Open Science Research Excellence

Open Science Index

Commenced in January 2007 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 2652

2652
10010926
Fingers Exergames to Improve Fine Motor Skill in Autistic Children
Abstract:

Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that affects how people perceive the world and interact with others. Most of these children have difficulty with fine motor skills which typically struggle with handwriting and fine activities in their routine life such as getting dressed and controlled use of the everyday tool. Because fine motor activities encompass so many routine functions, a fine motor delay can have a measurable negative impact on a person's ability to handle daily practical tasks. This project proposed a simple fine motor exercise aid plus the game (exergame) for autistic children who discover from fine motor difficulties. The proposed exergame will be blinking randomly and user needs to bend their finger accordingly. It will notify the user, whether they bend the right finger or not. The system is realized using Arduino, which is programmed to control all the operated circuit. The feasibility studies with six autistic children were conducted and found the child interested in using exergame and could quickly get used to it. This study provides important guidance for future investigations of the exergame potential for accessing and improving fine motor skill among autistic children.

2651
10010863
The Role of Food System in Promoting Environmental Planning
Abstract:

Today, many local and national governments are developing urban agriculture as an effective tool in responding to challenges such as food security, poverty and environmental problems. In fact, urban agriculture plays an important role in food system, which can provide citizens' income and become one of the components of economic, social and environmental systems. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the urban agriculture and urban food systems in order to understand the impact of urban foods production on environmental planning in non-western city region context. To achieve such objective, we carry out a case study in Mashhad city of Iran by using qualitative approaches. A survey on documentary studies and planning tools integrate with face to face interview with experts which explain the role of food system in environmental planning process. The paper extends the use of food in the environmental planning, specifically to examine this role to create agricultural garden as a mean to improve agricultural system in non-western country. The paper is concluded with a set of recommendations for researchers and policymakers who seek to create spaces in order to implement urban agriculture in cities for food justice.

2650
10010868
Large Amplitude Free Vibration of a Very Sag Marine Cable
Abstract:

This paper focuses on a variational formulation of large amplitude free vibration behavior of a very sag marine cable. In the static equilibrium state, the marine cable has a very large sag configuration. In the motion state, the marine cable is assumed to vibrate in in-plane motion with large amplitude from the static equilibrium position. The total virtual work-energy of the marine cable at the dynamic state is formulated which involves the virtual strain energy due to axial deformation, the virtual work done by effective weight, and the inertia forces. The equations of motion for the large amplitude free vibration of marine cable are obtained by taking into account the difference between the Euler’s equation in the static state and the displaced state. Based on the Galerkin finite element procedure, the linear and nonlinear stiffness matrices, and mass matrices of the marine cable are obtained and the eigenvalue problem is solved. The natural frequency spectrum and the large amplitude free vibration behavior of marine cable are presented.

2649
10010879
Micropropagation and in vitro Conservation via Slow Growth Techniques of Prunus webbii (Spach) Vierh: An Endangered Plant Species in Albania
Abstract:

Wild almond is a woody species, which is difficult to propagate either generatively by seed or by vegetative methods (grafting or cuttings) and also considered as Endangered (EN) in Albania based on IUCN criteria. As a wild relative of cultivated fruit trees, this species represents a source of genetic variability and can be very important in breeding programs and cultivation. For this reason, it would be of interest to use an effective method of in vitro mid-term conservation, which involves strategies to slow plant growth through physicochemical alterations of in vitro growth conditions. Multiplication of wild almond was carried out using zygotic embryos, as primary explants, with the purpose to develop a successful propagation protocol. Results showed that zygotic embryos can proliferate through direct or indirect organogenesis. During subculture, stage was obtained a great number of new plantlets identical to mother plants derived from the zygotic embryos. All in vitro plantlets obtained from subcultures underwent in vitro conservation by minimal growth in low temperature (4ºC) and darkness. The efficiency of this technique was evaluated for 3, 6, and 10 months of conservation period. Maintenance in these conditions reduced micro cuttings growth. Survival and regeneration rates for each period were evaluated and resulted that the maximal time of conservation without subculture on 4ºC was 10 months, but survival and regeneration rates were significantly reduced, specifically 15.6% and 7.6%. An optimal period of conservation in these conditions can be considered the 5-6 months storage, which can lead to 60-50% of survival and regeneration rates. This protocol may be beneficial for mass propagation, mid-term conservation, and for genetic manipulation of wild almond.

2648
10010886
Online Graduate Students’ Perspective on Engagement in Active Learning in the United States
Abstract:
As of 2017, many researchers in educational journals are still wondering if students are effectively and efficiently engaged in active learning in the online learning environment. The goal of this qualitative single case study and narrative research is to explore if students are actively engaged in their online learning. Seven online students in the United States from LinkedIn and residencies were interviewed for this study. Eleven online learning techniques from research were used as a framework.  Data collection tools were used for the study that included a digital audiotape, observation sheet, interview protocol, transcription, and NVivo 12 Plus qualitative software.  Data analysis process, member checking, and key themes were used to reach saturation. About 85.7% of students preferred individual grading. About 71.4% of students valued professor’s interacting 2-3 times weekly, participating through posts and responses, having good internet access, and using email.  Also, about 57.1% said students log in 2-3 times weekly to daily, professor’s social presence helps, regular punctuality in work submission, and prefer assessments style of research, essay, and case study.  About 42.9% appreciated syllabus usefulness and professor’s expertise.
2647
10010889
Separation of Water/Organic Mixtures Using Micro- and Nanostructured Membranes of Special Type of Wettability
Abstract:

Both hydrophilic-oleophobic and hydrophobic-oleophilic membranes were obtained by coating of the substrate of membranes, presented by stainless steel meshes with various dimensions of their openings, with a composition that forms the special type of their surface wettability via spray-coating method. The surface morphology of resulting membranes was studied using SEM, the type of their wettability was identified by measuring the contact angle between the surface of membrane and a drop of studied liquid (water or organic liquid) and efficiency of continuous separation of water and organic liquid was studied on self-assembled setup.

2646
10010904
Generalized Chaplygin Gas and Varying Bulk Viscosity in Lyra Geometry
Abstract:

In this paper, we have considered Friedmann-Robertson-Walker (FRW) metric with generalized Chaplygin gas which has viscosity in the context of Lyra geometry. The viscosity is considered in two different ways (i.e. zero viscosity, non-constant r (rho)-dependent bulk viscosity) using constant deceleration parameter which concluded that, for a special case, the viscous generalized Chaplygin gas reduces to modified Chaplygin gas. The represented model indicates on the presence of Chaplygin gas in the Universe. Observational constraints are applied and discussed on the physical and geometrical nature of the Universe.

2645
10010915
Absorbed Dose Estimation of 68Ga-EDTMP in Human Organs
Abstract:

Bone metastases are observed in a wide range of cancers leading to intolerable pain. While early detection can help the physicians in the decision of the type of treatment, various radiopharmaceuticals using phosphonates like 68Ga-EDTMP have been developed. In this work, due to the importance of absorbed dose, human absorbed dose of this new agent was calculated for the first time based on biodistribution data in Wild-type rats. 68Ga was obtained from 68Ge/68Ga generator with radionuclidic purity and radiochemical purity of higher than 99%. The radiolabeled complex was prepared in the optimized conditions. Radiochemical purity of the radiolabeled complex was checked by instant thin layer chromatography (ITLC) method using Whatman No. 2 paper and saline. The results indicated the radiochemical purity of higher than 99%. The radiolabelled complex was injected into the Wild-type rats and its biodistribution was studied up to 120 min. As expected, major accumulation was observed in the bone. Absorbed dose of each human organ was calculated based on biodistribution in the rats using RADAR method. Bone surface and bone marrow with 0.112 and 0.053 mSv/MBq, respectively, received the highest absorbed dose. According to these results, the radiolabeled complex is a suitable and safe option for PET bone imaging.

2644
10010923
Effects of Oilfield Water Treated by Electroflocculation and Reverse Osmosis in a Typical Brazilian Semiarid Soil
Abstract:

Produced water (PW), which is water extracted along with oil, is the largest waste stream in the oil and gas industry. With the proper treatment, this wastewater can be used in agricultural irrigation. This study evaluated the effects the application of PW treated by electroflocculation (EF) and combined electroflocculation-reverse osmosis (EF-RO) on soil salinity and sodification parameters. Excessive sodium levels in PW treated by EF may affect soil structural stability and plant growth, and tends to accumulate in upper layers, displacing the nutrient K to deeper layers of the soil profile. PW treated by EF-RO did not promote salinization and soil sodification, indicating that this combined technique may be a viable alternative for oily water treatment aiming at irrigation use in semiarid regions.

2643
10010793
A Legal Opinion on Mitigation and Adaptation on Air Pollution Strategies for Local Governments in South Africa
Abstract:

This paper presents an overview of the foundation and evolution of environmental related problems in local governments with specific reference on air pollution in South Africa. Local government has a direct mandate in terms of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 (hereafter, the Constitution). This mandate to protect, fulfil, respect and promote the Bill of Rights by local governments in respect of the powers and functions creates confusion around the role of where a local government fits in, in addressing the problem of climate change in South Africa. A reflection of the evolving legislations, developments, and processes regarding climate change that shaped local government dispensation in South Africa is addressed by the notion of developmental local governments. This paper seeks to examine the advances for mitigation and adaptation regulation of air pollution and application in South Africa. This study involves a qualitative approach that will involve South African national legislation as well as an interpretation of international strategies. A literature review study was conducted to undertake the various aspects of law in order to support the argument undertaken of mitigation and adaptation strategies. The paper presents a detailed discussion of the current legislation and the position as it currently stands, as well as the relevant protections as outlined in the National Environmental Management Act and the National Environmental Management: Air Quality Act. It then proceeds to outline the responsibilities of local governments in South Africa to mitigate and adapt to air pollution strategies.

2642
10010802
Total Organic Carbon, Porosity and Permeability Correlation: A Tool for Carbon Dioxide Storage Potential Evaluation in Irati Formation of the Parana Basin, Brazil
Abstract:

The correlation between Total Organic Carbon (TOC) and flow units have been carried out to predict and compare the carbon dioxide (CO2) storage potential of the shale and carbonate rocks in Irati Formation of the Parana Basin. The equations for permeability (K), reservoir quality index (RQI) and flow zone indicator (FZI) are redefined and engaged to evaluate the flow units in both potential reservoir rocks. Shales show higher values of TOC compared to carbonates, as such,  porosity (Ф) is most likely to be higher in shales compared to carbonates. The increase in Ф corresponds to the increase in K (in both rocks). Nonetheless, at lower values of Ф, K is higher in carbonates compared to shales. This shows that at lower values of TOC in carbonates, Ф is low, yet, K is likely to be high compared to shale. In the same vein, at higher values of TOC in shales, Ф is high, yet, K is expected to be low compared to carbonates.  Overall, the flow unit factors (RQI and FZI) are better in the carbonates compared to the shales. Moreso, within the study location,  there are some portions where the thicknesses of the carbonate units are higher compared to the shale units. Most parts of the carbonate strata in the study location are fractured in situ, hence,  this could provide easy access for the storage of CO2. Therefore, based on these points and the disparities between the flow units in the evaluated rock types, the carbonate units are expected to show better potentials for the storage of CO2. The shale units may be considered as potential cap rocks or seals.

2641
10010803
Public Service Ethics in Public Administration: An Empirical Investigation
Authors:
Abstract:

The increasing concern of public sector reforms brings new challenges to public service ethics in developing countries not only at central level but also at local level. This paper aims to identify perceptions on public service ethics of public officials and examines more generally the understanding of public servants in Pakistan towards public service ethics in local public organizations. The study uses an independently administered structured questionnaire to collect data to know the extent of the recognition of public service ethics in local organizations. A total of 150 completed questionnaires are analyzed received from public servants working at the local level in Pakistan. The analysis explores how traditional, social patterns and cultural ethics can provide us with a rounded picture of the main antecedents, moderators of public service ethics in Pakistan. Moreover, the findings of this study contribute in association of public service ethics which are crucial in ongoing political and administrative culture of Pakistan, the most crucial core for public organizational ethical climate. This study also has numerous implications for local public administration and it highlights the importance of expanding research agenda on public service ethics in developing settings with challenging institutional contexts with imperfect training and operating environments. This study may well be particularly important for practice of public service ethics in developing countries in public administration. To the best of author’s knowledge, this study is the first of its kind to provide an initial step in practical implications to emphasize relevant public service ethics in public administration in developing transparent and accountable organization.

2640
10010817
Numerical Study of Bubbling Fluidized Beds Operating at Sub-atmospheric Conditions
Abstract:

Fluidization at vacuum pressure has been a topic that is of growing research interest. Several industrial applications (such as drying, extractive metallurgy, and chemical vapor deposition (CVD)) can potentially take advantage of vacuum pressure fluidization. Particularly, the fine chemical industry requires processing under safe conditions for thermolabile substances, and reduced pressure fluidized beds offer an alternative. Fluidized beds under vacuum conditions provide optimal conditions for treatment of granular materials where the reduced gas pressure maintains an operational environment outside of flammability conditions. The fluidization at low-pressure is markedly different from the usual gas flow patterns of atmospheric fluidization. The different flow regimes can be characterized by the dimensionless Knudsen number. Nevertheless, hydrodynamics of bubbling vacuum fluidized beds has not been investigated to author’s best knowledge. In this work, the two-fluid numerical method was used to determine the impact of reduced pressure on the fundamental properties of a fluidized bed. The slip flow model implemented by Ansys Fluent User Defined Functions (UDF) was used to determine the interphase momentum exchange coefficient. A wide range of operating pressures was investigated (1.01, 0.5, 0.25, 0.1 and 0.03 Bar). The gas was supplied by a uniform inlet at 1.5Umf and 2Umf. The predicted minimum fluidization velocity (Umf) shows excellent agreement with the experimental data. The results show that the operating pressure has a notable impact on the bed properties and its hydrodynamics. Furthermore, it also shows that the existing Gorosko correlation that predicts bed expansion is not applicable under reduced pressure conditions.

2639
10010829
Influence of the Granular Mixture Properties on the Rheological Properties of Concrete: Yield Stress Determination Using Modified Chateau et al. Model
Abstract:

The prediction of the rheological behavior of concrete is at the center of current concerns of the concrete industry for different reasons. The shortage of good quality standard materials combined with variable properties of available materials imposes to improve existing models to take into account these variations at the design stage of concrete. The main reasons for improving the predictive models are, of course, saving time and cost at the design stage as well as to optimize concrete performances. In this study, we will highlight the different properties of the granular mixtures that affect the rheological properties of concrete. Our objective is to identify the intrinsic parameters of the aggregates which make it possible to predict the yield stress of concrete. The work was done using two typologies of grains: crushed and rolled aggregates. The experimental results have shown that the rheology of concrete is improved by increasing the packing density of the granular mixture using rolled aggregates. The experimental program realized allowed to model the yield stress of concrete by a modified model of Chateau et al. through a dimensionless parameter following Krieger-Dougherty law. The modelling confirms that the yield stress of concrete depends not only on the properties of cement paste but also on the packing density of the granular skeleton and the shape of grains.

2638
10010835
Development of a Real Time Axial Force Measurement System and IoT-Based Monitoring for Smart Bearing
Abstract:

The purpose of this research is to develop a real time axial force measurement system for a smart bearing through the use of strain-gauges, whereby the data acquisition is performed by an Arduino microcontroller due to its easy manipulation and low-cost. The measured signal is acquired and then discretized using a Wheatstone Bridge and an Analog-Digital Converter (ADC) respectively. For bearing monitoring, a real time monitoring system based on Internet of things (IoT) and Bluetooth were developed. Experimental tests were performed on a bearing within a force range up to 600 kN. The experimental results show that there is a proportional linear relationship between the applied force and the output voltage, and the error R squared is within 0.9878 based on the regression analysis.

2637
10010844
Fabrication of a High-Performance Polyetherimide Membrane for Helium Separation
Abstract:
Helium market is continuously growing due to its essential uses in the electronic and healthcare sectors. Currently, helium is produced by cryogenic distillation but the process is uneconomical especially for low production volumes. On the other hand, polymeric membranes can provide a cost-effective solution for helium purification due to their low operating energy. However, the preparation of membranes involves the use of very toxic solvents such as chloroform. In this work, polyetherimide membranes were prepared using a less toxic solvent, n-methylpyrrolidone with a polymer-to-solvent ratio of 27 wt%. The developed membrane showed a superior helium permeability of 15.9 Barrer that surpassed the permeability of membranes made by chloroform.
2636
10010726
Pressure-Detecting Method for Estimating Levitation Gap Height of Swirl Gripper
Abstract:

The swirl gripper is an electrically activated noncontact handling device that uses swirling airflow to generate a lifting force. This force can be used to pick up a workpiece placed underneath the swirl gripper without any contact. It is applicable, for example, in the semiconductor wafer production line, where contact must be avoided during the handling and moving of a workpiece to minimize damage. When a workpiece levitates underneath a swirl gripper, the gap height between them is crucial for safe handling. Therefore, in this paper, we propose a method to estimate the levitation gap height by detecting pressure at two points. The method is based on theoretical model of the swirl gripper, and has been experimentally verified. Furthermore, the force between the gripper and the workpiece can also be estimated using the detected pressure. As a result, the nonlinear relationship between the force and gap height can be linearized by adjusting the rotating speed of the fan in the swirl gripper according to the estimated force and gap height. The linearized relationship is expected to enhance handling stability of the workpiece.

2635
10010742
Energy and Exergy Performance Optimization on a Real Gas Turbine Power Plant
Abstract:

This paper presents the energy and exergy optimization of a real gas turbine power plant performance of 100 MW of power, installed in the South East of Tunisia. A simulation code is established using the EES (Engineering Equation Solver) software. The parameters considered are those of the actual operating conditions of the gas turbine thermal power station under study. The results show that thermal and exergetic efficiency decreases with the increase of the ambient temperature. Air excess has an important effect on the thermal efficiency. The emission of NOx rises in the summer and decreases in the winter. The obtained rates of NOx are compared with measurements results.

2634
10010749
Observatory of Sustainability of the Algarve Region for Tourism: Proposal for Environmental and Sociocultural Indicators
Abstract:

The Observatory of Sustainability of the Algarve Region for Tourism (OBSERVE) will be a valuable tool to assess the sustainability of this region. The OBSERVE tool is designed to provide data and maintain an up-to-date, consistent set of indicators defined to describe the region on the environmental, sociocultural, economic and institutional domains. This ongoing two-year project has the active participation of the Algarve’s stakeholders, since they were consulted and asked to participate in the discussion for the indicators proposal. The environmental and sociocultural indicators chosen must indicate the characteristics of the region and should be in alignment with other global systems used to monitor the sustainability. This paper presents a review of sustainability indicators systems that support the first proposal for the environmental and sociocultural indicators. Others constraints are discussed, namely the existing data and the data available in digital platforms in a format suitable for automatic importation to the platform of OBSERVE. It is intended that OBSERVE will be a valuable tool to assess the sustainability of the region of Algarve.

2633
10010762
Diagnosis of Intermittent High Vibration Peaks in Industrial Gas Turbine Using Advanced Vibrations Analysis
Abstract:

This paper provides a comprehensive study pertaining to diagnosis of intermittent high vibrations on an industrial gas turbine using detailed vibrations analysis, followed by its rectification. Engro Polymer & Chemicals Limited, a Chlor-Vinyl complex located in Pakistan has a captive combined cycle power plant having two 28 MW gas turbines (make Hitachi) & one 15 MW steam turbine. In 2018, the organization faced an issue of high vibrations on one of the gas turbines. These high vibration peaks appeared intermittently on both compressor’s drive end (DE) & turbine’s non-drive end (NDE) bearing. The amplitude of high vibration peaks was between 150-170% on the DE bearing & 200-300% on the NDE bearing from baseline values. In one of these episodes, the gas turbine got tripped on “High Vibrations Trip” logic actuated at 155µm. Limited instrumentation is available on the machine, which is monitored with GE Bently Nevada 3300 system having two proximity probes installed at Turbine NDE, Compressor DE &at Generator DE & NDE bearings. Machine’s transient ramp-up & steady state data was collected using ADRE SXP & DSPI 408. Since only 01 key phasor is installed at Turbine high speed shaft, a derived drive key phasor was configured in ADRE to obtain low speed shaft rpm required for data analysis. By analyzing the Bode plots, Shaft center line plot, Polar plot & orbit plots; rubbing was evident on Turbine’s NDE along with increased bearing clearance of Turbine’s NDE radial bearing. The subject bearing was then inspected & heavy deposition of carbonized coke was found on the labyrinth seals of bearing housing with clear rubbing marks on shaft & housing covering at 20-25 degrees on the inner radius of labyrinth seals. The collected coke sample was tested in laboratory & found to be the residue of lube oil in the bearing housing. After detailed inspection & cleaning of shaft journal area & bearing housing, new radial bearing was installed. Before assembling the bearing housing, cleaning of bearing cooling & sealing air lines was also carried out as inadequate flow of cooling & sealing air can accelerate coke formation in bearing housing. The machine was then taken back online & data was collected again using ADRE SXP & DSPI 408 for health analysis. The vibrations were found in acceptable zone as per ISO standard 7919-3 while all other parameters were also within vendor defined range. As a learning from subject case, revised operating & maintenance regime has also been proposed to enhance machine’s reliability.

2632
10010769
Scheduling of Bus Fleet Departure Time Based on Mathematical Model of Number of Bus Stops for Municipality Bus Organization
Abstract:

Operating Urban Bus Transit System is a phenomenon that has a major role in transporting passengers in cities. There are many factors involved in planning and operating an Urban Bus Transit System, one of which is selecting optimized number of stops and scheduling of bus fleet departure. In this paper, we tried to introduce desirable methodology to select number of stops and schedule properly. Selecting the right number of stops causes convenience in accessibility and reduction in travel time and finally increase in public preference of this transportation mode. The achieved results revealed that number of stops must reduce from 33 to 25. Also according to scheduling and conducted economic analysis, the number of buses must decrease from 17 to 11 to have the most appropriate status for the Bus Organization.

2631
10010782
The Keys to Innovation: Defining and Evaluating Attributes that Measure Innovation Capabilities
Abstract:

Innovation is a key driver for companies, society, and economic growth. However, assessing and measuring innovation for individuals as well as organizations remains difficult. Our i5-Score presented in this study will help to overcome this difficulty and facilitate measuring the innovation potential. The score is based on a framework we call the 5Gs of innovation which defines specific innovation attributes. Those are 1) the drive for long-term goals 2) the audacity to generate new ideas, 3) the openness to share ideas with others, 4) the ability to grow, and 5) the ability to maintain high levels of optimism. To validate the i5-Score, we conducted a study at Florida Polytechnic University. The results show that the i5-Score is a good measure reflecting the innovative mindset of an individual or a group. Thus, the score can be utilized for evaluating, refining and enhancing innovation capabilities.

2630
10010785
Origanum vulgare as a Possible Modulator of Testicular Endocrine Function in Mice
Abstract:

This study was designed to assess the in vitro effects of Origanum vulgare L. (oregano) extract on the testicular steroidogenesis. We focused on identifying major biomolecules present in the oregano extract, as well as to investigate its in vitro impact on the secretion of cholesterol, testosterone, dehydroepiandrosterone and androstenedione by murine testicular fragments. The extract was subjected to high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) which identified cyranosid, daidzein, thymol, rosmarinic and trans-caffeic acid among the predominant biochemical components of oregano. For the in vitro experiments, testicular fragments from 20 sexually mature Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) mice were incubated in the absence (control group) or presence of the oregano extract at selected concentrations (10, 100 and 1000 μg/mL) for 24 h. Cholesterol levels were quantified using photometry and the hormones were assessed by ELISA (Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay). Our data revealed that the release of cholesterol and androstenedione (but not dehydroepiandrosterone and testosterone) by the testicular fragments was significantly impacted by the oregano extract in a dose-dependent fashion. Supplementation of the extract resulted in a significant decline of cholesterol (P < 0.05 in case of 100 μg/mL; P < 0.01 with respect 100 μg/mL extract), as well as androstenedione (P < 0.01 with respect to 100 and 1000 μg/mL extract). Our results suggest that the biomolecules present in Origanum vulgare L. could exhibit a dose-dependent impact on the secretion of male steroids, playing a role in the regulation of testicular steroidogenesis.

2629
10010652
Producing and Mechanical Testing of Urea-Formaldehyde Resin Foams Reinforced by Waste Phosphogypsum
Abstract:

Many of thermosetting resins have application only in filled state, reinforced with different mineral fillers. The co-filling of polymers with mineral filler and gases creates a possibility for production of polymer composites materials with low density. This processing leads to forming of new materials – gas-filled plastics (polymer foams). The properties of these materials are determined mainly by the shape and size of internal structural elements (pores). The interactions on the phase boundaries have influence on the materials properties too. In the present work, the gas-filled urea-formaldehyde resins were reinforced by waste phosphogypsum. The waste phosphogypsum (CaSO4.2H2O) is a solid by-product in wet phosphoric acid production processes. The values of the interactions polymer-filler were increased by using two modifying agents: polyvinyl acetate for polymer matrix and sodium metasilicate for filler. Technological methods for gas-filling and recipes of urea-formaldehyde based materials with apparent density 20-120 kg/m3 were developed. The heat conductivity of the samples is between 0.024 and 0.029 W/moK. Tensile analyses were carried out at 10 and 50% deformation and show values 0.01-0.14 MPa and 0.01-0.09 MPa, respectively. The apparent density of obtained materials is between 20 and 92 kg/m3. The changes in the tensile properties and density of these materials according to sodium metasilicate content were studied too. The mechanism of phosphogypsum adsorption modification was studied using methods of FT-IR spectroscopy. The structure of the gas-filled urea-formaldehyde resins was described by results of electron scanning microscopy at three different magnification ratios – x50, x150 and x 500. The aim of present work is to study the possibility of the usage of phosphogypsum as mineral filler for urea-formaldehyde resins and development of a technology for the production of gas-filled reinforced polymer composite materials. The structure and the properties of obtained composite materials are suitable for thermal and sound insulation applications.

2628
10010661
Electromagnetic Wave Propagation Equations in 2D by Finite Difference Method
Abstract:

In this paper, the techniques to solve time dependent electromagnetic wave propagation equations based on the Finite Difference Method (FDM) are proposed by comparing the results with Finite Element Method (FEM) in 2D while discussing some special simulation examples.  Here, 2D dynamical wave equations for lossy media, even with a constant source, are discussed for establishing symbolic manipulation of wave propagation problems. The main objective of this contribution is to introduce a comparative study of two suitable numerical methods and to show that both methods can be applied effectively and efficiently to all types of wave propagation problems, both linear and nonlinear cases, by using symbolic computation. However, the results show that the FDM is more appropriate for solving the nonlinear cases in the symbolic solution. Furthermore, some specific complex domain examples of the comparison of electromagnetic waves equations are considered. Calculations are performed through Mathematica software by making some useful contribution to the programme and leveraging symbolic evaluations of FEM and FDM.

2627
10010685
Quantification of Biomethane Potential from Anaerobic Digestion of Food Waste at Vaal University of Technology
Abstract:

The global urbanisation and worldwide economic growth have caused a high rate of food waste generation, resulting in environmental pollution. Food waste disposed on landfills decomposes to produce methane (CH4), a greenhouse gas. Inadequate waste management practices contribute to food waste polluting the environment. Thus effective organic fraction of municipal solid waste (OFMSW) management and treatment are attracting widespread attention in many countries. This problem can be minimised by the employment of anaerobic digestion process, since food waste is rich in organic matter and highly biodegradable, resulting in energy generation and waste volume reduction. The current study investigated the Biomethane Potential (BMP) of the Vaal University of Technology canteen food waste using anaerobic digestion. Tests were performed on canteen food waste, as a substrate, with total solids (TS) of 22%, volatile solids (VS) of 21% and moisture content of 78%. The tests were performed in batch reactors, at a mesophilic temperature of 37 °C, with two different types of inoculum, primary and digested sludge. The resulting CH4 yields for both food waste with digested sludge and primary sludge were equal, being 357 Nml/g VS. This indicated that food waste form this canteen is rich in organic and highly biodegradable. Hence it can be used as a substrate for the anaerobic digestion process. The food waste with digested sludge and primary sludge both fitted the first order kinetic model with k for primary sludge inoculated food waste being 0.278 day-1 with R2 of 0.98, whereas k for digested sludge inoculated food waste being 0.034 day-1, with R2 of 0.847.

2626
10010702
Peculiarities of Internal Friction and Shear Modulus in 60Co γ-Rays Irradiated Monocrystalline SiGe Alloys
Abstract:

At present, a number of modern semiconductor devices based on SiGe alloys have been created in which the latest achievements of high technologies are used. These devices might cause significant changes to networking, computing, and space technology. In the nearest future new materials based on SiGe will be able to restrict the A3B5 and Si technologies and firmly establish themselves in medium frequency electronics. Effective realization of these prospects requires the solution of prediction and controlling of structural state and dynamical physical –mechanical properties of new SiGe materials. Based on these circumstances, a complex investigation of structural defects and structural-sensitive dynamic mechanical characteristics of SiGe alloys under different external impacts (deformation, radiation, thermal cycling) acquires great importance. Internal friction (IF) and shear modulus temperature and amplitude dependences of the monocrystalline boron-doped Si1-xGex(x≤0.05) alloys grown by Czochralski technique is studied in initial and 60Co gamma-irradiated states. In the initial samples, a set of dislocation origin relaxation processes and accompanying modulus defects are revealed in a temperature interval of 400-800 ⁰C. It is shown that after gamma-irradiation intensity of relaxation internal friction in the vicinity of 280 ⁰C increases and simultaneously activation parameters of high temperature relaxation processes reveal clear rising. It is proposed that these changes of dynamical mechanical characteristics might be caused by a decrease of the dislocation mobility in the Cottrell atmosphere enriched by the radiation defects.

2625
10010544
Fast Fourier Transform-Based Steganalysis of Covert Communications over Streaming Media
Abstract:
Steganalysis seeks to detect the presence of secret data embedded in cover objects, and there is an imminent demand to detect hidden messages in streaming media. This paper shows how a steganalysis algorithm based on Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) can be used to detect the existence of secret data embedded in streaming media. The proposed algorithm uses machine parameter characteristics and a network sniffer to determine whether the Internet traffic contains streaming channels. The detected streaming data is then transferred from the time domain to the frequency domain through FFT. The distributions of power spectra in the frequency domain between original VoIP streams and stego VoIP streams are compared in turn using t-test, achieving the p-value of 7.5686E-176 which is below the threshold. The results indicate that the proposed FFT-based steganalysis algorithm is effective in detecting the secret data embedded in VoIP streaming media.
2624
10010552
A Conceptual Analysis of Teams’ Climate Role in the Intrapreneurial Process
Abstract:

The present paper discusses the role of teams’ climate in the intrapreneurial process. Intrapreneurship, which corresponds for entrepreneurship in existing organizations, puts special emphasis on climate as an influential factor of the intrapreneurial behavior. Although climate exists at every level and in every subgroup of the organizational structure, research focuses mainly on the study of climate that characterizes organization as a whole. However, the climate of a work team may differ radically from the organizational climate, and in fact it can be far more influential. The paper provides a conceptual analysis of organizational climate from the intrapreneurial point of view, and sheds light upon teams’ climate role in the intrapreneurial posture.

2623
10010569
The Mouth and Gastrointestinal Tract of the African Lung Fish Protopterus annectens in River Niger at Agenebode, Nigeria
Abstract:

The West African Lung fishes are fishes rich in protein and serve as an important source of food supply for man. The kind of food ingested by this group of fishes is dependent on the alimentary canal as well as the fish’s digestive processes which provide suitable modifications for maximum utilization of food taken. A study of the alimentary canal of P. annectens will expose the best information on the anatomy and histology of the fish. Samples of P. annectens were dissected to reveal the liver, pancreas and entire gut wall. Digital pictures of the mouth, jaws and the Gastrointestinal Tract (GIT) were taken. The entire gut was identified, sectioned and micro graphed. P. annectens was observed to possess a terminal mouth that opens up to 10% of its total body length, an adaptive feature to enable the fish to swallow the whole of its pry. Its dentition is made up of incisors- scissor-like teeth which also help to firmly grip, seize and tear through the skin of prey before swallowing. A short, straight and longitudinal GIT was observed in P. annectens which is known to be common feature in lungfishes, though it is thought to be a primitive characteristic similar to the lamprey. The oesophagus is short and distensible similar to other predatory and carnivorous species. Food is temporarily stored in the stomach before it is passed down into the intestine. A pyloric aperture is seen at the end of the double folded pyloric valve which leads into an intestine that makes up 75% of the whole GIT. The intestine begins at the posterior end of the pyloric aperture and winds down in six coils through the whole length intestine and ends at the cloaca. From this study it is concluded that P. annectens possess a composite GIT with organs similar to other lung fishes; it is a detritor with carnivorous abilities.


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