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Appl. Sci., Volume 7, Issue 7 (July 2017)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) An overlay between Doppler Optical Coherence Tomography (Doppler OCT, color scale) and Optical [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle Automatic Definition of an Anatomic Field of View for Volumetric Cardiac Motion Estimation at High Temporal Resolution
Appl. Sci. 2017, 7(7), 752; https://doi.org/10.3390/app7070752
Received: 7 June 2017 / Revised: 17 July 2017 / Accepted: 20 July 2017 / Published: 24 July 2017
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Abstract
Fast volumetric cardiac imaging requires reducing the number of transmit events within a single volume. One way of achieving this is by limiting the field of view (FOV) of the recording to the myocardium when investigating cardiac mechanics. Although fully automatic solutions towards
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Fast volumetric cardiac imaging requires reducing the number of transmit events within a single volume. One way of achieving this is by limiting the field of view (FOV) of the recording to the myocardium when investigating cardiac mechanics. Although fully automatic solutions towards myocardial segmentation exist, translating that information in a fast ultrasound scan sequence is not trivial. In particular, multi-line transmit (MLT) scan sequences were investigated given their proven capability to increase frame rate (FR) while preserving image quality. The aim of this study was therefore to develop a methodology to automatically identify the anatomically relevant conically shaped FOV, and to translate this to the best associated MLT sequence. This approach was tested on 27 datasets leading to a conical scan with a mean opening angle of 19.7° ± 8.5°, while the mean “thickness” of the cone was 19° ± 3.4°, resulting in a frame rate gain of about 2. Then, to subsequently scan this conical volume, several MLT setups were tested in silico. The method of choice was a 10MLT sequence as it resulted in the highest frame rate gain while maintaining an acceptable cross-talk level. When combining this MLT scan sequence with at least four parallel receive beams, a total frame rate gain with a factor of approximately 80 could be obtained. As such, anatomical scan sequences can increase frame rate significantly while maintaining information of the relevant structures for functional myocardial imaging. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ultrafast Ultrasound Imaging)
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Open AccessArticle Enhanced Adaptive Filtering Algorithm Based on Sliding Mode Control for Active Vibration Rejection of Smart Beam Structures
Appl. Sci. 2017, 7(7), 750; https://doi.org/10.3390/app7070750
Received: 3 July 2017 / Revised: 18 July 2017 / Accepted: 19 July 2017 / Published: 24 July 2017
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Abstract
This article investigates vibration rejection for a continuous smart structure using piezoelectric bimorph patches. Such a structure has inherent nonlinearities, such as hysteresis and creep, and the whole system may experience unexpected disturbances, uncertainties, and noise from external sources. Thus, it is very
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This article investigates vibration rejection for a continuous smart structure using piezoelectric bimorph patches. Such a structure has inherent nonlinearities, such as hysteresis and creep, and the whole system may experience unexpected disturbances, uncertainties, and noise from external sources. Thus, it is very important to design the active control scheme carefully with adaptive filtering systems to deal with these conditions. An advanced adaptive filtering algorithm was developed based on the conventional least mean squares (LMS) method and sliding mode control for the active vibration rejection system. The sliding mode controller is applied to the standard LMS algorithm to overcome problems with misadjustment and excess error in an optimal manner. A numerical analysis and laboratory experiment show that the technique can significantly attenuate the vibration of the smart structure at different levels and broadband frequency spectra. In addition, unidentified impedance is chosen to change the distribution of the mass, and the robustness and the adaptivity of the proposed approach are verified. The experimental results show that the method can isolate impulse-type vibrations of at least 2.8 dB, even with the adjusted mass arrangement. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Mechanical Engineering)
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Open AccessArticle Ideal Operation of a Photovoltaic Power Plant Equipped with an Energy Storage System on Electricity Market
Appl. Sci. 2017, 7(7), 749; https://doi.org/10.3390/app7070749
Received: 22 June 2017 / Revised: 16 July 2017 / Accepted: 19 July 2017 / Published: 23 July 2017
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Abstract
There is no natural inertia in a photovoltaic (PV) generator and changes in irradiation can be seen immediately at the output power. Moving cloud shadows are the dominant reason for fast PV power fluctuations taking place typically within a minute between 20 to
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There is no natural inertia in a photovoltaic (PV) generator and changes in irradiation can be seen immediately at the output power. Moving cloud shadows are the dominant reason for fast PV power fluctuations taking place typically within a minute between 20 to 100% of the clear sky value roughly 100 times a day, on average. Therefore, operating a utility scale grid connected PV power plant is challenging. Currently, in many regions, renewable energy sources such as solar and wind receive feed-in tariffs that ensure a certain price for the energy. On the other hand, electricity markets operate on a supply-demand principle and a typical imbalance settlement period is one hour. This paper presents the energy, power and corresponding requirements for an energy storage system in a solar PV power plant to feed the power to the grid meeting the electricity spot markets practices. An ideal PV energy production forecast is assumed to be available to define reference powers of the system for the studied imbalance settlement periods. The analysis is done for three different PV system sizes using the existing irradiance measurements of the Tampere University of Technology solar PV power station research plant. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Saving)
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Open AccessArticle A New Method for Haul Road Design in Open-Pit Mines to Support Efficient Truck Haulage Operations
Appl. Sci. 2017, 7(7), 747; https://doi.org/10.3390/app7070747
Received: 29 June 2017 / Revised: 14 July 2017 / Accepted: 20 July 2017 / Published: 23 July 2017
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Abstract
The design of a haul road for an open-pit mine can significantly affect the cost associated with hauling ore and waste to the surface. This study proposes a new method for haul road design in open-pit mines to support efficient truck haulage operations.
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The design of a haul road for an open-pit mine can significantly affect the cost associated with hauling ore and waste to the surface. This study proposes a new method for haul road design in open-pit mines to support efficient truck haulage operations. The road layout in open-pit mines was optimized by using raster-based least-cost path analysis, and the resulting zigzag road sections were simplified by applying the Douglas-Peucker algorithm. In addition, the road layout was modified by reflecting the radius of curvature suggested in the road design guides. Finally, a three-dimensional model reflecting the results of the road design was created by combining the road layout modification result with the slope of the open-pit mine and the bench design result. The application of the proposed method to an area containing gold deposits made it possible to design a haul road for open-pit mines such that it supported efficient truck haulage operations; furthermore, the time required for truck movement along the road could be estimated. The proposed method is expected to be useful for planning and designing open-pit mines and to facilitate the improvement of the road design function of existing mining software applications. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Aspect Ratio Evolution in Embedded, Surface, and Corner Cracks in Finite-Thickness Plates under Tensile Fatigue Loading
Appl. Sci. 2017, 7(7), 746; https://doi.org/10.3390/app7070746
Received: 28 April 2017 / Revised: 1 July 2017 / Accepted: 6 July 2017 / Published: 21 July 2017
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Abstract
This article deals with the computational modelling of the fatigue crack aspect ratio evolution in embedded, surface, and corner cracks located in finite-thickness plates under tensile fatigue. The approach is based on the Paris law for fatigue propagation and an expression for the
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This article deals with the computational modelling of the fatigue crack aspect ratio evolution in embedded, surface, and corner cracks located in finite-thickness plates under tensile fatigue. The approach is based on the Paris law for fatigue propagation and an expression for the stress intensity factor (SIF) provided by Newman and Raju. Numerical results indicate that the crack path develops in such a manner that all flaws tend to reach similar aspect ratios, i.e., a preferential crack path does exist along which there is a one-to-one relationship between the aspect ratio and the relative crack depth (a sort of master curve in the matter of fatigue crack path evolution). Such a reference curve corresponds to that of a very superficial initial flaw with almost circular shape. The convergence (quicker or slower approach between fatigue crack paths starting from different initial defects) is higher for surface flaws than for corner cracks, and quicker for the latter than for embedded discontinuities. Corner defects increase their size faster than surface cracks, and the latter do the same quicker than the embedded ones. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Study of Surfactant Additives for the Manufacture of Warm Mix Asphalt: From Laboratory Design to Asphalt Plant Manufacture
Appl. Sci. 2017, 7(7), 745; https://doi.org/10.3390/app7070745
Received: 20 June 2017 / Revised: 12 July 2017 / Accepted: 19 July 2017 / Published: 21 July 2017
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Abstract
Warm Mix Asphalt (WMA), manufactured at a lower temperature than the traditional Hot Mix Asphalt (HMA), allows for important economic and environmental benefits when considered for application in roads. Nonetheless, despite the benefits, its application in pavement for roads is not as widespread
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Warm Mix Asphalt (WMA), manufactured at a lower temperature than the traditional Hot Mix Asphalt (HMA), allows for important economic and environmental benefits when considered for application in roads. Nonetheless, despite the benefits, its application in pavement for roads is not as widespread as desired from an environmental point of view; more in-depth studies to investigate its development and wider applicability are required. Thus, the present paper aims to contribute to the implementation of this cleaner technology to produce WMA (based on chemical additives) for its application in pavement for roads, including from the stage of the design of the material in the laboratory (by selecting the most appropriate manufacturing temperature and additive type and dosage) to its production in a conventional industrial plant for its use in a trial section. Results demonstrate that it is possible to reduce the manufacturing temperature of asphalt mixtures by using chemical additives, recording similar mechanical behaviour (or even superior) to conventional hot mixtures when specific studies are developed for the optimal design of the WMA. It was also shown that these mixtures could be produced in a conventional asphalt plant without implementing important changes in equipment, which implies a cost-effective solution that can readily be incorporated into traditional plant procedures. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Performance Analysis of a Burst Transmission Mechanism Using Microsleep Operation for Green IEEE 802.11 WLANs
Appl. Sci. 2017, 7(7), 744; https://doi.org/10.3390/app7070744
Received: 16 June 2017 / Revised: 12 July 2017 / Accepted: 14 July 2017 / Published: 21 July 2017
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Abstract
This paper evaluates the performance of a burst transmission mechanism using microsleep operation to support high energy efficiency in IEEE 802.11 Wireless Local Area Networks (WLANs). This mechanism is an implementation of the IEEE 802.11ac Transmission Opportunity Power Save Mode (TXOP PSM). A
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This paper evaluates the performance of a burst transmission mechanism using microsleep operation to support high energy efficiency in IEEE 802.11 Wireless Local Area Networks (WLANs). This mechanism is an implementation of the IEEE 802.11ac Transmission Opportunity Power Save Mode (TXOP PSM). A device using the TXOP PSM-based mechanism can switch to a low-power sleep state for the time that another device transmits a burst of data frames to a third one. This operation is called microsleep and its feasibility strongly depends on the time and energy consumption that a device incurs in the transitions from and to the sleep state. This paper accounts for the impact of these transitions in the derivation of an analytical model to calculate the energy efficiency of the TXOP PSM-based mechanism under network saturation. Results obtained show that the impact of the transition requirements on the feasibility of microsleep operation can be significant depending on the selected system parameters, although it can be reduced by using burst transmissions. When microsleep operation is feasible, the TXOP PSM-based mechanism can improve the energy efficiency of other legacy mechanisms by up to 424% under high traffic loads. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Computer Science and Electrical Engineering)
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Open AccessArticle Laboratory Evaluation of Rejuvenating Agent on Reclaimed SBS Modified Asphalt Pavement
Appl. Sci. 2017, 7(7), 743; https://doi.org/10.3390/app7070743
Received: 13 June 2017 / Revised: 3 July 2017 / Accepted: 19 July 2017 / Published: 21 July 2017
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Abstract
To evaluate the effect of rejuvenating agent on reclaimed SBS (styrene-butadiene-styrene) modified asphalt pavement (RSMAP) material, different tests of asphalt and mixtures were conducted. Firstly, the improvement effect of rejuvenating agents on the aged modified asphalt was tested at macroscopic and microscope level.
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To evaluate the effect of rejuvenating agent on reclaimed SBS (styrene-butadiene-styrene) modified asphalt pavement (RSMAP) material, different tests of asphalt and mixtures were conducted. Firstly, the improvement effect of rejuvenating agents on the aged modified asphalt was tested at macroscopic and microscope level. Then the properties of hot mix asphalt (HMA) with different RSMAP contents (0%, 30%, 50% and 70%) were evaluated by conducting freeze-thaw split, semi-circular bending (SCB) and dynamic modulus (DM). The results indicate that rejuvenating agent can recycle the properties of aged modified asphalt effectively. The initial phase structure of the aged modified asphalt is not changed by adding rejuvenating agents. Moreover, the SBS particles area ratio of modified asphalt blends is significantly correlated with tenacity as the proportion of rejuvenating agent increases. For mixtures, RSMAP is harmful to moisture susceptibility and low-temperature cracking resistance of recycled mixture, especially with high RSMAP content. Moreover, the two properties can be improved by adding rejuvenating agents, but the recycled mixtures with high RSMAP content are not easy to recover to HMA mixture level. In general, the rejuvenating agent has an effect on the stiffness of the recycled mixture, but this is effect not obvious. When loading frequency reaches a higher value, the DM of recycled mixtures and HMA mixture tend to be consistent including high RSMAP content. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Cellular Automaton to Study the Impact of Changes in Traffic Rules in a Roundabout: A Preliminary Approach
Appl. Sci. 2017, 7(7), 742; https://doi.org/10.3390/app7070742
Received: 16 June 2017 / Revised: 16 July 2017 / Accepted: 18 July 2017 / Published: 21 July 2017
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Abstract
The current article presents a roundabout traffic model based on cellular automata for computer simulation. The model takes into account various sizes of roundabouts, as well as various types and maximum speeds of vehicles. A realistic vehicle braking phase is presented which is
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The current article presents a roundabout traffic model based on cellular automata for computer simulation. The model takes into account various sizes of roundabouts, as well as various types and maximum speeds of vehicles. A realistic vehicle braking phase is presented which is adjusted to the kind of vehicle and weather conditions. It also analyses roundabout traffic options including where the various rules for entering and exiting a roundabout apply. Traffic rules are contained in respective traffic scenarios. The simulation results indicate that there is significant scope for roundabout traffic reorganisation, with a mind to increasing roundabout capacity. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Application of Bender Elements Technique in Testing of Anthropogenic Soil—Recycled Concrete Aggregate and Its Mixture with Rubber Chips
Appl. Sci. 2017, 7(7), 741; https://doi.org/10.3390/app7070741
Received: 30 May 2017 / Revised: 10 July 2017 / Accepted: 17 July 2017 / Published: 21 July 2017
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Abstract
This paper discusses the application of piezoceramic bender elements (BEs) for measurement of shear wave velocity in the time and frequency domain in a triaxial cell under different isotropic confinement. Different interpretation methods were used in the tests and their results were finally
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This paper discusses the application of piezoceramic bender elements (BEs) for measurement of shear wave velocity in the time and frequency domain in a triaxial cell under different isotropic confinement. Different interpretation methods were used in the tests and their results were finally compared with each other. Two types of anthropogenic material were tested: pure Recycled Concrete Aggregate (RCA) and RCA-rubber chips mixtures (15% of rubber addition). Presented study is an attempt to describe dynamic properties, in terms of shear wave velocity (VS), of the aforementioned anthropogenic material using the technique commonly applied for natural soil. Although some research is currently being carried out, in order to evaluate physical, chemical and mechanical properties of RCA and rubber-soil mixtures, still little is known of their dynamic properties. Hence, this work will provide the experimental results of shear wave velocity of RCA and its modified version. The results show that tires chips significantly decrease the VS values of modified RCA. They help to reduce the near field effect, but the received parameters are more incoherent. The VS values were found to be influenced by interpretation technique, mean effective stress and wave’s propagation period. The maximum VS values were obtained mostly from the frequency domain method, although time domain analysis gives the results that are more coherent. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Materials)
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Open AccessArticle Thermal Performance of Concrete with Recycled Aggregates from CDW Plants
Appl. Sci. 2017, 7(7), 740; https://doi.org/10.3390/app7070740
Received: 21 June 2017 / Revised: 14 July 2017 / Accepted: 17 July 2017 / Published: 20 July 2017
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Abstract
This investigation intends to analyse the thermal performance of concrete with recycled aggregates (RA) from construction and demolition waste (CDW) collected from several locations in Portugal. A total of 17 concrete mixes were analysed by means of thermal conductivity tests. Firstly, the composition
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This investigation intends to analyse the thermal performance of concrete with recycled aggregates (RA) from construction and demolition waste (CDW) collected from several locations in Portugal. A total of 17 concrete mixes were analysed by means of thermal conductivity tests. Firstly, the composition and characteristics of the aggregates (natural and recycled) used in the production of the concrete mixes were analysed thoroughly, by means of several physical and chemical tests. Later, in order to evaluate the thermal behaviour of the mixes, several tests were performed and their results analysed, both on the fresh-state (slump with the Abrams cone test, density and air content) and the hardened state (compressive strength and thermal conductivity). The analysis of the thermal behaviour showed that the use of RA improves the thermal performance of the concrete mixes. The extent of this change was shown to be quite variable depending on the origin of the RA used. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Materials)
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Open AccessArticle Measurements of Thermally-Induced Curvatures and Warpages of Printed Circuit Board during a Solder Reflow Process Using Strain Gauges
Appl. Sci. 2017, 7(7), 739; https://doi.org/10.3390/app7070739
Received: 22 June 2017 / Revised: 11 July 2017 / Accepted: 18 July 2017 / Published: 20 July 2017
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Abstract
Measurements of the curvatures and warpages of a printed circuit board (PCB) during a thermal solder reflow process using strain gauges are proposed in this study. In the experiments, a shadow moiré is used for measuring the out-of-plane deformations (or warpage) of a
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Measurements of the curvatures and warpages of a printed circuit board (PCB) during a thermal solder reflow process using strain gauges are proposed in this study. In the experiments, a shadow moiré is used for measuring the out-of-plane deformations (or warpage) of a bi-material plate and a PCB with dual in-line memory module (DIMM) sockets during solder reflow heating, while the finite element method (FEM) is used to analyze the thermally-induced deformation of the PCB specimen for ensuring the validity of the measurement. Conventional strain gauges are employed to measure the strains (albeit as in-plane strain data) in both specimens during the solder reflow process. The results indicate that the strain gauge-measured strain data from the top and bottom surfaces of both specimens during the solder reflow can be converted into curvature data with specific equations, and even into global out-of-plane deformations or warpages with a proposed simple beam model. Such results are also consistent with those from the shadow moiré and FEM. Therefore, it has been proved that the strain gauge measurement associated with the simple beam model can provide a method for the real-time monitoring of PCB deformations or warpages with different temperatures during the solder reflow process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Printed Electronics 2017)
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Open AccessArticle Adaptive Global Fast Sliding Mode Control for Steer-by-Wire System Road Vehicles
Appl. Sci. 2017, 7(7), 738; https://doi.org/10.3390/app7070738
Received: 21 June 2017 / Revised: 11 July 2017 / Accepted: 13 July 2017 / Published: 19 July 2017
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Abstract
A steer-by-wire (SbW) system, also known as a next-generation steering system, is one of the core elements of autonomous driving technology. Navigating a SbW system road vehicle in varying driving conditions requires an adaptive and robust control scheme to effectively compensate for the
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A steer-by-wire (SbW) system, also known as a next-generation steering system, is one of the core elements of autonomous driving technology. Navigating a SbW system road vehicle in varying driving conditions requires an adaptive and robust control scheme to effectively compensate for the uncertain parameter variations and external disturbances. Therefore, this article proposed an adaptive global fast sliding mode control (AGFSMC) for SbW system vehicles with unknown steering parameters. First, the cooperative adaptive sliding mode observer (ASMO) and Kalman filter (KF) are established to simultaneously estimate the vehicle states and cornering stiffness coefficients. Second, based on the best set of estimated dynamics, the AGFSMC is designed to stabilize the impact of nonlinear tire-road disturbance forces and at the same time to estimate the uncertain SbW system parameters. Due to the robust nature of the proposed scheme, it can not only handle the tire–road variation, but also intelligently adapts to the different driving conditions and ensures that the tracking error and the sliding surface converge asymptotically to zero in a finite time. Finally, simulation results and comparative study with other control techniques validate the excellent performance of the proposed scheme. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Elastic Wave Measurement Using a MEMS AE Sensor
Appl. Sci. 2017, 7(7), 737; https://doi.org/10.3390/app7070737
Received: 28 April 2017 / Revised: 15 June 2017 / Accepted: 3 July 2017 / Published: 19 July 2017
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Abstract
In recent years, with the continuing progress of aging social infrastructures such as bridges and tunnels, there has been high demand for the assessment of deterioration of their performance and conditions. Since current inspection methods for those structures have mainly relied on human
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In recent years, with the continuing progress of aging social infrastructures such as bridges and tunnels, there has been high demand for the assessment of deterioration of their performance and conditions. Since current inspection methods for those structures have mainly relied on human resources, it is important to reduce their increasing maintenance cost. One of the key methods for achieving effective maintenance without expensive human costs is to use sensors to discriminate between healthy and unhealthy conditions. In this paper, a MEMS (micro electro mechanical systems) wideband frequency sensor, which is referred to as a super acoustic (SA) sensor, is evaluated through the pencil lead break (PLB) test. Due to its wideband frequency characteristics, the SA sensor is expected to be a promising alternative to the existing vibration sensors, including acoustic emission (AE) sensors. Several PLB signals were generated on an aluminum plate (5 mm thick), and propagating Lamb waves were detected by both AE and SA sensors. SA sensors were able to identify the location of PLB sources on the plate by measuring time differences between each sensor. By comparing the wave spectrums of both the AE and SA sensors analyzed by wavelet transform, the applicability of SA sensor for AE measurement is verified. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Synthesis, Characterization, and Antibacterial Activities of High-Valence Silver Propamidine Nanoparticles
Appl. Sci. 2017, 7(7), 736; https://doi.org/10.3390/app7070736
Received: 20 June 2017 / Revised: 12 July 2017 / Accepted: 15 July 2017 / Published: 18 July 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1477 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Diabetic foot ulcer (DFU) is becoming more serious concern as it affects 95% of diabetic patients worldwide. It has been shown that the Staphylococcus aureus and other Gram-negative microorganisms are the main reasons behind this disease. Though many antibiotics are presently used to
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Diabetic foot ulcer (DFU) is becoming more serious concern as it affects 95% of diabetic patients worldwide. It has been shown that the Staphylococcus aureus and other Gram-negative microorganisms are the main reasons behind this disease. Though many antibiotics are presently used to treat the DFU, due to increased bacterial resistance, new alternative therapies are always welcome. To address this alarming issue, we have designed and synthesized the high-valence silver propamidine (Ag(II)PRO) complex as well as nanoparticles and characterized both by usual spectroscopic methods. The reverse microemulsion technique has been applied to synthesize Ag(II)PRO nanoparticles and its antibacterial activity has been compared with zero-valence silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) with similar size. The antibacterial efficacies of Ag(II)PRO nanoparticles and AgNPs were tested against Gram-negative and Gram -positive organisms responsible for DFU. The newly synthesized high-valence Ag(II)PRO nanoparticles showed higher antibacterial activity compared to silver-only nanoparticles (AgNPs). This study concludes that the high-valence Ag(II)PRO nanoparticles show better antibacterial activity than AgNPs and they may serve as the next generation therapeutic agent for the diabetic wound care. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Nanotechnology and Applied Nanosciences)
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