Advanced Engineering Materials has been bringing you the latest breakthroughs in structural materials that are making those important first steps towards commercialization since 1999. With its further increased, record-high Impact Factor of 2.319 (2017 Journal Citation Reports), the journal covers a variety of key topics, such as composites, ceramics, intermetallics, and coatings, and also high-temperature, cellular, and biomedical materials, with a strong focus on new manufacturing techniques.
In this monthly feature, we highlight the research behind the artwork on the covers of the most recent issue of Advanced Engineering Materials, as well some of the most read Advanced Engineering Materials publications over the last month. The cover contributions and these top-downloaded articles are therefore currently freely accessible! Click on the titles below to get to the corresponding papers. You can find this month’s issue here. Also check out our previous Engineering Digest here and here.
by Jiangkun Fan, Jinshan Li, Yudong Zhang, Hongchao Kou, Lionel Germain, Nathalie Siredey-Schwaller, and Claude Esling
The dynamic nucleation and evolution of the α phase in titanium alloys during hot deformation can be very different depending on the exact heat treatment, as demonstrated by Jiangkun Fan and team from the Northwestern Polytechnical University in Xi’an, China and collaborators at the Université de Lorraine in Metz, France. Their findings show that a “necklace” microstructure can form, which destroys the Burgers orientation relationship between the α and β phases. During hot deformation, a dynamic β→α phase transformation and a dynamic recovery and recrystallization of the β phase proceed simultaneously, and there is a competition mechanism between these two processes.
by Hong Wei, Kai Li, Wen Guang Liu, Hong Meng, Pei Xin Zhang, and Chao Yi Yan
Free-standing stretchable electrodes with high stretchability and resistance stability are desired for future applications of wearable electronics. However, it is very difficult to simultaneously achieve high stretchability and low resistance change upon stretching. Chao Yi Yan from the Peking University, Pei Xin Zhang from the Shenzhen University, and their co-workers in Shenzhen, China report on an innovative 3D printing method to fabricate free-standing wavy elastic electrodes. These electrodes exhibit both unusually high stretchability and outstanding resistance stability, and therefore are likely suitable for future stretchable and wearable electronic devices.
by Mario Stucki and Wendelin J. Stark
Climate control, for instance by cooling, is globally one of the largest energy-consuming processes, but it may be possible to shift the energy consumption to more renewable sources like sunlight by employing passive systems. Wendelin Stark and Mario Stucki from the ETH in Zürich, Switzerland now have combined hydrophobic and hydrophilic polymeric matrices in fully porous flat sheet membranes. Their approach results in a triple-layer construct capable of laterally transporting water without energy input, while cooling and wetting the surrounding air through evaporation. This easy way of combining polymers with opposing chemical properties in a completely porous fashion might lead to many new applications.
A more extensive news article about this study can be found here.
by Khurram S. Munir, M. Qian, Yuncang Li, Daniel T. Oldﬁeld, Peter Kingshott, De Ming Zhu, and Cuie Wen
Carbon nanotubes have emerged as a promising reinforcement for metal matrix composites because of their outstanding mechanical and thermal properties. However, processing challenges, especially for dispersing the nanotubes in matrices, largely hinder their use. High-energy ball milling has been an effective technique to disperse carbon nanotubes in the metal matrices, but may damage the nanotubes under harsh milling conditions, eventually make them lose their unique properties. To address these challenges, Cuie Wen et al. at the RMIT University and the Swinburne University of Technology in Australia have used Raman spectroscopy to quantitatively analyze the influence of milling parameters on multi-walled carbon nanotube-titanium powder mixtures.