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Appl. Sci., Volume 6, Issue 9 (September 2016)

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Open AccessArticle
Estimation of Lamina Stiffness and Strength of Quadriaxial Non-Crimp Fabric Composites Based on Semi-Laminar Considerations
Appl. Sci. 2016, 6(9), 267; https://doi.org/10.3390/app6090267
Received: 5 July 2016 / Revised: 11 September 2016 / Accepted: 14 September 2016 / Published: 19 September 2016
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2180 | PDF Full-text (5231 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Quadriaxial non-crimp fabric (QNCF) composites are increasingly being used as primary structural materials in aircraft and automotive applications. Predicting the mechanical properties of QNCF lamina is more complicated compared with that of unidirectional (UD) composites, because of the knitting connection of different plies. [...] Read more.
Quadriaxial non-crimp fabric (QNCF) composites are increasingly being used as primary structural materials in aircraft and automotive applications. Predicting the mechanical properties of QNCF lamina is more complicated compared with that of unidirectional (UD) composites, because of the knitting connection of different plies. In this study, to analyze the stiffness and strength of the QNCF composites, a novel modeling strategy for the meso-scale features is presented based on the semi-laminar assumption. Following the view of the mechanical properties of single composite lamina, the complex QNCF layer is decomposed into individual plies. Three different representative unit cells along fiber direction are selected to predict the mechanical performance of QNCF, including in-plane stiffness, damage initiation, and stiffness degradation. To validate the developed modeling strategy, the predictions are compared with existing experimental results, where a good agreement is presented on the prediction of in-plane stiffness and strength. Furthermore, the effect of in-plane fiber distortion, induced by the stitching yarn on the mechanical properties, is studied. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Materials)
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Open AccessArticle
Fault Localization Method by Partitioning Memory Using Memory Map and the Stack for Automotive ECU Software Testing
Appl. Sci. 2016, 6(9), 266; https://doi.org/10.3390/app6090266
Received: 2 July 2016 / Revised: 9 September 2016 / Accepted: 9 September 2016 / Published: 19 September 2016
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2659 | PDF Full-text (4711 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Recently, the usage of the automotive Electronic Control Unit (ECU) and its software in cars is increasing. Therefore, as the functional complexity of such software increases, so does the likelihood of software-related faults. Therefore, it is important to ensure the reliability of ECU [...] Read more.
Recently, the usage of the automotive Electronic Control Unit (ECU) and its software in cars is increasing. Therefore, as the functional complexity of such software increases, so does the likelihood of software-related faults. Therefore, it is important to ensure the reliability of ECU software in order to ensure automobile safety. For this reason, systematic testing methods are required that can guarantee software quality. However, it is difficult to locate a fault during testing with the current ECU development system because a tester performs the black-box testing using a Hardware-in-the-Loop (HiL) simulator. Consequently, developers consume a large amount of money and time for debugging because they perform debugging without any information about the location of the fault. In this paper, we propose a method for localizing the fault utilizing memory information during black-box testing. This is likely to be of use to developers who debug automotive software. In order to observe whether symbols stored in the memory have been updated, the memory is partitioned by a memory map and the stack, thus the fault candidate region is reduced. A memory map method has the advantage of being able to finely partition the memory, and the stack method can partition the memory without a memory map. We validated these methods by applying these to HiL testing of the ECU for a body control system. The preliminary results indicate that a memory map and the stack reduce the possible fault locations to 22% and 19% of the updated memory, respectively. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Dry Sintered Metal Coating of Halloysite Nanotubes
Appl. Sci. 2016, 6(9), 265; https://doi.org/10.3390/app6090265
Received: 31 May 2016 / Accepted: 6 September 2016 / Published: 19 September 2016
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2269 | PDF Full-text (2775 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Halloysite nanotubes (HNTs) are a naturally-occurring aluminosilicate whose dimensions measure microns in length and tens of nanometers in diameter. Bonding defects between the alumina and silica lead to net negative and positive charges on the exterior and interior lumen, respectively. HNTs have been [...] Read more.
Halloysite nanotubes (HNTs) are a naturally-occurring aluminosilicate whose dimensions measure microns in length and tens of nanometers in diameter. Bonding defects between the alumina and silica lead to net negative and positive charges on the exterior and interior lumen, respectively. HNTs have been shown to enhance the material properties of polymer matrices and enable the sustained release of loaded chemicals, drugs, and growth factors. Due to the net charges, these nanotubes can also be readily coated in layered-depositions using the HNT exterior lumen’s net negative charge as the basis for assembly. These coatings are primarily done through wet chemical processes, the majority of which are limited in their use of desired chemicals, due to the polarity of the halloysite. Furthermore, this restriction in the type of chemicals used often requires the use of more toxic chemicals in place of greener options, and typically necessitates the use of a significantly longer chemical process to achieve the desired coating. In this study, we show that HNTs can be coated with metal acetylacetonates—compounds primarily employed in the synthesis of nanoparticles, as metal catalysts, and as NMR shift reagents—through a dry sintering process. This method was capable of thermally decaying the metal acetylacetonate, resulting in a free positively-charged metal ion that readily bonded to the negatively-charged HNT exterior, resulting in metallic coatings forming on the HNT surface. Our coating method may enable greater deposition of coated material onto these nanotubes as required for a desired application. Furthermore, the use of chemical processes using toxic chemicals is not required, thus eliminating exposure to toxic chemicals and costs associated with the disposal of the resultant chemical waste. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Output Filter Design for a Novel Dual-Input PV-Wind Power Converter by Energy Balance Principle
Appl. Sci. 2016, 6(9), 263; https://doi.org/10.3390/app6090263
Received: 24 July 2016 / Revised: 8 September 2016 / Accepted: 9 September 2016 / Published: 16 September 2016
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1942 | PDF Full-text (3726 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this paper, a detailed and systematic derivation of the output filter in a novel dual-input photovoltaic (PV)-wind converter (DIPWC) is presented. The theoretical derivation is based on an energy balance principle. While the DIPWC operates in steady state, the amount of charged [...] Read more.
In this paper, a detailed and systematic derivation of the output filter in a novel dual-input photovoltaic (PV)-wind converter (DIPWC) is presented. The theoretical derivation is based on an energy balance principle. While the DIPWC operates in steady state, the amount of charged energy of the output filter will be equal to that of the energy pumped away within one switching cycle. From this zero net change in energy, the minimum value of the output filter can be found. With the determined value, the DIPWC is able to operate in continuous conduction for high power applications. The developed procedure of the inductance determination can be applied to other types of dual-input converters. Therefore, it makes significant contributions to the design toward a green-energy, multi-input converter. To verify the correctness of the mathematical analysis, the DIPWC—with the derived output inductance—is built and tested. Practical measurements and results have verified the inductance determination. Full article
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Open AccessCommunication
Raman Spectra of ZrS2 and ZrSe2 from Bulk to Atomically Thin Layers
Appl. Sci. 2016, 6(9), 264; https://doi.org/10.3390/app6090264
Received: 30 July 2016 / Revised: 7 September 2016 / Accepted: 8 September 2016 / Published: 15 September 2016
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 3307 | PDF Full-text (9339 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In the race towards two-dimensional electronic and optoelectronic devices, semiconducting transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDCs) from group VIB have been intensively studied in recent years due to the indirect to direct band-gap transition from bulk to the monolayer. However, new materials still need to [...] Read more.
In the race towards two-dimensional electronic and optoelectronic devices, semiconducting transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDCs) from group VIB have been intensively studied in recent years due to the indirect to direct band-gap transition from bulk to the monolayer. However, new materials still need to be explored. For example, semiconducting TMDCs from group IVB have been predicted to have larger mobilities than their counterparts from group VIB in the monolayer limit. In this work we report the mechanical exfoliation of ZrX2 (X = S, Se) from bulk down to the monolayer and we study the dimensionality dependence of the Raman spectra in ambient conditions. We observe Raman signal from bulk to few layers and no shift in the peak positions is found when decreasing the dimensionality. While a Raman signal can be observed from bulk to a bilayer for ZrS2, we could only detect signal down to five layers for flakes of ZrSe2. These results show the possibility of obtaining atomically thin layers of ZrX2 by mechanical exfoliation and represent one of the first steps towards the investigation of the properties of these materials, still unexplored in the two-dimensional limit. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Two-Dimensional Transition Metal Dichalcogenides)
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Open AccessArticle
Variability of the Wind Turbine Power Curve
Appl. Sci. 2016, 6(9), 262; https://doi.org/10.3390/app6090262
Received: 9 July 2016 / Revised: 8 September 2016 / Accepted: 8 September 2016 / Published: 14 September 2016
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3586 | PDF Full-text (668 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Wind turbine power curves are calibrated by turbine manufacturers under requirements stipulated by the International Electrotechnical Commission to provide a functional mapping between the mean wind speed v¯ and the mean turbine power output P¯. Wind plant operators employ these [...] Read more.
Wind turbine power curves are calibrated by turbine manufacturers under requirements stipulated by the International Electrotechnical Commission to provide a functional mapping between the mean wind speed v ¯ and the mean turbine power output P ¯ . Wind plant operators employ these power curves to estimate or forecast wind power generation under given wind conditions. However, it is general knowledge that wide variability exists in these mean calibration values. We first analyse how the standard deviation in wind speed σ v affects the mean P ¯ and the standard deviation σ P of wind power. We find that the magnitude of wind power fluctuations scales as the square of the mean wind speed. Using data from three planetary locations, we find that the wind speed standard deviation σ v systematically varies with mean wind speed v ¯ , and in some instances, follows a scaling of the form σ v = C × v ¯ α ; C being a constant and α a fractional power. We show that, when applicable, this scaling form provides a minimal parameter description of the power curve in terms of v ¯ alone. Wind data from different locations establishes that (in instances when this scaling exists) the exponent α varies with location, owing to the influence of local environmental conditions on wind speed variability. Since manufacturer-calibrated power curves cannot account for variability influenced by local conditions, this variability translates to forecast uncertainty in power generation. We close with a proposal for operators to perform post-installation recalibration of their turbine power curves to account for the influence of local environmental factors on wind speed variability in order to reduce the uncertainty of wind power forecasts. Understanding the relationship between wind’s speed and its variability is likely to lead to lower costs for the integration of wind power into the electric grid. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advancing Grid-Connected Renewable Generation Systems)
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Open AccessReview
Plasmonic and Dielectric Metasurfaces: Design, Fabrication and Applications
Appl. Sci. 2016, 6(9), 239; https://doi.org/10.3390/app6090239
Received: 16 June 2016 / Revised: 3 August 2016 / Accepted: 10 August 2016 / Published: 14 September 2016
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 3314 | PDF Full-text (20441 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Two-dimensional metasurfaces are widely focused on for their ability for flexible light manipulation (phase, amplitude, polarization) over sub-wavelength propagation distances. Most of the metasurfaces can be divided into two categories by the material type of unit structure, i.e., plasmonic metasurfaces and dielectric metasurfaces. [...] Read more.
Two-dimensional metasurfaces are widely focused on for their ability for flexible light manipulation (phase, amplitude, polarization) over sub-wavelength propagation distances. Most of the metasurfaces can be divided into two categories by the material type of unit structure, i.e., plasmonic metasurfaces and dielectric metasurfaces. For plasmonic metasurfaces, they are made on the basis of metallic meta-atoms whose optical responses are driven by the plasmon resonances supported by metallic particles. For dielectric metasurfaces, the unit structure is constructed with high refractive index dielectric resonators, such as silicon, germanium or tellurium, which can support electric and magnetic dipole responses based on Mie resonances. The responses of plasmonic and dielectric metasurfaces are all relevant to the characteristics of unit structure, such as dimensions and materials. One can manipulate the electromagnetic field of light wave scattered by the metasurfaces through designing the dimension parameters of each unit structure in the metasurfaces. In this review article, we give a brief overview of our recent progress in plasmonic and dielectric metasurface-assisted nanophotonic devices and their design, fabrication and applications, including the metasurface-based broadband and the selective generation of orbital angular momentum (OAM) carrying vector beams, N-fold OAM multicasting using a V-shaped antenna array, a metasurface on conventional optical fiber facet for linearly-polarized mode (LP11) generation, graphene split-ring metasurface-assisted terahertz coherent perfect absorption, OAM beam generation using a nanophotonic dielectric metasurface array, as well as Bessel beam generation and OAM multicasting using a dielectric metasurface array. It is believed that metasurface-based nanophotonic devices are one of the devices with the most potential applied in various fields, such as beam steering, spatial light modulator, nanoscale-resolution imaging, sensing, quantum optics devices and even optical communication networks. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Control and Modulation Techniques for a Centralized PV Generation System Grid Connected via an Interleaved Inverter
Appl. Sci. 2016, 6(9), 261; https://doi.org/10.3390/app6090261
Received: 29 July 2016 / Revised: 2 September 2016 / Accepted: 6 September 2016 / Published: 13 September 2016
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2351 | PDF Full-text (2875 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In the context of grid connected photovoitaic (PV) generation systems, there are two paramount aspects regarding the Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) of the photovoltaic units and the continuity of the service. The most diffused MPPT algorithms are based on either perturb and [...] Read more.
In the context of grid connected photovoitaic (PV) generation systems, there are two paramount aspects regarding the Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) of the photovoltaic units and the continuity of the service. The most diffused MPPT algorithms are based on either perturb and observe, or on an incremental conductance approach and need both PV current and voltage measurements. Several topology reconfigurable converters are also associated with the PV plants, guaranteeing fault-tolerant features. The generation continuity can also be assured by interleaved inverters, which keep the system operating at reduced maximum power in case of failure. In this paper, an evolution of a hysteresis based MPPT algorithm is presented, based on the measurement of only one voltage, together with a novel space vector modulation suitable for a two-channel three-phase grid connected interleaved inverter. The proposed MMPT algorithm and modulation technique are tested by means of several numerical analyses on a PV generation system of about 200 kW maximum power. The results testify the validity of the proposed strategies, showing good performance, even during a fault occurrence and in the presence of deep shading conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advancing Grid-Connected Renewable Generation Systems)
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Open AccessArticle
RCLED Optimization and Nonlinearity Compensation in a Polymer Optical Fiber DMT System
Appl. Sci. 2016, 6(9), 260; https://doi.org/10.3390/app6090260
Received: 19 July 2016 / Revised: 6 September 2016 / Accepted: 6 September 2016 / Published: 13 September 2016
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1589 | PDF Full-text (4016 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In polymer optical fiber (POF) systems, the nonlinear transfer function of the resonant cavity light emitting diode (RCLED) drastically degrades the communication performance. After investigating the characteristics of the RCLED nonlinear behavior, an improved digital look-up-table (LUT) pre-distorter, based on an adaptive iterative [...] Read more.
In polymer optical fiber (POF) systems, the nonlinear transfer function of the resonant cavity light emitting diode (RCLED) drastically degrades the communication performance. After investigating the characteristics of the RCLED nonlinear behavior, an improved digital look-up-table (LUT) pre-distorter, based on an adaptive iterative algorithm, is proposed. Additionally, the system parameters, including the bias current, the average electrical power, the LUT size and the step factor are also jointly optimized to achieve a trade-off between the system linearity, reliability and the computational complexity. With the proposed methodology, both the operating point and efficiency of RCLED are enhanced. Moreover, in the practical 50 m POF communication system with the discrete multi-tone (DMT) modulation, the bit error rate performance is improved by over 12 dB when RCLED is operating in the nonlinear region. Therefore, the proposed pre-distorter can both resist the nonlinearity and improve the operating point of RCLED. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Optical Modulators and Switches)
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Open AccessArticle
Performance Assessment and Scooter Verification of Nano-Alumina Engine Oil
Appl. Sci. 2016, 6(9), 258; https://doi.org/10.3390/app6090258
Received: 1 July 2016 / Revised: 24 August 2016 / Accepted: 8 September 2016 / Published: 13 September 2016
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1823 | PDF Full-text (4660 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The performance assessment and vehicle verification of nano-alumina (Al2O3) engine oil (NAEO) were conducted in this study. The NAEO was produced by mixing Al2O3 nanoparticles with engine oil using a two-step synthesis method. The weight fractions [...] Read more.
The performance assessment and vehicle verification of nano-alumina (Al2O3) engine oil (NAEO) were conducted in this study. The NAEO was produced by mixing Al2O3 nanoparticles with engine oil using a two-step synthesis method. The weight fractions of the Al2O3 nanoparticles in the four test samples were 0 (base oil), 0.5, 1.5, and 2.5 wt. %. The measurement of basic properties included: (1) density; (2) viscosity at various sample temperatures (20–80 °C). A rotary tribology testing machine with a pin-on-disk apparatus was used for the wear test. The measurement of the before-and-after difference of specimen (disk) weight (wear test) indicates that the NAEO with 1.5 wt. % Al2O3 nanoparticles (1.5 wt. % NAEO) was the chosen candidate for further study. For the scooter verification on an auto-pilot dynamometer, there were three tests, including: (1) the European Driving Cycle (ECE40) driving cycle; (2) constant speed (50 km/h); and (3) constant throttle positions (20%, 40%, 60%, and 90%). For the ECE40 driving cycle and the constant speed tests, the fuel consumption was decreased on average by 2.75%, while it was decreased by 3.57% for the constant throttle case. The experimental results prove that the engine oil with added Al2O3 nanoparticles significantly decreased the fuel consumption. In the future, experiments with property tests of other nano-engine oils and a performance assessment of the nano-engine-fuel will be conducted. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Scattering of Dirac Electrons by Randomly Distributed Nitrogen Substitutional Impurities in Graphene
Appl. Sci. 2016, 6(9), 256; https://doi.org/10.3390/app6090256
Received: 20 July 2016 / Revised: 1 September 2016 / Accepted: 5 September 2016 / Published: 13 September 2016
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1556 | PDF Full-text (663 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The propagation of wave packets in a monolayer graphene containing a random distribution of dopant atoms has been explored. The time-dependent, two-dimensional Weyl-Dirac equation was solved numerically to propagate an initial Gaussian-type wave front and to investigate how the set of impurities influences [...] Read more.
The propagation of wave packets in a monolayer graphene containing a random distribution of dopant atoms has been explored. The time-dependent, two-dimensional Weyl-Dirac equation was solved numerically to propagate an initial Gaussian-type wave front and to investigate how the set of impurities influences its motion. It has been observed that the charge transport in doped graphene differs from the pristine case. In particular, nitrogen substitutional doping reduces the charge mobility in graphene due to backscattering effects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Nanotechnology and Applied Nanosciences)
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Open AccessArticle
Fourier Series Learning Control for Torque Ripple Minimization in Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motors
Appl. Sci. 2016, 6(9), 254; https://doi.org/10.3390/app6090254
Received: 7 July 2016 / Revised: 26 August 2016 / Accepted: 29 August 2016 / Published: 13 September 2016
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2076 | PDF Full-text (2363 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A new Fourier Series Learning Controller (FSLC) for velocity control on a Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motor (PMSM) is proposed and implemented. An analysis of the error convergence for the FSLC is presented, and the update law for the Fourier series coefficients is specified. [...] Read more.
A new Fourier Series Learning Controller (FSLC) for velocity control on a Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motor (PMSM) is proposed and implemented. An analysis of the error convergence for the FSLC is presented, and the update law for the Fourier series coefficients is specified. The field-oriented control method is used as a basic element to implement three different controllers for a PMSM. The performance of the FSLC is compared with two control methods, a classical PI (Proportional Integral) controller and an artificial neural network controller. The periodic nature of torque ripple in PMSMs is considered as a periodic disturbance, which must be compensated by the controller. With the FSLC implementation, a substantial reduction of the velocity ripple is obtained. Furthermore, a higher speed of learning is achieved with the FSLC in comparison with the artificial neural network. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Overview of 3D Micro- and Nanocoordinate Metrology at PTB
Appl. Sci. 2016, 6(9), 257; https://doi.org/10.3390/app6090257
Received: 15 April 2016 / Revised: 29 August 2016 / Accepted: 30 August 2016 / Published: 12 September 2016
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2246 | PDF Full-text (5187 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Improved metrological capabilities for three-dimensional (3D) measurements of various complex micro- and nanoparts are increasingly in demand. This paper gives an overview of the research activities carried out by the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB), the national metrology institute of Germany, to meet this demand. [...] Read more.
Improved metrological capabilities for three-dimensional (3D) measurements of various complex micro- and nanoparts are increasingly in demand. This paper gives an overview of the research activities carried out by the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB), the national metrology institute of Germany, to meet this demand. Examples of recent research advances in the development of instrumentation and calibration standards are presented. An ultra-precision nanopositioning and nanomeasuring machine (NMM) has been upgraded with regard to its mirror corner, interferometers and angle sensors, as well as its weight compensation, its electronic controller, its vibration damping stage and its instrument chamber. Its positioning noise has been greatly reduced, e.g., from 1σ = 0.52 nm to 1σ = 0.13 nm for the z-axis. The well-known tactile-optical fibre probe has been further improved with regard to its 3D measurement capability, isotropic probing stiffness and dual-sphere probing styli. A 3D atomic force microscope (AFM) and assembled cantilever probes (ACPs) have been developed which allow full 3D measurements of smaller features with sizes from a few micrometres down to tens of nanometres. In addition, several measurement standards for force, geometry, contour and microgear measurements have been introduced. A type of geometry calibration artefact, referred to as the “3D Aztec artefact”, has been developed which applies wet-etched micro-pyramidal marks for defining reference coordinates in 3D space. Compared to conventional calibration artefacts, it has advantages such as a good surface quality, a well-defined geometry and cost-effective manufacturing. A task-specific micro-contour calibration standard has been further developed for ensuring the traceability of, e.g., high-precision optical measurements at microgeometries. A workpiece-like microgear standard embodying different gear geometries (modules ranging from 0.1 mm to 1 mm) has also been developed at the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Flame Retardance and Smoke Suppression of CFA/APP/LDHs/EVA Composite
Appl. Sci. 2016, 6(9), 255; https://doi.org/10.3390/app6090255
Received: 24 May 2016 / Revised: 29 August 2016 / Accepted: 5 September 2016 / Published: 9 September 2016
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1945 | PDF Full-text (2875 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A new intumescent flame-retardants (IFR) system including the charing-foaming agent (CFA), ammonium polyphosphate (APP) and modified-layered double hydroxides (LDHs) with different transition metals (Ni, Co, Cu) were used in the ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) matrix. Both the limiting oxygen index and the vertical [...] Read more.
A new intumescent flame-retardants (IFR) system including the charing-foaming agent (CFA), ammonium polyphosphate (APP) and modified-layered double hydroxides (LDHs) with different transition metals (Ni, Co, Cu) were used in the ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) matrix. Both the limiting oxygen index and the vertical burning tests indicate that the CFA/APP system and LDHs have significant synergistic flame retardant effects. The morphology of combustion residues indicates that the many pores of residues can prevent the melt dripping. The thermal analysis shows that the flame retardants obviously enhanced the thermal degradation temperature of ethylene-based chains of the composites. The cone calorimeter test reveals that the CO2 and combustion residues have an important influence on the reduction of heat release rate (HRR), the smoke production rate (SPR), the production rate and the mean release yield of CO. The composite containing Cu (ELDH-Cu) delivers an 82% reduction in peak heat release rate, while ELDH-Ni has the best CO suppression among all composites. This work not only confirms the flame retardance and smoke suppression of CFA/APP/LDH/EVA, but also provides an effective method for producing new flame retardants and smoke suppressants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Chemistry)
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Open AccessArticle
Artificial-Crack-Behavior Test Evaluation of the Water-Leakage Repair Materials Used for the Repair of Water-Leakage Cracks in Concrete Structures
Appl. Sci. 2016, 6(9), 253; https://doi.org/10.3390/app6090253
Received: 1 August 2016 / Revised: 30 August 2016 / Accepted: 31 August 2016 / Published: 9 September 2016
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1750 | PDF Full-text (11484 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
There are no existing standard test methods at home and abroad that can verify the performance of water leakage repair materials, and it is thus very difficult to perform quality control checks in the field of water leakage repair. This study determined that [...] Read more.
There are no existing standard test methods at home and abroad that can verify the performance of water leakage repair materials, and it is thus very difficult to perform quality control checks in the field of water leakage repair. This study determined that the key factors that have the greatest impact on the water leakage repair materials are the micro-behaviors of cracks, and proposed an artificial-crack-behavior test method for the performance verification of the repair materials. The performance of the 15 kinds of repair materials that are currently being used in the field of water leakage repair was evaluated by applying the proposed test method. The main aim of such a test method is to determine if there is water leakage by injecting water leakage repair materials into a crack behavior test specimen with an artificial 5-mm crack width, applying a 2.5 mm vertical behavior load at 100 cycles, and applying 0.3 N/mm2 constant water pressure. The test results showed that of the 15 kinds of repair materials, only two effectively sealed the crack and thus stopped the water leakage. The findings of this study confirmed the effectiveness of the proposed artificial-crack-behavior test method and suggest that it can be used as a performance verification method for checking the responsiveness of the repair materials being used in the field of water leakage repair to the repetitive water leakage behaviors that occur in concrete structures. The study findings further suggest that the use of the proposed test method makes it possible to quantify the water leakage repair quality control in the field. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Materials)
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Open AccessArticle
Chronic Inflammation in the Epidermis: A Mathematical Model
Appl. Sci. 2016, 6(9), 252; https://doi.org/10.3390/app6090252
Received: 11 June 2016 / Revised: 31 August 2016 / Accepted: 31 August 2016 / Published: 9 September 2016
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2479 | PDF Full-text (5132 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The epidermal tissue is the outmost component of the skin that plays an important role as a first barrier system in preventing the invasion of various environmental agents, such as bacteria. Recent studies have identified the importance of microbial competition between harmful and [...] Read more.
The epidermal tissue is the outmost component of the skin that plays an important role as a first barrier system in preventing the invasion of various environmental agents, such as bacteria. Recent studies have identified the importance of microbial competition between harmful and beneficial bacteria and the diversity of the skin surface on our health. We develop mathematical models (M1 and M2 models) for the inflammation process using ordinary differential equations and delay differential equations. In this paper, we study microbial community dynamics via transcription factors, protease and extracellular cytokines. We investigate possible mechanisms to induce community composition shift and analyze the vigorous competition dynamics between harmful and beneficial bacteria through immune activities. We found that the activation of proteases from the transcription factor within a cell plays a significant role in the regulation of bacterial persistence in the M1 model. The competition model (M2) predicts that different cytokine clearance levels may lead to a harmful bacteria persisting system, a bad bacteria-free state and the co-existence of harmful and good bacterial populations in Type I dynamics, while a bi-stable system without co-existence is illustrated in the Type II dynamics. This illustrates a possible phenotypic switch among harmful and good bacterial populations in a microenvironment. We also found that large time delays in the activation of immune responses on the dynamics of those bacterial populations lead to the onset of oscillations in harmful bacteria and immune activities. The mathematical model suggests possible annihilation of time-delay-driven oscillations by therapeutic drugs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dynamical Models of Biology and Medicine)
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Open AccessArticle
A Novel Concentrator Photovoltaic (CPV) System with the Improvement of Irradiance Uniformity and the Capturing of Diffuse Solar Radiation
Appl. Sci. 2016, 6(9), 251; https://doi.org/10.3390/app6090251
Received: 16 June 2016 / Revised: 24 August 2016 / Accepted: 6 September 2016 / Published: 8 September 2016
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2851 | PDF Full-text (6656 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper proposes a novel concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) system with improved irradiation uniformity and system efficiency. CPV technology is very promising its for highly efficient solar energy conversion. A conventional CPV system usually uses only one optical component, such as a refractive Fresnel [...] Read more.
This paper proposes a novel concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) system with improved irradiation uniformity and system efficiency. CPV technology is very promising its for highly efficient solar energy conversion. A conventional CPV system usually uses only one optical component, such as a refractive Fresnel lens or a reflective parabolic dish, to collect and concentrate solar radiation on the solar cell surface. Such a system creates strongly non-uniform irradiation distribution on the solar cell, which tends to cause hot spots, current mismatch, and degrades the overall efficiency of the system. Additionally, a high-concentration CPV system is unable to collect diffuse solar radiation. In this paper, we propose a novel CPV system with improved irradiation uniformity and collection of diffuse solar radiation. The proposed system uses a Fresnel lens as a primary optical element (POE) to concentrate and focus the sunlight and a plano-concave lens as a secondary optical element (SOE) to uniformly distribute the sunlight over the surface of multi-junction (MJ) solar cells. By using the SOE, the irradiance uniformity is significantly improved in the system. Additionally, the proposed system also captures diffuse solar radiation by using an additional low-cost solar cell surrounding MJ cells. In our system, incident direct solar radiation is captured by MJ solar cells, whereas incident diffuse solar radiation is captured by the low-cost solar cell. Simulation models were developed using a commercial optical simulation tool (LightTools™). The irradiance uniformity and efficiency of the proposed CPV system were analyzed, evaluated, and compared with those of conventional CPV systems. The analyzed and simulated results show that the CPV system significantly improves the irradiance uniformity as well as the system efficiency compared to the conventional CPV systems. Numerically, for our simulation models, the designed CPV with the SOE and low-cost cell provided an optical power ratio increase of about 17.12% compared to the conventional CPV without the low-cost cell, and about 10.26% compared to the conventional CPV without using both the SOE and additional low-cost cell. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advancing Grid-Connected Renewable Generation Systems)
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Open AccessArticle
Local Oxidation Nanolithography on Metallic Transition Metal Dichalcogenides Surfaces
Appl. Sci. 2016, 6(9), 250; https://doi.org/10.3390/app6090250
Received: 27 July 2016 / Revised: 25 August 2016 / Accepted: 29 August 2016 / Published: 8 September 2016
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2417 | PDF Full-text (4619 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The integration of atomically-thin layers of two dimensional (2D) materials in nanodevices demands for precise techniques at the nanoscale permitting their local modification, structuration or resettlement. Here, we present the use of Local Oxidation Nanolithography (LON) performed with an Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) [...] Read more.
The integration of atomically-thin layers of two dimensional (2D) materials in nanodevices demands for precise techniques at the nanoscale permitting their local modification, structuration or resettlement. Here, we present the use of Local Oxidation Nanolithography (LON) performed with an Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) for the patterning of nanometric motifs on different metallic Transition Metal Dichalcogenides (TMDCs). We show the results of a systematic study of the parameters that affect the LON process as well as the use of two different modes of lithographic operation: dynamic and static. The application of this kind of lithography in different types of TMDCs demonstrates the versatility of the LON for the creation of accurate and reproducible nanopatterns in exfoliated 2D-crystals and reveals the influence of the chemical composition and crystalline structure of the systems on the morphology of the resultant oxide motifs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Two-Dimensional Transition Metal Dichalcogenides)
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Open AccessArticle
Black Heart Detection in White Radish by Hyperspectral Transmittance Imaging Combined with Chemometric Analysis and a Successive Projections Algorithm
Appl. Sci. 2016, 6(9), 249; https://doi.org/10.3390/app6090249
Received: 22 June 2016 / Revised: 28 July 2016 / Accepted: 1 September 2016 / Published: 6 September 2016
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2210 | PDF Full-text (1420 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Radishes with black hearts will lose edible value and cause food safety problems, so it is important to detect and remove the defective ones before processing and consumption. A hyperspectral transmittance imaging system with 420 wavelengths was developed to capture images from white [...] Read more.
Radishes with black hearts will lose edible value and cause food safety problems, so it is important to detect and remove the defective ones before processing and consumption. A hyperspectral transmittance imaging system with 420 wavelengths was developed to capture images from white radishes. A successive-projections algorithm (SPA) was applied with 10 wavelengths selected to distinguish defective radishes with black hearts from normal samples. Pearson linear correlation coefficients were calculated to further refine the set of wavelengths with 4 wavelengths determined. Four chemometric classifiers were developed for classification of normal and defective radishes, using 420, 10 and 4 wavelengths as input variables. The overall classifying accuracy based on the four classifiers were 95.6%–100%. The highest classification with 100% was obtained with a back propagation artificial neural network (BPANN) for both calibration and prediction using 420 and 10 wavelengths. Overall accuracies of 98.4% and 97.8% were obtained for calibration and prediction, respectively, with Fisher's linear discriminant analysis (FLDA) based on 4 wavelengths, and was better than the other three classifiers. This indicated that the developed hyperspectral transmittance imaging was suitable for black heart detection in white radishes with the optimal wavelengths, which has potential for fast on-line discrimination before food processing or reaching storage shelves. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applications of Hyperspectral Imaging for Food and Agriculture)
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Open AccessArticle
Design of Cold-Formed Steel Screw Connections with Gypsum Sheathing at Ambient and Elevated Temperatures
Appl. Sci. 2016, 6(9), 248; https://doi.org/10.3390/app6090248
Received: 16 June 2016 / Revised: 26 August 2016 / Accepted: 30 August 2016 / Published: 6 September 2016
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1992 | PDF Full-text (4912 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Load-bearing cold-formed steel (CFS) walls sheathed with double layers of gypsum plasterboard on both sides have demonstrated good fire resistance and attracted increasing interest for use in mid-rise CFS structures. As the main connection method, screw connections between CFS and gypsum sheathing play [...] Read more.
Load-bearing cold-formed steel (CFS) walls sheathed with double layers of gypsum plasterboard on both sides have demonstrated good fire resistance and attracted increasing interest for use in mid-rise CFS structures. As the main connection method, screw connections between CFS and gypsum sheathing play an important role in both the structural design and fire resistance of this wall system. However, studies on the mechanical behavior of screw connections with double-layer gypsum sheathing are still limited. In this study, 200 monotonic tests of screw connections with single- or double-layer gypsum sheathing at both ambient and elevated temperatures were conducted. The failure of screw connections with double-layer gypsum sheathing in shear was different from that of single-layer gypsum sheathing connections at ambient temperature, and it could be described as the breaking of the loaded sheathing edge combined with significant screw tilting and the loaded sheathing edge flexing fracture. However, the screw tilting and flexing fracture of the loaded sheathing edge gradually disappear at elevated temperatures. In addition, the influence of the loaded edge distance, double-layer sheathing and elevated temperatures is discussed in detail with clear conclusions. A unified design formula for the shear strength of screw connections with gypsum sheathing is proposed for ambient and elevated temperatures with adequate accuracy. A simplified load–displacement model with the post-peak branch is developed to evaluate the load–displacement response of screw connections with gypsum sheathing at ambient and elevated temperatures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applications of Thin-Walled Structures)
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Open AccessArticle
Hardware Implementation and Validation of 3D Underwater Shape Reconstruction Algorithm Using a Stereo-Catadioptric System
Appl. Sci. 2016, 6(9), 247; https://doi.org/10.3390/app6090247
Received: 19 May 2016 / Revised: 13 August 2016 / Accepted: 17 August 2016 / Published: 31 August 2016
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1970 | PDF Full-text (7811 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this paper, we present a new stereo vision-based system and its efficient hardware implementation for real-time underwater environments exploration throughout 3D sparse reconstruction based on a number of feature points. The proposed underwater 3D shape reconstruction algorithm details are presented. The main [...] Read more.
In this paper, we present a new stereo vision-based system and its efficient hardware implementation for real-time underwater environments exploration throughout 3D sparse reconstruction based on a number of feature points. The proposed underwater 3D shape reconstruction algorithm details are presented. The main concepts and advantages are discussed and comparison with existing systems is performed. In order to achieve real-time video constraints, a hardware implementation of the algorithm is performed using Xilinx System Generator. The pipelined stereo vision system has been implemented using Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGA) technology. Both timing constraints and mathematical operations precision have been evaluated in order to validate the proposed hardware implementation of our system. Experimental results show that the proposed system presents high accuracy and execution time performances. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Distinguishing Bovine Fecal Matter on Spinach Leaves Using Field Spectroscopy
Appl. Sci. 2016, 6(9), 246; https://doi.org/10.3390/app6090246
Received: 6 May 2016 / Revised: 29 July 2016 / Accepted: 23 August 2016 / Published: 30 August 2016
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1465 | PDF Full-text (1318 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Detection of fecal contaminants on leafy greens in the field will allow for decreasing cross-contamination of produce during and post-harvest. Fecal contamination of leafy greens has been associated with Escherichia coli (E. coli) O157:H7 outbreaks and foodborne illnesses. In this study, [...] Read more.
Detection of fecal contaminants on leafy greens in the field will allow for decreasing cross-contamination of produce during and post-harvest. Fecal contamination of leafy greens has been associated with Escherichia coli (E. coli) O157:H7 outbreaks and foodborne illnesses. In this study, passive field spectroscopy measuring reflectance and fluorescence created by the sun’s light, coupled with numerical normalization techniques, are used to distinguish fecal contaminants on spinach leaves from soil on spinach leaves and uncontaminated spinach leaf portions. A Savitzky-Golay first derivative transformation and a waveband ratio of 710:688 nm as normalizing techniques were assessed. A soft independent modelling of class analogies (SIMCA) procedure with a 216 sample training set successfully predicted all 54 test set sample types using the spectral region of 600–800 nm. The ratio of 710:688 nm along with set thresholds separated all 270 samples by type. Application of these techniques in-field to avoid harvesting of fecal contaminated leafy greens may lead to a reduction in foodborne illnesses as well as reduced produce waste. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applications of Hyperspectral Imaging for Food and Agriculture)
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Open AccessArticle
Experimental and Numerical Analysis of the Compressive and Shear Behavior for a New Type of Self-Insulating Concrete Masonry System
Appl. Sci. 2016, 6(9), 245; https://doi.org/10.3390/app6090245
Received: 21 June 2016 / Revised: 18 August 2016 / Accepted: 19 August 2016 / Published: 30 August 2016
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2210 | PDF Full-text (5679 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The developed study aimed at investigating the mechanical behavior of a new type of self-insulating concrete masonry unit (SCMU). A total of 12 full-grouted wall assemblages were prepared and tested for compression and shear strength. In addition, different axial stress ratios were used [...] Read more.
The developed study aimed at investigating the mechanical behavior of a new type of self-insulating concrete masonry unit (SCMU). A total of 12 full-grouted wall assemblages were prepared and tested for compression and shear strength. In addition, different axial stress ratios were used in shear tests. Furthermore, numerical models were developed to predict the behavior of grouted specimens using simplified micro-modeling technique. The mortar joints were modeled with zero thickness and their behavior was applied using the traction–separation model of the cohesive element. The experimental results revealed that the shear resistance increases as the level of precompression increases. A good agreement between the experimental results and numerical models was observed. It was concluded that the proposed models can be used to deduct the general behavior of grouted specimens. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
An Efficient Causal Group Communication Protocol for Free Scale Peer-to-Peer Networks
Appl. Sci. 2016, 6(9), 234; https://doi.org/10.3390/app6090234
Received: 10 June 2016 / Revised: 9 August 2016 / Accepted: 15 August 2016 / Published: 30 August 2016
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1939 | PDF Full-text (3214 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In peer-to-peer (P2P) overlay networks, a group of n (≥2) peer processes have to cooperate with each other. Each peer sends messages to every peer and receives messages from every peer in a group. In group communications, each message sent by a peer [...] Read more.
In peer-to-peer (P2P) overlay networks, a group of n (≥2) peer processes have to cooperate with each other. Each peer sends messages to every peer and receives messages from every peer in a group. In group communications, each message sent by a peer is required to be causally delivered to every peer. Most of the protocols designed to ensure causal message order are designed for networks with a plain architecture. These protocols can be adapted to use in free scale and hierarchical topologies; however, the amount of control information is O(n), where n is the number of peers in the system. Some protocols are designed for a free scale or hierarchical networks, but in general they force the whole system to accomplish the same order viewed by a super peer. In this paper, we present a protocol that is specifically designed to work with a free scale peer-to-peer network. By using the information about the network’s architecture and by representing message dependencies on a bit level, the proposed protocol ensures causal message ordering without enforcing super peers order. The designed protocol is simulated and compared with the Immediate Dependency Relation and the Dependency Sequences protocols to show its lower overhead. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Evaluation of Antioxidant and Cytotoxicity Activities of Copper Ferrite (CuFe2O4) and Zinc Ferrite (ZnFe2O4) Nanoparticles Synthesized by Sol-Gel Self-Combustion Method
Appl. Sci. 2016, 6(9), 184; https://doi.org/10.3390/app6090184
Received: 28 December 2015 / Revised: 29 February 2016 / Accepted: 2 March 2016 / Published: 30 August 2016
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2799 | PDF Full-text (2885 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Spinel copper ferrite (CuFe2O4) and zinc ferrite (ZnFe2O4) nanoparticles were synthesized using a sol-gel self-combustion technique. The structural, functional, morphological and magnetic properties of the samples were investigated by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), X-ray [...] Read more.
Spinel copper ferrite (CuFe2O4) and zinc ferrite (ZnFe2O4) nanoparticles were synthesized using a sol-gel self-combustion technique. The structural, functional, morphological and magnetic properties of the samples were investigated by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), X-ray diffraction (XRD), Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and vibrating sample magnetometry (VSM). XRD patterns conform to the copper ferrite and zinc ferrite formation, and the average particle sizes were calculated by using a transmission electron microscope, the measured particle sizes being 56 nm for CuFe2O4 and 68 nm for ZnFe2O4. Both spinel ferrite nanoparticles exhibit ferromagnetic behavior with saturation magnetization of 31 emug−1 for copper ferrite (50.63 Am2/Kg) and 28.8 Am2/Kg for zinc ferrite. Both synthesized ferrite nanoparticles were equally effective in scavenging 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl hydrate (DPPH) free radicals. ZnFe2O4 and CuFe2O4 nanoparticles showed 30.57% ± 1.0% and 28.69% ± 1.14% scavenging activity at 125 µg/mL concentrations. In vitro cytotoxicity study revealed higher concentrations (>125 µg/mL) of ZnFe2O4 and CuFe2O4 with increased toxicity against MCF-7 cells, but were found to be non-toxic at lower concentrations suggesting their biocompatibility. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Nanotechnology and Applied Nanosciences)
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Open AccessArticle
Application of Response Surface Methodology for Optimisation of Simultaneous UHPLC-PDA Determination of Oleanolic and Ursolic Acids and Standardisation of Ericaceae Medicinal Plants
Appl. Sci. 2016, 6(9), 244; https://doi.org/10.3390/app6090244
Received: 5 July 2016 / Revised: 13 August 2016 / Accepted: 24 August 2016 / Published: 29 August 2016
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1894 | PDF Full-text (2348 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A fast and sensitive ultra-high performance liquid chromatography-photodiode array (UHPLC-PDA) method for simultaneous quantification of oleanolic acid (OA) and ursolic acid (UA) in plant materials was developed. A central composite design combined with a response surface methodology was utilized to establish optimal separation [...] Read more.
A fast and sensitive ultra-high performance liquid chromatography-photodiode array (UHPLC-PDA) method for simultaneous quantification of oleanolic acid (OA) and ursolic acid (UA) in plant materials was developed. A central composite design combined with a response surface methodology was utilized to establish optimal separation conditions. The final separation was accomplished on a Zorbax Eclipse XDB-C18 column (1.8 μm, 100 mm × 3 mm I.D., Agilent, Santa Clara, CA, USA) using a mixture 90:10 (v/v) of methanol and 1% (w/v) aqueous orthophosporic acid as a mobile phase at a flow rate of 0.44 mL/min and temperature of 18 °C. The analysis was completed in 6.2 min with satisfactory resolution of 1.5 between the target analytes. The developed method proved to be precise (relative standard deviations below 3.2%), accurate (recoveries in the range of 95.27%–98.60%), and sensitive (limits of detection (LODs) in the range of 0.047–0.051 mg/mL). The method was then successfully applied to evaluate OA and UA content in real samples of selected Ericaceae plant materials (leaves of Arctostaphylos uva ursi, Vaccinium myrtillus, Vaccinium vitis idaea, Gaultheria procumbens). The content of OA and UA in investigated samples varied in the range of 0.74–4.47 mg/g dry weight (dw) and 1.30–18.61 mg/g dw, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Chemistry)
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Open AccessArticle
L1 Adaptive Control for a Vertical Rotor Orientation System
Appl. Sci. 2016, 6(9), 242; https://doi.org/10.3390/app6090242
Received: 27 May 2016 / Accepted: 19 August 2016 / Published: 29 August 2016
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1689 | PDF Full-text (1493 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Bottom-fixed vertical rotating devices are widely used in industrial and civilian fields. The free upside of the rotor will cause vibration and lead to noise and damage during operation. Meanwhile, parameter uncertainties, nonlinearities and external disturbances will further deteriorate the performance of the [...] Read more.
Bottom-fixed vertical rotating devices are widely used in industrial and civilian fields. The free upside of the rotor will cause vibration and lead to noise and damage during operation. Meanwhile, parameter uncertainties, nonlinearities and external disturbances will further deteriorate the performance of the rotor. Therefore, in this paper, we present a rotor orientation control system based on an active magnetic bearing with L 1 adaptive control to restrain the influence of the nonlinearity and uncertainty and reduce the vibration amplitude of the vertical rotor. The boundedness and stability of the adaptive system are analyzed via a theoretical derivation. The impact of the adaptive gain is discussed through simulation. An experimental rig based on dSPACE is designed to test the validity of the rotor orientation system. The experimental results show that the relative vibration amplitude of the rotor using the L 1 adaptive controller will be reduced to ∼50% of that in the initial state, which is a 10% greater reduction than can be achieved with the nonadaptive controller. The control approach in this paper is of some significance to solve the orientation control problem in a low-speed vertical rotor with uncertainties and nonlinearities. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Potential Application of Fluorescence Imaging for Assessing Fecal Contamination of Soil and Compost Maturity
Appl. Sci. 2016, 6(9), 243; https://doi.org/10.3390/app6090243
Received: 19 May 2016 / Revised: 18 August 2016 / Accepted: 24 August 2016 / Published: 27 August 2016
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2054 | PDF Full-text (2351 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Pathogenic microorganisms can lead to serious outbreaks of foodborne illnesses, particularly if fresh produce becomes contaminated and then happens to be inappropriately handled in a manner that can incubate pathogens. Pathogenic microbial contamination of produce can occur through a variety of pathways, such [...] Read more.
Pathogenic microorganisms can lead to serious outbreaks of foodborne illnesses, particularly if fresh produce becomes contaminated and then happens to be inappropriately handled in a manner that can incubate pathogens. Pathogenic microbial contamination of produce can occur through a variety of pathways, such as from the excrement of domesticated and wild animals, biological soil amendment, agricultural water, worker health and hygiene, and field tools used during growth and harvest. The use of mature manure compost and preventative control of fecal contamination from wildlife and livestock are subject to safety standards to minimize the risk of foodborne illness associated with produce. However, in a field production environment, neither traces of animal feces nor the degree of maturity of manure compost can be identified by the naked eye. In this study, we investigated hyperspectral fluorescence imaging techniques to characterize fecal samples from bovine, swine, poultry, and sheep species, and to determine feasibilities for both detecting the presence of animal feces as well as identifying the species origin of the feces in mixtures of soil and feces. In addition, the imaging techniques were evaluated for assessing the maturity of manure compost. The animal feces exhibited dynamic and unique fluorescence emission features that allowed for the detection of the presence of feces and showed that identification of the species origin of fecal matter present in soil-feces mixtures is feasible. Furthermore, the results indicate that using simple single-band fluorescence imaging at the fluorescence emission maximum for animal feces, simpler than full-spectrum hyperspectral fluorescence imaging, can be used to assess the maturity of manure compost. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applications of Hyperspectral Imaging for Food and Agriculture)
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Open AccessArticle
Generating Radially and Azimuthally Polarized Beams by Using a Pair of Lateral Displacement Beamsplitters
Appl. Sci. 2016, 6(9), 241; https://doi.org/10.3390/app6090241
Received: 27 May 2016 / Revised: 21 August 2016 / Accepted: 23 August 2016 / Published: 27 August 2016
Viewed by 2014 | PDF Full-text (2847 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper proposes a modified polarization converter for generating radially and azimuthally polarized beams. Based on a Mach–Zehnder-like interferometric structure, the device consists of a pair of lateral displacement beamsplitters (LDBs) and two half-wave plates that manipulate the states of polarization of incident [...] Read more.
This paper proposes a modified polarization converter for generating radially and azimuthally polarized beams. Based on a Mach–Zehnder-like interferometric structure, the device consists of a pair of lateral displacement beamsplitters (LDBs) and two half-wave plates that manipulate the states of polarization of incident linearly polarized light. Through the coherent superposition of two orthogonal Hermite–Gaussian modes in the far field, radially and azimuthally polarized beams can be obtained simultaneously. A prototype was assembled to demonstrate the feasibility of the design. The proposed design has the advantage of having a simple, symmetric, compact, and robust structure. In addition, the introduction of LDBs substantially reduces the cost of this device. Moreover, the design can be applied to a broadband pulsed laser with considerable potential in high-power applications. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Expression, Purification and Antibacterial Activity of NK-Lysin Mature Peptides from the Channel Catfish (Ictalurus punctatus)
Appl. Sci. 2016, 6(9), 240; https://doi.org/10.3390/app6090240
Received: 23 June 2016 / Revised: 15 August 2016 / Accepted: 16 August 2016 / Published: 26 August 2016
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1771 | PDF Full-text (2150 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are small peptides and play important roles in host innate immune response against microbial invasion. Aquatic animals secrete different kinds of antimicrobial peptides which have antimicrobial activity towards microorganisms. NK-lysins, mature peptides produced by cytotoxic T lymphocytes and natural killer [...] Read more.
Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are small peptides and play important roles in host innate immune response against microbial invasion. Aquatic animals secrete different kinds of antimicrobial peptides which have antimicrobial activity towards microorganisms. NK-lysins, mature peptides produced by cytotoxic T lymphocytes and natural killer cells, are comprised of 74–78 amino acid residues, demonstrating broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity against bacteria, fungi, protozoa, and parasites. In this study, three distinct NK-lysin mature peptide (mNKLs), transcripts (76 amino acid residues) cloned from the channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) head kidney were ligated into plasmid vector pET-32a(+) to express the mNKLs fusion protein. The fusion protein was successfully expressed in E. coli Rosetta (DE3) under optimized conditions. After purification by affinity column chromatography, the fusion protein was successfully cleaved by enterokinase and released the peptide mNKLs. Tricine-SDS-PAGE results showed that mNKLs (approximately 8.6 kDa) were successfully expressed. The purified peptide mNKLs exhibited antibacterial activity against Staphylococcus aureus and E. coli. Full article
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