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The Centro de Laseres Pulsados in Salamanca, Spain has recently started operation phase and the first user access period on the 6 J 30 fs 200 TW system (VEGA 2) already started at the beginning of 2018. In this paper we report on two commissioning experiments recently performed on the VEGA 2 system in preparation for the user campaign. VEGA 2 system has been tested in different configurations depending on the focusing optics and targets used. One configuration (long focal length
cm) is for underdense laser–matter interaction where VEGA 2 is focused onto a low density gas-jet generating electron beams (via laser wake field acceleration mechanism) with maximum energy up to 500 MeV and an X-ray betatron source with a 10 keV critical energy. A second configuration (short focal length
cm) is for overdense laser–matter interaction where VEGA 2 is focused onto a
thick Al target generating a proton beam with a maximum energy of 10 MeV and temperature of 2.5 MeV. In this paper we present preliminary experimental results.
Over the last decade, polymer composites reinforced with natural fibers gained interest, both from the academic world and from various industries. Due to the demanding needs for environmentally friendly composites, the automotive industry is now searching for biodegradable and renewable composite materials and products. There are a wide variety of different natural fibers which can be applied as reinforcement or fillers, showing potential as a replacement for inorganic fibers in automotive components. The fact that plastics are often economical to produce implies an advantage especially in very complex shapes, make them promising for obtaining composite materials, achieving short demolding times, as no chemical reaction is required. Moreover, polymers are used increasingly for stressed tribological components, whereby plastic parts replace metallic bearings, gear wheels or sliding elements. In this regard, the objective of this work was to produce composite materials based on natural fibers and to characterize the influence of the addition of different amounts of filler. To do so, composites of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and peanut shells (PS), at different proportions (2, 4 6, 8 and 10% wt.), were prepared. The composites were produced by injection molding and molded into a particular tension test simple mold. Although the FTIR presented an increment on the O-H vibration and a band around 1600 cm-1, the HDPE structure did not present modification. The mechanical properties of the HDPE were affected with the inclusion of the fibers. The tensile performance of the HDPE decrease with the increment of the fibers inclusion whiles the elastic modulus increases. The sample with 2% of natural fibers presented the lowest wear rate (k) and coefficient of friction (µ).
In the industry, the titanium nitride (TiN) coating is widely used in cutting tools, decorative and corrosion protection film, but unfortunately, this coating presented a poor performance under some work condition. For that, different studies have been dedicated to improving its properties with the inclusion of a third element that modifies the film structure, chemical and mechanical properties. In this work, TiN layers with/without of Al, B, and Cr inclusion were studied in order to analyze their effect in the film tribological performance. These were deposited using cathodic arc PVD technic on AISI-M2 steel. They were chemical and structural characterized using EDX and XRD, respectively. While the film thickness was determinate using a ball-cratering technique. Their tribological performance was studied using a sliding reciprocating movement in dry conditions, under three loads, at 30 min against Al2O3 ball as counterbody. The resulting wear tracks were studied using optical microscopy in order to study the wear mechanism. Raman spectroscopy was used to determinate the chemical changes produced on wear zones and the lost material was measured with a stylus profilometer. As result, the structure and morphology were modified with the inclusion of the third element. The TiN with the inclusion of Al and B presented a higher friction force and wear rate than TiN films. While the TiN with Cr inclusion film presented the best tribological performance with lower wear rate and friction coefficient. The Raman studies did not showed considerable changes on the damage coted surface areas, except for TiAlN coating that show the M2 tool steel Raman spectra on the areas where the film was removed.
Members of the genus Drepanocephalus are endoparasites of fish-eating birds of the families Phalacrocoracidae and Sulidae distributed across the Americas. Currently, Drepanocephalus contains three species, i.e. D. spathans (type species), D. olivaceus and D. auritus. Two additional species, D. parvicephalus and D. mexicanus were transferred to the genus Petasiger. In the current study, available DNA sequences of D. spathans, D. auritus and Drepanocephalus sp., were aligned with newly generated sequences of D. spathans and Petasiger mexicanus. Phylogenetic analyses inferred with three nuclear (LSU, SSU and ITS1, 5.8S, ITS2) and two mitochondrial (cox1, nad1) molecular markers showed that the sequences of D. spathans and D. auritus are nested together in a single clade with very low genetic divergence, with Petasiger mexicanus as its sister species. Additionally, P. mexicanus was not a close relative of other members of the genus Petasiger, showing that P. mexicanus actually belongs to the genus Drepanocephalus, suggesting the need to re-allocate Petasiger mexicanus back into the genus Drepanocephalus, as D. mexicanus. Morphological observations of the newly sampled individuals of D. spathans showed that the position of the testes is variable and testes might be contiguous or widely separated, which is one of the main diagnostic traits for D. auritus. Our results suggest that D. auritus might be considered a synonym of D. spathans and, as a result, the latter represents a species with a wide geographic range across the Americas, parasitizing both the Neotropical and the double-crested cormorant in Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Venezuela, Colombia, Mexico, USA and Canada.
The formation process(es) of fullerenes in space is still uncertain and several mechanisms have been proposed in the literature. In particular, the most accepted idea to explain the simultaneous presence of fullerenes and PAH-like emission in the H-rich circumstellar envelopes of PNe is that these molecular species may be formed from the photochemical processing of a carbonaceous compound with a mixture of aromatic and aliphatic structures, which should be a major constituent of their circumstellar envelopes. Here we present seeing-limited narrow-band mid-IR GTC/CanariCam images of the fullerene-containing PN IC 418. The narrow-band images cover the 9−13, 11.3, and 17.4 μm emission features (and their adjacent continua) in this extended PN. We study the relative sub-arcsecond spatial distribution of the nebula in these filters with the intention of getting some clues about the formation process of fullerenes in H-rich circumstellar environments.
In recent decades conducting polymers have attracted attention due to their promising and versatile applications in different fields. There is a considerable interest in the application of nanotubes multilayer carbon (MWCNT) because of their unique structure, high electrical conductivity, high chemical stability, and high surface-to-volume ratio. These properties make MWCNT extremely attractive for fabricating sensors. Composites based on a matrix of a biopolymer such as the chitosan (CS) with a lot of conductive polymers or (MWCNT), have received increasing attention due to their attractive structural, mechanical and electrical properties that could have applications in different fields such as tissue engineering, biomedicine, and manufacture of sensors and biosensors. Have been reported conducting polymer composites with an extensive range of interesting mechanical and electrical properties, which is reported in this paper to obtain films by ultrasonic bath mixing of Chitosan 3% w/v using polypyrrole (PPy) and multilayer carbon nanotubes. Surface characterization was performed using scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The electrical properties were analyzed using electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) in a frequency range 0.01 - 10E+5 Hz to 10 mV AC. The results show that the films of CS/PPy/MWCNT have a homogeneous distribution where the chitosan envelops the loads, while for EIS retention load was observed within the matrix observing these materials in accordance with the equivalent circuit of Warburg showing diffusional process.
Dendrochronological studies are limited in tropical regions because not many tree species form annual growth rings. This work reports an evaluation of the dendrochronological potential of tropical ash (Fraxinus uhdei) and its use as a bioindicator of fossil CO2 concentration in urban areas by means of radiocarbon analysis on growth rings. We analyzed a cross-section of a tree that grew during the period 1932–2007 in San Luis Potosí, one of the most industrialized cities in Mexico. The Δ14C values obtained follow the same variation pattern as the calibration curve of the Northern Hemisphere (NH) zone 2 (Hua and Barbetti 2004), with the peak centered in 1964, but they are lower by up to 124′. The high correlation coefficient (r = 0.990, p < 0.001) between the variation patterns indicates that this species does form annual growth rings, and the lower values can be attributed to the 14C dilution caused by fossil CO2 emissions. The magnitude of the Suess effect varied between −6.9% and −0.5%, equivalent to fossil CO2 concentrations ranging between 21.9 and 1.5 ppmv. The Suess effect and fossil CO2 values have significant variations with no apparent monotone increasing trend, suggesting that the CO2 emissions during the studied period have diverse sources. It is concluded that F. uhdei has potential for dendrochronological studies in tropical areas because its growth rings are formed annually and, furthermore, it can be used as a bioindicator of atmospheric 14C variations and fossil CO2 concentration in urban areas.
Tylodelphys aztecae n. sp. (Digenea: Diplostomidae) is described from adult specimens obtained from the intestine of the pied-billed grebe (Podilymbus podiceps) and the metacercariae found in the body cavity of freshwater fishes of the families Goodeidae and Cyprinidae in eight localities across central and northern Mexico. The new species is mainly distinguished from the other four described species of Tylodelphys from the Americas (T. adulta, T. americana, T. elongata and T. brevis) by having a forebody slightly concave, a larger ventral sucker, two larger pseudosuckers and by having between 2 and 7 eggs in the uterus. Partial DNA sequences of the mitochondrial gene cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (cox1), and the internal transcribed spacers (ITS1+5.8S+ ITS2) of the ribosomal DNA, were generated for both developmental stages and compared with available sequences in GenBank of other congeners. The genetic divergence estimated among Tylodelphys aztecae n. sp. and other congeneric species varied from 12 to 15% for cox1, and from 3 to 11% for ITS. In contrast, the genetic divergence among metacercariae and adults of the new species was very low, ranging between 0 and 1% for cox1 and between 0 and 0.3% for ITS. Phylogenetic analyses inferred with both molecular markers using maximum likelihood and Bayesian inference placed the adults and their metacercariae in a single clade, confirming that both stages are conspecific. The morphological evidence and the genetic divergence, in combination with the reciprocal monophyly in both phylogenetic trees, support the hypothesis that the diplostomids found in the intestines of the pied-billed grebe bird and the body cavity from goodeid and cyprinid fishes in central and northern Mexico represent a new species.
A metallurgical by product mostly constituted of Wustita (FeO) was transformed to Magnetite (Fe3O4) spheres using a flame treatment. Then magnetite spheres surface was modified by cold plasma treatment with ethylene, where a thin polyethylene film was deposited on the spheres surface. Finally, HDPE composites with modified spheres were obtained by melt mixing and its thermal conductivity was determined by MDSC. It was found that spheres surface modification helps to increase composites thermal conductivity.
Advanced ultra-high strength steels (A-UHSS) are revolutionizing both the steel and automotive industries, therefore it is imperative to study their hot plastic deformation behavior and modeling. The flow characteristics of all hot forming processes consist basically of two competitive phenomena: strain hardening and softening due to dynamic mechanisms (recovery and/or recrystallization). In this research work, the softening parameter was determined in a low carbon A-UHSS microalloyed steel with different amounts of boron (0, 14 and 214 ppm). Experimental stress–strain data of uniaxial hot-compression tests at different temperatures (950, 1000, 1050 and 1100 °C) and strain rates (10–3, 10–2 and 10–1 s–1) were used. The stress–strain relationships as a function of temperature and strain rate were described on the basis of the Estrin, Mecking, and Bergström model. The experimental values of the softening parameter Ω were adjusted using the least-squares method. In general, the results reveal that the softening parameter increases with increasing boron content.
The present paper shows the applicability of the Dual Boundary Element Method to analyze plastic, visco-plastic and creep behavior in fracture mechanics problems. Several models with a crack, including a square plate, a holed plate and a notched plate are analyzed. Special attention is taken when the discretization of the domain is done. In Fact, for the plasticity and viscoplasticity cases only the region susceptible to yielding was discretized, whereas, the creep case required the discretization of the whole domain. The proposed formulation is presented as an alternative technique to study this kind of non-linear problems. Results from the present formulation are compared to those of the well-established Finite Element Technique, and they are in good agreement. Important fracture mechanic parameters such as KI, KII, J- and C- integrals are also included. In general, the results, for the plastic, visco-plastic and creep cases, show that the highest stress concentrations are in the vicinity of the crack tip and they decrease as the distance from the crack tip is increased.
Currently, the research team is systematically studying the oxide compounds present in the ternary system In2O3-TiO2-MgO in order to analyze its thermoluminescent (TL) response. The oxide Mg1.5InTi0.5O4 present in this system was synthesized by a solid state reaction at 1350 °C in air. The X-ray powder diffraction pattern showed a spinel-type structure for this compound. In this work, this spinel, as well as its TL properties when exposed to beta particles, are being reported for the first time. The glow curve is simple and wide with a TL maximum located at 203 °C at 21.33 Gy. The peak shows a shift to lower temperatures and it increases its intensity, as the irradiation dose increases. The lineal behavior was observed between 10.66 to 341 Gy, and no saturation signs were observed. The relative sensitivity variation was 2.7% and standard deviation after ten consecutive irradiation - TL readout cycles was 1 %. The minimum detectable dose was 5.65 Gy for this spinel-type oxide . These results suggest the possible application of Mg1.5InTi0.5O4 in dosimetry.
Stoichiometric 4H-SrMnO3.0 nanoparticles have been successfully synthesized for the first time from thermal decomposition of a new heterometallic precursor [SrMn(edta)(H2O)5]·3/2H2O. From this precursor, highly homogeneous 4H-SrMnO3.0 nanoparticles with average particle size 70 nm are obtained. Local structural information, provided by atomically-resolved microscopy techniques, shows that 4H-SrMnO3.0 nanoparticles exhibit the same general structural features than the bulk material, although structural disorder, due to edge-dislocations, is observed. The nanometric size of particles enables a topotactic reduction process at low temperature stabilizing a metastable 4H-SrMnO2.82 phase. The oxygen deficiency is accommodated through extra cubic layers breaking the …hchc… 4H-sequence. These defect areas are Mn3+ rich as evidenced by high energy resolution EELS data. Magnetic characterization of nano-4H-SrMnO3-δ shows significant variations with respect to the bulk material.
Networks of protected areas are one of the main strategies used to address the biodiversity crisis. These should encompass as many species and ecosystems as possible, particularly in territories with high biological diversity, such as the Spanish arid zones. We produce a priority ranking of the arid zones of south-east Spain according to the rarity and richness of their characteristic flora and the level of endangerment. The resulting hierarchy shows that optimal zones for the preservation of the flora are located outside the network of protected areas. In particular, it is important to extend the network and encourage the creation of microreserves in the depression of the River Guadiana Menor (Granada), where there is least protection. This river valley is a particularly important arid site because of its unique flora and fauna, and palaeontological and archaeological findings.
The composition and diversity of parasite communities and intestinal components, as well as infra-community structure, were assessed in eels Anguilla anguilla, from Mar Menor, a permanent Mediterranean hypersaline coastal lagoon. Data were used to determine whether this helminth community differs in composition and structure from that of eels in lagoons with lower salinity regimes and higher freshwater inputs. A total prevalence of 93% was detected. Specifically, parasites were identified as Deropristis inflata, Bucephalus anguillae, Contracaecum sp., Anguillicoloides crassus and two plerocercoid larvae belonging to the order Proteocephalidae, the marine species representing 91% of the isolated helminths. In the total community, digenetic trematodes were the dominant group of helminths, and D. inflata, an eel specialist, dominated both the component community and the infra-community. Richness and diversity were low but similar to those reported in other saline lagoons, and maximum species per eel did not exceed four. At the infra-community level, higher abundance than in other brackish or marine Mediterranean environments was detected. The findings provide further evidence of the similarity in composition and structure of helminth communities in eels from various Mediterranean coastal lagoons. Moreover, salinity-dependent specificities are well supported and reflect the life history of individual eels.
Sol-gel coatings show an excellent chemical stability, oxidation control and enhanced corrosion resistance for metal substrates. An organic-inorganic hybrid consisting of poly (methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) and silica (SiO2) was successfully synthesized in the form of solution, by using 3-(trimethoxysilyl) propyl methacrylate (TMSPM) as a coupling agent and cohydrolyzed with tetraethyl orthosilicate (TEOS) to afford chemical bondings to the forming silica networks by a sol-gel method. The as-synthesized hybrid material was subsequently characterized by Fourier Transformation infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy. PMMA-SiO2 was applied as a protective film on hardness steel substrates by dip-coating. The thickness of the coating was 25 µm, while the roughness Ra = 0.6 µm. The wear and friction behavior of the coating on hardened steel (HS) was evaluated by a ball-on-disk test in dry conditions with a AISI steel ball as counterface applying 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10 N normal loads. Friction coefficient values (µk) were in the range of 0.76 to 0.99, whereas the lowest wear rate (k) was observed at 6N with a value of 1.30x10-4 (mm3(Nm)-1).
Protozoan parasites of genus Leishmania are the causative agents of leishmaniasis. Leishmania promastigotes primarily infect macrophages in the host, where they transform into amastigotes and multiply. Lipophosphoglycan (LPG), the most abundant surface molecule of the parasite, is a virulence determinant that regulates the host immune response. Promastigotes are able to modulate this effect through LPG, creating a favourable environment for parasite survival, although the mechanisms underlying this modulation remain unknown. We analysed the participation of TLR2 and TLR4 in the production of cytokines and explored the possible phosphorylation of ERK and/or p38 MAP kinase signalling cascades in human macrophages stimulated with Leishmania mexicana LPG. The results show that LPG induced the production of TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-12p40, IL-12p70 and IL-10 and led to phosphorylation of ERK and p38 MAP kinase. Specific inhibitors of ERK or p38 MAP kinases and mAbs against TLR2 and TLR4 reduced cytokine production and phosphorylation of both kinases. Our results suggest that L. mexicana LPG binds TLR2 and TLR4 receptors in human macrophages, leading to ERK and MAP kinase phosphorylation and production of pro-inflammatory cytokines.