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

Search results for: Rajakumar Arul

18 Fast Authentication Using User Path Prediction in Wireless Broadband Networks

Authors: Gunasekaran Raja, Rajakumar Arul, Kottilingam Kottursamy, Ramkumar Jayaraman, Sathya Pavithra, Swaminathan Venkatraman


Wireless Interoperability for Microwave Access (WiMAX) utilizes the IEEE 802.1X mechanism for authentication. However, this mechanism incurs considerable delay during handoffs. This delay during handoffs results in service disruption which becomes a severe bottleneck. To overcome this delay, our article proposes a key caching mechanism based on user path prediction. If the user mobility follows that path, the user bypasses the normal IEEE 802.1X mechanism and establishes the necessary authentication keys directly. Through analytical and simulation modeling, we have proved that our mechanism effectively decreases the handoff delay thereby achieving fast authentication.

Keywords: authentication, authorization, and accounting (AAA), handoff, mobile, user path prediction (UPP) and user pattern

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17 Network Coding with Buffer Scheme in Multicast for Broadband Wireless Network

Authors: Gunasekaran Raja, Ramkumar Jayaraman, Rajakumar Arul, Kottilingam Kottursamy


Broadband Wireless Network (BWN) is the promising technology nowadays due to the increased number of smartphones. Buffering scheme using network coding considers the reliability and proper degree distribution in Worldwide interoperability for Microwave Access (WiMAX) multi-hop network. Using network coding, a secure way of transmission is performed which helps in improving throughput and reduces the packet loss in the multicast network. At the outset, improved network coding is proposed in multicast wireless mesh network. Considering the problem of performance overhead, degree distribution makes a decision while performing buffer in the encoding / decoding process. Consequently, BuS (Buffer Scheme) based on network coding is proposed in the multi-hop network. Here the encoding process introduces buffer for temporary storage to transmit packets with proper degree distribution. The simulation results depend on the number of packets received in the encoding/decoding with proper degree distribution using buffering scheme.

Keywords: encoding and decoding, buffer, network coding, degree distribution, broadband wireless networks, multicast

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16 DCASH: Dynamic Cache Synchronization Algorithm for Heterogeneous Reverse Y Synchronizing Mobile Database Systems

Authors: Gunasekaran Raja, Kottilingam Kottursamy, Rajakumar Arul, Ramkumar Jayaraman, Krithika Sairam, Lakshmi Ravi


The synchronization server maintains a dynamically changing cache, which contains the data items which were requested and collected by the mobile node from the server. The order and presence of tuples in the cache changes dynamically according to the frequency of updates performed on the data, by the server and client. To synchronize, the data which has been modified by client and the server at an instant are collected, batched together by the type of modification (insert/ update/ delete), and sorted according to their update frequencies. This ensures that the DCASH (Dynamic Cache Synchronization Algorithm for Heterogeneous Reverse Y synchronizing Mobile Database Systems) gives priority to the frequently accessed data with high usage. The optimal memory management algorithm is proposed to manage data items according to their frequency, theorems were written to show the current mobile data activity is reverse Y in nature and the experiments were tested with 2g and 3g networks for various mobile devices to show the reduced response time and energy consumption.

Keywords: mobile databases, synchronization, cache, response time

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15 Experimental Study on Stabilisation of a Soft Soil by Alkaline Activation of Industrial By-Products

Authors: Mohammadjavad Yaghoubi, Arul Arulrajah, Mahdi M. Disfani, Suksun Horpibulsuk, Myint W. Bo, Stephen P. Darmawan


Utilising waste materials, such as fly ash (FA) and slag (S) stockpiled in landfills, has drawn the attention of researchers and engineers in the recent years. There is a great potential for usage of these wastes in ground improvement projects, especially where deep deposits of soft compressible soils exist. This paper investigates the changes in the strength development of a high water content soft soil stabilised with alkaline activated FA and S, termed as geopolymer binder, to use in deep soil mixing technology. The strength improvement and the changes in the microstructure of the mixtures have been studied. The results show that using FA and S-based geopolymers can increases the strength significantly. Furthermore, utilising FA and S in ground improvement projects, where large amounts of binders are required, can be a solution to the disposal of these wastes.

Keywords: alkaline activation, fly ash, geopolymer, slag, strength development

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14 Design Manufacture and Testing of a Combined Alpha-Beta Double Piston Stirling Engine

Authors: A. Calvin Antony, Sakthi Kumar Arul Prakash, V. R. Sanal Kumar


In this paper a unique alpha-beta double piston 'stirling engine' is designed, manufactured and conducted laboratory test to ameliorate the efficiency of the stirling engine. The paper focuses on alpha and beta type engines, capturing their benefits and eradicating their short comings; along with the output observed from the flywheel. In this model alpha engine is kinematically with a piston cylinder arrangement which works quite like a beta engine. The piston of the new cylinder is so designed that it replicates a glued displacer and power piston as similar to that of beta engine. The bigger part of the piston is the power piston, which has a gap around it, while the smaller part of the piston is tightly fit in the cylinder and acts like the displacer piston. We observed that the alpha-beta double piston stirling engine produces 25% increase in power compare to a conventional alpha stirling engine. This working model is a pointer towards for the design and development of an alpha-beta double piston Stirling engine for industrial applications for producing electricity from the heat producing exhaust gases.

Keywords: alpha-beta double piston stirling engine , alpha stirling engine , beta double piston stirling engine , electricity from stirling engine

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13 Effect of Friction Pressure on the Properties of Friction Welded Aluminum–Ceramic Dissimilar Joints

Authors: Fares Khalfallah, Zakaria Boumerzoug, Selvarajan Rajakumar, Elhadj Raouache


The ceramic-aluminum bond is strongly present in industrial tools, due to the need to combine the properties of metals, such as ductility, thermal and electrical conductivity, with ceramic properties like high hardness, corrosion and wear resistance. In recent years, some joining techniques have been developed to achieve a good bonding between these materials such as brazing, diffusion bonding, ultrasonic joining and friction welding. In this work, AA1100 aluminum alloy rods were welded with Alumina 99.9 wt% ceramic rods, by friction welding. The effect of friction pressure on mechanical and structural properties of welded joints was studied. The welding was performed by direct friction welding machine. The welding samples were rotated at a constant rotational speed of 900 rpm, friction time of 4 sec, forging strength of 18 MPa, and forging time of 3 sec. Three different friction pressures were applied to 20, 34 and 45 MPa. The three-point bending test and Vickers microhardness measurements were used to evaluate the strength of the joints and investigate the mechanical properties of the welding area. The microstructure of joints was examined by optical microscopy (OM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS). The results show that bending strength increased, and then decreased after reaching a maximum value, with increasing friction pressure. The SEM observation shows that the increase in friction pressure led to the appearance of cracks in the microstructure of the interface area, which is decreasing the bending strength of joints.

Keywords: welding of ceramic to aluminum, friction welding, alumina, AA1100 aluminum alloy

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12 Stabilisation of a Soft Soil by Alkaline Activation

Authors: Mohammadjavad Yaghoubi, Arul Arulrajah, Mahdi M. Disfani, Suksun Horpibulsuk, Myint W. Bo, Stephen P. Darmawan


This paper investigates the changes in the strength development of a high water content soft soil stabilised with alkaline activation of fly ash (FA) to use in deep soil mixing (DSM) technology. The content of FA was 20% by dry mass of soil, and the alkaline activator was sodium silicate (Na2SiO3). Samples were cured for 3, 7, 14, 28 and 56 days to evaluate the effect of curing time on strength development. To study the effect of adding slag (S) to the mixture on the strength development, 5% S was replaced with FA. In addition, the effect of the initial unit weight of samples on strength development was studied by preparing specimens with two different static compaction stresses. This was to replicate the field conditions where during implementing the DSM technique, the pressure on the soil while being mixed, increases with depth. Unconfined compression strength (UCS), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) tests were conducted on the specimens. The results show that adding S to the FA based geopolymer activated by Na2SiO3 decreases the strength. Furthermore, samples prepared at a higher unit weight demonstrate greater strengths. Moreover, samples prepared at lower unit weight reached their final strength at about 14 days of curing, whereas the strength development continues to 56 days for specimens prepared at a higher unit weight.

Keywords: alkaline activation, curing time, fly ash, geopolymer, slag

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11 Expression of Hypoxia-Inducible Transmembrane Carbonic Anhydrases IX, Ca XII and Glut 1 in Ovarian Cancer

Authors: M. Sunitha, B. Nithyavani, Mathew Yohannan, S. Thiruvieni Balajji, M. A. Rathi, C. Arul Raj, P. Ragavendran, V. K. Gopalkrishnan


Establishment of an early and reliable biomarker for ovarian carcinogenesis whose expression can be monitored through noninvasive techniques will enable early diagnosis of cancer. Carbonic anhydrases (CA) isozymes IX and XII have been suggested to play a role in oncogenic processes. In von Hippel-Lindau (VHL)-defective tumors, the cell surface transmembrane carbonic anhydrase (CA) CA XI and CA XII genes are overexpressed because of the absence of pVHL. These enzymes are involved in causing a hypoxia condition, thereby providing an environment for metastasis. Aberrant expression of the facilitative glucose transporter GLUT I is found in a wide spectrum of epithelial malignancies. Studying the mRNA expression of CA IX, CA XII and Glut I isozymes in ovarian cancer cell lines (OAW-42 and PA-1) revealed the expression of these hypoxia genes. Immunohistochemical staining of carbonic anhydrases was also performed in 40 ovarian cancer tissues. CA IX and CA XII were expressed at 540 bp and 520 bp in OAW42, PA1 in ovarian cancer cell lines. GLUT-1 was expressed at 325bp in OAW 42, PA1 genes in ovarian cancer cell lines. Immunohistochemistry revealed high to moderate levels of expression of these enzymes. The immuostaining was seen predominantly on the cell surface membrane. The study concluded that these genes CA IX, CA XII and Glut I are expressed under hypoxic condition in tumor cells. From the present results expression of CA IX, XII and Glut I may represent potential targets in ovarian cancer therapy.

Keywords: ovarian cancer, carbonic anhydrase IX, XII, Glut I, tumor markers

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10 Laboratory Investigation of Fly Ash Based Geopolymer Stabilized Recycled Asphalt Pavement as a Base Material

Authors: Menglim Hoy, Suksun Horpibulsuk, Arul Arulrajah


The results of laboratory investigation of recycled asphalt pavement (RAP) – fly ash (FA) based geopolymer as a base material is presented in this paper. An alkaline activator, the mixture of NaOH and Na₂SiO₃, is used to synthesis RAP-FA based geopolymer. RAP-FA with water (RAP-FA blend) prepared as a control material. The strength develops and the strength against wet-dry was determined by the unconfined compression strength (UCS) test, then the microstructural properties were examined by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and X-ray Diffraction (XRD) analysis. The toxicity characteristic leaching procedure (TCLP) test is conducted to measure its leachability of heavy metal. The results show both the RAP-FA blend and geopolymer can be used as a base course as its UCS values meet the minimum strength requirement specified by the Department of Highway, Thailand. The durability test results show the UCS of these materials increases with increasing the number of wet-dry cycles, reaching its peak at six wet-dry cycles. The XRD and SEM analyses indicate strength development of the RAP-FA blend occurs due to chemical reaction between a high Calcium in RAP with a high Silica and Alumina in FA led to producing calcium aluminate hydrate formation. The strength development of the RAP-FA geopolymer occurred resulted from the polymerization reaction. The TCLP results demonstrate there is no environmental risk of these stabilized materials. Furthermore, FA based geopolymer can reduce the leachability of heavy metal in the RAP-FA blend.

Keywords: recycled asphalt pavement, geopolymer, heavy metal, microstructure

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9 Serum Granulocyte Colony Stimulating Factor is a Potent Stimulator of Hematopoeitic Progenitor Cells Mobilization in Trauma Hemorrhagic Shock

Authors: Manoj Kumar, Sujata Mohanty, D. N. Rao, Arul Selvi, Sanjeev K. Bhoi


Background: Hematopoietic progenitor cells (HPC) mobilized from bone marrow to peripheral blood has been observed in severe trauma and hemorrhagic shock patients. Granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) is a potent stimulator that mobilized HPC from bone marrow to peripheral blood. Objective: Our aim of the study was to investigate the serum G-CSF levels and correlate with HPC and outcome. Methods: Peripheral blood sample from 50 hemorrhagic shock patients was collected on arrival for determination of G-CSF and peripheral blood HPC (PBHPC) and compared with healthy control (n=15). Determination of serum levels of G-CSF by sandwich ELISA and PBHPC by Sysmex XE-2100. Data were categorized by age, sex, Injury Severity Score (ISS), and laboratory data was prospectively collected. Data are expressed as mean±SD and median (min, max). Results: Significantly increased the serum level of G-CSF (264.8 vs. 79.1 pg/ml) and peripheral blood HPC (0.1 vs. 0.01 %) in the T/HS patients when compared with control group. Conclusions: Our studies suggest serum G-CSF elevated in T/HS patients. The elevated in G-CSF was also associated with mobilization of HPC from BM to peripheral blood HPC. Increased the levels of G-CSF in T/HS may play a significant role in the alteration of the hematopoietic compartment.

Keywords: granulocyte colony stimulating factor, G-CSF, hematopoietic progenitor cells, HPC, trauma hemorrhagic shock, T/HS, outcome

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8 Assessment of Water Quality of Selected Lakes of Coimbatore District, Tamil Nadu, India

Authors: K. P. Ganesh, T. Gomathi, L. Arul Pragasan


Degradation of lake water quality is one of the serious environmental threats for the last few decades, particularly, the lakes situated in and around urban and industrial areas. The present study aimed to analyze the physicochemical and biological parameters, and metal elements to determine the water quality of Krishnampathi, Ukkadam, Kurichi, Sulur and Singanallur Lakes. Of the 23 physicochemical parameters analyzed in the five lakes, except TDS, Chloride and Total hardness values all the 20 parameters were found within the prescribed limit as recommended by World Health Organization (WHO) and Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS). In case of biological parameter, both Total Coliform and Fecal Coliform bacteria (Escherichia coli) were identified. This indicates the contamination of lakes by fecal matter, and warns of potential of disease causing by viruses, bacteria and other organisms. Among the twelve metal elements (Al, Cr, Mn, Fe, Ni, Cu, Zn, As, Se, Mo, Cd and Pb) determined by inductively coupled plasma-mass spectroscopy, except Cd (for all lakes), and Pb (for Ukkadam, Kurichi, Sulur & Singanallur), all the elements were found above the prescribed limits of BIS. The results of the present study revealed that all the five major lakes of Coimbatore were contaminated. It is recommended that proper implementation of the new wetland waste management system and monitoring of water quality be of the urgent need to sustain the water bodies for future generations.

Keywords: heavy metals, inductively coupled plasma-mass spectroscopy, physicochemical and biological parameters, water quality

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7 Development of High Strength Self Curing Concrete Using Super Absorbing Polymer

Authors: K. Bala Subramanian, A. Siva, S. Swaminathan, Arul. M. G. Ajin


Concrete is an essential building material which is widely used in construction industry all over the world due to its compressible strength. Curing of concrete plays a vital role in durability and other performance necessities. Improper curing can affect the concrete performance and durability easily. When areas like scarcity of water, structures is not accessible by humans external curing cannot be performed, so we opt for internal curing. Internal curing (or) self-curing plays a major role in developing the concrete pore structure and microstructure. The concept of internal curing is to enhance the hydration process to maintain the temperature uniformly. The evaporation of water in the concrete is reduced by self-curing agent (Super Absorbing Polymer – SAP) thereby increasing the water retention capacity of the concrete. The research work was carried out to reduce water, which is prime material used for concrete in the construction industry. Concrete curing plays a major role in developing hydration process. Concept of self-curing will reduce the evaporation of water from concrete. Self-curing will increase water retention capacity as compared to the conventional concrete. Proper self-curing (or) internal curing increases the strength, durability and performance of concrete. Super absorbing Polymer (SAP) used as internal curing agent. In this study 0.2% to 0.4% of SAP was varied in different grade of high strength concrete. In the experiment replacement of cement by silica fumes with 5%, 10% and 15% are studied. It is found that replacement of silica fumes by 10 % gives more strength and durability when compared to others

Keywords: compressive strength, high strength concrete rapid chloride permeability, super absorbing polymer

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6 Numerical Studies on Bypass Thrust Augmentation Using Convective Heat Transfer in Turbofan Engine

Authors: R. Adwaith, J. Gopinath, Vasantha Kohila B., R. Chandru, Arul Prakash R.


The turbofan engine is a type of air breathing engine that is widely used in aircraft propulsion produces thrust mainly from the mass-flow of air bypassing the engine core. The present research has developed an effective method numerically by increasing the thrust generated from the bypass air. This thrust increase is brought about by heating the walls of the bypass valve from the combustion chamber using convective heat transfer method. It is achieved computationally by the use external heat to enhance the velocity of bypass air of turbofan engines. The bypass valves are either heated externally using multicell tube resistor which convert electricity generated by dynamos into heat or heat is transferred from the combustion chamber. This increases the temperature of the flow in the valves and thereby increase the velocity of the flow that enters the nozzle of the engine. As a result, mass-flow of air passing the core engine for producing more thrust can be significantly reduced thereby saving considerable amount of Jet fuel. Numerical analysis has been carried out on a scaled down version of a typical turbofan bypass valve, where the valve wall temperature has been increased to 700 Kelvin. It is observed from the analysis that, the exit velocity contributing to thrust has significantly increased by 10 % due to the heating of by-pass valve. The degree of optimum increase in the temperature, and the corresponding effect in the increase of jet velocity is calculated to determine the operating temperature range for efficient increase in velocity. The technique used in the research increases the thrust by using heated by-pass air without extracting much work from the fuel and thus improve the efficiency of existing turbofan engines. Dimensional analysis has been carried to prove the accuracy of the results obtained numerically.

Keywords: turbofan engine, bypass valve, multi-cell tube, convective heat transfer, thrust

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5 Comparative in vitro Anticancer Activity of Two Siddha Formulations: Neeradi Muthu Vallathymezugu and Thamira Kattu Chendooram

Authors: Vasudha Devi, Arul Amuthan, K. Narayanan, Praveen KS, Venkata Rao J


Background: Siddha Medicine is one of the Indian traditional medical systems, in which the cancer disease is mentioned as 'putrunoi' which literally means the disease of growth like termite mound. There are number of formulations available for the treatment of cancer disease. Neeradi muthu vallathymezugu (NMV) and thamira kattu chendooram (TKC) are two drugs commonly prescribed by Siddha physicians. These drugs have been clinically reported to be safe and effective when given orally. Though these formulations are in practice for centuries, no efforts have been made to standardize them and explore their anti-cancer potential systematically. Objective: To compare the cytotoxic activity of NMV and TKC with doxorubicin using cancer cell lines. Materials and methods: For this study, ethanol extract of NMV was taken, whereas TKC was used as such. In vitro cytotoxic activity was evaluated by sulphorhodamine (SRB) assay against human hepatic cancer cells (HepG2), human breast cancer cells (MCF-7) and human cervical cancer cells [KeLa]. Doxorubicin was used as the standard. The SRB assay is based on the ability of cellular proteins to bind with sulphorhodamine-B. The number of live cells in drug treated cell lines directly affects the color formation in the assay, which is estimated calorimetrically by measuring the absorbance at 540 nm to calculate the cytotoxicity (inhibitory concentration - IC50 value) of the drug. Results: The IC50values of NMV, TKC and doxorubicin against HepG2 were 3.08 µg/ml, 20.21 µg/ml and 1.21µg/ml respectively. In MCF-7, it was 11.75 µg/ml, 17.67 µg/ml and 2.8µg/ml. In HeLa, the values were 24.76 µg/ml, 73.35 µg/ml and 1.12µg/ml. Conclusions: The study proves the possible anti-cancer potential of these two formulations. Compared to TKC, NMV showed good cytotoxic effect even at low dose. Human hepatic cancer cells responded well even at very low dose, when compared to other cancer cells. Though, cytotoxic potential of these compounds was found to be less compared to doxorubicin, the isolated lead compound may have the potential to be used as an anticancer drug clinically.

Keywords: Neeradi muthu vallathymezugu (Hydnocarpus laurifolia), thamira kattu chendooram, cytotoxicity, in-vitro, Siddha Medicine

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4 Accuracy of Computed Tomography Dose Monitor Values: A Multicentric Study in India

Authors: Adhimoolam Saravana Kumar, K. N. Govindarajan, B. Devanand, R. Rajakumar


The quality of Computed Tomography (CT) procedures has improved in recent years due to technological developments and increased diagnostic ability of CT scanners. Due to the fact that CT doses are the peak among diagnostic radiology practices, it is of great significance to be aware of patient’s CT radiation dose whenever a CT examination is preferred. CT radiation dose delivered to patients in the form of volume CT dose index (CTDIvol) values, is displayed on scanner monitors at the end of each examination and it is an important fact to assure that this information is accurate. The objective of this study was to estimate the CTDIvol values for great number of patients during the most frequent CT examinations, to study the comparison between CT dose monitor values and measured ones, as well as to highlight the fluctuation of CTDIvol values for the same CT examination at different centres and scanner models. The output CT dose indices measurements were carried out on single and multislice scanners for available kV, 5 mm slice thickness, 100 mA and FOV combination used. The 100 CT scanners were involved in this study. Data with regard to 15,000 examinations in patients, who underwent routine head, chest and abdomen CT were collected using a questionnaire sent to a large number of hospitals. Out of the 15,000 examinations, 5000 were head CT examinations, 5000 were chest CT examinations and 5000 were abdominal CT examinations. Comprehensive quality assurance (QA) was performed for all the machines involved in this work. Followed by QA, CT phantom dose measurements were carried out in South India using actual scanning parameters used clinically by the hospitals. From this study, we have measured the mean divergence between the measured and displayed CTDIvol values were 5.2, 8.4, and -5.7 for selected head, chest and abdomen procedures for protocols as mentioned above, respectively. Thus, this investigation revealed an observable change in CT practices, with a much wider range of studies being performed currently in South India. This reflects the improved capacity of CT scanners to scan longer scan lengths and at finer resolutions as permitted by helical and multislice technology. Also, some of the CT scanners have used smaller slice thickness for routine CT procedures to achieve better resolution and image quality. It leads to an increase in the patient radiation dose as well as the measured CTDIv, so it is suggested that such CT scanners should select appropriate slice thickness and scanning parameters in order to reduce the patient dose. If these routine scan parameters for head, chest and abdomen procedures are optimized than the dose indices would be optimal and lead to the lowering of the CT doses. In South Indian region all the CT machines were routinely tested for QA once in a year as per AERB requirements.

Keywords: CT dose index, weighted CTDI, volumetric CTDI, radiation dose

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3 Production of Bricks Using Mill Waste and Tyre Crumbs at a Low Temperature by Alkali-Activation

Authors: Zipeng Zhang, Yat C. Wong, Arul Arulrajah


Since automobiles became widely popular around the early 20th century, end-of-life tyres have been one of the major types of waste humans encounter. Every minute, there are considerable quantities of tyres being disposed of around the world. Most end-of-life tyres are simply landfilled or simply stockpiled, other than recycling. To address the potential issues caused by tyre waste, incorporating it into construction materials can be a possibility. This research investigated the viability of manufacturing bricks using mill waste and tyre crumb by alkali-activation at a relatively low temperature. The mill waste was extracted from a brick factory located in Melbourne, Australia, and the tyre crumbs were supplied by a local recycling company. As the main precursor, the mill waste was activated by the alkaline solution, which was comprised of sodium hydroxide (8m) and sodium silicate (liquid). The introduction ratio of alkaline solution (relative to the solid weight) and the weight ratio between sodium hydroxide and sodium silicate was fixed at 20 wt.% and 1:1, respectively. The tyre crumb was introduced to substitute part of the mill waste at four ratios by weight, namely 0, 5, 10 and 15%. The mixture of mill waste and tyre crumbs were firstly dry-mixed for 2 min to ensure the homogeneity, followed by a 2.5-min wet mixing after adding the solution. The ready mixture subsequently was press-moulded into blocks with the size of 109 mm in length, 112.5 mm in width and 76 mm in height. The blocks were cured at 50°C with 95% relative humidity for 2 days, followed by a 110°C oven-curing for 1 day. All the samples were then placed under the ambient environment until the age of 7 and 28 days for testing. A series of tests were conducted to evaluate the linear shrinkage, compressive strength and water absorption of the samples. In addition, the microstructure of the samples was examined via the scanning electron microscope (SEM) test. The results showed the highest compressive strength was 17.6 MPa, found in the 28-day-old group using 5 wt.% tyre crumbs. Such strength has been able to satisfy the requirement of ASTM C67. However, the increasing addition of tyre crumb weakened the compressive strength of samples. Apart from the strength, the linear shrinkage and water absorption of all the groups can meet the requirements of the standard. It is worth noting that the use of tyre crumbs tended to decrease the shrinkage and even caused expansion when the tyre content was over 15 wt.%. The research also found that there was a significant reduction in compressive strength for the samples after water absorption tests. In conclusion, the tyre crumbs have the potential to be used as a filler material in brick manufacturing, but more research needs to be done to tackle the durability problem in the future.

Keywords: bricks, mill waste, tyre crumbs, waste recycling

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2 Festivals and Weddings in India during Corona Pandemic

Authors: Arul Aram, Vishnu Priya, Monicka Karunanithi


In India, in particular, festivals are the occasions of celebrations. They create beautiful moments to cherish. Mostly, people pay a visit to their native places to celebrate with their loved ones. So are wedding celebrations. The Covid-19 pandemic came upon us unexpectedly, and to fight it, the festivals and weddings are celebrated unusually. Crowded places are deserted. Mass gatherings are avoided, changes and alterations are made in our rituals and celebrations. The warmth usually people have at their heart during any festival and wedding has disappeared. Some aspects of the celebrations become virtual/digital rather than real -- for instance, digital greetings/invitations, digital conduct of ceremonies by priests, YouTube worship, online/digital cash gifts, and digital audience for weddings. Each festival has different rituals which are followed with the divine nature in every family, but the pandemic warranted some compromises on the traditions. Likewise, a marriage is a beautiful bond between two families where a lot of traditional customs are followed. The wedding ceremonies are colorful and celebrations may extend for several days. People in India spend financial resources to prepare and celebrate weddings. The bride's and the groom's homes are fully decorated with colors, balloons and other decorations. The wedding rituals and celebrations vary by religion, region, preference and the resources of the groom, bride and their families. They can range from one day to multiple-days events. But the Covid-19 pandemic situation changes the mindset of people over ceremonies. This lockdown has affected those weddings and industries that support them and make the people postpone or at times advance without fanfare their 'big day.' People now adopt the protocols, guidelines and safety measures to reduce the risk and minimize the fear during celebrations. The study shall look into: how the pandemic shattered the expectations of people celebrating; problems faced economically by people/service providers who are benefited by the celebrations; and identify the alterations made in the rituals or the practices of our culture for the safety of families. The study shall employ questionnaires, interviews and visual ethnography to collect data. The study found that during a complete lockdown, people have not bought new clothes, sweets, or snacks, as they generally do before a pandemic. Almost all of them kept their celebrations low-key, and some did not celebrate at all. Digital media played a role in keeping the celebration alive, as people used it to wish their friends and families virtually. During partial unlock, the situation was under control, and people began to go out and see a few family and friends. They went shopping and bought new clothes and needs, but they did it while following safety precautions. There is also an equal percentage of people who shopped online. Although people continue to remain disappointed, they were less stressed up as life was returning to normal.

Keywords: covid-19, digital, festivals, India, wedding

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1 Hydrogen Purity: Developing Low-Level Sulphur Speciation Measurement Capability

Authors: Sam Bartlett, Thomas Bacquart, Arul Murugan, Abigail Morris


Fuel cell electric vehicles provide the potential to decarbonise road transport, create new economic opportunities, diversify national energy supply, and significantly reduce the environmental impacts of road transport. A potential issue, however, is that the catalyst used at the fuel cell cathode is susceptible to degradation by impurities, especially sulphur-containing compounds. A recent European Directive (2014/94/EU) stipulates that, from November 2017, all hydrogen provided to fuel cell vehicles in Europe must comply with the hydrogen purity specifications listed in ISO 14687-2; this includes reactive and toxic chemicals such as ammonia and total sulphur-containing compounds. This requirement poses great analytical challenges due to the instability of some of these compounds in calibration gas standards at relatively low amount fractions and the difficulty associated with undertaking measurements of groups of compounds rather than individual compounds. Without the available reference materials and analytical infrastructure, hydrogen refuelling stations will not be able to demonstrate compliance to the ISO 14687 specifications. The hydrogen purity laboratory at NPL provides world leading, accredited purity measurements to allow hydrogen refuelling stations to evidence compliance to ISO 14687. Utilising state-of-the-art methods that have been developed by NPL’s hydrogen purity laboratory, including a novel method for measuring total sulphur compounds at 4 nmol/mol and a hydrogen impurity enrichment device, we provide the capabilities necessary to achieve these goals. An overview of these capabilities will be given in this paper. As part of the EMPIR Hydrogen co-normative project ‘Metrology for sustainable hydrogen energy applications’, NPL are developing a validated analytical methodology for the measurement of speciated sulphur-containing compounds in hydrogen at low amount fractions pmol/mol to nmol/mol) to allow identification and measurement of individual sulphur-containing impurities in real samples of hydrogen (opposed to a ‘total sulphur’ measurement). This is achieved by producing a suite of stable gravimetrically-prepared primary reference gas standards containing low amount fractions of sulphur-containing compounds (hydrogen sulphide, carbonyl sulphide, carbon disulphide, 2-methyl-2-propanethiol and tetrahydrothiophene have been selected for use in this study) to be used in conjunction with novel dynamic dilution facilities to enable generation of pmol/mol to nmol/mol level gas mixtures (a dynamic method is required as compounds at these levels would be unstable in gas cylinder mixtures). Method development and optimisation are performed using gas chromatographic techniques assisted by cryo-trapping technologies and coupled with sulphur chemiluminescence detection to allow improved qualitative and quantitative analyses of sulphur-containing impurities in hydrogen. The paper will review the state-of-the art gas standard preparation techniques, including the use and testing of dynamic dilution technologies for reactive chemical components in hydrogen. Method development will also be presented highlighting the advances in the measurement of speciated sulphur compounds in hydrogen at low amount fractions.

Keywords: gas chromatography, hydrogen purity, ISO 14687, sulphur chemiluminescence detector

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