Journal of Materials The latest articles from Hindawi Publishing Corporation © 2015 , Hindawi Publishing Corporation . All rights reserved. Structural and Thermophysical Studies of Composite Na-Cobaltite Electrospun Nanofibers Sun, 15 Nov 2015 08:11:31 +0000 Polymeric nanofibers have been produced in the last few years by electrospinning of polymer solutions. Polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) was the selected polymer for the preparation of nanofibers. Processing parameters like flow rate, needle gauge, needle to collector distance, and molarity of the solution have been optimized during electrospinning process. Sol-gel method has been used for the preparation of thermoelectric cobaltite nanoparticles having composition NaCoO2. Sol-gel combined electrospinning technique was used to prepare the composites of the NaCoO2 with PVA nanofibers. X-ray diffraction (XRD), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) have been used for the structural analysis of the prepared samples. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) was used to observe the morphology of the prepared fibers. SEM micrographs showed that, by increasing the flow rate, diameter of the fibers increased from 185 nm to 200 nm. Two-probe method and Advantageous Transient Plane Source (ATPS) were used to study the electrical and thermal transport properties, respectively. Thermal conductivity and electrical conductivity showed a direct dependence on temperature. It was observed that particles, sample has lower thermal conductivity (0.610 W/m-K) as compared to that of composite nanofibers (1.129 W/m-K). The measurements reported are novel and are useful for energy applications. Fatima-tuz-Zahra and M. Anis-ur-Rehman Copyright © 2015 Fatima-tuz-Zahra and M. Anis-ur-Rehman. All rights reserved. Structural Characteristics and Magnetic Properties of Al2O3 Matrix-Based Co-Cermet Nanogranular Films Wed, 11 Nov 2015 09:29:33 +0000 Magnetic micro- and nanogranular materials prepared by different methods have been used widely in studies of magnetooptical response. However, among them there seems to be nothing about magnetic nanogranular thin films prepared by a cosputtering technique for both metals and insulators till now. This paper presented and discussed preparation, structural characteristics, and magnetic properties of alumina () matrix-based granular Co-cermet thin films deposited by means of the cosputtering technique for both Co and . By varying the ferromagnetic (Co) atomic fraction, , from 0.04 to 0.63, several dominant features of deposition for these thin films were shown. Structural characteristics by X-ray diffraction confirmed a cermet-type structure for these films. Furthermore, magnetic behaviours presented a transition from paramagnetic- to superparamagnetic- and then to ferromagnetic-like properties, indicating agglomeration and growth following Co components of Co clusters or nanoparticles. These results show a typical granular Co-cermet feature for the Co- thin films prepared, in which Co magnetic nanogranules are dispersed in a ceramic matrix. Such nanomaterials can be applied suitably for our investigations in future on the magnetooptical responses of spinplasmonics. Giap Van Cuong, Nguyen Anh Tuan, Nguyen Tuan Anh, Dinh Van Tuong, Nguyen Anh Tue, Nguyen Tuyet Nga, and Do Phuong Lien Copyright © 2015 Giap Van Cuong et al. All rights reserved. Early-Age Strength Measurement of Shotcrete Tue, 10 Nov 2015 09:16:44 +0000 Shotcrete or sprayed concrete is a special concrete designed for spraying onto a surface, as a construction material. With shotcrete application as a ground support system ever-present in both mining and tunnelling sectors, a major requirement of drive progression is to determine when it is safe to reenter beneath freshly sprayed concrete. Accurately determining this time is of paramount importance. Generally, this reentry time is based on measuring the developing strength of shotcrete until an adequate strength value is reached. The issue with current practice is that there is no widely accepted or generally preferred method that accurately assesses the shotcrete lining’s true early-age strength. However, there are a number of strength tests that are commercially available and used in the industry; these include the soil penetrometer, needle penetrometer, bolt screws, beam end testers, and drilled core samples. This paper researches into these testing methods and their characteristics in order to determine their accuracy, testing ranges, and suitability for in situ use in the tunnelling and mining industry. The investigation ultimately reveals that current methods all have substantial shortcomings. Based on these findings, recommendations are proposed for the applicable use of the current testing methods and recommendations for future improvements. Abbas Mohajerani, Daniel Rodrigues, Christian Ricciuti, and Christopher Wilson Copyright © 2015 Abbas Mohajerani et al. All rights reserved. Diclofenac Potassium Transdermal Patches Using Natural Rubber Latex Biomembranes as Carrier Sun, 08 Nov 2015 15:49:46 +0000 The aim of this study was to design a compound transdermal patch containing diclofenac potassium (Dic-K) using natural rubber latex (NRL) biomembrane. The NRL from Hevea brasiliensis is easily manipulated and low cost and presents high mechanical resistance. It is a biocompatible material which can stimulate natural angiogenesis and is capable of adhering cells on its surface. Recent researches have used the NRL for Transdermal Drug Delivery Systems (TDDSs). Dic-K is used for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis and pain relief for postoperative and posttraumatic cases, as well as inflammation and edema. Results showed that the biomembrane can release Dic-K for up to 216 hours. The kinetics of the Dic-K release could be fitted with double exponential function. X-ray diffraction and Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy show some interaction by hydrogen bound. The results indicated the potential of the compound patch. Natan Roberto de Barros, Paulo Augusto Marques Chagas, Felipe Azevedo Borges, Jose Lucio Padua Gemeinder, Matheus Carlos Romeiro Miranda, Bruna Cambraia Garms, and Rondinelli Donizetti Herculano Copyright © 2015 Natan Roberto de Barros et al. All rights reserved. Biodegradation Study of Nanocomposites of Phenol Novolac Epoxy/Unsaturated Polyester Resin/Egg Shell Nanoparticles Using Natural Polymers Sun, 08 Nov 2015 12:28:48 +0000 Nanocomposite materials refer to those materials whose reinforcing phase has dimensions on a scale from one to one hundred nanometers. In this study, the nanocomposite biodegradation of the phenol Novolac epoxy and the unsaturated polyester resins was investigated using the egg shell nanoparticle as bioceramic as well as starch and glycerin as natural polymers to modify their properties. The phenol Novolac epoxy resin has a good compatibility with the unsaturated polyester resin. The prepared samples with different composition of materials for specified time were buried under soil and their biodegradation was studied using FTIR and SEM. The FTIR results before and after degradation showed that the presence of the hydroxyl group increased the samples degradation. Also adding the egg shell nanoparticle to samples had a positive effect on its degradation. The SEM results with and without the egg shell nanoparticle also showed that use of the egg shell nanoparticle increases the samples degradation. Additionally, increasing the amount of starch, and glycerol and the presence of egg shell nanoparticles can increase water adsorption. S. M. Mousavi, H. Esmaeili, O. Arjmand, Sh. Karimi, and S. A. Hashemi Copyright © 2015 S. M. Mousavi et al. All rights reserved. Removal of Indigo Carmine Dye from Aqueous Solution Using Magnesium Hydroxide as an Adsorbent Sun, 01 Nov 2015 09:46:48 +0000 Magnesium hydroxide is used as an adsorbent for the removal of indigo carmine dye from aqueous solution. We have investigated the effectiveness of removal of indigo carmine dye from aqueous solutions at pH 6-7 and 12-13 using magnesium hydroxide thereby varying the dose of the adsorbent, concentration of the dye, duration, and temperature. Structural transformations of adsorbent during the adsorption process at different pH values are monitored using powder X-ray diffraction and infrared spectroscopy. Different types of adsorption isotherm models were evaluated and it was found that Langmuir isotherm fits well at both pH values (6-7 and 12-13). Adsorption of indigo carmine onto magnesium hydroxide at pH 6-7/pH 12-13 follows pseudo-second order rate kinetics. Thimmasandra Narayan Ramesh and Vani Pavagada Sreenivasa Copyright © 2015 Thimmasandra Narayan Ramesh and Vani Pavagada Sreenivasa. All rights reserved. Plasma Induced Physicochemical Changes and Reactive Dyeing of Wool Fabrics Tue, 27 Oct 2015 13:46:11 +0000 This study focuses on the effect of dielectric barrier discharge (DBD) plasma treatment on physical and chemical properties of wool fabric and its relation to exhaustion of Drimalan Navy Blue FBI reactive dye. AFM analysis of plasma treated wool fabric has shown partial removal of epicuticle and thus reduced scale height. FD spectroscopy has shown improvement in hydrophilicity by many folds after plasma treatment. ATR graphs depict the removal of hydrophobic layer of 18-MEA and introduction of hydrophilic groups like cysteic acid after plasma treatment. Alkali solubility of wool fabric increases with increasing plasma treatment time. Wetting time for plasma treated fabric reduces drastically when compared to untreated wool fabric. It is found that plasma treated fabric takes much lesser time to reach maximum dye exhaustion than untreated fabric. Substantivity of the dye increases significantly after plasma treatment. Colour fastness properties improve with increase in plasma treatment time. Chemical oxygen demand (COD) of spent dyebath liquor is found to reduce with increase in plasma treatment time. Biological oxygen demand (BOD) is found to be higher for plasma treated samples, while ratio of COD/BOD has reduced with increase in the plasma treatment time. J. Udakhe, S. Honade, and N. Shrivastava Copyright © 2015 J. Udakhe et al. All rights reserved. Synthesis and Characterization of Vanadium Doped Zinc Oxide Thick Film for Chemical Sensor Application Mon, 26 Oct 2015 11:44:46 +0000 Zinc oxide and vanadium pentoxide nanoparticles derived by chemical coprecipitation route were used to cast Zn0.96V0.04O thick film by screen printing method. The structural, morphological, optical, and electrical properties of the film were characterized by powder XRD, SEM, Raman, UV-VIS, and DC conductivity techniques. XRD pattern, SEM image, and Raman spectrum of the film confirm the single phase formation of Wurtzite structure with preferential orientation along [] plane, minor variation in lattice parameters, and vanadium ions substitution at zinc sites. Zn0.96V0.04O pellet has been used for sensing ammonia vapor concentrations in 20–50°C temperature range which exhibits maximum responsiveness and sensitivity at 30°C. The minor variations in resistance are observed with ammonia vapor concentration. The adsorption of ammonia vapors through weak hydrogen bonding and its insertion into lattice by nitrogen lone pairs donation at vacant/defect sites in lattice caused by vanadium doping are considered to explain gas sensing mechanism. Rayees Ahmad Zargar, Manju Arora, Masroor Ahmad, and Aurangzeb Khurram Hafiz Copyright © 2015 Rayees Ahmad Zargar et al. All rights reserved. Molecular Dynamics Study on Lubrication Mechanism in Crystalline Structure between Copper and Sulfur Mon, 26 Oct 2015 08:45:43 +0000 To clarify the nanosized mechanism of good lubrication in copper disulfide (Cu2S) crystal which is used as a sliding material, atomistic modeling of Cu2S is conducted and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations are performed in this paper. The interatomic interaction between atoms and crystalline structure in the phase of hexagonal crystal of Cu2S are carefully estimated by first-principle calculations. Then, approximating these interactions, we originally construct a conventional interatomic potential function of Cu2S crystal in its hexagonal phase. By using this potential function, we perform MD simulation of Cu2S crystal which is subjected to shear loading parallel to the basal plane. We compare results obtained by different conditions of sliding directions. Unlike ordinary hexagonal metallic crystals, it is found that the easy-glide direction does not always show small shear stress for Cu2S crystal. Besides, it is found that shearing velocity affects largely the magnitude of averaged shear stress. Generally speaking, higher velocity results in higher resistance against shear deformation. As a result, it is understood that Cu2S crystal exhibits somewhat liquid-like (amorphous) behavior in sliding condition and shear resistance increases with increase of sliding speed. Ken-ichi Saitoh, Tomohiro Sato, Masanori Takuma, Yoshimasa Takahashi, and Ryuketsu Chin Copyright © 2015 Ken-ichi Saitoh et al. All rights reserved. Strength Performance Based on Flexibility from Laterite Soil Using Tire Powder and Micro Silica Mon, 26 Oct 2015 06:17:57 +0000 In terms of environmental issues and human health, one of the advisable techniques to improve soil behavior is the use of scrap tires for soil structures. According to the literature, Tire-Derived Aggregates (TDA) are one of the valuable materials in different field of Geotechnical that can be used. TDA properties correspond to some important factors such as high level of flexible, lightweight, high permeability and economic material comparing with sand. Strength performance based on increasing flexibility from laterite soil is the main goal of this study. For this purpose, tropical laterite soil was mixed using TDA and micro silica (MS). As a research method, unconfined tests were carried for thirteen samples based on different percentage of the additives. As a result, the significant reduction for elasticity modulus and strength was observed when soil mixed just using TDA. In addition, the rate of strain at the peak of the curve was dramatically increased. The best performance was found using 6% additives when the ratio was 3% MS and 3% TDA. In fact, the effect of MS was more to increase strength. To recommend, the seepage controlling will investigate at next. Behrouz Gordan and Azlan Adnan Copyright © 2015 Behrouz Gordan and Azlan Adnan. All rights reserved. Rutherford Backscattering Spectrometry Analysis and Structural Properties of Thin Films Deposited by Chemical Spray Pyrolysis Thu, 08 Oct 2015 07:27:17 +0000 Zinc lead sulphide ternary thin films were prepared by chemical spray pyrolysis on soda lime glass substrates using zinc acetate, lead acetate, and thiourea sources precursor. The films were characterized using Rutherford backscattering (RBS) spectrometry, energy dispersive X-ray (EDX) spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and X-ray diffractometry (XRD). RBS studies revealed variation in thickness and stoichiometry of the films with respect to compositional substitution between Zn and Pb, thereby giving effective composition , where , 0.035, 0.069, 0.109, 0.176, and 0.217. Film thickness obtained by length conversion ranged from 81.02 nm to 90.03 nm. Microstructural analyses also indicated that the growth and particle distribution of the films were uniform across substrate’s surface. Diffraction studies showed that the films possess FCC crystalline structure. Crystallite size reduced from 14.28 to 9.8 nm with increase in Zn2+ in the samples. Abiodun E. Adeoye, Emmanuel Ajenifuja, Bidini A. Taleatu, and A. Y. Fasasi Copyright © 2015 Abiodun E. Adeoye et al. All rights reserved. Effect of Lateral Substitution on the Electronics and Phase Transitions of Stilbazoles, Benzoic Acids, Phenols, and Hydrogen Bonded Mixtures Wed, 07 Oct 2015 09:00:28 +0000 The preparation and characterization of laterally substituted 4-alkoxy-stilbazoles, 4-alkoxy-benzoic acids, and 4-alkoxy phenols and hydrogen bonded heterodimeric mixtures of these compounds are reported. Lateral substitution has a minimal effect on the ring electronics of 4-alkoxy benzoic acids and 4-alkoxy phenols; however the ring electronics of stilbazole units is extremely sensitive to lateral substitution. While lateral substitution is an effective technique for lowering the melting points of both hydrogen bonded complexes and their individual components, its effect on the electronics of stilbazoles and steric disruption of both intermolecular hydrogen bonding and molecular packing in the solid state disrupts the formation of liquid crystalline phases in both the individual components and hydrogen bonded complexes. Jeremy R. Wolf Copyright © 2015 Jeremy R. Wolf. All rights reserved. Photocatalytic Degradation of Eosin Yellow Using Poly(pyrrole-co-aniline)-Coated TiO2/Nanocellulose Composite under Solar Light Irradiation Sun, 04 Oct 2015 13:38:41 +0000 The present study describes the feasibility of a novel adsorbent cum photocatalyst, poly(pyrrole-co-aniline)-coated TiO2/nanocellulose composite (P(Py-co-An)-TiO2/NCC), to remove eosin yellow (EY) from aqueous solutions. The removal of EY was investigated by batch adsorption followed by photocatalysis. The effect of various adsorption parameters like adsorbent dose, pH, contact time, initial concentration, and ionic strength has been optimized for treating effluents from the dye industry. Adsorption of EY reached maximum at pH 4.5 and complete removal of dye was achieved using 3.5 g/L of P(Py-co-An)-TiO2/NCC. Adsorption equilibrium data were fitted with Langmuir and Fritz-Schlunder isotherm models and the kinetics of adsorption follows a second-order mechanism. The adsorption capacity of P(Py-co-An)-TiO2/NCC was found to be 3.39 × 10−5 mol/g and reached equilibrium within 90 min. The photocatalytic degradation of adsorbed dye under sunlight was possible and about 92.3% of dye was degraded within 90 min. The reusability of P(Py-co-An)-TiO2/NCC was also investigated. The results indicate that P(Py-co-An)-TiO2/NCC is the best material for the wiping out of EY from aqueous solutions. T. S. Anirudhan and S. R. Rejeena Copyright © 2015 T. S. Anirudhan and S. R. Rejeena. All rights reserved. Chopped Strand/Plain Weave E-Glass as Reinforcement in Vacuum Bagged Epoxy Composites Sun, 13 Sep 2015 11:24:21 +0000 Polymer matrix composites are one of the materials being extensively researched and are gaining a lot of importance due to advantages like high specific strength, greater flexibility in design, and reduced cost of manufacturing. In this study, tensile, flexural, impact, and interlaminar shear strength of chopped strand/plain weave E-glass composites were considered. Composite laminates with different stacking sequence were fabricated using Vacuum Assisted Resin Infusion Moulding (VARIM) technique. Fiber volume fractions (FVF) of 22%, 26%, and 30% were adopted. Experiments were conducted in accordance with ASTM standards. Results indicate that laminates with three layers of plain weave mat exhibited better tensile, flexural, and interlaminar shear strength. However, laminates with two layers of chopped strand mat and one layer of plain weave mat showed improved impact resistance. In addition, scanning electron microscopy was used to analyze the fracture surface. Srinivas Shenoy Heckadka, Suhas Yeshwant Nayak, Karan Narang, and Kirti Vardhan Pant Copyright © 2015 Srinivas Shenoy Heckadka et al. All rights reserved. On the Synthesis of Molybdenum Nanoparticles under Reducing Conditions in Ionic Liquids Thu, 10 Sep 2015 13:06:56 +0000 We report on attempts to synthesize Mo nanoparticles under reducing conditions in ionic liquids (ILs). Ionic liquids were based on the 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium or 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium (Emim and Bmim, resp.) cations and the dicyanamide N(CN)2, triflate (OTf), bis(trifluoromethylsulfonyl)imide-(NTf2), tetrafluoroborate (BF4), ethyl sulfate (ES), and methylsulfonate (MS) anions. (NH4)6Mo7O24∗4H2O and NaBH4 were reacted in a set of imidazolium ionic liquids (ILs) at 180°C to evaluate the potential of the ILs for stabilization of metallic Mo nanoparticles. XRD and TEM reveal a strong influence of the IL anion on the particle sizes, shapes, and crystal structures. The influence of the IL cation and the reaction temperature is much less pronounced. Ayi A. Ayi, Chinyere A. Anyama, and Varsha Khare Copyright © 2015 Ayi A. Ayi et al. All rights reserved. MATLAB User Interface for Simulation of Silicon Germanium Solar Cell Mon, 17 Aug 2015 12:19:10 +0000 Nuclear fusion reaction on the sun is the largest source of energy. In this paper, qualitative investigation of the numerical model of silicon germanium heterojunction solar cell is performed using MATLAB graphical user interface. The heterostructure is designed as for speculative determination of appropriate germanium mole fraction to get the maximized thin-film solar cell efficiency (ή). Other characteristics such as absorption coefficient (α), energy band gap (), reflectivity (r), open circuit voltage (), and generation rate are also considered. This user interface will reduce the complexity of solving differential equation for the analysis of silicon germanium heterojunction cell. Ashish Kumar Singh, Jahnvi Tiwari, Ashish Yadav, and Rakesh Kumar Jha Copyright © 2015 Ashish Kumar Singh et al. All rights reserved. Tailoring Imprinted Titania Nanoparticles for Purines Recognition Mon, 03 Aug 2015 06:12:59 +0000 Molecular imprinted titania nanoparticles were developed for selective recognition of purines, for example, guanine and its final oxidation product uric acid. Titania nanoparticles were prepared by hydrolysis of titanium butoxide as precursor in the presence of pattern molecules. The morphology of synthesized nanoparticles is evaluated by SEM images. Recognition characteristics of imprinted titania nanoparticles are studied by exposing them to standard solution of guanine and uric acid, respectively. The resultant change in their concentration is determined by UV/Vis analysis that indicated imprinted titania nanoparticles possess high affinity for print molecules. In both cases, nonimprinted titania is taken as control to observe nonspecific binding interactions. Cross sensitivity studies suggested that imprinted titania is at least five times more selective for binding print molecules than competing analyte thus indicating its potential for bioassay of purines. Adnan Mujahid, Amna Najeeb, Aimen Idrees Khan, Tajamal Hussain, Muhammad Hamid Raza, Asma Tufail Shah, Naseer Iqbal, and Mirza Nadeem Ahmad Copyright © 2015 Adnan Mujahid et al. All rights reserved. Enhancing Roentgen Sensitivity of Gold-Doped CdIn2S4 Thiospinel for X-Ray Detection Applications Wed, 29 Jul 2015 08:15:37 +0000 The single crystals were grown from preliminarily synthesized polycrystals by the method of chemical transport reactions in a closed volume with iodine used as a carrier. The influence of doping CdIn2S4 single crystals by gold (3 mol %) on their X-ray dosimetric parameters is studied. It is found that the X-ray sensitivity coefficients of crystals increase 6–8 times compared with undoped CdIn2S4 at effective radiation hardness  keV and dose rate  R/min. Moreover, the persistence of the crystal characteristics completely disappears and the supple voltage of a roentgen detector decreases threefold. The dependence of the steady X-ray-induced current in on the X-ray dose is described by linear law. The studied crystals have a rather high room-temperature X-ray sensitivity ( (A·min)/(R·V)) and are attractive as materials for X-ray detectors. Solmaz N. Mustafaeva, MirSalim M. Asadov, and Djahan T. Guseinov Copyright © 2015 Solmaz N. Mustafaeva et al. All rights reserved. First-Principle and Experimental Study of a Gadolinium-Praseodymium-Cobalt Pseudobinary Intermetallic Compound Sun, 28 Jun 2015 07:34:41 +0000 First-principles methods were used to determine the magnetic state of a simulated cobalt-based binary alloy (Gd,Pr)Co17 along with its corresponding lattice parameters and density. The resulting composition was fabricated using two methods arc-melting and induction-melting and compared with the calculated values. The induction-melted samples showed greater homogeneity and successfully produced the R2Co17 structure. Calculated values qualitatively predict ferromagnetic behavior and lattice parameters to be within a low percent. The development of magnetic alloys with the assistance of computational methods promises faster development of new functional materials. Jon Goldsby, Sai Raj, Sivaraman Guruswamy, and Daniel David Azbill Copyright © 2015 Jon Goldsby et al. All rights reserved. Solution-Processed rGO/AgNPs/rGO Sandwich Structure as a Hole Extraction Layer for Polymer Solar Cells Thu, 11 Jun 2015 07:00:23 +0000 We found that inserting silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) between two layers of reduced grapheme oxide (rGO) has an effect on tailoring the work function of rGO. The utilization of rGO/AgNPs/rGO sandwich structure as the hole extraction layer in polymer solar cells is demonstrated. Solution-processable fabrication of this sandwich structure at the ITO/active layer interface facilitates the extraction of hole from active layer into ITO anode because of lowering the barrier level alignment at the interface. It results in an improvement of the short circuit current density and the overall photovoltaic performance. Quang Trung Tran, Hoang Thi Thu, Vinh Son Tran, Tran Viet Cuong, and Chang-Hee Hong Copyright © 2015 Quang Trung Tran et al. All rights reserved. Thermal Spectroscopy and Kinetic Studies of PEO/PVDF Loaded by Carbon Nanotubes Sun, 31 May 2015 12:32:52 +0000 Nanocomposites of polyethylene oxide (PEO) and polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) without and with low content of single and multiwalled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs-MWCNTs) were prepared and studied by thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) using different heating rate. TGA results indicate that the thermal stability of neat PEO/PVDF blend was improved with both heating rate and incorporation of carbon nanotubes (CNTs). The degradation temperature for neat blend was lower than those of the nanocomposites after adding both SWCNTs and MWCNTs. As increase of heating rate, the onset of decomposition is irregularly moved to higher temperatures. This indicates that the thermal stability of the polymeric matrices has been improved after addition of CNTs. The residual weight of the samples left increased steadily with adding of both SWCNTs and MWCNTs. Kinetic thermodynamic parameters such as activation energy, enthalpy, entropy, and Gibbs free energy are evaluated from TGA data using Coats-Redfern model. The values of all parameters irregularly decrease with increasing of heating rate due to increasing of heating rate temperature, the random scission of macromolecule chain in the polymeric matrices predominates and the activation energy has a lower value. Laila Hussein Gaabour Copyright © 2015 Laila Hussein Gaabour. All rights reserved. Sodium Sulphate Effect on Cement Produced with Building Stone Waste Thu, 07 May 2015 12:19:29 +0000 In this study, the blended cements produced by using the building stone waste were exposed to sulphate solution and the cement properties were examined. Prepared mortar specimens were cured under water for 28 days and then they were exposed to three different proportions of sodium sulphate solution for 125 days. Performances of cements were determined by means of compressive strength and tensile strength tests. The broken parts of some mortar bars were examined with scanning electron microscope (SEM). Besides, they were left under moist atmosphere and their length change was measured and continuously monitored for period of 125 days. In blended cements, solely cements obtained by replacing 10–20% of diatomites gave similar strength values with ordinary Portland cement (CEM I 42.5R) at the ages of 7, 28, and 56 days. In all mortar specimens that included either waste andesite (AP) or marble powder (MP) showed best performance against very severe effective sodium sulphate solutions (13500 mg/L). Emre Sancak and Şükrü Özkan Copyright © 2015 Emre Sancak and Şükrü Özkan. All rights reserved. Effect of Inert and Pozzolanic Materials on Flow and Mechanical Properties of Self-Compacting Concrete Tue, 31 Mar 2015 13:42:54 +0000 This research investigates the fresh behaviour and mechanical properties of self-compacting concrete (SCC) containing high volume of limestone, metakaolin, silica fume, zeolite, and viscosity modifying admixture. Two fine aggregates with different fineness modulus were also utilized to evaluate the effect of sand’s gradation on the mechanical and flow properties of SCC containing inert and pozzolanic powder. Slump flow, V-funnel for fresh concrete and 5-minute-old concrete, J-ring, Orimet with and without J-ring, and L-box and U-box tests were performed on all 14 fresh concrete mixtures to examine the fresh properties of self-compacting concrete. Compressive strength of hardened specimens was measured at 7 and 35 days and tensile strength was also determined at the age of 28 days. The results show that sand grading significantly affects the fresh properties of SCC. It is also concluded that high volume of active powders including metakaolin, zeolite, and silica fume could not improve both the flow and mechanical properties of SCC at the same time. Limestone can be effectively used as filler in SCC in high volume content. A new set of limits for the L-box and U-box tests for SCC containing silica fume is also recommended as the existing criteria are not satisfactory. Mehrdad Mahoutian and Mohammad Shekarchi Copyright © 2015 Mehrdad Mahoutian and Mohammad Shekarchi. All rights reserved. A Qualitative Study of Thermochemical Degradation Related with Concrete and Mortar Strength Thu, 26 Mar 2015 11:20:33 +0000 The nondestructive methods applied to the evaluation of concrete use different parameters to be related in the estimated resistance of concrete or other properties. The conducted study has evaluated a qualitative method of thermochemical degradation in concrete and mortar using a solvent acid whose chemical energy is capable of degrading the material. The reported study consisted in performing laboratory tests on mechanical compressive strength of concrete and mortar and thermochemical tests performed on little cores of concrete or mortar immersed in hydrochloric acid contained in a calorimeter system, obtaining several parameters as the time of thermal equilibrium, increase of temperature, degradation energy, and mass loss due to the thermochemical reaction. From the obtained results, these variables were analyzed and served as a parameter to be related with the concrete or mortar strength. The best parameter proved to be a good estimator was the increase of temperature and its degradation energy, whose value was inversely proportional to the strength of the material. Also, it is found that the most significant mechanisms that influenced the thermochemical reaction are the calcium content and the water chemically bound in the cement paste to perform the thermochemical test. José Mora-Ruacho and Humberto A. Monreal-Romero Copyright © 2015 José Mora-Ruacho and Humberto A. Monreal-Romero. All rights reserved. A Reconciliation of Packed Column Permeability Data: Deconvoluting the Ergun Papers Mon, 22 Sep 2014 05:39:17 +0000 In his 1952 publication, Ergun made the following proclamation: “Data of the present investigation and those presented earlier have been treated accordingly, and the coefficients and have been determined by the method of least squares. The values obtained are and, , representing 640 experiments.” In this paper, we demonstrate that because his experimental methodology was flawed, the corrected values, which his experimental results would otherwise have established for these coefficients, are significantly higher. This is, in part, because Ergun’s reporting of his measured data was ambiguous with respect to the embedded coefficients and . In addition, this ambiguity made it difficult for any subsequent researcher to figure out the true meaning of his empirical results which, in turn, resulted in his choice of the values for these coefficients being accepted by default in the scientific community. Hubert M. Quinn Copyright © 2014 Hubert M. Quinn. All rights reserved. From Garbage to Biomaterials: An Overview on Egg Shell Based Hydroxyapatite Mon, 25 Aug 2014 09:29:39 +0000 The conversion of waste obtained from agricultural processes into biocompatible materials (biomaterials) used in medical surgery is a strategy that will add more value in waste utilization. This strategy has successfully turned the rather untransformed wastes into high value products. Eggshell is an agricultural waste largely considered as useless and is discarded mostly because it contributes to pollution. This waste has potential for producing hydroxyapatite, a major component found in bone and teeth. Hydroxyapatite is an excellent material used in bone repair and tissue regeneration. The use of eggshell to generate hydroxyapatite will reduce the pollution effect of the waste and the subsequent conversion of the waste into a highly valuable product. In this paper, we reviewed the utilization of this agricultural waste (eggshell) in producing hydroxyapatite. The process of transforming eggshell into hydroxyapatite and nanohydroxyapatite is an environmentally friendly process. Eggshell based hydroxyapatite and nanohydroxyapatite stand as good chance of reducing the cost of treatment in bone repair or replacement with little impact on the environment. Idris Abdulrahman, Hamzat Ibiyeye Tijani, Bashir Abubakar Mohammed, Haruna Saidu, Hindatu Yusuf, Mohammed Ndejiko Jibrin, and Sulaiman Mohammed Copyright © 2014 Idris Abdulrahman et al. All rights reserved. Effect of Short Fiber Reinforcement on Mechanical Properties of Hybrid Phenolic Composites Wed, 06 Aug 2014 07:33:11 +0000 Fiber plays an important role in determining the hardness, strength, and dynamic mechanical properties of composite material. In the present work, enhancement of viscoelastic behaviour of hybrid phenolic composites has been synergistically investigated. Five different phenolic composites, namely, C1, C2, C3, C4, and C5, were fabricated by varying the weight percentage of basalt and aramid fiber, namely, 25, 20, 15, 10, and 5% by compensating with barium sulphate (BaSO4) to keep the combined reinforcement concentration at 25 wt%. Hardness was measured to examine the resistance of composites to indentation. The hardness of phenolic composites increased from 72.2 to 85.2 with increase in basalt fiber loading. Composite C1 (25 wt% fiber) is 1.2 times harder than composite C5. Compression test was conducted to find out compressive strength of phenolic composites and compressive strength increased with increase in fiber content. Dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA) was carried out to assess the temperature dependence mechanical properties in terms of storage modulus (), loss modulus (), and damping factor (tan δ). The results indicate great improvement of values and decrease in damping behaviour of composite upon fiber addition. Further X-ray powder diffraction (XRD) and energy-dispersive X-ray (EDX) analysis were employed to characterize the friction composites. Sembian Manoharan, Bhimappa Suresha, Govindarajulu Ramadoss, and Basavaraj Bharath Copyright © 2014 Sembian Manoharan et al. All rights reserved. Experimental Investigation of the Phase Equilibria in the Al-Mn-Zn System at 400°C Thu, 17 Jul 2014 09:55:30 +0000 Al-Mn-Zn ternary system is experimentally investigated at 400°C using diffusion couples and key alloys. Phase relationships and homogeneity ranges are determined for binary and ternary compounds using EPMA, SEM/EDS, and XRD. Reported ternary compound T3 (Al11Mn3Zn2) is confirmed in this study and is denoted as τ2 in this paper. Two new ternary compounds (τ1 and τ3) are observed in this system at 400°C. τ1 is determined as a stoichiometric compound with the composition of Al31Mn8Zn11. τ3 has been found to have homogeneity range of AlxMnyZnz ( at%;  at%;  at%). The binary compounds Al4Mn and Al11Mn4 exhibit limited solid solubility of around 6 at% and 4 at% Zn, respectively. Terminal solid solution Al8Mn5 is found to have maximum ternary solubility of about 10 at% Zn. In addition, ternary solubility of Al-rich β-Mn′ at 400°C is determined as 4 at% Zn. Zn-rich β-Mn′′ has a ternary solubility of 3 at% Al. The solubility of Al in Mn5Zn21 is measured as 5 at%. Based on the current experimental results, the isothermal section of Al-Mn-Zn ternary system at 400°C has been constructed. Tian Wang, Dmytro Kevorkov, Ahmad Mostafa, and Mamoun Medraj Copyright © 2014 Tian Wang et al. All rights reserved. Effect of Carbon Nanotube Size on Compressive Strengths of Nanotube Reinforced Cementitious Composites Thu, 17 Jul 2014 07:39:05 +0000 Application of nanoscale science to construction material has already begun. In recent times, various nanofibers have raised the interest of researchers due to their exceptional mechanical properties and high potential to be used as reinforcement within cement matrix. Carbon nanotube (CNT) is one of the most important areas of research in the field of nanotechnology. The size and exceptional mechanical properties of CNT show their high potential to be used to produce high performance next generation cementitious composites. In this study, an attempt has been made to investigate the effect of size of CNTs on compressive strengths of CNT reinforced cement composites. Seven different sizes of multiwalled nanotubes (MWNTs) were used to produce MWNT-cement composites. A trend was observed regarding the effect of nanotube size on compressive strength of composites in most cases. MWNT with outside diameter (OD) of 20 nm or less exhibited relatively better performance. Smaller MWNT can be distributed at much finer scale and consequently filling the nanopore space within the cement matrix more efficiently. This in turn resulted in stronger composites. Tanvir Manzur, Nur Yazdani, and Md. Abul Bashar Emon Copyright © 2014 Tanvir Manzur et al. All rights reserved. Structural Investigation of Photocatalyst Solid Ag1−xCuxInS2 Quaternary Alloys Sprayed Thin Films Optimized within the Lattice Compatibility Theory (LCT) Scope Mon, 14 Jul 2014 12:11:36 +0000 CuxAg1−xInS2 solid thin films were fabricated through a low-cost process. Particular process-related enhanced properties lead to reaching a minimum of lattice mismatch between absorber and buffer layers within particular solar cell devices. First, copper-less samples X-ray diffraction analysis depicts the presence of AgInS2 ternary compound in chalcopyrite tetragonal phase with privileged (112) peak ( Å) according to JCPDS 75-0118 card. Second, when x content increases, we note a shift of the same preferential orientation (112) and its value reaches 1.63 Å corresponding to CuInS2 chalcopyrite tetragonal material according to JCPDS 89-6095 file. Finally, the formation and stability of these quaternaries have been discussed in terms of the lattice compatibility in relation with silver-copper duality within indium disulfide lattice structure. Plausible explanations for the extent and dynamics of copper incorporation inside AgInS2 elaborated ternary matrices have been proposed. A. Colantoni, L. Longo, and K. Boubaker Copyright © 2014 A. Colantoni et al. 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