Heavy Deformation and High-Temperature Annealing Microstructure and Texture Studies of TaHfNbZrTi Equiatomic Refractory High Entropy Alloy

The refractory alloys are crucial for high-temperature applications to improve performance and reduce cost. They are used in several applications such as aerospace, outer space, military and defense, nuclear powerplants, automobiles, and industry. The conventional refractory alloys show greater stability at high temperatures and in contrast they have operational limitations due to their low melting temperatures. However, there is a huge requirement to improve the refractory alloys’ operational temperatures and replace the conventional alloys. The newly emerging refractory high entropy alloys (RHEAs) could be alternative materials for conventional refractory alloys and fulfill the demands and requirements of various practical applications in the future. The RHEA TaHfNbZrTi was prepared through an arc melting process. The annealing behavior of severely deformed equiatomic RHEATaHfNbZrTi has been investigated. To obtain deformed condition, the alloy is cold-rolled to 90% thickness reduction and then subjected to an annealing process to observe recrystallization and microstructural evolution in the range of 800 °C to 1400 °C temperatures. The cold-rolled – 90% condition shows the presence of microstructural heterogeneity. The annealing microstructure of 800 °C temperature reveals that partial recrystallization and further annealing treatment carried out annealing treatment in the range of 850 °C to 1400 °C temperatures exhibits completely recrystallized microstructures, followed by coarsening with a degree of annealing temperature. The deformed and annealed conditions featured the development of body-centered cubic (BCC) fiber textures. The experimental investigation of heavy deformation and followed by high-temperature annealing up to 1400 °C temperature will contribute to the understanding of microstructure and texture evolution of emerging RHEAs.

Evaluation of Corrosion in Steel Reinforced Concrete with Brick Waste

The massive demolition of old buildings in recent years has generated tons of waste, especially brick waste. Thus, a concern of recent research is the use of this waste for the production of environmentally friendly concrete. At the same time, corrosion of the reinforcement steel rebar in classical concrete is a current problem. In this context, in the present paper a study was carried out on the corrosion of metal reinforcement in cement mortars with added brick waste. The corrosion process was analyzed on four compositions of mortars without and with 15%, 25% and 35% brick waste replacing the sand. The brick waste has majority content in SiO2, Al2O3, FeO3 and CaO. The grain size distribution of brick waste was close to that of the sand (dmax = 2 mm). The preparation method of the samples was similar to ordinary mortars. The corrosion action on the rebar in concrete, at different brick waste concentrations, was investigated by electrochemical measurements (polarization curves and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS)) at 1 month and 26 months. The results obtained at 26 months revealed that the addition of the brick waste in mortar improved the anticorrosion properties in the case of all samples compared with the etalon mortar. The best results were obtained in the case of the sample with 15% brick waste (the efficiency was ≈ 90%). The corrosion intermediary layer formed on the rebar surface was evidenced by SEM-EDX.

Efficacy of Polyfluoroalkyl Substances Filtration with Low-Cost Organic Fiber Filter

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of a low-cost filter regarding per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). PFAS is a commonly used man-made chemical that can be found in a variety of household and industrial products with deleterious effects on humans. The filter consists of a combination of low-cost materials which could be locally procured. Water testing results for 4 different PFAS contaminants indicated that for Perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS), the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) regulation is 7 ppt, the initial concentration was 15 ppt, and the final concentration was 3.9 ppt. For Perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA), the ATSDR regulation is 10.5 ppt, the initial concentration was 15 ppt, and the final concentration was 3.9 ppt. For Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), the ATSDR regulation is 11 ppt, the initial concentration was 15 ppt, and the final concentration was 3.9 ppt. For Perfluorohexane sulfonic acid (PFHxS), the ATSDR regulation is 70 ppt, the initial concentration was 15 ppt, and the final concentration was 3.9 ppt. The results indicated a 74% reduction in PFAS concentration in filtered samples. Statistical data through regression analysis showed 0.9 validity of the sample data. Initial tests show the efficiency of the proposed filter described could be far greater if tested at a greater scale. It is highly recommended further testing to be conducted to validate the data for an innovative solution to a ubiquitous problem.

Effect of Birks Constant and Defocusing Parameter on Triple-to-Double Coincidence Ratio Parameter in Monte Carlo Simulation-GEANT4

This project concerns with the detection efficiency of the portable Triple-to-Double Coincidence Ratio (TDCR) at the National Institute of Metrology of Ionizing Radiation (INMRI-ENEA) which allows direct activity measurement and radionuclide standardization for pure-beta emitter or pure electron capture radionuclides. The dependency of the simulated detection efficiency of the TDCR, by using Monte Carlo simulation Geant4 code, on the Birks factor (kB) and defocusing parameter has been examined especially for low energy beta-emitter radionuclides such as 3H and 14C, for which this dependency is relevant. The results achieved in this analysis can be used for selecting the best kB factor and the defocusing parameter for computing theoretical TDCR parameter value. The theoretical results were compared with the available ones, measured by the ENEA TDCR portable detector, for some pure-beta emitter radionuclides. This analysis allowed to improve the knowledge of the characteristics of the ENEA TDCR detector that can be used as a traveling instrument for in-situ measurements with particular benefits in many applications in the field of nuclear medicine and in the nuclear energy industry.

Simulation and Assessment of Carbon Dioxide Separation by Piperazine Blended Solutions Using E-NRTL and Peng-Robinson Models: A Study of Regeneration Heat Duty

High pressure carbon dioxide (CO2) absorption from a specific off-gas in a conventional column has been evaluated for the environmental concerns by the Aspen HYSYS simulator using a wide range of single absorbents and piperazine (PZ) blended solutions to estimate the outlet CO2 concentration, CO2 loading, reboiler power supply and regeneration heat duty to choose the most efficient solution in terms of CO2 removal and required heat duty. The property package, which is compatible with all applied solutions for the simulation in this study, estimates the properties based on electrolyte non-random two-liquid (E-NRTL) model for electrolyte thermodynamics and Peng-Robinson equation of state for vapor phase and liquid hydrocarbon phase properties. The results of the simulation indicate that PZ in addition to the mixture of PZ and monoethanolamine (MEA) demand the highest regeneration heat duty compared with other studied single and blended amine solutions respectively. The blended amine solutions with the lowest PZ concentrations (5wt% and 10wt%) were considered and compared to reduce the cost of process, among which the blended solution of 10wt%PZ+35wt%MDEA (methyldiethanolamine) was found as the most appropriate solution in terms of CO2 content in the outlet gas, rich-CO2 loading and regeneration heat duty.

Introduction to Electron Spectroscopy for Surfaces Characterization

Spectroscopy is the study of the spectrum produced by the radiation-matter interaction which requires the study of electromagnetic radiation (or electrons) emitted, absorbed, or scattered by matter. Thus, the spectral analysis is using spectrometers which enables us to obtain curves that express the distribution of the energy emitted (spectrum). Analysis of emission spectra can therefore constitute several methods depending on the range of radiation energy. The most common methods used are Auger electron spectroscopy (AES) and Electron Energy Losses Spectroscopy (EELS), which allow the determination of the atomic structure on the surface. This paper focalized essentially on the Electron Energy Loss Spectroscopy.

The Applicability of Distillation as an Alternative Nuclear Reprocessing Method

A customized two-stage model has been developed to simulate, analyse, and visualize distillation of actinides as a useful alternative low-pressure separation method in the nuclear recycling cases. Under the most optimal conditions of idealized thermodynamic equilibrium stages and under total reflux of distillate the investigated cases of chloride systems for the separation of such actinides are (A) UCl4-CsCl-PuCl3 and (B) ThCl4-NaCl-PuCl3. Simulatively, uranium tetrachloride in case A is successfully separated by distillation into a six-stage distillation column, and thorium tetrachloride from case B into an eight-stage distillation column. For this, a permissible mole fraction value of 1E-06 has been assumed for the residual impurification degree. With further separation effort of eleven to seventeen required separation stages, the monochlorides of plutonium trichloride from both systems A and B are simulatively shown to be separated as high pure distillation products.

Traditional Dyeing of Silk with Natural Dyes by Eco-Friendly Method

In traditional dyeing of natural fibers with natural dyes, metal salts are commonly used to increase color stability. This method always carries the risk of environmental pollution (contamination of arable soils and fresh groundwater) due to the release of dyeing effluents containing large amounts of metal. Therefore, researchers are always looking for new methods to obtain a green dyeing system. In this research, the use of the enzymatic dyeing method to prevent environmental pollution with metals and reduce production costs has been proposed. After degumming and bleaching, raw silk fabrics were dyed with natural dyes (Madder and Sumac) by three methods (pre-mordanting with a metal salt, one-step enzymatic dyeing, and two-step enzymatic dyeing). Results show that silk dyed with natural dyes by the enzymatic method has higher color strength and colorfastness than the pretreated with a metal salt. Also, the amount of remained dyes in the dyeing wastewater is significantly reduced by the enzymatic method. It is found that the enzymatic dyeing method leads to improvement of dye absorption, color strength, soft hand, no change in color shade, low production costs (due to low dyeing temperature), and a significant reduction in environmental pollution.

Operational Challenges of Marine Fiber Reinforced Polymer Composite Structures Coupled with Piezoelectric Transducers

Composite structures become intriguing for the design of aerospace, automotive and marine applications due to weight reduction, corrosion resistance and radar signature reduction demands and requirements. Studies on piezoelectric ceramic transducers (PZT) for diagnostics and health monitoring have gained attention for their sensing capabilities, however PZT structures are prone to fail in case of heavy operational loads. In this paper, we develop a piezo-based Glass Fiber Reinforced Polymer (GFRP) composite finite element (FE) model, validate with experimental setup, and identify the applicability and limitations of PZTs for a marine application. A case study is conducted to assess the piezo-based sensing capabilities in a representative marine composite structure. A FE model of the composite structure combined with PZT patches is developed, afterwards the response and functionality are investigated according to the sea conditions. Results of this study clearly indicate the blockers and critical aspects towards industrialization and wide-range use of PZTs for marine composite applications.

A Highly Sensitive Dip Strip for Detection of Phosphate in Water

Phosphorus is an essential nutrient for plant life which is most frequently found as phosphate in water. Once phosphate is found in abundance in surface water, a series of adverse effects on an ecosystem can be initiated. Therefore, a portable and reliable method is needed to monitor the phosphate concentrations in the field. In this paper, an inexpensive dip strip device with the ascorbic acid/antimony reagent dried on blotting paper along with wet chemistry is developed for the detection of low concentrations of phosphate in water. Ammonium molybdate and sulfuric acid are separately stored in liquid form so as to improve significantly the lifetime of the device and enhance the reproducibility of the device’s performance. The limit of detection and quantification for the optimized device are 0.134 ppm and 0.472 ppm for phosphate in water, respectively. The device’s shelf life, storage conditions, and limit of detection are superior to what has been previously reported for the paper-based phosphate detection devices.

Characterization of 3D Printed Re-Entrant Chiral Auxetic Geometries

Auxetic materials have counteractive properties due to re-entrant geometry that enables them to possess Negative Poisson’s Ratio (NPR). These materials have better energy absorbing and shock resistance capabilities as compared to conventional positive Poisson’s ratio materials. The re-entrant geometry can be created through 3D printing for convenient application of these materials. This paper investigates the mechanical properties of 3D printed chiral auxetic geometries of various sizes. Small scale samples were printed using an ordinary 3D printer and were tested under compression and tension to ascertain their strength and deformation characteristics. A maximum NPR of -9 was obtained under compression and tension. The re-entrant chiral cell size has been shown to affect the mechanical properties of the re-entrant chiral auxetics.

Growth of Non-Polar a-Plane AlGaN Epilayer with High Crystalline Quality and Smooth Surface Morphology

Non-polar a-plane AlGaN epilayers of high structural quality have been grown on r-sapphire substrate by using metalorganic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD). A graded non-polar AlGaN buffer layer with variable aluminium concentration was used to improve the structural quality of the non-polar a-plane AlGaN epilayer. The characterisations were carried out by high-resolution X-ray diffraction (HR-XRD), atomic force microscopy (AFM) and Hall effect measurement. The XRD and AFM results demonstrate that the Al-composition-graded non-polar AlGaN buffer layer significantly improved the crystalline quality and the surface morphology of the top layer. A low root mean square roughness 1.52 nm is obtained from AFM, and relatively low background carrier concentration down to 3.9×  cm-3 is obtained from Hall effect measurement.

Effect of Changing Iron Content and Excitation Frequency on Magnetic Particle Imaging Signal: A Comparative Study of Synomag® Nanoparticles

Magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) are widely used to facilitate magnetic particle imaging (MPI) which has the potential to become the leading diagnostic instrument for biomedical imaging. This comparative study assesses the effects of changing iron content and excitation frequency on point-spread function (PSF) representing the effect of magnetization reversal. PSF is quantified by features of interest for MPI: i.e., drive field amplitude and full-width-at-half-maximum (FWHM). A superparamagnetic quantifier (SPaQ) is used to assess differential magnetic susceptibility of two commercially available MNPs: Synomag®-D50 and Synomag®-D70. For both MNPs, the signal output depends on increase in drive field frequency and amount of iron-oxide, which might be hampering the sensitivity of MPI systems that perform on higher frequencies. Nevertheless, there is a clear potential of Synomag®-D for a stable MPI resolution, especially in case of 70 nm version, that is independent of either drive field frequency or amount of iron-oxide.

Enhancement of Mechanical and Dissolution Properties of a Cast Magnesium Alloy via Equal Angular Channel Processing

Two decades of the Shale Revolution has transforming transformed the global energy market, in part by the adaption of multi-stage dissolvable frac plugs. Magnesium has been favored for the bulk of plugs, requiring development of materials to suit specific field requirements. Herein, the mechanical and dissolution results from equal channel angular pressing (ECAP) of two cast dissolvable magnesium alloy are described. ECAP was selected as a route to increase the mechanical properties of two formulations of dissolvable magnesium, as solutionizing failed. In this study, 1” square cross section samples cast Mg alloys formulations containing rare earth were processed at temperatures ranging from 200 to 350 °C, at a rate of 0.005”/s, with a backpressure from 0 to 70 MPa, in a brass, or brass + graphite sheet. Generally, the yield and ultimate tensile strength (UTS) doubled for all. For formulation DM-2, the yield increased from 100 MPa to 250 MPa; UTS from 175 MPa to 325 MPa, but the strain fell from 2 to 1%. Formulation DM-3 yield increased from 75 MPa to 200 MPa, UTS from 150 MPa to 275 MPa, with strain increasing from 1 to 3%. Meanwhile, ECAP has also been found to reduce the dissolution rate significantly. A microstructural analysis showed grain refinement of the alloy and the movement of secondary phases away from the grain boundary. It is believed that reconfiguration of the grain boundary phases increased the mechanical properties and decreased the dissolution rate. ECAP processing of dissolvable high rare earth content magnesium is possible despite the brittleness of the material. ECAP is a possible processing route to increase mechanical properties for dissolvable aluminum alloys that do not extrude.

Comparative Study on the Effect of Substitution of Li and Mg Instead of Ca on Structural and Biological Behaviors of Silicate Bioactive Glass

In this study, experiments were carried out to achieve a promising multifunctional and modified silicate based bioactive glass (BG). The main aim of the study was investigating the effect of lithium (Li) and magnesium (Mg) substitution, on in vitro bioactivity of substituted-58S BG. Moreover, it is noteworthy to state that modified BGs were synthesized in 60SiO2–(36-x)CaO–4P2O5–(x)Li2O and 60SiO2–(36-x)CaO–4P2O5–(x)MgO (where x = 0, 5, 10 mol.%) quaternary systems, by sol-gel method. Their performance was investigated through different aspects such as biocompatibility, antibacterial activity as well as their effect on alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity, and proliferation of MC3T3 cells. The antibacterial efficiency was evaluated against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus bacteria. To do so, CaO was substituted with Li2O and MgO up to 10 mol % in 58S-BGs and then samples were immersed in simulated body fluid up to 14 days and then, characterized by X-ray diffraction, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectrometry, and scanning electron microscopy. Results indicated that this modification led to a retarding effect on in vitro hydroxyapatite (HA) formation due to the lower supersaturation degree for nucleation of HA compared with 58s-BG. Meanwhile, magnesium revealed further pronounced effect. The 3-(4,5 dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5 diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) and ALP analysis illustrated that substitutions of both Li2O and MgO, up to 5 mol %, had increasing effect on biocompatibility and stimulating proliferation of the pre-osteoblast MC3T3 cells in comparison to the control specimen. Regarding to bactericidal efficiency, the substitution of either Li or Mg for Ca in the 58s BG composition led to statistically significant difference in antibacterial behaviors of substituted-BGs. Meanwhile, the sample containing 5 mol % CaO/Li2O substitution (BG-5L) was selected as a multifunctional biomaterial in bone repair/regeneration due to the improved biocompatibility, enhanced ALP activity and antibacterial efficiency among all of the synthesized L-BGs and M-BGs.

Assessment of Carbon Dioxide Separation by Amine Solutions Using Electrolyte Non-Random Two-Liquid and Peng-Robinson Models: Carbon Dioxide Absorption Efficiency

A high pressure carbon dioxide (CO2) absorption from a specific gas in a conventional column has been evaluated by the Aspen HYSYS simulator using a wide range of single absorbents and blended solutions to estimate the outlet CO2 concentration, absorption efficiency and CO2 loading to choose the most proper solution in terms of CO2 capture for environmental concerns. The property package (Acid Gas-Chemical Solvent) which is compatible with all applied solutions for the simulation in this study, estimates the properties based on an electrolyte non-random two-liquid (E-NRTL) model for electrolyte thermodynamics and Peng-Robinson equation of state for the vapor and liquid hydrocarbon phases. Among all the investigated single amines as well as blended solutions, piperazine (PZ) and the mixture of piperazine and monoethanolamine (MEA) have been found as the most effective absorbents respectively for CO2 absorption with high reactivity based on the simulated operational conditions.

Characterization of Candlenut Shells and Its Application to Remove Oil and Fine Solids of Produced Water in Nutshell Filters of Water Cleaning Plant

Oilfields under waterflood often face the problem of plugging injectors either by internal filtration or external filter cake built up inside pore throats. The content of suspended solids shall be reduced to required level of filtration since corrective action of plugging is costly expensive. The performance of nutshell filters, where filtration takes place, is good using pecan and walnut shells. Candlenut shells were used instead of pecan and walnut shells since they were abundant in Indonesia, Malaysia, and East Africa. Physical and chemical properties of walnut, pecan, and candlenut shells were tested and the results were compared. Testing, using full-scale nutshell filters, was conducted to determine the oil content, turbidity, and suspended solid removal, which was based on designed flux rate. The performance of candlenut shells, which were deeply bedded in nutshell filters for filtration process, was monitored. Cleaned water outgoing nutshell filters had total suspended solids of 17 ppm, while oil content could be reduced to 15.1 ppm. Turbidity, using candlenut shells, was below the specification for injection water, which was less than 10 Nephelometric Turbidity Unit (NTU). Turbidity of water, outgoing nutshell filter, was ranged from 1.7-5.0 NTU at various dates of operation. Walnut, pecan, and candlenut shells had moisture content of 8.98 wt%, 10.95 wt%, and 9.95 wt%, respectively. The porosity of walnut, pecan, and candlenut shells was significantly affected by moisture content. Candlenut shells had property of toluene solubility of 7.68 wt%, which was much higher than walnut shells, reflecting more crude oil adsorption. The hardness of candlenut shells was 2.5-3 Mohs, which was close to walnut shells’ hardness. It was advantage to guarantee the cleaning filter cake by fluidization process during backwashing.

Green, Smooth and Easy Electrochemical Synthesis of N-Protected Indole Derivatives

Here, we report a simple method for the direct conversion of 6-Nitro-1H-indole into N-substituted indoles via electrochemical dehydrogenative reaction with halogenated reagents under strongly basic conditions through N–R bond formation. The N-protected indoles have been prepared under moderate and scalable electrolytic conditions. The conduct of the reactions was performed in a simple divided cell under constant current without oxidizing reagents or transition-metal catalysts. The synthesized products have been characterized via UV/Vis spectrophotometry, 1H-NMR, and FTIR spectroscopy. A possible reaction mechanism is discussed based on the N-protective products. This methodology could be applied to the synthesis of various biologically active N-substituted indole derivatives.

Experimental Investigation on the Fire Performance of Corrugated Sandwich Panels made from Renewable Material

The use of renewable substitutes in various semi-structural and structural applications has experienced an increase since the last few decades. Sandwich panels have been used for many decades, although research on understanding the effects of the core structures on the panels’ fire-reaction properties is limited. The current work investigates the fire-performance of a corrugated sandwich panel made from renewable, biodegradable, and sustainable material, plywood. The bench-scale fire testing apparatus, cone-calorimeter, was employed to evaluate the required fire-reaction properties of the sandwich core in a panel configuration, with three corrugated layers glued together with face-sheets under a heat irradiance of 50 kW/m2. The study helped in documenting a unique heat release trend associated with the fire performance of the 3-layered corrugated sandwich panels and in understanding the structural stability of the samples in the event of a fire. Furthermore, the total peak heat release rate was observed to be around 421 kW/m2, which is significantly low compared to many polymeric materials in the literature. The total smoke production was also perceived to be very limited compared to other structural materials, and the total heat release was also nominal. The time to ignition of 21.7 s further outlined the advantages of using the plywood component since polymeric composites, even with flame-retardant additives, tend to ignite faster. Overall, the corrugated plywood sandwich panels had significant fire-reaction properties and could have important structural applications. The possible use of structural panels made from bio-degradable material opens a new avenue for the use of similar structures in sandwich panel preparation.

Characterization of a Hypoeutectic Al Alloy Obtained by Selective Laser Melting

In this investigation, a hypoeutectic AlSi11Cu alloy was printed. This alloy was obtained in powder form with an average particle size of 40 µm. Bars 20 mm in diameter and 100 mm in length were printed with the building direction parallel to the bars' longitudinal direction. The microstructural characterization demonstrated an Al matrix surrounded by a Si network forming a coral-like pattern. The microstructure of the alloy showed a heterogeneous behavior with a mixture of columnar and equiaxed grains. Likewise, the texture indicated that the columnar grains were preferentially oriented towards the building direction, while the equiaxed followed a texture dominated by the cube component. On the other hand, the as-printed material strength showed higher values than those obtained in the same alloy using conventional processes such as casting. In addition, strength and ductility differences were found in the printed material, depending on the measurement direction. The highest values were obtained in the radial direction (565 MPa maximum strength and 4.8% elongation to failure). The lowest values corresponded to the transverse direction (508 MPa maximum strength and 3.2 elongation to failure), which corroborate the material anisotropy.