% (w/w). The twin-screw kneader was used for the compounding of polymer matrix and chosen nanofillers. The level of MMT exfoliation was studied by the transmission electron microscopy (TEM) observations. The mechanical properties of prepared materials were evaluated by dynamical mechanical analysis at 30°C and by the measurement of tensile properties (stress and strain at break).

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