Journal of Materials The latest articles from Hindawi Publishing Corporation © 2015 , Hindawi Publishing Corporation . 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. All rights reserved. Synthesis, Growth, and Characterization of Bisglycine Hydrobromide Single Crystal Sun, 29 Jun 2014 12:48:22 +0000 Single crystals of BGHB were grown by slow evaporation technique. The unit cell dimensions and space group of the grown crystals were confirmed by single crystal X-ray diffraction. The modes of vibration of the molecules and the presence of functional groups were identified using FTIR technique. The microhardness study shows that the Vickers hardness number of the crystal increases with the increase in applied load. The optical properties of the crystals were determined using UV-Visible spectroscopy. The thermal properties of the grown crystal were also determined. The refractive index was determined as 1.396 using Brewster’s angle method. The emission of green light on passing the Nd: YAG laser light confirmed the second harmonic generation property of the crystals and the SHG efficiency of the crystals was found to be higher than that of KDP. The dielectric constant and dielectric loss measurements were carried out for different temperatures and frequencies. The ac conductivity study of the crystals was also discussed. The photoconductivity studies confirm that the grown crystal has negative photoconductivity nature. The etching studies were carried out to study the formation of etch pits. Koteeswari Pandurangan and Sagadevan Suresh Copyright © 2014 Koteeswari Pandurangan and Sagadevan Suresh. All rights reserved. Synthesis of Thin Films by Magnetron Sputtering Wed, 18 Jun 2014 08:20:19 +0000 In this work films were prepared by reactive magnetron sputtering at room temperature and deposited on a silicon wafer. It was found that the diffractograms of the nitrogen-rich rhenium film are consistent with those produced by high-pressure high-temperature methods, under the assumption that the film is oriented on the substrate. Using density functional calculations it was found that the composition of this compound could be ReN3, instead of ReN2, as stated on previous works. The ReN3 compound fits in the Ama2 (40) orthorhombic space group, and due to the existence of N3 anions between Re layers it should be categorized as an azide. The material is exceptionally brittle and inherently unstable under indentation testing. G. Soto, H. Tiznado, W. de la Cruz, and A. Reyes Copyright © 2014 G. Soto et al. All rights reserved. Synthesis of Nanocrystalline CdS by SILAR and Their Characterization Tue, 17 Jun 2014 07:22:02 +0000 A simple and cost effective chemical technique has been utilized to prepare cadmium sulphide (CdS) nanoparticles at room temperature. The sample is characterized with XRD (X-ray diffractometer), SEM (scanning electron microscope), TEM (transmission electron microscope), FTIR (Fourier transform infrared), EDX (energy dispersive X-rays), and UV-VIS (ultraviolet visible) spectrophotometer. The particle size estimated using X-ray line broadening method is ~21.5 nm. While particle size estimation, both instrumental and strain broadening was taken into account. The lattice strain was evaluated using Williamson-Hall equation. SEM illustrates formation of submicron size crystallites and TEM image gives a particle size of ~23.5 nm. The characteristic stretching vibration frequency of CdS was observed in the absorption band in FTIR spectrum. Optical absorption study exhibits a band gap energy value of about 2.44 eV. Partha Protim Chandra, Ayan Mukherjee, and P. Mitra Copyright © 2014 Partha Protim Chandra et al. All rights reserved. New Quasi-One-Dimensional Organic-Inorganic Hybrid Material: 1,3-Bis(4-piperidinium)propane Pentachlorobismuthate(III) Synthesis, Crystal Structure, and Spectroscopic Studies Mon, 02 Jun 2014 00:00:00 +0000 The organic-inorganic hybrid compound (C13H28N2) BiCl5 was synthesized by solvothermal method. The crystal structure was solved by single-crystal X-ray diffraction. The compound crystallizes in the orthorhombic system space group Cmc21 with (4) Å, (6) Å, (3) Å, and . The crystal structure was refined down to . It consists of corrugated layers of [BiCl5]2− chains, separated by organic [H2TMDP]2+ cations (TMDP=1,3-Bis(4-piperidyl)propane = C13H26N2). The crystal cohesion is achieved by hydrogen bonds joining the organic and inorganic layers. The influence of the organic cations' flexibility is discussed. Raman and infrared spectra of the title compound were recorded in the range of 50–400 and 400–4000 cm−1, respectively. Semiempirical parameter model three (PM3) method has been performed to derive the calculated IR spectrum. The crystal shape morphology was simulated using the Bravais-Friedel and Donnay-Harker model. Hela Ferjani and Habib Boughzala Copyright © 2014 Hela Ferjani and Habib Boughzala. All rights reserved. Evaluation of CoBlast Coated Titanium Alloy as Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell Bipolar Plates Wed, 28 May 2014 12:24:14 +0000 We investigated the potential of graphite based coatings deposited on titanium V alloy by a low-cost powder based process for bipolar plate application. The coatings which were deposited from a mixture of graphite and alumina powders at ambient temperature, pressure of 90 psi, and speed of 20 mm were characterised and electrochemically polarised in 0.5 M H2SO4 + 2 ppm HF bubbled with air and hydrogen gas to depict the cathode and anode PEM fuel cell environment, respectively. Surface conductivity and water contact angles were also evaluated. Corrosion current in the 1 μA/cm2 range in both cathodic and anodic environment at room temperature and showed negligible influence on the electrochemical behaviour of the bare alloy. Similar performance, which was attributed to the discontinuities in the coatings, was also observed when polarised at 0.6 V and −0.1 V with air and hydrogen bubbling at 70∘C respectively. At 140 N/cm2, the coated alloy exhibited contact resistance of 45.70 mΩ·cm2 which was lower than that of the bare alloy (66.50 mΩ·cm2) but twice that of graphite (21.29 mΩ·cm2). Similarly, the wettability test indicated that the coated layer exhibited higher contact angle of 99.63° than that of the bare alloy (66.32°). Over all, these results indicated need for improvement in the coating process to achieve a continuous layer. Atinuke M. Oladoye, James G. Carton, and Abdul G. Olabi Copyright © 2014 Atinuke M. Oladoye et al. All rights reserved. Optical Response of Metakaolin after Ultraviolet and High Energy Electron Exposure Thu, 08 May 2014 09:32:50 +0000 Metakaolin, which is part of a class of inorganic polymers called geopolymers, is being tested currently for its use as a lightweight mirror material in spacecraft applications. Metakaolin, as with most geopolymers, has the advantages of low initial coefficient of thermal expansion, easy preparation at room temperature and pressure, and high specific strength. Even though metakaolin has been known as a structural material for millennia, it has not been properly vetted for use as a material in spacecraft applications, especially with respect to exposure to its environments. This research highlights one particular aspect of response to the space environment; that is, how do the optical properties of metakaolin change after subjugation to bombardment by ultraviolet and high energy electron radiation? These two radiation sources are common in low earth orbit and a primary cause of degradation of organic polymers in space. Photospectroscopic analysis showed that ultraviolet in combination with high energy electrons causes changes in the metakaolin which need to be accounted for due to their potential impacts on the thermal management of a spacecraft and during application in composite mirror structures. B. T. Cesul, S. Mall, and L. Matson Copyright © 2014 B. T. Cesul et al. All rights reserved. Electrochemical Behavior of TiO2 Nanoparticle Doped WO3 Thin Films Tue, 06 May 2014 06:31:36 +0000 Nanoparticle TiO2 doped WO3 thin films by pulsed spray pyrolysis technique have been studied on fluorine tin doped (FTO) and glass substrate. XRD shows amorphous nature for undoped and anatase phase of TiO2 having (101) plane for nanoparticle TiO2 doped WO3 thin film. SEM shows microfibrous reticulated porous network for WO3 with 600 nm fiber diameter and nanocrystalline having size 40 nm for TiO2 nanoparticle doped WO3 thin film. TiO2 nanoparticle doped WO3 thin film shows ~95% reversibility due to may be attributed to nanocrystalline nature of the film, which helpful for charge insertion and deinsertion process. The diffusion coefficient for TiO2 nanoparticle doped WO3 film is less than undoped WO3. Suvarna R. Bathe and P. S. Patil Copyright © 2014 Suvarna R. Bathe and P. S. Patil. All rights reserved. Essential Magnesium Alloys Binary Phase Diagrams and Their Thermochemical Data Wed, 30 Apr 2014 11:04:07 +0000 Magnesium-based alloys are becoming a major industrial material for structural applications because of their potential weight saving characteristics. All the commercial Mg alloys like AZ, AM, AE, EZ, ZK, and so forth series are multicomponent and hence it is important to understand the phase relations of the alloying elements with Mg. In this work, eleven essential Mg-based binary systems including Mg-Al/Zn/Mn/Ca/Sr/Y/Ni/Ce/Nd/Cu/Sn have been reviewed. Each of these systems has been discussed critically on the aspects of phase diagram and thermodynamic properties. All the available experimental data has been summarized and critically assessed to provide detailed understanding of the systems. The phase diagrams are calculated based on the most up-to-date optimized parameters. The thermodynamic model parameters for all the systems except Mg-Nd have been summarized in tables. The crystallographic information of the intermetallic compounds of different binary systems is provided. Also, the heat of formation of the intermetallic compounds obtained from experimental, first principle calculations and CALPHAD optimizations are provided. In addition, reoptimization of the Mg-Y system has been done in this work since new experimental data showed wider solubility of the intermetallic compounds. Mohammad Mezbahul-Islam, Ahmad Omar Mostafa, and Mamoun Medraj Copyright © 2014 Mohammad Mezbahul-Islam et al. All rights reserved. Synthesis, Characterization, and Use of Novel Bimetal Oxide Catalyst for Photoassisted Degradation of Malachite Green Dye Wed, 30 Apr 2014 09:30:24 +0000 This work reports a simple, novel, and cost effective synthesis of nanobimetal oxide catalyst using cerium and cadmium nitrates as metal precursors. The cerium-cadmium oxide nanophotocatalyst was synthesized by coprecipitation method and characterized by X-ray powder diffraction method to analyze the particle size. XRD study reveals a high degree of crystallinity and 28.43 nm particle size. The photocatalytic efficiency of the synthesized nanobimetal catalyst was examined by using it for the photocatalytic degradation of malachite green dye. Experiments were conducted to study the effect of various parameters, such as the pH of the dye solution, concentration of dye, amount of catalyst, and light intensity on the rate of dye degradation. The progress of the dye degradation was monitored spectrophotometrically by taking the optical density of the dye solution at regular intervals. Experimental results indicate that the dye degrades best at pH 8.0 with light intensity 600 Wm−2 and catalyst loading 0.03 g/50 mL of dye solution. The rate constant for the reaction was 7.67 × 10−4 s−1. K. L. Ameta, Neema Papnai, and Rakshit Ameta Copyright © 2014 K. L. Ameta et al. All rights reserved. Aerogels as Promising Thermal Insulating Materials: An Overview Sun, 27 Apr 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Aerogels are solids with high porosity (<100 nm) and hence possess extremely low density (∼0.003 g/cm3) and very low conductivity (∼10 mW/mK). In recent years, aerogels have attracted more and more attention due to their surprising properties and their existing and potential applications in wide range of technological areas. An overview of aerogels and their applications as the building envelope components and respective improvements from an energy efficiency perspective including performance is given here. This overview covers thermal insulation properties of aerogels and studies regarding structural features which will be helpful in buildings envelope. The improvements of thermal insulation systems have future prospects of large savings in primary energy consumption. It can be concluded that aerogels have great potential in a wide range of applications as energy efficient insulation, windows, acoustics, and so forth. Prakash C. Thapliyal and Kirti Singh Copyright © 2014 Prakash C. Thapliyal and Kirti Singh. All rights reserved. Thermal Transport between Graphene Sheets and SiC Substrate by Molecular-Dynamical Calculation Wed, 23 Apr 2014 13:49:45 +0000 Using nonequilibrium molecular dynamics, we investigate the mechanisms of thermal transport across SiC/graphene sheets. In simulations, 3C-, 4H-, and 6H-SiC are considered separately. Interfacial thermal resistances between Bernal stacking graphene sheets and SiC (Si- or C-terminated) are calculated at the ranges of 100 K~700 K. The results indicate, whether Si-terminated or C-terminated interface, the interfacial thermal resistances of 4H- and 6H-SiC have similar trends over temperatures. Si-terminated interfacial thermal resistances of 3C-SiC are higher than those of 4H- and 6H-SiC in a wide temperature range from 100 K to 600 K. But, for C-rich interface, this range is reduced from 350 K to 500 K. Zan Wang, Kedong Bi, Huawei Guan, and Jiong Wang Copyright © 2014 Zan Wang et al. All rights reserved. Preparation, and Structural and Magnetic Properties of Ca Substituted Magnesium Ferrite with Composition MgCaxFe2−xO4 ( = 0.00, 0.01, 0.03, 0.05, 0.07) Tue, 22 Apr 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Calcium substituted magnesium ferrite with composition MgCaxFe2−xO4 (where = 0.00, 0.01, 0.03, 0.05, 0.07) was prepared by ceramic technique. These compositions were then subjected to detailed study for structural and magnetic properties. X-ray diffraction studies reveal the formation of single phase cubic spinel. The values of lattice constant increase with the increase in calcium concentration from = 0.00 to = 0.03 and then decrease. Scanning electron microscopic (SEM) technique was used to study the morphology of the grown materials. The grain size was calculated using average intercept line method. The elemental composition of pure and calcium substituted magnesium ferrite was obtained from energy dispersive X-ray analysis (EDAX) spectrum. The hysteresis loop confirms the magnetic behaviour of the prepared composition, which is then discussed on the basis of cation distribution. The parameters such as saturation magnetization, coericivity, and retentivity are calculated. The Curie temperature was found to decrease with increasing calcium content. K. K. Bamzai, Gurbinder Kour, Balwinder Kaur, and S. D. Kulkarni Copyright © 2014 K. K. Bamzai et al. All rights reserved. Synthesis and Characterization of LPCVD Polysilicon and Silicon Nitride Thin Films for MEMS Applications Mon, 14 Apr 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Inherent residual stresses during material deposition can have profound effects on the functionality and reliability of fabricated MEMS devices. Residual stress often causes device failure due to curling, buckling, or fracture. Typically, the material properties of thin films used in surface micromachining are not very well controlled during deposition. The residual stress, for example, tends to vary significantly for different deposition conditions; experiments were carried out to study the polysilicon and silicon nitride deposited by Low Pressure Chemical Vapor Deposition (LPCVD) method at wide range of process conditions. High temperature annealing effects on stress in case polysilicon are also reported. The reduced residual stress levels can significantly improve device performance, reliability, and yield as MEMS devices become smaller. N. Sharma, M. Hooda, and S. K. Sharma Copyright © 2014 N. Sharma et al. All rights reserved. A Reconciliation of Packed Column Permeability Data: Column Permeability as a Function of Particle Porosity Tue, 01 Apr 2014 08:00:31 +0000 In his textbook teaching of packed bed permeability, Georges Guiochon uses mobile phase velocity as the fluid velocity term in his elaboration of the Darcy permeability equation. Although this velocity frame makes a lot of sense from a thermodynamic point of view, it is valid only with respect to permeability at a single theoretical boundary condition. In his more recent writings, however, Guiochon has departed from his long-standing mode of discussing permeability in terms of the Darcy equation and has embraced the well-known Kozeny-Blake equation. In this paper, his teaching pertaining to the constant in the Kozeny-Blake equation is examined and, as a result, a new correlation coefficient is identified and defined herein based on the velocity frame used in his teaching. This coefficient correlates pressure drop and fluid velocity as a function of particle porosity. We show that in their experimental protocols, Guiochon et al. have not adhered to a strict material balance of permeability which creates a mismatch of particle porosity and leads to erroneous conclusions regarding the value of the permeability coefficient in the Kozeny-Blake equation. By correcting the experimental data to properly reflect particle porosity we reconcile the experimental results of Guiochon and Giddings, resulting in a permeability reference chart which is presented here for the first time. This reference chart demonstrates that Guiochon’s experimental data, when properly normalized for particle porosity and other related discrepancies, corroborates the value of 267 for the constant in the Kozeny-Blake equation which was derived by Giddings in 1965. Hubert M. Quinn Copyright © 2014 Hubert M. Quinn. All rights reserved. The Construction of the Dupin Cyclides in a Smectic A Polygonal Texture Sun, 30 Mar 2014 11:31:26 +0000 We report experimental observations with optical microscopy of the usual so-called polygonal texture. We have made simulations of the Dupin cyclides in one small region of the sample. Claire Meyer, Brice Jonckheere, and Coline Penaud Copyright © 2014 Claire Meyer et al. All rights reserved. Effect of Sn Addition on Thermal and Optical Properties of    Glass Thu, 27 Mar 2014 16:27:33 +0000 Study of thermal and optical parameters of    glass has been undertaken. Crystallization and glass transition kinetics has been investigated under nonisothermal conditions by DSC technique. Phase separation has been observed in the material and is investigated by taking the XRD of annealed bulk samples. The material possesses good glass forming ability, high value of glass transition temperature about 420 K, and glass stability. Optical band gap and other optical constants such as refractive index and extinction coefficient have been determined. The isoelectronic substitution of Ge with Sn in the glassy system reduces the optical band gap and enhances the thermal properties. Vivek Modgil and V. S. Rangra Copyright © 2014 Vivek Modgil and V. S. Rangra. All rights reserved. Synthesis and Characterization of Aluminum Doped Zinc Oxide Nanostructures via Hydrothermal Route Tue, 25 Mar 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Stable crystalline aluminum doped zinc oxide (AZO) nanopowders were synthesized using hydrothermal treatment processing. Three different aluminum precursors have been used. The Al-precursors were found to affect the morphology of the obtained nanopowders. AZO nanoparticles based on zinc acetate and aluminum nitrate have been prepared with different Al/Zn molar ratios. XRD investigations revealed that all the obtained powders have single phase zincite structure with purity of about 99%. The effect of aluminum doping ratio in AZO nanoparticles (based on Al-nitrate precursor) on structure, phase composition, and particle size has been investigated. The incorporation of Al in ZnO was confirmed by UV-Vis spectroscopy revealing a blue shift due to Burstein-Moss effect. A. Alkahlout, N. Al Dahoudi, I. Grobelsek, M. Jilavi, and P. W. de Oliveira Copyright © 2014 A. Alkahlout et al. All rights reserved. Structural Lightweight Concrete Production by Using Oil Palm Shell Thu, 20 Mar 2014 11:29:54 +0000 Conventional building materials are widely used in a developing country like Malaysia. This type of material is costly. Oil palm shell (OPS) is a type of farming solid waste in the tropical region. This paper aims to investigate strength characteristics and cost analysis of concrete produced using the gradation of OPS 0–50% on conventional coarse aggregate with the mix proportions 1 : 1.65 : 2.45, 1 : 2.5 : 3.3, and 1 : 3.3 : 4.2 by the weight of ordinary Portland cement, river sand, crushed stone, and OPS as a substitution for coarse aggregate. The corresponding w/c ratios were used: 0.45, 0.6, and 0.75, respectively, for the defined mix proportions. Test results indicate that compressive strength of concrete decreased as the percentage of the OPS increased in each mix ratio. Other properties of OPS concrete, namely, modulus of rupture, modulus of elasticity, splitting tensile strength, and density, were also determined and compared to the corresponding properties of conventional concrete. Economic analysis also indicates possible cost reduction of up to 15% due to the use of OPS as coarse aggregate. Finally, it is concluded that the use of OPS has great potential in the production of structural lightweight concrete. Habibur Rahman Sobuz, Noor Md. Sadiqul Hasan, Nafisa Tamanna, and Md. Saiful Islam Copyright © 2014 Habibur Rahman Sobuz et al. All rights reserved. Acid Corrosion Inhibition and Adsorption Behaviour of Ethyl Hydroxyethyl Cellulose on Mild Steel Corrosion Thu, 13 Mar 2014 15:11:57 +0000 The corrosion inhibition of mild steel in 1.0 M H2SO4 solution by ethyl hydroxyethyl cellulose has been studied in relation to the concentration of the additive using weight loss measurement, EIS, polarization, and quantum chemical calculation techniques. The results indicate that EHEC inhibited corrosion reaction in the acid medium and inhibition efficiency increased with EHEC concentration. Further increase in inhibition efficiency is observed in the presence of iodide ions, due to synergistic effect. Impedance results reveal that EHEC is adsorbed on the corroding metal surface. Adsorption followed a modified Langmuir isotherm, with very high negative values of the free energy of adsorption . The polarization data indicate that the inhibitor was of mixed type, with predominant effect on the cathodic partial reaction. The frontier molecular orbitals, HOMO (the highest occupied molecular orbital) and LUMO (the lowest unoccupied molecular orbital) as well as local reactivity of the EHEC molecule, were analyzed theoretically using the density functional theory to explain the adsorption characteristics at a molecular level. The theoretical predictions showed good agreement with experimental results. I. O. Arukalam, I. O. Madu, N. T. Ijomah, C. M. Ewulonu, and G. N. Onyeagoro Copyright © 2014 I. O. Arukalam et al. All rights reserved. Synthesis and Characterization of Optically Active Fractal Seed Mediated Silver Nickel Bimetallic Nanoparticles Tue, 11 Mar 2014 13:41:35 +0000 The synthesis of new seed mediated AgNi allied bimetallic nanocomposites was successfully carried out by the successive reduction of the metal ions in diethylene glycol, ethylene glycol, glycerol, and pentaerythritol solutions, with concomitant precipitation of Ag/Ni bimetal sols. The optical measurement revealed the existence of distinct band edge with surface plasmon resonance (SPR) in the region of 400–425 nm and excitonic emission with maximum peak at 382 nm which were reminiscent of cluster-in-cluster surface enriched bimetallic silver-nickel sols. The morphological characterization by transmission electron microscopy, high resolution transmission electron microscopy, and X-ray diffraction analyses complimented by surface scan using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy strongly supported the formation of intimately alloyed face-centered silver/nickel nanoclusters. Joseph Adeyemi Adekoya, Enock Olugbenga Dare, Michael Adediran Mesubi, and Neerish Revaprasadu Copyright © 2014 Joseph Adeyemi Adekoya et al. All rights reserved. Fabrication of Thermoelectric Sensor and Cooling Devices Based on Elaborated Bismuth-Telluride Alloy Thin Films Mon, 10 Mar 2014 09:47:45 +0000 The principal motivation of this work is the development and realization of smart cooling and sensors devices based on the elaborated and characterized semiconducting thermoelectric thin film materials. For the first time, the details design of our sensor and the principal results are published. Fabrication and characterization of Bi/Sb/Te (BST) semiconducting thin films have been successfully investigated. The best values of Seebeck coefficient (α(T)) at room temperature for Bi2Te3, and (Bi1−xSbx)2Te3 with x = 0.77 are found to be −220 µV/K and +240 µV/K, respectively. Fabrication and evaluation of performance devices are reported. 2.60°C of cooling of only one Peltier module device for an optimal current of  mA is obtained. The values of temperature measured by infrared camera, by simulation, and those measured by the integrated and external thermocouple are reported. A sensitivity of the sensors of 5 mV Torr−1 mW−1 for the pressure sensor has been found with a response time of about 600 ms. Abdellah Boulouz, Alain Giani, Brice Sorli, Lahcen Koutti, Abdellah Massaq, and Frederique Pascal-Delannoy Copyright © 2014 Abdellah Boulouz et al. All rights reserved. Investigating the Physical Properties of Sintered Alumina in the Presence of MgO Nanopowder Wed, 05 Mar 2014 12:04:32 +0000 Magnesium oxide nanopowder is synthesized using magnesium nitrate hexahydrate and oxalic acid as precursors via the sol-gel method. In order to investigate the effect of magnesia nanopowders on the physical properties of sintered alumina, 0.1, 0.3, and 0.5 wt% of MgO are added to alumina. The prepared specimens were sintered at 1570°C for 4 hours under an inert atmosphere. The morphology and size of nanopowders were characterized by transmission electron microscope (TEM) and scanning electron microscope (SEM). Structural analysis was investigated by means of Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) and X-ray diffraction (XRD). Outcomes show that by increasing the percentage of MgO, spinel phase (MgAl2O4) has been formed in the structure of alumina. During the sintering process, spinel phase diffused through the grain boundaries and pinned the grain boundaries which led to decrease in grain sizes. So, by decreasing the grain size, the physical properties of sintered alumina have improved. Mehran Dadkhah, Abdollah Saboori, and Majid Jafari Copyright © 2014 Mehran Dadkhah et al. All rights reserved. Preparation and Characterization of K-Carrageenan/Nanosilica Biocomposite Film Mon, 03 Mar 2014 15:55:25 +0000 The purpose of this study is to improve the performance properties of K-carrageenan (K-CRG) by utilizing nanosilica (NSI) as the reinforcing agent. The composite films were prepared by solution casting method. NSI was added up to 1.5% in the K-CRG matrix. The prepared films were characterized for mechanical (tensile strength, tensile modulus, and elongation at break), thermal (differential scanning calorimetry, thermogravimetric analysis), barrier (water vapour transmission rate), morphological (scanning electron microscopy), contact angle, and crystallinity properties. Tensile strength, tensile modulus, and crystallinity were found to have increased by 13.8, 15, and 48% whereas water vapour transmission rate was found to have decreased by 48% for 0.5% NSI loaded K-CRG composite films. NSI was found to have formed aggregates for concentrations above 0.5% as confirmed by scanning electron microscopy. Melting temperature, enthalpy of melting, and degradation temperature of K-CRG increased with increase in concentration of NSI in K-CRG. Contact angle also increased with increase in concentration of NSI in K-CRG, indicating the decrease in hydrophilicity of the films improving its water resistance properties. This knowledge of the composite film could make beneficial contributions to the food and pharmaceutical packaging applications. Lokesh R. Rane, Niranjan R. Savadekar, Pravin G. Kadam, and Shashank T. Mhaske Copyright © 2014 Lokesh R. Rane et al. All rights reserved.