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Concept: Fiberglass


Man-made mineral fibers are produced using inorganic materials and are widely used as thermal and acoustic insulation. These basically include continuous fiberglass filaments, glass wool (fiberglass insulation), stone wool, slag wool and refractory ceramic fibers. Likewise, in the last two decades nanoscale fibers have also been developed, among these being carbon nanotubes with their high electrical conductivity, mechanical resistance and thermal stability. Both man-made mineral fibers and carbon nanotubes have properties that make them inhalable and potentially harmful, which have led to studies to assess their pathogenicity. The aim of this review is to analyze the knowledge that currently exists about the ability of these fibers to produce respiratory diseases.

Concepts: Magnesium, Materials, Electrical conductivity, Glass, Fiberglass, Building insulation materials, Thermal insulation, Mineral wool


A zeolite (mordenite)-pore-phenol resin composite and a zeolite-pore-shirasu glass composite were fabricated by hot-pressing. Their thermal conductivities were measured by a laser flash method to determine the thermal conductivity of the monolithic zeolite with the proposed mixing rule. The analysis using composites is useful for a zeolite powder with no sinterability to clarify its thermal properties. At a low porosity <20%, the thermal conductivity of the composite was in excellent agreement with the calculated value for the structure with phenol resin or shirasu glass continuous phase. At a higher porosity above 40%, the measured value approached the calculated value for the structure with pore continuous phase. The thermal conductivity of the monolithic mordenite was evaluated to be 3.63 W/mK and 1.70-2.07 W/mK at room temperature for the zeolite-pore-phenol resin composite and the zeolite-pore-shirasu glass composite, respectively. The analyzed thermal conductivities of monolithic mordenite showed a minimum value of 1.23 W/mK at 400 °C and increased to 2.51 W/mK at 800 °C.

Concepts: Heat, Electrical conductivity, Glass transition, Dental composite, Zeolite, Fiberglass, Asphalt concrete, Glass-reinforced plastic


Natural composites exhibit exceptional mechanical performance that often arises from complex fiber arrangements within continuous matrices. Inspired by these natural systems, we developed a rotational 3D printing method that enables spatially controlled orientation of short fibers in polymer matrices solely by varying the nozzle rotation speed relative to the printing speed. Using this method, we fabricated carbon fiber-epoxy composites composed of volume elements (voxels) with programmably defined fiber arrangements, including adjacent regions with orthogonally and helically oriented fibers that lead to nonuniform strain and failure as well as those with purely helical fiber orientations akin to natural composites that exhibit enhanced damage tolerance. Our approach broadens the design, microstructural complexity, and performance space for fiber-reinforced composites through site-specific optimization of their fiber orientation, strain, failure, and damage tolerance.

Concepts: Group, Orientation, Classical mechanics, Paper, Rotation, Rigid body, Klein bottle, Fiberglass


Dry ultra-porous cellulose fibres were obtained using a liquid exchange procedure in which water was replaced in the following order: water, methanol, acetone, and finally pentane; thereafter, the fibres were dried with Ar(g). The dry samples (of TEMPO-oxidized dissolving pulp) had a specific surface area of 130 m(2)g(-1) as measured using BET nitrogen gas adsorption. The open structure in the dry state was also revealed using field emission scanning electron microscopy. This dry open structure was used as a scaffold for in situ polymerization. Both poly(methyl methacrylate) and poly(butylacrylate) were successfully used as matrix polymers for the composite material (fibre/polymer), comprising approximately 20 wt% fibres. Atomic force microscopy phase imaging indicated a nanoscale mixing of the matrix polymer and the cellulose fibril aggregates and this was also supported by mechanical testing of the prepared composite where the open fibre structure produced superior composites. The fibre/polymer composite had a significantly reduced water absorption capacity also indicating an efficient filling of the fibre structure with the matrix polymer.

Concepts: Protein, Hydrogen, Cellulose, Scanning electron microscope, Specific surface area, Fiberglass, Aramid, Cellulose fiber


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: In 2010, wind energy coverage in Spain increased by 16%, making the country the world’s fourth largest producer in a fast-developing industry that is also a source of employment. Occupational skin diseases in this field have received little attention. The present study aims to describe the main characteristics of skin diseases affecting workers in the wind energy industry and the allergens involved. MATERIAL AND METHODS: We performed a descriptive, observational study of workers from the wind energy industry with suspected contact dermatitis who were referred to the occupational dermatology clinic of the National School of Occupational Medicine (Escuela Nacional de Medicina del Trabajo) between 2009 and 2011. We took both a clinical history and an occupational history, and patients underwent a physical examination and patch testing with the materials used in their work. RESULTS: We studied 10 workers (8 men, 2 women), with a mean age of 33.7 years. The main finding was dermatitis, which affected the face, eyelids, forearms, and hands. Sensitization to epoxy resins was detected in 4 workers, 1 of whom was also sensitized to epoxy curing agents. One worker was sensitized to bisphenol F resin but had a negative result with epoxy resin from the standard series. In the 5 remaining cases, the final diagnosis was irritant contact dermatitis due to fiberglass. CONCLUSIONS: Occupational skin diseases are increasingly common in the wind energy industry. The main allergens are epoxy resins. Fiberglass tends to produce irritation.

Concepts: Bisphenol A, Composite material, Eczema, Epoxy, Dermatitis, Contact dermatitis, Fiberglass, Gelcoat


Recovery of valuable materials from waste printed circuit boards (WPCBs) is quite difficult because WPCBs is a heterogeneous mixture of polymer materials, glass fibers, and metals. In this study, WPCBs was treated using ionic liquid (1-ethyl-3-methylimizadolium tetrafluoroborate [EMIM(+)][BF(4)(-)]). Experimental results showed that the separation of the solders went to completion, and electronic components (ECs) were removed in WPCBs when [EMIM(+)][BF(4)(-)] solution containing WPCBs was heated to 240°C. Meanwhile, metallographic observations verified that the WPCBs had an initial delamination. When the temperature increased to 260°C, the separation of the WPCBs went to completion, and coppers and glass fibers were obtained. The used [EMIM(+)][BF(4)(-)] was treated by water to generate a solid-liquid suspension, which was separated completely to obtain solid residues by filtration. Thermal analyses combined with infrared ray spectra (IR) observed that the solid residues were bromine epoxy resins. NMR (nuclear magnetic resonance) showed that hydrogen bond played an important role for [EMIM(+)][BF(4)(-)] dissolving bromine epoxy resins. This clean and non-polluting technology offers a new way to recycle valuable materials from WPCBs and prevent environmental pollution from WPCBs effectively.

Concepts: Nuclear magnetic resonance, Infrared, Printed circuit board, FR-4, Breadboard, Electronic engineering, Fiberglass, Electronic component


Mechanical properties of glass fiber reinforced composite materials are affected by fiber sizing. A complex film formation, based on a silane film and PVA/PVAc (polyvinyl alcohol/polyvinyl acetate) microspheres on a glass fiber surface is determined at 1) the nanoscale by using atomic force microscopy (AFM), and 2) the macroscale by using the zeta potential. Silane groups strongly bind through the SiOSi bond to the glass surface, which provides the attachment mechanism as a coupling agent. The silane groups form islands, a homogeneous film, as well as empty sites. The average roughness of the silanized surface is 6.5 nm, whereas it is only 0.6 nm for the non-silanized surface. The silane film vertically penetrates in a honeycomb fashion from the glass surface through the deposited PVA/PVAc microspheres to form a hexagonal close pack structure. The silane film not only penetrates, but also deforms the PVA/PVAc microspheres from the spherical shape in a dispersion to a ellipsoidal shape on the surface with average dimensions of 300/600 nm. The surface area value Sa represents an area of PVA/PVAc microspheres that are not affected by the silane penetration. The areas are found to be 0.2, 0.08, and 0.03 μm(2) if the ellipsoid sizes are 320/570, 300/610, and 270/620 nm for silane concentrations of 0, 3.8, and 7.2 μg mL(-1) , respectively. The silane film also moves PVA/PVAc microspheres in the process of complex film formation, from the low silane concentration areas to the complex film area providing enough silane groups to stabilize the structure. The values for the residual silane honeycomb structure heights (Ha ) are 6.5, 7, and 12 nm for silane concentrations of 3.8, 7.2, and 14.3 μg mL(-1) , respectively. The pH-dependent zeta-potential results suggest a specific role of the silane groups with effects on the glass fiber surface and also on the PVA/PVAc microspheres. The non-silanized glass fiber surface and the silane film have similar zeta potentials ranging from -64 to -12 mV at pH’s of 10.5 and 3, respectively. The zeta potentials for the PVA/PVAc microspheres on the glass fiber surface and within the silane film significantly decrease and range from -25 to -5 mV. The shapes of the pH-dependent zeta potentials are different in the cases of silane groups over a pH range from 7 to 4. A triple-layer model is used to fit the non-silanized glass surface and the silane film. The value of the surface-site density for ΓXglass and ΓXsilane , in which X denotes the AlOSi group, differs by a factor of 10(-4) , which suggests an effective coupling of the silane film. A soft-layer model is used to fit the silane-PVA/PVAc complex film, which is approximated as four layers. Such a simplification and compensation of the microsphere shape gives an approximation of the relevant widths of the layers as the follows: 1) the layer of the silane groups makes up 10 % of the total length (27 nm), 2) the layer of the first PVA shell contributes 30 % to the total length (81 nm), 3) the layer of the PVAc core contributes 30 % to the total length (81 nm), and finally 4) the layer of the second PVA shell provides 30 % of the total length (81 nm). The coverage simulation resulted in a value of 0.4, which corresponds with the assumption of low-order coverage, and is supported by the AFM scans. Correlating the results of the AFM scans, and the zeta potentials sheds some light on the formation mechanism of the silane-PVA/PVAc complex film.

Concepts: Volume, Layer, Sphere, Area, Polyvinyl alcohol, Polyvinyl acetate, Fiberglass, Ellipsoid


The development of commercially viable “green products”, based on natural resources for the matrices and reinforcements, in a wide range of applications, is on the rise. The present paper focuses on Sterculia urens short fiber reinforced pure cellulose matrix composite films. The morphologies of the untreated and 5% NaOH (alkali) treated S. urens fibers were observed by SEM. The effect of 5% NaOH treated S. urens fiber (5, 10, 15 and 20% loading) on the mechanical properties and thermal stability of the composites films is discussed. This paper presents the developments made in the area of biodegradable S. urens short fiber/cellulose (SUSF/cellulose) composite films, buried in the soil and later investigated by the (POM), before and after biodegradation has taken place. SUSF/cellulose composite films have great potential in food packaging and for medical applications.

Concepts: Present, Fiber, Cellulose, Paper, Dietary fiber, Wood, Fiberglass, Aramid


Injectable, in situ-gelling magnetic composite materials have been fabricated by using aldehyde-functionalized dextran to cross-link superparamagnetic nanoparticles surface-functionalized with hydrazide-functionalized poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (pNIPAM). The resulting composites exhibit high water contents (82-88 wt.%) while also displaying significantly higher elasticities (G' >60 kPa) than other injectable hydrogels previously reported. The composites hydrolytically degrade via slow hydrolysis of the hydrazone cross-link at physiological temperature and pH into degradation products that show no significant cytotoxicity. Subcutaneous injections indicate only minor chronic inflammation associated with material degradation, with no fibrous capsule formation evident. Drug release experiments indicate the potential of these materials to facilitate pulsatile, “on-demand” changes in drug release upon the application of an external oscillating magnetic field. The injectable but high-strength and externally-triggerable nature of these materials, coupled with their biological degradability and inertness, suggest potential biological applications in tissue engineering and drug delivery.

Concepts: Magnetism, Composite material, Boeing 787, Thermoplastic, Superparamagnetism, Fiberglass, Aramid, Pykrete


Wood pulp fibres are an important component of environmentally sound and renewable fibre-reinforced composite materials. The high aspect ratio of pulp fibres is an essential property with respect to the mechanical properties a given composite material can achieve. The length of pulp fibres is affected by composite processing operations. This thus emphasizes the importance of assessing the pulp fibre length and how this may be affected by a given process for manufacturing composites. In this work a new method for measuring the length distribution of fibres and fibre fragments has been developed. The method is based on; (i) dissolving the composites, (ii) preparing the fibres for image acquisition and (iii) image analysis of the resulting fibre structures. The image analysis part is relatively simple to implement and is based on images acquired with a desktop scanner and a new ImageJ plugin. The quantification of fibre length has demonstrated the fibre shortening effect because of an extrusion process and subsequent injection moulding. Fibres with original lengths of >1 mm where shortened to fibre fragments with length of <200 μm. The shortening seems to be affected by the number of times the fibres have passed through the extruder, the amount of chain extender and the fraction of fibres in the polymer matrix.

Concepts: Composite material, Paper, Wood, Boeing 787, Carbon fiber, Fiberglass, Aramid, Composite materials