Commenced in January 2007
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Edition: International
Paper Count: 2

Search results for: Fin O'Flaherty

2 Influence of Cathodic Protection on High Strength, Pre-Stressed Corroded Tendons

Authors: Ibrahim R. Elomari, Fin O'Flaherty, Ibrahim R. Elomari, Paul Lambert


Cathodic protection (CP) is a technique commonly used to arrest corrosion of steel in infrastructure. However, it is not generally used on high strength, pre-stressed tendons due to the risk of hydrogen generation, leading to possible embrittlement. This paper investigates its use in such circumstances where the applied protection potential is varied to determine if CP can be safely employed on pre-stressed tendons. Plain steel tendons measuring 5.4 mm diameter were pre-stressed in timber moulds and embedded in sand/cement mortar, formulated to represent gunite. Two levels of pre-stressing were investigated (400MPa and 1200MPa). Pre-corrosion of 0% (control), 3% and 6% target loss of cross-sectional area was applied to replicate service conditions. Impressed current cathodic protection (ICCP) was then applied to the tendons at two levels of potential to identify any effect on strength. Instant-off values up to -950mV were used for normal protection with values of -1100mV or more negative to achieve overprotection. Following the ICCP phase, the tendons were removed from the mortar, cleaned and weighed to confirm actual percentage of corrosion. Tensile tests were then conducted on the tendons. The preliminary results show the influence of normal levels and overprotection of CP on the ultimate strength of the tendons.

Keywords: pre-stressed concrete, corrosion, cathodic protection, hydrogen embrittlement

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1 Online Monitoring and Control of Continuous Mechanosynthesis by UV-Vis Spectrophotometry

Authors: Darren A. Whitaker, Dan Palmer, Jens Wesholowski, James Flaherty, John Mack, Ahmad B. Albadarin, Gavin Walker


Traditional mechanosynthesis has been performed by either ball milling or manual grinding. However, neither of these techniques allow the easy application of process control. The temperature may change unpredictably due to friction in the process. Hence the amount of energy transferred to the reactants is intrinsically non-uniform. Recently, it has been shown that the use of Twin-Screw extrusion (TSE) can overcome these limitations. Additionally, TSE enables a platform for continuous synthesis or manufacturing as it is an open-ended process, with feedstocks at one end and product at the other. Several materials including metal-organic frameworks (MOFs), co-crystals and small organic molecules have been produced mechanochemically using TSE. The described advantages of TSE are offset by drawbacks such as increased process complexity (a large number of process parameters) and variation in feedstock flow impacting on product quality. To handle the above-mentioned drawbacks, this study utilizes UV-Vis spectrophotometry (InSpectroX, ColVisTec) as an online tool to gain real-time information about the quality of the product. Additionally, this is combined with real-time process information in an Advanced Process Control system (PharmaMV, Perceptive Engineering) allowing full supervision and control of the TSE process. Further, by characterizing the dynamic behavior of the TSE, a model predictive controller (MPC) can be employed to ensure the process remains under control when perturbed by external disturbances. Two reactions were studied; a Knoevenagel condensation reaction of barbituric acid and vanillin and, the direct amidation of hydroquinone by ammonium acetate to form N-Acetyl-para-aminophenol (APAP) commonly known as paracetamol. Both reactions could be carried out continuously using TSE, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy was used to confirm the percentage conversion of starting materials to product. This information was used to construct partial least squares (PLS) calibration models within the PharmaMV development system, which relates the percent conversion to product to the acquired UV-Vis spectrum. Once this was complete, the model was deployed within the PharmaMV Real-Time System to carry out automated optimization experiments to maximize the percentage conversion based on a set of process parameters in a design of experiments (DoE) style methodology. With the optimum set of process parameters established, a series of PRBS process response tests (i.e. Pseudo-Random Binary Sequences) around the optimum were conducted. The resultant dataset was used to build a statistical model and associated MPC. The controller maximizes product quality whilst ensuring the process remains at the optimum even as disturbances such as raw material variability are introduced into the system. To summarize, a combination of online spectral monitoring and advanced process control was used to develop a robust system for optimization and control of two TSE based mechanosynthetic processes.

Keywords: continuous synthesis, pharmaceutical, spectroscopy, advanced process control

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