Microstructural Evolution of an Interface Region in a Nickel-Based Superalloy Joint Produced by Direct Energy Deposition

Microstructure analysis of additively manufactured (AM) materials is an important step in understanding the interrelationship between mechanical properties and materials performance. Literature on the effect of a laser-based AM process parameters on the microstructure in the substrate-deposit interface is limited. The interface region, the adjoining area of substrate and deposit, is characterized by the presence of the fusion zone (FZ) and heat affected zone (HAZ) experiencing rapid thermal gyrations resulting in thermal induced transformations. Inconel 718 was utilized as a work material for both the substrate and deposit. Three blocks of Inconel 718 material were deposited by Direct Energy Deposition (DED) using three different laser powers, 550W, 750W and 950W, respectively. A coupled thermo-mechanical transient approach was utilized to correlate temperature history to the evolution of microstructure. Thermal history of the deposition process was monitored with the thermocouples installed inside the substrate material. Interface region of the blocks were analysed with Optical Microscopy (OM) and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) including electron back-scattered diffraction (EBSD) technique. Laser power was found to influence the dissolution of intermetallic precipitated phases in the substrate and grain growth in the interface region. Microstructure and thermal history data were utilized to draw conclusive comparisons between the investigated process parameters.

Effect of Different Types of Highly Consumed Beverages on the Surface Structure of Orthodontic Restorative Material

Orthodontic restorative materials are widely used for the direct restoration of teeth or for cosmetic dentistry purposes. These materials have helped to solve many dental problems, providing healthy and beautiful smiles for many patients. In this study, we aimed to investigate whether the pH value has an effect on the surface structure of a nanohybrid composite material. Five different types of highly consumed beverages were selected to examine their effect on the surface structure of the nanohybrid composite material. The beverages had different pH values in the range of 3–6, i.e., they were all acidic. The material was investigated under the hardest conditions of surface exposure to the drinks by immersing the material for a long period. The specimens were examined using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) at different magnifications to investigate the effect of these beverages on the morphology of the nanohybrid composite material discs. All specimens showed an effect including pores, cracks, protrusions, and surface roughness as a result of the beverages. The degree of effect differed from one experimental group to another, but there was no relationship between the pH (acidity) value and the degree of effect on the surface structure of the specimens.

Failure Analysis of a Fractured Control Pressure Tube from an Aircraft Engine

This paper studies a failure case of a fuel pressure supply tube from an aircraft engine. Multiple fracture cases of the fuel pressure control tube from aircraft engines have been reported. The studied set was composed by the mentioned tube, a welded connecting pipe, where the fracture has been produced, and a union nut. The fracture has been produced in one of the most critical zones of the tube, in a region next to the supporting body of the union nut to the connector. The tube material was X6CrNiTi18-10, an austenitic stainless steel. Chemical composition was determined using an X-Ray fluorescence spectrometer (XRF) and combustion equipment. Furthermore, the material was characterized mechanically, by a hardness test, and microstructurally using a stereo microscope and an optical microscope. The results confirmed that the material was within specifications. To determine the macrofractographic features, a visual examination and an observation using a stereo microscope of the tube fracture surface were carried out. The results revealed a tube plastic macrodeformation, surface damaged and signs of a possible corrosion process. Fracture surface was also inspected by scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM), equipped with an energy-dispersive X-ray microanalysis system (EDX), to determine the microfractographic features in order to find out the failure mechanism involved in the fracture. Fatigue striations, which are typical from a progressive fracture by a fatigue mechanism, were observed. The origin of the fracture was placed in defects located on the outer wall of the tube, leading to a final overload fracture.

Thermosensitive Hydrogel Development for Its Possible Application in Cardiac Cell Therapy

Ischemic events can culminate in acute myocardial infarction with irreversible cardiac lesions that cannot be restored due to the limited regenerative capacity of the heart. Tissue engineering proposes therapeutic alternatives by using biomaterials to resemble the native extracellular medium combined with healthy and functional cells. This research focused on developing a natural thermosensitive hydrogel, its physical-chemical characterization and in vitro biocompatibility determination. Hydrogels’ morphological characterization was carried out through scanning electron microscopy and its chemical characterization by employing Infrared Spectroscopy technic. In addition, the biocompatibility was determined using fetal human ventricular cardiomyocytes cell line RL-14 and the MTT cytotoxicity test according to the ISO 10993-5 standard. Four biocompatible and thermosensitive hydrogels were obtained with a three-dimensional internal structure and two gelation times. The results show the potential of the hydrogel to increase the cell survival rate to the cardiac cell therapies under investigation and lay the foundations to continue with its characterization and biological evaluation both in vitro and in vivo models.

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.

Developing Manufacturing Process for the Graphene Sensors

Biosensors play a significant role in the healthcare sectors, scientific and technological progress. Developing electrodes that are easy to manufacture and deliver better electrochemical performance is advantageous for diagnostics and biosensing. They can be implemented extensively in various analytical tasks such as drug discovery, food safety, medical diagnostics, process controls, security and defence, in addition to environmental monitoring. Development of biosensors aims to create high-performance electrochemical electrodes for diagnostics and biosensing. A biosensor is a device that inspects the biological and chemical reactions generated by the biological sample. A biosensor carries out biological detection via a linked transducer and transmits the biological response into an electrical signal; stability, selectivity, and sensitivity are the dynamic and static characteristics that affect and dictate the quality and performance of biosensors. In this research, a developed experimental study for laser scribing technique for graphene oxide inside a vacuum chamber for processing of graphene oxide is presented. The processing of graphene oxide (GO) was achieved using the laser scribing technique. The effect of the laser scribing on the reduction of GO was investigated under two conditions: atmosphere and vacuum. GO solvent was coated onto a LightScribe DVD. The laser scribing technique was applied to reduce GO layers to generate rGO. The micro-details for the morphological structures of rGO and GO were visualised using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and Raman spectroscopy so that they could be examined. The first electrode was a traditional graphene-based electrode model, made under normal atmospheric conditions, whereas the second model was a developed graphene electrode fabricated under a vacuum state using a vacuum chamber. The purpose was to control the vacuum conditions, such as the air pressure and the temperature during the fabrication process. The parameters to be assessed include the layer thickness and the continuous environment. Results presented show high accuracy and repeatability achieving low cost productivity.

Study of Pipes Scaling of Purified Wastewater Intended for the Irrigation of Agadir Golf Grass

In Morocco’s Agadir region, the reuse of treated wastewater for irrigation of green spaces has faced the problem of scaling of the pipes of these waters. This research paper aims at studying the phenomenon of scaling caused by the treated wastewater from the Mzar sewage treatment plant. These waters are used in the irrigation of golf turf for the Ocean Golf Resort. Ocean Golf, located about 10 km from the center of the city of Agadir, is one of the most important recreation centers in Morocco. The course is a Belt Collins design with 27 holes, and is quite open with deep challenging bunkers. The formation of solid deposits in the irrigation systems has led to a decrease in their lifetime and, consequently, a loss of load and performance. Thus, the sprinklers used in golf turf irrigation are plugged in the first weeks of operation. To study this phenomenon, the wastewater used for the irrigation of the golf turf was taken and analyzed at various points, and also samples of scale formed in the circuits of the passage of these waters were characterized. This characterization of the scale was performed by X-ray fluorescence spectrometry, X-ray diffraction (XRD), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), differential thermal analysis (DTA), and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The results of the physicochemical analysis of the waters show that they are full of bicarbonates (653 mg/L), chloride (478 mg/L), nitrate (412 mg/L), sodium (425 mg/L) and calcium (199mg/L). Their pH is slightly alkaline. The analysis of the scale reveals that it is rich in calcium and phosphorus. It is formed of calcium carbonate (CaCO₃), silica (SiO₂), calcium silicate (Ca₂SiO₄), hydroxylapatite (Ca₁₀P₆O₂₆), calcium carbonate and phosphate (Ca₁₀(PO₄) 6CO₃) and silicate calcium and magnesium (Ca₅MgSi₃O₁₂).

Graphene/ZnO/Polymer Nanocomposite Thin Film for Separation of Oil-Water Mixture

Offshore oil-spill has become the most emerging problem in the world. In the current paper, a graphene/ZnO/polymer nanocomposite thin film is coated on stainless steel mesh via layer by layer deposition method. The structural characterization of materials is determined by Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and X-ray diffraction (XRD). The total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPHs) and separation efficiency have been measured via gas chromatography – flame ionization detector (GC-FID). TPHs are reduced to 2 ppm and separation efficiency of the nanocomposite coated mesh is reached ≥ 99% for the final sample. The nanocomposite coated mesh acts as a promising candidate for the separation of oil- water mixture.

The Potential of Tempo-Oxidized Cellulose Nanofibers to Replace Ethylene-Propylene-Diene Monomer Rubber

In recent years, petroleum-based polymers began to be limited due to effects on human and environmental point of view in many countries. Thus, organic-based biodegradable materials have attracted much interest in the composite industry because of environmental concerns. As a result of this, it has been asked that inorganic and petroleum-based materials should be reduced and altered with biodegradable materials. In this point, in this study, it is aimed to investigate the potential of use of TEMPO (2,2,6,6- tetramethylpiperidine 1-oxyl)-mediated oxidation nano-fibrillated cellulose instead of EPDM (ethylene-propylene-diene monomer) rubber, which is a petroleum-based material. Thus, the exchange of petroleum-based EPDM rubber with organic based cellulose nanofibers, which are environmentally friendly (green) and biodegradable, will be realized. The effect of tempo-oxidized cellulose nanofibers (TCNF) instead of EPDM rubber was analyzed by rheological, mechanical, chemical, thermal and aging analyses. The aged surfaces were visually scrutinized and surface morphological changes were examined via scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The results obtained showed that TEMPO oxidation nano-fibrillated cellulose can be used at an amount of 1.0 and 2.2 phr resulting the values stay within tolerance according to customer standard and without any chemical degradation, crack, colour change or staining.

Corrosion Evaluation of Zinc Coating Prepared by Two Types of Electric Currents

In this research, zinc coatings were fabricated by electroplating process in a sulfate solution under direct and pulse current conditions. In direct and pulse current conditions, effect of maximum current was investigated on the coating properties. Also a comparison was made between the obtained coatings under direct and pulse current. Morphology of the coatings was investigated by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Corrosion behavior of the coatings was investigated by potentiodynamic polarization test. In pulse current conditions, the effect of pulse frequency and duty cycle was also studied. The effect of these conditions and parameters were also investigated on morphology and corrosion behavior. All of DC plated coatings are showing a distinct passivation area in -1 to -0.4 V range. Pulsed current coatings possessed a higher corrosion resistance. The results showed that current density is the most important factor regarding the fabrication process. Furthermore, a rise in duty cycle deteriorated corrosion resistance of coatings. Pulsed plated coatings performed almost 10 times better than DC plated coatings.

Sustainable Hydrogel Nanocomposites Based on Grafted Chitosan and Clay for Effective Adsorption of Cationic Dye

Contamination of water, due to the discharge of untreated industrial wastewaters into the ecosystem, has become a serious problem for many countries. In this study, bioadsorbents based on chitosan-g-poly(acrylamide) and montmorillonite (MMt) clay (CTS-g-PAAm/MMt) hydrogel nanocomposites were prepared via free‐radical grafting copolymerization and crosslinking of acrylamide monomer (AAm) onto natural polysaccharide chitosan (CTS) as backbone, in presence of various contents of MMt clay as nanofiller. Then, they were hydrolyzed to obtain highly functionalized pH‐sensitive nanomaterials with uppermost swelling properties. Their structure characterization was conducted by X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) analyses. The adsorption performances of the developed nanohybrids were examined for removal of methylene blue (MB) cationic dye from aqueous solutions. The factors affecting the removal of MB, such as clay content, pH medium, adsorbent dose, initial dye concentration and temperature were explored. The adsorption process was found to be highly pH dependent. From adsorption kinetic results, the prepared adsorbents showed remarkable adsorption capacity and fast adsorption rate, mainly more than 88% of MB removal efficiency was reached after 50 min in 200 mg L-1 of dye solution. In addition, the incorporating of various content of clay has enhanced adsorption capacity of CTS-g-PAAm matrix from 1685 to a highest value of 1749 mg g-1 for the optimized nanocomposite containing 2 wt.% of MMt. The experimental kinetic data were well described by the pseudo-second-order model, while the equilibrium data were represented perfectly by Langmuir isotherm model. The maximum Langmuir equilibrium adsorption capacity (qm) was found to increase from 2173 mg g−1 until 2221 mg g−1 by adding 2 wt.% of clay nanofiller. Thermodynamic parameters revealed the spontaneous and endothermic nature of the process. In addition, the reusability study revealed that these bioadsorbents could be well regenerated with desorption efficiency overhead 87% and without any obvious decrease of removal efficiency as compared to starting ones even after four consecutive adsorption/desorption cycles, which exceeded 64%. These results suggest that the optimized nanocomposites are promising as low cost bioadsorbents.

Investigation of Mg and Zr Addition on the Mechanical Properties of Commercially Pure Al

The influence of Mg and Zr addition on mechanical properties such as hardness, tensile strength and impact energy of commercially pure Al are investigated. The microstructure and fracture behavior are also studied by using Optical and Scanning Electron Microscopy. It is observed that magnesium addition improves the mechanical properties of commercially pure Al at the expense of ductility due to formation of β″ (Al3Mg) and β′ (Al3Mg2) phase into the alloy. Zr addition also plays a positive role through grain refinement effect and the formation of metastable L12 Al3Zr precipitates. In addition, it is observed that the fractured surface of Mg added alloy is brittle and higher numbers of dimples are observed in case of Zr added alloy.

Reinforcing Effects of Natural Micro-Particles on the Dynamic Impact Behaviour of Hybrid Bio-Composites Made of Short Kevlar Fibers Reinforced Thermoplastic Composite Armor

Hybrid bio-composites are developed for use in protective armor through positive hybridization offered by reinforcement of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) with Kevlar short fibers and palm wood micro-fillers. The manufacturing process involved a combination of extrusion and compression molding techniques. The mechanical behavior of Kevlar fiber reinforced HDPE with and without palm wood filler additions are compared. The effect of the weight fraction of the added palm wood micro-fillers is also determined. The Young modulus was found to increase as the weight fraction of organic micro-particles increased. However, the flexural strength decreased with increasing weight fraction of added micro-fillers. The interfacial interactions between the components were investigated using scanning electron microscopy. The influence of the size, random alignment and distribution of the natural micro-particles was evaluated. Ballistic impact and dynamic shock loading tests were performed to determine the optimum proportion of Kevlar short fibers and organic micro-fillers needed to improve impact strength of the HDPE. These results indicate a positive hybridization by deposition of organic micro-fillers on the surface of short Kevlar fibers used in reinforcing the thermoplastic matrix leading to enhancement of the mechanical strength and dynamic impact behavior of these materials. Therefore, these hybrid bio-composites can be promising materials for different applications against high velocity impacts.

Investigating the Formation of Nano-Hydroxyapatite on a Biocompatible and Antibacterial Cu/Mg-Substituted Bioglass

Multifunctional bioactive glasses (BGs) are designed with a focus on the provision of bactericidal and biological properties desired for angiogenesis, osteogenesis, and ultimately potential applications in bone tissue engineering. To achieve these, six sol-gel copper/magnesium substituted derivatives of 58S-BG, i.e. a mol% series of 60SiO2-4P2O5-5CuO-(31-x) CaO/xMgO (where x=0, 1, 3, 5, 8, and 10), were synthesized. Afterwards, the effect of MgO/CaO substitution on the in vitro formation of nano-hydroxyapatite (HA), osteoblast-like cell responses and BGs antibacterial performance were studied. During the BGs synthesis, the elimination of nitrates was achieved at 700 °C that prevented the BGs crystallization and stabilized the obtained dried gels. The structural and morphological evaluations were performed with X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). These characterizations revealed that Cu-substituted 58S-BG consisting of 5 mol% MgO (BG-5/5) slightly had retarded the formation of HA. In addition, Cu-substituted 58S-BGs consisting 8 mol% and 10 mol% MgO (BG-5/8 and BG-5/10) displayed lower bioactivity probably due to the lower ion release rate of Ca–Si into the simulated body fluid (SBF). The determination of 3-(4, 5 dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2, 5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) and alkaline phosphate (ALP) activities proved that the highest values of both differentiation and proliferation of MC3T3-E1 cells can be obtained from a 5 mol% MgO substituted BG, while the over addition of MgO (8 mol% and 10 mol%) decreased the bioactivity. Furthermore, these novel Cu/Mg-substituted 58S-BGs displayed antibacterial effect against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus bacteria. Taken together, the results suggest the equally-substituted BG-5/5 (i.e. the one consists of 5 mol% of both CuO and MgO) as a promising candidate for bone tissue engineering, among all newly designed BGs in this work, owing to its desirable cell proliferation, ALP activity and antibacterial properties.

Synthesis and in vitro Characterization of a Gel-Derived SiO2-CaO-P2O5-SrO-Li2O Bioactive Glass

Bioactive glasses (BGs) are a group of surface-reactive biomaterials used in clinical applications as implants or filler materials in the human body to repair and replace diseased or damaged bone. Sol-gel technique was employed to prepare a SiO2-CaO-P2O5 glass with nominal composition of 58S BG with the addition of Sr and Li modifiers which imparts special properties to the BG. The effect of simultaneous addition of Sr and Li on bioactivity and biocompatibility, proliferation, alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity of osteoblast cell line MC3T3-E1 and antibacterial property against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteria were examined. BGs were characterized by X-ray diffraction, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy before and after soaking the samples in the simulated body fluid (SBF) for different time intervals to characterize the formation of hydroxyapatite (HA) formed on the surface of BGs. Structural characterization indicated that the simultaneous presence of 5% Sr and 5% Li in 58S-BG composition not only did not retard HA formation because of opposite effect of Sr and Li of the dissolution of BG in the SBF but also, stimulated the differentiation and proliferation of MC3T3-E1s. Moreover, the presence of Sr and Li on dissolution of the ions resulted in an increase in the mean number of DAPI-labeled nuclei which was in good agreement with live/dead assay. The result of antibacterial tests revealed that Sr and Li-substituted 58S BG exhibited a potential antibacterial effect against MRSA bacteria. Because of optimal proliferation and ALP activity of MC3T3-E1cells, proper bioactivity and high antibacterial potential against MRSA, BG-5/5 is suggested as a multifunctional candidate for bone tissue engineering.

Comparative Study of Calcium Content on in vitro Biological and Antibacterial Properties of Silicon-Based Bioglass

The major aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of CaO content on in vitro hydroxyapatite formation, MC3T3 cells cytotoxicity and proliferation as well as antibacterial efficiency of sol-gel derived SiO2–CaO–P2O5 ternary system. For this purpose, first two grades of bioactive glass (BG); BG-58s (mol%: 60%SiO2–36%CaO–4%P2O5) and BG-68s (mol%: 70%SiO2–26%CaO–4%P2O5)) were synthesized by sol-gel method. Second, the effect of CaO content in their composition on in vitro bioactivity was investigated by soaking the BG-58s and BG-68s powders in simulated body fluid (SBF) for time periods up to 14 days and followed by characterization inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectrometry (ICP-AES), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), X-ray diffraction (XRD), and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) techniques. Additionally, live/dead staining, 3-(4,5dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT), and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity assays were conducted respectively, as qualitatively and quantitatively assess for cell viability, proliferation and differentiations of MC3T3 cells in presence of 58s and 68s BGs. Results showed that BG-58s with higher CaO content showed higher in vitro bioactivity with respect to BG-68s. Moreover, the dissolution rate was inversely proportional to oxygen density of the BG. Live/dead assay revealed that both 58s and 68s increased the mean number live cells which were in good accordance with MTT assay. Furthermore, BG-58s showed more potential antibacterial activity against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteria. Taken together, BG-58s with enhanced MC3T3 cells proliferation and ALP activity, acceptable bioactivity and significant high antibacterial effect against MRSA bacteria is suggested as a suitable candidate in order to further functionalizing for delivery of therapeutic ions and growth factors in bone tissue engineering.

Morphological and Electrical Characterization of Polyacrylonitrile Nanofibers Synthesized Using Electrospinning Method for Electrical Application

Electrospinning is the most widely utilized method to create nanofibers because of the direct setup, the capacity to mass-deliver consistent nanofibers from different polymers, and the ability to produce ultrathin fibers with controllable diameters. Smooth and much arranged ultrafine Polyacrylonitrile (PAN) nanofibers with diameters going from submicron to nanometer were delivered utilizing Electrospinning technique. PAN powder was used as a precursor to prepare the solution utilized as a part of this process. At the point when the electrostatic repulsion contradicted surface tension, a charged stream of polymer solution was shot out from the head of the spinneret and along these lines ultrathin nonwoven fibers were created. The effect of electrospinning parameter such as applied voltage, feed rate, concentration of polymer solution and tip to collector distance on the morphology of electrospun PAN nanofibers were investigated. The nanofibers were heat treated for carbonization to examine the changes in properties and composition to make for electrical application. Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) was performed before and after carbonization to study electrical conductivity and morphological characterization. The SEM images have shown the uniform fiber diameter and no beads formation. The average diameter of the PAN fiber observed 365nm and 280nm for flat plat and rotating drum collector respectively. The four probe strategy was utilized to inspect the electrical conductivity of the nanofibers and the electrical conductivity is significantly improved with increase in oxidation temperature exposed.

Fabrication and Characterization of Al2O3 Based Electrical Insulation Coatings Around SiC Fibers

In structural-health monitoring of fiber reinforced plastics (FRPs), every single inorganic fiber sensor that are integrated into the bulk material requires an electrical insulation around itself, when the surrounding reinforcing fibers are electrically conductive. This results in a more accurate data acquisition only from the sensor fiber without any electrical interventions. For this purpose, thin nano-films of aluminium oxide (Al2O3)-based electrical-insulation coatings have been fabricated around the Silicon Carbide (SiC) single fiber sensors through reactive DC magnetron sputtering technique. The sputtered coatings were amorphous in nature and the thickness of the coatings increased with an increase in the sputter time. Microstructural characterization of the coated fibers performed using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) confirmed a homogeneous circumferential coating with no detectable defects or cracks on the surface. X-ray diffraction (XRD) analyses of the as-sputtered and 2 hours annealed coatings (825 & 1125 ˚C) revealed the amorphous and crystalline phases of Al2O3 respectively. Raman spectroscopic analyses produced no characteristic bands of Al2O3, as the thickness of the films was in the nanometer (nm) range, which is too small to overcome the actual penetration depth of the laser used. In addition, the influence of the insulation coatings on the mechanical properties of the SiC sensor fibers has been analyzed.

Effect of Zinc Oxide on Characteristics of Active Flux TIG Welds of 1050 Aluminum Plates

In this study, characteristics of ATIG welds using ZnO flux on aluminum was investigated and compared with TIG welds. Autogenously AC-ATIG bead on plate welding was applied on Al1050 plate with a coating of ZnO as the flux. Different levels of welding current and flux layer thickness was considered to study the effect of heat input and flux quantity on ATIG welds and was compared with those of TIG welds. Geometrical investigation of the weld cross sections revealed that penetration depth of the ATIG welds with ZnO flux, was increased up to 2 times in some samples compared to the TIG welds. Optical metallographic and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) observations revealed similar microstructures in TIG and ATIG welds. Composition of the ATIG welds slag was also analyzed using X-ray diffraction. In both TIG and ATIG samples, the lowest values of microhardness were observed in the HAZ.

A Comparative Study of Single- and Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotube Incorporation to Indium Tin Oxide Electrodes for Solar Cells

Alternative electrode materials for optoelectronic devices have been widely investigated in recent years. Since indium tin oxide (ITO) is the most preferred transparent conductive electrode, producing ITO films by simple and cost-effective solution-based techniques with enhanced optical and electrical properties has great importance. In this study, single- and multi-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNT and MWCNT) incorporated into the ITO structure to increase electrical conductivity, mechanical strength, and chemical stability. Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) were firstly functionalized by acid treatment (HNO3:H2SO4), and the thermal resistance of CNTs after functionalization was determined by thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). Thin films were then prepared by spin coating technique and characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), four-point probe measurement system and UV-Vis spectrophotometer. The effects of process parameters were compared for ITO, MWCNT-ITO, and SWCNT-ITO films. Two factors including CNT concentration and annealing temperature were considered. The UV-Vis measurements demonstrated that the transmittance of ITO films was 83.58% at 550 nm, which was decreased depending on the concentration of CNT dopant. On the other hand, both CNT dopants provided an enhancement in the crystalline structure and electrical conductivity. Due to compatible diameter and better dispersibility of SWCNTs in the ITO solution, the best result in terms of electrical conductivity was obtained by SWCNT-ITO films with the 0.1 g/L SWCNT dopant concentration and heat-treatment at 550 °C for 1 hour.