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Scientific Papers in SCI

2019


Correlation of Structure and Performance of Hard Carbons as Anodes for Sodium Ion Batteries


Gomez-Martin, A; Martinez-Fernandez, J; Ruttert, M; Winter, M; Placke, T; Ramirez-Rico, J
Chemistry of Materials, 31 (2019) 7288-7299

ABSTRACT

Hard carbons are the material of choice as negative electrode in sodium ion batteries. Despite being extensively studied, there is still debate regarding the mechanisms responsible for storage in low- and high-potential regions. This work presents a comprehensive approach to elucidate the involved storage mechanisms when Na ions insert into such disordered structures. Synchrotron X-ray total scattering experiments were performed to access quantitative information on atomic ordering in these materials at the nanoscale. Results prove that hard carbons undergo an atomic rearrangement as the graphene layers cross-link at intermediate temperatures (1200-1600 degrees C), resulting in an increase of the average interplanar distance up to 1400 degrees C, followed by a progressive decrease. This increase correlates with the positive trend in the reversible capacity of biomass-derived carbons when processed up to 1200-1600 degrees C due to an increased capacity at low potential (<= 0.1 V vs Na/Na+). A decrease in achievable sloping capacity with increasing heat-treatment temperature arises from larger crystalline domains and a lower concentration of defects. The observed correlation between structural parameters and electrochemical properties clearly supports that the main storage of Na ions into a hard-carbon structure is based on an adsorption-intercalation mechanism.


September, 2019 | DOI: 10.1021/acs.chemmater.9b01768

Antibacterial Nanostructured Ti Coatings by Magnetron Sputtering: From Laboratory Scales to Industrial Reactors


Alvarez, R; Munoz-Pina, S; Gonzalez, MU; Izquierdo-Barba, I; Fernandez-Martinez, I; Rico, V; Arcos, D; Garcia-Valenzuela, A; Palmero, A; Vallet-Regi, M; Gonzalez-Elipe, AR; Garcia-Martin, JM
Nanomaterials, 9 (2019) art. 1217

ABSTRACT

Based on an already tested laboratory procedure, a new magnetron sputtering methodology to simultaneously coat two-sides of large area implants (up to similar to 15 cm(2)) with Ti nanocolumns in industrial reactors has been developed. By analyzing the required growth conditions in a laboratory setup, a new geometry and methodology have been proposed and tested in a semi-industrial scale reactor. A bone plate (DePuy Synthes) and a pseudo-rectangular bone plate extracted from a patient were coated following the new methodology, obtaining that their osteoblast proliferation efficiency and antibacterial functionality were equivalent to the coatings grown in the laboratory reactor on small areas. In particular, two kinds of experiments were performed: Analysis of bacterial adhesion and biofilm formation, and osteoblasts-bacteria competitive in vitro growth scenarios. In all these cases, the coatings show an opposite behavior toward osteoblast and bacterial proliferation, demonstrating that the proposed methodology represents a valid approach for industrial production and practical application of nanostructured titanium coatings.


September, 2019 | DOI: 10.3390/nano9091217

Applications and potentialities of Atomic Force Microscopy in fossil and extant plant cuticle characterization


Benitez, JJ; Guzman-Puyol, S; Dominguez, E; Heredia, A; Heredia-Guerrero, JA
Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology, 268 (2019) 125-132

ABSTRACT

Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) is a versatile technique of surface characterization, providing accurate information about the topography and other wide variety of magnitudes at submicron scale. It is extensively utilized in materials science, but its use in other disciplines such as paleobotany is infrequent. In this review, we introduce the main concepts of AFM to paleobotanists, comparing the characteristics of this technique to common electronic and optical microscopies. Then, main works with extant plants, in particular plant cuticles, are described. Finally, realistic applications with fossils are reviewed and their potential use in the characterization of plant fossils discussed. AFM is proposed as a complementary technique to common microscopies to characterize plant cuticle fine details at nanoscale.


September, 2019 | DOI: 10.1016/j.revpalbo.2019.06.015

Bio-based composite fibers from pine essential oil and PLA/PBAT polymer blend. Morphological, physicochemical, thermal and mechanical characterization


Hernandez-Lopez, M; Correa-Pacheco, ZN; Bautista-Banos, S; Zavaleta-Avejar, L; Benitez-Jimenez, JJ; Sabino-Gutierrez, MA; Ortega-Gudino, P
Materials Chemistry and Physics, 234 (2019) 345-353

ABSTRACT

Biodegradable aliphatic polyesters are an alternative to reduce the use of synthetic plastic materials that cause severe damage to the environment. Formulations based on poly (lactic acid) (PLA) and poly (butylene adipate-co-terephthalate) (PBAT), were mixed in a 60:40 ratio, adding different concentrations of pine essential oil through the use of extrusion technology to obtain biodegradable polymer fibers. Some formulations were coated with chitosan. All the elaborated fibers were characterized by Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy-Attenuated Total Reflection (FTIR-ATR), Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC), X-ray Diffraction (XRD) and mechanical properties. The SEM studies showed that the PBAT improves the tenacity and provides greater elasticity promoting the interaction between the blends phases with fibril formation. In the FTIR-ATR analysis, compatibility between the blends was observed due to a possible interaction of the carbonyl group of PBAT with PLA. The DSC and the mechanical properties showed partial miscibility of the blends, indicating, that the plasticizing action of the essential oil gave greater mobility, flexibility, less rigidity and crystallization in the blends. A lower Young's modulus and greater elongation at break was also observed.


August, 2019 | DOI: 10.1016/j.matchemphys.2019.01.034

Support effects on NiO-based catalysts for the oxidative dehydrogenation (ODH) of ethane


Delgado, D; Sanchis, R; Cecilia, JA; Rodriguez-Castellon, E; Caballero, A; Solsona, B; Nieto, JML
Catalysis Today, 333 (2019) 10-16

ABSTRACT

We report on the effect of NiO-support interactions on the chemical nature of Ni species in a series of supported NiO catalysts for the ODH of ethane. SiO2, TiO2-anatase, a high surface area TiO2 and a porous clay hetero-structure (PCH) with TiO2 and SiO2 pillars were used as supports, which led to a selectivity to ethylene in the range 30-90% over supported NiO catalysts. The catalysts were characterized by means of XRD, N-2-Adsorption, H-2-TPR, XPS and in situ (under H-2 reductive atmosphere) and ex situ XAS spectroscopy. The catalytic performance of supported materials is discussed in terms of their reducibility and specific reduction kinetics, but also taking into account the specific chemical nature of Ni species on each catalyst. The influence of the particle size and the presence of Ni and O vacancies on the catalytic performance in the ODH of ethane is inferred.


August, 2019 | DOI: 10.1016/j.cattod.2018.07.010

Au/Al2O3 - Efficient catalyst for 5-hydroxymethylfurfural oxidation to 2,5-furandicarboxylic acid


Megias-Sayago, C; Lolli, A; Ivanova, S; Albonetti, S; Cavani, F; Odriozola, JA
Catalysis Today, 333 (2019) 169-175

ABSTRACT

The catalytic activity of a simple Au/Al2O3 catalytic system prepared by the direct anionic exchange (DAE) method was evaluated in the selective 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) oxidation under mild conditions, using molecular oxygen as the oxidant. The influence of the HMF/NaOH ratio and reaction time on product yield and distribution were studied and discussed in detail. Extremely high activity and selectivity were observed in mild conditions, with 99% of 2,5-furandicarboxylic acid (FDCA) production at full HMF conversion after 4 h with the use of only 4 equivalents of NaOH at 70 degrees C. Catalyst viability and stability were verified by repeating the cycle up to five times. Changes in the nature of the support were also contemplated by introducing some ceria fraction, i.e. 20 wt%.


August, 2019 | DOI: 10.1016/j.cattod.2018.04.024

Mechanically induced combustion synthesis and thermoelectric properties of nanostructured strontium hexaboride (SrB6)


Jalaly, M; Khosroshahi, BK; Gotor, FJ; Sayagues, MJ; Yamini, SA; Failamani, F; Mori, T
Ceramics International, 45 (2019) 14426-14431

ABSTRACT

The nanoparticles of strontium hexaboride (SrB6) were synthesized by a mechanically induced magnesiothermic combustion in the Mg/B2O3/SrO system. Ignition time in this system was recorded to be 23 min of milling. X-ray diffraction(XRD), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), and high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) techniques were used to characterize the combustion product. Thermal analysis was employed to assess the formation mechanism. It was revealed that Mg initially reduced B2O3 in a combustive manner to generate elemental boron and a large amount of heat, resulting in the reduction of SrO by Mg at high temperature. The in-situ formed elemental Sr and B react immediately to generate SrB6. Thermoelectric properties of consolidated SrB6, including thermal conductivity, Seebeck coefficient, electrical conductivity, and figure-of-merit were evaluated at the temperature range of 300–873 K.


August, 2019 | DOI: 10.1016/j.ceramint.2019.04.163

Luminescence and X-ray Absorption Properties of Uniform Eu3+:(H3O)Lu3F10 Nanoprobes


Gonzalez-Mancebo, D; Becerro, AI; Corral, A; Balcerzyk, M; Ocana, M
Nanomaterials, 9 (2019) 1153

ABSTRACT

Due to the high atomic number of lutetium and the low phonon energy of the fluoride matrix, Lu-based fluoride nanoparticles doped with active lanthanide ions are potential candidates as bioprobes in both X-ray computed tomography and luminescent imaging. This paper shows a method for the fabrication of uniform, water-dispersible Eu3+:(H3O)Lu3F10 nanoparticles doped with different Eu contents. Their luminescent properties were studied by means of excitation and emission spectra as well as decay curves. The X-ray attenuation capacity of the phosphor showing the highest emission intensity was subsequently analyzed and compared with a commercial contrast agent. The results indicated that the 10% Eu3+-doped (H3O)Lu3F10 nanoparticles fabricated with the proposed polyol-based method are good candidates to be used as dual probes for luminescent imaging and X-ray computed tomography.


August, 2019 | DOI: 10.3390/nano9081153

Natural abundance O-17 MAS NMR and DFT simulations: New insights into the atomic structure of designed micas


Pavon, E; Osuna, FJ; Alba, MD; Delevoye, L
Solid State Nuclear Magnetic Resonance, 100 (2019) 45-51

ABSTRACT

Combining O-17 Magic-Angle Spinning (MAS) NMR at natural abundance with DFT calculations is a promising methodology to shed light on the structure and disorder in tetrahedral sheets of designed micas with enhanced properties. Among brittle micas, synthetic mica is an important alternative to natural ones with a swelling sheet-like structure that results in many applications, by exploiting unique characteristics. Lowenstein's rule is one of the main chemical factor that determines the atomic structure of aluminosilicates and furthermore their properties. In the present article, O-17 MAS NMR spectroscopy is used to validate (or not) the agreement of the Lowenstein's rule with the distribution of Si and Al sites in the tetrahedral sheets of synthetic micas. O-17 MAS spectra of synthetic high-charged micas exhibit two regions of signals that revealed two distinguishable oxygen environments, namely Si-O-X (with X = Si, Al-tet , Mg) and Al-tet -O-Y (Y=Mg or Al-tet). DFT calculations were also conducted to obtain the O-17 chemical shift and other NMR features like the quadrupolar coupling constant, C-Q, for all of the oxygen environments encountered in the two model structures, one respecting the Lowenstein's rule and the other involving Al-tet -O-Al-tet and Si-O-Si environments. Our DFT calculations support the O-17 assignment, by confirming that Al-tet -O-3Mg and Al tet -O-Al tet oxygen environments show chemical shifts under 30 ppm and more important, with quadrupolar coupling constants of about 1 MHz, in line with the spectral observation. By quantifying the O-17 MAS NMR spectra at natural abundance, we demonstrate that one of the synthetic mica compositions does not meet the Lowenstein's rule.


August, 2019 | DOI: 10.1016/j.ssnmr.2019.03.006

Carbon Supported Gold Nanoparticles for the Catalytic Reduction of 4-Nitrophenol


Molina, HR; Munoz, JLS; Leal, MID; Reina, TR; Ivanova, S; Gallego, MNC; Odriozola, JA
Frontiers in Chemistry, 7 (2019) 548

ABSTRACT

This work is a detailed study on how to optimize gold colloids preparation and their deposition to very different in nature carbon materials. The change of the continuous phase and its dielectric constant is used to assure the good dispersion of the hydrophilic/hydrophobic carbons and the successful transfer of the preformed small size colloids to their surface. The sintering behavior of the particles during the calcination step is also studied and the optimal conditions to reduce to a minimum the particle size increase during the protecting agent removal phase are found. The as prepared catalysts have been tested in a relevant reaction in the field of environmental catalysis such as the reduction of 4-nitrophenol leading to promising results. Overall, this work proposes an important methodology to follow when a carbonaceous material are selected as catalyst supports for green chemistry reactions.


August, 2019 | DOI: 10.3389/fchem.2019.00548

Higher hydration performance and bioactive response of the new endodontic bioactive cement MTA HP repair compared with ProRoot MTA white and NeoMTA plus


Jimenez-Sanchez, Maria Del Carmen; Segura-Egea, Juan Jose; Diaz-Cuenca, Aranzazu
Journal of biomedical materials research. Part B, Applied biomaterials, 107 (2019) 2109-2120

ABSTRACT

The aim of this study was to characterize the hydration performance and the bioactive response of the new bioactive endodontic cement MTA HP repair (HP), comparing its physicochemical parameters with those of ProRoot MTA White (Pro) and NeoMTA Plus (Neo). Un-hydrated precursor materials were characterized by X-ray fluorescence, laser diffraction, N2 physisorption and field emission gun scanning electron microscopy (FEG-SEM). Setting time was assessed according to ASTM specification C 266. Hydrated materials were analyzed by X-ray diffraction, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) and (FEG-SEM). Bioactivity evaluation in vitro was carried out, by soaking processed cement disk in simulated body fluid (SBF) during 168 h. The cements surface was studied by FT-IR, FEG-SEM, and energy dispersive X-ray. Release to the SBF media of ionic degradation products was monitored using inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectroscopy. HP showed shorter initial setting time compared to Pro and Neo and produce a quick and effective bioactive response in vitro in terms of phosphate phase surface coating formation. This higher bioactive response for HP is correlated with increasing calcium aluminate content, increasing surface area of un-hydrated powder precursor and the increasing release capacity of Si ionic products of the final hydrated product. The higher bioactive response of MTA HP repair highlights this material, as very interesting to further investigate its performance to improve the outcome of vital pulp therapy procedures. 


August, 2019 | DOI: 10.1002/jbm.b.34304

Noble Metal Supported on Activated Carbon for "Hydrogen Free" HDO Reactions: Exploring Economically Advantageous Routes for Biomass Valorisation


Jin, W; Santos, JL; Pastor-Perez, L; Gu, S; Centeno, MA; Reina, TR
Chemcatchem (2019) 4434-4441

ABSTRACT

An innovative route for bio‐compounds upgrading via “hydrogen‐free” hydrodeoxygenation (HDO) is proposed and evaluated using guaiacol as a model compound in a high‐pressure batch reactor. Experimental results showed that noble metal supported on activated carbon catalysts are able to conduct tandem multiple steps including water splitting and subsequent HDO. The activity of Ru/C catalyst is superior to other studied catalysts (i. e. Au/C, Pd/C and Rh/C) in our water‐only HDO reaction system. The greater dispersion and smaller metal particle size confirmed by the TEM micrographs accounts for the better performance of Ru/C. This material also presents excellent levels of stability as demonstrated in multiple recyclability runs. Overall, the proposed novel approach confirmed the viability of oxygenated bio‐compounds upgrading in a water‐only reaction system suppressing the need of external H2 supply and can be rendered as a fundamental finding for the economical biomass valorisation to produce added value bio‐fuels.


August, 2019 | DOI: 10.1002/cctc.201900841

Structural and compositional analysis of Co-based coatings after catalytic tests for the sodium borohydride hydrolysis


Beltran, AM
Materials Research Express, 6 (2019) art. 085511

ABSTRACT

The use of Co-based catalysts for the sodium borohydride hydrolysis for hydrogen production is a well-known process as a source of clean energy, although its mechanisms are still under discussion. With the aim of acquiring a deeper knowledge about this catalytic process, three different catalysts (Co, CoC and CoB) were deposited as a thin film layer by magnetron sputtering onto a polymeric membrane, used as a substrate and analyzed by advance transmission and scanning-transmission electron microscopy techniques (STEM). Structural and compositional characterizations, by electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS), have been performed on the coatings before and after their use as catalysts on the sodium borohydride reaction for 90 min, to check the production of hydrogen. Results have shown the formation of CoxB nanoflakes and other Co-based compounds over the catalysts and related to their catalytic activity. Knowing the changes in the structure and composition of the catalysts is key to understanding their catalytic behavior, activity and durability. Among the analyzed catalysts, the Co-C presents better activity during the first cycles, which is related to a larger formation of CoxB.


August, 2019 | DOI: 10.1088/2053-1591/ab1e27

MTA HP Repair stimulates in vitro an homogeneous calcium phosphate phase coating deposition


Jiménez-Sánchez, M.D.C.; Segura-Egea, J.J.; Díaz-Cuenca, A.
Journal of Clinical and Experimental Dentistry, 11 (2019) e322-e326

ABSTRACT

Background: To study the mineralization capacity in vitro of the bioceramic endodontic material MTA HP Repair. Material and Methods: Bioactivity evaluation in vitro was carried out, by soaking processed cement disk in simulated body fluid (SBF) during 168 h. The cement surface was studied by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), field emission gun scanning electron microscopy (FEG-SEM) and energy dispersive X-ray analysis (EDX). Release to the SBF media of ionic degradation products was monitored using inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectroscopy (ICP-AES). Results: FT-IR showed increasing formation of phosphate phase bands at 1097, 960, 607 and 570 cm -1 with prolonged SBF soaking. FEG-SEM analysis reveals that HP produces a effectively surface covering consisting in homogeneous spherical phosphate phase aggregates with an average diameter of 0.5 -1 .0 μm. EDX analysis comparing un-treated (hydrated), 24 h and 72 h SBF treated surfaces of MTA HP Repair revealed phosphate deposition after 24 h, with high phosphorous/silicon element ratio signal measured after 24 h, indicating a very high phosphate phase deposition for this material. Conclusions: The study shows that MTA HP Repair produces a quick and effective bioactive response in vitro in terms of crystalline calcium phosphate surface coating formation. The high bioactive response of MTA HP Repair makes it an interesting candidate for endodontic use as repair cement. 


August, 2019 | DOI: 10.4317/jced.55661

Physicochemical parameters - hydration performance relationship of the new endodontic cement MTA Repair HP


Jiménez-Sánchez, M.D.C.; Segura-Egea, J.J.; Díaz-Cuenca, A.
Journal of Clinical and Experimental Dentistry, 11 (2019) e739-e744

ABSTRACT

Background: To characterize the chemical composition and textural parameters of the MTA Repair HP precursor powder and their influence to hydration performance. Material and Methods: Un-hydrated precursor material was characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), X-ray fluorescence (XRF), laser diffraction (LD), N2 physisorption and field emission gun scanning electron microscopy (FEG-SEM). Setting time was assessed according to ASTM specification C 266. Hydrated material was analysed by XRD, FT-IR, energy dispersive X-ray (EDX) analysis and FEG-SEM. Results: Ca3SiO5 and Ca2SiO4, in addition to CaWO4 as radiopacifier are the main compositional phases. Other measured parameters indicate high specific surface area of 4.8 m2 g-1, high aluminium content of 1.7 wt.% and low initial and final setting times of 12 and 199 min, respectively. Singular microstructural features consisting of high aspect ratio nanoparticles are main constituents of un-hydrated precursor. Besides, FEM-SEM observation shows notably growth of hexagonal shaped plate-like morphologies homogeneously distributed along the sample during hydration process. Conclusions: The short setting time measured for HP Repair, is correlated with high surface area of precursor powder, high Al content and the absence of compositional sulphate phases. 


August, 2019 | DOI: 10.4317/jced.56013

Plasma Enabled Conformal and Damage Free Encapsulation of Fragile Molecular Matter: from Surface-Supported to On-Device Nanostructures


Alcaire, M; Aparicio, FJ; Obrero, J; Lopez-Santos, C; Garcia-Garcia, FJ; Sanchez-Valencia, JR; Frutos, F; Ostrikov, K; Borras, A; Barranco, A
Advanced Functional Materials, (2019) art. 1903535

ABSTRACT

Damage-free encapsulation of molecular structures with functional nanolayers is crucial to protect nanodevices from environmental exposure. With nanoscale electronic, optoelectronic, photonic, sensing, and other nanodevices based on atomically thin and fragile organic matter shrinking in size, it becomes increasingly challenging to develop nanoencapsulation that is simultaneously conformal at atomic scale and does not damage fragile molecular networks, while delivering added device functionality. This work presents an effective, plasma-enabled, potentially universal approach to produce highly conformal multifunctional organic films to encapsulate atomically thin graphene layers and metalorganic nanowires, without affecting their molecular structure and atomic bonding. Deposition of adamantane precursor and gentle remote plasma chemical vapor deposition are synergized to assemble molecular fragments and cage-like building blocks and completely encapsulate not only the molecular structures, but also the growth substrates and device elements upon nanowire integration. The films are insulating, transparent, and conformal at sub-nanometer scale even on near-tip high-curvature areas of high-aspect-ratio nanowires. The encapsulated structures are multifunctional and provide effective electric isolation, chemical and environmental protection, and transparency in the near-UV-visible-near-infrared range. This single-step, solvent-free remote-plasma approach preserves and guides molecular building blocks thus opening new avenues for precise, atomically conformal nanofabrication of fragile nanoscale matter with multiple functionalities.


July, 2019 | DOI: 10.1002/adfm.201903535

Au/CeO2-ZnO/Al2O3 as Versatile Catalysts for Oxidation Reactions: Application in Gas/Liquid Environmental Processes


Megias-Sayago, C; Reina, TR; Ivanova, S; Odriozola, JA
Frontiers in Chemistry, 7 (2019) art. 504

ABSTRACT

The present work showcases the versatility of nanogold systems supported on Zn-doped ceria when applied in two important environmental processes, the total CO oxidation, and the liquid phase oxidation of glucose to gluconic acid. In the CO oxidation the suitability of these materials is clearly demonstrated achieving full conversions even at sub-ambient conditions. Regarding the glucose oxidation our materials display high conversion values (always over 50%) and very importantly full or almost full selectivity toward gluconic acid-an added value platform chemical in the context of biomass upgrading routes. The key factors controlling the successful performance on both reactions are carefully discussed and compared to previous studies in literature. To our knowledge this is one of the very few works in catalysis by gold combining liquid and gas phase reactions and represents a step forward in the flexible behavior of nano gold catalysts.


July, 2019 | DOI: 10.3389/fchem.2019.00504

Large gap atmospheric pressure barrier discharges using ferroelectric materials


Navascues, P.; Gonzalez-Elipe, A. R.; Cotrino, J.; Gomez-Ramirez, A.
Plasma Sources Sciences & Tecnology, 28 (2019) 075002

ABSTRACT

This work reports a phenomenological comparative study of atmospheric pressure barrier plasmas using ferroelectric (ferroelectric barrier discharge (FBD)) and dielectric (dielectric barrier discharge (DBD)) plates to moderate the discharge. For FBD operation and large inter-electrode distances, experiments with helium carried out in a parallel plate reactor as a function of applied voltage have shown an enhancement of one order of magnitude in the charge transferred through the circuit. In a similar way to DBDs, FBDs rendered a laterally localized arrangement of discrete columnar discharges with a pattern distribution and an overall current intensity that depended on operation conditions. However, unlike the regular columnar pattern found for DBD operation, discharge columns in the FBD mode appear randomly and inhomogeneously distributed on the ferroelectric surface. This geometrical behavior of FBD plasma columns, as well as the singular variation of current with applied voltage and the particular shape characteristics of the current discharge curves have been accounted for by the high capacity of ferroelectric surfaces to randomly accumulate charge and to promote the emission of secondary electrons in the presence of a plasma.


July, 2019 | DOI: 10.1088/1361-6595/ab28ce

Effects of Boron Addition on the Microstructure and Mechanical Properties of (Ti,Ta)(C,N)-Co Based Cermets


Chicardi, E; Martinez, FJG
Metals, 9 (2019) art. 787

ABSTRACT

In this work, a titanium-tantalum carbonitride based cermet, with cobalt as the binder phase and boron as a sintering additive, was developed by a mechanically induced self-sustaining reaction process using two different methodologies. The boron additive was added to prevent the formation of brittle intermetallic compounds generally formed during the liquid phase sintering step due to the excessive ceramic dissolution into the molten binder phase. A systematic study was carried out to understand the effects of boron addition on the nature of the phases, microstructure, and mechanical properties of cermets. With the boron addition, the formation of two different boride solid solutions, i. e., (Ti, Ta)B-2 and (Ti, Ta)(3)B-4, was observed. Moreover, the nature of the binder was also modified, from the (Ti, Ta)Co-2 brittle intermetallic compound (for cermets without boron addition) to ductile and tough (Ti, Ta)Co-3 and alpha-Co phases (for cermets with boron addition). These modifications caused, as a general trend, the increase of hardness and toughness in cermets.


July, 2019 | DOI: 10.3390/met9070787

Does grain size have an influence on intrinsic mechanical properties and conduction mechanism of near fully-dense boron carbide ceramics?


Moshtaghioun, BM; Laguna-Bercero, MA; Gomez-Garcia, D; Pena, JI
Journal of Alloys and Compounds, 795 (2019) 408-415

ABSTRACT

This work is concentrated on getting a reply to the following question: how does the grain size of boron carbide specimens influence on their mechanical and electrical response? It is a common issue that both essential properties are usually affected by the grain boundaries. To this purpose, a set of near fully-dense boron carbide specimens were prepared by spark plasma sintering. In order to reduce residual porosity and grain-size effects, nanoindentation tests at room temperature were conducted. DC conductivity was measured through four-point test technique from room temperature up to 800 °C. The results show that hardness can reach values as high as ∼60 GPa and plasticity onset takes place at around 23 GPa by dislocation nucleation. Regarding the conductivity, it is found that grain boundaries can block the mobility of bipolarons in an effective way. A simple additive law is provided to account for the resistivity of boron carbide polycrystals.


July, 2019 | DOI: 10.1016/j.jallcom.2019.05.037

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