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  • Magnetorheological Composite Materials (MRCMs) for Instant and Adaptable Structural Control

    Abstract: Magnetic responsive materials can be used in a variety of applications. For structural applications, the ability to create tunable moduli from relatively soft materials with applied electromagnetic stimuli can be advantageous for light-weight protection. This study investigated magnetorheological composite materials involving carbonyl iron particles (CIP) embedded into two different systems. The first material system was a model cementitious system of CIP and kaolinite clay dispersed in mineral oil. The magnetorheological behaviors were investigated by using parallel plates with an attached magnetic accessory to evaluate deformations up to 1 T. The yield stress of these slurries was measured by using rotational and oscillatory experiments and was found to be controllable based on CIP loading and magnetic field strength with yield stresses ranging from 10 to 104 Pa. The second material system utilized a polystyrene-butadiene rubber solvent-cast films with CIP embedded. The flexible matrix can stiffen and become rigid when an external field is applied. For CIP loadings of 8% and 17% vol %, the storage modulus response for each loading stiffened by 22% and 74%, respectively.
  • Laboratory Evaluation of Aquablok™ Erosion Resistance: Implications for Geotechnical Applications

    Abstract: AquaBlok™ (AB) is a commercial product traditionally used as an alternative material for contaminated sediment capping applications. Previous studies of AB capping performance have reported enhanced stabilization through increased erosion resistance. Subsequently, AB has been considered for use as an alternative levee repair material due to its cohesive properties. Through a series of laboratory experiments, this study investigated the erosion behavior of new AquaBlok formulations (10%, 20%, and 30% clay by weight) under increased shear stresses previously unachievable in the previous tests. The new AquaBlok formulations were tested in non-compacted and compacted states to simulate the physical properties in capping and levee repair applications. In the non-compacted state, excess hydration of the clay matrix extended approximately 5 cm below the bed surface, which greatly reduced erosion resistance and was independent of clay percentage. Below this horizon, critical shear stress increased, and erosion rates decreased, with clay percentage, respectively. However, this does not consider a continuous change in hydration state when exposed to free water. In the compacted state, erosion rates were greatly arrested, with measureable erosion only possible under the maximum applied shear stress (24 Pa). The results are discussed in the context of capping and levee applications.