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[en] In this work, performance of cow dung (CD) reinforced poly(lactic acid) (PLA) biocomposites was investigated for the potential use in load bearing application. CD of average 4 mm size was blended with PLA at different CD ratios (0–50 wt%) and their effects on the biocomposite properties were studied. The results showed an improvement in the flexural properties, while the tensile and impact strength dropped by 20 and 28% with the addition of 50% CD. The decline in the tensile and impact strength was due to micro-cracking and voids formation at higher CD content. Also, the incorporation of CD slightly decreased the thermal stability of the biocomposite. However, dynamic mechanical properties of the biocomposites generally improved. SEM analysis of tensile and impact fractured surfaces indicated that the CD had a reasonable adhesion with matrix. Moreover, the SEM micrographs of soil burial studies showed an accelerated degradation of higher CD wt% biocomposites.
[en] Blending of polylactide (PLA) with low stereoregularity and polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxane grafted with arms of poly(ethylene glycol) methyl ether, acting as a plasticizer, allowed us previously to obtain a novel stable elastomeric-like material. The present contribution focuses on the properties of semi-crystalline PLA plasticized with this compound. Melt blends of PLA with 5–15 wt% of the plasticizer, were compression molded, quenched and annealed, which enabled cold-crystallization. The glass transition temperature of the blends and their drawability depended on their crystallinity and plasticizer content. The best ductility was reached at the plasticizer content of 15 wt%; the achieved strain at break was 6.5 (650%) and 1.3 (130%), for the quenched and annealed material, respectively. The latter value exceeded 20 times the strain at break of neat crystalline PLA. The tensile toughness of the annealed 15 wt% blend was 12 times larger than that of crystalline PLA. Moreover, annealing of 15 wt% blend improved its yield strength by 40%. Despite the two peaks of the loss modulus, indicating the two glass transitions in this blend, no heterogeneities were found by scanning electron microscopy, indicating that the plasticizer enriched phase formed instead of distinct inclusions of the plasticizer.
[en] Oleic acid was used to modify keratin extracted from chicken feathers by free radical initiated graft copolymerization. Thereafter, the modified keratin was used for the synthesis of cryogels. The influence of oleic acid modification, the crosslinker content, and the protein concentration on the properties of the cryogels were investigated by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy, SDS-PAGE, and through oil holding capacity tests. To enhance the sorption properties, the cryogels were crosslinked with glutaraldehyde. Varying protein concentration from 1.27 to 5.09 wt% and glutaraldehyde concentration from 0 to 5 wt% produced cryogels with oil holding capacity ranging from 4.56 to 10.76 g/g. The highest results exceeded the sorption capacity of previously published oleic acid modified woodchips (6.3 g/g) as well as polypropylene (6 g/g), which is the standard material used in industry.
[en] The effect of Ti and Zr substitutions for Ca cations on the formation of tricalcium phosphate and hydroxyapatite has been studied in a wide concentration range: from 0.1 to 20 mol %. Upon the incorporation of Ti and Zr cations into tricalcium phosphate, the major forming phase is β-tricalcium phosphate. On the addition of low substituent concentrations to hydroxyapatite, we observe the formation of a single-phase material with the apatite structure. Increasing the substituent concentration to 10–20 mol % Ti or 20 mol % Zr leads to the formation of tricalcium phosphate. The unit-cell volume of the cation-substituted tricalcium phosphates has been shown to decrease with increasing substituent concentration. In the zirconium-containing hydroxyapatites, the unit-cell volume decreases with increasing zirconium concentration, whereas the titanium-containing hydroxyapatites exhibit an opposite tendency.
[en] An appropriate filler is a key component required to achieve an useful composite with expected properties. Not only sophisticated types of filler, like graphene are popular, but also more common ones, like silica flour or fly ash because of their low costs. Besides production costs, adequate size and possibility of functionalization of particles surface to create stable bonds with a matrix are essential in filler selection. To create an useful filler for epoxy resin based composites with use of a waste material, namely fly ash, two-step procedure was proposed. In the first part, raw material was sieved and five different ranges of the filler size were obtained. After mechanical tests with fracture toughness, tensile strength and Young Modulus, as well thermal conductivity, the best size of the fly ash was chosen for further modification. During the second step, filler was modified with coupling agent [3-(2-aminoethylamino)propyl]trimethoxysilane in order to enhance the coupling between particular components of composite. Presence of the silane layer was confirmed with infrared spectroscopy and scanning electron microscopy measurements, whilst prepared epoxy composite filled with silanized fly ash was examined similarly as previous composites. Obtained results have proved the significant influence of size of a filler and bonding to the matrix on mechanical and thermal properties of fly ash-epoxy resin composite. Proposed simple method of fly ash modification is an environmentally friendly way for utilization of the fly ash. Moreover, it creates an alternative material applicable in electrical devices as functional composite.
[en] Here, a commercially available absorbent with a high absorbance capacity (Cloisite® 15A) together with the high active nano photocatalyst (AEROXIDE® TiO2 P 25) and polyamidoamine based dendrimer (PAMAM) were immobilized on polyester fabric through simple pad-dry-cure method for removing dye from an aqueous solution. Using three components with good activities toward discoloration expected to produce a substrate with an excellent discoloration capacity. FESEM images with EDX patterns and X-ray diffraction spectra revealed the presence of nanoclay and nano TiO2 on the surface of the fabric. Discoloration of Reactive Red 4 (RR4) was carried out successfully by addition of a piece of the treated fabric in the dye solution under UVA irradiation. UV–visible spectra of the remaining solutions after discoloration indicated complete discoloration of RR4 solution for several times. The photocatalytic properties of the treated fabric was not changed after consecutive discoloration however the fabric surface was colored due to the presence of nanoclay on the surface acting as the dye absorbent. Graphical Abstract: .
[en] Chrome tanning generates large amounts of leather wastes (LW) which have become a considerable environmental issue. In this work, particulate LW with and without urea treatment were characterized by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) under inert and oxidative atmospheres, and elemental analysis. Then treated LW (TLW) were incorporated in natural rubber compounds, seeking to find another way of disposal for this type of residue. The effect of TLW on rheometric properties of rubber composites during vulcanization was evaluated, including parameters related to leather particles dispersion in the matrix. It was found that TLW contained chromium and sulfur remaining from tanning, which could affect the properties of rubber compounds. During TGA analysis, oxidation of chromium into LW was increased as an effect of urea treatment. It was observed that TLW improved rubber processability during open two-roll mill mixing process. Rheometric characteristics allowed to identify a decreased TLW particle dispersion into the compound with the increase of its content in the composites. Stiffness of vulcanized composites and the kinetic of the vulcanization varied with TLW content, as an effect of the interaction of TLW with the rubber compound. Particulate leather wastes morphology could facilitate its mechanical interlocking with the polymeric matrix. The development of these type of composites will enable another profitable use for this type of waste.
[en] The study investigated the use of thin film composite membrane (TFC) as a potential candidate for hydroquinone removal from water. Thin film composite membranes were prepared by polyamide coating on Polysulfone asymmetric membrane. FTIR study was performed to verify the Polysulfone as well as polyamide functionality. TFC membrane was characterized by contact angle, zeta potential, scanning electron microscopy studies. The salt rejection trend was seen from 500 to 1000 mg/L. The membrane is marked by permeability co-efficient B based on solution diffusion studies. The value is 0.98 × 10−6 m/s for NaCl solution at 1.4 MPa. The separation performance was 88.87% for 5 mg/L hydroquinone at 1.4 MPa. The separation was little bit lowered in acid medium because of the nature of the membrane and feed solute chemistry. The ‘pore swelling’ and ‘salting out’ influenced hydroquinone separation in the presence of NaCl. The hydroquinone separation was 80.63% in 1000 mg/L NaCl solution. In acidic pH, NaCl separation was influenced much more compared to hydroquinone. The separation is influenced by field water matrix.
[en] For the first time in the world, geopolymerized brine sludge has been developed as it leads to the formation of enhanced geopolymeric gel which not only helps in further improving the interfacial binding of the conventional geopolymeric matrix using jute and glass fiber as reinforcement but also helps in making the toxic elements non-leachable from the geopolymerized brine sludge due to enhanced geopolymerization reaction taking place in the brine sludge incorporated advance matrix. The advanced geopolymerized matrix is capable of providing improved interfacial binding due to formation of additional C–S–H gel along with Na–S–H gel of conventional geopolymeric matrix in the geopolymeric brine sludge system. The simultaneous presence of desired components and constituents in the single matrix of geo polymeric brine sludge lead to the enhanced homogeneity among the reinforcement and matrix. The geo polymerized brine sludge was further used for making advance composites (AC) using closed mold fabrication system, with hand layup manual technique (a) without any fiber reinforcement, (b) with jute fiber reinforcement (c) and with glass fiber reinforcement of dimensions 12 in. × 12 in. × 6 in. The morphologies of all the three developed AC were examined using SEM and were also tested for their various mechanical properties like tensile strength, flexural strength, impact strength, abrasion resistance. The results indicate that fiber reinforced based AC shows the increase in the mechanical properties as compare to non-fiber reinforced AC. Further, the glass fiber reinforced AC showed better results than jute fiber reinforced AC. This remarkable enhancement is due to the unique properties of fiber in tolerating greater bending and fracture forces than the non reinforced matrix based materials. Graphical Abstract: .
[en] As the material of fuel claddings for water cooled reactors most commonly used binary and multicomponent zirconium alloys Zr-Nb (E110,M5), Zr-Sn-Fe (Zircaloy-2,-4) and Zr-Nb-Sn-Fe (E635, Zirlo) are used, which improvement extends, in particular, by varying their composition by Nb, Sn and Fe. At the same time, the importance is given to ensuring the safe operation of the fuel rods not only in normal conditions but also in emergency situations such as LOCA. In this paper the researches results of the studies of influence of alloying elements Nb, Sn (and Fe) on corrosion resistance and embrittlement at high temperature steam oxidation of fuel claddings based on alloys types Zr-xNb (x=1.0/2.5) and Zr-xNb-ySn-zFe (x=0.6/2.4; y=0.24/1.1; z=0.18/0.34) made with using zirconium sponge are presented. High temperature steam oxidation tests were carried out at temperatures of 1000, 1100 and 1200 deg. C with continuous measurement of the weight gain during the experiment and subsequent cooling in steam with rate ∼ 20 deg. C/s. The studies of kinetics of high-temperature oxidation in steam, structural-phase state changes, alloying elements distribution, absorbed hydrogen content and residual ductility after rapid cooling of the oxidized specimens were made. The difference in the oxidation kinetics of the materials studied was revealed, it decreases with the oxidation temperature increase. At the same time, an increase of the Sn content in the alloy influences on specimens 'breakaway' oxidation intensification at 1000 deg. C. It is shown that the mechanical properties of fuel claddings oxidized under the same conditions depend on their alloying composition, the hydrogen fraction absorbed by the specimen and formed by the oxidation ZrO2, a-Zr(O) and 'ex-β' layers structure, which in turn varies depending on the alloy composition. The increase of Nb, Sn and Fe content in the zirconium alloy leads to decrease in residual ductility of fuel claddings after high temperature steam oxidation. According to obtained results the most resistant to high-temperature steam oxidation and embrittlement at temperatures of 1000-1200 deg. C among the materials studied is Zr-1Nb alloy. (authors)