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J. Compos. Sci., Volume 6, Issue 2 (February 2022) – 33 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): This review aims at updating the existing knowledge base of structural health monitoring techniques for thermoset-based wind turbine blade composites, which are one of the most viable options for meeting the growing demand for renewable energy. Furthermore, the use of “self-sensing materials” for strain and damage sensing is presented. Different strategies are reviewed and discussed, from the design of conductive composites such as carbon fibre-reinforced polymers to conductive nano-reinforced polymer composites. The origins of sensing mechanisms, along with the percolation theory applied to nanofillers dispersed in polymer matrices, are also explored and elaborated. View this paper
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20 pages, 3509 KiB  
Article
Fundamental Frequency Optimization of Variable Angle Tow Laminates with Embedded Gap Defects
by João Carvalho, Abdolrasoul Sohouli and Afzal Suleman
J. Compos. Sci. 2022, 6(2), 64; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs6020064 - 20 Feb 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2185
Abstract
Variable stiffness composite laminates can improve the structural performance of composite structures by expanding the design space. This work explores the application of variable stiffness laminated composite structures to maximize the fundamental frequency by optimizing the tow angle. To this end, an optimization [...] Read more.
Variable stiffness composite laminates can improve the structural performance of composite structures by expanding the design space. This work explores the application of variable stiffness laminated composite structures to maximize the fundamental frequency by optimizing the tow angle. To this end, an optimization framework is developed to design the fiber angle for each layer based on the maximization of the fundamental frequency. It is assumed that the design process includes the manufacturing constraints encountered in the automated fiber placement process and a linear fiber angle variation. The current study improves existing results by considering embedded gap defects within the optimization framework. The plates are assumed symmetric, with clamped and simply supported boundary conditions. The optimal results and a comparison between the non-steered and steered plates with and without gaps are presented. Results show that, although gaps deteriorate the structural performance, fiber steering can still lead to an increase in the fundamental frequency depending on the plate’s geometry and boundary conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Characterization and Modelling of Composites, Volume II)
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7 pages, 4199 KiB  
Article
Damage Evolution Analysis on Compression-Loaded Multidirectional Carbon Fiber Laminates Using Ex-Situ CT Scans
by Jonas J. A. D’haen, Michael May, Christian Boegle and Stefan Hiermaier
J. Compos. Sci. 2022, 6(2), 63; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs6020063 - 19 Feb 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1928
Abstract
Damage evolution inside compression-loaded laminates is a crucial aspect when designing crash structures. In this study, ex situ CT scanning is used to identify damage evolution in multidirectional composite laminates. Multiple CT scans throughout the stress–strain envelope are used to quantify the internal [...] Read more.
Damage evolution inside compression-loaded laminates is a crucial aspect when designing crash structures. In this study, ex situ CT scanning is used to identify damage evolution in multidirectional composite laminates. Multiple CT scans throughout the stress–strain envelope are used to quantify the internal damage and failure propagation of a [45, −45, 90]s carbon fiber laminate. Initially, observed damage occurs in form of delamination between the −45° and 90° layers. Afterward, shear failure propagates from the central layers throughout the entire laminate. Shear failure in the middle two layers expands after continued loading up to double shear failure. The same distinct failure sequence is observed in multiple specimens, and the small deviation supports consistency. Furthermore, the stress–strain envelope of the successive load cycles matches closely with reference measurements. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Journal of Composites Science in 2022)
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20 pages, 4246 KiB  
Article
Simplified Approach for the Seismic Assessment of Existing X Shaped CBFs: Examples and Numerical Applications
by Rosario Montuori, Elide Nastri, Vincenzo Piluso and Paolo Todisco
J. Compos. Sci. 2022, 6(2), 62; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs6020062 - 18 Feb 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1888
Abstract
The capacity of a structure can be assessed using inelastic analyses, requiring sophisticated numerical procedures such as pushover and incremental dynamic analyses. A simplified method for the evaluation of the seismic performance of steel Concentrically Braced Frames (CBFs) to be used in everyday [...] Read more.
The capacity of a structure can be assessed using inelastic analyses, requiring sophisticated numerical procedures such as pushover and incremental dynamic analyses. A simplified method for the evaluation of the seismic performance of steel Concentrically Braced Frames (CBFs) to be used in everyday practice and the immediate aftermath of an earthquake has been recently proposed. This method evaluates the capacity of an existing building employing an analytical trilinear model without resorting to any non-linear analysis. The proposed methodology has been set up through a large parametric analysis, carried out on 420 frames designed according to three different approaches: the first one is the Theory of Plastic Mechanism Control (TPMC), ensuring the design of structures showing global collapse mechanisms (GCBFs), the second one is based on the Eurocode 8 design requirements (SCBFs), and the third is a non-seismic design, based on a non-seismic design (OCBFs). In this paper, some examples of the application of this simplified methodology are proposed with references to structures that are supposed to exhibit global, partial, and soft storey mechanisms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Journal of Composites Science in 2022)
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20 pages, 4157 KiB  
Article
A DMA-Based Approach to Quality Evaluation of Digitally Manufactured Continuous Fiber-Reinforced Composites from Thermoplastic Commingled Tow
by Patrick A. Rodriguez and Donald W. Radford
J. Compos. Sci. 2022, 6(2), 61; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs6020061 - 18 Feb 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2260
Abstract
Direct digital manufacturing of continuous fiber-reinforced thermoplastics exhibits the potential to relieve many of the constraints placed on the current design and manufacture of composite structures. At present, the additive manufacturing of continuous fiber-reinforced thermoplastics is demonstrated to varying extents; however, a comprehensive [...] Read more.
Direct digital manufacturing of continuous fiber-reinforced thermoplastics exhibits the potential to relieve many of the constraints placed on the current design and manufacture of composite structures. At present, the additive manufacturing of continuous fiber-reinforced thermoplastics is demonstrated to varying extents; however, a comprehensive investigation of manufacturing defects and the quality of additively manufactured high fiber volume fraction continuous fiber-reinforced thermoplastic composites is limited. Considering the preliminary nature of the additive manufacturing of continuous fiber-reinforced thermoplastics, composites processed in this manner are typically subject to various manufacturing defects, including excessive void content in the thermoplastic matrix. Generally, quality evaluation of processed composites in the literature is limited to test methods that are largely influenced by the properties of the continuous fiber reinforcement, and as such, defects in the thermoplastic matrix are usually less impactful on the results and are often overlooked. Hardware to facilitate the direct digital manufacturing of continuous fiber-reinforced thermoplastic matrix composites was developed, and specimens were successfully processed with intentionally varied void content. The quality of the additively manufactured specimens was then evaluated in terms of the measured maximum storage modulus, maximum loss modulus, damping factor and the glass transition temperature by means of dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA). DMA allows for thermomechanical (i.e., highly matrix sensitive) evaluation of the composite specimens, specifically in terms of the measured elastic storage modulus, viscous loss modulus, damping factor and the glass transition temperature. Within the tested range of void contents from roughly 4–10%, evaluation by DMA resulted in a distinct reduction in the maximum measured storage modulus, maximum loss modulus and glass transition temperature with increasing void content, while the damping factor increased. Thus, the results of this work, which focused on the effect of void content on DMA measured properties, have demonstrated that DMA exhibits multi-faceted sensitivity to the presence of voids in the additively manufactured continuous fiber-reinforced thermoplastic specimens. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Journal of Composites Science in 2022)
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17 pages, 6413 KiB  
Article
Validation of Deep Learning Segmentation of CT Images of Fiber-Reinforced Composites
by Aly Badran, Dula Parkinson, Daniela Ushizima, David Marshall and Emmanuel Maillet
J. Compos. Sci. 2022, 6(2), 60; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs6020060 - 18 Feb 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2708
Abstract
Micro-computed tomography (µCT) is a valuable tool for visualizing microstructures and damage in fiber-reinforced composites. However, the large sets of data generated by µCT present a barrier to extracting quantitative information. Deep learning models have shown promise for overcoming this barrier by enabling [...] Read more.
Micro-computed tomography (µCT) is a valuable tool for visualizing microstructures and damage in fiber-reinforced composites. However, the large sets of data generated by µCT present a barrier to extracting quantitative information. Deep learning models have shown promise for overcoming this barrier by enabling automated segmentation of features of interest from the images. However, robust validation methods have not yet been used to quantify the success rate of the models and the ability to extract accurate measurements from the segmented image. In this paper, we evaluate the detection rate for segmenting fibers in low-contrast CT images using a deep learning model with three different approaches for defining the reference (ground-truth) image. The feasibility of measuring sub-pixel feature dimensions from the µCT image, in certain cases where the µCT image intensity is dependent on the feature dimensions, is assessed and calibrated using a higher-resolution image from a polished cross-section of the test specimen in the same location as the µCT image. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ceramic-Matrix Composites)
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11 pages, 2645 KiB  
Article
Characterization of Recycled/Virgin Polyethylene Terephthalate Composite Reinforced with Glass Fiber for Automotive Applications
by Valentina Volpe, Maria Sofia Lanzillo, Alfonso Molaro, Giovanni Affinita and Roberto Pantani
J. Compos. Sci. 2022, 6(2), 59; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs6020059 - 17 Feb 2022
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2995
Abstract
The use of recycled polyethylene terephthalate (PET) as a matrix for composite materials based on glass fiber reinforced virgin PET could be a cost-effective and environmentally friendly way to upgrade the bottle-grade recycled PET into engineering-grade PET for injection molding. In this work, [...] Read more.
The use of recycled polyethylene terephthalate (PET) as a matrix for composite materials based on glass fiber reinforced virgin PET could be a cost-effective and environmentally friendly way to upgrade the bottle-grade recycled PET into engineering-grade PET for injection molding. In this work, a commercial virgin PET reinforced with 50%wt of glass fibers was compounded by mechanical mixing with a recycled PET, in order to minimize breakage of the glass fibers. The obtained compound, composed by 60%wt of recycled pet and 40%wt glass fiber reinforced virgin PET, was injection molded at three different mold temperatures (4, 40 and 80 °C) to analyze the effect of crystallization of the material during the production process. The results in terms of thermal and mechanical properties were compared with those obtained from recycled PET molded in the same conditions. The flexural tests and the analysis of thermal resistance showed that by adding 40%wt of glass fiber reinforced virgin PET to the recycled PET causes a noticeable improvement of crystallization kinetics and of mechanical properties with respect to that of the pure recycled PET, making it suitable for technical applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Journal of Composites Science in 2021)
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21 pages, 8260 KiB  
Review
Green Reduction of Graphene Oxide Involving Extracts of Plants from Different Taxonomy Groups
by Dharshini Perumal, Emmellie Laura Albert and Che Azurahanim Che Abdullah
J. Compos. Sci. 2022, 6(2), 58; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs6020058 - 15 Feb 2022
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 4617
Abstract
Graphene, a remarkable material, is ideal for numerous applications due to its thin and lightweight design. The synthesis of high-quality graphene in a cost-effective and environmentally friendly manner continues to be a significant challenge. Chemical reduction is considered the most advantageous method for [...] Read more.
Graphene, a remarkable material, is ideal for numerous applications due to its thin and lightweight design. The synthesis of high-quality graphene in a cost-effective and environmentally friendly manner continues to be a significant challenge. Chemical reduction is considered the most advantageous method for preparing reduced graphene oxide (rGO). However, this process necessitates the use of toxic and harmful substances, which can have a detrimental effect on the environment and human health. Thus, to accomplish the objective, the green synthesis principle has prompted researchers worldwide to develop a simple method for the green reduction of graphene oxide (GO), which is readily accessible, sustainable, economical, renewable, and environmentally friendly. For example, the use of natural materials such as plants is generally considered safe. Furthermore, plants contain reducing and capping agents. The current review focuses on the discovery and application of rGO synthesis using extracts from different plant parts. The review aims to aid current and future researchers in searching for a novel plant extract that acts as a reductant in the green synthesis of rGO, as well as its potential application in a variety of industries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Graphene Oxide Composites)
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14 pages, 4122 KiB  
Article
The Variance of the Polypropylene α Relaxation Temperature in iPP/a-PP-pPBMA/Mica Composites
by Jesús-María García-Martínez and Emilia P. Collar
J. Compos. Sci. 2022, 6(2), 57; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs6020057 - 14 Feb 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2081
Abstract
By considering that the α relaxation related to the glass to rubber transition (obtained by dynamic mechanical analysis) of isotactic polypropylene (iPP) can be identified with the thermal history of the material (and so, with the processing step), this work deals with the [...] Read more.
By considering that the α relaxation related to the glass to rubber transition (obtained by dynamic mechanical analysis) of isotactic polypropylene (iPP) can be identified with the thermal history of the material (and so, with the processing step), this work deals with the changes in this transition temperature (Tα) in polypropylene/mica composites caused by the mutual effect of the other components (mica and interfacial additive). Here, the additive used is a p-phenylen-bis-maleamic grafted atactic polypropylene (aPP-pPBMA) obtained from polymerization wastes (aPP) by the authors. This additive contains 5.0·10−4 g.mol−1 (15% w/w) grafted pPBMA. In essence, this article has two different objectives: (1) To observe and discuss the changes in Tα of the polymer matrix (iPP) caused by the combined effect of the other components (mica and aPP-pPBMA); and (2) predicting the values for Tα in terms of both aPP-pPBMA and mica content for whatever composition in the experimental space scanned. This task was undertaken by employing a Box–Wilson experimental design assuming the complex character of the interactions between the components of the iPP/aPP-pPBMA/mica system, which define the ultimate properties of the composite. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Journal of Composites Science in 2021)
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20 pages, 2284 KiB  
Article
Maltodextrin Moderated Microwave Osmotic Dehydration of Mango Cubes with Finish Air-Drying: Optimum Considerations
by Bhakti Shinde and Hosahalli S. Ramaswamy
J. Compos. Sci. 2022, 6(2), 56; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs6020056 - 14 Feb 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2046
Abstract
The microwave osmotic dehydration of mango cubes under the continuous flow of maltodextrin moderated sucrose solution spray (MWODS) was evaluated based on the quality of the finish air-dried product. Experiments were designed according to a central composite rotatable design to evaluate the effect [...] Read more.
The microwave osmotic dehydration of mango cubes under the continuous flow of maltodextrin moderated sucrose solution spray (MWODS) was evaluated based on the quality of the finish air-dried product. Experiments were designed according to a central composite rotatable design to evaluate the effect of maltodextrin moderated sucrose solution [sucrose + maltodextrin (10DE) at a proportion of 85:15] on the finish air-dried product. The process variables were temperature (30 to 70 °C), solute concentration (30 to 70%), contact time (10 to 50 min) and flow rate (0.8 to 3.8 L/min). The optimum processing conditions were determined based on several processes and product-related quality parameters such as moisture loss (ML), solids gain (SG), weight gain, ML/SG, color, texture, rehydration capacity (RHC), bulk density and drying time. The MWODS contact time was the largest significant contributor with respect to most of the parameters, followed by temperature. The optimum values found were an osmotic treatment temperature of 51.7 °C, a solute concentration of 58.5%, a contact time of 30.6 min and a solution flow rate of 1.8 L/min. Finally, these optimized processing conditions were used to compare three different solute mixtures [sucrose only, sucrose + dextrose and sucrose + maltodextrin (10DE) at a ratio of 85:15%] to understand the effect of various solutes on the quality of the finished dried product. Based on the color and textural parameters, along with the RHC, of the finished product, the sucrose + maltodextrin mixture was shown to result in the most desirable quality and the air-dried product without MWODS pretreatment (control) resulted in the least desirable. Overall, the results suggest that the sucrose + maltodextrin combination offered an advantage in terms of quality for the MWODS air-drying of mango cubes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Journal of Composites Science in 2022)
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11 pages, 3826 KiB  
Article
Facile Fabrication of Magnetic Poly(Vinyl Alcohol)/Activated Carbon Composite Gel for Adsorptive Removal of Dyes
by Tao Wen, Baotao Huang and Li Zhou
J. Compos. Sci. 2022, 6(2), 55; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs6020055 - 11 Feb 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2124
Abstract
Activated carbon (AC) has been widely utilized for the adsorption of pollutants from water. However, it is difficult to recycle the AC after adsorption. In this paper, we report a facile one-pot approach to fabricate magnetic poly(vinyl alcohol)/AC composite gel (mPVA/AC CG) by [...] Read more.
Activated carbon (AC) has been widely utilized for the adsorption of pollutants from water. However, it is difficult to recycle the AC after adsorption. In this paper, we report a facile one-pot approach to fabricate magnetic poly(vinyl alcohol)/AC composite gel (mPVA/AC CG) by dropwise addition of an aqueous mixture of PVA, AC and iron ions into the ammonia solution. The obtained mPVA/AC CG after freeze-drying shows porous microstructure and favorable magnetic properties. The utilization of mPVA/AC CG for adsorptive removal of methylene blue (MB) and methyl orange (MO) dyes from water was investigated. The mPVA/AC CG not only exhibited good adsorption performance for both MB and MO dyes but also could be readily recycled using a magnet after adsorption. The adsorption process was well described by the pseudo-second-order kinetic model and the Langmuir isotherm model. Considering the simple fabrication process, good adsorption performance and favorable magnetic separation capability, this work provides a viable strategy for combining the features of AC and magnetic gel for fabrication of applicable magnetic adsorbent. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Journal of Composites Science in 2021)
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10 pages, 2898 KiB  
Article
A Molecular Dynamics Study of the Stability and Mechanical Properties of a Nano-Engineered Fuzzy Carbon Fiber Composite
by Hassan Almousa, Qing Peng and Abduljabar Q. Alsayoud
J. Compos. Sci. 2022, 6(2), 54; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs6020054 - 10 Feb 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2534
Abstract
Carbon fiber-reinforced polymer composites are used in various applications, and the interface of fibers and polymer is critical to the composites’ structural properties. We have investigated the impact of introducing different carbon nanotube loadings to the surfaces of carbon fibers and characterized the [...] Read more.
Carbon fiber-reinforced polymer composites are used in various applications, and the interface of fibers and polymer is critical to the composites’ structural properties. We have investigated the impact of introducing different carbon nanotube loadings to the surfaces of carbon fibers and characterized the interfacial properties by molecular dynamics simulations. The carbon fiber (CF) surface structure was explicitly modeled to replicate the graphite crystallites’ interior consisting of turbostratic interconnected graphene multilayers. Then, single-walled carbon nanotubes and polypropylene chains were packed with the modeled CFs to construct a nano-engineered “fuzzy” CF composite. The mechanical properties of the CF models were calculated through uniaxial tensile simulations. Finally, the strength to peel the polypropylene from the nano-engineered CFs and interfacial energy were calculated. The interfacial strength and energy results indicate that a higher concentration of single-walled carbon nanotubes improves the interfacial properties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbon Fiber Composites)
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16 pages, 3033 KiB  
Review
Resin-Rich Volumes (RRV) and the Performance of Fibre-Reinforced Composites: A Review
by Amjed Saleh Mahmood, John Summerscales and Malcolm Neil James
J. Compos. Sci. 2022, 6(2), 53; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs6020053 - 10 Feb 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 4143
Abstract
This review considers the influence of resin-rich volumes (RRV) on the static and dynamic mechanical and physical behaviour of fibre-reinforced composites. The formation, shape and size, and measurement of RRV in composites, depending upon different fabric architectures and manufacturing processes, is discussed. The [...] Read more.
This review considers the influence of resin-rich volumes (RRV) on the static and dynamic mechanical and physical behaviour of fibre-reinforced composites. The formation, shape and size, and measurement of RRV in composites, depending upon different fabric architectures and manufacturing processes, is discussed. The majority of studies show a negative effect of RRV on the mechanical behaviour of composite materials. The main factors that cause RRV are (a) the clustering of fibres as bundles in textiles, (b) the stacking sequence, (c) the consolidation characteristics of the reinforcement, (d) the resin flow characteristics as a function of temperature, and (e) the composite manufacturing process and cure cycle. RRV are stress concentrations that lead to a disproportionate decrease in composite strength. Those who are considering moving from autoclave consolidation to out-of-autoclave (OOA) processes should be cautious of the potential effects of this change. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Journal of Composites Science in 2022)
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13 pages, 1862 KiB  
Article
Waste Glass-Derived Tobermorite Carriers for Ag+ and Zn2+ Ions
by Habib Rahman, Qiu Li and Nichola J. Coleman
J. Compos. Sci. 2022, 6(2), 52; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs6020052 - 9 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2359
Abstract
In this study, the layer-lattice calcium silicate hydrate mineral, tobermorite, was synthesized from waste green or amber container glass and separately ion-exchanged with Ag+ or Zn2+ ions under batch conditions. Hydrothermal treatment of stoichiometrically adjusted mixtures of waste glass and calcium [...] Read more.
In this study, the layer-lattice calcium silicate hydrate mineral, tobermorite, was synthesized from waste green or amber container glass and separately ion-exchanged with Ag+ or Zn2+ ions under batch conditions. Hydrothermal treatment of stoichiometrically adjusted mixtures of waste glass and calcium oxide in 4 M NaOH(aq) at 125 °C yielded tobermorite products of ~75% crystallinity with mean silicate chain lengths of 17 units after one week. Maximum uptake of Zn2+ ions, ~0.55 mmol g−1, occurred after 72 h, and maximum uptake of Ag+ ions, ~0.59 mmol g−1, was established within 6 h. No significant differences in structure or ion-exchange behavior were observed between the tobermorites derived from either green or amber glass. Composite membranes of the biopolymer, chitosan, incorporating the original or ion-exchanged tobermorite phases were prepared by solvent casting, and their antimicrobial activities against S. aureus and E. coli were evaluated using the Kirby–Bauer assay. S. aureus and E. coli formed biofilms on pure chitosan and chitosan surfaces blended with the original tobermorites, whereas the composites containing Zn2+-substituted tobermorites defended against bacterial colonization. Distinct, clear zones were observed around the composites containing Ag+-substituted tobermorites which arose from the migration of the labile Ag+ ions from the lattices. This research has indicated that waste glass-derived tobermorites are functional carriers for antimicrobial ions with potential applications as fillers in polymeric composites to defend against the proliferation and transmission of pathogenic bacteria. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Journal of Composites Science in 2022)
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21 pages, 9705 KiB  
Article
Static and Fatigue Debond Resistance between the Composite Facesheet and Al Cores under Mode-1 in Sandwich Beams
by Vignesh Selvam, Vijay Shankar Sridharan and Sridhar Idapalapati
J. Compos. Sci. 2022, 6(2), 51; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs6020051 - 7 Feb 2022
Viewed by 2559
Abstract
The debonding toughness between unidirectional glass fiber reinforced polymer face sheets and cellularic cores of sandwich structures is experimentally measured under static and fatigue loading conditions. The effect of various core geometries, such as regular honeycomb and closed-cell foams of two relative densities [...] Read more.
The debonding toughness between unidirectional glass fiber reinforced polymer face sheets and cellularic cores of sandwich structures is experimentally measured under static and fatigue loading conditions. The effect of various core geometries, such as regular honeycomb and closed-cell foams of two relative densities on the adhesive interfacial toughness is explored using the single cantilever beam (SCB) testing method. The steady-state crack growth measurements are used to plot the Paris curves. The uniformity of adhesive filleting and the crack path was found to affect the interfacial toughness. The static Mode-1 interfacial toughness of high-density foam cores was witnessed to be maximal, followed by low-density honeycomb, high-density honeycomb, and low-density foam core. Similarly, the fatigue behavior of the low-density honeycomb core has the lowest crack growth rates compared to the other samples, primarily due to uniform adhesive filleting. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Composites and Fibers)
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15 pages, 12657 KiB  
Article
Organomorphic Carbon Preform Formation Mechanism
by Evgeny Bogachev
J. Compos. Sci. 2022, 6(2), 50; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs6020050 - 6 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1777
Abstract
Looking for ways to increase the structural uniformity of ceramic matrix composites (CMC) resulted in the development of organomorphic composites (C/C, C/SiC, SiC/SiC) where the filament diameter is comparable to the space between the filaments. The structural uniformity of the aforesaid CMCs is [...] Read more.
Looking for ways to increase the structural uniformity of ceramic matrix composites (CMC) resulted in the development of organomorphic composites (C/C, C/SiC, SiC/SiC) where the filament diameter is comparable to the space between the filaments. The structural uniformity of the aforesaid CMCs is determined by their reinforcing preform; however, the mechanism of formation of this structure from polymer fibers remains unclear. This paper discusses an investigation of pressed specimens of the OKSIPAN® nonwoven fabric based on Pyron® polyacrylonitrile (PAN) fibers that were underoxidized as was determined using the electron paramagnetic resonance and microtomography methods. Using electron scanning microscopy, thermomechanical analysis and X-ray tomography, cementation of the preform due to the release and condensation of readily-polymerizing resin-like substances on the fiber surface after pressing at 180 °C was shown to be mainly responsible for retaining the mutual positions occupied by the fibers during pressing. The carbonized residue of the resin-like substances binds the fibers after pyrolysis. The other reason for organomorphic carbon preform consolidation is autohesive interaction of insufficiently cross-linked cores of the PAN fibers, since their thermal oxidation during pyrolysis at up to 1000 °C is hindered by the relatively high density of the compressed polymer preforms. The combination of pressing, thermal stabilization and pyrolysis results in the formation of the organomorphic carbon preform that features a relative density of at least 0.3 and a collection of pores, their normalized diameter ranging between 4 and 40 μm. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ceramic-Matrix Composites)
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14 pages, 11790 KiB  
Article
Energy Harvesting Using a Stacked PZT Transducer for Self-Sustainable Remote Multi-Sensing and Data Logging System
by Wasim Dipon, Bryan Gamboa, Ruyan Guo and Amar Bhalla
J. Compos. Sci. 2022, 6(2), 49; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs6020049 - 6 Feb 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2242
Abstract
The work discussed is developing a self-sustainable low-power remote multi-sensing and data logging system for traffic sensing. The system is powered by the energy harvested using a stacked PZT (Lead zirconate titanate) transducer from the mechanical vibration from the vehicles passing over roads. [...] Read more.
The work discussed is developing a self-sustainable low-power remote multi-sensing and data logging system for traffic sensing. The system is powered by the energy harvested using a stacked PZT (Lead zirconate titanate) transducer from the mechanical vibration from the vehicles passing over roads. The system is capable of multi-sensing functionality, logging the sensor data, and wirelessly transferring sensory data to an end-user device. Various power management techniques and engineering applications were made to achieve low power operation of the system while maintaining the full functionality and the accuracy of the sensor data. The energy harvester used is a custom-designed and fabricated stacked piezoelectric transducer optimized for maximum energy harvesting from the mechanical vibration from roadway traffic. A custom-built AC to DC converter is used to convert the harvested energy into useable electrical power. The system was tested under various experimental setups yielding satisfactory data accuracy while operating at low power. The system also successfully transferred sensor data remotely. All these features make the system self-sustainable and suitable for remote sensing applications without a conventional power source. Full article
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21 pages, 8444 KiB  
Article
Acoustic Emission Damage Detection during Three-Point Bend Testing of Short Glass Fiber Reinforced Composite Panels: Integrity Assessment
by Hadi Nazaripoor, Hossein Ashrafizadeh, Ryan Schultz, Joel Runka and Pierre Mertiny
J. Compos. Sci. 2022, 6(2), 48; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs6020048 - 3 Feb 2022
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 2630
Abstract
In this study, an acoustic emission (AE) technique was used as a passive non-destructive tool to detect the damage progress in short glass fiber-reinforced composite panels. AE detection was conducted during three-point bend tests, thus illustrating the flexural damage accumulation for composite panels [...] Read more.
In this study, an acoustic emission (AE) technique was used as a passive non-destructive tool to detect the damage progress in short glass fiber-reinforced composite panels. AE detection was conducted during three-point bend tests, thus illustrating the flexural damage accumulation for composite panels with different sizes and fiber volume content. To demonstrate the universality of the employed integrity assessment methodology, AE data was detected using different timing parameters and two different transducer types, i.e., medium-band and wide-band frequency sensors. The AE waveform classification presented in this study is based on peak frequency distributions. Frequency bands that are associated with certain failure mechanisms, including matrix micro-cracking, fiber debonding, delamination, and fiber breakage, were obtained from the technical literature. Through this investigation, the concept of cumulative signal strength (CSS) and cumulative rise time versus peak amplitude ratio (CRA) as AE output parameters are shown to facilitate integrity assessment for the employed complex composite material system. Significant jumps in CSS and CRA curves could be correlated to critical strain levels and distinct damage events in the composite panels subjected to flexural loading. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Non-Destructive Characterization of Composite Materials, Volume II)
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9 pages, 2818 KiB  
Article
Unsaturated Polyester-Based Polymer Concrete Containing Recycled Cathode Ray Tube Glass Aggregate
by Beatrice Malchiodi, Cristina Siligardi and Paolo Pozzi
J. Compos. Sci. 2022, 6(2), 47; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs6020047 - 1 Feb 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2798
Abstract
Polymer concrete (PC) is a composite construction material that boasts several advantages, such as lightness, low water permeability, high resistance to corrosive environments, and chemical degradation. Consequently, it has recently attracted interest as an alternative material to the traditional ones for several civil [...] Read more.
Polymer concrete (PC) is a composite construction material that boasts several advantages, such as lightness, low water permeability, high resistance to corrosive environments, and chemical degradation. Consequently, it has recently attracted interest as an alternative material to the traditional ones for several civil applications. In this study, unsaturated polyester resin was considered the matrix phase of PC. Aimed to produce green PC, the commonly dispersed phase of natural aggregate was totally replaced by recycled glass aggregate (RGA) deriving from cathode ray tube (CRT) glass waste. Fine and coarse fractions of non-hazardous CRT glass were considered in different ratios. Chemical and physical analyses were carried out through XRF, particle size distribution and microstructural analysis to characterize RGA. The influence of RGA particle size and percentage on PC performance was investigated by microstructural analysis and aggregate packing, chemical resistance, water absorption, and mechanical analyses, such as bending, impact, and scratch test. Using solely the coarse fraction of RGA led to the manufacturing of a green PC with similar performance to the traditional PC and in addition lower in density. The PC quality mainly depended on the matrix crosslinking which, for PC containing fine RGA, was promoted by adding 4 wt% of silane coupling agent. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Journal of Composites Science in 2021)
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10 pages, 2806 KiB  
Article
Mechanical Behaviour Evaluation of Porous Scaffold for Tissue-Engineering Applications Using Finite Element Analysis
by Akesh Babu Kakarla, Ing Kong, Satya Guha Nukala and Win Kong
J. Compos. Sci. 2022, 6(2), 46; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs6020046 - 1 Feb 2022
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 4070
Abstract
In recent years, finite element analysis (FEA) models of different porous scaffold shapes consisting of various materials have been developed to predict the mechanical behaviour of the scaffolds and to address the initial goals of 3D printing. Although mechanical properties of polymeric porous [...] Read more.
In recent years, finite element analysis (FEA) models of different porous scaffold shapes consisting of various materials have been developed to predict the mechanical behaviour of the scaffolds and to address the initial goals of 3D printing. Although mechanical properties of polymeric porous scaffolds are determined through FEA, studies on the polymer nanocomposite porous scaffolds are limited. In this paper, FEA with the integration of material designer and representative volume elements (RVE) was carried out on a 3D scaffold model to determine the mechanical properties of boron nitride nanotubes (BNNTs)-reinforced gelatin (G) and alginate (A) hydrogel. The maximum stress regions were predicted by FEA stress distribution. Furthermore, the analysed material model and the boundary conditions showed minor deviation (4%) compared to experimental results. It was noted that the stress regions are detected at the zone close to the pore areas. These results indicated that the model used in this work could be beneficial in FEA studies on 3D-printed porous structures for tissue engineering applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Characterization and Modelling of Composites, Volume II)
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14 pages, 10946 KiB  
Article
On the Machining Temperature and Hole Quality of CFRP Laminates When Using Diamond-Coated Special Drills
by Jinyang Xu, Tieyu Lin and Joao Paulo Davim
J. Compos. Sci. 2022, 6(2), 45; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs6020045 - 1 Feb 2022
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 2494
Abstract
Carbon fiber reinforced polymers (CFRPs) are attractive engineering materials in the modern aerospace industry, but possess extremely poor machinability because of their inherent anisotropy and heterogeneity. Although substantial research work has been conducted to understand the drilling behavior of CFRPs, some critical aspects [...] Read more.
Carbon fiber reinforced polymers (CFRPs) are attractive engineering materials in the modern aerospace industry, but possess extremely poor machinability because of their inherent anisotropy and heterogeneity. Although substantial research work has been conducted to understand the drilling behavior of CFRPs, some critical aspects related to the machining temperature development and its correlations with the process parameters still need to be addressed. The present paper aims to characterize the temperature variation and evolution during the CFRP drilling using diamond-coated candlestick and step tools. Progression of the composite drilling temperatures was recorded using an infrared thermography camera, and the hole quality was assessed in terms of surface morphologies and hole diameters. The results indicate that the maximum drilling temperature tends to be reached when the drill edges are fully engaged into the composite workpiece. Then it drops sharply as the tool tends to exit the last fiber plies. Lower cutting speeds and lower feed rates are found to favor the reduction of the maximum composite drilling temperature, thus reducing the risk of the matrix glass transition. The candlestick drill promotes lower magnitudes of drilling temperatures, while the step drill yields better surface morphologies and more consistent hole diameters due to the reaming effects of its secondary step edges. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Manufacturing of Fibrous Composites for Engineering Applications)
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5 pages, 246 KiB  
Editorial
Acknowledgment to Reviewers of J. Compos. Sci. in 2021
by J. Compos. Sci. Editorial Office
J. Compos. Sci. 2022, 6(2), 44; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs6020044 - 26 Jan 2022
Viewed by 1621
Abstract
Rigorous peer-reviews are the basis of high-quality academic publishing [...] Full article
13 pages, 3394 KiB  
Article
Effect of Curing Temperature of Epoxy Matrix on the Electrical Response of Carbon Nanotube Yarn Monofilament Composites
by Omar Rodriguez-Uicab, Tannaz Tayyarian and Jandro L. Abot
J. Compos. Sci. 2022, 6(2), 43; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs6020043 - 26 Jan 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2169
Abstract
In order to evaluate the capability of carbon nanotube yarn (CNTY)-based composites for self-sensing of temperature, the temperature-dependent electrical resistance of CNTY monofilament composites was investigated using two epoxy resins: one that cures at 130 °C (CNTY/ERHT) and one that cures at [...] Read more.
In order to evaluate the capability of carbon nanotube yarn (CNTY)-based composites for self-sensing of temperature, the temperature-dependent electrical resistance of CNTY monofilament composites was investigated using two epoxy resins: one that cures at 130 °C (CNTY/ERHT) and one that cures at room temperature (CNTY/ERRT). The effect of the curing kinetics of these epoxy resins on the electrical response of the embedded CNTY was investigated in prior studies. It was observed that the viscosity and curing kinetics affect the level of wetting and resin infiltration, which govern the electrical response of the embedded CNTY. In this work, the cyclic thermoresistive characterization of CNTY monofilament composites was conducted under heating–cooling, incremental heating–cooling, and incremental dwell cycles in order to study the effect of the curing temperature of the epoxy matrix on the electrical response of the CNTY monofilament composites. Both monofilament composites showed nearly linear and negative temperature coefficients of resistance (TCR) of −7.07 × 10−4 °C−1 for specimens cured at a high temperature and −5.93 × 10−4 °C−1 for specimens cured at room temperature. The hysteresis loops upon heating–cooling cycles were slightly smaller for high-temperature cured specimens in comparison to those cured at room temperature. A combination of factors, such as resin infiltration, curing mechanisms, intrinsic thermoresistivity of CNTY, variations in tunneling and contact resistance between the nanotubes and CNT bundles, and the polymer structure, are paramount factors in the thermoresistive sensitivity of the CNTY monofilament composites. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Journal of Composites Science in 2021)
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13 pages, 1928 KiB  
Article
Preparation of Gellan Gum-Inorganic Composite Film and Its Metal Ion Accumulation Property
by Masanori Yamada and Yoshihiro Kametani
J. Compos. Sci. 2022, 6(2), 42; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs6020042 - 25 Jan 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2167
Abstract
Gellan gum is one of the water-soluble anionic polysaccharides produced by the bacteria Sphingomonas elodea. In this study, we prepared gellan gum-inorganic composite films by mixing the gellan gum and a silane coupling reagent—3-glycidoxypropyltrimethoxysilane (GPTMS). These gellan gum-GPTMS composite films were stable [...] Read more.
Gellan gum is one of the water-soluble anionic polysaccharides produced by the bacteria Sphingomonas elodea. In this study, we prepared gellan gum-inorganic composite films by mixing the gellan gum and a silane coupling reagent—3-glycidoxypropyltrimethoxysilane (GPTMS). These gellan gum-GPTMS composite films were stable in an aqueous solution and showed a thermal stability. In addition, these composite films indicated a mechanical strength by the formation of the three-dimensional network of siloxane. We demonstrated the accumulation of metal ions from a metal ion-containing aqueous solution by the composite film. As a result, although the composite film indicated the accumulation of heavy and rare-earth metal ions, the light metal ions, such as Mg(II) and Al(III) ions, did not interact with the composite material. Therefore, the accumulative mechanism of metal ions using a composite film was evaluated by IR measurements. As a consequence, although the accumulation of heavy and rare-earth metal ions occurred at both the −COO group and the −OH group in the gellan gum, the accumulation of light metal ions occurred only at the −OH group. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metal Composites)
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19 pages, 9886 KiB  
Article
Selective Laser Sintering of High-Temperature Thermoset Polymer
by Md Sahid Hassan, Kazi Md Masum Billah, Samuel Ernesto Hall, Sergio Sepulveda, Jaime Eduardo Regis, Cory Marquez, Sergio Cordova, Jasmine Whitaker, Thomas Robison, James Keating, Evgeny Shafirovich and Yirong Lin
J. Compos. Sci. 2022, 6(2), 41; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs6020041 - 24 Jan 2022
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 3794
Abstract
Thermoplastic materials such as PA12 and PA6 have been extensively employed in Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) 3D printing applications due to their printability, processability, and crystalline structure. However, thermoplastic-based materials lack polymer inter-chain bonding, resulting in inferior mechanical and thermal properties and relatively [...] Read more.
Thermoplastic materials such as PA12 and PA6 have been extensively employed in Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) 3D printing applications due to their printability, processability, and crystalline structure. However, thermoplastic-based materials lack polymer inter-chain bonding, resulting in inferior mechanical and thermal properties and relatively low fatigue behavior. Therefore, 3D printing of high-performance crosslinked thermosets using SLS technology is paramount to pursue as an alternative to thermoplastics. In this work, a thermoset resin was successfully 3D printed using SLS, and its thermal stability of printed parts after a multi-step post-curing process was investigated. Dimensionally stable and high glass transition temperature (Tg: ~300 °C) thermoset parts were fabricated using SLS. The polymer crosslinking mechanism during the printing and curing process was investigated through FTIR spectra, while the mechanical stability of the SLS 3D-printed thermoset was characterized through compression tests. It is found that 100% crosslinked thermoset can be 3D printed with 900% higher compressive strength than printed green parts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Additive Manufacturing of Composites and Nanocomposites)
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11 pages, 5491 KiB  
Article
A Versatile Strategy for the Fabrication of Poly(ethyl methacrylate) Composites
by Kayla Baker and Igor Zhitomirsky
J. Compos. Sci. 2022, 6(2), 40; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs6020040 - 24 Jan 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2212
Abstract
Poly(ethyl methacrylate) (PEMA) is dissolved in ethanol, known to be a non-solvent for PEMA, due to the solubilizing ability of an added bile acid biosurfactant, lithocholic acid (LA). The ability to avoid traditional toxic and carcinogenic solvents is important for the fabrication of [...] Read more.
Poly(ethyl methacrylate) (PEMA) is dissolved in ethanol, known to be a non-solvent for PEMA, due to the solubilizing ability of an added bile acid biosurfactant, lithocholic acid (LA). The ability to avoid traditional toxic and carcinogenic solvents is important for the fabrication of composites for biomedical applications. The formation of concentrated solutions of high molecular weight PEMA is a key factor for the film deposition using the dip coating method. PEMA films provide corrosion protection for stainless steel. Composite films are prepared, containing bioceramics, such as hydroxyapatite and silica, for biomedical applications. LA facilitates dispersion of hydroxyapatite and silica in suspensions for film deposition. Ibuprofen and tetracycline are used as model drugs for the fabrication of composite films. PEMA-nanocellulose films are successfully prepared using the dip coating method. The microstructure and composition of the films are investigated. The conceptually new approach developed in this investigation represents a versatile strategy for the fabrication of composites for biomedical and other applications, using natural biosurfactants as solubilizing and dispersing agents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Journal of Composites Science in 2021)
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25 pages, 9375 KiB  
Article
Study of Graphene Epoxy/Nanoplatelets Thin Films Subjected to Aging in Corrosive Environments
by Stefano Bellucci
J. Compos. Sci. 2022, 6(2), 39; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs6020039 - 22 Jan 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2358
Abstract
The corrosion of metallic devices and degradation of plastic materials are a cause of great concern for companies and countries’ economies; it is necessary to contrast these phenomena by studying innovative methodologies and techniques. A simple solution lies in the realization of materials [...] Read more.
The corrosion of metallic devices and degradation of plastic materials are a cause of great concern for companies and countries’ economies; it is necessary to contrast these phenomena by studying innovative methodologies and techniques. A simple solution lies in the realization of materials that can resist corrosive environments and be used as coatings to prevent, or at least delay, deterioration. The purpose of this work was to study the behavior of an epoxy resin, in thin film form, exposed to corrosive chemicals. In particular, the samples were subjected to aging of 31 days in dilute sulfuric acid (H2SO4) and in an aqueous solution of potassium chloride (KCl). Subsequently, thin films of Epoxy/graphene nanoplatelets (GNP) composite material have been subjected to the same conditions: it was investigated how these samples respond to the corrosive environment. We found that the addition of carbonaceous nanofillers prolongs in time the ability of the material to resist the attack of chemical agents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbon-Based Polymer Nanocomposites)
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15 pages, 6962 KiB  
Article
The Role of Fibre Length on the Fatigue Failure of Injection-Moulded Composites at Elevated Temperatures under a Range of Axial Loading Conditions
by Trevor Sabiston, Bin Li, Waqas Muhammad, Jidong Kang and Carlos Engler-Pinto
J. Compos. Sci. 2022, 6(2), 38; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs6020038 - 20 Jan 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2288
Abstract
The effect of fibre length distribution on the fatigue behaviour of an injection-moulded PA66 carbon fibre composite is investigated. Two materials, short carbon fibre with a mean length of 100 microns, and long carbon fibre with a mean length of 580 microns, are [...] Read more.
The effect of fibre length distribution on the fatigue behaviour of an injection-moulded PA66 carbon fibre composite is investigated. Two materials, short carbon fibre with a mean length of 100 microns, and long carbon fibre with a mean length of 580 microns, are subjected to fully reversed fatigue loading at room temperature and three stress ratios at 120 °C. The fatigue results are compared, and fracture surfaces are analyzed to determine the differing failure modes between the materials and loading conditions. At 120 °C, the fibre length has a significant effect on the fatigue behaviour with order of magnitudes of different fatigue life for a given stress amplitude during tensile fatigue loading. Under tensile loading, fatigue failure initates as fibre matrix debonding with pits present due to end effects in the short carbon fibre material. Under compression–compression loading, the fatigue life is matrix-dominated and should be treated as a maximum stress failure. Under this loading, a smooth crack propagates across the sample with buckling as the final failure mode. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Journal of Composites Science in 2021)
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16 pages, 5869 KiB  
Article
Effect of Defects Part I: Degradation of Constitutive Coefficients as an Input to the Composite Failure Model with Microvoids and Porosity
by Vahid Tavaf and Sourav Banerjee
J. Compos. Sci. 2022, 6(2), 37; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs6020037 - 20 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2209
Abstract
It is always challenging to provide appropriate material properties for a composite progressive failure model. The nonstandard percentage reduction method that is commonly used to degrade the material constants with micro-scale defects generates tremendous uncertainty in failure prediction. The constitutive matrix is composed [...] Read more.
It is always challenging to provide appropriate material properties for a composite progressive failure model. The nonstandard percentage reduction method that is commonly used to degrade the material constants with micro-scale defects generates tremendous uncertainty in failure prediction. The constitutive matrix is composed of multiple material constants. It is not necessary that all constants degrade either equally or linearly due to a certain state of material defects. With this very concern in mind, this article presents a guideline for using a quantified perturbation for each coefficient appropriately. It also presents distribution of effective material properties (EMPs) in unidirectional composite materials with different states of defects such as voids. Irrespective of resin transfer molding (RTM) or chemical vapor infiltration (CVI) processes, manufacturers’ defects such as voids of different shapes and sizes are the most common that occur in composite materials. Hence, it is important to quantify the ‘effects of defects’ void content herein on each material coefficient and EMP. In this article, stochastically distributed void parameters such as the void content by percent, size, shape, and location are considered. Void diameters and shapes were extracted from scanning acoustic microscope (SAM) images of 300,000 cycles of a fatigued composite. The EMPs were calculated by considering unit cells, homogenization techniques, and micromechanical concepts. The periodic boundary conditions were applied to unit cells to calculate the EMPs. The result showed that EMPs were degraded even when there was a small percentage of the void content. More importantly, the constitutive coefficients did not degrade equally but had a definitive pattern. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Carbon Fiber Reinforced Composite Materials)
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14 pages, 11236 KiB  
Article
Uniaxial Compressive Behavior of AA5083/SiC Co-Continuous Ceramic Composite Fabricated by Gas Pressure Infiltration for Armour Applications
by Achuthamenon Sylajakumari Prasanth, Vijayan Krishnaraj, Jayakrishnan Nampoothiri, Ramalingam Sindhumathi, Mohamed Raeez Akthar Sadik, Juan Pablo Escobedo and Krishna Shankar
J. Compos. Sci. 2022, 6(2), 36; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs6020036 - 20 Jan 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2771
Abstract
A novel approach of a gas pressure infiltration technique is presented for the synthesis of Co-Continuous Ceramic Composite (C4). SiC foams of varying pore sizes were infiltrated with aluminium AA5083. Optical examination revealed that the SiC foams contained open cells with a network [...] Read more.
A novel approach of a gas pressure infiltration technique is presented for the synthesis of Co-Continuous Ceramic Composite (C4). SiC foams of varying pore sizes were infiltrated with aluminium AA5083. Optical examination revealed that the SiC foams contained open cells with a network of triangular voids. The number of pores-per-inch (PPI) in the foams was found to depend on the strut thickness and pore diameter. The compressive strengths of two foam configurations, 10 and 20 PPI, were estimated to lie between 1–2 MPa. After infiltration, the compressive yield strength of the resulting C4 was observed to increase to 126 MPa and 120 MPa, respectively, for the 10 and 20 PPI C4. Additionally, the infiltration of ceramic foam with the AA5083 alloy resulted in an increase in strength of 58–100 times when compared with plain ceramic foam. The failure modes of the composites in compression were analyzed by crack propagation and determining the type of failure. The study revealed that shear failure and vertical splitting were the predominant mechanisms of compression failure, and that the fabricated C4 is advantageous in mechanical properties compared to the plain ceramic foam. This study, therefore, suggests the use of C4 composites in armour applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Manufacturing of Fibrous Composites for Engineering Applications)
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14 pages, 4379 KiB  
Article
Microstructure-Free Finite Element Modeling for Elasticity Characterization and Design of Fine-Particulate Composites
by Yunhua Luo
J. Compos. Sci. 2022, 6(2), 35; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs6020035 - 20 Jan 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2646
Abstract
The microstructure-based finite element modeling (MB-FEM) of material representative volume element (RVE) is a widely used tool in the characterization and design of various composites. However, the MB-FEM has a number of deficiencies, e.g., time-consuming in the generation of a workable geometric model, [...] Read more.
The microstructure-based finite element modeling (MB-FEM) of material representative volume element (RVE) is a widely used tool in the characterization and design of various composites. However, the MB-FEM has a number of deficiencies, e.g., time-consuming in the generation of a workable geometric model, challenge in achieving high volume-fractions of inclusions, and poor quality of finite element mesh. In this paper, we first demonstrate that for particulate composites the particle inclusions have homogeneous distribution and random orientation, and if the ratio of particle characteristic length to RVE size is adequately small, elastic properties characterized from the RVE are independent of particle shape and size. Based on this fact, we propose a microstructure-free finite element modeling (MF-FEM) approach to eliminate the deficiencies of the MB-FEM. The MF-FEM first generates a uniform mesh of brick elements for the RVE, and then a number of the elements, with their total volume determined by the desired volume fraction of inclusions, is randomly selected and assigned with the material properties of the inclusions; the rest of the elements are set to have the material properties of the matrix. Numerical comparison showed that the MF-FEM has a similar accuracy as the MB-FEM in the predicted properties. The MF-FEM was validated against experimental data reported in the literature and compared with the widely used micromechanical models. The results show that for a composite with small contrast of phase properties, the MF-FEM has excellent agreement with both the experimental data and the micromechanical models. However, for a composite that has large contrast of phase properties and high volume-fraction of inclusions, there exist significant differences between the MF-FEM and the micromechanical models. The proposed MF-FEM may become a more effective tool than the MB-FEM for material engineers to design novel composites. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Characterization and Modelling of Composites, Volume II)
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