Open Science Research Excellence

Open Science Index

Commenced in January 2007 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 60

Sunflower Irrigation with Two Different Types of Soil Moisture Sensors

Irrigation is one of the most important cultivation practices for each crop, especially in areas where rainfall is enough to cover the crop water needs. In such areas, the farmers must irrigate in order to achieve high economical results. The precise irrigation scheduling contributes to irrigation water saving and thus a valuable natural resource is protected. Under this point of view, in the experimental field of the Laboratory of Agricultural Hydraulics of the University of Thessaly, a research was conducted during the growing season of 2012 in order to evaluate the growth, seed and oil production of sunflower as well as the water saving, by applying different methods of irrigation scheduling. Three treatments in four replications were organized. These were: a) surface drip irrigation where the irrigation scheduling based on the Penman-Monteith (PM) method (control); b) surface drip irrigation where the irrigation scheduling based on a soil moisture sensor (SMS); and c) surface drip irrigation, where the irrigation scheduling based on a soil potential sensor (WM).

Hygrothermal Assessment of Internally Insulated Prefabricated Concrete Wall in Polish Climatic Condition

Internal insulation of external walls is often problematic due to increased moisture content in the wall and interstitial or surface condensation risk. In this paper, the hygrothermal performance of prefabricated, concrete, large panel, external wall typical for WK70 system, commonly used in Poland in the 70’s, with inside, additional insulation was investigated. Thermal insulation board made out of hygroscopic, natural materials with moisture buffer capacity and extruded polystyrene (EPS) board was used as interior insulation. Experience with this natural insulation is rare in Poland. The analysis was performed using WUFI software. First of all, the impact of various standard boundary conditions on the behavior of the different wall assemblies was tested. The comparison of results showed that the moisture class according to the EN ISO 13788 leads to too high values of total moisture content in the wall since the boundary condition according to the EN 15026 should be usually applied. Then, hygrothermal 1D-simulations were conducted by WUFI Pro for analysis of internally added insulation, and the weak point like the joint of the wall with the concrete ceiling was verified using 2D simulations. Results showed that, in the Warsaw climate and the indoor conditions adopted in accordance with EN 15026, in the tested wall assemblies, regardless of the type of interior insulation, there would not be any problems with moisture - inside the structure and on the interior surface.

Mechanical Properties of Ordinary Portland Cement Modified Cold Bitumen Emulsion Mixture

Cold bitumen emulsion mixture (CBEM) offers a series benefits as compared with hot mix asphalt (HMA); these include environmental factors, energy saving, the resolution of logistical challenges that can characterise hot mix, and the potential to reserve funds. However, this mixture has some problems similar to any bituminous mixtures as it has low early strength, long curing time that needed to obtain the maximum performance, high air voids and considered inferior to HMA. Thus, CBEM has been used in limited applications such as lightly trafficked roads, footways and reinstatements. This laboratory study describes the development of CBEM using ordinary Portland cement (OPC) instead of the traditional mineral filler. Stiffness modulus, moisture damage and temperature sensitivity tests were used to evaluate the mechanical properties of the produced mixtures. The study concluded that there is a substantial improvement in the mechanical properties and moisture damage resistance of CBEMs containing OPC. Also, the produced cement modified CBEM shows a considerable lower thermal sensitivity than the conventional CBEM.

Soil Moisture Control System: A Product Development Approach

In this work, we propose the concept and geometrical design of a soil moisture control system (SMCS) module by following the product development approach to develop an inexpensive, easy to use and quick to install product targeted towards agriculture practitioners. The module delivers water to the agricultural land efficiently by sensing the soil moisture and activating the delivery valve. We start with identifying the general needs of the potential customer. Then, based on customer needs we establish product specifications and identify important measuring quantities to evaluate our product. Keeping in mind the specifications, we develop various conceptual solutions of the product and select the best solution through concept screening and selection matrices. Then, we develop the product architecture by integrating the systems into the final product. In the end, the geometric design is done using human factors engineering concepts like heuristic analysis, task analysis, and human error reduction analysis. The result of human factors analysis reveals the remedies which should be applied while designing the geometry and software components of the product. We find that to design the best grip in terms of comfort and applied force, for a power-type grip, a grip-diameter of 35 mm is the most ideal.

Dry Matter, Moisture, Ash and Crude Fibre Content in Distinct Segments of ‘Durian Kampung’ Husk

An environmental friendly approach for disposal of voluminous durian husk waste could be implemented by substituting them into various valuable commodities, such as healthcare and biofuel products. Thus, the study of composition value in each segment of durian husk was very crucial to determine the suitable proportions of nutrients that need to be added and mixed in the product. A total of 12 ‘Durian Kampung’ fruits from Sg Ruan, Pahang were selected and each fruit husk was divided into four segments and labelled as P-L (thin neck area of white inner husk), P-B (thick bottom area of white inner husk), H (green and thorny outer husk) and W (whole combination of P-B and H). Four experiments have been carried out to determine the dry matter, moisture, ash and crude fibre content. The results show that the H segment has the highest dry matter content (30.47%), while the P-B segment has the highest percentage in moisture (81.83%) and ash (6.95%) content. It was calculated that the ash content of the P-B segment has a higher rate of moisture level which causes the ash content to increase about 2.89% from the P-L segment. These data have proven that each segment of durian husk has a significant difference in terms of composition value, which might be useful information to fully utilize every part of the durian husk in the future.

The Use of Thermal Infrared Wavelengths to Determine the Volcanic Soils

In this study, an application was carried out to determine the Volcanic Soils by using remote sensing.  The study area was located on the Golcuk formation in Isparta-Turkey. The thermal bands of Landsat 7 image were used for processing. The implementation of the climate model that was based on the water index was used in ERDAS Imagine software together with pixel based image classification. Soil Moisture Index (SMI) was modeled by using the surface temperature (Ts) which was obtained from thermal bands and vegetation index (NDVI) derived from Landsat 7. Surface moisture values were grouped and classified by using scoring system. Thematic layers were compared together with the field studies. Consequently, different moisture levels for volcanic soils were indicator for determination and separation. Those thermal wavelengths are preferable bands for separation of volcanic soils using moisture and temperature models.

Finite Element Modeling of Heat and Moisture Transfer in Porous Material
This paper presents a two-dimensional model to study the heat and moisture transfer through porous building materials. Dynamic and static coupled models of heat and moisture transfer in porous material under low temperature are presented and the coupled models together with variable initial and boundary conditions have been considered in an analytical way and using the finite element method. The resulting coupled model is converted to two nonlinear partial differential equations, which is then numerically solved by an implicit iterative scheme. The numerical results of temperature and moisture potential changes are compared with the experimental measurements available in the literature. Predicted results demonstrate validation of the theoretical model and effectiveness of the developed numerical algorithms. It is expected to provide useful information for the porous building material design based on heat and moisture transfer model.
Influence of the Moisture Content on the Flowability of Fine-Grained Iron Ore Concentrate

The iron content of the ore used is crucial for the productivity and coke consumption rate in blast furnace pig iron production. Therefore, most iron ore deposits are processed in beneficiation plants to increase the iron content and remove impurities. In several comminution stages, the particle size of the ore is reduced to ensure that the iron oxides are physically liberated from the gangue. Subsequently, physical separation processes are applied to concentrate the iron ore. The fine-grained ore concentrates produced need to be transported, stored, and processed. For smooth operation of these processes, the flow properties of the material are crucial. The flowability of powders depends on several properties of the material: grain size, grain size distribution, grain shape, and moisture content of the material. The flowability of powders can be measured using ring shear testers. In this study, the influence of the moisture content on the flowability for the Krivoy Rog magnetite iron ore concentrate was investigated. Dry iron ore concentrate was mixed with varying amounts of water to produce samples with a moisture content in the range of 0.2 to 12.2%. The flowability of the samples was investigated using a Schulze ring shear tester. At all measured values of the normal stress (1.0 kPa – 20 kPa), the flowability decreased significantly from dry ore to a moisture content of approximately 3-5%. At higher moisture contents, the flowability was nearly constant, while at the maximum moisture content the flowability improved for high values of the normal stress only. The results also showed an improving flowability with increasing consolidation stress for all moisture content levels investigated. The wall friction angle of the dust with carbon steel (S235JR), and an ultra-high molecule low-pressure polyethylene (Robalon) was also investigated. The wall friction angle increased significantly from dry ore to a moisture content of approximately 3%. For higher moisture content levels, the wall friction angles were nearly constant. Generally, the wall friction angle was approximately 4° lower at the higher wall normal stress.

Comparison of Different Techniques to Estimate Surface Soil Moisture

Land subsidence is a gradual settling or sudden sinking of the land surface from changes that take place underground. There are different causes of land subsidence; most notably, ground-water overdraft and severe weather conditions. Subsidence of the land surface due to ground water overdraft is caused by an increase in the intergranular pressure in unconsolidated aquifers, which results in a loss of buoyancy of solid particles in the zone dewatered by the falling water table and accordingly compaction of the aquifer. On the other hand, exploitation of underground water may result in significant changes in degree of saturation of soil layers above the water table, increasing the effective stress in these layers, and considerable soil settlements. This study focuses on estimation of soil moisture at surface using different methods. Specifically, different methods for the estimation of moisture content at the soil surface, as an important term to solve Richard’s equation and estimate soil moisture profile are presented, and their results are discussed through comparison with field measurements obtained from Yanco1 station in south-eastern Australia. Surface soil moisture is not easy to measure at the spatial scale of a catchment. Due to the heterogeneity of soil type, land use, and topography, surface soil moisture may change considerably in space and time.

Estimation of Relative Subsidence of Collapsible Soils Using Electromagnetic Measurements

Collapsible soils are weak soils that appear to be stable in their natural state, normally dry condition, but rapidly deform under saturation (wetting), thus generating large and unexpected settlements which often yield disastrous consequences for structures unwittingly built on such deposits. In this study, a prediction model for the relative subsidence of stressed collapsible soils based on dielectric permittivity measurement is presented. Unlike most existing methods for soil subsidence prediction, this model does not require moisture content as an input parameter, thus providing the opportunity to obtain accurate estimation of the relative subsidence of collapsible soils using dielectric measurement only. The prediction model is developed based on an existing relative subsidence prediction model (which is dependent on soil moisture condition) and an advanced theoretical frequency and temperature-dependent electromagnetic mixing equation (which effectively removes the moisture content dependence of the original relative subsidence prediction model). For large scale sub-surface soil exploration purposes, the spatial sub-surface soil dielectric data over wide areas and high depths of weak (collapsible) soil deposits can be obtained using non-destructive high frequency electromagnetic (HF-EM) measurement techniques such as ground penetrating radar (GPR). For laboratory or small scale in-situ measurements, techniques such as an open-ended coaxial line with widely applicable time domain reflectometry (TDR) or vector network analysers (VNAs) are usually employed to obtain the soil dielectric data. By using soil dielectric data obtained from small or large scale non-destructive HF-EM investigations, the new model can effectively predict the relative subsidence of weak soils without the need to extract samples for moisture content measurement. Some of the resulting benefits are the preservation of the undisturbed nature of the soil as well as a reduction in the investigation costs and analysis time in the identification of weak (problematic) soils. The accuracy of prediction of the presented model is assessed by conducting relative subsidence tests on a collapsible soil at various initial soil conditions and a good match between the model prediction and experimental results is obtained.

The Effects of Different Amounts of Additional Moisture on the Physical Properties of Cow Pea (Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp.) Extrudates

Even though legumes possess high nutritional value and have a rather high protein content for plant origin products, they are underutilized mostly due to their lengthy cooking time. To increase the presence of legume-based products in human diet, new extruded products were made of cow peas (Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp.). But as it is known, adding different moisture content to flour before extrusion can change the physical properties of the extruded product. Experiments were carried out to estimate the optimal moisture content for cow pea extrusion. After extrusion, the pH level had dropped from 6.7 to 6.5 and the lowest hardness rate was observed in the samples with additional 9 g 100g-1 of moisture - 28±4N, but the volume mass of the samples with additional 9 g100g-1 of water was 263±3 g L-1; all samples were approximately 7±1mm long.

Investigation of Steady State Infiltration Rate for Different Head Condition

This paper aims at determining the soil characteristics that influence the irrigation process of green landscapes and deciding on the optimum amount of water needed for irrigation. The laboratory experiments were conducted using the constant head methodology to determine the soil infiltration rates. The steady state infiltration rate was reached after 10 minutes of infiltration at a rate of 200 mm/hr. The effects of different water heads on infiltration rates were also investigated, and the head of 11 cm was found to be the optimum head for the test. The experimental results showed consistent infiltration results for the range between 11 cm and 15 cm. The study also involved finding the initial moisture content, which ranged between 5% and 25%, and finding the organic content, which occupied 1% to 2% of the soil. These results will be later utilized, using the water balance approach, to estimate the optimum amount of water needed for irrigation for changing weather conditions.

Intelligent Irrigation Control System Using Wireless Sensors and Android Application
Agriculture is the major occupation in India and forms the backbone of Indian economy in which irrigation plays a crucial role for increasing the quality and quantity of crop yield. In spite of many revolutionary advancements in agriculture, there has not been a dramatic increase in agricultural performance. Lack of irrigation infrastructure and agricultural knowledge are the critical factors influencing agricultural performance. However, by using advanced agricultural equipment, the effect of these factors can be curtailed.  The presented system aims at increasing the yield of crops by using an intelligent irrigation controller that makes use of wireless sensors. Sensors are used to monitor primary parameters such as soil moisture, soil pH, temperature and humidity. Irrigation decisions are taken based on the sensed data and the type of crop being grown. The system provides a mobile application in which farmers can remotely monitor and control the irrigation system. Also, the water pump is protected against damages due to voltage variations and dry running.
Numerical Investigation of Hygrothermal Behavior on Porous Building Materials
Most of the building materials are considered porous, and composed of solid matrix and pores. In the pores, the moisture can be existed in two phases: liquid and vapor. Thus, the mass balance equation is comprised of various moisture driving potentials that translate the movement of the different existing phases occupying pores and the hygroscopic behavior of a porous construction material. This study suggests to resolve a hygrothermal mathematical model of heat and mass transfers in different porous building materials by a numerical investigation. Thereby, the evolution of temperature and moisture content fields has been processed. So, numerous series of hygrothermal calculation on several cases of wall are exposed. Firstly, a case of monolayer wall of massive wood has been treated. In this part, we have compared the numerical solution of the model on one and two dimensions and the effect of dimensional space has been evaluated. In the second case, three building materials (concrete, wood fiberboard and wooden insulation) are tested separately with the same boundary conditions and their hygrothermal behavior are compared. The evaluation of the exchange of heat and air at the interface between the wall and the interior ambiance is carried.
The Impact of Modeling Method of Moisture Emission from the Swimming Pool on the Accuracy of Numerical Calculations of Air Parameters in Ventilated Natatorium

The aim of presented research was to improve numerical predictions of air parameters distribution in the actual natatorium by the selection of calculation formula of mass flux of moisture emitted from the pool. Selected correlation should ensure the best compliance of numerical results with the measurements' results of these parameters in the facility. The numerical model of the natatorium was developed, for which boundary conditions were prepared on the basis of measurements' results carried out in the actual facility. Numerical calculations were carried out with the use of ANSYS CFX software, with six formulas being implemented, which in various ways made the moisture emission dependent on water surface temperature and air parameters in the natatorium. The results of calculations with the use of these formulas were compared for air parameters' distributions: Specific humidity, velocity and temperature in the facility. For the selection of the best formula, numerical results of these parameters in occupied zone were validated by comparison with the measurements' results carried out at selected points of this zone.

Evaluation of Soil Stiffness and Strength for Quality Control of Compacted Earthwork
Microstructure and fabric of soils play an important role on structural properties e.g. stiffness and strength of compacted earthwork. Traditional quality control monitoring based on moisturedensity tests neither reflects the variability of soil microstructure nor provides a direct assessment of structural property, which is the ultimate objective of the earthwork quality control. Since stiffness and strength are sensitive to soil microstructure and fabric, any independent test methods that provide simple, rapid, and direct measurement of stiffness and strength are anticipated to provide an effective assessment of compacted earthen materials’ uniformity. In this study, the soil stiffness gauge (SSG) and the dynamic cone penetrometer (DCP) were respectively utilized to measure and monitor the stiffness and strength in companion with traditional moisture-density measurements of various earthen materials used in Thailand road construction projects. The practical earthwork quality control criteria are presented herein in order to assure proper earthwork quality control and uniform structural property of compacted earthworks.
Alkali Silica Reaction Mitigation and Prevention Measures for Arkansas Local Aggregates
The objective of this research is to mitigate and prevent the alkali silica reactivity (ASR) in highway construction projects. ASR is a deleterious reaction initiated when the silica content of the aggregate reacts with alkali hydroxides in cement in the presence of relatively high moisture content. The ASR results in the formation of an expansive white colored gel-like material which forms the destructive tensile stresses inside hardened concrete. In this research, different types of local aggregates available in the State of Arkansas were mixed and mortar bars were poured according to the ASTM specifications. Mortar bars expansion was measured versus time and aggregates with potential ASR problems were detected. Different types of supplementary cementitious materials (SCMs) were used in remixing mortar bars with highly reactive aggregates. Length changes for remixed bars proved that different types of SCMs can be successfully used in reducing the expansive effect of ASR. SCMs percentage by weight is highly dependent on the SCM type. The result of this study will help avoiding future losses due to ASR cracking in construction project and reduce the maintenance, repair, and replacement budgets required for highways network.
Support Vector Regression for Retrieval of Soil Moisture Using Bistatic Scatterometer Data at X-Band
An approach was evaluated for the retrieval of soil moisture of bare soil surface using bistatic scatterometer data in the angular range of 200 to 700 at VV- and HH- polarization. The microwave data was acquired by specially designed X-band (10 GHz) bistatic scatterometer. The linear regression analysis was done between scattering coefficients and soil moisture content to select the suitable incidence angle for retrieval of soil moisture content. The 250 incidence angle was found more suitable. The support vector regression analysis was used to approximate the function described by the input output relationship between the scattering coefficient and corresponding measured values of the soil moisture content. The performance of support vector regression algorithm was evaluated by comparing the observed and the estimated soil moisture content by statistical performance indices %Bias, root mean squared error (RMSE) and Nash-Sutcliffe Efficiency (NSE). The values of %Bias, root mean squared error (RMSE) and Nash-Sutcliffe Efficiency (NSE) were found 2.9451, 1.0986 and 0.9214 respectively at HHpolarization. At VV- polarization, the values of %Bias, root mean squared error (RMSE) and Nash-Sutcliffe Efficiency (NSE) were found 3.6186, 0.9373 and 0.9428 respectively.
Effects of Initial Moisture Content on the Physical and Mechanical Properties of Norway Spruce Briquettes
The moisture content of densified biomass is a limiting parameter influencing the quality of this solid biofuel. It influences its calorific value, density, mechanical strength and dimensional stability as well as affecting its production process. This paper deals with experimental research into the effect of moisture content of the densified material on the final quality of biofuel in the form of logs (briquettes or pellets). Experiments based on the singleaxis densification of the spruce sawdust were carried out with a hydraulic piston press (piston and die), where the densified logs were produced at room temperature. The effect of moisture content on the qualitative properties of the logs, including density, change of moisture, expansion and physical changes, and compressive and impact resistance were studied. The results show the moisture ranges required for producing good-quality logs. The experiments were evaluated and the moisture content of the tested material was optimized to achieve the optimum value for the best quality of the solid biofuel. The dense logs also have high-energy content per unit volume. The research results could be used to develop and optimize industrial technologies and machinery for biomass densification to achieve high quality solid biofuel.
Influence of Hydrolytic Degradation on Properties of Moisture Membranes Used in Fire-Protective Clothing
This study intends to show the influence of the hydrolytic degradation on the properties of the e-PTFE/NOMEX® membranes used in fire-protective clothing. The modification of water vapour permeability, morphology and chemical structure was examined by MOCON Permatran, electron microscopy scanning (SEM), and ATR-FTIR, respectively. A decrease in permeability to water vapour of the aged samples was observed following closure of transpiration pores. Analysis of fiber morphology indicates the appearance of defects at the fibers surface with the presence of micro cavities. ATR-FTIR analysis reveals the presence of a new absorption band attributed to carboxylic acid terminal groups generated during the amide bond hydrolysis.
Investigation of Moisture Management Properties of Cotton and Blended Knitted Fabrics
The main idea of this work is to investigate the effect of knitted fabrics characteristics on moisture management properties. Wetting and transport properties of single jersey, Rib 1&1 and English Rib fabrics made out of cotton and blended Cotton/Polyester yarns were studied. The dynamic water sorption of fabrics was investigated under same isothermal and terrestrial conditions at 20±2°C-65±4% by using the Moisture Management Tester (MMT) which can be used to quantitatively measure liquid moisture transfer in one step in a fabric in multidirections: Absorption rate, moisture absorbing time of the fabric's inner and outer surfaces, one-way transportation capability, the spreading/drying rate, the speed of liquid moisture spreading on fabric's inner and outer surfaces are measured, recorded and discussed. The results show that fabric’s composition and knit’s structure have a significant influence on those phenomena.
Modeling of Compaction Curves for Corn Cob Ash-Cement Stabilized Lateritic Soils
The need to save time and cost of soil testing at the planning stage of road work has necessitated developing predictive models. This study proposes a model for predicting the dry density of lateritic soils stabilized with corn cob ash (CCA) and blended cement - CCA. Lateritic soil was first stabilized with CCA at 1.5, 3.0, 4.5 and 6% of the weight of soil and then stabilized with the same proportions as replacement for cement. Dry density, specific gravity, maximum degree of saturation and moisture content were determined for each stabilized soil specimen, following standard procedure. Polynomial equations containing alpha and beta parameters for CCA and blended CCA-cement were developed. Experimental values were correlated with the values predicted from the Matlab curve fitting tool, and the Solver function of Microsoft Excel 2010. The correlation coefficient (R2) of 0.86 was obtained indicating that the model could be accepted in predicting the maximum dry density of CCA stabilized soils to facilitate quick decision making in roadworks.
Moisture Variations in Unbound Layers in an Instrumented Pavement Section

This study presents the moisture variations of unbound layers from April 2012 to January 2014 in the Interstate 40 (I-40) pavement section in New Mexico. Three moisture probes were installed at different layers inside the pavement which measure the continuous moisture variations of the unbound layers. Data show that the moisture contents of unbound layers are typically constant throughout the day and month unless there is rainfall. Moisture contents of all unbound layers change with rainfall. Change in ground water table may affect the moisture content of unbound layers which has not been investigated in this study. In addition, the Level 3 predictions of moisture contents using the Pavement Mechanistic- Empirical (ME) Design software were compared and found quite reasonable. However, results presented in the current study may not be applicable for pavement in other regions.

Convective Hot Air Drying of Different Varieties of Blanched Sweet Potato Slices

Drying behavior of blanched sweet potato in a cabinet dryer using different five air temperatures (40-80°C) and ten sweet potato varieties sliced to 5mm thickness were investigated. The drying data were fitted to eight models. The Modified Henderson and Pabis model gave the best fit to the experimental moisture ratio data obtained during the drying of all the varieties while Newton (Lewis) and Wang and Singh models gave the least fit. The values of Deff obtained for Bophelo variety (1.27 x 10-9 to 1.77 x 10-9 m2/s) was the least while that of S191 (1.93 x 10-9 to 2.47 x 10-9 m2/s) was the highest which indicates that moisture diffusivity in sweet potato is affected by the genetic factor. Activation energy values ranged from 0.27-6.54 kJ/mol. The lower activation energy indicates that drying of sweet potato slices requires less energy and is hence a cost and energy saving method. The drying behavior of blanched sweet potato was investigated in a cabinet dryer. Drying time decreased considerably with increase in hot air temperature. Out of the eight models fitted, the Modified Henderson and Pabis model gave the best fit to the experimental moisture ratio data on all the varieties while Newton, Wang and Singh models gave the least. The lower activation energy (0.27 - 6.54 kJ/mol) obtained indicates that drying of sweet potato slices requires less energy and is hence a cost and energy saving method.

Study of Hydrothermal Behavior of Thermal Insulating Materials Based On Natural Fibers

Thermal insulation materials based on natural fibers represent a very promising area of materials based on natural easy renewable row sources. These materials may be in terms of the properties of most competing synthetic insulations, but show somewhat higher moisture sensitivity and thermal insulation properties are strongly influenced by the density and orientation of fibers. The paper described the problem of hygrothermal behavior of thermal insulation materials based on natural plant and animal fibers. This is especially the dependence of the thermal properties of these materials on the type of fiber, bulk density, temperature, moisture and the fiber orientation.

Tensile Strength of Asphalt Concrete due to Moisture Conditioning

This study investigates the effect of moisture conditioning on the Indirect Tensile Strength (ITS) of asphalt concrete. As a first step, cylindrical samples of 100 mm diameter and 50 mm thick were prepared using a Superpave gyratory compactor. Next, the samples were conditioned using Moisture Induced Susceptibility Test (MIST) device at different numbers of moisture conditioning cycles. In the MIST device, samples are subjected water pressure through the sample pores cyclically. The MIST conditioned samples were tested for ITS. Results show that the ITS does not change significantly with MIST conditioning at the specific pressure and cycles adopted in this study.

Energy Requirement for Cutting Corn Stalks (Single Cross 704 Var.)

Corn is cultivated in most countries because of high consumption, quality, and food value. This study evaluated needed energy for cutting corn stems in different levels of cutting height and moisture content. For this reason, test device was fabricated and then calibrated. The device works on the principle of conservation of energy. The results were analyzed using split plot design and SAS software. The results showed that effect of height and moisture content and their interaction effect on cutting energy are significant (P<1%). The maximum cutting energy was 3.22 kJ in 63 (w.b.%) moisture content and the minimum cutting energy was 1.63 kJ in 83.25 (w.b.%) moisture content.

Test of Moisture Sensor Activation Speed

Nocturnal enuresis or bed-wetting is intermittent incontinence during sleep of children after age 5 that may precipitate wide range of behavioral and developmental problems. One of the non-pharmacological treatment methods is the use of a bed-wetting alarm system. In order to improve comfort conditions of nocturnal enuresis alarm system, modular moisture sensor should be replaced by a textile sensor. In this study behavior and moisture detection speed of woven and sewn sensors were compared by analyzing change in electrical resistance after solution (salt water) was dripped on sensor samples. Material of samples has different structure and yarn location, which affects solution detection rate. Sensor system circuit was designed and two sensor tests were performed: system activation test and false alarm test to determine the sensitivity of the system and activation threshold. Sewn sensor had better result in system’s activation test – faster reaction, but woven sensor had better result in system’s false alarm test – it was less sensitive to perspiration simulation. After experiments it was found that the optimum switching threshold is 3V in case of 5V input voltage, which provides protection against false alarms, for example – during intensive sweating.

FT-NIR Method to Determine Moisture in Gluten Free Rice Based Pasta during Drying

Pasta is one of the most widely consumed food products around the world. Rapid determination of the moisture content in pasta will assist food processors to provide online quality control of pasta during large scale production. Rapid Fourier transform near-infrared method (FT-NIR) was developed for determining moisture content in pasta. A calibration set of 150 samples, a validation set of 30 samples and a prediction set of 25 samples of pasta were used. The diffuse reflection spectra of different types of pastas were measured by FT-NIR analyzer in the 4,000-12,000cm-1 spectral range. Calibration and validation sets were designed for the conception and evaluation of the method adequacy in the range of moisture content 10 to 15 percent (w.b) of the pasta. The prediction models based on partial least squares (PLS) regression, were developed in the near-infrared. Conventional criteria such as the R2, the root mean square errors of cross validation (RMSECV), root mean square errors of estimation (RMSEE) as well as the number of PLS factors were considered for the selection of three pre-processing (vector normalization, minimum-maximum normalization and multiplicative scatter correction) methods. Spectra of pasta sample were treated with different mathematic pre-treatments before being used to build models between the spectral information and moisture content. The moisture content in pasta predicted by FT-NIR methods had very good correlation with their values determined via traditional methods (R2 = 0.983), which clearly indicated that FT-NIR methods could be used as an effective tool for rapid determination of moisture content in pasta. The best calibration model was developed with min-max normalization (MMN) spectral pre-processing (R2 = 0.9775). The MMN pre-processing method was found most suitable and the maximum coefficient of determination (R2) value of 0.9875 was obtained for the calibration model developed.

Effect of Different Moisture States of Surface-Treated Recycled Concrete Aggregate on Properties of Fresh and Hardened Concrete

This study examined the properties of fresh and hardened concretes as influenced by the moisture state of the coarse recycled concrete aggregates (RCA) after surface treatment. Surface treatment was performed by immersing the coarse RCA in a calcium metasilicate (CM) solution. The treated coarse RCA was maintained in three controlled moisture states, namely, air-dried, oven-dried, and saturated surface-dried (SSD), prior to its use in a concrete mix. The physical properties of coarse RCA were evaluated after surface treatment during the first phase of the experiment to determine the density and the water absorption characteristics of the RCA. The second phase involved the evaluation of the slump, slump loss, density, and compressive strength of the concretes that were prepared with different proportions of natural and treated coarse RCA. Controlling the moisture state of the coarse RCA after surface treatment was found to significantly influence the properties of the fresh and hardened concretes. 

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