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Appl. Sci., Volume 8, Issue 7 (July 2018)

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Open AccessArticle An Upper Extremity Rehabilitation System Using Efficient Vision-Based Action Identification Techniques
Appl. Sci. 2018, 8(7), 1161; https://doi.org/10.3390/app8071161 (registering DOI)
Received: 30 May 2018 / Revised: 6 July 2018 / Accepted: 10 July 2018 / Published: 17 July 2018
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Abstract
This study proposes an action identification system for home upper extremity rehabilitation. In the proposed system, we apply an RGB-depth (color-depth) sensor to capture the image sequences of the patient’s upper extremity actions to identify its movements. We apply a skin color detection
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This study proposes an action identification system for home upper extremity rehabilitation. In the proposed system, we apply an RGB-depth (color-depth) sensor to capture the image sequences of the patient’s upper extremity actions to identify its movements. We apply a skin color detection technique to assist with extremity identification and to build up the upper extremity skeleton points. We use the dynamic time warping algorithm to determine the rehabilitation actions. The system presented herein builds up upper extremity skeleton points rapidly. Through the upper extremity of the human skeleton and human skin color information, the upper extremity skeleton points are effectively established by the proposed system, and the rehabilitation actions of patients are identified by a dynamic time warping algorithm. Thus, the proposed system can achieve a high recognition rate of 98% for the defined rehabilitation actions for the various muscles. Moreover, the computational speed of the proposed system can reach 125 frames per second—the processing time per frame is less than 8 ms on a personal computer platform. This computational efficiency allows efficient extensibility for future developments to deal with complex ambient environments and for implementation in embedded and pervasive systems. The major contributions of the study are: (1) the proposed system is not only a physical exercise game, but also a movement training program for specific muscle groups; (2) The hardware of upper extremity rehabilitation system included a personal computer with personal computer and a depth camera. These are economic equipment, so that patients who need this system can set up one set at home; (3) patients can perform rehabilitation actions in sitting position to prevent him/her from falling down during training; (4) the accuracy rate of identifying rehabilitation action is as high as 98%, which is sufficient for distinguishing between correct and wrong action when performing specific action trainings; (5) The proposed upper extremity rehabilitation system is real-time, efficient to vision-based action identification, and low-cost hardware and software, which is affordable for most families. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from the 2017 International Conference on Inventions)
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Open AccessArticle Hierarchical Mobile Edge Computing Architecture Based on Context Awareness
Appl. Sci. 2018, 8(7), 1160; https://doi.org/10.3390/app8071160 (registering DOI)
Received: 27 June 2018 / Revised: 7 July 2018 / Accepted: 12 July 2018 / Published: 17 July 2018
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Abstract
Due to the recent developments in mobile network technology and the supply of mobile devices, services that require high computing power and fast access speed, such as machine learning and multimedia streaming, are attracting attention. Mobile Edge Computing (MEC) has emerged. MEC allows
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Due to the recent developments in mobile network technology and the supply of mobile devices, services that require high computing power and fast access speed, such as machine learning and multimedia streaming, are attracting attention. Mobile Edge Computing (MEC) has emerged. MEC allows servers to be located close to users to efficiently handle these services and provides users with ultra-low latency content delivery and powerful computing services. However, there has been a lack of research into the architecture required to efficiently use the computing power and resources of MEC. So, this paper proposes hierarchical MEC architecture in which MEC servers (MECS) are arranged in a hierarchical scheme to provide users with rapid content delivery, high computing performance, and efficient use of server resources. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mobile Cloud Computing)
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview Understanding Heteroatom-Mediated Metal–Support Interactions in Functionalized Carbons: A Perspective Review
Appl. Sci. 2018, 8(7), 1159; https://doi.org/10.3390/app8071159 (registering DOI)
Received: 1 July 2018 / Revised: 13 July 2018 / Accepted: 14 July 2018 / Published: 17 July 2018
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Abstract
Carbon-based materials show unique chemicophysical properties, and they have been successfully used in many catalytic processes, including the production of chemicals and energy. The introduction of heteroatoms (N, B, P, S) alters the electronic properties, often increasing the reactivity of the surface of
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Carbon-based materials show unique chemicophysical properties, and they have been successfully used in many catalytic processes, including the production of chemicals and energy. The introduction of heteroatoms (N, B, P, S) alters the electronic properties, often increasing the reactivity of the surface of nanocarbons. The functional groups on the carbons have been reported to be effective for anchoring metal nanoparticles. Although the interaction between functional groups and metal has been studied by various characterization techniques, theoretical models, and catalytic results, the role and nature of heteroatoms is still an object of discussion. The aim of this review is to elucidate the metal–heteroatoms interaction, providing an overview of the main experimental and theoretical outcomes about heteroatom-mediated metal–support interactions. Selected studies showing the effect of heteroatom–metal interaction in the liquid-phase alcohol oxidation will be also presented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Nanotechnology and Applied Nanosciences)
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Open AccessArticle Di-Chromatic InGaN Based Color Tuneable Monolithic LED with High Color Rendering Index
Appl. Sci. 2018, 8(7), 1158; https://doi.org/10.3390/app8071158 (registering DOI)
Received: 23 May 2018 / Revised: 20 June 2018 / Accepted: 13 July 2018 / Published: 17 July 2018
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Abstract
We demonstrate a phosphor free, dichromatic GaN-based monolithic white LED with vertically stacked green and blue emitting multiple quantum wells. The optimal thickness of GaN barrier layer between green and blue quantum wells used is 8 nm. This device can be tuned over
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We demonstrate a phosphor free, dichromatic GaN-based monolithic white LED with vertically stacked green and blue emitting multiple quantum wells. The optimal thickness of GaN barrier layer between green and blue quantum wells used is 8 nm. This device can be tuned over a wide range of correlated color temperature (CCT) to achieve warm white (CCT = 3600 K) to cool white (CCT = 13,000 K) emission by current modulation from 2.3 A/cm2 to 12.9 A/cm2. It is also demonstrated for the first time that a color rendering index (CRI) as high as 67 can be achieved with such a dichromatic source. The observed CCT and CRI tunability is associated with the spectral power evolution due to the pumping-induced carrier redistribution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Highly Efficient UV and Visible Light Sources)
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Open AccessArticle Valley-Selective Response of Nanostructures Coupled to 2D Transition-Metal Dichalcogenides
Appl. Sci. 2018, 8(7), 1157; https://doi.org/10.3390/app8071157 (registering DOI)
Received: 29 May 2018 / Revised: 12 July 2018 / Accepted: 13 July 2018 / Published: 17 July 2018
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Abstract
Monolayer (1L) transition-metal dichalcogenides (TMDCs) are attractive materials for several optoelectronic applications because of their strong excitonic resonances and valley-selective response. Valley excitons in 1L-TMDCs are formed at opposite points of the Brillouin zone boundary, giving rise to a valley degree of freedom
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Monolayer (1L) transition-metal dichalcogenides (TMDCs) are attractive materials for several optoelectronic applications because of their strong excitonic resonances and valley-selective response. Valley excitons in 1L-TMDCs are formed at opposite points of the Brillouin zone boundary, giving rise to a valley degree of freedom that can be treated as a pseudospin, and may be used as a platform for information transport and processing. However, short valley depolarization times and relatively short exciton lifetimes at room temperature prevent using valley pseudospins in on-chip integrated valley devices. Recently, it was demonstrated how coupling these materials to optical nanoantennas and metasurfaces can overcome this obstacle. Here, we review the state-of-the-art advances in valley-selective directional emission and exciton sorting in 1L-TMDC mediated by nanostructures and nanoantennas. We briefly discuss the optical properties of 1L-TMDCs paying special attention to their photoluminescence/absorption spectra, dynamics of valley depolarization, and the valley Hall effect. Then, we review recent works on nanostructures for valley-selective directional emission from 1L-TMDCs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nano-Antennas)
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Open AccessArticle A Novel Method for Assessing Regional Tendon Stiffness and Its Significance
Appl. Sci. 2018, 8(7), 1156; https://doi.org/10.3390/app8071156 (registering DOI)
Received: 26 May 2018 / Revised: 25 June 2018 / Accepted: 27 June 2018 / Published: 17 July 2018
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Abstract
Elastography can be used to estimate the regional shear modulus of a tendon. This can advance our knowledge on the impact of patellar alignment and regional patellar tendon stiffness. This is important as patellar tendon abnormality is mainly found in the medial portion
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Elastography can be used to estimate the regional shear modulus of a tendon. This can advance our knowledge on the impact of patellar alignment and regional patellar tendon stiffness. This is important as patellar tendon abnormality is mainly found in the medial portion of the tendon in subjects with proximal patellar tendinopathy. This paper aims to assess the effect of patellar displacement on differential modulation on the shear modulus of the patellar tendon. Shear modulus is captured on the medial and lateral half of the patella tendon using the Axiplorer® ultrasound unit in conjunction with a 4–15 MHz, 50 mm linear transducer with the patellar being positioned in its resting, medio- and laterally displaced positions on 40 adults (19 females, 21 males). When the patellar is displaced laterally, the shear modulus is significantly increased at the medial half in both genders but decreased at the lateral half only in females. Conclusions: Elastography detects changes in regional tendon stiffness associated with alteration in patellar positions. The modulation on the shear modulus is gender and region specific. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ultrasound Elastography)
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Open AccessArticle Stable Q-Switched Mode-Locking of 2.7 μm Er:Y2O3 Ceramic Laser Using a Semiconductor Saturable Absorber
Appl. Sci. 2018, 8(7), 1155; https://doi.org/10.3390/app8071155 (registering DOI)
Received: 20 June 2018 / Revised: 8 July 2018 / Accepted: 9 July 2018 / Published: 17 July 2018
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Abstract
This paper studies synchronous Q-switch and mode-locking of an 2.7 μm Er:Y2O3 ceramic laser pumped with a high brightness 976 nm fiber laser and using a semiconductor saturable absorber mirror. The Er:Y2O3 ceramic is home-developed with Er
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This paper studies synchronous Q-switch and mode-locking of an 2.7 μm Er:Y2O3 ceramic laser pumped with a high brightness 976 nm fiber laser and using a semiconductor saturable absorber mirror. The Er:Y2O3 ceramic is home-developed with Er3+ doping concentration of 7 at.%. The laser generated ~92 mW of average output power with stable mode-locked pulses of 100% modulation depth and 130 MHz repetition rate embedded inside Q-switched envelopes of ~1.2 μs width. Repetition rates of the Q-switched pulse envelopes are tunable from 5.1 kHz to 29 kHz with the width varying from 2.7 μs to 1.2 μs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ultrafast Laser Pulses)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Wideband Ge-Rich SiGe Polarization-Insensitive Waveguides for Mid-Infrared Free-Space Communications
Appl. Sci. 2018, 8(7), 1154; https://doi.org/10.3390/app8071154
Received: 19 June 2018 / Revised: 7 July 2018 / Accepted: 12 July 2018 / Published: 16 July 2018
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Abstract
The recent development of quantum cascade lasers, with room-temperature emission in the mid-infrared range, opened new opportunities for the implementation of ultra-wideband communication systems. Specifically, the mid-infrared atmospheric transparency windows, comprising wavelengths between 3–5 µm and 8–14 µm, have great potential for free-space
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The recent development of quantum cascade lasers, with room-temperature emission in the mid-infrared range, opened new opportunities for the implementation of ultra-wideband communication systems. Specifically, the mid-infrared atmospheric transparency windows, comprising wavelengths between 3–5 µm and 8–14 µm, have great potential for free-space communications, as they provide a wide unregulated spectrum with low Mie and Rayleigh scattering and reduced background noise. Despite the great efforts devoted to the development of mid-infrared sources and detectors, little attention is dedicated to the management of polarization for signal processing. In this work, we used Ge-rich SiGe alloys to build a wideband and polarization-insensitive mid-infrared photonic platform. We showed that the gradual index change in the SiGe alloys enabled the design of waveguides with remarkably low birefringence, below 2 × 10−4, over ultra-wide wavelength ranges within both atmospheric transparency windows, near wavelengths of 3.5 µm and 9 µm. We also report on the design of a polarization-independent multimode interference device achieving efficient power splitting in an unprecedented 4.5-µm bandwidth at around 10-µm wavelength. The ultra-wideband polarization-insensitive building blocks presented here pave the way for the development of high-performance on-chip photonic circuits for next-generation mid-infrared free-space communication systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Silicon Photonics – Emerging Devices and Applications)
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Open AccessArticle The Role of Managerial Commitment and TPM Implementation Strategies in Productivity Benefits
Appl. Sci. 2018, 8(7), 1153; https://doi.org/10.3390/app8071153
Received: 28 June 2018 / Revised: 7 July 2018 / Accepted: 10 July 2018 / Published: 16 July 2018
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Abstract
The present research proposes a structural equation model to integrate four latent variables: managerial commitment, preventive maintenance, total productive maintenance, and productivity benefits. In addition, these variables are related through six research hypotheses that are validated using collected data from 368 surveys administered
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The present research proposes a structural equation model to integrate four latent variables: managerial commitment, preventive maintenance, total productive maintenance, and productivity benefits. In addition, these variables are related through six research hypotheses that are validated using collected data from 368 surveys administered in the Mexican manufacturing industry. Consequently, the model is evaluated using partial least squares. The results show that managerial commitment is critical to achieve productivity benefits, while preventive maintenance is indispensable to total preventive maintenance. These results may encourage company managers to focus on managerial commitment and implement preventive maintenance programs to guarantee the success of total productive maintenance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart Sustainable Manufacturing Systems)
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Open AccessArticle An Ensemble Stacked Convolutional Neural Network Model for Environmental Event Sound Recognition
Appl. Sci. 2018, 8(7), 1152; https://doi.org/10.3390/app8071152
Received: 19 June 2018 / Revised: 5 July 2018 / Accepted: 9 July 2018 / Published: 15 July 2018
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Abstract
Convolutional neural networks (CNNs) with log-mel audio representation and CNN-based end-to-end learning have both been used for environmental event sound recognition (ESC). However, log-mel features can be complemented by features learned from the raw audio waveform with an effective fusion method. In this
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Convolutional neural networks (CNNs) with log-mel audio representation and CNN-based end-to-end learning have both been used for environmental event sound recognition (ESC). However, log-mel features can be complemented by features learned from the raw audio waveform with an effective fusion method. In this paper, we first propose a novel stacked CNN model with multiple convolutional layers of decreasing filter sizes to improve the performance of CNN models with either log-mel feature input or raw waveform input. These two models are then combined using the Dempster–Shafer (DS) evidence theory to build the ensemble DS-CNN model for ESC. Our experiments over three public datasets showed that our method could achieve much higher performance in environmental sound recognition than other CNN models with the same types of input features. This is achieved by exploiting the complementarity of the model based on log-mel feature input and the model based on learning features directly from raw waveforms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart Environment and Healthcare)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Replacement of Vanadium by Ferrovanadium in a Ti-Based Body Centred Cubic (BCC) Alloy: Towards a Low-Cost Hydrogen Storage Material
Appl. Sci. 2018, 8(7), 1151; https://doi.org/10.3390/app8071151
Received: 28 May 2018 / Revised: 9 July 2018 / Accepted: 9 July 2018 / Published: 15 July 2018
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Abstract
We report here the effect on hydrogen sorption behavior of replacing vanadium by ferrovanadium (FeV) in Ti-V-Cr Body Centred Cubic (BCC) solid solution alloys. The compositions studied were Ti1.56V0.36Cr1.08 and Ti1.26V0.63Cr1.11. Both
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We report here the effect on hydrogen sorption behavior of replacing vanadium by ferrovanadium (FeV) in Ti-V-Cr Body Centred Cubic (BCC) solid solution alloys. The compositions studied were Ti1.56V0.36Cr1.08 and Ti1.26V0.63Cr1.11. Both of the alloys were synthesized by melting with 4 wt % of Zr7Ni10 in order to enhance the first hydrogenation (i.e., activation) kinetics. The ferrovanadium substitution leads to the same microstructure as the vanadium pristine alloys and no significant change in the lattice parameters was found. However, a longer incubation time was observed in the activation process for the FeV substituted alloy. Finally, the replacement of vanadium by ferrovanadium did not have a noticeable impact on the hydrogen capacities, heat of formation, and entropy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Solid State Hydrogen Generation and Storage)
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Open AccessArticle Modeling and Control of Negative-Buoyancy Tri-Tilt-Rotor Autonomous Underwater Vehicles Based on Immersion and Invariance Methodology
Appl. Sci. 2018, 8(7), 1150; https://doi.org/10.3390/app8071150
Received: 16 June 2018 / Revised: 13 July 2018 / Accepted: 13 July 2018 / Published: 15 July 2018
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Abstract
Spot hover and high speed capabilities of underwater vehicles are essential for ocean exploring, however, few vehicles have these two features. Moreover, the motion of underwater vehicles is prone to be affected by the unknown hydrodynamics. This paper presents a novel negative-buoyancy autonomous
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Spot hover and high speed capabilities of underwater vehicles are essential for ocean exploring, however, few vehicles have these two features. Moreover, the motion of underwater vehicles is prone to be affected by the unknown hydrodynamics. This paper presents a novel negative-buoyancy autonomous underwater vehicle equipped with tri-tilt-rotor to obtain these two features. A detailed mathematical model is derived, which is then decoupled to altitude and attitude subsystems. For controlling the underwater vehicle, an attitude error model is designed for the attitude subsystem, and an adaptive nonlinear controller is proposed for the attitude error model based on immersion and invariance methodology. To demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed controller, a three degrees of freedom (DOF) testbed is developed, and the performance of the controller is validated through a real-time experiment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Mobile Robotics)
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Open AccessArticle Humidity Control for Front Opening Unified Pod after Opening Its Door in a Mini-Environment
Appl. Sci. 2018, 8(7), 1149; https://doi.org/10.3390/app8071149
Received: 8 June 2018 / Revised: 4 July 2018 / Accepted: 10 July 2018 / Published: 15 July 2018
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Abstract
Wafers are usually placed in a front opening unified pod (FOUP) while waiting in the line of manufacturing processes; a conventional way for preventing (or removing) contamination is to purge an FOUP with a gas, so as to maintain the cleanliness level. This
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Wafers are usually placed in a front opening unified pod (FOUP) while waiting in the line of manufacturing processes; a conventional way for preventing (or removing) contamination is to purge an FOUP with a gas, so as to maintain the cleanliness level. This study investigates the effect of the flow rate of clean dry air (CDA), supplied to the purge system and air curtain, on the moisture prevention performance, while opening the FOUP door in a mini-environment. An initial relative humidity (RH) in the pre-purged FOUP was approximately 0%, whereas an RH in the mini-environment was about 43%. Conventional, diffuser, and panel purge approaches were tested. The results showed that the moisture in the surroundings rapidly entered the FOUP when the door was opened, without using either the purge system or air curtain. When the CDA was then supplied to both the purge system and the air curtain, the RH values decreased significantly; the drop slope of the RH for the diffuser- and panel-purge processes was much larger than that of the conventional-purge process. In addition, the moisture prevention performance when the developed panel-purge system was used was slightly lower than when using the diffuser-purge system. However, the use of the panel-purge method could sufficiently suppress the vibration problem. In the present study, the case with CDA flow rates of 150 L/min to the air curtain and 250 L/min to the panel-purge device had the best moisture prevention performance, because of the smallest values for both the mean and maximum RH values (i.e., 1.3% and 9.5%, respectively) in the FOUP. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Mechanical Engineering)
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Open AccessArticle Investigation of the Dynamic Buckling of Spherical Shell Structures Due to Subsea Collisions
Appl. Sci. 2018, 8(7), 1148; https://doi.org/10.3390/app8071148 (registering DOI)
Received: 24 May 2018 / Revised: 10 July 2018 / Accepted: 12 July 2018 / Published: 14 July 2018
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Abstract
This paper is the first to present the dynamic buckling behavior of spherical shell structures colliding with an obstacle block under the sea. The effect of deep water has been considered as a uniform external pressure by simplifying the effect of fluid–structure interaction.
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This paper is the first to present the dynamic buckling behavior of spherical shell structures colliding with an obstacle block under the sea. The effect of deep water has been considered as a uniform external pressure by simplifying the effect of fluid–structure interaction. The calibrated numerical simulations were carried out via the explicit finite element package LS-DYNA using different parameters, including thickness, elastic modulus, external pressure, added mass, and velocity. The closed-form analytical formula of the static buckling criteria, including point load and external pressure, has been firstly established and verified. In addition, unprecedented parametric analyses of collision show that the dynamic buckling force (peak force), mean force, and dynamic force redistribution (skewness) during collisions are proportional to the velocity, thickness, elastic modulus, and added mass of the spherical shell structure. These linear relationships are independent of other parameters. Furthermore, it can be found that the max force during the collision is about 2.1 times that of the static buckling force calculated from the analytical formula. These novel insights can help structural engineers and designers determine whether buckling will happen in the application of submarines, subsea exploration, underwater domes, etc. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Mechanical Engineering)
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Open AccessArticle Simulation of Real Defect Geometry and Its Detection Using Passive Magnetic Inspection (PMI) Method
Appl. Sci. 2018, 8(7), 1147; https://doi.org/10.3390/app8071147
Received: 26 May 2018 / Revised: 3 July 2018 / Accepted: 4 July 2018 / Published: 14 July 2018
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Abstract
Reinforced concrete is the most commonly used material in urban, road, and industrial structures. Quantifying the condition of the reinforcing steel can help manage the human and financial risks that arise from unexpected reinforced concrete structure functional failure. Also, a quantitative time history
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Reinforced concrete is the most commonly used material in urban, road, and industrial structures. Quantifying the condition of the reinforcing steel can help manage the human and financial risks that arise from unexpected reinforced concrete structure functional failure. Also, a quantitative time history of reinforcing steel condition can be used to make decisions on rehabilitation, decommissioning, or replacement. The self-magnetic behavior of ferromagnetic materials is useful for quantitative condition assessment. In this study, a ferromagnetic rebar with artificial defects was scanned by a three-dimensional (3D) laser scanner. The obtained point cloud was imported as a real geometry to a finite element software platform; its self-magnetic behavior was then simulated under the influence of Earth’s magnetic field. The various passive magnetic parameters that can be measured were reviewed for different conditions. Statistical studies showed that 0.76% of the simulation-obtained data of the rebar surface was related to the defect locations. Additionally, acceptable coincidences were confirmed between the magnetic properties from numerical simulation and from experimental outputs, most noticeably at hole locations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nondestructive Testing in Composite Materials)
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