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Abstract

In the recent years structural health monitoring (SHM) has gathered spectacular attention in civil engineering applications. Application of such composites enable to improve the safety and performance of structures. Recent advances in nanotechnology have led to development of new family of sensors – self-sensing materials. These materials enable to create the so-called “smart concrete” exhibiting self-sensing ability. Application of selfsensing materials in cement-based materials enables to detect their own state of strain or stress reflected as a change in their electrical properties. The variation of strain or stress is associated with the variation in material’s electrical characteristics, such as resistance or impedance. Therefore, it is possible to efficiently detect and localize crack formation and propagation in selected concrete element. This review is devoted to present contemporary developments in application of nanomaterials in self-sensing cement-based composites and future directions in the field of smart structures.
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Abstract

The aim of this paper is to present characteristics, toxicity and environmental behavior of nanoparticles (NPs) (silver, copper, gold, zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, iron oxide) that most frequently occur in consumer products. In addition, NPs are addressed as the new aquatic environmental pollutant of the 21st century. NPs are adsorbed onto particles in the aquatic systems (clay minerals, fulvic and humic acids), or they can adsorb environmental pollutants (heavy metal ions, organic compounds). Nanosilver (nAg) is released from consumer products into the aquatic environment. It can threaten aquatic organisms with high toxicity. Interestingly, copper nanoparticles (Cu-NPs) demonstrate higher toxicity to bacteria and aquatic microorganisms than those of nanosilver nAg. Their small size and reactivity can cause penetration into the tissues and interfere with the metabolic systems of living organisms and bacterial biogeochemical cycles. The behavior of NPs is not fully recognized. Nevertheless, it is known that NPs can agglomerate, bind with ions (chlorides, sulphates, phosphates) or organic compounds. They can also be bound or immobilized by slurry. The NPs behavior depends on process conditions, i.e. pH, ionic strength, temperature and presence of other chemical compounds. It is unknown how NPs behave in the aquatic environment. Therefore, the research on this problem should be carried out under different process conditions. As for the toxicity, it is important to understand where the differences in the research results come from. As NPs have an impact on not only aquatic organisms but also human health and life, it is necessary to recognize their toxic doses and know standards/regulations that determine the permissible concentrations of NPs in the environment.
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Abstract

Hybrid filter material was obtained via modification of polypropylene (PP) nonwoven with nanosize zinc oxide particles of a high aspect ratio. Modification was conducted as a three-step process, a variant of hydrothermal method used for synthesis of nano-ZnO, adopted for coating three dimensional polymeric nonwoven filters. The process consisted of plasma treatment of nonwoven to increase its wettability, deposition of ZnO nanoparticles and low temperature hydrothermal growth of ZnO rods. The modified nonwovens were investigated by a high resolution scanning electron microscopy (HR-SEM). It has been found that the obtained hybrid filters offer a higher filtration efficiency, in particular for so called most penetrating particle sizes.
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