The composite PCM was prepared by blending polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) and myristic acid (MA) in different weight percentages. The MA and PMMA were selected as PCM and supporting material, respectively. As liquid MA may leak out during the phase transition, this study proposes the use of two coatings, namely a polyacrylic coating and a conformal coating to overcome the leakage problem. Both coatings were studied in terms of the leakage test, chemical compatibility, thermal stability, morphology, and reliability. No leakage was found in the PCMs with coatings compared to those without under the same proportions of MA/PMMA, thus justifying the use of coatings in the present study. The chemically compatibility was confirmed by FTIR spectra: the functional groups of PCMs were in accordance with those of coatings. DSC showed that the coatings did not significantly change the melting and freezing temperatures, however, they improved the thermal stability of composite PCMs as seen in TGA analysis. Furthermore, the composite PCMs demonstrated good thermal reliability after 1000 times thermal cycling. The latent heat of melting reduced by only 0.16% and 1.02% for the PCMs coated with conformal coating and polyacrylic coating, respectively. Therefore, the proposed coatings can be considered in preparing fatty acid/PMMA blends attributed to the good stability, compatibility and leakage prevention.
The nanomechanical properties of carbon nanotubes particulate-reinforced aluminum matrix nanocomposites (Al-CNTs) have been characterized using nanoindentation. Bulk nanocomposite specimens containing 2 wt % multiwalled CNTs (MWCNTs) were synthesized by a combination of ball milling and powder metallurgy route. It has been tried to understand the correlation between microstructural evolution particularly carbon nanotubes (CNTs) dispersion during milling and mechanical properties of Al-2 wt % nanocomposites. Maximum enhancement of +23% and +44% has been found in Young's modulus and hardness respectively, owing to well homogenous dispersion of CNTs within the aluminum matrix at longer milling time.
Graphene is a single-atom-thick two-dimensional carbon nanosheet with outstanding chemical, electrical, material, optical, and physical properties due to its large surface area, high electron mobility, thermal conductivity, and stability. These extraordinary features of graphene make it a key component for different applications in the biosensing and imaging arena. However, the use of graphene alone is correlated with certain limitations, such as irreversible self-agglomerations, less colloidal stability, poor reliability/repeatability, and non-specificity. The addition of gold nanostructures (AuNS) with graphene produces the graphene-AuNS hybrid nanocomposite which minimizes the limitations as well as providing additional synergistic properties, that is, higher effective surface area, catalytic activity, electrical conductivity, water solubility, and biocompatibility. This review focuses on the fundamental features of graphene, the multidimensional synthesis, and multipurpose applications of graphene-Au nanocomposites. The paper highlights the graphene-gold nanoparticle (AuNP) as the platform substrate for the fabrication of electrochemical and surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS)-based biosensors in diverse applications as well as SERS-directed bio-imaging, which is considered as an emerging sector for monitoring stem cell differentiation, and detection and treatment of cancer.
Modeling is a very useful method for the performance prediction of concrete. Most of the models available in literature are related to the compressive strength because it is a major mechanical property used in concrete design. Many attempts were taken to develop suitable mathematical models for the prediction of compressive strength of different concretes, but not for self-consolidating high-strength concrete (SCHSC) containing palm oil fuel ash (POFA). The present study has used artificial neural networks (ANN) to predict the compressive strength of SCHSC incorporating POFA. The ANN model has been developed and validated in this research using the mix proportioning and experimental strength data of 20 different SCHSC mixes. Seventy percent (70%) of the data were used to carry out the training of the ANN model. The remaining 30% of the data were used for testing the model. The training of the ANN model was stopped when the root mean square error (RMSE) and the percentage of good patterns was 0.001 and ≈100%, respectively. The predicted compressive strength values obtained from the trained ANN model were much closer to the experimental values of compressive strength. The coefficient of determination (R²) for the relationship between the predicted and experimental compressive strengths was 0.9486, which shows the higher degree of accuracy of the network pattern. Furthermore, the predicted compressive strength was found very close to the experimental compressive strength during the testing process of the ANN model. The absolute and percentage relative errors in the testing process were significantly low with a mean value of 1.74 MPa and 3.13%, respectively, which indicated that the compressive strength of SCHSC including POFA can be efficiently predicted by the ANN.
Petroleum based thermoplastics are widely used in a range of applications, particularly in packaging. However, their usage has resulted in soaring pollutant emissions. Thus, researchers have been driven to seek environmentally friendly alternative packaging materials which are recyclable as well as biodegradable. Due to the excellent mechanical properties of natural fibres, they have been extensively used to reinforce biopolymers to produce biodegradable composites. A detailed understanding of the properties of such composite materials is vital for assessing their applicability to various products. The present review discusses several functional properties related to packaging applications in order to explore the potential of bamboo fibre fabric-poly (lactic) acid composites for packaging applications. Physical properties, heat deflection temperature, impact resistance, recyclability and biodegradability are important functional properties of packaging materials. In this review, we will also comprehensively discuss the chronological events and applications of natural fibre biopolymer composites.
Miniaturization of electronic devices has led to the development of 3D IC packages which require ultra-small-scale interconnections. Such small interconnects can be completely converted into Cu-Sn based intermetallic compounds (IMCs) after reflow. In an effort to improve IMC based interconnects, an attempt is made to add Ni to Cu-Sn-based IMCs. Multilayer interconnects consisting of stacks of Cu/Sn/Cu/Sn/Cu or Cu/Ni/Sn/Ni/Sn/Cu/Ni/Sn/Ni/Cu with Ni = 35 nm, 70 nm, and 150 nm were electrodeposited sequentially using copper pyrophosphate, tin methanesulfonic, and nickel Watts baths, respectively. These multilayer interconnects were investigated under room temperature aging conditions and for solid-liquid reactions, where the samples were subjected to 250 °C reflow for 60 s and also 300 °C for 3600 s. The progress of the reaction in the multilayers was monitored by using X-ray Diffraction, Scanning Electron Microscope, and Energy dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy. FIB-milled samples were also prepared for investigation under room temperature aging conditions. Results show that by inserting a 70 nanometres thick Ni layer between copper and tin, premature reaction between Cu and Sn at room temperature can be avoided. During short reflow, the addition of Ni suppresses formation of Cu₃Sn IMC. With increasing Ni thickness, Cu consumption is decreased and Ni starts acting as a barrier layer. On the other hand, during long reflow, two types of IMC were found in the Cu/Ni/Sn samples which are the (Cu,Ni)₆Sn₅ and (Cu,Ni)₃Sn, respectively. Details of the reaction sequence and mechanisms are discussed.
Concrete is the most ubiquitous construction material. Apart from the fresh and early age properties of concrete material, its condition during the structure life span affects the overall structural performance. Therefore, development of techniques such as non-destructive testing which enable the investigation of the material condition, are in great demand. Tomography technique has become an increasingly popular non-destructive evaluation technique for civil engineers to assess the condition of concrete structures. In the present study, this technique is investigated by developing reconstruction procedures utilizing different parameters of elastic waves, namely the travel time, wave amplitude, wave frequency, and Q-value. In the development of algorithms, a ray tracing feature was adopted to take into account the actual non-linear propagation of elastic waves in concrete containing defects. Numerical simulation accompanied by experimental verifications of wave motion were conducted to obtain wave propagation profiles in concrete containing honeycomb as a defect and in assessing the tendon duct filling of pre-stressed concrete (PC) elements. The detection of defects by the developed tomography reconstruction procedures was evaluated and discussed.
In recent years, closed-cell porous Aluminum (Al) has drawn increasing attention, particularly in the applications requiring reduced weight and energy absorption capability such as in the automotive and aerospace industries. In the present work, porous Al with closed-cell structure was successfully fabricated by powder metallurgy technique using PMMA as a space holder. The effects of the amount of PMMA powder on the porosity, density, microstructure and compressive behaviors of the porous specimens were systematically evaluated. The results showed that closed-cell porous Al having different porosities (12%-32%) and densities (1.6478 g/cm³, 1.5125 g/cm³ and 1.305 g/cm³) could be produced by varying the amount of PMMA (20-30 wt %). Meanwhile, the compressive behavior results demonstrated that the plateau stress decreased and the energy absorption capacity increased with increasing amount of PMMA. However, the maximum energy absorption capacity was achieved in the closed-cell porous Al with the addition of 25 wt % PMMA. Therefore, fabrication of closed-cell porous Al using 25 wt % PMMA is considered as the optimal condition in the present study since the resultant closed-cell porous Al possessed good combinations of porosity, density and plateau stress, as well as energy absorption capacity.
Describing the moment rotation (M/θ) behavior of reinforced concrete (RC) hinges is essential in predicting the behavior of RC structures under severe loadings, such as under cyclic earthquake motions and blast loading. The behavior of RC hinges is defined by localized slip or partial interaction (PI) behaviors in both the tension and compression region. In the tension region, slip between the reinforcement and the concrete defines crack spacing, crack opening and closing, and tension stiffening. While in the compression region, slip along concrete to concrete interfaces defines the formation and failure of concrete softening wedges. Being strain-based, commonly-applied analysis techniques, such as the moment curvature approach, cannot directly simulate these PI behaviors because they are localized and displacement based. Therefore, strain-based approaches must resort to empirical factors to define behaviors, such as tension stiffening and concrete softening hinge lengths. In this paper, a displacement-based segmental moment rotation approach, which directly simulates the partial interaction behaviors in both compression and tension, is developed for predicting the M/θ response of an RC beam hinge under cyclic loading. Significantly, in order to develop the segmental approach, a partial interaction model to predict the tension stiffening load slip relationship between the reinforcement and the concrete is developed.
In this paper, we address the synthesis of nano-coalesced microstructured zinc oxide thin films via a simple thermal evaporation process. The role of synthesis temperature on the structural, morphological, and optical properties of the prepared zinc oxide samples was deeply investigated. The obtained photoluminescence and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy outcomes will be used to discuss the surface structure defects of the prepared samples. The results indicated that the prepared samples are polycrystalline in nature, and the sample prepared at 700 °C revealed a tremendously c-axis oriented zinc oxide. The temperature-driven morphological evolution of the zinc oxide nano-coalesced microstructures was perceived, resulting in transformation of quasi-mountain chain-like to pyramidal textured zinc oxide with increasing the synthesis temperature. The results also impart that the sample prepared at 500 °C shows a higher percentage of the zinc interstitial and oxygen vacancies. Furthermore, the intensity of the photoluminescence emission in the ultraviolet region was enhanced as the heating temperature increased from 500 °C to 700 °C. Lastly, the growth mechanism of the zinc oxide nano-coalesced microstructures is discussed according to the reaction conditions.
In this paper, a novel phenyl-thiophene-2-carbaldehyde compound-based flexible substrate material has been presented. Optical and microwave characterization of the proposed material are done to confirm the applicability of the proposed material as a substrate. The results obtained in this work show that the phenyl-thiophene-2-carbaldehyde consists of a dielectric constant of 3.03, loss tangent of 0.003, and an optical bandgap of 3.24 eV. The proposed material is analyzed using commercially available EM simulation software and validated by the experimental analysis of the flexible substrate. The fabricated substrate also shows significant mechanical flexibility and light weight. The radiating copper patch deposited on the proposed material substrate incorporated with partial ground plane and microstrip feeding technique shows an effective impedance bandwidth of 3.8 GHz. It also confirms an averaged radiation efficiency of 81% throughout the frequency band of 5.4-9.2 GHz.
This study investigates the engineering performance and CO₂ footprint of mortar mixers by replacing Portland cement with 10%, 20%, 40% and 60% fly ash, a common industrial waste material. Samples of self-compacting mortar (SCM) were prepared with four different water/binder ratios and varying dosages of superplasticizer to give three ranges of workability, i.e., normal, high and self-compacting mortar mix. The engineering performance was assessed in term of compressive strength after designated curing periods for all mixes. CO₂ footprint was the environmental impact indicator of each production stage. The optimum mix obtained was at 10% replacement rate for all mixes. Total production emission reduced by 56% when the fly ash replacement rate increased from 0% to 60% (maximum). This is translated to a reduction of 80% in eco-points (assuming that the energy consumption rate of production with 0% fly ash is at 100%). Such re-utilization is encouraged since it is able to reduce possible soil toxicity due to sulfur leaching by 5% to 27% and landfill area by 15% to 91% on average.
An electromagnetic pulse (EMP) explodes in real-time and causes critical damage within a short period to not only electric devices, but also to national infrastructures. In terms of EMP shielding rooms, metal plate has been used due to its excellent shielding effectiveness (SE). However, it has difficulties in manufacturing, as the fabrication of welded parts of metal plates and the cost of construction are non-economical. The objective of this study is to examine the applicability of the arc thermal metal spraying (ATMS) method as a new EMP shielding method to replace metal plate. The experimental parameters, metal types (Cu, Zn-Al), and coating thickness (100-700 μm) used for the ATMS method were considered. As an experiment, a SE test against an EMP in the range of 103 to 1010 Hz was conducted. Results showed that the ATMS coating with Zn-Al had similar shielding performance in comparison with metal plate. In conclusion, the ATMS method is judged to have a high possibility of actual application as a new EMP shielding material.
Driven by the trends towards miniaturization in lead free electronic products, researchers are putting immense efforts to improve the properties and reliabilities of Sn based solders. Recently, much interest has been shown on low silver (Ag) content solder SAC105 (Sn-1.0Ag-0.5Cu) because of economic reasons and improvement of impact resistance as compared to SAC305 (Sn-3.0Ag-0.5Cu. The present work investigates the effect of minor aluminum (Al) addition (0.1-0.5 wt.%) to SAC105 on the interfacial structure between solder and copper substrate during reflow. The addition of minor Al promoted formation of small, equiaxed Cu-Al particle, which are identified as Cu₃Al₂. Cu₃Al₂ resided at the near surface/edges of the solder and exhibited higher hardness and modulus. Results show that the minor addition of Al does not alter the morphology of the interfacial intermetallic compounds, but they substantially suppress the growth of the interfacial Cu₆Sn₅ intermetallic compound (IMC) after reflow. During isothermal aging, minor alloying Al has reduced the thickness of interfacial Cu₆Sn₅ IMC but has no significant effect on the thickness of Cu₃Sn. It is suggested that of atoms of Al exert their influence by hindering the flow of reacting species at the interface.
Solid polymer electrolyte (SPE) composed of semi-crystalline poly (vinylidene fluoride-hexafluoropropylene) [P(VdF-HFP)] copolymer, 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium bis (trifluoromethyl sulphonyl) imide [EMI-BTI] and graphene oxide (GO) was prepared and its performance evaluated. The effects of GO nano-filler were investigated in terms of enhancement in ionic conductivity along with the electrochemical properties of its electrical double layer capacitors (EDLC). The GO-doped SPE shows improvement in ionic conductivity compared to the P(VdF-HFP)-[EMI-BTI] SPE system due to the existence of the abundant oxygen-containing functional group in GO that assists in the improvement of the ion mobility in the polymer matrix. The complexation of the materials in the SPE is confirmed in X-ray diffraction (XRD) and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) studies. The electrochemical performance of EDLC fabricated with GO-doped SPE is examined using cyclic voltammetry and charge-discharge techniques. The maximum specific capacitance obtained is 29.6 F∙g(-1), which is observed at a scan rate of 3 mV/s in 6 wt % GO-doped, SPE-based EDLC. It also has excellent cyclic retention as it is able keep the performance of the EDLC at 94% even after 3000 cycles. These results suggest GO doped SPE plays a significant role in energy storage application.
In this work, batch adsorption experiments were carried out to investigate the suitability of prepared acid activated carbons in removing heavy metal ions such as nickel(II), lead(II) and chromium(VI). Acid activated carbons were obtained from oil palm and coconut shells using phosphoric acid under similar activation process while the differences lie either in impregnation condition or in both pretreatment and impregnation conditions. Prepared activated carbons were modified by dispersing hydrated iron oxide. The adsorption equilibrium data for nickel(II) and lead(II) were obtained from adsorption by the prepared and commercial activated carbons. Langmuir and Freundlich models fit the data well. Prepared activated carbons showed higher adsorption capacity for nickel(II) and lead(II). The removal of chromium(VI) was studied by the prepared acid activated, modified and commercial activated carbons at different pH. The isotherms studies reveal that the prepared activated carbon performs better in low concentration region while the commercial ones in the high concentration region. Thus, a complete adsorption is expected in low concentration by the prepared activated carbon. The kinetics data for Ni(II), Pb(II) and Cr(VI) by the best selected activated carbon fitted very well to the pseudo-second-order kinetic model.
This study examines the feasibility of catalytically pretreated biochar derived from the dried exocarp or fruit peel of mangostene with Group I alkali metal hydroxide (KOH). The pretreated char was activated in the presence of carbon dioxide gas flow at high temperature to upgrade its physiochemical properties for the removal of copper, Cu(II) cations in single solute system. The effect of three independent variables, including temperature, agitation time and concentration, on sorption performance were carried out. Reaction kinetics parameters were determined by using linear regression analysis of the pseudo first, pseudo second, Elovich and intra-particle diffusion models. The regression co-efficient, R² values were best for the pseudo second order kinetic model for all the concentration ranges under investigation. This implied that Cu(II) cations were adsorbed mainly by chemical interactions with the surface active sites of the activated biochar. Langmuir, Freundlich and Temkin isotherm models were used to interpret the equilibrium data at different temperature. Thermodynamic studies revealed that the sorption process was spontaneous and endothermic. The surface area of the activated sample was 367.10 m²/g, whereas before base activation, it was only 1.22 m²/g. The results elucidated that the base pretreatment was efficient enough to yield porous carbon with an enlarged surface area, which can successfully eliminate Cu(II) cations from waste water.
Propylene is one type of plastic that is widely used in our everyday life. This study focuses on the identification and justification of the optimum process parameters for polypropylene production in a novel pilot plant based fluidized bed reactor. This first-of-its-kind statistical modeling with experimental validation for the process parameters of polypropylene production was conducted by applying ANNOVA (Analysis of variance) method to Response Surface Methodology (RSM). Three important process variables i.e., reaction temperature, system pressure and hydrogen percentage were considered as the important input factors for the polypropylene production in the analysis performed. In order to examine the effect of process parameters and their interactions, the ANOVA method was utilized among a range of other statistical diagnostic tools such as the correlation between actual and predicted values, the residuals and predicted response, outlier t plot, 3D response surface and contour analysis plots. The statistical analysis showed that the proposed quadratic model had a good fit with the experimental results. At optimum conditions with temperature of 75 °C, system pressure of 25 bar and hydrogen percentage of 2%, the highest polypropylene production obtained is 5.82% per pass. Hence it is concluded that the developed experimental design and proposed model can be successfully employed with over a 95% confidence level for optimum polypropylene production in a fluidized bed catalytic reactor (FBCR).
We report the crystallization of electrodeposited germanium (Ge) thin films on n-silicon (Si) (100) by rapid melting process. The electrodeposition was carried out in germanium (IV) chloride: propylene glycol (GeCl₄:C₃H₈O₂) electrolyte with constant current of 50 mA for 30 min. The measured Raman spectra and electron backscattering diffraction (EBSD) images show that the as-deposited Ge thin film was amorphous. The crystallization of deposited Ge was achieved by rapid thermal annealing (RTA) at 980 °C for 1 s. The EBSD images confirm that the orientations of the annealed Ge are similar to that of the Si substrate. The highly intense peak of Raman spectra at 300 cm(-1) corresponding to Ge-Ge vibration mode was observed, indicating good crystal quality of Ge. An additional sub peak near to 390 cm(-1) corresponding to the Si-Ge vibration mode was also observed, indicating the Ge-Si mixing at Ge/Si interface. Auger electron spectroscopy (AES) reveals that the intermixing depth was around 60 nm. The calculated Si fraction from Raman spectra was found to be in good agreement with the value estimated from Ge-Si equilibrium phase diagram. The proposed technique is expected to be an effective way to crystallize Ge films for various device applications as well as to create strain at the Ge-Si interface for enhancement of mobility.
Samples of concrete contain various waste materials, such as iron particulates, steel balls of used ball bearings and slags from steel industry were assessed for their anti-radiation attenuation coefficient properties. The attenuation measurements were performed using gamma spectrometer of NaI (Tl) detector. The utilized radiation sources comprised (137)Cs and ⁶⁰Co radioactive elements with photon energies of 0.662 MeV for (137)Cs and two energy levels of 1.17 and 1.33 MeV for the ⁶⁰Co. Likewise the mean free paths for the tested samples were obtained. The aim of this work is to investigate the effect of the waste loading rates and the particulate dispersive manner within the concrete matrix on the attenuation coefficients. The maximum linear attenuation coefficient (μ) was attained for concrete incorporates iron filling wastes of 30 wt %. They were of 1.12 ± 1.31×10(-3) for (137)Cs and 0.92 ± 1.57 × 10(-3) for ⁶⁰Co. Substantial improvement in attenuation performance by 20%-25% was achieved for concrete samples incorporate iron fillings as opposed to that of steel ball samples at different (5%-30%) loading rates. The steel balls and the steel slags gave much inferior values. The microstructure, concrete-metal composite density, the homogeneity and particulate dispersion were examined and evaluated using different metallographic, microscopic and measurement facilities.