Open AccessArticle
Characterizing Flow-Induced Vibrations of Fuel Assemblies for Future Liquid Metal Cooled Nuclear Reactors Using Quasi-Distributed Fibre-Optic Sensors
Appl. Sci. 2017, 7(8), 864; doi:10.3390/app7080864 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Excessive vibration of nuclear reactor components, such as the heat exchanger or the fuel assembly should be avoided as these can compromise the lifetime of these components and potentially lead to safety hazards. This issue is particularly relevant to new reactor designs that
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Excessive vibration of nuclear reactor components, such as the heat exchanger or the fuel assembly should be avoided as these can compromise the lifetime of these components and potentially lead to safety hazards. This issue is particularly relevant to new reactor designs that use liquid metal coolants. However, identifying adequate sensors or techniques that can be successfully applied to record the vibrations of the components in a flow of liquid metal at elevated temperatures is very challenging. In this paper, we demonstrate the precise measurements of the vibrations of a very representative mock-up of a fuel assembly in a lead-bismuth eutectic cooled installation using quasi-distributed fibre Bragg grating (FBG) based sensors. The unique properties of these sensors, in combination with a dedicated integration and mounting approach, allows for accounting of the severe geometrical constraints and allows characterizing the vibration of the fuel assembly elements under nominal operation conditions. To that aim, we instrumented a single fuel pin within the fuel assembly with 84 FBGs, and conducted spectral measurements with an acquisition rate of up to 5000 measurements per second, enabling the monitoring of local strains of a few με. These measurements provide the information required to assess vibration-related safety hazards. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Axial Fan Blade Vibration Assessment under Inlet Cross-Flow Conditions Using Laser Scanning Vibrometry
Appl. Sci. 2017, 7(8), 862; doi:10.3390/app7080862 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
In thermal power plants equipped with air-cooled condensers (ACCs), axial cooling fans operate under the influence of ambient flow fields. Under inlet cross-flow conditions, the resultant asymmetric flow field is known to introduce additional harmonic forces to the fan blades. This effect has
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In thermal power plants equipped with air-cooled condensers (ACCs), axial cooling fans operate under the influence of ambient flow fields. Under inlet cross-flow conditions, the resultant asymmetric flow field is known to introduce additional harmonic forces to the fan blades. This effect has previously only been studied numerically or by using blade-mounted strain gauges. For this study, laser scanning vibrometry (LSV) was used to assess fan blade vibration under inlet cross-flow conditions in an adapted fan test rig inside a wind tunnel test section. Two co-rotating laser beams scanned a low-pressure axial fan, resulting in spectral, phase-resolved surface vibration patterns of the fan blades. Two distinct operating points with flow coefficients of 0.17 and 0.28 were examined, with and without inlet cross-flow influence. While almost identical fan vibration patterns were found for both reference operating points, the overall blade vibration increased by 100% at the low fan flow rate as a result of cross-flow, and by 20% at the high fan flow rate. While numerically predicted natural frequency modes could be confirmed from experimental data as minor peaks in the vibration amplitude spectrum, they were not excited significantly by cross-flow. Instead, primarily higher rotation-rate harmonics were amplified; that is, a synchronous blade-tip flapping was strongly excited at the blade-pass frequency. Full article
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Open AccessPerspective
Paper and Fiber-Based Bio-Diagnostic Platforms: Current Challenges and Future Needs
Appl. Sci. 2017, 7(8), 863; doi:10.3390/app7080863 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
In this perspective article, some of the latest paper and fiber-based bio-analytical platforms are summarized, along with their fabrication strategies, the processing behind the product development, and the embedded systems in which paper or fiber materials were integrated. The article also reviews bio-recognition
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In this perspective article, some of the latest paper and fiber-based bio-analytical platforms are summarized, along with their fabrication strategies, the processing behind the product development, and the embedded systems in which paper or fiber materials were integrated. The article also reviews bio-recognition applications of paper/fiber-based devices, the detected analytes of interest, applied detection techniques, the related evaluation parameters, the type and duration of the assays, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of each technique. Moreover, some of the existing challenges of utilizing paper and/or fiber materials are discussed. These include control over the physical characteristics (porosity, permeability, wettability) and the chemical properties (surface functionality) of paper/fiber materials are discussed. Other aspects of the review focus on shelf life, the multi-functionality of the platforms, readout strategies, and other challenges that have to be addressed in order to obtain reliable detection outcomes. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Influences of Doping and Crystal Orientation on Surface Roughening upon Alcohol Grafting onto Silicon Hydride
Appl. Sci. 2017, 7(8), 859; doi:10.3390/app7080859 -
Abstract
An alcohol bearing alkyne was thermally grafted to both p-type and n-type silicon (111) and (100) substrate of comparable doping levels and surface flatness. The surface topography as well as the surface chemistry was examined via atomic force microscopy (AFM), X-ray
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An alcohol bearing alkyne was thermally grafted to both p-type and n-type silicon (111) and (100) substrate of comparable doping levels and surface flatness. The surface topography as well as the surface chemistry was examined via atomic force microscopy (AFM), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and water contact angle measurements. P-type silicon (111) was observed to experience roughening on the surface upon functionalization while n-type silicon (111) surfaces remained relatively unchanged. When the alcohol was grafted onto silicon (100) surface, the roughening effect was found to be even more profound for the p-type while the effects were marginal for the n-type surfaces. Both roughening effects were attributed to the differential weakening of the Si–Si backbond induced by majority carriers in p- and n-type silicon while (111) was observed to be able to resist the roughening effect better and this was explained by the notion of its denser adatom surface packing as well as the presence of surface defects. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Design, Analysis and Fabrication of a Novel Transverse Flux Permanent Magnet Machine with Disk Rotor
Appl. Sci. 2017, 7(8), 860; doi:10.3390/app7080860 -
Abstract
The purpose of this paper is to propose a novel design for the transverse flux permanent magnet (TFPM) disk-rotor generator with E and I-shaped cores (TFPMDEIG). Disk-shape structure increases the machine’s power factor, allows for high rotational speeds, decreases centrifugal force over permanent
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The purpose of this paper is to propose a novel design for the transverse flux permanent magnet (TFPM) disk-rotor generator with E and I-shaped cores (TFPMDEIG). Disk-shape structure increases the machine’s power factor, allows for high rotational speeds, decreases centrifugal force over permanent magnets, and is employed in wind turbines, due to its compact structures. As for other advantages for this structure, one can point to the fact that there are as many windings as machine’s pole pairs; these windings become parallel by observing the polarity. In other words, the total power of this machine is distributed between pole pairs, increasing the overall reliability of the machine. In this paper, first, the initial design algorithm and the basic formulas governing the behavior of the proposed structure using the equivalent magnetic circuit for each pole are provided, and the three-dimensional finite element method (3D-FEM) is used for verification of the algorithm. To validate the simulation results (3D-FEM), then, a prototype has been fabricated and experienced. The experimental results are in good agreement with simulation results. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Global Analysis for an HIV Infection Model with CTL Immune Response and Infected Cells in Eclipse Phase
Appl. Sci. 2017, 7(8), 861; doi:10.3390/app7080861 -
Abstract
A modified mathematical model describing the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) pathogenesis with cytotoxic T-lymphocytes (CTL) and infected cells in eclipse phase is presented and studied in this paper. The model under consideration also includes a saturated rate describing viral infection. First, the positivity
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A modified mathematical model describing the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) pathogenesis with cytotoxic T-lymphocytes (CTL) and infected cells in eclipse phase is presented and studied in this paper. The model under consideration also includes a saturated rate describing viral infection. First, the positivity and boundedness of solutions for nonnegative initial data are proved. Next, the global stability of the disease free steady state and the endemic steady states are established depending on the basic reproduction number R0 and the CTL immune response reproduction number RCTL. Moreover, numerical simulations are performed in order to show the numerical stability for each steady state and to support our theoretical findings. Our model based findings suggest that system immunity represented by CTL may control viral replication and reduce the infection. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Development and Application of Sub-Cycle Mid-Infrared Source Based on Laser Filamentation
Appl. Sci. 2017, 7(8), 857; doi:10.3390/app7080857 -
Abstract
This paper is a perspective article which summarizes the development and application of sub-cycle mid-infrared (MIR) pulses generated through a laser filament. The generation scheme was published in Applied Sciences in 2013. The spectrum of the MIR pulse spreads from 2 to 50
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This paper is a perspective article which summarizes the development and application of sub-cycle mid-infrared (MIR) pulses generated through a laser filament. The generation scheme was published in Applied Sciences in 2013. The spectrum of the MIR pulse spreads from 2 to 50 μm, corresponding to multiple octaves, and the pulse duration is 6.9 fs, namely, 0.63 times the period of the carrier wavelength, 3.3 μm. The extremely broadband and highly coherent light source has potential for various applications. The light source has been applied for advanced ultrafast pump–probe spectroscopy by several research groups. As another application example, single-shot detection of absorption spectra in the entire MIR range by the use of chirped-pulse upconversion with a gas medium has been demonstrated. Although the measurement of the field oscillation of the sub-cycle MIR pulse was not trivial, the waveform of the sub-cycle pulse has been completely characterized with a newly developed method, frequency-resolved optical gating capable of carrier-envelope phase determination. A particular behavior of the spectral phase of the sub-cycle pulse has been revealed through the waveform characterization. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Suppressing Salt Transport through Composite Pervaporation Membranes for Brine Desalination
Appl. Sci. 2017, 7(8), 856; doi:10.3390/app7080856 -
Abstract
Pervaporation membranes have gained renewed interest in challenging feedwaters desalination, such as reverse osmosis (RO) concentrated brine wastewater. In this study, composite polyvinyl alcohol (PVA)/polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) pervaporation membranes were prepared for brine treatment. The composite membrane was firstly studied by adjusting the
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Pervaporation membranes have gained renewed interest in challenging feedwaters desalination, such as reverse osmosis (RO) concentrated brine wastewater. In this study, composite polyvinyl alcohol (PVA)/polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) pervaporation membranes were prepared for brine treatment. The composite membrane was firstly studied by adjusting the cross-linking density of PVA by glutaraldehyde: the membrane with higher cross-linking density exhibited much higher salt rejection efficiency for long-term operation. A trace of salt on the permeate side was found to diffuse through the membrane in the form of hydrated ions, following solution-diffusion mechanism. To further suppress the salt transport and achieve long-term stable operation, graphene oxide (GO) was incorporated into the PVA layer: the addition of GO had minor effects on water permeation but significantly suppressed the salt passage, compared to the pure PVA/PVDF membranes. In terms of brine wastewater containing organic/inorganic foulant, improved anti-fouling performance was also observed with GO-containing membranes. Furthermore, the highest flux of 28 L/m2h was obtained for the membrane with 0.1 wt. % of GO using 100 g/L NaCl as the feed at 65 °C by optimising the pervaporation rig, with permeate conductivity below 1.2 µS/cm over 24 h (equivalent to a salt rejection of >99.99%). Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Image Analysis of Dynamic Brain Activity Based on Gray Distance Compensation
Appl. Sci. 2017, 7(8), 858; doi:10.3390/app7080858 -
Abstract
Assessing time-dependent changes in brain activity is of crucial importance in neuroscience. Here, we propose a novel image processing method to automatically identify active regions and assess time-dependent changes in fluorescence arising from genetically encoded indicators of activity. First, potential active regions and
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Assessing time-dependent changes in brain activity is of crucial importance in neuroscience. Here, we propose a novel image processing method to automatically identify active regions and assess time-dependent changes in fluorescence arising from genetically encoded indicators of activity. First, potential active regions and the corresponding active centers were extracted based on gray distance compensation. Then potential active regions were aligned through frames and, if meeting pre-determined intensity criteria, were accepted as active regions and the fluorescence changes were quantified. We validated this method with independent in vivo imaging datasets collected from transgenic mice that express the genetically encoded calcium indicator GCaMP3. Our studies indicate that the incorporation of this gray distance compensation-based algorithm substantially improves the accuracy and efficiency of detecting and quantifying cellular activity in the intact brain. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Probing Structures of Interfacial 1-Butyl-3-Methylimidazolium Trifluoromethanesulfonate Ionic Liquid on Nano-Aluminum Oxide Surfaces Using High-Pressure Infrared Spectroscopy
Appl. Sci. 2017, 7(8), 855; doi:10.3390/app7080855 -
Abstract
The interactions between 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium trifluoromethanesulfonate ([BMIM][TFS]) and nano-Al2O3 are studied using high-pressure infrared spectroscopy. The thickness of the [BMIM][TFS] interfacial layer on the aluminum oxide are adjusted by controlling the number of washes with ethanol. In contrast to the results
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The interactions between 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium trifluoromethanesulfonate ([BMIM][TFS]) and nano-Al2O3 are studied using high-pressure infrared spectroscopy. The thickness of the [BMIM][TFS] interfacial layer on the aluminum oxide are adjusted by controlling the number of washes with ethanol. In contrast to the results obtained under ambient pressure, local structures of both the cations and anions of [BMIM][TFS] are disturbed under high pressures. For example, bands due to C-H stretching motions display remarkable blue-shifts in frequency as the pressure of the [BMIM][TFS]/Al2O3 composites is increased to 0.4 GPa. The bands then undergo mild shifts in frequency upon further compression. The discontinuous jump occurring around 0.4 GPa becomes less obvious when the amount of ionic liquid on the Al2O3 is reduced by washing with ethanol. The nano-Al2O3 with surfaces may weaken the cation/anion interactions in the interfacial area as a result of the formation of pressure-enhanced Al2O3/ionic liquid interactions under high pressures. Full article
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Open AccessReview
The Linac Coherent Light Source: Recent Developments and Future Plans
Appl. Sci. 2017, 7(8), 850; doi:10.3390/app7080850 -
Abstract
The development of X-ray free-electron lasers (XFELs) has launched a new era in X-ray science by providing ultrafast coherent X-ray pulses with a peak brightness that is approximately one billion times higher than previous X-ray sources. The Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) facility
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The development of X-ray free-electron lasers (XFELs) has launched a new era in X-ray science by providing ultrafast coherent X-ray pulses with a peak brightness that is approximately one billion times higher than previous X-ray sources. The Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) facility at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, the world’s first hard X-ray FEL, has already demonstrated a tremendous scientific impact across broad areas of science. Here, a few of the more recent representative highlights from LCLS are presented in the areas of atomic, molecular, and optical science; chemistry; condensed matter physics; matter in extreme conditions; and biology. This paper also outlines the near term upgrade (LCLS-II) and motivating science opportunities for ultrafast X-rays in the 0.25–5 keV range at repetition rates up to 1 MHz. Future plans to extend the X-ray energy reach to beyond 13 keV (<1 Å) at high repetition rate (LCLS-II-HE) are envisioned, motivated by compelling new science of structural dynamics at the atomic scale. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Irradiation Induced Defect Clustering in Zircaloy-2
Appl. Sci. 2017, 7(8), 854; doi:10.3390/app7080854 -
Abstract
The effect of irradiation temperature and alloying elements on defect clustering behaviour directly from the cascade collapse in Zircaloy-2 is examined. The in-situ ioWn irradiation technique was employed to study the formation of <a>-type dislocation loops by Kr ion irradiation at 573 K
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The effect of irradiation temperature and alloying elements on defect clustering behaviour directly from the cascade collapse in Zircaloy-2 is examined. The in-situ ioWn irradiation technique was employed to study the formation of <a>-type dislocation loops by Kr ion irradiation at 573 K and 773 K, while the dependence of dislocation loop formationon the presence of alloying elements was investigated by comparing with the defect microstructures of pure Zr irradiated under similar conditions. The experimentally observed temperature dependence of defect clustering was further investigated using molecular dynamics (MD) simulations near the experimental irradiation temperatures. We particularly concentrate on yield and morphology of small defect clusters formed directly from cascade collapse at very low ion doses. Smaller loop size and higher defect yield (DY) in Zircaloy-2 as compared to pure Zr suggests that the presence of the major alloying element Sn increases the number of nucleation sites for the defect clusters but suppresses the point defect recombination. MD simulations at 600 and 800 K revealed that the production of both vacancy and interstitial clusters drops significantly with an increase of irradiation temperature, which is reflected in experimentally collected DY data. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
An Efficient Retrieval Technique for Trademarks Based on the Fuzzy Inference System
Appl. Sci. 2017, 7(8), 849; doi:10.3390/app7080849 -
Abstract
The existing trademark image retrieval (TIR) approaches mostly use complex image features, the integration of multi features, a tree structure, etc. to enable highly accurate retrieval. However, there is the heavy computational burden for complex image features and maximum similarity subtree isomorphism (MSSI)
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The existing trademark image retrieval (TIR) approaches mostly use complex image features, the integration of multi features, a tree structure, etc. to enable highly accurate retrieval. However, there is the heavy computational burden for complex image features and maximum similarity subtree isomorphism (MSSI) measurement. This paper aims to provide an efficient solution for TIR in real-time applications, especially in measuring the similarity between multi-object trademark images. In particular, we propose a novel algorithm for tree similarity measurement based on the fuzzy inference system (FIS) to improve retrieval efficiency. Furthermore, the integration of global and local geometric descriptors is used to enable accurate retrieval. The global descriptor is computed by employing the Hu moments, while the local descriptors are generated by using a tree structure based on the five geometric features: convexity, eccentricity, compactness, circle variance, and elliptic variance. During the retrieval process, the similarity coefficient between the query and the database image is obtained from the similarity of the global and local descriptors. The proposed technique is evaluated using 1800 trademark images, including 12 different classes and 416 trademark images. Additionally, the three common indices, the precision/recall rate, the Bull’s eye score, and the average normalized modified retrieval rank (ANMRR) are used as the performance indices. The experimental results show that the proposed technique is superior to the other two competitive approaches. It shows 19.43% and 26.78% precision/recall improvement, 19.56% and 30.58% improvement in the average Bull’s eye score, and 0.167 and 0.236 improvement in the ANMRR score, respectively, for the 416 query images. It can be concluded from the experimental analysis that the proposed technique not only provides reliable retrieval results but also improves the retrieval efficiency by 151 times in the retrieval process. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
FE Model and Operational Modal Analysis of Lower Limbs
Appl. Sci. 2017, 7(8), 853; doi:10.3390/app7080853 -
Abstract
Human lower limbs are exposed to vibrations on a daily basis, during work, transport or sports. However, most of the FE (Finite Elements) and OMA (Operational Modal Analysis) studies focus either on the whole body or on the hand-arm system. The study presented
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Human lower limbs are exposed to vibrations on a daily basis, during work, transport or sports. However, most of the FE (Finite Elements) and OMA (Operational Modal Analysis) studies focus either on the whole body or on the hand-arm system. The study presented herein aims at identifying the modal parameters of the lower limbs using a 2D FE model updated using OMA. A numerical model is proposed, and a modal analysis has been performed on 11 subjects. Two repeatable modal frequencies were extracted: 52.54±2.05Hz and 118.94±2.70Hz, which were used to update the mechanical properties of the numerical model. The knowledge of these modal characteristics makes it possible to design new equipment that would absorb these specific vibrations and possibly reduce the risk of related diseases in the field of sports and transport. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Formulation of Laccase Nanobiocatalysts Based on Ionic and Covalent Interactions for the Enhanced Oxidation of Phenolic Compounds
Appl. Sci. 2017, 7(8), 851; doi:10.3390/app7080851 -
Abstract
Oxidative biocatalysis by laccase arises as a promising alternative in the development of advanced oxidation processes for the removal of xenobiotics. The aim of this work is to develop various types of nanobiocatalysts based on laccase immobilized on different superparamagnetic and non-magnetic nanoparticles
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Oxidative biocatalysis by laccase arises as a promising alternative in the development of advanced oxidation processes for the removal of xenobiotics. The aim of this work is to develop various types of nanobiocatalysts based on laccase immobilized on different superparamagnetic and non-magnetic nanoparticles to improve the stability of the biocatalysts. Several techniques of enzyme immobilization were evaluated based on ionic exchange and covalent bonding. The highest yields of laccase immobilization were achieved for the covalent laccase nanoconjugates of silica-coated magnetic nanoparticles (2.66 U mg−1 NPs), formed by the covalent attachment of the enzyme between the aldehyde groups of the glutaraldehyde-functionalized nanoparticle and the amino groups of the enzyme. Moreover, its application in the biotransformation of phenol as a model recalcitrant compound was tested at different pH and successfully achieved at pH 6 for 24 h. A sequential batch operation was carried out, with complete recovery of the nanobiocatalyst and minimal deactivation of the enzyme after four cycles of phenol oxidation. The major drawback associated with the use of the nanoparticles relies on the energy consumption required for their production and the use of chemicals, that account for a major contribution in the normalized index of 5.28 × 10−3. The reduction of cyclohexane (used in the synthesis of silica-coated magnetic nanoparticles) led to a significant lower index (3.62 × 10−3); however, the immobilization was negatively affected, which discouraged this alternative. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Silver Nanoparticles-Loaded Exfoliated Graphite and Its Anti-Bacterial Performance
Appl. Sci. 2017, 7(8), 852; doi:10.3390/app7080852 -
Abstract
One antibacterial material was prepared from exfoliated graphite (EG) decorated with silver nanoparticles (AgNPs). The EG was prepared by the graphite intercalated compound process, AgNPs were prepared by chemical reduction of AgNO3 in the presence of NaBH4. The AgNPs-loaded EG
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One antibacterial material was prepared from exfoliated graphite (EG) decorated with silver nanoparticles (AgNPs). The EG was prepared by the graphite intercalated compound process, AgNPs were prepared by chemical reduction of AgNO3 in the presence of NaBH4. The AgNPs-loaded EG (Ag-EG) composite was characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), nitrogen adsorption, mercury intrusion porosimetry, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The antibacterial effect of the Ag-EG was evaluated by using the zone of inhibition method. The loaded AgNPs were highly dispersed on EG sheets and most of them have a size less than 10 nm. The Ag loading slightly increased the surface area of EG. It is shown that the Ag-EG had antibacterial activity and anti-adhesion properties against Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus. It suggests that Ag-EG composites could be used in a variety of industrial applications that require an antibacterial effect. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Broken Rotor Bar Detection in LS-PMSM Based on Startup Current Analysis Using Wavelet Entropy Features
Appl. Sci. 2017, 7(8), 845; doi:10.3390/app7080845 -
Abstract
High-efficiency motors are being gradually introduced in many industrial applications because of their positive impacts on the environment by reducing energy consumption and CO2 emission. In this respect, line start permanent magnet synchronous motors (LS-PMSMs) have been introduced recently. Due to their
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High-efficiency motors are being gradually introduced in many industrial applications because of their positive impacts on the environment by reducing energy consumption and CO2 emission. In this respect, line start permanent magnet synchronous motors (LS-PMSMs) have been introduced recently. Due to their unique configuration, LS-PMSMs allow the obtaining of super premium efficiency levels, accompanied with a high torque and power factor. However, since the use of LS-PMSMs in the industry is in its infancy, no efficient scheme has yet been reported for broken rotor bar (BRB) fault detection in this type of motor. Accordingly, the main aim of this research is to investigate the fault-related feature for BRB faults on LS-PMSMs. In this regard, a simulation model and experimental setup for the investigation of BRB in LS-PMSM are implemented. The detection strategy for BRB in LS-PMSM proposed here is based on the monitoring of the start-up current signal and discrete wavelet transform. The entropy features are used as fault-related features for BRB faults. Finally, the ability of these features is validated for the detection of BRB in LS-PMSM through statistical analysis. In this research, the importance of the starting load is also considered for BRB detection in LS-PMSMs. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Reformulation-Linearization Technique Approach for Kidney Exchange Program IT Healthcare Platforms
Appl. Sci. 2017, 7(8), 847; doi:10.3390/app7080847 -
Abstract
Kidney exchange allows a potential living donor whose kidney is incompatible with his intended recipient to donate a kidney to another patient so that the donor’s intended recipient can receive a compatible kidney from another donor. These exchanges can include cycles of longer
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Kidney exchange allows a potential living donor whose kidney is incompatible with his intended recipient to donate a kidney to another patient so that the donor’s intended recipient can receive a compatible kidney from another donor. These exchanges can include cycles of longer than two donor–patient pairs and chains produced by altruistic donors. Kidney exchange programs (KEPs) can be modeled as a maximum-weight cycle-packing problem in a directed graph. This paper develops a new integer programming model for KEPs by applying the reformulation-linearization technique (RLT) to enhance a lower bound obtained by its linear programming (LP) relaxation. Given the results obtained from the proposed model, the model is expected to be utilized in the integrated KEP IT (Information Technology) healthcare platform to obtain plans for optimized kidney exchanges. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Thermo-Responsive Shape-Memory Effect and Surface Features in Polycarbonate (PC)
Appl. Sci. 2017, 7(8), 848; doi:10.3390/app7080848 -
Abstract
The influence of programming strain and temperature on the shape memory effect and surface morphology in programmed polycarbonate (PC) samples via uni-axial stretching is investigated. It is found that the samples programmed at around the glass transition start temperature not only have micro-cracks
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The influence of programming strain and temperature on the shape memory effect and surface morphology in programmed polycarbonate (PC) samples via uni-axial stretching is investigated. It is found that the samples programmed at around the glass transition start temperature not only have micro-cracks on their surface, but also show a necking phenomenon. Furthermore, the surface of the necked area is concave, but the surface of the non-necked area is convex. On the other hand, despite the samples programmed at high temperatures being able to deform in a uniform manner at macroscopic scale, their surfaces are still uneven, either concave or convex. While the samples programmed at low temperatures are able to achieve full shape recovery, stretching at higher temperatures over the glass transition range to a higher strain may result in non-recoverable deformation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Towards a Predictive Analytics-Based Intelligent Malaria Outbreak Warning System
Appl. Sci. 2017, 7(8), 836; doi:10.3390/app7080836 -
Abstract
Malaria, as one of the most serious infectious diseases causing public health problems in the world, affects about two-thirds of the world population, with estimated resultant deaths close to a million annually. The effects of this disease are much more profound in third
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Malaria, as one of the most serious infectious diseases causing public health problems in the world, affects about two-thirds of the world population, with estimated resultant deaths close to a million annually. The effects of this disease are much more profound in third world countries, which have very limited medical resources. When an intense outbreak occurs, most of these countries cannot cope with the high number of patients due to the lack of medicine, equipment and hospital facilities. The prevention or reduction of the risk factor of this disease is very challenging, especially in third world countries, due to poverty and economic insatiability. Technology can offer alternative solutions by providing early detection mechanisms that help to control the spread of the disease and allow the management of treatment facilities in advance to ensure a more timely health service, which can save thousands of lives. In this study, we have deployed an intelligent malaria outbreak early warning system, which is a mobile application that predicts malaria outbreak based on climatic factors using machine learning algorithms. The system will help hospitals, healthcare providers, and health organizations take precautions in time and utilize their resources in case of emergency. To our best knowledge, the system developed in this paper is the first publicly available application. Since confounding effects of climatic factors have a greater influence on the incidence of malaria, we have also conducted extensive research on exploring a new ecosystem model for the assessment of hidden ecological factors and identified three confounding factors that significantly influence the malaria incidence. Additionally, we deploy a smart healthcare application; this paper also makes a significant contribution by identifying hidden ecological factors of malaria. Full article
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