Porous γ-alumina is widely used as a catalyst carrier due to its chemical properties. These properties are strongly correlated with the physical properties of the material, such as porosity, density, shrinkage, and surface area. This study presents a technique that is less time consuming than other techniques to predict the values of the above-mentioned physical properties of porous γ-alumina via an artificial neural network (ANN) numerical model. The experimental data that was implemented was determined based on 30 samples that varied in terms of sintering temperature, yeast concentration, and socking time. Of the 30 experimental samples, 25 samples were used for training purposes, while the other five samples were used for the execution of the experimental procedure. The results showed that the prediction and experimental data were in good agreement, and it was concluded that the proposed model is proficient at providing high accuracy estimation data derived from any complex analytical equation.
The influence of Ta additions on the microstructure and properties of Cu-Al-Ni shape memory alloys was investigated in this paper. The addition of Ta significantly affects the green and porosity densities; the minimum percentage of porosity was observed with the modified prealloyed Cu-Al-Ni-2.0 wt.% Ta. The phase transformation temperatures were shifted towards the highest values after Ta was added. Based on the damping capacity results, the alloy of Cu-Al-Ni-3.0 wt.% Ta has very high internal friction with the maximum equivalent internal friction value twice as high as that of the prealloyed Cu-Al-Ni SMA. Moreover, the prealloyed Cu-Al-Ni SMAs with the addition of 2.0 wt.% Ta exhibited the highest shape recovery ratio in the first cycle (i.e., 100% recovery), and when the number of cycles is increased, this ratio tends to decrease. On the other hand, the modified alloys with 1.0 and 3.0 wt.% Ta implied a linear increment in the shape recovery ratio with increasing number of cycles. Polarization tests in NaCl solution showed that the corrosion resistance of Cu-Al-Ni-Ta SMA improved with escalating Ta concentration as shown by lower corrosion current densities, higher corrosion potential, and formation of stable passive film.
In the present work, the microstructure, corrosion, and bioactivity of graphene oxide (GO) coating on the laser-modified and -unmodified surfaces of TiNb shape memory alloys (SMAs) were investigated. The surface morphology and chemical composition was examined using field emission scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM) and X-ray diffraction (XRD). The surface modification was carried out via a femtosecond laser with the aim to increase the surface roughness, and thus increase the adhesion property. FE-SEM analysis of the laser-treated Ti-30at.% Nb revealed the increase in surface roughness and oxygen/nitrogen containing groups on the Ti-30at.% Nb surface after being surface modified via a femtosecond laser. Furthermore, the thickness of GO was increased from 35μm to 45μm after the surface was modified. Potentiodynamic polarisation and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy studies revealed that both the GO and laser/GO-coated samples exhibited higher corrosion resistance than that of the uncoated TiNb SMA sample. However, the laser/GO-coated sample presented the highest corrosion resistance in SBF at 37°C. In addition, during soaking in the simulated body fluid (SBF), both the GO and laser/GO coating improved the formation of apatite layer. Based on the bioactivity results, the GO coating exhibited a remarkable antibacterial activity against gram-negative bacteria compared with the uncoated. In conclusion, the present results indicate that Ti-30at.% Nb SMAs may be promising alternatives to NiTi for certain biomedical applications.
The widespread presence of microplastics has caused significant concerns on their potential effects on marine ecosystems. Microplastics are classified as plastic products of less than 5 mm in size and are known to be one of the most dangerous aquatic debris to marine species. Sea cucumbers are deposit feeders living in sediment regions and benthic zone that may collect microplastics in low-energy environments. This research aims to evaluate the types of microplastic isolated from the intestine of Stichopus horrens in Malaysia. This species is selected because it is mainly found in this island. Pulau Pangkor is one of the leading tourism destinations on the small islands is facing increasing numbers of tourists and development and it is useful for sustainable study. A total of 20 S. horrens samples collected from Pulau Pangkor, Malaysia were dissected, and their intestines were collected for digestion. Microplastics were extracted using NaOH and filtered using filter paper. Microplastic identification was conducted on the based of the physical characteristics (colour, shape, size) and chemical characterisation was evaluated using FTIR for polymer functional groups. A total of 1446 unit of microplastics were found in S. horrens. Among various types and colours, fibre (90%) and black (59%) were dominant amongst the various particles identified. The majority of microplastics sizes were 0.51 μm and 1-2 μm. Two polymer materials were identified, namely polyethylene and poly(methyl methacrylate). As a conclusion, the findings of the study will serve as primary data for pollution indicators in respective islands. The microplastics could impact the immune system and upset gut's balance of human.