|Commenced in January 2007||Frequency: Monthly||Edition: International||Paper Count: 38|
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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
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.
Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are known for having high elastic properties with high surface area that promote them as good candidates for reinforcing polymeric matrices. In composite materials, CNTs lack chemical bonding with the surrounding matrix which decreases the possibility of better stress transfer between the components. In this work, a chemical treatment for activating the surface of the multi-wall carbon nanotubes (MWCNT) was applied and the effect of this functionalization on the elastic properties of the epoxy nanocomposites was studied. Functional amino-groups were added to the surface of the CNTs and it was evaluated to be about 34% of the total weight of the CNTs. Elastic modulus was found to increase by about 40% of the neat epoxy resin at CNTs’ weight fraction of 0.5%. The elastic modulus was found to decrease after reaching a certain concentration of CNTs which was found to be 1% wt. The scanning electron microscopic pictures showed the effect of the CNTs on the crack propagation through the sample by forming stress concentrated spots at the nanocomposite samples.
The mechanical properties including flexural and tensile of neat vinyl ester and polymer based on layered silicate nanocomposite materials of two different methodologies are discussed. Methodology 1 revealed that the addition of layered silicate into the polymer matrix increased the mechanical and thermal properties up to 1 wt.% clay loading. The incorporation of more clay resulted in decreasing the properties which was traced to the existence of aggregation layers. The aggregation layers imparted a negative impact on the overall mechanical and thermal properties. On the other hand, methodology 2 increased the mechanical and thermal properties up to 4 wt.% clay loading. The different amounts of improvements were assigned to the various preparation parameters. Wide Angle X-ray Diffraction, Scanning Electron Microscopy and Transmission Electron Microscopy were utilized in order to characterize the interlamellar structure of nanocomposites.
The study of the effect of the processing parameters on the level of intercalation between the layered silicate and polymer of two different methodology took place. X-ray diffraction, Scanning Electron Microscopy, Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectrometry, and Transmission Electron Microscopy were utilized in order to examine the intercalation level of nanocomposites of both methodologies. It was found that drying the clay prior to mixing with the polymer, mixing time and speed, degassing time, and the curing method had major changes to the level of distribution of the nanocomposites structure. In methodology 1, the presence of aggregation layers was observed at only 2.5 wt.% clay loading whereas in methodology 2 the presence of aggregation layers was found at higher clay loading (i.e. 5 wt.%).
Contact angle measurement was utilized in order to study the subject of the wettability and surface chemistry of the nanocomposites materials. Water and glycerol droplets were used in this study. The incorporation of layered silicate into the vinyl ester matrix helped to improve the wettability and reduced the θ values of both liquids used. The addition of 2 wt.% clay loading reduced the θ values of water and glycerol by up to 21% and 6% respectively. Likewise, the incorporation of 4 wt.% clay loading reduced the water and glycerol θ values by 49% and 38% respectively. Also this study confirms the findings in the literature regarding the relationship between the intercalation nanocomposites level and the wettability. Wide Angle X-ray Diffraction, Scanning Electron Microscopy and Transmission Electron Microscopy were utilised in order to characterise the interlamellar structure of nanocomposites.
Polymer nanocomposites represent a new class of materials in which nanomaterials act as the reinforcing material in composites, wherein small additions of nanomaterials lead to large enhancements in thermal, optical and mechanical properties. A boost in these properties is due to the large interfacial area per unit volume or weight of the nanoparticles and the interactions between the particle and the polymer. Micro sized particles used as reinforcing agents scatter light, thus reducing light transmittance and optical clarity. Efficient nanoparticle dispersion combined with good polymer–particle interfacial adhesion eliminates scattering and allows the exciting possibility of developing strong yet transparent films, coatings and membranes. This paper aims at synthesising zinc oxide nanoparticles which are reinforced in poly vinyl alcohol (PVA) polymer. The mechanical properties showed that the tensile strength of the PVA nanocomposites increases with the increase in the amount of nanoparticles.
Dielectric materials play an important role in broad applications, such as electrical and electromagnetic applications. This research studied the prediction of effective permeability of composite and nanocomposite dielectric materials based on theoretical analysis to specify the effects of embedded magnetic inclusions in enhancing magnetic properties of dielectrics. Effective permeability of Plastics and Glass nanodielectrics have been predicted with adding various types and percentages of magnetic nano-particles (Fe, Ni-Cu, Ni-Fe, MgZn_Ferrite, NiZn_Ferrite) for formulating new nanodielectric magnetic industrial materials. Soft nanoparticles powders that have been used in new nanodielectrics often possess the structure of a particle size in the range of micrometer- to nano-sized grains and magnetic isotropy, e.g., a random distribution of magnetic easy axes of the nanograins. It has been succeeded for enhancing characteristics of new nanodielectric magnetic industrial materials. The results have shown a significant effect of inclusions distribution on the effective permeability of nanodielectric magnetic composites, and so, explained the effect of magnetic inclusions types and their concentration on the effective permeability of nanodielectric magnetic materials.
The mechanical properties including flexural and tensile of neat vinyl ester and polymer based on layered silicate nanocomposite materials are discussed. The addition of layered silicate into the polymer matrix increased the tensile and flexural modulus up to 1 wt.% clay loading. The incorporation of more clay resulted in decreasing the mechanical properties which was traced to the existence of aggregation layers. Likewise, up to 1 wt.% clay loading, the thermal behaviour showed significant improvements and at higher clay loading the thermal pattern was reduced. The aggregation layers imparted a negative impact on the overall mechanical and thermal properties. Wide Angle X-ray Diffraction, Scanning Electron Microscopy and Transmission Electron Microscopy were utilised in order to characterise the interlamellar structure of nanocomposites.