Polymer composites have been extensively fabricated given that they are well-fitted for a variety of applications, especially concerning their mechanical properties. However, inadequate outcomes, mainly regarding their electrical performance, have limited their significant potential. Hence, this study proposed the use of multiple fillers, with different geometries, in order to improve the electrical conductivity of a polymer composite. The fabricated composite was mixed, using the ball milling method, before being compressed by a hot press machine at 3 MPa for 10 min. The composite plate was then measured for both its in-plane and through-plane conductivities, which were 3.3 S/cm, and 0.79 S/cm, respectively. Furthermore, the experimental data were then verified using a predicted electrical conductivity model, known as a modified fibre contact model, which considered the manufacturing process, including the shear rate and flow rate. The study indicated that the predicted model had a significant trend and value, compared to the experimental model (0.65 S/cm for sample S1). The resultant fabricated composite materials were found to possess an excellent network formation, and good electrical conductivity for bipolar plate application, when applying compression pressure of 3 MPa for 10 min.
This study aims to improve the electrical-mechanical performance of traditional epoxy/graphite composites for engineering applications. The improvement in the properties of these composites depended on the incorporation of different sizes of graphite particles of the same type and controlling their curing process conditions. The thermal properties and microstructural changes were also characterized. A maximum in-plane electrical conductivity value of approximately 23 S/cm was reported for composites containing 80 wt.% G with a particle size of 150 µm. The effect of combining large and small G particles increased this value to approximately 32 S/cm by replacing the large particle size with 10 wt.% smaller particles (75 µm). A further increase in the electrical conductivity to approximately 50 S/cm was achieved due to the increase in curing temperature and time. Increasing the curing temperature or time also had a crucial role in improving the tensile strength of the composites and a tensile strength of ~19 MPa was reported using a system of multiple filler particle sizes processed at the highest curing temperature and time compared to ~9 MPa for epoxy/G150 at 80 wt.%. TGA analysis showed that the composites are thermally stable, and stability was improved by the addition of filler to the resin. A slight difference in the degraded weights and the glass transition temperatures between composites of different multiple filler particle sizes was also observed from the TGA and DSC results.
The aim of this review was to analyze/investigate the synthesis, properties, and applications of polyvinyl alcohol-halloysite nanotubes (PVA-HNT), and their nanocomposites. Different polymers with versatile properties are attractive because of their introduction and potential uses in many fields. Synthetic polymers, such as PVA, natural polymers like alginate, starch, chitosan, or any material with these components have prominent status as important and degradable materials with biocompatibility properties. These materials have been developed in the 1980s and are remarkable because of their recyclability and consideration of the natural continuation of their physical and chemical properties. The fabrication of PVA-HNT nanocomposites can be a potential way to address some of PVA's limitations. Such nanocomposites have excellent mechanical properties and thermal stability. PVA-HNT nanocomposites have been reported earlier, but without proper HNT individualization and PVA modifications. The properties of PVA-HNT for medicinal and biomedical use are attracting an increasing amount of attention for medical applications, such as wound dressings, drug delivery, targeted-tissue transportation systems, and soft biomaterial implants. The demand for alternative polymeric medical devices has also increased substantially around the world. This paper reviews individualized HNT addition along with crosslinking of PVA for various biomedical applications that have been previously reported in literature, thereby showing the attainability, modification of characteristics, and goals underlying the blending process with PVA.
The incorporation of kenaf fiber fillers into a polymer matrix has been pronounced in the past few decades. In this study, the effect of multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) with a short kenaf fiber (20 mesh) with polypropylene (PP) added was investigated. The melt blending process was performed using an internal mixer to produce polymer composites with different filler contents, while the suitability of this melt composite for the injection molding process was evaluated. Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) was carried out to investigate the thermal stability of the raw materials. Rheological analyses were conducted by varying the temperature, load factor, and filler content. The results demonstrate a non-Newtonian pseudoplastic behavior in all samples with changed kenaf fillers (10 to 40 wt %) and MWCNT contents (1 to 4 wt %), which confirm the suitability of the feedstock for the injection molding process. The addition of MWCNTs had an immense effect on the viscosity and an enormous reduction in the feedstock flow behavior. The main contribution of this work is the comprehensive observation of the rheological characteristics of newly produced short PP/kenaf composites that were altered after MWCNT additions. This study also presented an adverse effect on the composites containing MWCNTs, indicating a hydrophilic property with improved water absorption stability and the low flammability effect of PP/kenaf/MWCNT composites. This PP/kenaf/MWCNT green composite produced through the injection molding technique has great potential to be used as car components in the automotive industry.
Titanium-ceramic composites are potential implant material candidates because of their unique mechanical properties and biocompatibility. This review focused on the latest advancement in processing of titanium-ceramic materials. Previously, titanium-ceramic incorporated using different coating techniques, i.e., plasma spraying and electrophoretic depositions, to enhance the biocompatibility of the implants. A major drawback in these coating methods is the growth of tissue at only the surface of the composite and might peel off over time. Recently, metal-ceramic composite was introduced via powder metallurgy method such as powder injection moulding. A porous structure can be obtained via powder metallurgy. Producing a porous titanium-ceramic structure would improve the mechanical properties, biocompatibility and tissue growth within the structure. Hence, further research needed to be done by considering the potential of powder injection moulding method which offer lower costs and more complex shapes for future implant.
A large amount of wastewater is typically discharged into water bodies and has extremely harmful effects to aquatic environments. The removal of heavy metals from water bodies is necessary for the safe consumption of water and human activities. The demand for seafood has considerably increased, and millions of tons of crustacean waste are discarded every year. These waste products are rich in a natural biopolymer known as chitin. The deacetylated form of chitin, chitosan, has attracted attention as an adsorbent. It is a biocompatible and biodegradable polymer that can be modified and converted to various derivatives. This review paper focuses on relevant literature on strategies for chemically modifying the biopolymer and its use in the removal of heavy metals from water and wastewater. The different aspects of chitosan-based derivatives and their preparation and application are elucidated. A list of chitosan-based composites, along with their adsorptivity and experimental conditions, are compiled.
The use of kenaf fiber as a reinforcement material for polymer composites is gaining popularity, especially in the production of automotive components. The main objective of this current work is to relate the effect of alkali treatment on the single fiber itself and the composite material simultaneously. The effect of temperature condition during mechanical testing is also investigated. Composite materials with discontinuous natural kenaf fibers and epoxy resin were fabricated using a compression moulding process. The epoxy composites were reinforced with 50 wt% untreated and treated kenaf fibers. The kenaf fiber was treated with NaOH solution (6% by weight) for 24 h at room temperature. Kenaf fiber treated with NaOH treatment had a clean surface and no impurities. For the first time we can see that alkali treatment had a damaging effect on the mechanical properties of kenaf fibers itself and the treated kenaf/epoxy composites. The composite reinforced with untreated kenaf fiber and treated kenaf fiber showed increased tensile strength (72.85% and 12.97%, respectively) compared to the neat epoxy. Reinforcement of the composite with treated kenaf fiber decreased the tensile strength due to the fiber pull out and the formation of voids which weakens the adhesion between the fibers and matrix. The temperature conditions also play an important role in composites with a significant impact on the deterioration of composite materials. Treated kenaf fiber has thermal stability and is not sensitive to temperature and as a result reinforcement with treated kenaf gives a lower loss value of 76%.
The use of rice husks (RH) to reinforce polymers in biocomposites are increasing tremendously. However, the incompatibility between the hydrophilic RH fibers and the hydrophobic thermoplastic matrices leads to unsatisfactory biocomposites. Surface modification of the fiber surface was carried out to improve the adhesion between fiber and matrix. In this study, the effect of surface modification of RH via alkali, acid and ultraviolet-ozonolysis (UV/O3) treatments on the properties of composites recycled high density polyethylene (rHDPE) composites was investigated. The untreated and treated RH were characterized by Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) and Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM). The composites containing 30 wt% of RH (treated and untreated) were then prepared via extrusion and followed by compression molding. As compared to untreated RH, all surface treated RH exhibited rougher surface and showed improved adhesion with rHDPE matrix. Tensile strength of UV/O3-treated RH composites showed an optimum result at 18.37 MPa which improved about 5% in comparison to the composites filled with untreated RH. UV/O3 treatment promotes shorter processing time and lesser raw material waste during treatment process where this is beneficial for commercialization in the future developments of wood plastic composites (WPCs). Therefore, UV/O3 treatment can be served as an alternative new method to modify RH surface in order to improve the adhesion between hydrophilic RH fibre and hydrophobic rHDPE polymer matrix.
Biocompatible metals have been revolutionizing the biomedical field, predominantly in human implant applications, where these metals widely used as a substitute to or as function restoration of degenerated tissues or organs. Powder metallurgy techniques, in specific the metal injection moulding (MIM) process, have been employed for the fabrication of controlled porous structures used for dental and orthopaedic surgical implants. The porous metal implant allows bony tissue ingrowth on the implant surface, thereby enhancing fixation and recovery. This paper elaborates a systematic classification of various biocompatible metals from the aspect of MIM process as used in medical industries. In this study, three biocompatible metals are reviewed-stainless steels, cobalt alloys, and titanium alloys. The applications of MIM technology in biomedicine focusing primarily on the MIM process setting parameters discussed thoroughly. This paper should be of value to investigators who are interested in state of the art of metal powder metallurgy, particularly the MIM technology for biocompatible metal implant design and development.
The advancements in material science and technology have made polyurethane (PU) one of the most important renewable polymers. Enhancing the physio-chemical and mechanical properties of PU has become the theme of this and many other studies. One of these enhancements was carried out by adding starch to PU to form new renewable materials called polyurethane-starch composites (PUS). In this study, PUS composites are prepared by adding starch at 0.5, 1.0, 1.5, and 2.0 wt.% to a PU matrix. The mechanical, thermal, and morphological properties of PU and PUS composites were investigated. Scanning electron microscope (SEM) images of PU and PUS fractured surfaces show cracks and agglomeration in PUS at 1.5 wt.% starch. The thermo-mechanical properties of the PUS composites were improved as starch content increased to 1.5 wt.% and declined by more starch loading. Despite this reduction, the mechanical properties were still better than that of neat PU. The mechanical strength increased as starch content increased to 1.5 wt.%. The tensile, flexural, and impact strengths of the PUS composites were found to be 9.62 MPa, 126.04 MPa, and 12.87 × 10(-3) J/mm², respectively, at 1.5 wt.% starch. Thermal studies showed that the thermal stability and crystallization temperature of the PUS composites increased compared to that of PU. The loss modulus curves showed that neat PU crystallizes at 124 °C and at 127 °C for PUS-0.5 wt.% and rises with increasing loading from 0.5 to 2 wt.%.
Halloysite (HNT) is treated with sulfuric acid and the physico-chemical properties of its morphology, surface activity, physical and chemical properties have been investigated when HNT is exposed to sulfuric acid with treatment periods of 1 h (H1), 3 h (H3), 8 h (H8), and 21 h (H21). The significance of this and similar work lies in the importance of using HNT as a functional material in nanocomposites. The chemical structure was characterized by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). The spectrum demonstrates that the hydroxyl groups were active for grafting modification using sulfuric acid, promoting a promising potential use for halloysite in ceramic applications as filler for novel clay-polymer nanocomposites. From the X-ray diffraction (XRD) spectrum, it can be seen that the sulfuric acid breaks down the HNT crystal structure and alters it into amorphous silica. In addition, the FESEM images reveal that the sulfuric acid treatment dissolves the AlO₆ octahedral layers and induces the disintegration of SiO₄ tetrahedral layers, resulting in porous nanorods. The Bruncher-Emmett-Teller (BET) surface area and total pore volume of HNTs showed an increase. The reaction of the acid with both the outer and inner surfaces of the nanotubes causes the AlO₆ octahedral layers to dissolve, which leads to the breakdown and collapse of the tetrahedral layers of SiO₄. The multi-fold results presented in this paper serve as a guide for further HNT functional treatment for producing new and advanced nanocomposites.
The combination of metallic bio-inert material, stainless-steel 316L (SS316L) and a bio-active material, hydroxyapatite (HA) can produce a composite which has superior properties for orthopaedic applications. The main objective of this study is to investigate the effects of sintering temperature and holding time on the physical and mechanical properties of the sintered part. 50wt.% SS316L and 50wt.% HA were mixed with a binder system of palm stearin (PS) and polyethylene (PE) at 61 vol.% powder loading. Rheological properties show a pseudo-plastic behaviour of the feedstock, where viscosity decreases with increasing shear rate. The feedstock was injection moulded into a tensile bar shape while thermal debinding was carried out at 320°C and 500°C. The brown parts were sintered at 1000, 1100, 1200 and 1300°C, with three different sintering times of 1, 3 and 5 hours in the furnace. It was found that the highest sintered density measured was 95.61% of the theoretical density. In addition, the highest hardness and Young's modulus measured were 150.45 HV and 52.61 GPa respectively, which are higher than those of human bone. The lowest percentage of carbon content was 0.022wt.% given by the sample sintered at 1300°C for 1 hour. Therefore, SS316L/HA composite with good mechanical and physical properties was successfully produced through the PIM process.
Nanotubular clay minerals, composed of aluminosilicate naturally structured in layers known as halloysite nanotubes (HNTs), have a significant reinforcing impact on polymer matrixes. HNTs have broad applications in biomedical applications, the medicine sector, implant alloys with corrosion protection and manipulated transportation of medicines. In polymer engineering, different research studies utilize HNTs that exhibit a beneficial enhancement in the properties of polymer-based nanocomposites. The dispersion of HNTs is improved as a result of pre-treating HNTs with acids. The HNTs' percentage additive up to 7% shows the highest improvement of tensile strength. The degradation of the polymer can be also significantly improved by doping a low percentage of HNTs. Both the mechanical and thermal properties of polymers were remarkably improved when mixed with HNTs. The effects of HNTs on the mechanical and thermal properties of polymers, such as ultimate strength, elastic modulus, impact strength and thermal stability, are emphasized in this study.
The micro-scale joining of two different materials using two-component micro-powder injection molding (2C-µPIM) is an intriguing technique. The formation of defects in bi-materials at different processing stages makes this technique challenging. This study presents the fabrication of defect-free bi-material micro-parts containing hydroxyapatite (HA) and 3 mol% yttria-stabilized zirconia (3YSZ) via 2C-µPIM. Critical powder volume concentrations (CPVCs) of 61.7 vol% and 47.1 vol% were obtained for the HA and 3YSZ powders, respectively. Based on the CPVCs, the optimal loadings for the HA and 3YSZ powders were selected as 60 vol% and 45 vol%, respectively. The HA and 3YSZ feedstocks were prepared by separately mixing the optimal powder contents with low-density polyethylene (LDPE) and palm stearin binders. The feedstocks displayed pseudoplastic behavior, and the lowest ranges of viscosity for the HA and 3YSZ at a temperature of 180 °C were 157.1-1392.5 Pa·s and 726.2-985.5 Pa·s, respectively. The feedstocks were injected to produce green HA/3YSZ micro-sized components. It was found that a solvent debinding temperature of 70 °C removed 60.6% of the palm stearin binder from the sample. In the thermal debinding stage, the open channels that formed in the bi-material sample's solvent debound at 70 °C and contributed to the removal of 93 to 95% of the binder system. When the debound bi-materials were sintered at 1300 °C, the highest relative density of 96.3% was obtained. The sintering operation revealed a linear shrinkage between 13 and 17% in the sintered HA/3YSZ micro-parts.
The production of fabricated filaments for fused deposited modelling printing is critical, especially when higher loading filler (>20 wt.%) is involved. At higher loadings, printed samples tend to experience delamination, poor adhesion or even warping, causing their mechanical performance to deteriorate considerably. Hence, this study highlights the behaviour of the mechanical properties of printed polyamide-reinforced carbon fibre at a maximum of 40 wt.%, which can be improved via a post-drying process. The 20 wt.% samples also demonstrate improvements of 500% and 50% in impact strength and shear strength performance, respectively. These excellent performance levels are attributed to the maximum layup sequence during the printing process, which reduces the fibre breakage. Consequently, this enables better adhesion between layers and, ultimately, stronger samples.
A halloysite nanotubes⁻polyvinyl alcohol⁻polyvinylpyrrolidone (HNTs⁻PVA⁻PVP) composite has been investigated for a quite long time aiming at improving the physico⁻chemical characterization of HNTs. In this work, HNTs⁻PVA⁻PVP composite were prepared based on a unique procedure characterized by crosslinking two polymers with HNTs. The composite of two polymers were modified by treating HNTs with phosphoric acid (H₃PO₄) and by using malonic acid (MA) as a crosslinker. The composite was also treated by adding the dispersion agent sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS). The HNTs⁻PVA⁻PVP composite shows better characteristics regarding agglomeration when HNTs is treated in advance by H₃PO₄. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), X-ray diffraction (XRD), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM), brunauer⁻emmett⁻teller (BET), size distribution, and atomic force microscopy (AFM) are used to characterize the physio-chemical properties of the composite. FTIR shows additional peaks at 2924.29, 1455.7, and 682.4 cm-1 compared to the neat HNTs due to adding MA. Despite that, the XRD spectra do not show a significant difference, the decrease in peak intensity could be attributed to the addition of semi-crystalline PVA and the amorphous PVP. The images taken by TEM and FESEM show the possible effects of MA on the morphology and internal feature of HNTs⁻PVA⁻PVP composite treated by MA by showing the deformation of the matrix. The BET surface area increased to 121.1 m²/g compared to the neat HNTs at 59.1 m²/g. This result, the second highest recorded result, is considered a breakthrough in enhancing the properties of HNTs⁻PVA⁻PVP composite, and treatment by MA crosslinking may attribute to the size and the number of the pores. The results from these techniques clearly showed that a significant change has occurred for treated HNTs⁻PVA⁻PVP composite where MA was added. The characterization of HNTs⁻PVA⁻PVP composite with and without treating HNTs and using crosslinker may lead to a better understanding of this new composites as a precursor to possible applications in the dentistry field.
To date, the mechanical performance of kenaf composites is still unsatisfied in term of its mechanical performance. Therefore, research focuses on kenaf composites fabrication through the selection of polymer resin, including epoxy, polypropylene, and polylactic acid. The incorporated kenaf fibre at 10 wt % to 40 wt % loadings was conducted using injection and a compression moulding process. The compressed materials indicated high tensile strength at 240 MPa compared to inject materials (60 MPa). Significant improvement on impact strength (9 kJ/m2) was due to the unpulled-out fibre that dispersed homogenously and hence minimize the microcrack acquire. Meanwhile, high flexural strength (180 MPa) obtained by kenaf/epoxy composites due to the fibre orientate perpendicular to the loading directions, which improve its mechanical properties. The findings indicate that the kenaf fibre reinforced thermoset materials exhibit better mechanical properties as a function to the battery tray applications.
Microbial electrodialysis cells (MEDCs) offer simultaneous wastewater treatment, water desalination, and hydrogen production. In a conventional design of MEDCs, the overall performance is retarded by the accumulation of protons on the anode due to the integration of an anion exchange membrane (AEM). The accumulation of protons reduces the anolyte pH to become acidic, affecting the microbial viability and thus limiting the charge carrier needed for the cathodic reaction. This study has modified the conventional MEDC with an internal proton migration pathway, known as the internal proton migration pathway-MEDC (IP-MEDC). Simulation tests under abiotic conditions demonstrated that the pH changes in the anolyte and catholyte of IP-MEDC were smaller than the pH changes in the anolyte and catholyte without the proton pathways. Under biotic conditions, the performance of the IP-MEDC agreed well with the simulation test, showing a significantly higher chemical oxygen demand (COD) removal rate, desalination rate, and hydrogen production than without the migration pathway. This result is supported by the lowest charge transfer resistance shown by EIS analysis and the abundance of microbes on the bioanode through field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM) observation. However, hydrogen production was diminished in the second-fed batch cycle, presumably due to the active diffusion of high Cl¯ concentrations from desalination to the anode chamber, which was detrimental to microbial growth. Enlarging the anode volume by threefold improved the COD removal rate and hydrogen production rate by 1.7- and 3.4-fold, respectively, owing to the dilution effect of Cl¯ in the anode. This implied that the dilution effect satisfies both the microbial viability and conductivity. This study also suggests that the anolyte and catholyte replacement frequencies can be reduced, typically at a prolonged hydraulic retention time, thus minimizing the operating cost (e.g., solution pumping). The use of a high concentration of NaCl (35 g L-1) in the desalination chamber and catholyte provides a condition that is close to practicality.
It is well known that three-dimensional (3D) printing is an emerging technology used to produce customized implants and surface characteristics of implants, strongly deciding their osseointegration ability. In this study, Ti alloy microspheres were printed under selected rational printing parameters in order to tailor the surface micro-characteristics of the printed implants during additive manufacturing by an in situ, controlled way. The laser path and hatching space were responsible for the appearance of the stripy structure (S), while the bulbous structure (B) and bulbous⁻stripy composite surface (BS) were determined by contour scanning. A nano-sized structure could be superposed by hydrothermal treatment. The cytocompatibility was evaluated by culturing Mouse calvaria-derived preosteoblastic cells (MC3T3-E1). The results showed that three typical microstructured surfaces, S, B, and BS, could be achieved by varying the 3D printing parameters. Moreover, the osteogenic differentiation potential of the S, B, and BS surfaces could be significantly enhanced, and the addition of nano-sized structures could be further improved. The BS surface with nano-sized structure demonstrated the optimum osteogenic differentiation potential. The present research demonstrated an in situ, controlled way to tailor and optimize the surface structures in micro-size during the 3D printing process for an implant with higher osseointegration ability.