Open Science Research Excellence

Open Science Index

Commenced in January 2007 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 18

Human Resource Management Practices, Person-Environment Fit and Financial Performance in Brazilian Publicly Traded Companies

The relation between Human Resource Management (HRM) practices and organizational performance remains the subject of substantial literature. Though many studies demonstrated positive relationship, still major influencing variables are not yet clear. This study considers the Person-Environment Fit (PE Fit) and its components, Person-Supervisor (PS), Person-Group (PG), Person-Organization (PO) and Person-Job (PJ) Fit, as possible explanatory variables. We analyzed PE Fit as a moderator between HRM practices and financial performance in the “best companies to work” in Brazil. Data from HRM practices were classified through the High Performance Working Systems (HPWS) construct and data on PE-Fit were obtained through surveys among employees. Financial data, consisting of return on invested capital (ROIC) and price earnings ratio (PER) were collected for publicly traded best companies to work. Findings show that PO Fit and PJ Fit play a significant moderator role for PER but not for ROIC.

Development and Characterization of Re-Entrant Auxetic Fibrous Structures for Application in Ballistic Composites

Auxetic fibrous structures and composites with negative Poisson’s ratio (NPR) have huge potential for application in ballistic protection due to their high energy absorption and excellent impact resistance. In the present research, re-entrant lozenge auxetic fibrous structures were produced through weft knitting technology using high performance polyamide and para-aramid fibres. Fabric structural parameters (e.g. loop length) and machine parameters (e.g. take down load) were varied in order to investigate their influence on the auxetic behaviours of the produced structures. These auxetic structures were then impregnated with two types of polymeric resins (epoxy and polyester) to produce composite materials, which were subsequently characterized for the auxetic behaviour. It was observed that the knitted fabrics produced using the polyamide yarns exhibited NPR over a wide deformation range, which was strongly dependant on the loop length and take down load. The polymeric composites produced from the auxetic fabrics also showed good auxetic property, which was superior in case of the polyester matrix. The experimental results suggested that these composites made from the auxetic fibrous structures can be properly designed to find potential use in the body amours for personal protection applications.

Mix Proportioning and Strength Prediction of High Performance Concrete Including Waste Using Artificial Neural Network

There is a great challenge for civil engineering field to contribute in environment prevention by finding out alternatives of cement and natural aggregates. There is a problem of global warming due to cement utilization in concrete, so it is necessary to give sustainable solution to produce concrete containing waste. It is very difficult to produce designated grade of concrete containing different ingredient and water cement ratio including waste to achieve desired fresh and harden properties of concrete as per requirement and specifications. To achieve the desired grade of concrete, a number of trials have to be taken, and then after evaluating the different parameters at long time performance, the concrete can be finalized to use for different purposes. This research work is carried out to solve the problem of time, cost and serviceability in the field of construction. In this research work, artificial neural network introduced to fix proportion of concrete ingredient with 50% waste replacement for M20, M25, M30, M35, M40, M45, M50, M55 and M60 grades of concrete. By using the neural network, mix design of high performance concrete was finalized, and the main basic mechanical properties were predicted at 3 days, 7 days and 28 days. The predicted strength was compared with the actual experimental mix design and concrete cube strength after 3 days, 7 days and 28 days. This experimentally and neural network based mix design can be used practically in field to give cost effective, time saving, feasible and sustainable high performance concrete for different types of structures.

Design Approach to Incorporate Unique Performance Characteristics of Special Concrete

The advancement in various concrete ingredients like plasticizers, additives and fibers, etc. has enabled concrete technologists to develop many viable varieties of special concretes in recent decades. Such various varieties of concrete have significant enhancement in green as well as hardened properties of concrete. A prudent selection of appropriate type of concrete can resolve many design and application issues in construction projects. This paper focuses on usage of self-compacting concrete, high early strength concrete, structural lightweight concrete, fiber reinforced concrete, high performance concrete and ultra-high strength concrete in the structures. The modified properties of strength at various ages, flowability, porosity, equilibrium density, flexural strength, elasticity, permeability etc. need to be carefully studied and incorporated into the design of the structures. The paper demonstrates various mixture combinations and the concrete properties that can be leveraged. The selection of such products based on the end use of structures has been proposed in order to efficiently utilize the modified characteristics of these concrete varieties. The study involves mapping the characteristics with benefits and savings for the structure from design perspective. Self-compacting concrete in the structure is characterized by high shuttering loads, better finish, and feasibility of closer reinforcement spacing. The structural design procedures can be modified to specify higher formwork strength, height of vertical members, cover reduction and increased ductility. The transverse reinforcement can be spaced at closer intervals compared to regular structural concrete. It allows structural lightweight concrete structures to be designed for reduced dead load, increased insulation properties. Member dimensions and steel requirement can be reduced proportionate to about 25 to 35 percent reduction in the dead load due to self-weight of concrete. Steel fiber reinforced concrete can be used to design grade slabs without primary reinforcement because of 70 to 100 percent higher tensile strength. The design procedures incorporate reduction in thickness and joint spacing. High performance concrete employs increase in the life of the structures by improvement in paste characteristics and durability by incorporating supplementary cementitious materials. Often, these are also designed for slower heat generation in the initial phase of hydration. The structural designer can incorporate the slow development of strength in the design and specify 56 or 90 days strength requirement. For designing high rise building structures, creep and elasticity properties of such concrete also need to be considered. Lastly, certain structures require a performance under loading conditions much earlier than final maturity of concrete. High early strength concrete has been designed to cater to a variety of usages at various ages as early as 8 to 12 hours. Therefore, an understanding of concrete performance specifications for special concrete is a definite door towards a superior structural design approach.

Dynamic Shear Energy Absorption of Ultra-High Performance Concrete

The exemplary mechanical performance and durability of ultra-high performance concrete (UHPC) has led to its rapid emergence as an advanced cementitious material. The uncharacteristically high mechanical strength and ductility of UHPC makes it a promising potential material for defense structures which may be subject to highly dynamic loads like impact or blast. However, the mechanical response of UHPC under dynamic loading has not been fully characterized. In particular, there is a need to characterize the energy absorption of UHPC under high-frequency shear loading. This paper presents preliminary results from a parametric study of the dynamic shear energy absorption of UHPC using the Charpy impact test. UHPC mixtures with compressive strengths in the range of 100-150 MPa exhibited dynamic shear energy absorption in the range of 0.9-1.5 kJ/m. Energy absorption is shown to be sensitive to the water/cement ratio, silica fume content, and aggregate gradation. Energy absorption was weakly correlated to compressive strength. Results are highly sensitive to specimen preparation methods, and there is a demonstrated need for a standardized test method for high frequency shear in cementitious composites.

Constitutive Modeling of Different Types of Concrete under Uniaxial Compression
The cost of experiments on different types of concrete has raised the demand for prediction of their behavior with numerical analysis. In this research, an advanced numerical model has been presented to predict the complete elastic-plastic behavior of polymer concrete (PC), high-strength concrete (HSC), high performance concrete (HPC) along with different steel fiber contents under uniaxial compression. The accuracy of the numerical response was satisfactory as compared to other conventional simple models such as Mohr-Coulomb and Drucker-Prager. In order to predict the complete elastic-plastic behavior of specimens including softening behavior, disturbed state concept (DSC) was implemented by nonlinear finite element analysis (NFEA) and hierarchical single surface (HISS) failure criterion, which is a failure surface without any singularity.
Effect of Rice Husk Ash on Strength and Durability of High Strength High Performance Concrete

This paper reports the strength and durability properties of high strength high performance concrete incorporating rice husk ash (RHA) having high silica, low carbon content and appropriate fineness. In this study concrete containing 10%, 15% and 20% RHA as cement replacement and water to binder ratio of 0.25 were investigated. The results show that increasing amount of RHA increases the dosage of superplasticizer to maintain similar workability. Partial replacement of cement with RHA did not increase the early age compressive strength of concrete. However, concrete containing RHA showed higher compressive strength at later ages. The results showed that compressive strength of concrete in the 90-115 MPa range can be obtained at 28 curing days and the durability properties of RHA concrete performed better than that of control concrete. The water absorption of concrete incorporating 15% RHA exhibited the lowest value. The porosity of concrete is consistent with water absorption whereby higher replacement of RHA decreased the porosity of concrete. There is a positive correlation between reducing porosity and increasing compressive strength of high strength high performance concrete. The results also indicate that up to 20% of RHA incorporation could be advantageously blended with cement without adversely affecting the strength and durability properties of concrete.

Creep Behaviour of Heterogeneous Timber-UHPFRC Beams Assembled by Bonding: Experimental and Analytical Investigation
The purpose of this research was to investigate the creep behaviour of the heterogeneous Timber-UHPFRC beams. New developments have been done to further improve the structural performance, such as strengthening of the timber (glulam) beam by bonding composite material combine with an ultra-high performance fibre reinforced concrete (UHPFRC) internally reinforced with or without carbon fibre reinforced polymer (CFRP) bars. However, in the design of wooden structures, in addition to the criteria of strengthening and stiffness, deformability due to the creep of wood, especially in horizontal elements, is also a design criterion. Glulam, UHPFRC and CFRP may be an interesting composite mix to respond to the issue of creep behaviour of composite structures made of different materials with different rheological properties. In this paper, we describe an experimental and analytical investigation of the creep performance of the glulam-UHPFRC-CFRP beams assembled by bonding. The experimental investigations creep behaviour was conducted for different environments: in- and outside under constant loading for approximately a year. The measured results are compared with numerical ones obtained by an analytical model. This model was developed to predict the creep response of the glulam-UHPFRCCFRP beams based on the creep characteristics of the individual components. The results show that heterogeneous glulam-UHPFRC beams provide an improvement in both the strengthening and stiffness, and can also effectively reduce the creep deflection of wooden beams.
Structural Characteristics of HPDSP Concrete on Beam Column Joints
The seriously damaged structures during earthquakes show the need and importance of design of reinforced concrete structures with high ductility. Reinforced concrete beam-column joints have an important function in all structures. Under seismic excitation, the beam column joint region is subjected to horizontal and vertical shear forces whose magnitude is many times higher than the adjacent beam and column. Strength and ductility of structures depends mainly on proper detailing of the reinforcement in beamcolumn joints and the old structures were found ductility deficient. DSP materials are obtained by using high quantities of super plasticizers and high volumes of micro silica. In the case of High Performance Densified Small Particle Concrete (HPDSPC), since concrete is dense even at the micro-structure level, tensile strain would be much higher than that of the conventional SFRC, SIFCON & SIMCON. This in turn will improve cracking behaviour, ductility and energy absorption capacity of composites in addition to durability. The fine fibers used in our mix are 0.3mm diameter and 10 mm which can be easily placed with high percentage. These fibers easily transfer stresses and act as a composite concrete unit to take up extremely high loads with high compressive strength. HPDSPC placed in the beam column joints helps in safety of human life due to prolonged failure.
Using High Performance Computing for Online Flood Monitoring and Prediction

The main goal of this article is to describe the online flood monitoring and prediction system Floreon+ primarily developed for the Moravian-Silesian region in the Czech Republic and the basic process it uses for running automatic rainfall-runoff and hydrodynamic simulations along with their calibration and uncertainty modeling. It takes a long time to execute such process sequentially, which is not acceptable in the online scenario, so the use of a high performance computing environment is proposed for all parts of the process to shorten their duration. Finally, a case study on the Ostravice River catchment is presented that shows actual durations and their gain from the parallel implementation.

Bond-Slip Response of Reinforcing Bars Embedded in High Performance Fiber Reinforced Cement Composites
This paper presents the results of an experimental study undertaken to evaluate the local bond stress-slip response of short embedment of reinforcing bars in normal concrete (NC) and high performance fiber reinforced cement composites (HPFRCC) blocks. Long embedment was investigated as well to gain insights on the distribution of strain, slip, bar stress and bond stress along the bar especially in post-yield range. A total of 12 specimens were tested, by means of pull-out of the reinforcing bars from concrete blocks. It was found that the enhancement of local bond strength can be reached up to 50% and ductility of the bond behavior was improved significantly if HPFRCC is used. Also, under a constant strain at loaded end, HPFRCC has delayed yielding of bars at other location from the loaded end. Hence, the reduction of bond stress was slower for HPFRCC in comparison with NC. Due to the same reason, the total slips at loaded end for HPFRCC was smaller than NC as expected. Test results indicated that HPFRCC has better bond slip behavior which makes it a suitable material to be employed in anchorage zone such as beam-column joints.
Predictive Models for Compressive Strength of High Performance Fly Ash Cement Concrete for Pavements

The work reported through this paper is an experimental work conducted on High Performance Concrete (HPC) with super plasticizer with the aim to develop some models suitable for prediction of compressive strength of HPC mixes. In this study, the effect of varying proportions of fly ash (0% to 50% @ 10% increment) on compressive strength of high performance concrete has been evaluated. The mix designs studied were M30, M40 and M50 to compare the effect of fly ash addition on the properties of these concrete mixes. In all eighteen concrete mixes that have been designed, three were conventional concretes for three grades under discussion and fifteen were HPC with fly ash with varying percentages of fly ash. The concrete mix designing has been done in accordance with Indian standard recommended guidelines. All the concrete mixes have been studied in terms of compressive strength at 7 days, 28 days, 90 days, and 365 days. All the materials used have been kept same throughout the study to get a perfect comparison of values of results. The models for compressive strength prediction have been developed using Linear Regression method (LR), Artificial Neural Network (ANN) and Leave-One-Out Validation (LOOV) methods.

The Impact of High Performance Work Systems- on Firm Performance in MNCs and Local Manufacturing Firms in Malaysia

The empirical studies on High Performance Work Systems (HPWSs) and their impacts on firm performance have remarkably little in the developing countries. This paper reviews literatures on the HPWSs practices in different work settings, Western and Asian countries. A review on the empirical research leads to a conclusion that, country differences influence the Human Resource Management (HRM) practices. It is anticipated that there are similarities and differences in the extent of implementation of HPWSs practices by the Malaysian manufacturing firms due to the organizational contextual factors and, the HPWSs have a significant impact on firms- better performance amongst MNCs and local firms.

Mechanical Properties of Ultra High Performance Concrete
A research program is conducted to evaluate the mechanical properties of Ultra High Performance Concrete, target compressive strength at the age of 28 days being more than 150 MPa. The methodology to develop such mix has been explained. The material properties, mix design and curing regime are determined. The material attributes are understood by studying the stress strain behaviour of UHPC cylinders under uniaxial compressive loading. The load –crack mouth opening displacement (cmod) of UHPC beams, flexural strength and fracture energy was evaluated using third point loading test. Compressive strength and Split tensile strength results are determined to find out the compressive and tensile behaviour. Residual strength parameters are presented vividly explaining the flexural performance, toughness of concrete.Durability studies were also done to compare the effect of fibre to that of a control mix For all the studies the Mechanical properties were evaluated by varying the percentage and aspect ratio of steel fibres The results reflected that higher aspect ratio and fibre volume produced drastic changes in the cube strength, cylinder strength, post peak response, load-cmod, fracture energy flexural strength, split tensile strength, residual strength and durability. In regards to null application of UHPC in India, an initiative is undertaken to comprehend the mechanical behaviour of UHPC, which will be vital for longer run in commercialization for structural applications.
High Performance Liquid Chromatography Determination of Urinary Hippuric Acid and Benzoic Acid as Indices for Glue Sniffer Urine
A simple method for the simultaneous determination of hippuric acid and benzoic acid in urine using reversed-phase high performance liquid chromatography was described. Chromatography was performed on a Nova-Pak C18 (3.9 x 150 mm) column with a mobile phase of mixed solution methanol: water: acetic acid (20:80:0.2) and UV detection at 254 nm. The calibration curve was linear within concentration range at 0.125 to 6.0 mg/ml of hippuric acid and benzoic acid. The recovery, accuracy and coefficient variance of hippuric acid were 104.54%, 0.2% and 0.2% respectively and for benzoic acid were 98.48%, 1.25% and 0.60% respectively. The detection limit of this method was 0.01ng/l for hippuric acid and 0.06ng/l for benzoic acid. This method has been applied to the analysis of urine samples from the suspected of toluene abuser or glue sniffer among secondary school students at Johor Bahru.
Two New Low Power High Performance Full Adders with Minimum Gates
with increasing circuits- complexity and demand to use portable devices, power consumption is one of the most important parameters these days. Full adders are the basic block of many circuits. Therefore reducing power consumption in full adders is very important in low power circuits. One of the most powerconsuming modules in full adders is XOR/XNOR circuit. This paper presents two new full adders based on two new logic approaches. The proposed logic approaches use one XOR or XNOR gate to implement a full adder cell. Therefore, delay and power will be decreased. Using two new approaches and two XOR and XNOR gates, two new full adders have been implemented in this paper. Simulations are carried out by HSPICE in 0.18μm bulk technology with 1.8V supply voltage. The results show that the ten-transistors proposed full adder has 12% less power consumption and is 5% faster in comparison to MB12T full adder. 9T is more efficient in area and is 24% better than similar 10T full adder in term of power consumption. The main drawback of the proposed circuits is output threshold loss problem.
Adaptation Learning Speed Control for a High- Performance Induction Motor using Neural Networks
This paper proposes an effective adaptation learning algorithm based on artificial neural networks for speed control of an induction motor assumed to operate in a high-performance drives environment. The structure scheme consists of a neural network controller and an algorithm for changing the NN weights in order that the motor speed can accurately track of the reference command. This paper also makes uses a very realistic and practical scheme to estimate and adaptively learn the noise content in the speed load torque characteristic of the motor. The availability of the proposed controller is verified by through a laboratory implementation and under computation simulations with Matlab-software. The process is also tested for the tracking property using different types of reference signals. The performance and robustness of the proposed control scheme have evaluated under a variety of operating conditions of the induction motor drives. The obtained results demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed control scheme system performances, both in steady state error in speed and dynamic conditions, was found to be excellent and those is not overshoot.
Separation of Vitamin B2 and B12 byImpregnate HPTLC Plates with Boric Acid
A high performance thin layer chromatography system (HPTLC) for the separation of vitamin B2 and B12 has been developed. The separation was successfully using a solvent system of methanol, water, ammonia 7.3.1 (V/V) as mobile phase on HPTLC plates impregnated with boric acid. The effect of other mobile phases on the separation of vitamins was also examined. The method is based on different behavior of investigated compounds in impregnated TLC plates with different amount of boric acid. The Rf values of vitamin B2 and B12 are considered on non impregnated and impregnated silica gel HPTLC plate with boric acid. The effect of boric acid in the mobile phase and on HPTLC plates on the RF values of the vitamins has also been studied.
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