Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 6698

Search results for: Environment

6698 Evaluation of Underground Water Flow into Tabriz Metro Tunnel First Line by Hydro-Mechanical Coupling Analysis

Authors: L. Nikakhtar, S. Zare

Abstract:

One of the main practical difficulties attended with tunnel construction is related to underground water. Uncontrolled water behavior may cause extra loads on the lining, mechanical instability, and unfavorable environmental problems. Estimating underground water inflow rate to the tunnels is a complex skill. The common calculation methods are: empirical methods, analytical solutions, numerical solutions based on the equivalent continuous porous media. In this research the rate of underground water inflow to the Tabriz metro first line tunnel has been investigated by numerical finite difference method using FLAC2D software. Comparing results of Heuer analytical method and numerical simulation showed good agreement with each other. Fully coupled and one-way coupled hydro mechanical states as well as water-free conditions in the soil around the tunnel are used in numerical models and these models have been applied to evaluate the loading value on the tunnel support system. Results showed that the fully coupled hydro mechanical analysis estimated more axial forces, moments and shear forces in linings, so this type of analysis is more conservative and reliable method for design of tunnel lining system. As sensitivity analysis, inflow water rates into the tunnel were evaluated in different soil permeability, underground water levels and depths of the tunnel. Result demonstrated that water level in constant depth of the tunnel is more sensitive factor for water inflow rate to the tunnel in comparison of other parameters investigated in the sensitivity analysis.

Keywords: FLAC2D, inflow rate, Coupled hydro mechanical analysis, Tabriz Metro

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6697 Environmental Impact of Autoclaved Aerated Concrete in Modern Construction: A Case Study from the New Egyptian Administrative Capital

Authors: Esraa A. Khalil, Mohamed N. AbouZeid

Abstract:

Building materials selection is critical for the sustainability of any project. The choice of building materials has a huge impact on the built environment and cost of projects. Building materials emit huge amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) due to the use of cement as a basic component in the manufacturing process and as a binder, which harms our environment. Energy consumption from buildings has increased in the last few years; a huge amount of energy is being wasted from using unsustainable building and finishing materials, as well as from the process of heating and cooling of buildings. In addition, the construction sector in Egypt is taking a good portion of the economy; however, there is a lack of awareness of buildings environmental impacts on the built environment. Using advanced building materials and different wall systems can help in reducing heat consumption, the project’s initial and long-term costs, and minimizing the environmental impacts. Red Bricks is one of the materials that are being used widely in Egypt. There are many other types of bricks such as Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (AAC); however, the use of Red Bricks is dominating the construction industry due to its affordability and availability. This research focuses on the New Egyptian Administrative Capital as a case study to investigate the potential of the influence of using different wall systems such as AAC on the project’s cost and the environment. The aim of this research is to conduct a comparative analysis between the traditional and most commonly used bricks in Egypt, which is Red Bricks, and AAC wall systems. Through an economic and environmental study, the difference between the two wall systems will be justified to encourage the utilization of uncommon techniques in the construction industry to build more affordable, energy efficient and sustainable buildings. The significance of this research is to show the potential of using AAC in the construction industry and its positive influences. The study analyzes the factors associated with choosing suitable building materials for different projects according to the need and criteria of each project and its nature without harming the environment and wasting materials that could be saved or recycled. The New Egyptian Administrative Capital is considered as the country’s new heart, where ideas regarding energy savings and environmental benefits are taken into consideration. Meaning that, Egypt is taking good steps to move towards more sustainable construction. According to the analysis and site visits, there is a potential in reducing the initial costs of buildings by 12.1% and saving energy by using different techniques up to 25%. Interviews with the mega structures project engineers and managers reveal that they are more open to introducing sustainable building materials that will help in saving the environment and moving towards green construction as well as to studying more effective techniques for energy conservation.

Keywords: Environmental Impact, Building Material, Modern Construction, AAC blocks, new Egyptian administrative capital

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6696 The Necessity of Urban Boundaries in Planning Legislation: A Case Study in Bilecik, Turkey

Authors: Mercan Efe Güney, Barış Parlatangiller, Melik Ayer

Abstract:

In Turkey, while urban area boundaries are enlarged by making decisions on investment areas in cities, development plans are made according to government decisions, rather than scientific criteria. Even environment protection laws state that “if public interest is at stake”, areas under mandatory protection can be transformed into investment areas. This leads to destruction of valuable agricultural lands. Paper demonstrates loss of agricultural lands by superimposing plans, Suitability of the Lands for Agricultural Use and Google Earth Images in an exemplary settlement, and expresses that urban area boundaries should be included in legislation as an official boundary for all settlements.

Keywords: Agriculture, City planning, Legislation, boundary, development plan

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6695 Reinforced Concrete, Problems and Solutions: A Literature Review

Authors: Omar Alhamad, Waleed Eid

Abstract:

Reinforced concrete is a concrete lined with steel so that the materials work together in the resistance forces. Reinforcement rods or mesh are used for tensile, shear, and sometimes intense pressure in a concrete structure. Reinforced concrete is subject to many natural problems or industrial errors. The result of these problems is that it reduces the efficiency of the reinforced concrete or its usefulness. Some of these problems are cracks, earthquakes, high temperatures or fires, as well as corrosion of reinforced iron inside reinforced concrete. There are also factors of ancient buildings or monuments that require some techniques to preserve them. This research presents some general information about reinforced concrete, the pros and cons of reinforced concrete, and then presents a series of literary studies of some of the late published researches on the subject of reinforced concrete and how to preserve it, propose solutions or treatments for the treatment of reinforced concrete problems, raise efficiency and quality for a longer period. These studies have provided advanced and modern methods and techniques in the field of reinforced concrete.

Keywords: Concrete, Seismic, treatment, Corrosion, Reinforced Concrete, Cracks

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6694 Numerical Investigation of the Jacketing Method of Reinforced Concrete Column

Authors: S. Boukais, A. Nekmouche, N. Khelil, A. Kezmane

Abstract:

The first intent of this study is to develop a finite element model that can predict correctly the behavior of the reinforced concrete column. Second aim is to use the finite element model to investigate and evaluate the effect of the strengthening method by jacketing of the reinforced concrete column, by considering different interface contact between the old and the new concrete. Four models were evaluated, one by considering perfect contact, the other three models by using friction coefficient of 0.1, 0.3 and 0.5. The simulation was carried out by using Abaqus software. The obtained results show that the jacketing reinforcement led to significant increase of the global performance of the behavior of the simulated reinforced concrete column.

Keywords: Strengthening, ABAQUS, reinforced concrete column, jacketing

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6693 Performance Analysis of Three Absorption Heat Pump Cycles, Full and Partial Loads Operations

Authors: B. Dehghan, T. Toppi, M. Aprile, M. Motta

Abstract:

The environmental concerns related to global warming and ozone layer depletion along with the growing worldwide demand for heating and cooling have brought an increasing attention toward ecological and efficient Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems. Furthermore, since space heating accounts for a considerable part of the European primary/final energy use, it has been identified as one of the sectors with the most challenging targets in energy use reduction. Heat pumps are commonly considered as a technology able to contribute to the achievement of the targets. Current research focuses on the full load operation and seasonal performance assessment of three gas-driven absorption heat pump cycles. To do this, investigations of the gas-driven air-source ammonia-water absorption heat pump systems for small-scale space heating applications are presented. For each of the presented cycles, both full-load under various temperature conditions and seasonal performances are predicted by means of numerical simulations. It has been considered that small capacity appliances are usually equipped with fixed geometry restrictors, meaning that the solution mass flow rate is driven by the pressure difference across the associated restrictor valve. Results show that gas utilization efficiency (GUE) of the cycles varies between 1.2 and 1.7 for both full and partial loads and vapor exchange (VX) cycle is found to achieve the highest efficiency. It is noticed that, for typical space heating applications, heat pumps operate over a wide range of capacities and thermal lifts. Thus, partially, the novelty introduced in the paper is the investigation based on a seasonal performance approach, following the method prescribed in a recent European standard (EN 12309). The overall result is a modest variation in the seasonal performance for analyzed cycles, from 1.427 (single-effect) to 1.493 (vapor-exchange).

Keywords: Heat pump, absorption cycles, gas utilization efficiency, seasonal performance, vapor exchange cycle

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6692 Influence of Humidity on Environmental Sustainability, Air Quality and Occupant Health

Authors: E. Cintura, M. I. Gomes

Abstract:

Nowadays, sustainable development issues have a key role in the planning of the man-made environment. Ensuring this development means limiting the impact of human activity on nature. It is essential to secure healthy places and good living conditions. For these reasons, indoor air quality and building materials play a fundamental role in sustainable architectural projects. These factors significantly affect human health: they can radically change the quality of the internal environment and energy consumption. The use of natural materials such as earth has many beneficial aspects in comfort and indoor air quality. As well as advantages in the environmental impact of the construction, they ensure a low energy consumption. Since they are already present in nature, their production and use do not require a high-energy consumption. Furthermore, they have a high thermo-hygrometric capacity, being able to absorb moisture, contributing positively to indoor conditions. Indoor air quality is closely related to relative humidity. For these reasons, it can be affirmed that the use of earth materials guarantees a sustainable development and at the same time improves the health of the building users. This paper summarizes several researches that demonstrate the importance of indoor air quality for human health and how it strictly depends on the building materials used. Eco-efficient plasters are also considered: earth and ash mortar. The bibliography consulted has the objective of supporting future experimental and laboratory analyzes. It is necessary to carry on with research by the use of simulations and testing to confirm the hygrothermal properties of eco-efficient plasters and therefore their ability to improve indoor air quality.

Keywords:

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6691 Accessibility and Visibility through Space Syntax Analysis of the Linga Raj Temple in Odisha, India

Authors: S. Pramanik

Abstract:

Since the early ages, the Hindu temples have been interpreted through various Vedic philosophies. These temples are visited by pilgrims which demonstrate the rituals and religious belief of communities, reflecting a variety of actions and behaviors. Darsana a direct seeing, is a part of the pilgrimage activity. During the process of Darsana, a devotee is prepared for entry in the temple to realize the cognizing Truth culminating in visualizing the idol of God, placed at the Garbhagriha (sanctum sanctorum). For this, the pilgrim must pass through a sequential arrangement of spaces. During the process of progress, the pilgrims visualize the spaces differently from various points of views. The viewpoints create a variety of spatial patterns in the minds of pilgrims coherent to the Hindu philosophies. The space organization and its order are perceived by various techniques of spatial analysis. A temple, as examples of Kalinga stylistic variations, has been chosen for the study. This paper intends to demonstrate some visual patterns generated during the process of Darsana (visibility) and its accessibility by Point Isovist Studies and Visibility Graph Analysis from the entrance (Simha Dwara) to The Sanctum sanctorum (Garbhagriha).

Keywords:

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6690 Role of Sequestration of CO2 Due to the Carbonation in Total CO2 Emission Balance in Concrete Life

Authors: P. P. Woyciechowski

Abstract:

Calculation of the carbon footprint of cement concrete is a complex process including consideration of the phase of primary life (components and concrete production processes, transportation, construction works, maintenance of concrete structures) and secondary life, including demolition and recycling. Taking into consideration the effect of concrete carbonation can lead to a reduction in the calculated carbon footprint of concrete. In this paper, an example of CO2 balance for small bridge elements made of Portland cement reinforced concrete was done. The results include the effect of carbonation of concrete in a structure and of concrete rubble after demolition. It was shown that important impact of carbonation on the balance is possible only when rubble carbonation is possible. It was related to the fact that only the sequestration potential in the secondary phase of concrete life has significant value.

Keywords:

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6689 Influence of Selected Finishing Technologies on the Roughness Parameters of Stainless Steel Manufactured by Selective Laser Melting Method

Authors: J. Hajnys, M. Pagac, J. Petru, P. Stefek, J. Mesicek, J. Kratochvil

Abstract:

The new progressive method of 3D metal printing SLM (Selective Laser Melting) is increasingly expanded into the normal operation. As a result, greater demands are placed on the surface quality of the parts produced in this way. The article deals with research of selected finishing methods (tumbling, face milling, sandblasting, shot peening and brushing) and their impact on the final surface roughness. The 20 x 20 x 7 mm produced specimens using SLM additive technology on the Renishaw AM400 were subjected to testing of these finishing methods by adjusting various parameters. Surface parameters of roughness Sa, Sz were chosen as the evaluation criteria and profile parameters Ra, Rz were used as additional measurements. Optical measurement of surface roughness was performed on Alicona Infinite Focus 5. An experiment conducted to optimize the surface roughness revealed, as expected, that the best roughness parameters were achieved through a face milling operation. Tumbling is particularly suitable for 3D printing components, as tumbling media are able to reach even complex shapes and, after changing to polishing bodies, achieve a high surface gloss. Surface quality after tumbling depends on the process time. Other methods with satisfactory results are shot peening and tumbling, which should be the focus of further research.

Keywords:

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6688 Mechanical Properties of Cement Slurry by Partially Substitution of Industry Waste Natural Pozzolans

Authors: R. Ziaie Moayed, S. P. Emadoleslami Oskoei, S. D. Beladi Mousavi, A. Taleb Beydokhti

Abstract:

There have been many reports of the destructive effects of cement on the environment in recent years. In the present research, it has been attempted to reduce the destructive effects of cement by replacing silica fume as adhesive materials instead of cement. The present study has attempted to improve the mechanical properties of cement slurry by using waste material from a glass production factory, located in Qazvin city of Iran, in which accumulation volume has become an environmental threat. The chemical analysis of the waste material indicates that this material contains about 94% of SiO2 and AL2O3 and has a close structure to silica fume. Also, the particle grain size test was performed on the mentioned waste. Then, the unconfined compressive strength test of the slurry was performed by preparing a mixture of water and adhesives with different percentages of cement and silica fume. The water to an adhesive ratio of this mixture is 1:3, and the curing process last 28 days. It was found that the sample had an unconfined compressive strength of about 300 kg/cm2 in a mixture with equal proportions of cement and silica fume. Besides, the sample had a brittle fracture in the slurry sample made of pure cement, however, the fracture in cement-silica fume slurry mixture is flexible and the structure of the specimen remains coherent after fracture. Therefore, considering the flexibility that is achieved by replacing this waste, it can be used to stabilize soils with cracking potential.

Keywords:

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6687 Experimental Investigation on Geosynthetic-Reinforced Soil Sections via California Bearing Ratio Test

Authors: S. Abdi Goudazri, R. Ziaie Moayed, A. Nazeri

Abstract:

Loose soils normally are of weak bearing capacity due to their structural nature. Being exposed to heavy traffic loads, they would fail in most cases. To tackle the aforementioned issue, geotechnical engineers have come up with different approaches; one of which is making use of geosynthetic-reinforced soil-aggregate systems. As these polymeric reinforcements have highlighted economic and environmentally-friendly features, they have become widespread in practice during the last decades. The present research investigates the efficiency of four different types of these reinforcements in increasing the bearing capacity of two-layered soil sections using a series California Bearing Ratio (CBR) test. The studied sections are comprised of a 10 cm-thick layer of no. 161 Firouzkooh sand (weak subgrade) and a 10 cm-thick layer of compacted aggregate materials (base course) classified as SP and GW according to the United Soil Classification System (USCS), respectively. The aggregate layer was compacted to the relative density (Dr) of 95% at the optimum water content (Wopt) of 6.5%. The applied reinforcements were including two kinds of geocomposites (type A and B), a geotextile, and a geogrid that were embedded at the interface of the lower and the upper layers of the soil-aggregate system. As the standard CBR mold was not appropriate in height for this study, the mold used for soaked CBR tests were utilized. To make a comparison between the results of stress-settlement behavior in the studied specimens, CBR values pertinent to the penetrations of 2.5 mm and 5 mm were considered. The obtained results demonstrated 21% and 24.5% increments in the amount of CBR value in the presence of geocomposite type A and geogrid, respectively. On the other hand, the effect of both geotextile and geocomposite type B on CBR values was generally insignificant in this research.

Keywords:

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6686 Evaluations of 3D Concrete Printing Produced in the Environment of United Arab Emirates

Authors: Adil K. Tamimi, Tarig Ali, Rawan Anoohi, Ahmed Rajput, Kaltham Alkamali

Abstract:

3D concrete printing is one of the most innovative and modern techniques in the field of construction that achieved several milestones in that field for the following advantages: saving project’s time, ability to execute complicated shapes, reduce waste and low cost. However, the concept of 3D printing in UAE is relatively new where construction teams, including clients, consultants, and contractors, do not have the required knowledge and experience in the field. This is the most significant obstacle for the construction parties, which make them refrained from using 3D concrete printing compared to conventional concreting methods. This study shows the historical development of the 3D concrete printing, its advantages, and the challenges facing this innovation. Concrete mixes and materials have been proposed and evaluated to select the best combination for successful 3D concrete printing. The main characteristics of the 3D concrete printing in the fresh and hardened states are considered, such as slump test, flow table, compressive strength, tensile, and flexural strengths. There is need to assess the structural stability of the 3D concrete by testing the bond between interlayers of the concrete.  

Keywords: Tensile Strength, compressive strength, flexural strength, workability, concrete mixes, slump test

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6685 Seismic Performance of Reinforced Concrete Frame Structure Based on Plastic Rotation

Authors: Kahil Amar, Meziani Faroudja, Khelil Nacim

Abstract:

The principal objective of this study is the evaluation of the seismic performance of reinforced concrete frame structures, taking into account of the behavior laws, reflecting the real behavior of materials, using CASTEM2000 software. A finite element model used is based in modified Takeda model with Timoshenko elements for columns and beams. This model is validated on a Vecchio experimental reinforced concrete (RC) frame model. Then, a study focused on the behavior of a RC frame with three-level and three-story in order to visualize the positioning the plastic hinge (plastic rotation), determined from the curvature distribution along the elements. The results obtained show that the beams of the 1st and 2nd level developed a very large plastic rotations, or these rotations exceed the values corresponding to CP (Collapse prevention with cp qCP = 0.02 rad), against those developed at the 3rd level, are between IO and LS (Immediate occupancy and life Safety with qIO = 0.005 rad and rad qLS = 0.01 respectively), so the beams of first and second levels submit a very significant damage.

Keywords: Pushover Analysis, Seismic Performance, plastic hinge, performance level, plastic rotation

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6684 Slice Bispectrogram Analysis-Based Classification of Environmental Sounds Using Convolutional Neural Network

Authors: Katsumi Hirata

Abstract:

Certain systems can function well only if they recognize the sound environment as humans do. In this research, we focus on sound classification by adopting a convolutional neural network and aim to develop a method that automatically classifies various environmental sounds. Although the neural network is a powerful technique, the performance depends on the type of input data. Therefore, we propose an approach via a slice bispectrogram, which is a third-order spectrogram and is a slice version of the amplitude for the short-time bispectrum. This paper explains the slice bispectrogram and discusses the effectiveness of the derived method by evaluating the experimental results using the ESC‑50 sound dataset. As a result, the proposed scheme gives high accuracy and stability. Furthermore, some relationship between the accuracy and non-Gaussianity of sound signals was confirmed.

Keywords: bispectrum, convolutional neural network, spectrogram, environmental sound, slice bispectrogram

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6683 Virtual Reality Learning Environment in Embryology Education

Authors: Salasabeel F. M. Alfalah, Jannat F. Falah, Nadia Muhaidat, Amjad Hudaib, Diana Koshebye, Sawsan AlHourani

Abstract:

Educational technology is changing the way how students engage and interact with learning materials. This improved the learning process amongst various subjects. Virtual Reality (VR) applications are considered one of the evolving methods that have contributed to enhancing medical education. This paper utilizes VR to provide a solution to improve the delivery of the subject of Embryology to medical students, and facilitate the teaching process by providing a useful aid to lecturers, whilst proving the effectiveness of this new technology in this particular area. After evaluating the current teaching methods and identifying students ‘needs, a VR system was designed that demonstrates in an interactive fashion the development of the human embryo from fertilization to week ten of intrauterine development. This system aims to overcome some of the problems faced by the students’ in the current educational methods, and to increase the efficacy of the learning process.

Keywords: Virtual Reality, Embryology, Medical Education, student assessment

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6682 Statistical Approach to Identify Stress and Biases Impairing Decision-Making in High-Risk Industry

Authors: Ph. Fauquet-Alekhine

Abstract:

Decision-making occurs several times an hour when working in high risk industry and an erroneous choice might have undesirable outcomes for people and the environment surrounding the industrial plant. Industrial decisions are very often made in a context of acute stress. Time pressure is a crucial stressor leading decision makers sometimes to boost up the decision-making process and if it is not possible then shift to the simplest strategy. We thus found it interesting to update the characterization of the stress factors impairing decision-making at Chinon Nuclear Power Plant (France) in order to optimize decision making contexts and/or associated processes. The investigation was based on the analysis of reports addressing safety events over the last 3 years. Among 93 reports, those explicitly addressing decision-making issues were identified. Characterization of each event was undertaken in terms of three criteria: stressors, biases impairing decision making and weaknesses of the decision-making process. The statistical analysis showed that biases were distributed over 10 possibilities among which the hypothesis confirmation bias was clearly salient. No significant correlation was found between criteria. The analysis indicated that the main stressor was time pressure and highlights an unexpected form of stressor: the trust asymmetry principle of the expert. The analysis led to the conclusion that this stressor impaired decision-making from a psychological angle rather than from a physiological angle: it induces defensive bias of self-esteem, self-protection associated with a bias of confirmation. This leads to the hypothesis that this stressor can intervene in some cases without being detected, and to the hypothesis that other stressors of the same kind might occur without being detected too. Further investigations addressing these hypotheses are considered. The analysis also led to the conclusion that dealing with these issues implied i) decision-making methods being well known to the workers and automated and ii) the decision-making tools being well known and strictly applied. Training was thus adjusted.

Keywords: stress, Expert, bias, high risk industry

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6681 A Framework and Case Study for Sustainable Development of Urban Areas

Authors: Yasaman Zeinali, Farid Khosravikia

Abstract:

This paper presents a multi-objective framework for sustainable urban development. The proposed framework aims to address different aspects of sustainability in urban development planning. These aspects include, but are not limited to education, health, job opportunities, architecture, culture, environment, mobility, energy, water, waste, and so on. Then, the proposed framework is applied to the Brackenridge Tract (an area in downtown Austin, Texas), to redevelop that area in a sustainable way. The detail of the implementation process is presented in this paper. The ultimate goal of this paper is to develop a sustainable area in downtown Austin with ensuring that it locally meets the needs of present and future generations with respect to economic, social, environmental, health as well as cultural aspects. Moreover, it helps the city with the population growth problem by accommodating more people in that area.

Keywords: Urban Planning, Sustainability, environmental impacts of human activities

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6680 Investigating the Thermal Characteristics of Reclaimed Solid Waste from a Landfill Site Using Thermogravimetry

Authors: S. M. Al-Salem, G.A. Leeke, H. J. Karam, R. Al-Enzi, A. T. Al-Dhafeeri, J. Wang

Abstract:

Thermogravimetry has been popularized as a thermal characterization technique since the 1950s. It aims at investigating the weight loss against both reaction time and temperature, whilst being able to characterize the evolved gases from the volatile components of the organic material being tested using an appropriate hyphenated analytical technique. In an effort to characterize and identify the reclaimed waste from an unsanitary landfill site, this approach was initiated. Solid waste (SW) reclaimed from an active landfill site in the State of Kuwait was collected and prepared for characterization in accordance with international protocols. The SW was segregated and its major components were identified after washing and air drying. Shredding and cryomilling was conducted on the plastic solid waste (PSW) component to yield a material that is representative for further testing and characterization. The material was subjected to five heating rates (b) with minimal repeatable weight for high accuracy thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) following the recommendation of the International Confederation for Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry (ICTAC). The TGA yielded thermograms that showed an off-set from typical behavior of commercial grade resin which was attributed to contact of material with soil and thermal/photo-degradation.

Keywords: Plastic, Waste, Pollution, Polymer, Landfill, TGA

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6679 Response Delay Model: Bridging the Gap in Urban Fire Disaster Response System

Authors: Sulaiman Yunus

Abstract:

The need for modeling response to urban fire disaster cannot be over emphasized, as recurrent fire outbreaks have gutted most cities of the world. This necessitated the need for a prompt and efficient response system in order to mitigate the impact of the disaster. Promptness, as a function of time, is seen to be the fundamental determinant for efficiency of a response system and magnitude of a fire disaster. Delay, as a result of several factors, is one of the major determinants of promptgness of a response system and also the magnitude of a fire disaster. Response Delay Model (RDM) intends to bridge the gap in urban fire disaster response system through incorporating and synchronizing the delay moments in measuring the overall efficiency of a response system and determining the magnitude of a fire disaster. The model identified two delay moments (pre-notification and Intra-reflex sequence delay) that can be elastic and collectively plays a significant role in influencing the efficiency of a response system. Due to variation in the elasticity of the delay moments, the model provides for measuring the length of delays in order to arrive at a standard average delay moment for different parts of the world, putting into consideration geographic location, level of preparedness and awareness, technological advancement, socio-economic and environmental factors. It is recommended that participatory researches should be embarked on locally and globally to determine standard average delay moments within each phase of the system so as to enable determining the efficiency of response systems and predicting fire disaster magnitudes.

Keywords: response, delay moment, fire disaster, reflex sequence, response delay moment

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6678 Understanding the Architecture of Hindu Temples: A Philosophical Interpretation

Authors: A. Bandyopadhyay

Abstract:

Vedic philosophy is one of the oldest existing philosophies of the world. Started around 6500 BC, in Western Indian subcontinent, the Indus valley Civilizations developed a theology which, gradually developed into a well-established philosophy of beliefs, popularly known as ‘Hindu religion’. In Vedic theology, the abstract concept of God was formulated mostly by close observation of the dynamicity and the recurrence of natural and universal phenomena. Through the ages, the philosophy of this theology went through various discursions, debates, and questionings and the abstract concept of God was, in time, formalized into more representational forms by the means of various signs and symbols. Often, these symbols were used in more subtle ways in the construction of “sacred” sculptures and structures. Apparently, two different philosophies were developed from the Vedic philosophy and these two philosophies are mostly seen in the northern part and southern part of the Indian subcontinent. This paper tries to summarize the complex philosophical treaties of Hinduism of northern and southern India and seeks to understand the meanings of the various signs and symbolisms that were incorporated in the architecture of Hindu temples, including the names given to various parts of the temples. The Hindu temples are not only places of worship or ‘houses of Gods’ like the Greek and Roman temples but are also structures that symbolize the dynamicity and also spiritual upliftment of human beings.

Keywords: Philosophy, temple, Vedic, Hindu

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6677 Studying the Spatial Variations of Stable Isotopes (18O and 2H) in Precipitation and Groundwater Resources in Zagros Region

Authors: Mojtaba Heydarizad

Abstract:

Zagros mountain range is a very important precipitation zone in Iran as it receives high average annual precipitation compared to other parts of this country. Although this region is important precipitation zone in semi-arid an arid country like Iran, accurate method to study water resources in this region has not been applied yet. In this study, stable isotope δ18O content of precipitation and groundwater resources showed spatial variations across Zagros region as southern parts of Zagros region showed more enriched isotope values compared to the northern parts. This is normal as southern Zagros region is much drier with higher air temperature and evaporation compared to northern parts. In addition, the spatial variations of stable isotope δ18O in precipitation in Zagros region have been simulated by the models which consider the altitude and latitude variations as input to simulate δ18O in precipitation.

Keywords: Simulation, Groundwater, Precipitation, Stable Isotopes, Zagros region

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6676 Effects of Using Gusset Plate Stiffeners on the Seismic Performance of Concentrically Braced Frame

Authors: B. Mohebi, N. Asadi, F. Kazemi

Abstract:

Inelastic deformation of the brace in Special Concentrically Braced Frame (SCBF) creates inelastic damages on gusset plate connections such as buckling at edges. In this study, to improve the seismic performance of SCBFs connections, an analytical study was undertaken. To improve the gusset plate connection, this study proposes using ‎edge’s stiffeners in both sides of gusset plate.‎ For this purpose, in order to examine edge’s stiffeners effect on gusset plate connections, two groups of modeling with and without considering edge’s stiffener and different types of braces were modeled using ABAQUS software. The results show that considering the edge’s stiffener reduces the equivalent plastic strain values at a connection region of gusset plate with beam and column, which can improve the seismic performance of gusset plate. Furthermore, considering the edge’s stiffeners significantly decreases the strain concentration at regions where gusset plates have been connected to beam and column. Moreover, considering 2tpl distance causes reduction in the plastic strain.

Keywords: Seismic Performance, special concentrically braced frame, gusset plate, edge’s stiffener

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6675 Effect of Density on the Shear Modulus and Damping Ratio of Saturated Sand in Small Strain

Authors: M. Kakavand, S. A. Naeini

Abstract:

Dynamic properties of soil in small strains, especially for geotechnical engineers, are important for describing the behavior of soil and estimation of the earth structure deformations and structures, especially significant structures. This paper presents the effect of density on the shear modulus and damping ratio of saturated clean sand at various isotropic confining pressures. For this purpose, the specimens were compared with two different relative densities, loose Dr = 30% and dense Dr = 70%. Dynamic parameters were attained from a series of consolidated undrained fixed – free type torsional resonant column tests in small strain. Sand No. 161 is selected for this paper. The experiments show that by increasing sand density and confining pressure, the shear modulus increases and the damping ratio decreases.

Keywords: Density, Shear Modulus, damping ratio, dynamic properties, clean sand, confining pressure, resonant column/torsional simple shear

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6674 Cutting Propagation Studies in Pennisetum divisum and Tamarix aucheriana as Native Plant Species of Kuwait

Authors: L. Almulla

Abstract:

Native plants are better adapted to the local environment providing a more natural effect on landscape projects; their use will both conserve natural resources and produce sustainable greenery. Continuation of evaluation of additional native plants is essential to increase diversity of plant resources for greenery projects. Therefore, in this project an effort was made to study the mass multiplication of further native plants for greenery applications. Standardization of vegetative propagation methods is essential for conservation and sustainable utilization of native plants in restoration projects. Moreover, these simple propagation methods can be readily adapted by the local nursery sector in Kuwait. In the present study, various treatments were used to mass multiply selected plants using vegetative parts to secure maximum rooting and initial growth. Soft or semi-hardwood cuttings of selected native plants were collected from mother plants and subjected to different treatments. Pennisetum divisum can be vegetatively propagated by cuttings/off-shoots. However, Tamarix aucheriana showed maximum number of rooted cuttings and stronger vigor seedlings with the lowest growth hormone concentration. Standardizing the propagation techniques for the native plant species will add to the rehabilitation and landscape revegetation projects in Kuwait.

Keywords: Landscape, Kuwait desert, rooting percentage vegetative propagation

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6673 Studying the Effect of Hydrocarbon Solutions on the Properties of Epoxy Polymer Concrete

Authors: Mustafa Hasan Omar

Abstract:

The destruction effect of hydrocarbon solutions on concrete besides its high permeability have led researchers to try to improve the performance of concrete exposed to these solutions, hence improving the durability and usability of oil concrete structures. Recently, polymer concrete is considered one of the most important types of concrete, and its behavior after exposure to oil products is still unknown. In the present work, an experimental study has been carried out, in which the prepared epoxy polymer concrete immersed in different types of hydrocarbon exposure solutions (gasoline, kerosene, and gas oil) for 120 days and compared with the reference concrete left in the air. The results for outdoor specimens indicate that the mechanical properties are increased after 120 days, but the specimens that were immersed in gasoline, kerosene, and gas oil for the same period show a reduction in compressive strength by -21%, -27% and -23%, whereas in splitting tensile strength by -19%, -24% and -20%, respectively. The reductions in ultrasonic pulse velocity for cubic specimens are -17%, -22% and -19% and in cylindrical specimens are -20%, -25% and -22%, respectively.

Keywords: Mechanical Properties, Polymer Concrete, epoxy resin, ultrasonic pulse velocity, hydrocarbon solutions

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6672 Comparative Analysis of Control Techniques Based Sliding Mode for Transient Stability Assessment for Synchronous Multicellular Converter

Authors: Rihab Hamdi, Amel Hadri Hamida, Fatiha Khelili, Sakina Zerouali, Ouafae Bennis

Abstract:

This paper features a comparative study performance of sliding mode controller (SMC) for closed-loop voltage control of direct current to direct current (DC-DC) three-cells buck converter connected in parallel, operating in continuous conduction mode (CCM), based on pulse-width modulation (PWM) with SMC based on hysteresis modulation (HM) where an adaptive feedforward technique is adopted. On one hand, for the PWM-based SM, the approach is to incorporate a fixed-frequency PWM scheme which is effectively a variant of SM control. On the other hand, for the HM-based SM, oncoming an adaptive feedforward control that makes the hysteresis band variable in the hysteresis modulator of the SM controller in the aim to restrict the switching frequency variation in the case of any change of the line input voltage or output load variation are introduced. The results obtained under load change, input change and reference change clearly demonstrates a similar dynamic response of both proposed techniques, their effectiveness is fast and smooth tracking of the desired output voltage. The PWM-based SM technique has greatly improved the dynamic behavior with a bit advantageous compared to the HM-based SM technique, as well as provide stability in any operating conditions. Simulation studies in MATLAB/Simulink environment have been performed to verify the concept.

Keywords: Robustness, Sliding Mode Control, DC-DC converter, pulse-width modulation, hysteresis modulation, parallel multi-cells converter

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6671 An Evaluation of the Feasibility of Several Industrial Wastes and Natural Materials as Precursors for the Production of Alkali Activated Materials

Authors: O. Alelweet, S. Pavia

Abstract:

In order to face current compelling environmental problems affecting the planet, the construction industry needs to adapt. It is widely acknowledged that there is a need for durable, high-performance, low-greenhouse gas emission binders that can be used as an alternative to Portland cement (PC) to lower the environmental impact of construction. Alkali activated materials (AAMs) are considered a more sustainable alternative to PC materials. The binders of AAMs result from the reaction of an alkali metal source and a silicate powder or precursor which can be a calcium silicate or an aluminosilicate-rich material. This paper evaluates the particle size, specific surface area, chemical and mineral composition and amorphousness of silicate materials (most industrial waste locally produced in Ireland and Saudi Arabia) to develop alkali-activated binders that can replace PC resources in specific applications. These include recycled ceramic brick, bauxite, illitic clay, fly ash and metallurgical slag. According to the results, the wastes are reactive and comply with building standards requirements. The study also evidenced that the reactivity of the Saudi bauxite (with significant kaolinite) can be enhanced on thermal activation; and high calcium in the slag will promote reaction; which should be possible with low alkalinity activators. The wastes evidenced variable water demands that will be taken into account for mixing with the activators. Finally, further research is proposed to further determine the reactive fraction of the clay-based precursors.

Keywords: slag, fly ash, Reactivity, Alkali-Activated Materials, brick, water demand, bauxite, illitic clay

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6670 Influence of Instructors in Engaging Online Graduate Students in Active Learning in the United States

Authors: Ehi E. Aimiuwu

Abstract:

As of 2017, many online learning professionals, institutions, and journals are still wondering how instructors can keep student engaged in the online learning environment to facilitate active learning effectively. The purpose of this qualitative single-case and narrative research is to explore whether online professors understand their role as mentors and facilitators of students’ academic success by keeping students engaged in active learning based on personalized experience in the field. Data collection tools that were used in the study included an NVivo 12 Plus qualitative software, an interview protocol, a digital audiotape, an observation sheet, and a transcription. Seven online professors in the United States from LinkedIn and residencies were interviewed for this study. Eleven online teaching techniques from previous research were used as the study framework. Data analysis process, member checking, and key themes were used to achieve saturation. About 85.7% of professors agreed on rubric as the preferred online grading technique. About 57.1% agreed on professors logging in daily, students logging in about 2-5 times weekly, knowing students to increase accountability, email as preferred communication tool, and computer access for adequate online learning. About 42.9% agreed on syllabus for clear class expectations, participation to show what has been learned, and energizing students for creativity.

Keywords: pedagogy, Online Education, class management, class facilitation, online teaching

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6669 The Application of International Law in Terms of Earthlife Africa Johannesburg and Another v Minister of Energy and Others 65662/16 (2017) Case

Authors: M. van der Bank

Abstract:

This study involves a legal analysis of the case Earthlife Africa Johannesburg v Minister of Environmental Affairs and Others. The case considered the impact of the Thabametsi Power Project if it operated to the expected year 2060 on the global climate and ever-changing climate, in South Africa. This judgment highlights the significance, place and principles of climate change and where climate change impacts the South African environmental law which has its founding principles in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996. This paper seeks to examine the advances for climate change regulation and application in terms of international law, in South Africa, through a qualitative study involving comparative national and international case law. A literature review study was conducted to compare and contrast the various aspects of law in order to support the argument undertaken. The paper presents a detailed discussion of the current legislation and the position as it currently stands with reference to international law and interpretation. The relevant protections as outlined in the National Environmental Management Act will be discussed. It then proceeds to outline the potential liability of the Minister in the interpretation and application of international law.

Keywords: Climate Change, Environment, Principles, International Law, environmental review

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