Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 31

Search results for: exfoliation

31 Graphene Oxide Fiber with Different Exfoliation Time and Activated Carbon Particle

Authors: Nuray Uçar, Mervin Ölmez, Özge Alptoğa, Nilgün K. Yavuz, Ayşen Önen


In recent years, research on continuous graphene oxide fibers has been intensified. Therefore, many factors of production stages are being studied. In this study, the effect of exfoliation time and presence of activated carbon particle (ACP) on graphene oxide fiber’s properties has been analyzed. It has been seen that cross-sectional appearance of sample with ACP is harsh and porous because of ACP. The addition of ACP did not change the electrical conductivity. However, ACP results in an enormous decrease of mechanical properties. Longer exfoliation time results to higher crystallinity degree, C/O ratio and less d space between layers. The breaking strength and electrical conductivity of sample with less exfoliation time is some higher than sample with high exfoliation time.

Keywords: activated carbon, coagulation by wet spinning, exfoliation, graphene oxide fiber

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30 Study of Poly(Ethylene Terephthalate)-Clay Nanocomposites Prepareted by Extrusion Reactive Method

Authors: F. Zouai, F. Z. Benabid, S. Bouhelal, D. Benachour


A method for the exfoliation of polyethylene terephtalate (PET) - clay nanocomposites has been reported in this study. Montmorillonite clay based polyethylene terephtalate nanocomposites were prepared by reactive melt-mixing. To achieve this, untreated clay was first functionalized with the crosslinking agent compound based mainly on peroxide/sulphur and TMTD as accelerator or activator for sulphur. Furthermore, the different blends composition of PET/clay were directly mixed in melt state in closed chamber of plastograph at given working conditions for short time and in one step process. To investigate the microstructure modification and thermal, mechanical and rheological properties the DSC, WAXS, microhardness, FTIR and tensile properties were performed. The resulting structure of the modified samples shows that total exfoliation appears at 4% w/w of clay to PET matrices. The crystallinity and tensile modulus were correlated by the H microhardness and the DSC shows no significant effect on the cristallinity degree. The mechanical properties were improved significantly. The viscosity decreases for 4% clay and the activation energy is the minimum. The WAXS measurement shows a partial exfoliation without any intercalation which is the most relevant point. The grafting of organic to inorganic nanolayers was observed by Si—O—C and Si—C bonds by FTIR.

Keywords: PET, montmorillonite, nanocomposites, exfoliation, reactive melt-mixing

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29 Tuneability Sub-10-nm WO3 Nano-Flakes and Their Electrical Properties

Authors: S. Zhuiykov, E. Kats


Electrical properties and morphology of orthorhombic β–WO3 nano-flakes with thickness of ~7-9 nm were investigated at the nano scale using energy dispersive X-ray diffraction (XRD), X-ray photo electron spectroscopy (XPS) and current sensing force spectroscopy atomic force microscopy (CSFS-AFM, or PeakForce TUNATM). CSFS-AFM analysis established good correlation between the topography of the developed nano-structures and various features of WO3 nano-flakes synthesized via a two-step sol-gel-exfoliation method. It was determined that β–WO3 nano-flakes annealed at 550ºC possess distinguished and exceptional thickness-dependent properties in comparison with the bulk, micro- and nano-structured WO3 synthesized at alternative temperatures.

Keywords: electrical properties, layered semiconductors, nano-flake, sol-gel, exfoliation WO3

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28 Exfoliation of Functionalized High Structural Integrity Graphene Nanoplatelets at Extremely Low Temperature

Authors: Mohannad N. H. Al-Malichi


Because of its exceptional properties, graphene has become the most promising nanomaterial for the development of a new generation of advanced materials from battery electrodes to structural composites. However, current methods to meet requirements for the mass production of high-quality graphene are limited by harsh oxidation, high temperatures, and tedious processing steps. To extend the scope of the bulk production of graphene, herein, a facile, reproducible and cost-effective approach has been developed. This involved heating a specific mixture of chemical materials at an extremely low temperature (70 C) for a short period (7 minutes) to exfoliate functionalized graphene platelets with high structural integrity. The obtained graphene platelets have an average thickness of 3.86±0.71 nm and a lateral size less than ~2 µm with a low defect intensity ID/IG ~0.06. The thin film (~2 µm thick) exhibited a low surface resistance of ~0.63 Ω/sq⁻¹, confirming its high electrical conductivity. Additionally, these nanoplatelets were decorated with polar functional groups (epoxy and carboxyl groups), thus have the potential to toughen and provide multifunctional polymer nanocomposites. Moreover, such a simple method can be further exploited for the novel exfoliation of other layered two-dimensional materials such as MXenes.

Keywords: functionalized graphene nanoplatelets, high structural integrity graphene, low temperature exfoliation of graphene, functional graphene platelets

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27 Clay Effect on PET/Clay and PEN/Clay Nanocomposites Properties

Authors: F. Zouai, F. Z. Benabid, S. Bouhelal, D. Benachour


Reinforced plastics or nanocomposites have attracted considerable attention in scientific and industrial fields because a very small amount of clay can significantly improve the properties of the polymer. The polymeric matrices used in this work are two saturated polyesters, i.e., polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and polyethylene naphthalate (PEN). The success of processing compatible blends, based on poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET)/poly(ethylene naphthalene) (PEN)/clay nanocomposites in one step by reactive melt extrusion is described. Untreated clay was first purified and functionalized ‘in situ’ with a compound based on an organic peroxide/ sulfur mixture and (tetramethylthiuram disulfide) as the activator for sulfur. The PET and PEN materials were first separately mixed in the molten state with functionalized clay. The PET/4 wt% clay and PEN/7.5 wt% clay compositions showed total exfoliation. These compositions, denoted nPET and nPEN, respectively, were used to prepare new n(PET/PEN) nanoblends in the same mixing batch. The n(PET/PEN) nanoblends were compared to neat PET/PEN blends. The blends and nanocomposites were characterized using various techniques. Microstructural and nanostructural properties were investigated. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) results showed that the exfoliation of tetrahedral clay nanolayers is complete, and the octahedral structure totally disappears. It was shown that total exfoliation, confirmed by wide-angle X-ray scattering (WAXS) measurements, contributes to the enhancement of impact strength and tensile modulus. In addition, WAXS results indicated that all samples are amorphous. The differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) study indicated the occurrence of one glass transition temperature Tg, one crystallization temperature Tc and one melting temperature Tm for every composition.

Keywords: exfoliation, DRX, DSC, montmorillonite, nanocomposites, PEN, PET, plastograph, reactive melt-mixing

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26 Study of Nano Clay Based on Pet

Authors: F. Zouai, F. Z. Benabid, S. Bouhelal, D. Benachoura


A (PET)/clay nano composites has been successfully performed in one step by reactive melt extrusion. The PEN was first mixed in the melt state with different amounts of functionalized clay. It was observed that the composition PET/4 wt% clay showed total exfoliation. These completely exfoliated composition called nPET, was used to prepare new nPET nano composites in the same mixing batch. The nPEN was compared to neat PET. The nanocomposites were characterized by different techniques: differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and wide-angle X-ray scattering (WAXS). The micro and nanostructure/properties relationships were investigated. From the different WAXS patterns, it is seen that all samples are amorphous phase. In addition, nPET blends present lower Tc values and higher Tm values than the corresponding neat PET. The present study allowed establishing good correlations between the different measured properties.

Keywords: PET, montmorillonite, nanocomposites, exfoliation, reactive melt-mixing

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25 Study of the Montmorillonite Effect on PET/Clay and PEN/Clay Nanocomposites

Authors: F. Zouai, F. Z. Benabid, S. Bouhelal, D. Benachour


Nanocomposite polymer / clay are relatively important area of research. These reinforced plastics have attracted considerable attention in scientific and industrial fields because a very small amount of clay can significantly improve the properties of the polymer. The polymeric matrices used in this work are two saturated polyesters ie polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and polyethylene naphthalate (PEN).The success of processing compatible blends, based on poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET)/ poly(ethylene naphthalene) (PEN)/clay nanocomposites in one step by reactive melt extrusion is described. Untreated clay was first purified and functionalized ‘in situ’ with a compound based on an organic peroxide/ sulfur mixture and (tetramethylthiuram disulfide) as the activator for sulfur. The PET and PEN materials were first separately mixed in the molten state with functionalized clay. The PET/4 wt% clay and PEN/7.5 wt% clay compositions showed total exfoliation. These compositions, denoted nPET and nPEN, respectively, were used to prepare new n(PET/PEN) nanoblends in the same mixing batch. The n(PET/PEN) nanoblends were compared to neat PET/PEN blends. The blends and nanocomposites were characterized using various techniques. Microstructural and nanostructural properties were investigated. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) results showed that the exfoliation of tetrahedral clay nanolayers is complete and the octahedral structure totally disappears. It was shown that total exfoliation, confirmed by wide angle X-ray scattering (WAXS) measurements, contributes to the enhancement of impact strength and tensile modulus. In addition, WAXS results indicated that all samples are amorphous. The differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) study indicated the occurrence of one glass transition temperature Tg, one crystallization temperature Tc and one melting temperature Tm for every composition. This was evidence that both PET/PEN and nPET/nPEN blends are compatible in the entire range of compositions. In addition, the nPET/nPEN blends showed lower Tc and higher Tm values than the corresponding neat PET/PEN blends. In conclusion, the results obtained indicate that n(PET/PEN) blends are different from the pure ones in nanostructure and physical behavior.

Keywords: blends, exfoliation, DRX, DSC, montmorillonite, nanocomposites, PEN, PET, plastograph, reactive melt-mixing

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24 Development, Characterization and Properties of Novel Quaternary Rubber Nanocomposites

Authors: Kumar Sankaran, Santanu Chattopadhyay, Golok Behari Nando, Sujith Nair, Sreejesh Arayambath, Unnikrishnan Govindan


Rubber nanocomposites based on Bromobutyl rubber (BIIR), Polyepichlorohydrin rubber (CO), Carbon black (CB) and organically modified montmorillonite clay (NC) were prepared via melt compounding technique. The developed quaternary nanocomposites were characterized analytically and their properties were compared against the standard BIIR compound. BIIR-CO nanocomposites showed improved physico-mechanical properties as compared to that of the standard BIIR compound. Hybrid microstructure (NC-CB) development, clay exfoliation and better filler dispersion in the quaternary nanocomposite significantly contributed to the overall enhancement of properties. Introduction of CO in the system increased the specific gravity and hardness of the compound as compared to that of the standard compound. XRD analysis, AFM imaging and HR-TEM measurements confirmed exfoliation and a good level of dispersion of the NC in the composites. Permeability of developed BIIR-CO nanocomposites decreases significantly as compared to that of the standard BIIR compound.

Keywords: rubber nanocomposites, morphology, permeability, BIIR

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23 Study of Nanoclay Blends Based on PET/PEN Prepared by Reactive Extrusion

Authors: F. Zouai, F. Z. Benabid, S. Bouhelal, D. Benachour


A new route of preparation of compatible blends, based on poly(ethylene terephthalate)(PET)/poly(ethylenenaphthalene2,6-dicarboxylate) (PEN)/clay nanocomposites has been successfully performed in one step by reactive melt extrusion. To achieve this, untreated clay was first purified and functionalized “in situ” with a compound based on an organic peroxide/sulfur mixture and (tetra methyl thiuram disulfide) TMTD as accelerator or activator for sulfur. The PET and PEN materials were first mixed separately in the melt state with different amounts of functionalized clay. It was observed that the compositions PET/4 wt% clay and PEN/7.5 wt% clay showed total exfoliation. These completely exfoliated compositions, called nPET and nPEN, respectively, were used to prepare new nPET/nPEN nanoblends in the same mixing batch. The nPET/nPEN nanoblends were compared to neat blends of PET/PEN. The blends and the nanocomposites were characterized by different techniques: differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and wide-angle X-ray scattering (WAXS). The micro and nanostructure/properties relationships were investigated. The results of the WAXS measurements study showed that the exfoliation of tetrahedral nanolayers of clay was complete and the octahedral structure disappeared totally. From the different WAXS patterns, it is seen that all samples are amorphous phase. The thermal study showed that there are only one glass transition temperature Tg, one crystallization temperature Tc and one melting temperature Tm for every composition. This indicated that both PET/PEN blends and nPET/nPEN blends were compatible in the entire range of compositions. In addition, nPET/nPEN blends present lower Tc values and higher Tm values than the corresponding neat PET/PEN blends. The obtained results indicate that nPET/nPEN blends are somewhat different from the pure ones in nanostructure and behavior, thus showing the additional effect of nanolayers. The present study allowed establishing good correlations between the different measured properties.

Keywords: PET, PEN, montmorillonite, nanocomposites, exfoliation, reactive melt-mixing

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22 Synthesis of TiO₂/Graphene Nanocomposites with Excellent Visible-Light Photocatalytic Activity Based on Chemical Exfoliation Method

Authors: Nhan N. T. Ton, Anh T. N. Dao, Kouichirou Katou, Toshiaki Taniike


Facile electron-hole recombination and the broad band gap are two major drawbacks of titanium dioxide (TiO₂) when applied in visible-light photocatalysis. Hybridization of TiO₂ with graphene is a promising strategy to lessen these pitfalls. Recently, there have been many reports on the synthesis of TiO₂/graphene nanocomposites, in most of which graphene oxide (GO) was used as a starting material. However, the reduction of GO introduced a large number of defects on the graphene framework. In addition, the sensitivity of titanium alkoxide to water (GO usually contains) significantly obstructs the uniform and controlled growth of TiO₂ on graphene. Here, we demonstrate a novel technique to synthesize TiO₂/graphene nanocomposites without the use of GO. Graphene dispersion was obtained through the chemical exfoliation of graphite in titanium tetra-n-butoxide with the aid of ultrasonication. The dispersion was directly used for the sol-gel reaction in the presence of different catalysts. A TiO₂/reduced graphene oxide (TiO₂/rGO) nanocomposite, which was prepared by a solvothermal method from GO, and the commercial TiO₂-P25 were used as references. It was found that titanium alkoxide afforded the graphene dispersion of a high quality in terms of a trace amount of defects and a few layers of dispersed graphene. Moreover, the sol-gel reaction from this dispersion led to TiO₂/graphene nanocomposites featured with promising characteristics for visible-light photocatalysts including: (I) the formation of a TiO₂ nano layer (thickness ranging from 1 nm to 5 nm) that uniformly and thinly covered graphene sheets, (II) a trace amount of defects on the graphene framework (low ID/IG ratio: 0.21), (III) a significant extension of the absorption edge into the visible light region (a remarkable extension of the absorption edge to 578 nm beside the usual edge at 360 nm), and (IV) a dramatic suppression of electron-hole recombination (the lowest photoluminescence intensity compared to reference samples). These advantages were successfully demonstrated in the photocatalytic decomposition of methylene blue under visible light irradiation. The TiO₂/graphene nanocomposites exhibited 15 and 5 times higher activity than TiO₂-P25 and the TiO₂/rGO nanocomposite, respectively.

Keywords: chemical exfoliation, photocatalyst, TiO₂/graphene, sol-gel reaction

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21 Study of the ZnO Effect on the Properties of HDPE/ ZnO Nanocomposites

Authors: F. Z. Benabid, F. Zouai, N. Kharchi, D. Benachour


A HDPE/ZnO nano composites have been successfully performed using the co-mixing. The ZnO was first co-mixed with the stearic acid then added to the polymer in the plastograph. The nano composites prepared with the co-mixed ZnO were compared to those prepared with the neat TiO2. The nano composites were characterized by different techniques as the wide-angle X-ray scattering (WAXS). The micro and nano structure/properties relationships were investigated. The present study allowed establishing good correlations between the different measured properties.

Keywords: exfoliation, ZnO, nano composites, HDPE, co-mixing

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20 Long Time Oxidation Behavior of Machined 316 Austenitic Stainless Steel in Primary Water Reactor

Authors: Siyang Wang, Yujin Hu, Xuelin Wang, Wenqian Zhang


Austenitic stainless steels are widely used in nuclear industry to manufacture critical components owing to their excellent corrosion resistance at high temperatures. Almost all the components used in nuclear power plants are produced by surface finishing (surface cold work) such as milling, grinding and so on. The change of surface states induced by machining has great influence on the corrosion behavior. In the present study, long time oxidation behavior of machined 316 austenitic stainless steel exposed to simulated pressure water reactor environment was investigated considering different surface states. Four surface finishes were produced by electro-polishing (P), grinding (G), and two milling (M and M1) processes respectively. Before oxidation, the surface Vickers micro-hardness, surface roughness of each type of sample was measured. Corrosion behavior of four types of sample was studied by using oxidation weight gain method for six oxidation periods. The oxidation time of each period was 120h, 216h, 336h, 504h, 672h and 1344h, respectively. SEM was used to observe the surface morphology of oxide film in several period. The results showed that oxide film on austenitic stainless steel has a duplex-layer structure. The inner oxide film is continuous and compact, while the outer layer is composed of oxide particles. The oxide particle consisted of large particles (nearly micron size) and small particles (dozens of nanometers to a few hundred nanometers). The formation of oxide particle could be significantly affected by the machined surface states. The large particle on cold worked samples (grinding and milling) appeared earlier than electro-polished one, and the milled sample has the largest particle size followed by ground one and electro-polished one. For machined samples, the large particles were almost distributed along the direction of machining marks. Severe exfoliation was observed on one milled surface (M) which had the most heavily cold worked layer, while rare local exfoliation occurred on the ground sample (G) and the other milled sample (M1). The electro-polished sample (P) entirely did not exfoliate.

Keywords: austenitic stainless steel, oxidation, machining, SEM

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19 Use of Nanoclay in Various Modified Polyolefins

Authors: Michael Tupý, Alice Tesaříková-Svobodová, Dagmar Měřínská, Vít Petránek


Polyethylene (PE), Polypropylene (PP), Polyethylene (vinyl acetate) (EVA) and Surlyn (modif-PE) nano composite samples were prepared with montmorillonite fillers Cloisite 93A and Dellite 67G. The amount of modified Na+ montmorillonite (MMT) was fixed to 5 % (w/w). For the compounding of polymer matrix and chosen nano fillers twin-screw kneader was used. The level of MMT intercalation or exfoliation in the nano composite systems was studied by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) observations. The properties of samples were evaluated by dynamical mechanical analysis (E* modulus at 30 °C) and by the measurement of tensile properties (stress and strain at break).

Keywords: polyethylene, polypropylene, polyethylene(vinyl acetate), clay, nanocomposite, montmorillonite

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18 Studying the Effect of Nanoclays on the Mechanical Properties of Polypropylene/Polyamide Nanocomposites

Authors: Benalia Kouini, Aicha Serier


Nanocomposites based on polypropylene/polyamide 66 (PP/PA66) nanoblends containing organophilic montmorillonite (OMMT) and maleic anhydride grafted polypropylene (PP-g-MAH) were prepared by melt compounding method followed by injection molding. Two different types of nanoclays were used in this work. DELLITE LVF is the untreated nanoclay and DELLITE 67G is the treated one. The morphology of the nanocomposites was studied using the XR diffraction (XRD). The results indicate that the incorporation of treated nanoclay has a significant effect on the impact strength of PP/PA66 nanocomposites. Furthermore, it was found that XRD results revealed the intercalation, exfoliation of nanaclays of nanocomposites.

Keywords: nNanoclay, Nanocomposites, Polypropylene, Polyamide, melt processing, mechanical properties.

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17 Preparation of Nanocomposites Based on Biodegradable Polycaprolactone by Melt Mixture

Authors: Mohamed Amine Zenasni, Bahia Meroufel, André Merlin, Said Benfarhi, Stéphane Molina, Béatrice George


The introduction of nano-fillers into polymers field lead to the creation of the nano composites. This creation is starting up a new revolution into the world of materials. Nano composites are similar to traditional composite of a polymer blend and filler with at least one nano-scopic dimension. In our project, we worked with nano composites of biodegradable polymer: polycaprolactone, combined with nano-clay (Maghnite) and with different nano-organo-clays. These nano composites have been prepared by melt mixture method. The advantage of this polymer is its degradability and bio compatibility. A study of the relationship between development, micro structure and physico chemical properties of nano composites, clays modified with 3-aminopropyltriethoxysilane (APTES) and Hexadecyltriméthy ammonium bromide (CTAB) and untreated clays were made. Melt mixture method is most suitable methods to get a better dispersion named exfoliation.

Keywords: nanocomposite, biodegradable, polycaprolactone, maghnite, melt mixture, APTES, CTAB

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16 In situ Polymerization and Properties of Biobased Polyurethane/Epoxy Interpenetrating Network Nanocomposites

Authors: Aiswarea Mathew, Smita Mohanty, Jr., S. K. Nayak


Polyurethane networks based on castor oil (CO) as a renewable resource polyol were synthesized. Polyurethane/epoxy resin interpenetrating network nanocomposites containing modified montmorillonite organoclay (C30B-PU/EP nanocomposites) were prepared by an in situ intercalation method. The conventional spectroscopic characterization of the synthesized samples using FT-IR confirms the existence of the proposed castor oil based PU structure and also showed that strong interactions existed between C30B and EP/PU matrix. The dispersion degree of C30B in EP/PU matrix was characterized by X-Ray diffraction (XRD) method. Scanning electronic microscopy analysis showed that the interpenetrating process of PU and EP increases the exfoliation degree of C30B, and it improves the compatibility and the phase structure of polyurethane/epoxy resin interpenetrating polymer networks (PU/EP IPNs). The thermal stability improves compared to the polyurethane when the PU/EP IPN is formed. Mechanical properties including the Young’s modulus and tensile strength reflected marked improvement with addition of C30B.

Keywords: castor oil, epoxy, montmorillonite, polyurethane

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15 Modified Surface Morphology, Structure and Enhanced Weathering Performance of Polyester-Urethane/Organoclay Nanocomposite Coatings

Authors: Gaurav Verma


Organoclay loaded (0-5 weight %) polyester-urethane (PU) coatings were prepared with a branched hydroxyl-bearing polyester and an aliphatic poly-isocyanate. TEM micrographs show partial exfoliation and intercalation of clay platelets in organoclay-polyester dispersions. AFM surface images reveals that the PU hard domains tend to regularise and also self-organise into spherical shapes of sizes 50 nm (0 wt %), 60 nm (2 wt %) and 190 nm (4 wt %) respectively. IR analysis shows that PU chains have increasing tendency to interact with exfoliated clay platelets through hydrogen bonding. This interaction strengthens inter-chain linkages in PU matrix and hence improves anti-ageing properties. 1000 hours of accelerated weathering was evaluated by ATR spectroscopy, while yellowing and overall discoloration was quantified by the Δb* and ΔE* values of the CIELab colour scale. Post-weathering surface properties also showed improvement as the loss of thickness and reduction in gloss in neat PU was 25% and 42%; while it was just 3.5% and 14% respectively for the 2 wt% nanocomposite coating. This work highlights the importance of modifying surface and bulk properties of PU coatings at nanoscale, which led to improved performance in accelerated weathering conditions.

Keywords: coatings, AFM, ageing, spectroscopy

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14 Synthesis and Characterization of Partially Oxidized Graphite Oxide for Solar Energy Storage Applications

Authors: Ghada Ben Hamad, Zohir Younsi, Fabien Salaun, Hassane Naji, Noureddine Lebaz


The graphene oxide (GO) material has attracted much attention for solar energy applications. This paper reports the synthesis and characterization of partially oxidized graphite oxide (GTO). GTO was obtained by modified Hummers method, which is based on the chemical oxidation of natural graphite. Several samples were prepared with different oxidation degree by an adjustment of the oxidizing agent’s amount. The effect of the oxidation degree on the chemical structure and on the morphology of GTO was determined by using Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy, Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (EDS), and scanning electronic microscope (SEM). The thermal stability of GTO was evaluated by using thermogravimetric analyzer (TGA) in Nitrogen atmosphere. The results indicate high degree oxidation of graphite oxide for each sample, proving that the process is efficient. The GTO synthesized by modified Hummers method shows promising characteristics. Graphene oxide (GO) obtained by exfoliation of GTO are recognized as a good candidate for thermal energy storage, and it will be used as solid shell material in the encapsulation of phase change materials (PCM).

Keywords: modified hummers method, graphite oxide, oxidation degree, solar energy storage

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13 Novel Hybrid Ceramic Nanocomposites Fabricated by Rapid Sintering Technology

Authors: Iftikhar Ahmad, Abulhakim Almajid


Alumina (Al2O3) is an attractive structural ceramic however; brittleness turns Al2O3 down for advanced applications. Development of multi-phase phase ceramics systems is promising to curtail the brittleness and the incorporation of strong/elastic graphene, as third phase, into dual phase (Al2O3-SiC) is striking for mechanical upgrading purpose. Thin graphene nanosheets (GNS) were prepared by thermal exfoliation process and reinforced into dual phase ceramic system. The hybrid nanocomposite was consolidated by novel HF-IH (high-frequency induction heating) sintering furnace at 1500 °C under 50 MPa in vacuum conditions. Structural features and grain size of the resulting nanocomposite were analyzed by SEM and TEM whilst the mechanical properties were assessed by microhardness and nanoindentation techniques. The fracture toughness of the hybrid nanocomposites was appraised by direct crack measurement method. Electron microscopic investigations confirmed the preparation of thin (< 10 nm) graphene nanosheets (GNS). HF-IH sintering route condensed the three-phase (GNS-Al2O3-SiC) hybrid nanocomposite system to > 99% relative densities. SEM of the hybrid nanocomposites fractured surfaces revealed even distribution of the nanocomposite constituents and changed in fracture-mode. Structurally, 88% grain reduction into hybrid nanocomposite was also obtained. Mechanically, enhanced fracture toughness (50%) and hardness (53%) were also achieved for hybrid nanocomposites were attained against bench marked monolithic Al2O3.

Keywords: alumina, graphene, hybrid nanocomposites, rapid sintering

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12 High Sensitive Graphene-Based Strain Sensors for SHM of Composite Laminates

Authors: A. Rinaldi, A. Proietti, C. Aquarelli, F. Marra, A. Tamburrano, M. Ciminello, M. S. Sarto


A new type of high sensitive piezoresistive sensors based on graphene was developed within the SARISTU project for application on Structural Health Monitoring (SHM). The new sensor consists of a graphene-based film, obtained through the spray deposition of a colloidal suspension of Multi-Layer Graphene (MLGs) nano platelets over a substrate. MLGs are produced by liquid exfoliation of thermally expanded Graphite Intercalation Compound. An array of 8 sensors is produced by spray deposition over an aeronautical CFRC plate of dimensions 550 mm (length) × 550 mm (width) × 3 mm (thickness). Electromechanical tests were performed in order to assess the sensitivity of the new piezoresistive sensors, which are characterized by an isotropic response. In the quasi-static characterizations, the CFRC plate was clamped on one side and loaded on the opposite one. The local strain map of the plate was then obtained from displacement measurements and numerical analysis. The dynamic tests were performed lying the plate over an anti-vibration table and actuating a piezoelectric element located in the middle of the sensing array. The obtained experimental results demonstrated that the sensors possess a good repeatability and a high constant gauge factor (~200) in the applied strain range 0.001%-0.02%. Moreover, they can follow dynamics up to 400 kHz and for this reason they are good candidates for Lamb-wave analysis.

Keywords: graphene, strain sensor, spray deposition, lamb-wave analysis

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11 High-Speed Imaging and Acoustic Measurements of Dual-frequency Ultrasonic Processing of Graphite in Water

Authors: Justin Morton, Mohammad Khavari, Abhinav Priyadarshi, Nicole Grobert, Dmitry G. Eskin, Jiawei Mi, Kriakos Porfyrakis, Paul Prentice


Ultrasonic cavitation is used for various processes and applications. Recently, ultrasonic assisted liquid phase exfoliation has been implemented to produce two dimensional nanomaterials. Depending on parameters such as input transducer power and the operational frequency used to induce the cavitation, bubble dynamics can be controlled and optimised. Using ultra-high-speed imagining and acoustic pressure measurements, a dual-frequency systemand its effect on bubble dynamics was investigated. A high frequency transducer (1.174 MHz) showed that bubble fragments and satellite bubbles induced from a low frequency transducer (24 kHz) were able to extend their lifecycle. In addition, this combination of ultrasonic frequencies generated higher acoustic emissions (∼24%) than the sum of the individual transducers. The dual-frequency system also produced an increase in cavitation zone size of∼3 times compared to the low frequency sonotrode. Furthermore, the high frequency induced cavitation bubbleswere shown to rapidly oscillate, although remained stable and did not transiently collapse, even in the presence of a low pressure field. Finally, the spatial distribution of satellite and fragment bubbles from the sonotrode were shown to increase, extending the active cavitation zone. These observations elucidated the benefits of using a dual-frequency system for generating nanomaterials with the aid of ultrasound, in deionised water.

Keywords: dual-frequency, cavitation, bubble dynamics, graphene

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10 Active Food Packaging Films Based on Functionalized Graphene/Polymer Composites

Authors: Ahmad Ghanem, Mohamad Yasin, Mona Abdel Rehim, Fabrice Gouanve, Eliane Espuche


Biodegradable polymers are of great interest, especially for biomedical and packaging applications. Current research efforts are focused on the development of biopolymers with the purpose of reducing the plastic pollution induced by the widely used in biodegradable polyolefins. The main challenge is focused on the elaboration of biopolymers having properties competitive to those of polyolefins. On the other hand, graphene oxide (GO), a graphene derivative, is characterized by the presence of several functional groups on the surface such as carboxylic, hydroxyl and epoxide. This feature enables modification of GO surface with different modifiers to obtain versatile surface properties and overcome the problem of graphene sheets aggregations during inclusion in a polymer matrix. In this context, poly (butylene succinate) (PBS) as promising biopolyester is modified through blending with different ratios of functionalized (GO) to improve its barrier properties. Modification of GO has been carried out using different hyperbranched polymeric structures in order to increase miscibility of the nanosheets in the hosting polymeric matrix. Films have been prepared from the modified PBS and their mechanical, thermal and gas barrier properties were investigated. The results reveal enhancement in the thermal and mechanical properties beside observed improvement of the barrier properties for the films prepared from the modified PBS. This improvement is related to the strong dependence on tortuosity effects of dispersion, exfoliation levels of fillers into the polymer matrix and interactions between the fillers and the polymer matrix.

Keywords: gas barrier properties, graphene oxide, food packaging, transport properties

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9 An Efficient Aptamer-Based Biosensor Developed via Irreversible Pi-Pi Functionalisation of Graphene/Zinc Oxide Nanocomposite

Authors: Sze Shin Low, Michelle T. T. Tan, Poi Sim Khiew, Hwei-San Loh


An efficient graphene/zinc oxide (PSE-G/ZnO) platform based on pi-pi stacking, non-covalent interactions for the development of aptamer-based biosensor was presented in this study. As a proof of concept, the DNA recognition capability of the as-developed PSE-G/ZnO enhanced aptamer-based biosensor was evaluated using Coconut Cadang-cadang viroid disease (CCCVd). The G/ZnO nanocomposite was synthesised via a simple, green and efficient approach. The pristine graphene was produced through a single step exfoliation of graphite in sonochemical alcohol-water treatment while the zinc nitrate hexahydrate was mixed with the graphene and subjected to low temperature hydrothermal growth. The developed facile, environmental friendly method provided safer synthesis procedure by eliminating the need of harsh reducing chemicals and high temperature. The as-prepared nanocomposite was characterised by X-ray diffractometry (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) to evaluate its crystallinity, morphology and purity. Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) was employed for the detection of CCCVd sequence with the use of potassium ferricyanide (K3[Fe(CN)6]). Recognition of the RNA analytes was achieved via the significant increase in resistivity for the double stranded DNA, as compared to single-stranded DNA. The PSE-G/ZnO enhanced aptamer-based biosensor exhibited higher sensitivity than the bare biosensor, attributing to the synergistic effect of high electrical conductivity of graphene and good electroactive property of ZnO.

Keywords: aptamer-based biosensor, graphene/zinc oxide nanocomposite, green synthesis, screen printed carbon electrode

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8 Remote Controlled of In-Situ Forming Thermo-sensitive Hydrogel Nanocomposite for Hyperthermia Therapy Application: Synthesis and Characterizations

Authors: Elbadawy A. Kamoun


Magnetically responsive hydrogel nanocomposite (NCH) based on composites of superparamagnetic of Fe3O4 nano-particles and temperature responsive hydrogel matrices were developed. The nanocomposite hydrogel system based on the temperature sensitive N-isopropylacrylamide hydrogels crosslinked by poly(ethylene glycol)-400 dimethacrylate (PEG400DMA) incorporating with chitosan derivative, was synthesized and characterized. Likewise, the NCH system was synthesized by visible-light free radical photopolymerization, using carboxylated camphorquinone-amine system to avoid the common risks of the use of UV-light especially in hyperthermia treatment. Superparamagnetic of iron oxide nanoparticles were introduced into the hydrogel system by polymerizing mixture technique and monomer solution. FT-IR with Raman spectroscopy and Wide angle-XRD analysis were utilized to verify the chemical structure of NCH and exfoliation reaction for nanoparticles, respectively. Additionally, morphological structure of NCH was investigated using SEM and TEM photographs. The swelling responsive of the current nanocomposite hydrogel system with different crosslinking conditions, temperature, magnetic field efficiency, and the presence effect of magnetic nanoparticles were evaluated. Notably, hydrolytic degradation of this system was proved in vitro application. While, in-vivo release profile behavior is under investigation nowadays. Moreover, the compatibility and cytotoxicity tests were previously investigated in our studies for photoinitiating system. These systems show promised polymeric material candidate devices and are expected to have a wide applicability in various biomedical applications as mildly.

Keywords: hydrogel nanocomposites, tempretaure-responsive hydrogel, superparamagnetic nanoparticles, hyperthermia therapy

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7 Synthesis and Characterization of Cassava Starch-Zinc Nanocomposite Film for Food Packaging Application

Authors: Adeshina Fadeyibi


Application of pure thermoplastic film in food packaging is greatly limited because of its poor service performance, often enhanced by the addition of organic or inorganic particles in the range of 1–100 nm. Thus, this study was conducted to develop cassava starch zinc-nanocomposite films for applications in food packaging. Three blending ratios of 1000 g cassava starch, 45–55 % (w/w) glycerol and 0–2 % (w/w) zinc nanoparticles were formulated, mixed and mechanically homogenized to form the nanocomposite. Thermoplastic were prepared, from a dispersed mixture of 24 g of the nanocomposite and 600 ml of distilled water, and heated to 90oC for 30 minutes. Plastic molds of 350 ×180 mm dimension and 8, 10 and 12 mm depths were used for film casting and drying at 60oC and 80 % RH for 24 hour. The average thicknesses of the dried films were found to be 15, 16 and 17 µm. The films were characterized based on their barrier, thermal, mechanical and structural properties. The results show that the oxygen and water vapor barrier properties increased with glycerol concentration and decreased with thickness; but the full width at half maximum (FWHM) and d- spacing increased with thickness. The higher degree of d- spacing obtained is a consequence of higher polymer intercalation and exfoliation. Also, only 2 % weight degradation was observed when the films were exposed to temperature between 30–60oC; indicating that they are thermally stable and can be used for packaging applications in the tropics. The mechanical properties of the film were higher than that of the pure thermoplastic but comparable with the LDPE films. The information on the characterized attributes and optimization of the cassava starch zinc-nanocomposite films justifies their alternative application to pure thermoplastic and conventional films for food packaging.

Keywords: synthesis, characterization, casaava Starch, nanocomposite film, packaging

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6 Broadband Platinum Disulfide Based Saturable Absorber Used for Optical Fiber Mode Locking Lasers

Authors: Hui Long, Chun Yin Tang, Ping Kwong Cheng, Xin Yu Wang, Wayesh Qarony, Yuen Hong Tsang


Two dimensional (2D) materials have recently attained substantial research interest since the discovery of graphene. However, the zero-bandgap feature of the graphene limits its nonlinear optical applications, e.g., saturable absorption for these applications require strong light-matter interaction. Nevertheless, the excellent optoelectronic properties, such as broad tunable bandgap energy and high carrier mobility of Group 10 transition metal dichalcogenides 2D materials, e.g., PtS2 introduce new degree of freedoms in the optoelectronic applications. This work reports our recent research findings regarding the saturable absorption property of PtS2 layered 2D material and its possibility to be used as saturable absorber (SA) for ultrafast mode locking fiber laser. The demonstration of mode locking operation by using the fabricated PtS2 as SA will be discussed. The PtS2/PVA SA used in this experiment is made up of some few layered PtS2 nanosheets fabricated via a simple ultrasonic liquid exfoliation. The operational wavelength located at ~1 micron is demonstrated from Yb-doped mode locking fiber laser ring cavity by using the PtS2 SA. The fabricated PtS2 saturable absorber offers strong nonlinear properties, and it is capable of producing regular mode locking laser pulses with pulse to pulse duration matched with the round-trip cavity time. The results confirm successful mode locking operation achieved by the fabricated PtS2 material. This work opens some new opportunities for these PtS2 materials for the ultrafast laser generation. Acknowledgments: This work is financially supported by Shenzhen Science and Technology Innovation Commission (JCYJ20170303160136888) and the Research Grants Council of Hong Kong, China (GRF 152109/16E, PolyU code: B-Q52T).

Keywords: platinum disulfide, PtS2, saturable absorption, saturable absorber, mode locking laser

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5 Electrochemical and Microstructure Properties of Chromium-Graphene and SnZn-Graphene Oxide Composite Coatings

Authors: Rekha M. Y., Punith Kumar, Anshul Kamboj, Chandan Srivastava


Coatings plays an important role in providing protection for a substrate and in improving the surface quality. Graphene/graphene oxide (GO) using in coating systems provides an environmental friendly solution towards protection against corrosion. Issues such as, lack of scale, high cost, low quality limits the practical application of graphene/GO as corrosion resistant coating material. One other way to employ these materials for corrosion protection is to incorporate them into coatings that are conventionally used for corrosion protection. Due to the extraordinary properties of graphene/GO, it has been demonstrated that the coatings containing graphene/GO are more corrosion resistant than pure metal/alloy coatings. In the present work, Cr-graphene and SnZn-GO composite coatings were investigated in enhancing the corrosion resistant property when compared to pure Cr coating and pure SnZn coating respectively. All the coatings were electrodeposited over mild-steel substrate. Graphene and GO were synthesized by electrochemical exfoliation method and modified Hummers’ method respectively. In Cr coatings, the microstructural study revealed that the addition of formic acid in the coatings reduced the number of cracks in the coatings. Further addition of graphene in Cr coating enhanced the Cr coating’s morphology. Chemically synthesized ZnO nanoparticles were also embedded in the as-deposited Cr and Cr-graphene coatings to enhance the adhesion of the coating, to improve the surface finish and to increase the corrosion resistant property of the coatings. Diffraction analysis revealed that the addition of graphene also altered the texture of the Cr coatings. In SnZn alloy coatings, the morphological and topographical characterization revealed that the relative smoothness and compactness of the coatings increased with increase in the addition of GO in the coatings. The microstructural investigation revealed large-scale segregation of Zn-rich and Sn-rich phases in the pure SnZn coating. However, in SnZn-GO composite coating the uniform distribution of Zn phase in the Sn-rich matrix was observed. This distribution caused the early and uniform formation of ZnO, which is the corrosion product, yielding better corrosion resistance for the SnZn-GO composite coatings as compared to pure SnZn coating. A significant improvement in corrosion resistance in terms of reduction in corrosion current and corrosion rate and increase in the polarization resistance was observed in Cr coating containing graphene and in SnZn coatings containing GO.

Keywords: coatings, corrosion, electrodeposition, graphene, graphene-oxide

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4 Effect of Different Contaminants on Mineral Insulating Oil Characteristics

Authors: H. M. Wilhelm, P. O. Fernandes, L. P. Dill, C. Steffens, K. G. Moscon, S. M. Peres, V. Bender, T. Marchesan, J. B. Ferreira Neto


Deterioration of insulating oil is a natural process that occurs during transformers operation. However, this process can be accelerated by some factors, such as oxygen, high temperatures, metals and, moisture, which rapidly reduce oil insulating capacity and favor transformer faults. Parts of building materials of a transformer can be degraded and yield soluble compounds and insoluble particles that shorten the equipment life. Physicochemical tests, dissolved gas analysis (including propane, propylene and, butane), volatile and furanic compounds determination, besides quantitative and morphological analyses of particulate are proposed in this study in order to correlate transformers building materials degradation with insulating oil characteristics. The present investigation involves tests of medium temperature overheating simulation by means of an electric resistance wrapped with the following materials immersed in mineral insulating oil: test I) copper, tin, lead and, paper (heated at 350-400 °C for 8 h); test II) only copper (at 250 °C for 11 h); and test III) only paper (at 250 °C for 8 h and at 350 °C for 8 h). A different experiment is the simulation of electric arc involving copper, using an electric welding machine at two distinct energy sets (low and high). Analysis results showed that dielectric loss was higher in the sample of test I, higher neutralization index and higher values of hydrogen and hydrocarbons, including propane and butane, were also observed. Test III oil presented higher particle count, in addition, ferrographic analysis revealed contamination with fibers and carbonized paper. However, these particles had little influence on the oil physicochemical parameters (dielectric loss and neutralization index) and on the gas production, which was very low. Test II oil showed high levels of methane, ethane, and propylene, indicating the effect of metal on oil degradation. CO2 and CO gases were formed in the highest concentration in test III, as expected. Regarding volatile compounds, in test I acetone, benzene and toluene were detected, which are oil oxidation products. Regarding test III, methanol was identified due to cellulose degradation, as expected. Electric arc simulation test showed the highest oil oxidation in presence of copper and at high temperature, since these samples had huge concentration of hydrogen, ethylene, and acetylene. Particle count was also very high, showing the highest release of copper in such conditions. When comparing high and low energy, the first presented more hydrogen, ethylene, and acetylene. This sample had more similar results to test I, pointing out that the generation of different particles can be the cause for faults such as electric arc. Ferrography showed more evident copper and exfoliation particles than in other samples. Therefore, in this study, by using different combined analytical techniques, it was possible to correlate insulating oil characteristics with possible contaminants, which can lead to transformers failure.

Keywords: Ferrography, gas analysis, insulating mineral oil, particle contamination, transformer failures

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3 Gastroprotective Effect of Copper Complex On Indomethacin-Induced Gastric Ulcer In Rats. Histological and Immunohistochemical Study

Authors: Heba M. Saad Eldien, Ola Abdel-Tawab Hussein, Ahmed Yassein Nassar


Background: Indomethacin is a non-steroidal anti inflammatory drug. Indomethacin induces an injury to gastrointestinal mucosa in experimental animals and humans and their use is associated with a significant risk of hemorrhage, erosions and perforation of both gastric and intestinal ulcers. The anti-inflammatory action of copper complexes is an important activity of their anti-ulcer effect achieved by their intermediary role as a transport form of copper that allow activation of the several copper-dependent enzymes. Therefore, several copper complexes were synthesized and investigated as promising alternative anti-ulcer therapy. Aim of the work: The purpose of this study was to evaluate a copper chelating complex consisting of egg albumin and copper as one of the copper peptides that can be used as anti-inflammatory agent and effective in ameliorates the hazards of the indomethacin on the histological structure of the fundus of the stomach that could be added to raise the efficacy of the currently used simple and cheap gastric anti-inflammatory drug mucogel. Material &methods: This study was carried out on 40 adult male albino rats,divided equally into 4 groups;Group I(control group) received distilled water,Group II(indomethacin treated group) received (25 mg/kg body weight, oral intubation) once, Group III (mucogel treated group)2 mL/rat once daily, oral incubation, Group IV(copper complex group) 1 mL /rat of 30 gm of copper albumin complex was mixed uniformly with mucogel to 100 mL. Treatment has been started six hour after Induction of Ulcers and continued till the 3rd day. The animals sacrificed and was processed for light, transmission electron microscopy(TEM) and immunostaining for inducible nitric oxide synthase(iNOS). Results: Fundic mucosa of group II, showed exfoliation of epithelial cells lining the gland, discontinuity of surface epithelial cells (ulcer formation), vacuolation and detachment of cells, eosinophilic infiltration and congestion of blood vessels in the lamina propria and submucosa. There was thickening and disarrangement of mucosa, weak positive reaction for PAS and marked increase in the collagen fibers lamina propria and the submucosa of the fundus. TEM revealed degeneration of cheif and parietal cells.Marked increase positive reactive of iNOS in all cells of the fundic gland. Group III showed reconstruction of gastric gland with cystic dilatation and vacuolation, moderate decrease of collagen fibers, reduced the intensity of iNOS while in Group IV healthy mucosa with normal surface lining epithelium and fundic glands, strong positive reaction for PAS, marked decrease of collagen fibers and positive reaction for iNOS. TEM revealed regeneration of cheif and parietal cells. Conclusion: Co treatment of copper-albumin complex seems to be useful for gastric ulcer treatment and ameliorates most of hazards of indomethacin.

Keywords: copper complex, gastric ulcer, indomethacin, rat

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2 Thermally Conductive Polymer Nanocomposites Based on Graphene-Related Materials

Authors: Alberto Fina, Samuele Colonna, Maria del Mar Bernal, Orietta Monticelli, Mauro Tortello, Renato Gonnelli, Julio Gomez, Chiara Novara, Guido Saracco


Thermally conductive polymer nanocomposites are of high interest for several applications including low-temperature heat recovery, heat exchangers in a corrosive environment and heat management in electronics and flexible electronics. In this paper, the preparation of thermally conductive nanocomposites exploiting graphene-related materials is addressed, along with their thermal characterization. In particular, correlations between 1- chemical and physical features of the nanoflakes and 2- processing conditions with the heat conduction properties of nanocomposites is studied. Polymers are heat insulators; therefore, the inclusion of conductive particles is the typical solution to obtain a sufficient thermal conductivity. In addition to traditional microparticles such as graphite and ceramics, several nanoparticles have been proposed, including carbon nanotubes and graphene, for the use in polymer nanocomposites. Indeed, thermal conductivities for both carbon nanotubes and graphenes were reported in the wide range of about 1500 to 6000 W/mK, despite such property may decrease dramatically as a function of the size, number of layers, the density of topological defects, re-hybridization defects as well as on the presence of impurities. Different synthetic techniques have been developed, including mechanical cleavage of graphite, epitaxial growth on SiC, chemical vapor deposition, and liquid phase exfoliation. However, the industrial scale-up of graphene, defined as an individual, single-atom-thick sheet of hexagonally arranged sp2-bonded carbons still remains very challenging. For large scale bulk applications in polymer nanocomposites, some graphene-related materials such as multilayer graphenes (MLG), reduced graphene oxide (rGO) or graphite nanoplatelets (GNP) are currently the most interesting graphene-based materials. In this paper, different types of graphene-related materials were characterized for their chemical/physical as well as for thermal properties of individual flakes. Two selected rGOs were annealed at 1700°C in vacuum for 1 h to reduce defectiveness of the carbon structure. Thermal conductivity increase of individual GNP with annealing was assessed via scanning thermal microscopy. Graphene nano papers were prepared from both conventional RGO and annealed RGO flakes. Characterization of the nanopapers evidenced a five-fold increase in the thermal diffusivity on the nano paper plane for annealed nanoflakes, compared to pristine ones, demonstrating the importance of structural defectiveness reduction to maximize the heat dissipation performance. Both pristine and annealed RGO were used to prepare polymer nanocomposites, by melt reactive extrusion. Thermal conductivity showed two- to three-fold increase in the thermal conductivity of the nanocomposite was observed for high temperature treated RGO compared to untreated RGO, evidencing the importance of using low defectivity nanoflakes. Furthermore, the study of different processing paremeters (time, temperature, shear rate) during the preparation of poly (butylene terephthalate) nanocomposites evidenced a clear correlation with the dispersion and fragmentation of the GNP nanoflakes; which in turn affected the thermal conductivity performance. Thermal conductivity of about 1.7 W/mK, i.e. one order of magnitude higher than for pristine polymer, was obtained with 10%wt of annealed GNPs, which is in line with state of the art nanocomposites prepared by more complex and less upscalable in situ polymerization processes.

Keywords: graphene, graphene-related materials, scanning thermal microscopy, thermally conductive polymer nanocomposites

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