Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 18

Search results for: Lorenzo Saliceti-Piazza

18 The Democratization of 3D Capturing: An Application Investigating Google Tango Potentials

Authors: Carlo Bianchini, Lorenzo Catena

Abstract:

The appearance of 3D scanners and then, more recently, of image-based systems that generate point clouds directly from common digital images have deeply affected the survey process in terms of both capturing and 2D/3D modelling. In this context, low cost and mobile systems are increasingly playing a key role and actually paving the way to the democratization of what in the past was the realm of few specialized technicians and expensive equipment. The application of Google Tango on the ancient church of Santa Maria delle Vigne in Pratica di Mare – Rome presented in this paper is one of these examples.

Keywords: the architectural survey, augmented/mixed/virtual reality, Google Tango project, image-based 3D capturing

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17 Transformative Pedagogy and Online Adult Education

Authors: Glenn A. Palmer, Lorenzo Bowman, Juanita Johnson-Bailey

Abstract:

The ubiquitous economic upheaval that has gripped the global environment in the past few years displaced many workers through unemployment or underemployment. Globally, this disruption has caused many adult workers to seek additional education or skills to remain competitive, and acquire the ability and options to find gainful employment. While many learners have availed themselves of some opportunities to be retrained and retooled at locations within their communities, others have explored those options through the online learning environment. This paper examines the empirical research that explores the various strategies that are used in the adult online learning community that could also foster transformative learning.

Keywords: Online Learning, Unemployment, Adult Education, Economic Crisis, transformational learning

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16 An Automatic Speech Recognition Tool for the Filipino Language Using the HTK System

Authors: John Lorenzo Bautista, Yoon-Joong Kim

Abstract:

This paper presents the development of a Filipino speech recognition tool using the HTK System. The system was trained from a subset of the Filipino Speech Corpus developed by the DSP Laboratory of the University of the Philippines-Diliman. The speech corpus was both used in training and testing the system by estimating the parameters for phonetic HMM-based (Hidden-Markov Model) acoustic models. Experiments on different mixture-weights were incorporated in the study. The phoneme-level word-based recognition of a 5-state HMM resulted in an average accuracy rate of 80.13 for a single-Gaussian mixture model, 81.13 after implementing a phoneme-alignment, and 87.19 for the increased Gaussian-mixture weight model. The highest accuracy rate of 88.70% was obtained from a 5-state model with 6 Gaussian mixtures.

Keywords: Speech Recognition, hidden Markov model, Filipino language, HTK system

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15 Changing New York Financial Clusters in the 2000s: Modeling the Impact and Policy Implication of the Global Financial Crisis

Authors: Silvia Lorenzo, Hongmian Gong

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With the influx of research assessing the economic impact of the global financial crisis of 2007-8, a spatial analysis based on empirical data is needed to better understand the spatial significance of the financial crisis in New York, a key international financial center also considered the origin of the crisis. Using spatial statistics, the existence of financial clusters specializing in credit and securities throughout the New York metropolitan area are identified for 2000 and 2010, the time period before and after the height of the global financial crisis. Geographically Weighted Regressions are then used to examine processes underlying the formation and movement of financial geographies across state, county and ZIP codes of the New York metropolitan area throughout the 2000s with specific attention to tax regimes, employment, household income, technology, and transportation hubs. This analysis provides useful inputs for financial risk management and public policy initiatives aimed at addressing regional economic sustainability across state boundaries, while also developing the groundwork for further research on a spatial analysis of the global financial crisis.

Keywords: Global Financial Crisis, financial clusters, New York, geographically weighted regression

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14 Using Maximization Entropy in Developing a Filipino Phonetically Balanced Wordlist for a Phoneme-Level Speech Recognition System

Authors: John Lorenzo Bautista, Yoon-Joong Kim

Abstract:

In this paper, a set of Filipino Phonetically Balanced Word list consisting of 250 words (PBW250) were constructed for a phoneme-level ASR system for the Filipino language. The Entropy Maximization is used to obtain phonological balance in the list. Entropy of phonemes in a word is maximized, providing an optimal balance in each word’s phonological distribution using the Add-Delete Method (PBW algorithm) and is compared to the modified PBW algorithm implemented in a dynamic algorithm approach to obtain optimization. The gained entropy score of 4.2791 and 4.2902 for the PBW and modified algorithm respectively. The PBW250 was recorded by 40 respondents, each with 2 sets data. Recordings from 30 respondents were trained to produce an acoustic model that were tested using recordings from 10 respondents using the HMM Toolkit (HTK). The results of test gave the maximum accuracy rate of 97.77% for a speaker dependent test and 89.36% for a speaker independent test.

Keywords: Speech Recognition, hidden Markov model, entropy maximization, Filipino language, phonetically balanced words

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13 Definition and Core Components of the Role-Partner Allocation Problem in Collaborative Networks

Authors: J. Andrade-Garda, A. Anguera, J. Ares-Casal, M. Hidalgo-Lorenzo, J.-A. Lara, D. Lizcano, S. Suárez-Garaboa

Abstract:

In the current constantly changing economic context, collaborative networks allow partners to undertake projects that would not be possible if attempted by them individually. These projects usually involve the performance of a group of tasks (named roles) that have to be distributed among the partners. Thus, an allocation/matching problem arises that will be referred to as Role-Partner Allocation problem. In real life this situation is addressed by negotiation between partners in order to reach ad hoc agreements. Besides taking a long time and being hard work, both historical evidence and economic analysis show that such approach is not recommended. Instead, the allocation process should be automated by means of a centralized matching scheme. However, as a preliminary step to start the search for such a matching mechanism (or even the development of a new one), the problem and its core components must be specified. To this end, this paper establishes (i) the definition of the problem and its constraints, (ii) the key features of the involved elements (i.e., roles and partners); and (iii) how to create preference lists both for roles and partners. Only this way it will be possible to conduct subsequent methodological research on the solution method.     

Keywords: Matching, role, collaborative network, partner, preference list

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12 Geotechnical Characterization of Residual Soil for Deterministic Landslide Assessment

Authors: Vera Karla S. Caingles, Glen A. Lorenzo

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Soil, as the main material of landslides, plays a vital role in landslide assessment. An efficient and accurate method of doing an assessment is significantly important to prevent damage of properties and loss of lives. The study has two phases: to establish an empirical correlation of the residual soil thickness with the slope angle and to investigate the geotechnical characteristics of residual soil. Digital Elevation Model (DEM) in Geographic Information System (GIS) was used to establish the slope map and to program sampling points for field investigation. Physical and index property tests were undertaken on the 20 soil samples obtained from the area with Pliocene-Pleistocene geology and different slope angle in Kibawe, Bukidnon. The regression analysis result shows that the best fitting model that can describe the soil thickness-slope angle relationship is an exponential function. The physical property results revealed that soils contain a high percentage of clay and silts ranges from 41% - 99.52%. Based on the index properties test results, the soil exhibits a high degree of plasticity and expansion but not collapsible. It is deemed that this compendium will serve as primary data for slope stability analysis and deterministic landslide assessment.

Keywords: correlation, Plasticity, Landslide, collapsibility, expansiveness

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11 A Cross-Disciplinary Educational Model in Biomanufacturing to Sustain a Competitive Workforce Ecosystem

Authors: Rosa Buxeda, Lorenzo Saliceti-Piazza, Rodolfo J. Romañach, Luis Ríos, Sandra L. Maldonado-Ramírez

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Biopharmaceuticals manufacturing is one of the major economic activities worldwide. Ninety-three percent of the workforce in a biomanufacturing environment concentrates in production-related areas. As a result, strategic collaborations between industry and academia are crucial to ensure the availability of knowledgeable workforce needed in an economic region to become competitive in biomanufacturing. In the past decade, our institution has been a key strategic partner with multinational biotechnology companies in supplying science and engineering graduates in the field of industrial biotechnology. Initiatives addressing all levels of the educational pipeline, from K-12 to college to continued education for company employees have been established along a ten-year span. The Amgen BioTalents Program was designed to provide undergraduate science and engineering students with training in biomanufacturing. The areas targeted by this educational program enhance their academic development, since these topics are not part of their traditional science and engineering curricula. The educational curriculum involved the process of producing a biomolecule from the genetic engineering of cells to the production of an especially targeted polypeptide, protein expression and purification, to quality control, and validation. This paper will report and describe the implementation details and outcomes of the first sessions of the program.

Keywords: Workforce development, biomanufacturing curriculum, interdisciplinary learning, industry-academia partnering

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10 Analysing Trends in Rice Cropping Intensity and Seasonality across the Philippines Using 14 Years of Moderate Resolution Remote Sensing Imagery

Authors: Bhogendra Mishra, Andy Nelson, Mirco Boschetti, Lorenzo Busetto, Alice Laborte

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Rice is grown on over 100 million hectares in almost every country of Asia. It is the most important staple crop for food security and has high economic and cultural importance in Asian societies. The combination of genetic diversity and management options, coupled with the large geographic extent means that there is a large variation in seasonality (when it is grown) and cropping intensity (how often it is grown per year on the same plot of land), even over relatively small distances. Seasonality and intensity can and do change over time depending on climatic, environmental and economic factors. Detecting where and when these changes happen can provide information to better understand trends in regional and even global rice production. Remote sensing offers a unique opportunity to estimate these trends. We apply the recently published PhenoRice algorithm to 14 years of moderate resolution remote sensing (MODIS) data (utilizing 250m resolution 16 day composites from Terra and Aqua) to estimate seasonality and cropping intensity per year and changes over time. We compare the results to the surveyed data collected by International Rice Research Institute (IRRI). The study results in a unique and validated dataset on the extent and change of extent, the seasonality and change in seasonality and the cropping intensity and change in cropping intensity between 2003 and 2016 for the Philippines. Observed trends and their implications for food security and trade policies are also discussed.

Keywords: Rice, Seasonality, phenology, cropping intensity, moderate resolution remote sensing (MODIS)

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9 Life Stories: High Quality of Life until the End with the Narrative Medicine and the Storytelling

Authors: Danila Zuffetti, Lorenzo Chiesa

Abstract:

Background: A hospice narrative interview aims at putting the sick at the core of disease and treatment allowing them to explore their most intimate facets. The aim of this work is to favor authentic narration by leading towards awareness and acceptance of terminality and to face death with serenity. Narration in palliative care aims at helping to reduce the chaos generated by the disease and to elaborate interpretations on the course of reality, besides, the narration delivered to the doctor is fundamental and communicates the meaning given to symptoms. Methods: The narrative interview has become a regular activity in the Castellini Foundation since 2017. Patients take part every week, and for more days, in one hour sessions, in a welcoming and empathic setting and the interaction with the operator leads to a gradual awareness of their terminality. Patients are submitted with free answer questions with the purpose of facilitating and stimulating self-narration. Narration has not always been linear, but patients are left free to shift in time to revisit their disease process by making use of different tools, such as digital storytelling. Results: The answers provided by the patients show to which extent the narrative interview is an instrument allowing the analysis of the stories and gives the possibility to better understand and deepen the different implications of patient and caregiver’s background. Conclusion: The narration work in the hospice demonstrates that narrative medicine is an added value. This instrument has proven useful not only in the support of patients but also for the palliative doctor to identify wishes for accompanying them to the end with dignity and serenity. The narrative interview favors the construction of an authentic therapeutic relationship. The sick are taken wholly in charge, and they are guaranteed a high quality of life until their very last instant.

Keywords: construction of an authentic therapy relationship, gradual awareness of their terminality, narrative interview, reduce the chaos generated by the desease

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8 Development and Validation of a Carbon Dioxide TDLAS Sensor for Studies on Fermented Dairy Products

Authors: Lorenzo Cocola, Massimo Fedel, Dragiša Savić, Bojana Danilović, Luca Poletto

Abstract:

An instrument for the detection and evaluation of gaseous carbon dioxide in the headspace of closed containers has been developed in the context of Packsensor Italian-Serbian joint project. The device is based on Tunable Diode Laser Absorption Spectroscopy (TDLAS) with a Wavelength Modulation Spectroscopy (WMS) technique in order to accomplish a non-invasive measurement inside closed containers of fermented dairy products (yogurts and fermented cheese in cups and bottles). The purpose of this instrument is the continuous monitoring of carbon dioxide concentration during incubation and storage of products over a time span of the whole shelf life of the product, in the presence of different microorganisms. The instrument’s optical front end has been designed to be integrated in a thermally stabilized incubator. An embedded computer provides processing of spectral artifacts and storage of an arbitrary set of calibration data allowing a properly calibrated measurement on many samples (cups and bottles) of different shapes and sizes commonly found in the retail distribution. A calibration protocol has been developed in order to be able to calibrate the instrument on the field also on containers which are notoriously difficult to seal properly. This calibration protocol is described and evaluated against reference measurements obtained through an industry standard (sampling) carbon dioxide metering technique. Some sets of validation test measurements on different containers are reported. Two test recordings of carbon dioxide concentration evolution are shown as an example of instrument operation. The first demonstrates the ability to monitor a rapid yeast growth in a contaminated sample through the increase of headspace carbon dioxide. Another experiment shows the dissolution transient with a non-saturated liquid medium in presence of a carbon dioxide rich headspace atmosphere.

Keywords: Measurement, Carbon Dioxide, TDLAS, cups, headspace

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7 Influence of Thermal Ageing on Microstructural Features and Mechanical Properties of Reduced Activation Ferritic/Martensitic Grades

Authors: Roumen Petrov, Jilt Sietsma, Athina Puype, Lorenzo Malerba, Nico De Wispelaere

Abstract:

Reduced Activation Ferritic/Martensitic (FM) steels like EUROFER are of interest for first wall application in the future demonstration (DEMO) fusion reactor. Depending on the final design codes for the DEMO reactor, the first wall material will have to function in low-temperature mode or high-temperature mode, i.e. around 250-300°C of above 550°C respectively. However, the use of RAFM steels is limited up to a temperature of about 550°C. For the low-temperature application, the material suffers from irradiation embrittlement, due to a shift of ductile-to-brittle transition temperature (DBTT) towards higher temperatures upon irradiation. The high-temperature response of the material is equally insufficient for long-term use in fusion reactors, due to the instability of the matrix phase and coarsening of the precipitates at prolonged high-temperature exposure. The objective of this study is to investigate the influence of thermal ageing for 1000 hrs and 4000 hrs on microstructural features and mechanical properties of lab-cast EUROFER. Additionally, the ageing behavior of the lab-cast EUROFER is compared with the ageing behavior of standard EUROFER97-2 and T91. The microstructural features were investigated with light optical microscopy (LOM), electron back-scattered diffraction (EBSD) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Additionally, hardness measurements, tensile tests at elevated temperatures and Charpy V-notch impact testing of KLST-type MCVN specimens were performed to study the microstructural features and mechanical properties of four different F/M grades, i.e. T91, EUROFER97-2 and two lab-casted EUROFER grades. After ageing for 1000 hrs, the microstructures exhibit similar martensitic block sizes independent on the grain size before ageing. With respect to the initial coarser microstructures, the aged microstructures displayed a dislocation structure which is partially fragmented by polygonization. On the other hand, the initial finer microstructures tend to be more stable up to 1000hrs resulting in similar grain sizes for the four different steels. Increasing the ageing time to 4000 hrs, resulted in an increase of lath thickness and coarsening of M23C6 precipitates leading to a deterioration of tensile properties.

Keywords: Microstructure, Mechanical Properties, T91, EUROFER, ageing experiments, ferritic/martensitic steels

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6 In-Plume H₂O, CO₂, H₂S and SO₂ in the Fumarolic Field of La Fossa Cone (Vulcano Island, Aeolian Archipelago)

Authors: Cinzia Federico, Gaetano Giudice, Salvatore Inguaggiato, Marco Liuzzo, Maria Pedone, Fabio Vita, Christoph Kern, Leonardo La Pica, Giovannella Pecoraino, Lorenzo Calderone, Vincenzo Francofonte

Abstract:

The periods of increased fumarolic activity at La Fossa volcano have been characterized, since early 80's, by changes in the gas chemistry and in the output rate of fumaroles. Excepting the direct measurements of the steam output from fumaroles performed from 1983 to 1995, the mass output of the single gas species has been recently measured, with various methods, only sporadically or for short periods. Since 2008, a scanning DOAS system is operating in the Palizzi area for the remote measurement of the in-plume SO₂ flux. On these grounds, the need of a cross-comparison of different methods for the in situ measurement of the output rate of different gas species is envisaged. In 2015, two field campaigns have been carried out, aimed at: 1. The mapping of the concentration of CO₂, H₂S and SO₂ in the fumarolic plume at 1 m from the surface, by using specific open-path diode tunable lasers (GasFinder Boreal Europe Ltd.) and an Active DOAS for SO₂, respectively; these measurements, coupled to simultaneous ultrasonic wind speed and meteorological data, have been elaborated to obtain the dispersion map and the output rate of single species in the overall fumarolic field; 2. The mapping of the concentrations of CO₂, H₂S, SO₂, H₂O in the fumarolic plume at 0.5 m from the soil, by using an integrated system, including IR spectrometers and specific electrochemical sensors; this has provided the concentration ratios of the analysed gas species and their distribution in the fumarolic field; 3. The in-fumarole sampling of vapour and measurement of the steam output, to validate the remote measurements. The dispersion map of CO₂, obtained from the tunable laser measurements, shows a maximum CO₂ concentration at 1m from the soil of 1000 ppmv along the rim, and 1800 ppmv in the inner slopes. As observed, the largest contribution derives from a wide fumarole of the inner-slope, despite its present outlet temperature of 230°C, almost 200°C lower than those measured at the rim fumaroles. Actually, fumaroles in the inner slopes are among those emitting the largest amount of magmatic vapour and, during the 1989-1991 crisis, reached the temperature of 690°C. The estimated CO₂ and H₂S fluxes are 400 t/d and 4.4 t/d, respectively. The coeval SO₂ flux, measured by the scanning DOAS system, is 9±1 t/d. The steam output, recomputed from CO₂ flux measurements, is about 2000 t/d. The various direct and remote methods (as described at points 1-3) have produced coherent results, which encourage to the use of daily and automatic DOAS SO₂ data, coupled with periodic in-plume measurements of different acidic gases, to obtain the total mass rates.

Keywords: DOAS, fumaroles, plume, tunable laser

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5 Understanding the Lithiation/Delithiation Mechanism of Si₁₋ₓGeₓ Alloys

Authors: Laura C. Loaiza, Elodie Salager, Nicolas Louvain, Athmane Boulaoued, Antonella Iadecola, Patrik Johansson, Lorenzo Stievano, Vincent Seznec, Laure Monconduit

Abstract:

Lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) have an important place among energy storage devices due to their high capacity and good cyclability. However, the advancements in portable and transportation applications have extended the research towards new horizons, and today the development is hampered, e.g., by the capacity of the electrodes employed. Silicon and germanium are among the considered modern anode materials as they can undergo alloying reactions with lithium while delivering high capacities. It has been demonstrated that silicon in its highest lithiated state can deliver up to ten times more capacity than graphite (372 mAh/g): 4200 mAh/g for Li₂₂Si₅ and 3579 mAh/g for Li₁₅Si₄, respectively. On the other hand, germanium presents a capacity of 1384 mAh/g for Li₁₅Ge₄, and a better electronic conductivity and Li ion diffusivity as compared to Si. Nonetheless, the commercialization potential of Ge is limited by its cost. The synergetic effect of Si₁₋ₓGeₓ alloys has been proven, the capacity is increased compared to Ge-rich electrodes and the capacity retention is increased compared to Si-rich electrodes, but the exact performance of this type of electrodes will depend on factors like specific capacity, C-rates, cost, etc. There are several reports on various formulations of Si₁₋ₓGeₓ alloys with promising LIB anode performance with most work performed on complex nanostructures resulting from synthesis efforts implying high cost. In the present work, we studied the electrochemical mechanism of the Si₀.₅Ge₀.₅ alloy as a realistic micron-sized electrode formulation using carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) as the binder. A combination of a large set of in situ and operando techniques were employed to investigate the structural evolution of Si₀.₅Ge₀.₅ during lithiation and delithiation processes: powder X-ray diffraction (XRD), X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS), Raman spectroscopy, and 7Li solid state nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR). The results have presented a whole view of the structural modifications induced by the lithiation/delithiation processes. The Si₀.₅Ge₀.₅ amorphization was observed at the beginning of discharge. Further lithiation induces the formation of a-Liₓ(Si/Ge) intermediates and the crystallization of Li₁₅(Si₀.₅Ge₀.₅)₄ at the end of the discharge. At really low voltages a reversible process of overlithiation and formation of Li₁₅₊δ(Si₀.₅Ge₀.₅)₄ was identified and related with a structural evolution of Li₁₅(Si₀.₅Ge₀.₅)₄. Upon charge, the c-Li₁₅(Si₀.₅Ge₀.₅)₄ was transformed into a-Liₓ(Si/Ge) intermediates. At the end of the process an amorphous phase assigned to a-SiₓGey was recovered. Thereby, it was demonstrated that Si and Ge are collectively active along the cycling process, upon discharge with the formation of a ternary Li₁₅(Si₀.₅Ge₀.₅)₄ phase (with a step of overlithiation) and upon charge with the rebuilding of the a-Si-Ge phase. This process is undoubtedly behind the enhanced performance of Si₀.₅Ge₀.₅ compared to a physical mixture of Si and Ge.

Keywords: X-Ray Diffraction, lithium ion battery, silicon germanium anode, in situ characterization

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4 Metal Contents in Bird Feathers (Columba livia) from Mt Etna Volcano: Volcanic Plume Contribution and Biological Fractionation

Authors: Cinzia Federico, Edda E. Falcone, Sergio Bellomo, Lorenzo Brusca, Manfredi Longo, Walter D’Alessandro

Abstract:

Although trace metals are an essential element for living beings, they can become toxic at high concentrations. Their potential toxicity is related not only to the total content in the environment but mostly upon their bioavailability. Volcanoes are important natural metal emitters and they can deeply affect the quality of air, water and soils, as well as the human health. Trace metals tend to accumulate in the tissues of living organisms, depending on the metal contents in food, air and water and on the exposure time. Birds are considered as bioindicators of interest, because their feathers directly reflects the metals uptake from the blood. Birds are exposed to the atmospheric pollution through the contact with rainfall, dust, and aerosol, and they accumulate metals over the whole life cycle. We report on the first data combining the rainfall metal content in three different areas of Mt Etna, variably fumigated by the volcanic plume, and the metal contents in the feathers of pigeons, collected in the same areas. Rainfall samples were collected from three rain gauges placed at different elevation on the Eastern flank of the volcano, the most exposed to airborne plume, filtered, treated with HNO₃ Suprapur-grade and analyzed for Fe, Cr, Co, Ni, Se, Zn, Cu, Sr, Ba, Cd and As by ICP-MS technique, and major ions by ion chromatography. Feathers were collected from single individuals, in the same areas where the rain gauges were installed. Additionally, some samples were collected in an urban area, poorly interested by the volcanic plume. The samples were rinsed in MilliQ water and acetone, dried at 50°C until constant weight and digested in a mixture of 2:1 HNO₃ (65%) - H₂O₂ (30%) Suprapur-grade for 25-50 mg of sample, in a bath at near-to-boiling temperature. The solutions were diluted up to 20 ml prior to be analyzed by ICP-MS. The rainfall samples most contaminated by the plume were collected at close distance from the summit craters (less than 6 km), and show lower pH values and higher concentrations for all analyzed metals relative to those from the sites at lower elevation. Analyzed samples are enriched in both metals directly emitted by the volcanic plume and transported by acidic gases (SO₂, HCl, HF), and metals leached from the airborne volcanic ash. Feathers show different patterns in the different sites related to the exposure to natural or anthropogenic pollutants. They show abundance ratios similar to rainfall for lithophile elements (Ba, Sr), whereas are enriched in Zn and Se, known for their antioxidant properties, probably as adaptive response to oxidative stress induced by toxic metal exposure. The pigeons revealed a clear heterogeneity of metal uptake in the different parts of the volcano, as an effect of volcanic plume impact. Additionally, some physiological processes can modify the fate of some metals after uptake and this offer some insights for translational studies.

Keywords: Environmental Pollution, Bioindicators, Trace Metals, feathers, volcanic plume

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3 An Elasto-Viscoplastic Constitutive Model for Unsaturated Soils: Numerical Implementation and Validation

Authors: Maria Lazari, Lorenzo Sanavia

Abstract:

Mechanics of unsaturated soils has been an active field of research in the last decades. Efficient constitutive models that take into account the partial saturation of soil are necessary to solve a number of engineering problems e.g. instability of slopes and cuts due to heavy rainfalls. A large number of constitutive models can now be found in the literature that considers fundamental issues associated with the unsaturated soil behaviour, like the volume change and shear strength behaviour with suction or saturation changes. Partially saturated soils may either expand or collapse upon wetting depending on the stress level, and it is also possible that a soil might experience a reversal in the volumetric behaviour during wetting. Shear strength of soils also changes dramatically with changes in the degree of saturation, and a related engineering problem is slope failures caused by rainfall. There are several states of the art reviews over the last years for studying the topic, usually providing a thorough discussion of the stress state, the advantages, and disadvantages of specific constitutive models as well as the latest developments in the area of unsaturated soil modelling. However, only a few studies focused on the coupling between partial saturation states and time effects on the behaviour of geomaterials. Rate dependency is experimentally observed in the mechanical response of granular materials, and a viscoplastic constitutive model is capable of reproducing creep and relaxation processes. Therefore, in this work an elasto-viscoplastic constitutive model for unsaturated soils is proposed and validated on the basis of experimental data. The model constitutes an extension of an existing elastoplastic strain-hardening constitutive model capable of capturing the behaviour of variably saturated soils, based on energy conjugated stress variables in the framework of superposed continua. The purpose was to develop a model able to deal with possible mechanical instabilities within a consistent energy framework. The model shares the same conceptual structure of the elastoplastic laws proposed to deal with bonded geomaterials subject to weathering or diagenesis and is capable of modelling several kinds of instabilities induced by the loss of hydraulic bonding contributions. The novelty of the proposed formulation is enhanced with the incorporation of density dependent stiffness and hardening coefficients in order to allow the modeling of the pycnotropy behaviour of granular materials with a single set of material constants. The model has been implemented in the commercial FE platform PLAXIS, widely used in Europe for advanced geotechnical design. The algorithmic strategies adopted for the stress-point algorithm had to be revised to take into account the different approach adopted by PLAXIS developers in the solution of the discrete non-linear equilibrium equations. An extensive comparison between models with a series of experimental data reported by different authors is presented to validate the model and illustrate the capability of the newly developed model. After the validation, the effectiveness of the viscoplastic model is displayed by numerical simulations of a partially saturated slope failure of the laboratory scale and the effect of viscosity and degree of saturation on slope’s stability is discussed.

Keywords: Unsaturated Soils, slope, PLAXIS software, Viscoplasticity

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2 Dynamic High-Rise Moment Resisting Frame Dissipation Performances Adopting Glazed Curtain Walls with Superelastic Shape Memory Alloy Joints

Authors: Lorenzo Casagrande, Antonio Bonati, Ferdinando Auricchio, Antonio Occhiuzzi

Abstract:

This paper summarizes the results of a survey on smart non-structural element dynamic dissipation when installed in modern high-rise mega-frame prototypes. An innovative glazed curtain wall was designed using Shape Memory Alloy (SMA) joints in order to increase the energy dissipation and enhance the seismic/wind response of the structures. The studied buildings consisted of thirty- and sixty-storey planar frames, extracted from reference three-dimensional steel Moment Resisting Frame (MRF) with outriggers and belt trusses. The internal core was composed of a CBF system, whilst outriggers were placed every fifteen stories to limit second order effects and inter-storey drifts. These structural systems were designed in accordance with European rules and numerical FE models were developed with an open-source code, able to account for geometric and material nonlinearities. With regard to the characterization of non-structural building components, full-scale crescendo tests were performed on aluminium/glass curtain wall units at the laboratory of the Construction Technologies Institute (ITC) of the Italian National Research Council (CNR), deriving force-displacement curves. Three-dimensional brick-based inelastic FE models were calibrated according to experimental results, simulating the fac¸ade response. Since recent seismic events and extreme dynamic wind loads have generated the large occurrence of non-structural components failure, which causes sensitive economic losses and represents a hazard for pedestrians safety, a more dissipative glazed curtain wall was studied. Taking advantage of the mechanical properties of SMA, advanced smart joints were designed with the aim to enhance both the dynamic performance of the single non-structural unit and the global behavior. Thus, three-dimensional brick-based plastic FE models were produced, based on the innovated non-structural system, simulating the evolution of mechanical degradation in aluminium-to-glass and SMA-to-glass connections when high deformations occurred. Consequently, equivalent nonlinear links were calibrated to reproduce the behavior of both tested and smart designed units, and implemented on the thirty- and sixty-storey structural planar frame FE models. Nonlinear time history analyses (NLTHAs) were performed to quantify the potential of the new system, when considered in the lateral resisting frame system (LRFS) of modern high-rise MRFs. Sensitivity to the structure height was explored comparing the responses of the two prototypes. Trends in global and local performance were discussed to show that, if accurately designed, advanced materials in non-structural elements provide new sources of energy dissipation.

Keywords: Advanced Technologies, shape memory alloy, non-structural elements, glazed curtain walls, seismic-action reduction

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1 Effect of Thermal Treatment on Mechanical Properties of Reduced Activation Ferritic/Martensitic Eurofer Steel Grade

Authors: Roumen Petrov, Jilt Sietsma, Athina Puype, Lorenzo Malerba, Nico De Wispelaere

Abstract:

Reduced activation ferritic/martensitic (RAFM) steels like EUROFER97 are primary candidate structural materials for first wall application in the future demonstration (DEMO) fusion reactor. Existing steels of this type obtain their functional properties by a two-stage heat treatment, which consists of an annealing stage at 980°C for thirty minutes followed by quenching and an additional tempering stage at 750°C for two hours. This thermal quench and temper (Q&T) treatment creates a microstructure of tempered martensite with, as main precipitates, M23C6 carbides, with M = Fe, Cr and carbonitrides of MX type, e.g. TaC and VN. The resulting microstructure determines the mechanical properties of the steel. The ductility is largely determined by the tempered martensite matrix, while the resistance to mechanical degradation, determined by the spatial and size distribution of precipitates and the martensite crystals, plays a key role in the high temperature properties of the steel. Unfortunately, the high temperature response of EUROFER97 is currently insufficient for long term use in fusion reactors, due to instability of the matrix phase and coarsening of the precipitates at prolonged high temperature exposure. The objective of this study is to induce grain refinement by appropriate modifications of the processing route in order to increase the high temperature strength of a lab-cast EUROFER RAFM steel grade. The goal of the work is to obtain improved mechanical behavior at elevated temperatures with respect to conventionally heat treated EUROFER97. A dilatometric study was conducted to study the effect of the annealing temperature on the mechanical properties after a Q&T treatment. The microstructural features were investigated with scanning electron microscopy (SEM), electron back-scattered diffraction (EBSD) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Additionally, hardness measurements, tensile tests at elevated temperatures and Charpy V-notch impact testing of KLST-type MCVN specimens were performed to study the mechanical properties of the furnace-heated lab-cast EUROFER RAFM steel grade. A significant prior austenite grain (PAG) refinement was obtained by lowering the annealing temperature of the conventionally used Q&T treatment for EUROFER97. The reduction of the PAG results in finer martensitic constituents upon quenching, which offers more nucleation sites for carbide and carbonitride formation upon tempering. The ductile-to-brittle transition temperature (DBTT) was found to decrease with decreasing martensitic block size. Additionally, an increased resistance against high temperature degradation was accomplished in the fine grained martensitic materials with smallest precipitates obtained by tailoring the annealing temperature of the Q&T treatment. It is concluded that the microstructural refinement has a pronounced effect on the DBTT without significant loss of strength and ductility. Further investigation into the optimization of the processing route is recommended to improve the mechanical behavior of RAFM steels at elevated temperatures.

Keywords: ductile-to-brittle transition temperature (DBTT), EUROFER, reduced activation ferritic/martensitic (RAFM) steels, thermal treatments

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