|Commenced in January 2007||Frequency: Monthly||Edition: International||Paper Count: 154|
Structural failures occur due to a number of reasons. These may include under design, poor workmanship, substandard materials, misleading laboratory tests and lots more. Reinforcing steel bar is an important construction material, hence its properties must be accurately known before being utilized in construction. Understanding this property involves carrying out mechanical tests prior to design and during construction to ascertain correlation using steel testing machine which is usually not readily available due to the location of project. This study was conducted to determine the reliability of reinforcing steel testing machines. Reconnaissance survey was conducted to identify laboratories where yield and ultimate tensile strengths tests can be carried out. Six laboratories were identified within Ibadan and environs. However, only four were functional at the time of the study. Three steel samples were tested for yield and tensile strengths, using a steel testing machine, at each of the four laboratories (LM, LO, LP and LS). The yield and tensile strength results obtained from the laboratories were compared with the manufacturer’s specification using a reliability analysis programme. Structured questionnaire was administered to the operators in each laboratory to consider their impact on the test results. The average value of manufacturers’ tensile strength and yield strength are 673.7 N/mm2 and 559.7 N/mm2 respectively. The tensile strength obtained from the four laboratories LM, LO, LP and LS are given as 579.4, 652.7, 646.0 and 649.9 N/mm2 respectively while their yield strengths respectively are 453.3, 597.0, 550.7 and 564.7 N/mm2. Minimum tensile to yield strength ratio is 1.08 for BS 4449: 2005 and 1.15 for ASTM A615. Tensile to yield strength ratio from the four laboratories are 1.28, 1.09, 1.17 and 1.15 for LM, LO, LP and LS respectively. The tensile to yield strength ratio shows that the result obtained from all the laboratories meet the code requirements used for the test. The result of the reliability test shows varying level of reliability between the manufacturers’ specification and the result obtained from the laboratories. Three of the laboratories; LO, LS and LP have high value of reliability with the manufacturer i.e. 0.798, 0.866 and 0.712 respectively. The fourth laboratory, LM has a reliability value of 0.100. Steel test should be carried out in a laboratory using the same code in which the structural design was carried out. More emphasis should be laid on the importance of code provisions.
The Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion proposed that the role of health services should shift the focus from cure to prevention. Nowadays, besides having physical examinations, people could also conduct genetic tests to provide important information for diagnosing, treating, and/or preventing illnesses. However, because of the incompletion of the Chinese Genetic Database, people in Taiwan were still unfamiliar with genetic testing. The purposes of the present study were to: (1) Figure out people’s attitudes towards genetic testing. (2) Examine factors that influence people’s intention to pursue genetic testing by means of the Health Belief Model (HBM). A pilot study was conducted on 249 Taiwanese in 2017 to test the feasibility of the self-developed instrument. The reliability and construct validity of scores on the self-developed questionnaire revealed that this HBM-based questionnaire with 40 items was a well-developed instrument. A total of 542 participants were recruited and the valid participants were 535 (99%) between the ages of 20 and 86. Descriptive statistics, one-way ANOVA, two-way contingency table analysis, Pearson’s correlation, and stepwise multiple regression analysis were used in this study. The main results were that only 32 participants (6%) had already undergone genetic testing; moreover, their attitude towards genetic testing was more positive than those who did not have the experience. Compared with people who never underwent genetic tests, those who had gone for genetic testing had higher self-efficacy, greater intention to pursue genetic testing, had academic majors in health-related fields, had chronic and genetic diseases, possessed Catastrophic Illness Cards, and all of them had heard about genetic testing. The variables that best predicted people’s intention to pursue genetic testing were cues to action, self-efficacy, and perceived benefits (the three variables all correlated with one another positively at high magnitudes). To sum up, the HBM could be effective in designing and identifying the needs and priorities of the target population to pursue genetic testing.
Usability testing (UT) is one of the vital steps in the User-centred design (UCD) process when designing a product. In an e-commerce ecosystem, UT becomes primary as new products, features, and services are launched very frequently. And, there are losses attached to the company if an unusable and inefficient product is put out to market and is rejected by customers. This paper tries to answer why UT is important in the product life-cycle of an E-commerce ecosystem. Secondary user research was conducted to find out work patterns, development methods, type of stakeholders, and technology constraints, etc. of a typical E-commerce company. Qualitative user interviews were conducted with product managers and designers to find out the structure, project planning, product management method and role of the design team in a mid-level company. The paper tries to address the usual apprehensions of the company to inculcate UT within the team. As well, it stresses upon factors like monetary resources, lack of usability expert, narrow timelines, and lack of understanding of higher management as some primary reasons. Outsourcing UT to vendors is also very prevalent with mid-level e-commerce companies, but it has its own severe repercussions like very little team involvement, huge cost, misinterpretation of the findings, elongated timelines, and lack of empathy towards the customer, etc. The shortfalls of the unavailability of a UT process in place within the team and conducting UT through vendors are bad user experiences for customers while interacting with the product, badly designed products which are neither useful and nor utilitarian. As a result, companies see dipping conversions rates in apps and websites, huge bounce rates and increased uninstall rates. Thus, there was a need for a more lean UT system in place which could solve all these issues for the company. This paper highlights on optimizing the UT process with a collaborative method. The degree of optimization and structure of collaborative method is the highlight of this paper. Collaborative method of UT is one in which the centralised design team of the company takes for conducting and analysing the UT. The UT is usually a formative kind where designers take findings into account and uses in the ideation process. The success of collaborative method of UT is due to its ability to sync with the product management method employed by the company or team. The collaborative methods focus on engaging various teams (design, marketing, product, administration, IT, etc.) each with its own defined roles and responsibility in conducting a smooth UT with users In-house. The paper finally highlights the positive results of collaborative UT method after conducting more than 100 In-lab interviews with users across the different lines of businesses. Some of which are the improvement of interaction between stakeholders and the design team, empathy towards users, improved design iteration, better sanity check of design solutions, optimization of time and money, effective and efficient design solution. The future scope of collaborative UT is to make this method leaner, by reducing the number of days to complete the entire project starting from planning between teams to publishing the UT report.
Nondestructive deflection testing has been accepted widely as a cost-effective tool for evaluating the structural condition of airfield pavements. Backcalculation of pavement layer moduli can be used to characterize the pavement existing condition in order to compute the load bearing capacity of pavement. This paper presents an improved best-fit backcalculation methodology based on deflection predictions obtained using finite element method (FEM). The best-fit approach is based on minimizing the squared error between falling weight deflectometer (FWD) measured deflections and FEM predicted deflections. Then, concrete elastic modulus and modulus of subgrade reaction were back-calculated using Heavy Weight Deflectometer (HWD) deflections collected at the National Airport Pavement Testing Facility (NAPTF) test site. It is an alternative and more versatile method in considering concrete slab geometry and HWD testing locations compared to methods currently available.
The purpose of the study is to examine the dynamics of Algeria’s natural gas exports through the Autoregressive Distributed Lag (ARDL) bounds testing approach with break points. The analysis was carried out for the period from 1967 to 2015. Based on imperfect substitution specification, the ARDL approach reveals a long-run equilibrium relationship between Algeria’s Natural gas exports and their determinant factors (Algeria’s gas reserves, Domestic gas consumption, Europe’s GDP per capita, relative prices, the European gas production and the market share of competitors). All the long-run elasticities estimated are statistically significant with a large impact of domestic factors, which constitute the supply constraints. In short term, the elasticities are statistically significant, and almost comparable to those of the long term. Furthermore, the speed of adjustment towards long-run equilibrium is less than one year because of the little flexibility of the long term export contracts. Two break points have been estimated when we employ the domestic gas consumption as a break variable; 1984 and 2010, which reflect the arbitration policy between the domestic gas market and gas exports.
This paper is aimed at creating an Automatic Java X-Machine testing tool for software development. The nature of software development is changing; thus, the type of software testing tools required is also changing. Software is growing increasingly complex and, in part due to commercial impetus for faster software releases with new features and value, increasingly in danger of containing faults. These faults can incur huge cost for software development organisations and users; Cambridge Judge Business School’s research estimated the cost of software bugs to the global economy is $312 billion. Beyond the cost, faster software development methodologies and increasing expectations on developers to become testers is driving demand for faster, automated, and effective tools to prevent potential faults as early as possible in the software development lifecycle. Using X-Machine theory, this paper will explore a new tool to address software complexity, changing expectations on developers, faster development pressures and methodologies, with a view to reducing the huge cost of fixing software bugs.
This article discusses the possibility of using dilatometer tests (DMT) together with in situ seismic tests (MASW) in order to get the shape of G-g degradation curve in cohesive soils (clay, silty clay, silt, clayey silt and sandy silt). MASW test provides the small soil stiffness (Go from vs) at very small strains and DMT provides the stiffness of the soil at ‘work strains’ (MDMT). At different test locations, dilatometer shear stiffness of the soil has been determined by the theory of elasticity. Dilatometer shear stiffness has been compared with the theoretical G-g degradation curve in order to determine the typical range of shear deformation for different types of cohesive soil. The analysis also includes factors that influence the shape of the degradation curve (G-g) and dilatometer modulus (MDMT), such as the overconsolidation ratio (OCR), plasticity index (IP) and the vertical effective stress in the soil (svo'). Parametric study in this article defines the range of shear strain gDMT and GDMT/Go relation depending on the classification of a cohesive soil (clay, silty clay, clayey silt, silt and sandy silt), function of density (loose, medium dense and dense) and the stiffness of the soil (soft, medium hard and hard). The article illustrates the potential of using MASW and DMT to obtain G-g degradation curve in cohesive soils.
Recycled glass material is made from 100% recycled bottle glass and consumes less energy than re-melt technology. It also uses no additives in the manufacturing process allowing the recycled glass material, in principal, to go back to the recycling stream after end-of-use, contributing to the circular economy with a low ecological impact. The aim of this paper is to investigate the procedure for testing the recycled glass material for impact resistance, so it can be applied to pavements and other surfaces which are at risk of impact during service. A review of different impact test procedures for construction materials was undertaken, comparing methodologies and international standards applied to other materials such as natural stone, ceramics and glass. A drop weight impact testing machine was designed and manufactured in-house to perform these tests. As a case study, samples of the recycled glass material were manufactured with two different thicknesses and tested. The impact energy was calculated theoretically, obtaining results with 5 and 10 J. The results on the material were subsequently discussed. Improvements on the procedure can be made using high speed video technology to calculate velocity just before and immediately after the impact to know the absorbed energy. The initial results obtained in this procedure were positive although repeatability needs to be developed to obtain a correlation of results and finally be able to validate the procedure. The experiment with samples showed the practicality of this procedure and application to the recycled glass material impact testing although further research needs to be developed.
This paper presents a MEMS/NEMS device for fatigue and fracture characterization of nanomaterials. This device can apply static loads, cyclic loads, and their combinations in nanomechanical experiments. It is based on the electromagnetic force induced between paired parallel wires carrying electrical currents. Using this concept, the actuator and sensor parts of the device were designed and analyzed while considering the practical limitations. Since the PWCC device only uses two wires for actuation part and sensing part, its fabrication process is extremely easier than the available MEMS/NEMS devices. The total gain and phase shift of the MEMS/NEMS device were calculated and investigated. Furthermore, the maximum gain and sensitivity of the MEMS/NEMS device were studied to demonstrate the capability and usability of the device for wide range of nanomaterials samples. This device can be readily integrated into SEM/TEM instruments to provide real time study of the mechanical behaviors of nanomaterials as well as their fatigue and fracture properties, softening or hardening behaviors, and initiation and propagation of nanocracks.
In this work, different non-destructive testing methods for the characterization of defects and interfaces are presented. It is shown that, by means of active thermography, defects in the interface and in the carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) itself can be detected and determined. The bonding of metal and thermoplastic can be characterized very well by ultrasonic testing with electromagnetic acoustic transducers (EMAT). Mechanical testing is combined with passive thermography to correlate mechanical values with the defect-size. There is also a comparison between active and passive thermography. Mechanical testing shows the influence of different defects. Furthermore, a correlation of defect-size and loading to rupture was performed.
Confocal spectral interferometry (CSI) is an innovative optical method for determining microtopography of surfaces and thickness of transparent layers, based on the combination of two optical principles: confocal imaging, and spectral interferometry. Confocal optical system images at each instant a single point of the sample. The whole surface is reconstructed by plan scanning. The interference signal generated by mixing two white-light beams is analyzed using a spectrometer. In this work, five ‘rugotests’ of known standard roughnesses are investigated. The topography is then measured and illustrated, and the equivalent roughness is determined and compared with the standard values.
Beam to column connection can be considered as the most important structural part that affects the response of buildings to progressive collapse. However, many studies were conducted to investigate the beam to column connection under accidental loads such as fire, blast and impact load to investigate the connection response. The study is a part of a PhD plan to investigate different types of connections under lateral impact load. The conventional test setups, such as cruciform setup, were designed to apply shear forces and bending moment on the connection, whilst, in the lateral impact case, the connection is subjected to combined tension and moment. Hence, a review is presented to introduce the previous test setup that is used to investigate the connection behaviour. Then, the design and fabrication of the novel test setup is presented. Finally, some trial test results to investigate the efficiency of the proposed setup are discussed. The final results indicate that the setup was efficient in terms of the simplicity and strength.
Knee joints, the beam column connections found at the roof level of a moment resisting frame buildings, are inherently different from conventional interior and exterior beam column connections in the way that forces from adjoining members are transferred into joint and then resisted by the joint. A knee connection has two distinct load resisting mechanisms, each for closing and opening actions acting simultaneously under reversed cyclic loading. In spite of many distinct differences in the behaviour of shear resistance in knee joints, there are no special design provisions in the major design codes available across the world due to lack of in-depth research on the knee connections. To understand the relative importance of opening and closing actions in design, it is imperative to study knee joints under varying shear stresses, especially at higher opening-to-closing shear stress ratios. Three knee joint specimens, under different input shear stresses, were designed to produce a varying ratio of input opening to closing shear stresses. The design was carried out in such a way that the ratio of flexural strength of beams with consideration of axial forces in opening to closing actions are maintained at 0.5, 0.7, and 1.0, thereby resulting in the required variation of opening to closing joint shear stress ratios among the specimens. The behaviour of these specimens was then carefully studied in terms of closing and opening capacities, hysteretic behaviour, and envelope curves to understand the differences in joint performance based on which an attempt to suggest design guidelines for knee joints is made emphasizing the relative importance of opening and closing actions. Specimens with relatively higher opening stresses were observed to be more vulnerable under the action of seismic loading.
Over the past 80 years, open-field method has evolved as a commonly used tool for the analysis of animal behaviour. The study was carried out using 50 kennel-reared purebred puppies of the German Shepherd dog breed. All dogs were tested in 5th, 7th, and 9th week of age. For the purpose of behavioural analysis, an open-field evaluation report was designed prior to testing to ensure the most convenient, rapid, and suitable way to assess selected behavioural patterns in field conditions. Onset of vocalisation, intensity of vocalisation, level of physical activity, response to sound, and overall behaviour was monitored in the study. Correlations between measures of height, weight and chest circumference, and behavioural characteristics in the 5th, 7th, and 9th week of age were not statistically significant. Onset of vocalisation, intensity of vocalisation, level of physical activity and response to sound differed on statistically significant level between 5th, 7th, and 9th week of age. Results suggest that our practical assessment report may be used as an applicable method to evaluate the suitability of service dog puppies for future working roles.
In systems development involving Fuel Cells generators, it is important to have from an early stage of the project a dynamic model for the electrical behavior of the stack to be shared between involved development parties. It allows independent and early design and tests of fuel cell related power electronic. This paper presents an empirical Fuel Cell system model derived from characterization tests on a real system. Moreover, it is illustrated how the obtained model is used to build and validate a real-time Fuel Cell system emulator which is used for aerospace electrical integration testing activities.
This article focuses on the cycle of experimental studies of the formation of cracks and debondings in the concrete reinforced with carbon fiber. This research was carried out in Perm National Research Polytechnic University. A series of CFRP-strengthened RC beams was tested to investigate the influence of preload and crack repairing factors on CFRP debonding. IRT was applied to detect the early stage of IC debonding during the laboratory bending tests. It was found that for the beams strengthened under load after crack injecting, СFRP debonding strain is 4-65% lower than for the preliminary strengthened beams. The beams strengthened under the load had a relative area of debonding of 2 times higher than preliminary strengthened beams. The СFRP debonding strain is weakly dependent on the strength of the concrete substrate. For beams with a transverse wrapping anchorage in support sections FRP debonding is not a failure mode.
The role of the custody evaluator is perhaps one of the most controversial and risky endeavors in clinical practice. Complaints filed with licensing boards regarding a child-custody evaluation constitute the second most common reason for such an event. Although the evaluator is expected to answer for the family-law court what is in the “best interest of the child,” there is a lack of clarity on how to establish this in any empirically validated manner. Hence, practitioners must contend with a nebulous framework in formulating their methodological procedures that inherently places them at risk in an already litigious context. This study sought to qualitatively investigate patterns of practice among doctoral practitioners conducting child custody evaluations in the area of Southern California. Ten psychologists were interviewed who devoted between 25 and 100% of their California private practice to custody work. All held Ph.D. degrees with a range of eight to 36 years of experience in custody work. Semi-structured interviews were used to investigate assessment practices, ensure adherence to guidelines, risk management, and qualities of evaluators. Forty-three Specific Themes were identified using Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). Seven Higher Order Themes clustered on salient factors such as use of Ethics, Law, Guidelines; Parent Variables; Child Variables; Psychologist Variables; Testing; Literature; and Trends. Evaluators were aware of the ever-present reality of a licensure complaint and thus presented idiosyncratic descriptions of risk management considerations. Ambiguity about quantifying and validly tapping parenting abilities was also reviewed. Findings from this study suggested a high reliance on unstructured and observational methods in child custody practices.