Special Issue "Extreme Sciences and Engineering Ⅱ"

A special issue of Applied Sciences (ISSN 2076-3417). This special issue belongs to the section "Mechanical Engineering".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 May 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Sakdirat Kaewunruen
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education, The University of Birmingham, Edgbaston B152TT, UK
Interests: rail infrastructure; structural engineering; dynamics; reliability and safety; impact engineering
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Disruptions in the operation of our countries’ infrastructure may put at risk the functioning of our societies and their economies. Such disruptions may result from many kinds of hazards and physical and/or cyber-attacks on installations and systems. Recent events demonstrate the increased interconnection among the impact of hazards, of the two kinds of attacks and, conversely, the usefulness for operators of combining cyber and physical security solutions to protect installations of the critical infrastructure globally. New ideas and innovation for comprehensive, yet installation-specific approaches are necessary to secure the integrity of existing or future, public or private, connected and interdependent assets, installations, and infrastructure systems.

This Special Issue ‘Extreme Sciences and Engineering’ enables transparent, fair, rapid communication of research that highlights the role of mechanics, sciences, and engineering in multidisciplinary areas across materials science, physics, and engineering. Emphasis is on the impact, depth, and originality of new concepts, methods, and observations at the forefront of applied sciences.

Among the topical areas of interest are:

  • Materials and components of extreme properties
  • Materials and structures under extreme conditions, such as high temperature and high loading rate, natural or man-made hazards, etc.
  • Resilience of assets, components, installations and infrastructure systems
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Instability, large deformation, and large-amplitude vibration in nature and engineering systems
  • Interfacial phenomena in interactions between fluids and solids, deformation and failure of materials and structures
  • Self-assembly of materials, components, and structural systems
  • Mechanics of 3D printing
  • Earthquakes and tsunami
  • Digital built environments supporting crisis management, resilience recovery, and sustainability of critical infrastructures (airport, rail, port, energy, gas, etc.)
  • Advanced numerical methods for extreme conditions

Dr. Sakdirat Kaewunruen
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Applied Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Extreme conditions
  • Hazards
  • Resilience
  • Reliability
  • Engineering design
  • Mechanics
  • Numerical methods
  • Digital built environment

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
The Role of Soil Stabilisation in Mitigating the Impact of Climate Change in Transport Infrastructure with Reference to Wetting Processes
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(3), 1080; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11031080 - 25 Jan 2021
Viewed by 363
Abstract
Cost efficient and robust transport systems are of critical importance to future economic prosperity as well as for the society’s social and environmental well-being. However, current performance shortcomings in the transport infrastructure formations induced by extreme climatic events cause excessive maintenance requirements with [...] Read more.
Cost efficient and robust transport systems are of critical importance to future economic prosperity as well as for the society’s social and environmental well-being. However, current performance shortcomings in the transport infrastructure formations induced by extreme climatic events cause excessive maintenance requirements with increased costs and disruptions to commuters and loss of productivity in the freight services. This is particularly important in locations where soils are sensitive to moisture changes caused by extreme climatic events. In this paper the role of soil stabilisation in halting volumetric deformation and associated reduction in shear strength derived from the wetting processes (e.g., rainfall periods) is examined for an expansive soil. Two stabilizers commonly used in road construction are examined, i.e., hydrated lime and Portland cement. An additional non-traditional stabiliser composed of a blend of ground granulated blast furnace slag and hydrated lime is also considered. A series of one-dimensional swelling and direct shear box tests were conducted adopting vertical stresses relevant for pavements and simulate wetting process that can take place after a period of rainfall. Results indicate that while all stabilizers contribute to a reduction of swelling and smaller losses in shear strength upon wetting, the blend of blast furnace slag and hydrated lime is the most favourable in terms of carbon footprint. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Extreme Sciences and Engineering Ⅱ)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Track Modulus Assessment of Engineered Interspersed Concrete Sleepers in Ballasted Track
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(1), 261; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11010261 - 29 Dec 2020
Viewed by 443
Abstract
Ballasted railway track is typically constructed using sleepers that are manufactured from a common material type within a given length of track. Timber and concrete are the two most common sleeper materials used internationally. Evidence from historical installations of interspersed concrete sleepers in [...] Read more.
Ballasted railway track is typically constructed using sleepers that are manufactured from a common material type within a given length of track. Timber and concrete are the two most common sleeper materials used internationally. Evidence from historical installations of interspersed concrete sleepers in timber sleeper track in North America has indicated inadequate performance, due largely to the heterogeneity in stiffnesses among sleepers. Theoretical calculations reveal that interspersed installation, assuming rigid concrete sleepers and supports, can result in rail seat forces more than five times as large as the force supported by the adjacent timber sleepers. Recently, engineered interspersed concrete (EIC) sleepers were developed using an optimized design and additional layers of resiliency to replace timber sleepers that have reached the end of their service lives while maintaining sleeper-to-sleeper stiffness homogeneity. To confirm that the concrete sleepers can successfully replicate the stiffness properties of the timber sleepers installed in track, field instrumentation was installed under revenue-service train operations on a North American commuter rail transit agency to measure the wheel–rail vertical loads and track displacement. The results indicated that there are minimal differences in median track displacements between timber (2.26 mm, 0.089 in.) and EIC sleepers (2.21 mm, 0.087 in). Using wheel-load data and the corresponding track displacements associated with each wheel load, track modulus values were calculated using the single-point load method based on beam on elastic foundation (BOEF) fundamentals. The calculated values for the track modulus indicated similar performances between the two sleeper types, with median values of 12.95 N/mm/mm (1878 lbs./in./in.) and 12.79 N/mm/mm (1855 lbs./in./in.) for timber sleepers and EIC sleepers, respectively. The field results confirmed the suitability of the new EIC sleeper design in maintaining a consistent track modulus for the location studied, thus evenly sharing loads between and among sleepers manufactured from both concrete and timber. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Extreme Sciences and Engineering Ⅱ)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Drill Bit Deformations in Rotary Drilling Systems under Large-Amplitude Stick-Slip Vibrations
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(18), 6523; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10186523 - 18 Sep 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 866
Abstract
In oil and gas industry, rotary drilling systems are used for energy exploration and productions. These types of systems are composed of two main parts: mechanical and electrical parts. The electrical part is represented by rotating motor called top drive; however, the mechanical [...] Read more.
In oil and gas industry, rotary drilling systems are used for energy exploration and productions. These types of systems are composed of two main parts: mechanical and electrical parts. The electrical part is represented by rotating motor called top drive; however, the mechanical part of the system is composed of tool string with many pipes, at the bottom end of these pipes the bit is attached to cut the rock during their contact. Since the bit is in a direct contact with rock characteristic variations, it can be under risk for heavy damage. The latter is principally caused by the fact that the rock–bit interaction term is highly nonlinear and unpredictable. In literature, many mathematical models have been proposed for rock–bit interaction, but they do not reflect the dynamic of the bit under vibrations since torsional and axial vibrations are strongly coupled and synchronized with it. In industrial development, the design of drill bit has faced many improvements in order to overcome these vibrations and mitigate unpredictable phenomena. Even though, the practical use of these drill bits confirmed that there are still many failures and damages for the new designs; moreover, bits’ virtual life become shorter than before. The objective of this study is to analyze the drill bit deformations caused by the stick-slip vibration phenomenon which is characterized by high-frequency high-amplitude in rotary drilling systems. The obtained results were validated through a case study of MWD (measurement while drilling) data of well located in a Southern Algerian oil field. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Extreme Sciences and Engineering Ⅱ)
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Open AccessArticle
Large-Amplitude Vibrations of Spider Web Structures
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(17), 6032; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10176032 - 31 Aug 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 762
Abstract
Spider silk, as a natural material, shows exceptional performance in its properties. The combination of the superior properties of spider silk and the geometry of spider structures make the spider web very resilient. A spider web structure can be considered as a cable-like [...] Read more.
Spider silk, as a natural material, shows exceptional performance in its properties. The combination of the superior properties of spider silk and the geometry of spider structures make the spider web very resilient. A spider web structure can be considered as a cable-like structure with inappreciable torsional, bending and shear rigidities. An investigation emphasising on natural frequencies and corresponding mode shapes with and without the consideration of geometric nonlinearity is presented in this paper. This study is the world’s first discovery of large amplitude free vibration behaviours of spider web structures. Large deformable finite element 3D models of spider web structures have been developed and validated. By using the energy method, the variational model of the spider web structures have been established to further extend the finite element model, consisting of the strain energy due to axial deformation, kinetic energy due to the spider web movement and the virtual work caused by the self-weight per unit unstretched length. The emphasis of this study is placed on the linear and geometric nonlinear behaviour of the spider web structures considering different structural patterns and material properties. To determine the large-amplitude free vibrational behaviours, a series of pretension load is applied to the first step in Abaqus to initiate the nonlinear strain-displacement relationships enabling a precursor to free vibrations. The parametric studies stemming from structural patterns (the number of radial and capture threads), elastic modulus, density, and inertia moment have been highlighted. The insight will help engineers and scientists to adapt the concept of spider webs, their geometric properties, and damage patterns for the design of any structural membranes, preventing any failure from dynamic resonances and nonlinear phenomena. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Extreme Sciences and Engineering Ⅱ)
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Open AccessArticle
Utilizing an Adaptive Neuro-Fuzzy Inference System (ANFIS) for Overcrowding Level Risk Assessment in Railway Stations
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(15), 5156; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10155156 - 27 Jul 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1074
Abstract
The railway network plays a significant role (both economically and socially) in assisting the reduction of urban traffic congestion. It also accelerates the decarbonization in cities, societies and built environments. To ensure the safe and secure operation of stations and capture the real-time [...] Read more.
The railway network plays a significant role (both economically and socially) in assisting the reduction of urban traffic congestion. It also accelerates the decarbonization in cities, societies and built environments. To ensure the safe and secure operation of stations and capture the real-time risk status, it is imperative to consider a dynamic and smart method for managing risk factors in stations. In this research, a framework to develop an intelligent system for managing risk is suggested. The adaptive neuro-fuzzy inference system (ANFIS) is proposed as a powerful, intelligently selected model to improve risk management and manage uncertainties in risk variables. The objective of this study is twofold. First, we review current methods applied to predict the risk level in the flow. Second, we develop smart risk assessment and management measures (or indicators) to improve our understanding of the safety of railway stations in real-time. Two parameters are selected as input for the risk level relating to overcrowding: the transfer efficiency and retention rate of the platform. This study is the world’s first to establish the hybrid artificial intelligence (AI) model, which has the potency to manage risk uncertainties and learns through artificial neural networks (ANNs) by integrated training processes. The prediction result shows very high accuracy in predicting the risk level performance, and proves the AI model capabilities to learn, to make predictions, and to capture risk level values in real time. Such risk information is extremely critical for decision making processes in managing safety and risks, especially when uncertain disruptions incur (e.g., COVID-19, disasters, etc.). The novel insights stemmed from this study will lead to more effective and efficient risk management for single and clustered railway station facilities towards safer, smarter, and more resilient transportation systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Extreme Sciences and Engineering Ⅱ)
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Open AccessArticle
Buckling Analysis of Interspersed Railway Tracks
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(9), 3091; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10093091 - 29 Apr 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1006
Abstract
Nowadays, timber sleepers are still used for ballasted railway tracks to carry passengers and transport goods. However, the process of natural decay causes the problem of timber sleeper degradation over time. A temporary “interspersed” approach is used to replace rotten timbers with concrete [...] Read more.
Nowadays, timber sleepers are still used for ballasted railway tracks to carry passengers and transport goods. However, the process of natural decay causes the problem of timber sleeper degradation over time. A temporary “interspersed” approach is used to replace rotten timbers with concrete sleepers. This implementation has several inadequacies, as interspersed railway tracks have inconsistent stiffness and experience significant deterioration over the years. Increased heat due to the change in the global climate can induce a compression force in the continuous welded rail (CWR), leading to a change in track geometry called “track buckling”. A literature review shows that track buckling on plain tracks has been widely studied. However, the buckling of interspersed tracks has not been fully studied. This study presents 3D finite element modelling of interspersed railway tracks subjected to temperature change. The effect of the boundary conditions on the buckling shape is considered. The obtained results show that the interspersed approach may reduce the likelihood of track buckling. This study is the world’s first to investigate the buckling behaviour of interspersed railway tracks. The insight into interspersed railway tracks derived from this study will underpin the life cycle design, maintenance, and construction strategies related to the use of concrete sleepers as spot replacement sleepers in ageing railway track systems. The outcome of this study will help track engineers to improve the inspection of the lateral stiffness of interspersed tracks in areas prone to extreme temperature. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Extreme Sciences and Engineering Ⅱ)
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