Open Science Research Excellence

Open Science Index

Commenced in January 2007 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 467

Contribution to the Analytical Study of Barrier Surface Waves: Decomposition of the Solution
When a partially or completely immersed solid moves in a liquid such as water, it undergoes a force called hydrodynamic drag. Reducing this force has always been the objective of hydrodynamic engineers to make water slide better on submerged bodies. This paper deals with the examination of the different terms composing the analytical solution of the flow over an obstacle embedded at the bottom of a hydraulic channel. We have chosen to use a linear method to study a two-dimensional flow over an obstacle, in order to understand the evolution of the drag. We set the following assumptions: incompressible inviscid fluid, irrotational flow, low obstacle height compared to the water height. Those assumptions allow overcoming the difficulties associated with modelling these waves. We will mathematically formulate the equations that allow the determination of the stream function, and then the free surface equation. A similar method is used to determine the exact analytical solution for an obstacle in the shape of a sinusoidal arch.
Variations in Water Supply and Quality in Selected Groundwater Sources in a Part of Southwest Nigeria

The study mapped selected wells in Inisa town, Osun state, in the guinea savanna region of southwest Nigeria, and determined the water quality considering certain elements. It also assessed the variation in the elevation of the water table surface to depth of the wells in the months of August and November. This is with a view to determine the level of contamination of the water with respect to land use and anthropogenic activities, and also to determine the variation that occurs in the quantity of well water in the rainy season and the start of the dry season. Results show a random pattern of the distribution of the mapped wells and shows that there is a shallow water table in the study area. The temporal changes in the elevation show that there are no significant variations in the depth of the water table surface over the period of study implying that there is a sufficient amount of water available to the town all year round. It also shows a high concentration of sodium in the water sample analyzed compared to other elements that were considered, which include iron, copper, calcium, and lead. This is attributed majorly to anthropogenic activities through the disposal of waste in landfill sites. There is a low concentration of lead which is a good indication of a reduced level of pollution.

Waste-Based Surface Modification to Enhance Corrosion Resistance of Aluminium Bronze Alloy

Aluminium bronze alloys are well known for their superior abrasion, tensile strength and non-magnetic properties, due to the co-presence of iron (Fe) and aluminium (Al) as alloying elements and have been commonly used in many industrial applications. However, continuous exposure to the marine environment will accelerate the risk of a tendency to Al bronze alloys parts failures. Although a higher level of corrosion resistance properties can be achieved by modifying its elemental composition, it will come at a price through the complex manufacturing process and increases the risk of reducing the ductility of Al bronze alloy. In this research, the use of ironmaking slag and waste plastic as the input source for surface modification of Al bronze alloy was implemented. Microstructural analysis conducted using polarised light microscopy and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) that is equipped with energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS). An electrochemical corrosion test was carried out through Tafel polarisation method and calculation of protection efficiency against the base-material was determined. Results have indicated that uniform modified surface which is as the result of selective diffusion process, has enhanced corrosion resistance properties up to 12.67%. This approach has opened a new opportunity to access various industrial utilisations in commercial scale through minimising the dependency on natural resources by transforming waste sources into the protective coating in environmentally friendly and cost-effective ways.

Mathematical Expression for Machining Performance

In electrical discharge machining (EDM), a complete and clear theory has not yet been established. The developed theory (physical models) yields results far from reality due to the complexity of the physics. It is difficult to select proper parameter settings in order to achieve better EDM performance. However, modelling can solve this critical problem concerning the parameter settings. Therefore, the purpose of the present work is to develop mathematical model to predict performance characteristics of EDM on Ti-5Al-2.5Sn titanium alloy. Response surface method (RSM) and artificial neural network (ANN) are employed to develop the mathematical models. The developed models are verified through analysis of variance (ANOVA). The ANN models are trained, tested, and validated utilizing a set of data. It is found that the developed ANN and mathematical model can predict performance of EDM effectively. Thus, the model has found a precise tool that turns EDM process cost-effective and more efficient.

Taguchi-Based Surface Roughness Optimization for Slotted and Tapered Cylindrical Products in Milling and Turning Operations

The research follows a systematic approach to optimize the parameters for parts machined by turning and milling processes. The quality characteristic chosen is surface roughness since the surface finish plays an important role for parts that require surface contact. A tapered cylindrical surface is designed as a test specimen for the research. The material chosen for machining is aluminum alloy 6061 due to its wide variety of industrial and engineering applications. HAAS VF-2 TR computer numerical control (CNC) vertical machining center is used for milling and HAAS ST-20 CNC machine is used for turning in this research. Taguchi analysis is used to optimize the surface roughness of the machined parts. The L9 Orthogonal Array is designed for four controllable factors with three different levels each, resulting in 18 experimental runs. Signal to Noise (S/N) Ratio is calculated for achieving the specific target value of 75 ± 15 µin. The controllable parameters chosen for turning process are feed rate, depth of cut, coolant flow and finish cut and for milling process are feed rate, spindle speed, step over and coolant flow. The uncontrollable factors are tool geometry for turning process and tool material for milling process. Hypothesis testing is conducted to study the significance of different uncontrollable factors on the surface roughnesses. The optimal parameter settings were identified from the Taguchi analysis and the process capability Cp and the process capability index Cpk were improved from 1.76 and 0.02 to 3.70 and 2.10 respectively for turning process and from 0.87 and 0.19 to 3.85 and 2.70 respectively for the milling process. The surface roughnesses were improved from 60.17 µin to 68.50 µin, reducing the defect rate from 52.39% to 0% for the turning process and from 93.18 µin to 79.49 µin, reducing the defect rate from 71.23% to 0% for the milling process. The purpose of this study is to efficiently utilize the Taguchi design analysis to improve the surface roughness.

Determination of Surface Deformations with Global Navigation Satellite System Time Series

The development of Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) technology has led to increasingly widely and successful applications of GNSS surveys for monitoring crustal movements. Instead of the multi-period GNSS solutions, this study utilizes GNSS time series that are required to more precisely determine the vertical deformations in the study area. In recent years, the surface deformations that are parallel and semi-parallel to Bolvadin fault have occurred in Western Anatolia. These surface deformations have continued to occur in Bolvadin settlement area that is located mostly on alluvium ground. Due to these surface deformations, a number of cracks in the buildings located in the residential areas and breaks in underground water and sewage systems have been observed. In order to determine the amount of vertical surface deformations, two continuous GNSS stations have been established in the region. The stations have been operating since 2015 and 2017, respectively. In this study, GNSS observations from the mentioned two GNSS stations were processed with GAMIT/GLOBK (GNSS Analysis Massachusetts Institute of Technology/GLOBal Kalman) program package to create coordinate time series. With the time series analyses, the GNSS stations’ behaviour models (linear, periodical, etc.), the causes of these behaviours, and mathematical models were determined. The study results from the time series analysis of these two 2 GNSS stations show approximately 50-90 mm/yr vertical movement.

Comparing Field Displacement History with Numerical Results to Estimate Geotechnical Parameters: Case Study of Arash-Esfandiar-Niayesh under Passing Tunnel, 2.5 Traffic Lane Tunnel, Tehran, Iran

Underground structures are of those structures that have uncertainty in design procedures. That is due to the complexity of soil condition around. Under passing tunnels are also such affected structures. Despite geotechnical site investigations, lots of uncertainties exist in soil properties due to unknown events. As results, it possibly causes conflicting settlements in numerical analysis with recorded values in the project. This paper aims to report a case study on a specific under passing tunnel constructed by New Austrian Tunnelling Method in Iran. The intended tunnel has an overburden of about 11.3m, the height of 12.2m and, the width of 14.4m with 2.5 traffic lane. The numerical modeling was developed by a 2D finite element program (PLAXIS Version 8). Comparing displacement histories at the ground surface during the entire installation of initial lining, the estimated surface settlement was about four times the field recorded one, which indicates that some local unknown events affect that value. Also, the displacement ratios were in a big difference between the numerical and field data. Consequently, running several numerical back analyses using laboratory and field tests data, the geotechnical parameters were accurately revised to match with the obtained monitoring data. Finally, it was found that usually the values of soil parameters are conservatively low-estimated up to 40 percent by typical engineering judgment. Additionally, it could be attributed to inappropriate constitutive models applied for the specific soil condition.

Determination of the Quality of the Machined Surface Using Fuzzy Logic

This paper deals with measuring and modelling of the quality of the machined surface of the metal machining process. The average surface roughness (Ra) which represents the quality of the machined part was measured during the dry turning of the AISI 4140 steel. A large number of factors with the unknown relations among them influences this parameter, and that is why mathematical modelling is extremely complicated. Different values of cutting speed, feed rate, depth of cut (cutting regime) and workpiece hardness causes different surface roughness values. Modelling with soft computing techniques may be very useful in such cases. This paper presents the usage of the fuzzy logic-based system for determining metal machining process parameter in order to find the proper values of cutting regimes.

Segmentation of Gray Scale Images of Dropwise Condensation on Textured Surfaces
In the present work we developed an image processing algorithm to measure water droplets characteristics during dropwise condensation on pillared surfaces. The main problem in this process is the similarity between shape and size of water droplets and the pillars. The developed method divides droplets into four main groups based on their size and applies the corresponding algorithm to segment each group. These algorithms generate binary images of droplets based on both their geometrical and intensity properties. The information related to droplets evolution during time including mean radius and drops number per unit area are then extracted from the binary images. The developed image processing algorithm is verified using manual detection and applied to two different sets of images corresponding to two kinds of pillared surfaces.
Laser Beam Micro-Drilling Effect on Ti-6Al-4V Titanium Alloy Sheet Properties

Laser beam micro-drilling (LBMD) is one of the most important non-contact machining processes of materials that are difficult to machine by means oeqf conventional machining methods used in various industries. The paper is focused on LBMD knock-down effect on Ti-6Al-4V (Grade 5) titanium alloy sheets properties. Two various process configurations were verified with a focus on laser damages in back-structure parts affected by the process. The effects of the LBMD on the material properties were assessed by means of tensile and fatigue tests and fracture surface analyses. Fatigue limit of LBMD configurations reached a significantly lower value between 15% and 30% of the static strength as compared to the reference raw material with 58% value. The farther back-structure configuration gives a two-fold fatigue life as compared to the closer LBMD configuration at a given stress applied.

Surface and Bulk Magnetization Behavior of Isolated Ferromagnetic NiFe Nanowires

The surface and bulk magnetization behavior of template released isolated ferromagnetic Ni60Fe40 nanowires of relatively thick diameters (~200 nm), deposited from a dilute suspension onto pre-patterned insulating chips have been investigated experimentally, using a highly sensitive Magneto-Optical Ker Effect (MOKE) magnetometry and Magneto-Resistance (MR) measurements, respectively. The MR data were consistent with the theoretical predictions of the anisotropic magneto-resistance (AMR) effect. The MR measurements, in all the angles of investigations, showed large features and a series of nonmonotonic "continuous small features" in the resistance profiles. The extracted switching fields from these features and from MOKE loops were compared with each other and with the switching fields reported in the literature that adopted the same analytical techniques on the similar compositions and dimensions of nanowires. A large difference between MOKE and MR measurments was noticed. The disparate between MOKE and MR results is attributed to the variance in the micro-magnetic structure of the surface and the bulk of such ferromagnetic nanowires. This result was ascertained using micro-magnetic simulations on an individual: cylindrical and rectangular cross sections NiFe nanowires, with the same diameter/thickness of the experimental wires, using the Object Oriented Micro-magnetic Framework (OOMMF) package where the simulated loops showed different switching events, indicating that such wires have different magnetic states in the reversal process and the micro-magnetic spin structures during switching behavior was complicated. These results further supported the difference between surface and bulk magnetization behavior in these nanowires. This work suggests that a combination of MOKE and MR measurements is required to fully understand the magnetization behavior of such relatively thick isolated cylindrical ferromagnetic nanowires.

A Speeded up Robust Scale-Invariant Feature Transform Currency Recognition Algorithm

All currencies around the world look very different from each other. For instance, the size, color, and pattern of the paper are different. With the development of modern banking services, automatic methods for paper currency recognition become important in many applications like vending machines. One of the currency recognition architecture’s phases is Feature detection and description. There are many algorithms that are used for this phase, but they still have some disadvantages. This paper proposes a feature detection algorithm, which merges the advantages given in the current SIFT and SURF algorithms, which we call, Speeded up Robust Scale-Invariant Feature Transform (SR-SIFT) algorithm. Our proposed SR-SIFT algorithm overcomes the problems of both the SIFT and SURF algorithms. The proposed algorithm aims to speed up the SIFT feature detection algorithm and keep it robust. Simulation results demonstrate that the proposed SR-SIFT algorithm decreases the average response time, especially in small and minimum number of best key points, increases the distribution of the number of best key points on the surface of the currency. Furthermore, the proposed algorithm increases the accuracy of the true best point distribution inside the currency edge than the other two algorithms.

Analysis and Modeling of Stresses and Creeps Resulting from Soil Mechanics in Southern Plains of Kerman Province
Many of the engineering materials, such as behavioral metals, have at least a certain level of linear behavior. It means that if the stresses are doubled, the deformations would be also doubled. In fact, these materials have linear elastic properties. Soils do not follow this law, for example, when compressed, soils become gradually tighter. On the surface of the ground, the sand can be easily deformed with a finger, but in high compressive stresses, they gain considerable hardness and strength. This is mainly due to the increase in the forces among the separate particles. Creeps also deform the soils under a constant load over time. Clay and peat soils have creep behavior. As a result of this phenomenon, structures constructed on such soils will continue their collapse over time. In this paper, the researchers analyzed and modeled the stresses and creeps in the southern plains of Kerman province in Iran through library-documentary, quantitative and software techniques, and field survey. The results of the modeling showed that these plains experienced severe stresses and had a collapse of about 26 cm in the last 15 years and also creep evidence was discovered in an area with a gradient of 3-6 degrees.
Surface Modification of Titanium Alloy with Laser Treatment

The effect of laser surface treatment parameters on the residual strength of titanium alloy has been investigated. The influence of the laser surface treatment on the bonding strength between the titanium and poly-ether-ketone-ketone (PEKK) surfaces was also evaluated and compared to those offered by titanium foils without surface treatment to optimize the laser parameters. Material characterization using an optical microscope was carried out to study the microstructure and to measure the mean roughness value of the titanium surface. The results showed that the surface roughness shows a significant dependency on the laser power parameters in which surface roughness increases with the laser power increment. Moreover, the results of the tensile tests have shown that there is no significant dropping in tensile strength for the treated samples comparing to the virgin ones. In order to optimize the laser parameter as well as the corresponding surface roughness, single-lap shear tests were conducted on pairs of the laser treated titanium stripes. The results showed that the bonding shear strength between titanium alloy and PEKK film increased with the surface roughness increment to a specific limit. After this point, it is interesting to note that there was no significant effect for the laser parameter on the bonding strength. This evidence suggests that it is not necessary to use very high power of laser to treat titanium surface to achieve a good bonding strength between titanium alloy and the PEKK film.

Optimization of Surface Roughness in Turning Process Utilizing Live Tooling via Taguchi Methodology

The objective of this research is to optimize the process of cutting cylindrical workpieces utilizing live tooling on a HAAS ST-20 lathe. Surface roughness (Ra) has been investigated as the indicator of quality characteristics for machining process. Aluminum alloy was used to conduct experiments due to its wide range usages in engineering structures and components where light weight or corrosion resistance is required. In this study, Taguchi methodology is utilized to determine the effects that each of the parameters has on surface roughness (Ra). A total of 18 experiments of each process were designed according to Taguchi’s L9 orthogonal array (OA) with four control factors at three levels of each and signal-to-noise ratios (S/N) were computed with Smaller the better equation for minimizing the system. The optimal parameters identified for the surface roughness of the turning operation utilizing live tooling were a feed rate of 3 inches/min(A3); a spindle speed of 1300 rpm(B3); a 2-flute titanium nitrite coated 3/8” endmill (C1); and a depth of cut of 0.025 inches (D2). The mean surface roughness of the confirmation runs in turning operation was 8.22 micro inches. The final results demonstrate that Taguchi methodology is a sufficient way of process improvement in turning process on surface roughness.

Optimization of Surface Roughness in Additive Manufacturing Processes via Taguchi Methodology

This paper studies a case where the targeted surface roughness of fused deposition modeling (FDM) additive manufacturing process is improved. The process is designing to reduce or eliminate the defects and improve the process capability index Cp and Cpk for an FDM additive manufacturing process. The baseline Cp is 0.274 and Cpk is 0.654. This research utilizes the Taguchi methodology, to eliminate defects and improve the process. The Taguchi method is used to optimize the additive manufacturing process and printing parameters that affect the targeted surface roughness of FDM additive manufacturing. The Taguchi L9 orthogonal array is used to organize the parameters' (four controllable parameters and one non-controllable parameter) effectiveness on the FDM additive manufacturing process. The four controllable parameters are nozzle temperature [°C], layer thickness [mm], nozzle speed [mm/s], and extruder speed [%]. The non-controllable parameter is the environmental temperature [°C]. After the optimization of the parameters, a confirmation print was printed to prove that the results can reduce the amount of defects and improve the process capability index Cp from 0.274 to 1.605 and the Cpk from 0.654 to 1.233 for the FDM additive manufacturing process. The final results confirmed that the Taguchi methodology is sufficient to improve the surface roughness of FDM additive manufacturing process.

An Assessment of Water and Sediment Quality of the Danube River: Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons and Trace Metals

Water and sediment samples from the Danube River and Moson Danube Arm (Hungary) have been collected and analyzed for contamination by 18 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and eight trace metal(loid)s (As, Cu, Pb, Ni, Cr, Cd, Hg and Zn) in the period of 2014-2015. Moreover, the trace metal(loid) concentrations were measured in the Rába and Marcal rivers (parts of the tributary system feeding the Danube). Total PAH contents in water were found to vary from 0.016 to 0.133 µg/L and concentrations in sediments varied in the range of 0.118 mg/kg and 0.283 mg/kg. Source analysis of PAHs using diagnostic concentration ratios indicated that PAHs found in sediments were of pyrolytic origins. The dissolved trace metal and arsenic concentrations were relatively low in the surface waters. However, higher concentrations were detected in the water samples of Rába (Zn, Cu, Ni, Pb) and Marcal (As, Cu, Ni, Pb) compared to the Danube and Moson Danube. The concentrations of trace metals in sediments were higher than those found in water samples.

Numerical Modelling of Surface Waves Generated by Low Frequency Electromagnetic Field for Silicon Refinement Process

One of the most perspective methods to produce SoG-Si is refinement via metallurgical route. The most critical part of this route is refinement from boron and phosphorus. Therefore, a new approach could address this problem. We propose an approach of creating surface waves on silicon melt’s surface in order to enlarge its area and accelerate removal of boron via chemical reactions and evaporation of phosphorus. A two dimensional numerical model is created which includes coupling of electromagnetic and fluid dynamic simulations with free surface dynamics. First results show behaviour similar to experimental results from literature.

Study on Optimization Design of Pressure Hull for Underwater Vehicle

In order to improve the efficiency and accuracy of the pressure hull structure, optimization of underwater vehicle based on response surface methodology, a method for optimizing the design of pressure hull structure was studied. To determine the pressure shell of five dimensions as a design variable, the application of thin shell theory and the Chinese Classification Society (CCS) specification was carried on the preliminary design. In order to optimize variables of the feasible region, different methods were studied and implemented such as Opt LHD method (to determine the design test sample points in the feasible domain space), parametric ABAQUS solution for each sample point response, and the two-order polynomial response for the surface model of the limit load of structures. Based on the ultimate load of the structure and the quality of the shell, the two-generation genetic algorithm was used to solve the response surface, and the Pareto optimal solution set was obtained. The final optimization result was 41.68% higher than that of the initial design, and the shell quality was reduced by about 27.26%. The parametric method can ensure the accuracy of the test and improve the efficiency of optimization.

Performance Evaluation of Parallel Surface Modeling and Generation on Actual and Virtual Multicore Systems
Even though past, current and future trends suggest that multicore and cloud computing systems are increasingly prevalent/ubiquitous, this class of parallel systems is nonetheless underutilized, in general, and barely used for research on employing parallel Delaunay triangulation for parallel surface modeling and generation, in particular. The performances, of actual/physical and virtual/cloud multicore systems/machines, at executing various algorithms, which implement various parallelization strategies of the incremental insertion technique of the Delaunay triangulation algorithm, were evaluated. T-tests were run on the data collected, in order to determine whether various performance metrics differences (including execution time, speedup and efficiency) were statistically significant. Results show that the actual machine is approximately twice faster than the virtual machine at executing the same programs for the various parallelization strategies. Results, which furnish the scalability behaviors of the various parallelization strategies, also show that some of the differences between the performances of these systems, during different runs of the algorithms on the systems, were statistically significant. A few pseudo superlinear speedup results, which were computed from the raw data collected, are not true superlinear speedup values. These pseudo superlinear speedup values, which arise as a result of one way of computing speedups, disappear and give way to asymmetric speedups, which are the accurate kind of speedups that occur in the experiments performed.
Numerical Analysis of the Effect of Geocell Reinforcement above Buried Pipes on Surface Settlement and Vertical Pressure

Dynamic traffic loads cause deformation of underground pipes, resulting in vehicle discomfort. This makes it necessary to reinforce the layers of soil above underground pipes. In this study, the subbase layer was reinforced. Finite element software (PLAXIS 3D) was used to in the simulation, which includes geocell reinforcement, vehicle loading, soil layers and Glass Fiber Reinforced Plastic (GRP) pipe. Geocell reinforcement was modeled using a geogrid element, which was defined as a slender structure element that has the ability to withstand axial stresses but not to resist bending. Geogrids cannot withstand compression but they can withstand tensile forces. Comparisons have been made between the numerical models and experimental works, and a good agreement was obtained. Using the mathematical model, the performance of three different pipes of diameter 600 mm, 800 mm, and 1000 mm, and three different vehicular speeds of 20 km/h, 40 km/h, and 60 km/h, was examined to determine their impact on surface settlement and vertical pressure at the pipe crown for two cases: with and without geocell reinforcement. The results showed that, for a pipe diameter of 600 mm under geocell reinforcement, surface settlement decreases by 94 % when the speed of the vehicle is 20 km/h and by 98% when the speed of the vehicle is 60 km/h. Vertical pressure decreases by 81 % when the diameter of the pipe is 600 mm, while the value decreases to 58 % for a pipe with diameter 1000 mm. The results show that geocell reinforcement causes a significant and positive reduction in surface settlement and vertical stress above the pipe crown, leading to an increase in pipe safety.

The Grinding Influence on the Strength of Fan-Out Wafer-Level Packages
To build a thin fan-out wafer-level package, the package had to be ground to a thin level. In this work, the influence of the grinding processes on the strength of the fan-out wafer-level packages was investigated. After different grinding processes, all specimens were placed on a three-point-bending fixture installed on a universal tester for three-point-bending testing, and the strength of the fan-out wafer-level packages was measured. The experiments revealed that the average flexure strength increased with the decreasing surface roughness height of the fan-out wafer-level package tested. The grinding processes had a significant influence on the strength of the fan-out wafer-level packages investigated.
Flow Characteristics around Rectangular Obstacles with the Varying Direction of Obstacles

The study aims to understand the surface pressure distribution around the bodies such as the suction pressure in the leading edge on the top and side-face when the aspect ratio of bodies and the wind direction are changed, respectively. We carried out the wind tunnel measurement and numerical simulation around a series of rectangular bodies (40d×80w×80h, 80d×80w×80h, 160d×80w×80h, 80d×40w×80h and 80d×160w×80h in mm3) placed in a deep turbulent boundary layer. Based on a modern numerical platform, the Navier-Stokes equation with the typical 2-equation (k-ε model) and the DES (Detached Eddy Simulation) turbulence model has been calculated, and they are both compared with the measurement data. Regarding the turbulence model, the DES model makes a better prediction comparing with the k-ε model, especially when calculating the separated turbulent flow around a bluff body with sharp edged corner. In order to observe the effect of wind direction on the pressure variation around the cube (e.g., 80d×80w×80h in mm), it rotates at 0º, 10º, 20º, 30º, and 45º, which stands for the salient wind directions in the tunnel. The result shows that the surface pressure variation is highly dependent upon the approaching wind direction, especially on the top and the side-face of the cube. In addition, the transverse width has a substantial effect on the variation of surface pressure around the bodies, while the longitudinal length has little or no influence.

Enhancement of Raman Scattering using Photonic Nanojet and Whispering Gallery Mode of a Dielectric Microstructure
We report the enhancement of Raman scattering signal by one order of magnitude using photonic nanojet (PNJ) of a lollipop shaped dielectric microstructure (LSDM) fabricated by a pulsed CO₂ laser. Here, the PNJ is generated by illuminating sphere portion of the LSDM with non-resonant laser. Unlike the surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) technique, this technique is simple, and the obtained results are highly reproducible. In addition, an efficient technique is proposed to enhance the SERS signal with the help of high quality factor optical resonance (whispering gallery mode) of a LSDM. From the theoretical simulations, it has been found that at least an order of magnitude enhancement in the SERS signal could be achieved easily using the proposed technique. We strongly believe that this report will enable the research community for improving the Raman scattering signals.
Experimental Investigation on the Efficiency of Expanded Polystyrene Geofoam Post and Beam System in Protecting Lifelines
Expanded polystyrene (EPS) geofoam is a cellular geosynthetic material that can be used to protect lifelines (e.g. pipelines, electricity cables, etc.) below ground. Post and beam system is the most recent configuration of EPS blocks which can be implemented for this purpose. It provides a void space atop lifelines which allows settlement of the loading surface with imposing no pressure on the lifelines system. This paper investigates the efficiency of the configuration of post-beam system subjected to static loading. To evaluate the soil surface settlement, beam deformation and transferred pressure over the beam, laboratory tests using two different densities for EPS blocks are conducted. The effect of geogrid-reinforcing the cover soil on system response is also investigated. The experimental results show favorable performance of EPS post and beam configuration in protecting underground lifelines. 
Basicity of Jordanian Natural Clays Studied by Pyrrole-tpd and Catalytic Conversion of Methylbutynol

The main objective of this study is to investigate basic properties of different natural clays, by two methods. The first method is a gas phase conversion of methylbutynol (MBOH). The second method is the application of Pyrrole-tpd. Based on the product distribution from the first method, the acidic, basic and coordinately unsaturated sites were differentiated. It was shown that both the conversion and the selectivity for basic products did not change with reaction time. Nevertheless, a deviation from the stoichiometric ratio R of formed acetylene to acetone was observed (R=0.8…0.97). The conversion normalized to the surface area was used for establishing the activity sequence: White kaolinite > red kaolinite > bentonite > zeolite > di­ato­mite. In addition, the results were compared with synthetic amorphous alumosilicates and typical basic materials like MgO and ZnO. The basic properties were characterized using the Pyrrole-tpd.  The Pyrrole-tpd results showed the same basicity sequence as the MBOH gas phase reaction.

Parameter Optimization and Thermal Simulation in Laser Joining of Coach Peel Panels of Dissimilar Materials

The quality of laser welded-brazed (LWB) joints were strongly dependent on the main process parameters, therefore the effect of laser power (3.2–4 kW), welding speed (60–80 mm/s) and wire feed rate (70–90 mm/s) on mechanical strength and surface roughness were investigated in this study. The comprehensive optimization process by means of response surface methodology (RSM) and desirability function was used for multi-criteria optimization. The experiments were planned based on Box– Behnken design implementing linear and quadratic polynomial equations for predicting the desired output properties. Finally, validation experiments were conducted on an optimized process condition which exhibited good agreement between the predicted and experimental results. AlSi3Mn1 was selected as the filler material for joining aluminum alloy 6022 and hot-dip galvanized steel in coach peel configuration. The high scanning speed could control the thickness of IMC as thin as 5 µm. The thermal simulations of joining process were conducted by the Finite Element Method (FEM), and results were validated through experimental data. The Fe/Al interfacial thermal history evidenced that the duration of critical temperature range (700–900 °C) in this high scanning speed process was less than 1 s. This short interaction time leads to the formation of reaction-control IMC layer instead of diffusion-control mechanisms.

Improved Small-Signal Characteristics of Infrared 850 nm Top-Emitting Vertical-Cavity Lasers
High-speed infrared vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser diodes (VCSELs) with Cu-plated heat sinks were fabricated and tested. VCSELs with 10 mm aperture diameter and 4 mm of electroplated copper demonstrated a -3dB modulation bandwidth (f-3dB) of 14 GHz and a resonance frequency (fR) of 9.5 GHz at a bias current density (Jbias) of only 4.3 kA/cm2, which corresponds to an improved f-3dB2/Jbias ratio of 44 GHz2/kA/cm2. At higher and lower bias current densities, the f-3dB2/ Jbias ratio decreased to about 30 GHz2/kA/cm2 and 18 GHz2/kA/cm2, respectively. Examination of the analogue modulation response demonstrated that the presented VCSELs displayed a steady f-3dB/ fR ratio of 1.41±10% over the whole range of the bias current (1.3Ith to 6.2Ith). The devices also demonstrated a maximum modulation bandwidth (f-3dB max) of more than 16 GHz at a bias current less than the industrial bias current standard for reliability by 25%.
Influence of Machining Process on Surface Integrity of Plasma Coating

For the required function of components with the thermal spray coating, it is necessary to perform additional machining of the coated surface. The paper deals with assessing the surface integrity of Metco 2042, a plasma sprayed coating, after its machining. The selected plasma sprayed coating serves as an abradable sealing coating in a jet engine. Therefore, the spray and its surface must meet high quality and functional requirements. Plasma sprayed coatings are characterized by lamellar structure, which requires a special approach to their machining. Therefore, the experimental part involves the set-up of special cutting tools and cutting parameters under which the applied coating was machined. For the assessment of suitably set machining parameters, selected parameters of surface integrity were measured and evaluated during the experiment. To determine the size of surface irregularities and the effect of the selected machining technology on the sprayed coating surface, the surface roughness parameters Ra and Rz were measured. Furthermore, the measurement of sprayed coating surface hardness by the HR 15 Y method before and after machining process was used to determine the surface strengthening. The changes of strengthening were detected after the machining. The impact of chosen cutting parameters on the surface roughness after the machining was not proven.

The Role of Physically Adsorbing Species of Oxyhydryl Reagents in Flotation Aggregate Formation

The authors discuss the collecting abilities of desorbable species (DS) of saturated fatty acids. The DS species of the reagent are understood as species capable of moving from the surface of the mineral particle to the bubble at the moment of the rupture of the interlayer of liquid separating these objects of interaction. DS species of carboxylic acids (molecules and ionic-molecular complexes) have the ability to spread over the surface of the bubble. The rate of their spreading at pH 7 and 10 over the water surface is determined. The collectibility criterion of saturated fatty acids is proposed. The values of forces exerted by the spreading DS species of reagents on liquid in the interlayer and the liquid flow rate from the interlayer are determined.

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