Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 13

Search results for: Kazuya Okubo

13 Improvement of Frictional Coefficient of Modified Shoe Soles onto Icy and Snowy Road by Tilting of Added Glass Fibers into Rubber

Authors: Wakayama Shunya, Okubo Kazuya, Fujii Toru, Sakata Daisuke, Kado Noriyuki, Furutachi Hiroshi


The purpose of this study is to propose an effective method to improve frictional coefficient of modified shoe rubber soles with added glass fibers onto the icy and snowy road surfaces in order to prevent slip-and-fall accidents by the users. Added fibers in the rubber were uniformly tilted to the perpendicular direction of the frictional surface, where tilting angle was -60, -30, +30, +60, 90 degrees and 0 for usual specimen, respectively. It was found that horizontal arraignment was effective to improve the frictional coefficient when glass fibers were embedded in the shoe rubber, while the standing in normal direction of the embedded glass fibers on the shoe surface was also effective to do that once after they were exposed from the shoe rubber with its abrasion. These improvements were explained by the increase of stiffness against the shear deformation of the rubber at the critical frictional state and the enlargement of resistance force for extracting exposed fibers from the ice and snow, respectively. Current study suggested that effective arraignments in the tilting angle of the added fibers should be applied in designing rubber shoe soles to keep the safeties for uses in regions of cold climates.

Keywords: frictional coefficient, shoe soles, icy and snowy road, glass fibers, tilting angle

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12 Effect of Temperature Condition in Extracting Carbon Fibers on Mechanical Properties of Injection Molded Polypropylene Reinforced by Recycled Carbon Fibers

Authors: Shota Nagata, Kazuya Okubo, Toru Fujii


The purpose of this study is to investigate the proper condition in extracting carbon fibers as the reinforcement of composite molded by injection method. Recycled carbon fibers were extracted from wasted CFRP by pyrolyzing epoxy matrix of CFRP under air atmosphere at different temperature conditions 400, 600 and 800°C in this study. Recycled carbon fiber reinforced polypropylene (RCF/PP) pellets were prepared using twin screw extruder. The RCF/PP specimens were molded into dumbbell shaped specimens using injection molding machine. The tensile strength of recycled carbon fiber was decreased with rising pyrolysis temperature from 400 to 800°C. However, superior mechanical properties of tensile strength, tensile modulus and fracture strain of RCF/PP specimen were obtained when the extracting temperature was 600°C. Almost fibers in RCF/PP specimens were aligned in the mold filling direction in this study when the extracting temperature was 600°C. To discuss the results, the failure mechanisms of RCF/PP specimens was shown schematically. Finally, it was concluded that the temperature condition at 600°C should be selected in extracting carbon fibers as the reinforcement of RCF/PP composite molded by injection method.

Keywords: CFRP, recycled carbon fiber, injection molding, mechanical properties, fiber orientation, failure mechanism

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11 Moderation in Temperature Dependence on Counter Frictional Coefficient and Prevention of Wear of C/C Composites by Synthesizing SiC around Surface and Internal Vacancies

Authors: Noboru Wakamoto, Kiyotaka Obunai, Kazuya Okubo, Toru Fujii


The aim of this study is to moderate the dependence of counter frictional coefficient on temperature between counter surfaces and to reduce the wear of C/C composites at low temperature. To modify the C/C composites, Silica (SiO2) powders were added into phenolic resin for carbon precursor. The preform plate of the precursor of C/C composites was prepared by conventional filament winding method. The C/C composites plates were obtained by carbonizing preform plate at 2200 °C under an argon atmosphere. At that time, the silicon carbides (SiC) were synthesized around the surfaces and the internal vacancies of the C/C composites. The frictional coefficient on the counter surfaces and specific wear volumes of the C/C composites were measured by our developed frictional test machine like pin-on disk type. The XRD indicated that SiC was synthesized in the body of C/C composite fabricated by current method. The results of friction test showed that coefficient of friction of unmodified C/C composites have temperature dependence when the test condition was changed. In contrast, frictional coefficient of the C/C composite modified with SiO2 powders was almost constant at about 0.27 when the temperature condition was changed from Room Temperature (RT) to 300 °C. The specific wear rate decreased from 25×10-6 mm2/N to 0.1×10-6 mm2/N. The observations of the surfaces after friction tests showed that the frictional surface of the modified C/C composites was covered with a film produced by the friction. This study found that synthesizing SiC around surface and internal vacancies of C/C composites was effective to moderate the dependence on the frictional coefficient and reduce to the abrasion of C/C composites.

Keywords: C/C composites, friction coefficient, wear, SiC

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10 Study on Shifting Properties of CVT Rubber V-belt

Authors: Natsuki Tsuda, Kiyotaka Obunai, Kazuya Okubo, Hideyuki Tashiro, Yoshinori Yamaji, Hideyuki Kato


The objective of this study is to investigate the effect of belt stiffness on the performance of the CVT unit, such as the required pulley thrust force and the ratio coverage. The CVT unit consists of the V-grooved pulleys and the rubber CVT belt. The width of the driving pulley groove was controlled by the stepper motor, while that of the driven pulley was controlled by the hydraulic pressure. The generated mechanical power on the motor was transmitted from the driving axis to the driven axis through the CVT unit. The rotational speed and the transmitting torque of both axes were measured by the tachometers and the torque meters attached with these axes, respectively. The transmitted, mechanical power was absorbed by the magnetic powder brake. The thrust force acting on both pulleys and the force between both shafts were measured by the load cell. The back face profile of the rubber CVT belt along with width direction was measured by the 2-dimensional laser displacement meter. This paper found that when the stiffness of the rubber CVT belt in the belt width direction was reduced, the thrust force required for shifting was reduced. Moreover, when the stiffness of the rubber CVT belt in the belt width direction was reduced, the ratio coverage of the CVT unit was reduced. Due to the decrement of stiffness in belt width direction, the excessive concave deformation of belt in pulley groove was confirmed. Because of this excessive concave deformation, apparent wrapping radius of belt would have been reduced. Proposed model could be effectively estimated the difference of ratio coverage due to concave deformation. The proposed model could also be utilized for designing the rubber CVT belt with optimal bending stiffness in width direction.

Keywords: CVT, countinuously variable transmission, rubber, belt stiffness, transmission

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9 Effects of Heat Treatment on the Mechanical Properties of Kenaf Fiber

Authors: Paulo Teodoro De Luna Carada, Toru Fujii, Kazuya Okubo


Natural fibers have wide variety of uses (e.g., rope, paper, and building materials). One specific application of it is in the field of composite materials (i.e., green composites). Huge amount of research are being done in this field due to rising concerns in the harmful effects of synthetic materials to the environment. There are several natural fibers used in this field, one of which can be extracted from a plant called kenaf (Hibiscus cannabinus L.). Kenaf fiber is regarded as a good alternative because the plant is easy to grow and the fiber is easy to extract. Additionally, it has good properties. Treatments, which are classified as mechanical or chemical in nature, can be done in order to improve the properties of the fiber. The aim of this study is to assess the effects of heat treatment in kenaf fiber. It specifically aims to observe the effect in the tensile strength and modulus of the fiber. Kenaf fiber bundles with an average diameter of at most 100μm was used for this purpose. Heat treatment was done using a constant temperature oven with the following heating temperatures: (1) 160̊C, (2) 180̊C, and (3) 200̊C for a duration of one hour. As a basis for comparison, tensile test was first done to kenaf fibers without any heat treatment. For every heating temperature, three groups of samples were prepared. Two groups of which were for doing tensile test (one group was tested right after heat treatment while the remaining group was kept inside a closed container with relative humidity of at least 95% for two days). The third group was used to observe how much moisture the treated fiber will absorb when it is enclosed in a high moisture environment for two days. The results showed that kenaf fiber can retain its tensile strength when heated up to a temperature of 160̊C. However, when heated at a temperature of about 180̊C or higher, the tensile strength decreases significantly. The same behavior was observed for the tensile modulus of the fiber. Additionally, the fibers which were stored for two days absorbed nearly the same amount of moisture (about 20% of the dried weight) regardless of the heating temperature. Heat treatment might have damaged the fiber in some way. Additional test was done in order to see if the damage due to heat treatment is attributed to changes in the viscoelastic property of the fiber. The findings showed that kenaf fibers can be heated for at most 160̊C to attain good tensile strength and modulus. Additionally, heating the fiber at high temperature (>180̊C) causes changes in its viscoelastic property. The results of this study is significant for processes which requires heat treatment not only in kenaf fiber but might also be helpful for natural fibers in general.

Keywords: heat treatment, kenaf fiber, natural fiber, mechanical properties

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8 Transverse Behavior of Frictional Flat Belt Driven by Tapered Pulley -Change of Transverse Force Under Driving State–

Authors: Satoko Fujiwara, Kiyotaka Obunai, Kazuya Okubo


A skew is one of important problems for designing the conveyor and transmission with frictional flat belt, in which running belt is deviated in width direction due to the transverse force applied to the belt. The skew often not only degrades the stability of the path of belt but also causes some damages of the belt and auxiliary machines. However, the transverse behavior such as the skew has not been discussed quantitatively in detail for frictional belts. The objective of this study is to clarify the transverse behavior of frictional flat belt driven by tapered pulley. Commercially available rubber flat belt reinforced by polyamide film was prepared as the test belt where the thickness and length were 1.25 mm and 630 mm, respectively. Test belt was driven between two pulleys made of aluminum alloy, where diameter and inter-axial length were 50 mm and 150 mm, respectively. Some tapered pulleys were applied where tapered angles were 0 deg (for comparison), 2 deg, 4 deg, and 6 deg. In order to alternatively investigate the transverse behavior, the transverse force applied to the belt was measured when the skew was constrained at the string under driving state. The transverse force was measured by a load cell having free rollers contacting on the side surface of the belt when the displacement in the belt width direction was constrained. The conditions of observed bending stiffness in-plane of the belt were changed by preparing three types of belts (the width of the belt was 20, 30, and 40 mm) where their observed stiffnesses were changed. The contributions of the bending stiffness in-plane of belt and initial inter-axial force to the transverse were discussed in experiments. The inter-axial force was also changed by setting a distance (about 240 mm) between the two pulleys. Influence of observed bending stiffness in-plane of the belt and initial inter-axial force on the transverse force were investigated. The experimental results showed that the transverse force was increased with an increase of observed bending stiffness in-plane of the belt and initial inter-axial force. The transverse force acting on the belt running on the tapered pulley was classified into multiple components. Those were components of forces applied with the deflection of the inter-axial force according to the change of taper angle, the resultant force by the bending moment applied on the belt winding around the tapered pulley, and the reaction force applied due to the shearing deformation. The calculation result of the transverse force was almost agreed with experimental data when those components were formulated. It was also shown that the most contribution was specified to be the shearing deformation, regardless of the test conditions. This study found that transverse behavior of frictional flat belt driven by tapered pulley was explained by the summation of those components of forces.

Keywords: skew, frictional flat belt, transverse force, tapered pulley

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7 LaPEA: Language for Preprocessing of Edge Applications in Smart Factory

Authors: Masaki Sakai, Tsuyoshi Nakajima, Kazuya Takahashi


In order to improve the productivity of a factory, it is often the case to create an inference model by collecting and analyzing operational data off-line and then to develop an edge application (EAP) that evaluates the quality of the products or diagnoses machine faults in real-time. To accelerate this development cycle, an edge application framework for the smart factory is proposed, which enables to create and modify EAPs based on prepared inference models. In the framework, the preprocessing component is the key part to make it work. This paper proposes a language for preprocessing of edge applications, called LaPEA, which can flexibly process several sensor data from machines into explanatory variables for an inference model, and proves that it meets the requirements for the preprocessing.

Keywords: edge application framework, edgecross, preprocessing language, smart factory

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6 A Simple Autonomous Hovering and Operating Control of Multicopter Using Only Web Camera

Authors: Kazuya Sato, Toru Kasahara, Junji Kuroda


In this paper, an autonomous hovering control method of multicopter using only Web camera is proposed. Recently, various control method of an autonomous flight for multicopter are proposed. But, in the previously proposed methods, a motion capture system (i.e., OptiTrack) and laser range finder are often used to measure the position and posture of multicopter. To achieve an autonomous flight control of multicopter with simple equipment, we propose an autonomous flight control method using AR marker and Web camera. AR marker can measure the position of multicopter with Cartesian coordinate in three dimensional, then its position connects with aileron, elevator, and accelerator throttle operation. A simple PID control method is applied to the each operation and adjust the controller gains. Experimental result are given to show the effectiveness of our proposed method. Moreover, another simple operation method for autonomous flight control multicopter is also proposed.

Keywords: autonomous hovering control, multicopter, Web camera, operation

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5 Learning Algorithms for Fuzzy Inference Systems Composed of Double- and Single-Input Rule Modules

Authors: Hirofumi Miyajima, Kazuya Kishida, Noritaka Shigei, Hiromi Miyajima


Most of self-tuning fuzzy systems, which are automatically constructed from learning data, are based on the steepest descent method (SDM). However, this approach often requires a large convergence time and gets stuck into a shallow local minimum. One of its solutions is to use fuzzy rule modules with a small number of inputs such as DIRMs (Double-Input Rule Modules) and SIRMs (Single-Input Rule Modules). In this paper, we consider a (generalized) DIRMs model composed of double and single-input rule modules. Further, in order to reduce the redundant modules for the (generalized) DIRMs model, pruning and generative learning algorithms for the model are suggested. In order to show the effectiveness of them, numerical simulations for function approximation, Box-Jenkins and obstacle avoidance problems are performed.

Keywords: Box-Jenkins's problem, double-input rule module, fuzzy inference model, obstacle avoidance, single-input rule module

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4 Analysis of Brain Activities due to Differences in Running Shoe Properties

Authors: Kei Okubo, Yosuke Kurihara, Takashi Kaburagi, Kajiro Watanabe


Many of the ever-growing elderly population require exercise, such as running, for health management. One important element of a runner’s training is the choice of shoes for exercise; shoes are important because they provide the interface between the feet and road. When we purchase shoes, we may instinctively choose a pair after trying on many different pairs of shoes. Selecting the shoes instinctively may work, but it does not guarantee a suitable fit for running activities. Therefore, if we could select suitable shoes for each runner from the viewpoint of brain activities, it would be helpful for validating shoe selection. In this paper, we describe how brain activities show different characteristics during particular task, corresponding to different properties of shoes. Using five subjects, we performed a verification experiment, applying weight, softness, and flexibility as shoe properties. In order to affect the shoe property’s differences to the brain, subjects run for ten min. Before and after running, subjects conducted a paced auditory serial addition task (PASAT) as the particular task; and the subjects’ brain activities during the PASAT are evaluated based on oxyhemoglobin and deoxyhemoglobin relative concentration changes, measured by near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS). When the brain works actively, oxihemoglobin and deoxyhemoglobin concentration drastically changes; therefore, we calculate the maximum values of concentration changes. In order to normalize relative concentration changes after running, the maximum value are divided by before running maximum value as evaluation parameters. The classification of the groups of shoes is expressed on a self-organizing map (SOM). As a result, deoxyhemoglobin can make clusters for two of the three types of shoes.

Keywords: brain activities, NIRS, PASAT, running shoes

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3 Radial Variation of Anatomical Characteristics in Three Native Fast-Growing Species Growing in South Kalimantan, Indonesia

Authors: Wiwin Tyas Istikowati, Futoshi Ishiguri, Haruna Aisho, Budi Sutiya, Imam Wahyudi, Kazuya Iizuka, Shinso Yokota


The objective of this study was to investigate the anatomical characteristics of three native fast-growing species, terap (Artocarpus elasticus Reinw. ex Blume), medang (Neolitsea latifolia (Blume) S. Moore), and balik angin (Alphitonia excelsa (Fenzel) Reissek ex Benth) growing in the secondary forest in South Kalimantan, Indonesia for evaluating the possibility of tree breeding for wood quality. Cell lengths were investigated for 5 trees in each species at several different height positions (1.0, 3.0, 5.0, 7.0, 9.0, and 11.0 m above the ground). The mean values of fiber and vessel element lengths in terap, medang, and balik angin were 1.52 and 0.44, 1.16 and 0.53, and 1.02 and 0.49 mm, respectively. Fiber length in terap and balik angin gradually increased from pith to bark, whereas it increased up to 2 cm and then became nearly constant to the bark in medang. Vessel element length was almost constant from pith to bark in terap and balik angin, while slightly increased from pith to bark in medang. Fiber length in terap has a fluctuation pattern from ground level to top of the tree. It decreased up to 3 m above the ground, increased up to 5 m, and then decreased to the top of the tree. On the other hand, vessel element length slightly increased up to 5 m above the ground, and then decreased to the top of the tree. Both fiber and vessel element lengths in medang were almost constant from ground level to top of the tree, whereas decreased from ground level to top of the tree in balik angin. Significant difference at 1% level among trees was found in both fiber and vessel element length in both radial and longitudinal directions for terap and medang. Based on obtained results, it is concluded that the wood quality in fiber and vessel element lengths of terap and medang can be improved by tree breeding programs.

Keywords: anatomical properties, fiber length, vessel elements length, fast-growing species

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2 Field Environment Sensing and Modeling for Pears towards Precision Agriculture

Authors: Tatsuya Yamazaki, Kazuya Miyakawa, Tomohiko Sugiyama, Toshitaka Iwatani


The introduction of sensor technologies into agriculture is a necessary step to realize Precision Agriculture. Although sensing methodologies themselves have been prevailing owing to miniaturization and reduction in costs of sensors, there are some difficulties to analyze and understand the sensing data. Targeting at pears ’Le Lectier’, which is particular to Niigata in Japan, cultivation environmental data have been collected at pear fields by eight sorts of sensors: field temperature, field humidity, rain gauge, soil water potential, soil temperature, soil moisture, inner-bag temperature, and inner-bag humidity sensors. With regard to the inner-bag temperature and humidity sensors, they are used to measure the environment inside the fruit bag used for pre-harvest bagging of pears. In this experiment, three kinds of fruit bags were used for the pre-harvest bagging. After over 100 days continuous measurement, volumes of sensing data have been collected. Firstly, correlation analysis among sensing data measured by respective sensors reveals that one sensor can replace another sensor so that more efficient and cost-saving sensing systems can be proposed to pear farmers. Secondly, differences in characteristic and performance of the three kinds of fruit bags are clarified by the measurement results by the inner-bag environmental sensing. It is found that characteristic and performance of the inner-bags significantly differ from each other by statistical analysis. Lastly, a relational model between the sensing data and the pear outlook quality is established by use of Structural Equation Model (SEM). Here, the pear outlook quality is related with existence of stain, blob, scratch, and so on caused by physiological impair or diseases. Conceptually SEM is a combination of exploratory factor analysis and multiple regression. By using SEM, a model is constructed to connect independent and dependent variables. The proposed SEM model relates the measured sensing data and the pear outlook quality determined on the basis of farmer judgement. In particularly, it is found that the inner-bag humidity variable relatively affects the pear outlook quality. Therefore, inner-bag humidity sensing might help the farmers to control the pear outlook quality. These results are supported by a large quantity of inner-bag humidity data measured over the years 2014, 2015, and 2016. The experimental and analytical results in this research contribute to spreading Precision Agriculture technologies among the farmers growing ’Le Lectier’.

Keywords: precision agriculture, pre-harvest bagging, sensor fusion, structural equation model

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1 Comparison between Conventional Bacterial and Algal-Bacterial Aerobic Granular Sludge Systems in the Treatment of Saline Wastewater

Authors: Philip Semaha, Zhongfang Lei, Ziwen Zhao, Sen Liu, Zhenya Zhang, Kazuya Shimizu


The increasing generation of saline wastewater through various industrial activities is becoming a global concern for activated sludge (AS) based biological treatment which is widely applied in wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs). As for the AS process, an increase in wastewater salinity has negative impact on its overall performance. The advent of conventional aerobic granular sludge (AGS) or bacterial AGS biotechnology has gained much attention because of its superior performance. The development of algal-bacterial AGS could enhance better nutrients removal, potentially reduce aeration cost through symbiotic algae-bacterial activity, and thus, can also reduce overall treatment cost. Nonetheless, the potential of salt stress to decrease biomass growth, microbial activity and nutrient removal exist. Up to the present, little information is available on saline wastewater treatment by algal-bacterial AGS. To the authors’ best knowledge, a comparison of the two AGS systems has not been done to evaluate nutrients removal capacity in the context of salinity increase. This study sought to figure out the impact of salinity on the algal-bacterial AGS system in comparison to bacterial AGS one, contributing to the application of AGS technology in the real world of saline wastewater treatment. In this study, the salt concentrations tested were 0 g/L, 1 g/L, 5 g/L, 10 g/L and 15 g/L of NaCl with 24-hr artificial illuminance of approximately 97.2 µmol m¯²s¯¹, and mature bacterial and algal-bacterial AGS were used for the operation of two identical sequencing batch reactors (SBRs) with a working volume of 0.9 L each, respectively. The results showed that salinity increase caused no apparent change in the color of bacterial AGS; while for algal-bacterial AGS, its color was progressively changed from green to dark green. A consequent increase in granule diameter and fluffiness was observed in the bacterial AGS reactor with the increase of salinity in comparison to a decrease in algal-bacterial AGS diameter. However, nitrite accumulation peaked from 1.0 mg/L and 0.4 mg/L at 1 g/L NaCl in the bacterial and algal-bacterial AGS systems, respectively to 9.8 mg/L in both systems when NaCl concentration varied from 5 g/L to 15 g/L. Almost no ammonia nitrogen was detected in the effluent except at 10 g/L NaCl concentration, where it averaged 4.2 mg/L and 2.4 mg/L, respectively, in the bacterial and algal-bacterial AGS systems. Nutrients removal in the algal-bacterial system was relatively higher than the bacterial AGS in terms of nitrogen and phosphorus removals. Nonetheless, the nutrient removal rate was almost 50% or lower. Results show that algal-bacterial AGS is more adaptable to salinity increase and could be more suitable for saline wastewater treatment. Optimization of operation conditions for algal-bacterial AGS system would be important to ensure its stably high efficiency in practice.

Keywords: algal-bacterial aerobic granular sludge, bacterial aerobic granular sludge, Nutrients removal, saline wastewater, sequencing batch reactor

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