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Acoustic properties of polypropylene composites reinforced with stone groundwood

  • López, Joan Pere
  • El Mansouri, Nour-Eddine
  • Alba, Jesus
  • Rey, Romina del
  • Mutjé Pujol, Pere
  • Vilaseca Morera, Fabiola
Currently, acoustic isolation is one of the problems raised with building construction in Spain. The publication of the Basic Document for the protection against noise of the Technical Building Code has increased the demand of comfort for citizens. This has created the need to seek new composite materials that meet the new required acoustical building codes. In this paper we report the results of the newly developed composites that are able to improve the acoustic isolation of airborne noise. These composites were prepared from polypropylene (PP) reinforced with mechanical pulp fibers from softwood (Pinus radiata). Mechanical and acoustical properties of the composites from mechanical pulp (MP) and polypropylene (PP) have been investigated and compared to fiberglass (FG) composites. MP composites had lower tensile properties compared with FG composites, although these properties can be improved by incorporation of a coupling agent. The results of acoustical properties of MP composites were reported and compared with the conventional composites based on fiberglass and gypsum plasterboards. Finally, we suggest the application of MP composites as a light-weight building material to reduce acoustic transmitions
Proyecto:


Analysis of the tensile modulus of polypropylene composites reinforced with stone groundwood fibers

  • López, Joan Pere
  • Mutjé Pujol, Pere
  • Pèlach Serra, Maria Àngels
  • El Mansouri, Nour-Eddine
  • Boufi, Sami
  • Vilaseca Morera, Fabiola
One of the most relevant properties of composite materials to be considered is stiffness. Fiberglass has been used traditionally as a fibrous reinforcing element when stiff materials are required. However, natural fibers are been exploited as replacements for synthetic fibers to satisfy environmental concerns. Among the different natural fibers, wood fibers show the combination of relatively high aspect ratio, good specific stiffness and strength, low density, low cost, and less variability than other natural fibers of such those from annual crops. In this work, composites from polypropylene and stone groundwood fibers from softwood were prepared and mechanically characterized under tensile loads. The Young’s moduli of the ensuing composites were analyzed and their micromechanics aspects evaluated. The reinforcing effect of stone groundwood fibers was compared to that of conventional reinforcement such fiberglass. The Halpin-Tsai model with the modification proposed by Tsai-Pagano accounted fairly for the behavior of PP composites reinforced with stone groundwood fibers. It was also demonstrated that the aspect ratio of the reinforcement plays a role in the Young’s modulus of injection molded specimens
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Analytical expressions for the flame front speed in the downward combustion of thin solid fuels and comparison to experiments

  • Pujol i Sagaró, Toni
  • Comas Hervada, Bruna
We derive analytical expressions for the propagation speed of downward combustion fronts of thin solid fuels with a background flow initially at rest. The classical combustion model for thin solid fuels that consists of five coupled reaction-convection-diffusion equations is here reduced into a single equation with the gas temperature as the single variable. For doing so we apply a two-zone combustion model that divides the system into a preheating region and a pyrolyzing region. The speed of the combustion front is obtained after matching the temperature and its derivative at the location that separates both regions.We also derive a simplified version of this analytical expression expected to be valid for a wide range of cases. Flame front velocities predicted by our analytical expressions agree well with experimental data found in the literature for a large variety of cases and substantially improve the results obtained from a previous well-known analytical expression
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Effects of punishment in a mobile population playing the prisoner’s dilemma game

  • Amor, Daniel R.
  • Fort, Joaquim
We deal with a system of prisoner’s dilemma players undergoing continuous motion in a two-dimensional plane. In contrast to previous work, we introduce altruistic punishment after the game. We find punishing only a few of the cooperator-defector interactions is enough to lead the system to a cooperative state in environments where otherwise defection would take over the population. This happens even with soft nonsocial punishment (where both cooperators and defectors punish other players, a behavior observed in many human populations). For high enough mobilities or temptations to defect, low rates of social punishment can no longer avoid the breakdown of cooperation
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Bio-based composites from stone groundwood applied to new product development

  • Julián Pérez, Fernando
  • Méndez González, José Alberto
  • Espinach Orús, Xavier
  • Verdaguer Pujadas, Narcís
  • Mutjé Pujol, Pere
  • Vilaseca Morera, Fabiola
This paper deals with the product design, engineering, and material selection intended for the manufacturing of an eco-friendly chair. The final product is expected to combine design attributes with technical and legal feasibility with the implementation of new bio-based materials. Considering the industrial design, a range of objectives and trends were determined after setting the market requirements, and the final concept was proposed and modeled. The product geometry, production technology, and legal specifications were the input data for product engineering. The material selection was based on the technical requirements. Polypropylene (PP) composite materials based on coupled-fiberglass, sized-fiberglass, and coupled-stone ground wood reinforcements were prepared and characterized. Final formulations based on these PP composites are proposed and justified
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Predicting overall service quality: a structural equation modelling approach

  • Saurina, Carme
  • Coenders, Germà
In this article, the results of a modified SERVQUAL questionnaire (Parasuraman et al., 1991) are reported. The modifications consisted in substituting questionnaire items particularly suited to a specific service (banking) and context (county of Girona, Spain) for the original rather general and abstract items. These modifications led to more interpretable factors which accounted for a higher percentage of item variance. The data were submitted to various structural equation models which made it possible to conclude that the questionnaire contains items with a high measurement quality with respect to five identified dimensions of service quality which differ from those specified by Parasuraman et al. And are specific to the banking service. The two dimensions relating to the behaviour of employees have the greatest predictive power on overall quality and satisfaction ratings, which enables managers to use a low-cost reduced version of the questionnaire to monitor quality on a regular basis. It was also found that satisfaction and overall quality were perfectly correlated thus showing that customers do not perceive these concepts as being distinct
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Determination of corn stalk fibers' strength through modeling of the mechanical properties of its composites

  • Rodríguez, Manuel
  • Rodríguez, Alejandro
  • Bayer Resplandis, Jordi
  • Vilaseca Morera, Fabiola
  • Gironès i Molera, Jordi
  • Mutjé Pujol, Pere
Worldwide cultivation of corn is expanding, due in part to the increasing production of bioethanol. In consequence, huge amounts of corn stalks residues are been produced. Instead of incineration, we transformed the corn stalks into a semichemical pulp and successfully applied it as reinforcement in polypropylene composites. PP composites reinforced with 40% wt corn stalk single fibers were prepared, and their mechanical properties were evaluated. Through mechanical properties modeling of the composites, the intrinsic tensile strength of the cellulosic fibers that constitute the corn stalk have been determined
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The effect of lignin as a natural adhesive on the physico-mechanical properties of Vitis vinifera fiberboards

  • Mancera, Camilo
  • El Mansouri, Nour-Eddine
  • Vilaseca Morera, Fabiola
  • Ferrando, Francesc
  • Salvado, Joan
Lignin was used as a natural adhesive to manufacture Vitis vinifera fiberboards. The fiberboards were produced at laboratory scale by adding powdered lignin to material that had previously been steam-exploded under optimized pretreatment and pressing conditions. The kraft lignin used was washed several times with an acidic solution to eliminate any contaminants and low molecular weight compounds. This research studied the effects of amounts of lignin ranging from 5% to 20% on the properties of Vitis vinifera fiberboards. The fiberboard properties evaluated were density, water resistance in terms of thickness swelling, water absorption, and the mechanical properties in terms of modulus of rupture, modulus of elasticity, and internal bond. Results showed that fiberboards made from Vitis vinifera without lignin addition had weaker mechanical properties. However, the fiberboards obtained using acid-washed kraft lignin as a natural adhesive had good mechanical and water resistance properties that fully satisfied the relevant standard specifications
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Management of corn stalk waste as reinforcement for polypropylene injection moulded composites

  • Flandez, Jirleska
  • González Tovar, Israel
  • Bayer Resplandis, Jordi
  • El Mansouri, Nour-Eddine
  • Vilaseca Morera, Fabiola
  • Mutjé Pujol, Pere
The main objective of this study was the management of corn stalk waste as reinforcement for polypropylene (PP) injection moulded composites as an alternative to wood flour and fibers. In the first step, corn stalk waste was subjected to various treatments, and four different corn stalk derivatives (flour and fibers) able to be used as reinforcement of composite materials were prepared and characterized. These derivatives are corn stalk flour, thermo-mechanical, semi-chemical, and chemical fibers. They were characterized in terms of their yield, lignin content, Kappa number, fiber length/diameter ratio, fines, coarseness, viscosity, and the length at the break of a standard sheet of paper. Results showed that the corn stalk derivatives have different physico-chemical properties. In the second step, the prepared flour and fibers were explored as a reinforcing element for PP composites. Coupled and non-coupled PP composites were prepared and tested for tensile properties. For overall trend, with the addition of a coupling agent, tensile properties of composites significantly improved, as compared with non-coupled samples. In addition, a morphological study revealed the positive effect of the coupling agent on the interfacial bonding. The composites prepared with semichemical fiber gave better results in comparison with the rest of the corn stalk derivatives due to its chemical characteristics
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Mean intrinsic tensile properties of stone groundwood fibers from softwood

  • López, Joan Pere
  • Méndez González, José Alberto
  • El Mansouri, Nour-Eddine
  • Mutjé Pujol, Pere
  • Vilaseca Morera, Fabiola
Stone groundwood (SGW) is a fibrous matter commonly prepared in a high yield process, and mainly used for papermaking applications. In this work, the use of SGW fibers is explored as reinforcing element of polypropylene (PP) composites. Due to its chemical and superficial features, the use of coupling agents is needed for a good adhesion and stress transfer across the fiber-matrix interface. The intrinsic strength of the reinforcement is a key parameter to predict the mechanical properties of the composite and to perform an interface analysis. The main objective of the present work was the determination of the intrinsic tensile strength of stone groundwood fibers. Coupled and non-coupled PP composites from stone groundwood fibers were prepared. The influence of the surface morphology and the quality at interface on the final properties of the composite was analyzed and compared to that of fiberglass PP composites. The intrinsic tensile properties of stone groundwood fibers, as well as the fiber orientation factor and the interfacial shear strength of the current composites were determined
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