Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 16

Electron Microscopy Related Abstracts

16 Light and Electron Study of Acrylamide–Induced Hypothalamic Changes

Authors: Keivan Jamshidi


Distal swelling and eventual degeneration of axon in the CNS and PNS have been considered to be the characteristic neuropathological effects of acrylamide (ACR) neuropathy. This study was conducted to determine the neurotoxic effects of different doses of ACR (0.5, 5, 50, 100, and 500 mg/kg per day × 11days i. p.) on hypothalamus of rat using the de Olmos amino cupric-silver stain and electron microscopy. For this purpose 60 adult male rats (Wistar, approximately 250 g) were randomly assigned in 5 treatment groups as A, B, C, D, E) exposed to 0.5, 5, 50, 100, and 500 mg/kg per dayx11days i. p. and one control group as F received daily i. p. injections of 0.9% saline (3ml/kg). As indices of developing neurotoxicity, weight gain, gait scores and landing hindlimb foot splay were determined. After 11 days, two rats for silver stain, and two rats for EM were randomly selected; dissected and proper samples were collected from hypothalamus. Results did show no neurological behavior in groups A, B and F were observed in group C. Rats in groups D and E died within 1-2 hours due to sever toxemia. In histopathological studies based on de Olmos technique no argyrophilic neurons or processes were observed in stained sections obtained from hypothalamus of rats belong to groups A, B, and F while moderate to severe argyrophilic changes were observed in different nuclei and regions of stained sections obtained from hypothalamus of rats belong to group C. In ultra-structural studies some variations in the myelin sheet of injured axons including decompactation, interlaminar space formation, disruption of the laminar sheet, accumulation of neurofilaments, vacculation, and clumping inside the axolem, and finally complete disappearance of laminar sheet were observed.

Keywords: Electron Microscopy, Hypothalamus, rat, acrylamide, de Olmos amino cupric, silver stain

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15 Microwave Synthesis, Optical Properties and Surface Area Studies of NiO Nanoparticles

Authors: Ayed S. Al-Shihri, Abul Kalam, Abdullah G. Al-Sehemi, Gaohui Du, Tokeer Ahmad, Ahmad Irfan


We report here the synthesis of nickel oxide (NiO) nanoparticles by microwave-assisted method, using a common precipitating agent followed by calcination in air at 400°C. The effect of the microwave and pH on the crystallite size, morphology, structure, energy band gap and surface area of NiO have been investigated by means of powder X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), high resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), ultraviolet visible spectroscopy (UV-vis) and BET surface area studies. X-ray diffraction studies showed the formation of monophasic and highly crystalline cubic NiO. TEM analysis led to decrease the average grain size of NiO nanoparticles from 16.5 nm to 14 nm on increasing the amount of NaOH. FTIR studies also confirm the formation of NiO nanoparticles. It was observed that on increasing the volume of NaOH, the optical band gap energy (2.85 eV to 2.95 eV) and specific surface area (33.1 to 39.8 m2/g) increases, however the average particles size decreases (16.5 nm to 14 nm). This method may be extended to large scale synthesis of other metal oxides nanoparticles and the present study could be used for the potential applications in water treatment and many other fields.

Keywords: Electron Microscopy, Optical Properties, BET surface area analysis, X-ray techniques

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14 Morphological Interaction of Porcine Oocyte and Cumulus Cells Study on in vitro Oocyte Maturation Using Electron Microscopy

Authors: M. Areekijseree, M. Pumipaiboon, T. Chuen-Im, W. Pongsawat, C. Thepsithar, S. Sengsai


Morphological interaction of porcine cumulus-oocyte complexes (pCOCs) was investigated on in vitro condition using electron microscope (SEM and TEM). The totals of 1,923 oocytes were round in shape, surrounded by zona pellucida with layer of cumulus cells ranging between 59.29-202.14 µm in size. They were classified into intact-, multi-, partial cumulus cell layer oocyte, and completely denuded oocyte, at the percentage composition of 22.80% 32.70%, 18.60%, and 25.90 % respectively. The pCOCs classified as intact- and multi cumulus cell layer oocytes were further culturing at 37°C with 5% CO2, 95% air atmosphere and high humidity for 44 h in M199 with Earle’s salts supplemented with 10% HTFCS, 2.2 mg/mL NaHCO3, 1 M Hepes, 0.25 mM pyruvate, 15 µg/mL porcine follicle-stimulating hormone, 1 µg/mL LH, 1µg/mL estradiol with ethanol, and 50 µg/mL gentamycin sulfate. On electron microscope study, cumulus cells were found to stick their processes to secrete substance from the sac-shape end into zona pellucida of the oocyte and also communicated with the neighboring cells through their microvilli on the beginning of incubation period. It is believed that the cumulus cells communicate with the oocyte by inserting the microvilli through this gap and embedded in the oocyte cytoplasm before secreting substance, through the sac-shape end of the microvilli, to inhibit primary oocyte development at the prophase I. Morphological changes of the complexes were observed after culturing for 24-44 h. One hundred percentages of the cumulus layers were expanded and cumulus cells were peeling off from the oocyte surface. In addition, the round-shape cumulus cells transformed themselves into either an elongate shape or a columnar shape, and no communication between cumulus neighboring cells. After 44 h of incubation time, diameter of oocytes surrounded by cumulus cells was larger than 0 h incubation. The effect of hormones in culture medium is exerted by their receptors present in porcine oocyte. It is likely that all morphological changes of the complexes after hormone treatment were to allow maturation of the oocyte. This study demonstrated that the association of hormones in M199 could promote porcine follicle activation in 44 h in vitro condition. This culture system should be useful for studying the regulation of early follicular growth and development, especially because these follicles represent a large source of oocytes that could be used in vitro for cell technology.

Keywords: Electron Microscopy, In vitro, cumulus cells, porcine oocyte

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13 Photocatalytic Degradation of Organic Polluant Reacting with Tungstates: Role of Microstructure and Size Effect on Oxidation Kinetics

Authors: A. Taoufyq, B. Bakiz, A. Benlhachemi, L. Patout, D. V. Chokouadeua, F. Guinneton, G. Nolibe, A. Lyoussi, J-R. Gavarri


Currently, the photo catalytic reactions occurring under solar illumination have attracted worldwide attentions due to a tremendous set of environmental problems. Taking the sunlight into account, it is indispensable to develop highly effective visible-light-driver photo catalysts. Nano structured materials such as MxM’1-xWO6 system are widely studied due to its interesting piezoelectric, dielectric and catalytic properties. These materials can be used in photo catalysis technique for environmental applications, such as waste water treatments. The aim of this study was to investigate the photo catalytic activity of polycrystalline phases of bismuth tungstate of formula Bi2WO6. Polycrystalline samples were elaborated using a coprecipitation technique followed by a calcination process at different temperatures (300, 400, 600 and 900°C). The obtained polycrystalline phases have been characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Crystal cell parameters and cell volume depend on elaboration temperature. High-resolution electron microscopy images and image simulations, associated with X-ray diffraction data, allowed confirming the lattices and space groups Pca21. The photo catalytic activity of the as-prepared samples was studied by irradiating aqueous solutions of Rhodamine B, associated with Bi2WO6 additives having variable crystallite sizes. The photo catalytic activity of such bismuth tungstates increased as the crystallite sizes decreased. The high specific area of the photo catalytic particles obtained at 300°C seems to condition the degradation kinetics of RhB.

Keywords: Electron Microscopy, Photocatalytic Activity, X-Ray Diffraction, Bismuth tungstate, crystallite sizes

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12 Hemocompatible Thin-Film Materials Recreating the Structure of the Cell Niches with High Potential for Endothelialization

Authors: Roman Major, Juergen Markus Lackner, Boguslaw Major, Klaudia Trembecka- Wojciga


The future and the development of science is therefore seen in interdisciplinary areas such as bio medical engineering. Self-assembled structures, similar to stem cell niches would inhibit fast division process and subsequently capture the stem cells from the blood flow. By means of surface topography and the stiffness as well as micro structure progenitor cells should be differentiated towards the formation of endothelial cells monolayer which effectively will inhibit activation of the coagulation cascade. The idea of the material surface development met the interest of the clinical institutions, which support the development of science in this area and are waiting for scientific solutions that could contribute to the development of heart assist systems. This would improve the efficiency of the treatment of patients with myocardial failure, supported with artificial heart assist systems. Innovative materials would enable the redesign, in the post project activity, construction of ventricular heart assist.

Keywords: Electron Microscopy, Bio-Inspired Materials, haemocompatibility, niche-like structures, thin coatings

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11 Isolation and Characterization of Actinophages Infecting Streptomyces scabies in Egypt

Authors: M. Khalil, D. Zahran, M. AlKhazindar, E. T. A. Sayed


Streptomyces scabies is a pathogenic actinomycete that infects potato crop causing severe production losses. Actinophages affect the composition and diversity of the bacterial population, thereby, can be used as a biological control. Samples of actinomycetes and phages were collected from different cultivated soils including farms of Faculty of Science, Faculty of Agriculture and different locations in Giza, Egypt. Actinomycetes were identified by using biochemical, morphological tests and molecular studies using 16S rRNA sequencing. Two specific phages (E1 and E2) against Streptomyces scabies and other hosts were isolated. Phages were identified using dilution end point (DEP), longevity in vitro (LIV), thermal inactivation point (TIP), host range and electron microscopy. PhageE1 was characterized by 10-8 (DEP),180 days(LIV), 95°C(TIP), narrow host range and electron microscopy showed ahead (59.9 nm) and neck (10.4nm). On the other hand phageE2 had 10-20 (DEP),180 days(LIV), 90°C(TIP), and the size of head was (67.2 nm) and tail (114nm). Antiviral activity was also studied using different chemicals (NaCL, KCL, CaCL2, BaCL2, CoCL2, AgNO3, ALCL3and HgCL2) with different concentrations and different plant extracts with different concentrations (star anise, tea, tillia, peppermint, ginger, cumin, chamomile, turmeric cinnamon, marjoram and black cumin). Both Phage E1and phage E2 were vulnerable to (cumin, ginger, chamomile, guavas leaves and star anise) but resistant to (Tillie, marjoram, fennelflower seeds, peppermint, and cinnamon).

Keywords: Electron Microscopy, Biological Control, liv, potato scab, actinophages, TIP, DEP, antiviral activity

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10 Cellular Components of the Hemal Node of Egyptian Cattle

Authors: Amira E. Derbalah, Doaa M. Zaghloul


10 clinically healthy hemal nodes were collected from male bulls aged 2-3 years. Light microscopy revealed a capsule of connective tissue consisted mainly of collagen fiber surrounding hemal node, numerous erythrocytes were found in wide subcapsular sinus under the capsule. The parenchyma of the hemal node was divided into cortex and medulla. Diffused lymphocytes, and lymphoid follicles, having germinal centers were the main components of the cortex, while in the medulla there was wide medullary sinus, diffused lymphocytes and few lymphoid nodules. The area occupied with lymph nodules was larger than that occupied with non-nodular structure of lymphoid cords and blood sinusoids. Electron microscopy revealed the cellular components of hemal node including elements of circulating erythrocytes intermingled with lymphocytes, plasma cells, mast cells, reticular cells, macrophages, megakaryocytes and endothelial cells lining the blood sinuses. The lymphocytes were somewhat triangular in shape with cytoplasmic processes extending between adjacent erythrocytes. Nuclei were triangular to oval in shape, lightly stained with clear nuclear membrane indentation and clear nucleoli. The reticular cells were elongated in shape with cytoplasmic processes extending between adjacent lymphocytes, rough endoplasmic reticulum, ribosomes and few lysosomes were seen in their cytoplasm. Nucleus was elongated in shape with less condensed chromatin. Plasma cells were oval to irregular in shape with numerous dilated rough endoplasmic reticulum containing electron lucent material occupying the whole cytoplasm and few mitochondria were found. Nuclei were centrally located and oval in shape with heterochromatin emarginated and often clumped near the nuclear membrane. Occasionally megakaryocytes and mast cells were seen among lymphocytes. Megakaryocytes had multilobulated nucleus and free ribosomes often appearing as small aggregates in their cytoplasm, while mast cell had their characteristic electron dense granule in the cytoplasm, few electron lucent granules were found also, we conclude that, the main function of the hemal node of cattle is proliferation of lymphocytes. No role for plasma cell in erythrophagocytosis could be suggested.

Keywords: Histology, Electron Microscopy, Immune System, Cattle, hemal node

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9 Mesoporous Material Nanofibers by Electrospinning

Authors: Sh. Sohrabnezhad, A. Jafarzadeh


In this paper, MCM-41 mesoporous material nanofibers were synthesized by an electrospinning technique. The nanofibers were characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), x-ray diffraction (XRD), and nitrogen adsorption–desorption measurement. Tetraethyl orthosilicate (TEOS) and polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) were used as a silica source and fiber forming source, respectively. TEM and SEM images showed synthesis of MCM-41 nanofibers with a diameter of 200 nm. The pore diameter and surface area of calcined MCM-41 nanofibers was 2.2 nm and 970 m2/g, respectively. The morphology of the MCM-41 nanofibers depended on spinning voltages.

Keywords: Electron Microscopy, Electrospinning, Porous Materials, Fiber Technology, X-ray techniques

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8 Advanced Electron Microscopy Study of Fission Products in a TRISO Coated Particle Neutron Irradiated to 3.6 X 1021 N/cm² Fast Fluence at 1040 ⁰C

Authors: Haiming Wen, Isabella J. Van Rooyen


Tristructural isotropic (TRISO)-coated fuel particles are designed as nuclear fuel for high-temperature gas reactors. TRISO coating consists of layers of carbon buffer, inner pyrolytic carbon (IPyC), SiC, and outer pyrolytic carbon. The TRISO coating, especially the SiC layer, acts as a containment system for fission products produced in the kernel. However, release of certain metallic fission products across intact TRISO coatings has been observed for decades. Despite numerous studies, mechanisms by which fission products migrate across the coating layers remain poorly understood. In this study, scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM), energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS), high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) and electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS) were used to examine the distribution, composition and structure of fission products in a TRISO coated particle neutron irradiated to 3.6 x 1021 n/cm² fast fluence at 1040 ⁰C. Precession electron diffraction was used to investigate characters of grain boundaries where specific fission product precipitates are located. The retention fraction of 110mAg in the investigated TRISO particle was estimated to be 0.19. A high density of nanoscale fission product precipitates was observed in the SiC layer close to the SiC-IPyC interface, most of which are rich in Pd, while Ag was not identified. Some Pd-rich precipitates contain U. Precipitates tend to have complex structure and composition. Although a precipitate appears to have uniform contrast in STEM, EDS indicated that there may be composition variations throughout the precipitate, and HRTEM suggested that the precipitate may have several parts different in crystal structure or orientation. Attempts were made to measure charge states of precipitates using EELS and study their possible effect on precipitate transport.

Keywords: Nuclear Fuel, Electron Microscopy, Neutron Irradiation, TRISO particle, fission product

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7 The Development and Testing of a Small Scale Dry Electrostatic Precipitator for the Removal of Particulate Matter

Authors: Derek Wardle, Tarik Al-Shemmeri, Neil Packer


This paper presents a small tube/wire type electrostatic precipitator (ESP). In the ESPs present form, particle charging and collecting voltages and airflow rates were individually varied throughout 200 ambient temperature test runs ranging from 10 to 30 kV in increments on 5 kV and 0.5 m/s to 1.5 m/s, respectively. It was repeatedly observed that, at input air velocities of between 0.5 and 0.9 m/s and voltage settings of 20 kV to 30 kV, the collection efficiency remained above 95%. The outcomes of preliminary tests at combustion flue temperatures are, at present, inconclusive although indications are that there is little or no drop in comparable performance during ideal test conditions. A limited set of similar tests was carried out during which the collecting electrode was grounded, having been disconnected from the static generator. The collecting efficiency fell significantly, and for that reason, this approach was not pursued further. The collecting efficiencies during ambient temperature tests were determined by mass balance between incoming and outgoing dry PM. The efficiencies of combustion temperature runs are determined by analysing the difference in opacity of the flue gas at inlet and outlet compared to a reference light source. In addition, an array of Leit tabs (carbon coated, electrically conductive adhesive discs) was placed at inlet and outlet for a number of four-day continuous ambient temperature runs. Analysis of the discs’ contamination was carried out using scanning electron microscopy and ImageJ computer software that confirmed collection efficiencies of over 99% which gave unequivocal support to all the previous tests. The average efficiency for these runs was 99.409%. Emissions collected from a woody biomass combustion unit, classified to a diameter of 100 µm, were used in all ambient temperature trials test runs apart from two which collected airborne dust from within the laboratory. Sawdust and wood pellets were chosen for laboratory and field combustion trials. Video recordings were made of three ambient temperature test runs in which the smoke from a wood smoke generator was drawn through the precipitator. Although these runs were visual indicators only, with no objective other than to display, they provided a strong argument for the device’s claimed efficiency, as no emissions were visible at exit when energised.  The theoretical performance of ESPs, when applied to the geometry and configuration of the tested model, was compared to the actual performance and was shown to be in good agreement with it.

Keywords: Air quality, Electron Microscopy, electrostatic precipitators, particulates emissions, image j

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6 Micropower Composite Nanomaterials Based on Porous Silicon for Renewable Energy Sources

Authors: Nicolay A. Yashtulov, Alexey P. Antropov, Alexander V. Ragutkin


The original controlled technology for power active nanocomposite membrane-electrode assembly engineering on the basis of porous silicon is presented. The functional nanocomposites were studied by electron microscopy and cyclic voltammetry methods. The application possibility of the obtained nanocomposites as high performance renewable energy sources for micro-power electronic devices is demonstrated.

Keywords: Nanotechnology, Renewable Energy Sources, Electron Microscopy, Cyclic Voltammetry, porous silicon, platinum-palladium nanocomposites, power activity

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5 A Study of Surface of Titanium Targets for Neutron Generators

Authors: Alexey Yu. Postnikov, Nikolay T. Kazakovskiy, Valery V. Mokrushin, Irina A. Tsareva, Andrey A. Potekhin, Valentina N. Golubeva, Yuliya V. Potekhina, Maxim V. Tsarev


The development of tritium and deuterium targets for neutron tubes and generators is a part of the activities in All-Russia Research Institute of Experimental Physics (RFNC-VNIIEF). These items contain a metal substrate (for example, copper) with a titanium film with a few microns thickness deposited on it. Then these metal films are saturated with tritium, deuterium or their mixtures. The significant problem in neutron tubes and neutron generators is the characterization of substrate surface before a deposition of titanium film on it, and analysis of the deposited titanium film’s surface before hydrogenation and after a saturation of the film with hydrogen isotopes. The performance effectiveness of neutron tube and generator also depends on upon the quality parameters of the surface of the initial substrate, deposited metal film and hydrogenated target. The objective of our work is to study the target prototype samples, that have differ by various approaches to the preliminary chemical processing of a copper substrate, and to analyze the integrity of titanium film after its saturation with deuterium. The research results of copper substrate and the surface of deposited titanium film with the use of electron microscopy, X-ray spectral microanalysis and laser-spark methods of analyses are presented. The causes of surface defects appearance have been identified. The distribution of deuterium and some impurities (oxygen and nitrogen) along the surface and across the height of the hydrogenated film in the target has been established. This allows us to evaluate the composition homogeneity of the samples and consequently to estimate the quality of hydrogenated samples. As the result of this work the propositions on the advancement of production technology and characterization of target’s surface have been presented.

Keywords: Electron Microscopy, tritium and deuterium targets, titanium film, laser-spark methods

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4 Development of Al-5%Cu/Si₃N₄, B₄C or BN Composites for Piston Applications

Authors: Ahmed Lotfy, Andrey V. Pozdniakov, Vadim C. Zolotorevskiy


The purpose of this research is to provide a competitive alternative to aluminum silicon alloys used in automotive applications. This alternative was created by developing three types of composites Al-5%Cu- (B₄C, BN or Si₃N₄) particulates with a low coefficient of thermal expansion. Stir casting was used to synthesis composites containing 2, 5 and 7 wt. % of B₄C, Si₃N₄ and 2, 5 of BN followed by squeeze casting. The squeeze casting process decreased the porosity of the final composites. The composites exhibited a fairly uniform particle distribution throughout the matrix alloy. The microstructure and XRD results of the composites suggested a significant reaction occurred at the interface between the particles and alloy. Increasing the aging temperature from 200 to 250°C decreased the hardness values of the matrix and the composites and decreased the time required to reach the peak. Turner model was used to calculate the expected values of thermal expansion coefficient CTE of matrix and its composites. Deviations between calculated and experimental values of CTE were not exceeded 10%. Al-5%Cu-B₄C composites experimentally showed the lowest values of CTE (17-19)·10-6 °С-1 and (19-20) ·10-6 °С-1 in the temperature range 20-100 °С and 20-200 °С respectively.

Keywords: Electron Microscopy, X-Ray Diffraction, aluminum matrix composites, coefficient of thermal expansion, squeeze casting

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3 Interfacial Investigation and Chemical Bonding in Graphene Reinforced Alumina Ceramic Nanocomposites

Authors: Iftikhar Ahmad, Mohammad Islam


Thermally exfoliated graphene nanomaterial was reinforced into Al2O3 ceramic and the nanocomposites were consolidated using rapid high-frequency induction heat sintering route. The resulting nanocomposites demonstrated higher mechanical properties due to efficient GNS incorporation and chemical interaction with the Al2O3 matrix grains. The enhancement in mechanical properties is attributed to (i) uniformly-dispersed GNS in the consolidated structure (ii) ability of GNS to decorate Al2O3 nanoparticles and (iii) strong GNS/Al2O3 chemical interaction during colloidal mixing and pullout/crack bridging toughening mechanisms during mechanical testing. The GNS/Al2O3 interaction during different processing stages was thoroughly examined by thermal and structural investigation of the interfacial area. The formation of an intermediate aluminum oxycarbide phase (Al2OC) via a confined carbothermal reduction reaction at the GNS/Al2O3 interface was observed using advanced electron microscopes. The GNS surface roughness improves GNS/Al2O3 mechanical locking and chemical compatibility. The sturdy interface phase facilitates efficient load transfer and delayed failure through impediment of crack propagation. The resulting nanocomposites, therefore, offer superior toughness.

Keywords: Nanocomposites, Nanostructures, interfaces, Electron Microscopy, Ceramics, Al2O3

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2 Three-Dimensional Carbon Foams for the Application as Electrode Material in Energy Storage Systems

Authors: J. Marx, B. Fiedler, H. Beisch, S. Garlof, R. Shvets, I. I. Grygorchak, A. Kityk


Carbon materials, especially three-dimensional carbon foams, show very high potential in the application as electrode material for energy storage systems such as batteries and supercapacitors with unique fast charging and discharging times. Regarding their high specific surface areas (SSA) high specific capacities can be reached. Globugraphite is a newly developed carbon foam with an interconnected globular carbon morphology. Especially, this foam has a statistically distributed hierarchical pore structure resulting from the manufacturing process based on sintered ceramic templates which are synthetized during a final chemical vapor deposition (CVD) process. For morphology characterization scanning electron (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) is used. In addition, the SSA is carried out by nitrogen adsorption combined with the Brunauer–Emmett–Teller (BET) theory. Electrochemical measurements in organic and inorganic electrolyte provide high energy densities and power densities resulting from ion absorption by forming an electrochemical double layer. All values are summarized in a Ragone Diagram. Finally, power densities up to 833 W/kg and energy densities up to 48 Wh/kg could be achieved. The corresponding SSA is between 376 m²/g and 859 m²/g. For organic electrolyte a specific capacity of 71 F/g at a density of 20 mg/cm³ was achieved.

Keywords: Electron Microscopy, BET, CVD process, Ragone diagram

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1 Characterization of Nanostructured and Conventional TiAlN and AlCrN Coated ASTM-SA213-T-11 Boiler Steel

Authors: Buta Singh Sidhu, Amita Rani, Vikas Chawla, Amit Handa


The main objective of the present work is microstructural and mechanical characterization of the conventional and nanostructured TiAlN and AlCrN coatings deposited on T-11 boiler steel. In case of conventional coatings, Al-Cr and Ti-Al metallic powders were deposited using plasma spray process followed by gas nitriding of the surface which was done in the lab with optimized parameters after conducting several trials on plasma-sprayed coated specimens. The physical vapor deposition process (PAPVD) was employed for depositing nanostructured TiAlN and AlCrN coatings. The field emission scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM) with energy dispersive X-ray analysis (EDAX) attachment, X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis, atomic force microscopy (AFM) analysis and the X-Ray mapping analysis techniques have been used to study surface and cross-sectional morphology of the coatings. The surface roughness and micro-hardness were also measured. A good adhesion of the conventional thick TiAlN and AlCrN coatings was found. The coatings under study are recommended for the applications to super-heater and re-heater tubes of the boilers based upon the outcomes of the research work.

Keywords: Thin Films, Electron Microscopy, nanostructure, Oxides, physical vapour deposition

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