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New NOx sensors based on hematite doped with alkaline and alkaline-earth elements

Alkaline (lithium, potassium, rubidium) and alkaline-earth (magnesium, barium) doped hematite materials were studied for NO2 sensing application. The synthesized materials were characterized by laser granulometry, X-ray diffraction and scanning electronic microscopy. A temperature of 1300 °C was chosen as the optimal heat treatment in order to obtain the densest material.

Electrical characterization of room temperature humidity sensors in La0.8Sr0.2Fe1−xCuxO3 (x = 0, 0.05, 0.10)

Semiconducting oxide gas sensors based on La0.8Sr0.2Fe1−xCuxO3 (x = 0, 0.05, 0.10) (LSF, LSFC05, and LSFC10, respectively) were prepared by screen-printing for humidity detection at room temperature. The thick-films were heat-treated at 800, 900 and 1000 °C for 1 h and all the compositions proved to be effective in humidity sensing and presented a good reproducibility between several measurements.

Selected papers presented at the 'International Workshop on Cellular Materials' (I.Wo.C.Mat.) in Turin (Italy) in 2011: Editorial comments

Many materials have a cellular structure, cork, wood, sponge and trabecular bone are natural cellular solids, while engineered honeycombs and foams are now made from polymers, metals, ceramics and glasses. Materials containing tailored porosity exhibit unique properties and features. Therefore, porous materials find nowadays many applications as end products in several technological processes. Contrary to metallic and polymeric porous structures, pores have been traditionally avoided in ceramic components because of their intrinsic brittle nature.

Environmental Technology, Materials Science, Architectural Design, and Real Estate Market Evaluation: A Multidisciplinary Approach for Energy-Efficient Buildings

The aim of this paper is to illustrate a multidisciplinary approach to selecting, designing, and evaluating sustainable solutions for energy-efficient buildings that are integrated into their neighborhoods at the early design stage. The paper discusses the Strategic Choice Approach (SCA), a tool which supports decision-makers in shaping problems in complex contexts.

Diagnostic application of nonlinear ultrasonics to characterize degradation by expansive salts in masonry systems

An experimental study was conducted on lab-scale masonry systems constituted by traditional hand-made bricks coupled with external layers of de-humidifying mortar, damaged by means of salt crystallization. The evolution of damage was followed by means of a non-destructive technique denoted as scaling subtraction method (SSM), which is based on the detection and post-processing of the nonlinear response of the system to prescribed ultrasonic excitations.

The plasters of the Sacro Monte of Varallo Sesia. From the characterisation to the proposition of a restorative mix

In this paper, the systematic physical-chemical characterisation of historical plasters of the Sacro Monte of Varallo Sesia, Italy, the study of the local constructive techniques, as well as the evaluation of new restoration plasters is presented. The selected samples (from XVI to XVIIIth centuries) are in a quite good state of conservation despite the prolonged exposition to weathering agents.

Epoxy monomers consolidant for lime plaster cured via a redox activated cationic polymerization

Epoxy resins, widely used in conservation, still remain controversial materials. Considering some of the drawbacks that currently limit the application of epoxy consolidants, we present the application of the cationic ring opening polymerization as a novel method to cure the epoxy monomer in the restoration field. The cationic polymerization was carried out through a redox system based on the reduction of the iodonium salt in the presence of ascorbic acid catalyzed by a copper salt. The use of this initiator system for carrying out a suitable consolidant for lime plaster is considered.

Biological response to purification and acid functionalization of carbon nanotubes

Acid functionalization has been considered as an easy way to enhance the dispersion and biodegradation of carbon nanotubes (CNT). However, inconsistencies between toxicity studies of acid functionalized CNT remain unexplained. This could be due to a joint effect of the main physicochemical modifications resulting from an acid functionalization: addition of surface acid groups and purification from catalytic metallic impurities. In this study, the impact on CNT biotoxicity of these two physiochemical features was assessed separately.