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Open AccessArticle
Design Oriented Model for the Assessment of T-Shaped Beam-Column Joints in Reinforced Concrete Frames
Buildings 2017, 7(4), 118; doi:10.3390/buildings7040118 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Beam-column joints represent very important elements of reinforced concrete (RC) structures. In fact, beams and columns, at the boundary, generate internal forces acting on concrete core and on reinforcement bars with a very high gradient. To fully understand the seismic performances and the
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Beam-column joints represent very important elements of reinforced concrete (RC) structures. In fact, beams and columns, at the boundary, generate internal forces acting on concrete core and on reinforcement bars with a very high gradient. To fully understand the seismic performances and the failure modes of T-shaped beam-column joints (external corner-positioned) in RC structures, a simplified analytical model of joint behaviour is proposed and theoretical simulations have been performed. The model is based on the solution of a system of equilibrium equations of cracked joint portions designed to evaluate internal stresses at different values of column shear forces. The main aim of the proposed model is to identify the strength hierarchy. Limit values of different internal stresses allow us to detect the occurrence of different failure modes (namely the failure of the cracked joint, the bond failure of passing through bars, and the flexural/shear failures of columns or beams) associated with column shear forces; the smaller one represents the capacity of the joint. The present work, focusing on T-shaped joints, could represent a useful tool for designers to quantify the performance of new structures or of existing ones. In fact, such a tool allows us to push an initial undesired failure mode to a more appropriate one to be evaluated. Finally, some experimental results of tests available in literature are reported, analysed, and compared to the predictions of the proposed model (by means of a worked example) and of some international codes. The outcomes confirm that failure modes and corresponding joint capacities require an analytical model, like the proposed one, to be accurately predicted. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Task-Management Method Using R-Tree Spatial Cloaking for Large-Scale Crowdsourcing
Symmetry 2017, 9(12), 311; doi:10.3390/sym9120311 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
With the development of sensor technology and the popularization of the data-driven service paradigm, spatial crowdsourcing systems have become an important way of collecting map-based location data. However, large-scale task management and location privacy are important factors for participants in spatial crowdsourcing. In
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With the development of sensor technology and the popularization of the data-driven service paradigm, spatial crowdsourcing systems have become an important way of collecting map-based location data. However, large-scale task management and location privacy are important factors for participants in spatial crowdsourcing. In this paper, we propose the use of an R-tree spatial cloaking-based task-assignment method for large-scale spatial crowdsourcing. We use an estimated R-tree based on the requested crowdsourcing tasks to reduce the crowdsourcing server-side inserting cost and enable the scalability. By using Minimum Bounding Rectangle (MBR)-based spatial anonymous data without exact position data, this method preserves the location privacy of participants in a simple way. In our experiment, we showed that our proposed method is faster than the current method, and is very efficient when the scale is increased. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Remote Sensing Approach to Environmental Monitoring in a Reclaimed Mine Area
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2017, 6(12), 401; doi:10.3390/ijgi6120401 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Mining for resources extraction may lead to geological and associated environmental changes due to ground movements, collision with mining cavities, and deformation of aquifers. Geological changes may continue in a reclaimed mine area, and the deformed aquifers may entail a breakdown of substrates
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Mining for resources extraction may lead to geological and associated environmental changes due to ground movements, collision with mining cavities, and deformation of aquifers. Geological changes may continue in a reclaimed mine area, and the deformed aquifers may entail a breakdown of substrates and an increase in ground water tables, which may cause surface area inundation. Consequently, a reclaimed mine area may experience surface area collapse, i.e., subsidence, and degradation of vegetation productivity. Thus, monitoring short-term landscape dynamics in a reclaimed mine area may provide important information on the long-term geological and environmental impacts of mining activities. We studied landscape dynamics in Kirchheller Heide, Germany, which experienced extensive soil movement due to longwall mining without stowing, using Landsat imageries between 2013 and 2016. A Random Forest image classification technique was applied to analyze land-use and landcover dynamics, and the growth of wetland areas was assessed using a Spectral Mixture Analysis (SMA). We also analyzed the changes in vegetation productivity using a Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI). We observed a 19.9% growth of wetland area within four years, with 87.2% growth in the coverage of two major waterbodies in the reclaimed mine area. NDVI values indicate that the productivity of 66.5% of vegetation of the Kirchheller Heide was degraded due to changes in ground water tables and surface flooding. Our results inform environmental management and mining reclamation authorities about the subsidence spots and priority mitigation areas from land surface and vegetation degradation in Kirchheller Heide. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Comparing and Merging Observation Data from Ka-Band Cloud Radar, C-Band Frequency-Modulated Continuous Wave Radar and Ceilometer Systems
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(12), 1282; doi:10.3390/rs9121282 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Field experiment in South China was undertaken to improve understanding of cloud and precipitation properties. Measurements of the vertical structures of non-precipitating and precipitating clouds were obtained using passive and active remote sensing equipment: a Ka-band cloud radar (CR) system, a C-band frequency
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Field experiment in South China was undertaken to improve understanding of cloud and precipitation properties. Measurements of the vertical structures of non-precipitating and precipitating clouds were obtained using passive and active remote sensing equipment: a Ka-band cloud radar (CR) system, a C-band frequency modulated continuous wave vertical pointing radar (CVPR), a microwave radiometer and a laser ceilometer (CEIL). CR plays a key role in high-level cloud observation, whereas CVPR is important for observing low- and mid-level clouds and heavy precipitation. CEIL helps us diminish the effects of “clear-sky” in the planetary boundary layer. The experiment took place in Longmen, Guangdong Province, China from May to September of 2016. This study focuses on evaluating the ability of the two radars to deliver consistent observation data and develops an algorithm to merge the CR, CVPR and CEIL data. Cloud echo base, thickness, frequency of observed cloud types and reflectivity vertical distributions are analyzed in the radar data. Comparisons between the collocated data sets show that reflectivity biases between the CR three operating modes are less than 2 dB. The averaged difference between CR and CVPR reflectivity can be reduced with attenuation correction to 3.57 dB from the original 4.82 dB. No systemic biases were observed between velocity data collected in the three CR modes and CVPR. The corrected CR reflectivity and velocity data were then merged with the CVPR data and CEIL data to fill in the gaps during the heavy precipitation periods and reduce the effects of Bragg scattering and fog on cloud observations in the boundary layer. Meanwhile, the merging of velocity data with different Nyquist velocities and resolutions diminishes velocity folding to provide fine-grain information about cloud and precipitation dynamics. The three daily periods in which low-level clouds tended to occur were at sunrise, noon and sunset and large differences in the average reflectivity values were observed. Mid- and high-level clouds tended to occur at 1400 and 1800 BT. Few clouds were found between a height of 3 and 5 km. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A System-of-Systems Approach for Integrated Resilience Assessment in Highway Transportation Infrastructure Investment
Infrastructures 2017, 2(4), 22; doi:10.3390/infrastructures2040022 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
The objective of this paper is to propose a System-of-Systems (SoS) approach for an integrated assessment of resilience in civil transportation infrastructure in the U.S. A SoS approach is adopted for systemic assessment. Data obtained from case studies of two recent natural disasters
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The objective of this paper is to propose a System-of-Systems (SoS) approach for an integrated assessment of resilience in civil transportation infrastructure in the U.S. A SoS approach is adopted for systemic assessment. Data obtained from case studies of two recent natural disasters in the U.S. are utilized to explore the status quo, key players and interactions, and the drivers to and barriers of improving resilience in transportation infrastructure systems. The findings indicate that strategies for enhancing resilience in transportation infrastructure systems include redistributing the available funding through a special funding vehicle, using resilience-based performance measures, and integrating the efforts of different stakeholders. The SoS approach along with the findings from the case studies provides an analytical tool for understanding the dynamics of resilience in infrastructure systems. Such understanding could lead to identifying strategies for enhancing resilience in infrastructure systems. The study presented in this paper provides new insights to identify the determinants of resilience in highway transportation infrastructure based on a SoS approach. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Synthesis and Characterization of Nanofunctionalized Gelatin Methacrylate Hydrogels
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(12), 2675; doi:10.3390/ijms18122675 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Given the importance of the extracellular medium during tissue formation, it was wise to develop an artificial structure that mimics the extracellular matrix while having improved physico-chemical properties. That is why the choice was focused on gelatin methacryloyl (GelMA), an inexpensive biocompatible hydrogel.
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Given the importance of the extracellular medium during tissue formation, it was wise to develop an artificial structure that mimics the extracellular matrix while having improved physico-chemical properties. That is why the choice was focused on gelatin methacryloyl (GelMA), an inexpensive biocompatible hydrogel. Physicochemical and mechanical properties were improved by the incorporation of nanoparticles developed from two innovative fabrication processes: High shear fluid and low frequencies/high frequencies ultrasounds. Both rapeseed nanoliposomes and nanodroplets were successfully incorporated in the GelMA networks during the photo polymerization process. The impact on polymer microstructure was investigated by Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and enzymatic degradation investigations. Mechanical stability and viscoelastic tests were conducted to demonstrate the beneficial effect of the functionalization on GelMA hydrogels. Adding nanoparticles to GelMA improved the surface properties (porosity), tuned swelling, and degradability properties. In addition, we observed that nanoemulsion didn’t change significantly the mechanical properties to shear and compression solicitations, whereas nanoliposome addition decreased Young’s modulus under compression solicitations. Thus, these ways of functionalization allow controlling the design of the material by choosing the type of nanoparticle (nanoliposome or nanoemulsion) in function of the application. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Experimental and Numerical Studies of Sheet Metal Forming with Damage Using Gas Detonation Process
Metals 2017, 7(12), 556; doi:10.3390/met7120556 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Gas detonation forming is a high-speed forming method, which has the potential to form complex geometries, including sharp angles and undercuts, in a very short process time. Despite many efforts being made to develop detonation forming, many important aspects remain unclear and have
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Gas detonation forming is a high-speed forming method, which has the potential to form complex geometries, including sharp angles and undercuts, in a very short process time. Despite many efforts being made to develop detonation forming, many important aspects remain unclear and have not been studied experimentally, nor numerically in detail, e. g., the ability to produce sharp corners, the effect of peak load on deformation and damage location and its propagation in the workpiece. In the present work, DC04 steel cups were formed using gas detonation forming, and finite element method (FEM) simulations of the cup forming process were performed. The simulations on 3D computational models were carried out with explicit dynamic analysis using the Johnson–Cook material model. The results obtained in the simulations were in good agreement with the experimental observations, e. g., deformed shape and thickness distribution. Moreover, the proposed computational model was capable of predicting the damage initiation and evolution correctly, which was mainly due to the high-pressure magnitude or an initial offset of the workpiece in the experiments. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Extraction of Road Intersections from GPS Traces Based on the Dominant Orientations of Roads
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2017, 6(12), 403; doi:10.3390/ijgi6120403 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Many studies have used Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) traces to successfully extract segments of road networks because such data can be rapidly updated at a low cost. However, most studies have not focused on extracting intersections, which are indispensable parts of road
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Many studies have used Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) traces to successfully extract segments of road networks because such data can be rapidly updated at a low cost. However, most studies have not focused on extracting intersections, which are indispensable parts of road networks in terms of connectivity. However, extracted intersections often present unsatisfactory precision and misleading connectivity. This study proposes a novel method for extracting road intersections from Global Position System (GPS) trace points and for capturing intersections with better accuracy. The key to improving the geometric accuracy of intersections is to identify the dominant orientations of road segments around intersections, merge similar orientations and maintain independent conflicting orientations. Extracting intersections by aligning the dominant orientations can largely reduce location offsets and road distortions. Experiments are performed to demonstrate the increased accuracy and connectivity of extracted road intersections by the proposed method. Full article
Open AccessBrief Report
A Two-Dimensional Human Minilung System (Model) for Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections
Viruses 2017, 9(12), 379; doi:10.3390/v9120379 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Human respiratory syncytial virus (HRSV) is a major cause of serious pediatric respiratory diseases that lacks effective vaccine or specific therapeutics. Although our understanding about HRSV biology has dramatically increased during the last decades, the need for adequate models of HRSV infection is
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Human respiratory syncytial virus (HRSV) is a major cause of serious pediatric respiratory diseases that lacks effective vaccine or specific therapeutics. Although our understanding about HRSV biology has dramatically increased during the last decades, the need for adequate models of HRSV infection is compelling. We have generated a two-dimensional minilung from human embryonic stem cells (hESCs). The differentiation protocol yielded at least six types of lung and airway cells, although it is biased toward the generation of distal cells. We show evidence of HRSV replication in lung cells, and the induction of innate and proinflammatory responses, thus supporting its use as a model for the study of HRSV–host interactions. Full article
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