Development of a Real Time Axial Force Measurement System and IoT-Based Monitoring for Smart Bearing

The purpose of this research is to develop a real time axial force measurement system for a smart bearing through the use of strain-gauges, whereby the data acquisition is performed by an Arduino microcontroller due to its easy manipulation and low-cost. The measured signal is acquired and then discretized using a Wheatstone Bridge and an Analog-Digital Converter (ADC) respectively. For bearing monitoring, a real time monitoring system based on Internet of things (IoT) and Bluetooth were developed. Experimental tests were performed on a bearing within a force range up to 600 kN. The experimental results show that there is a proportional linear relationship between the applied force and the output voltage, and the error R squared is within 0.9878 based on the regression analysis.

Canada Deuterium Uranium Updated Fire Probabilistic Risk Assessment Model for Canadian Nuclear Plants

The Canadian Nuclear Power Plants (NPPs) use some portions of NUREG/CR-6850 in carrying out Fire Probabilistic Risk Assessment (PRA). An assessment for the applicability of NUREG/CR-6850 to CANDU reactors was performed and a CANDU Fire PRA was introduced. There are 19 operating CANDU reactors in Canada at five sites (Bruce A, Bruce B, Darlington, Pickering and Point Lepreau). A fire load density survey was done for all Fire Safe Shutdown Analysis (FSSA) fire zones in all CANDU sites in Canada. National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Standard 557 proposes that a fire load survey must be conducted by either the weighing method or the inventory method or a combination of both. The combination method results in the most accurate values for fire loads. An updated CANDU Fire PRA model is demonstrated in this paper that includes the fuel survey in all Canadian CANDU stations. A qualitative screening step for the CANDU fire PRA is illustrated in this paper to include any fire events that can damage any part of the emergency power supply in addition to FSSA cables.

Analysis of Structural and Photocatalytical Properties of Anatase, Rutile and Mixed Phase TiO2 Films Deposited by Pulsed-Direct Current and Radio Frequency Magnetron Co-Sputtering

Amongst many water purification techniques, TiO2 photocatalysis is recognized as one of the most promising sustainable methods. It is known that for photocatalytical applications anatase is the most suitable TiO2 phase, however heterojunction of anatase/rutile phases could improve the photocatalytical activity of TiO2 even further. Despite the relative simplicity of TiO2 different synthesis methods lead to the highly dispersed crystal phases and photocatalytic activity of the corresponding samples. Accordingly, suggestions and investigations of various innovative methods of TiO2 synthesis are still needed. In this work structural and photocatalytical properties of TiO2 films deposited by the unconventional method of simultaneous co-sputtering from two magnetrons powered by pulsed-Direct Current (pDC) and Radio Frequency (RF) power sources with negative bias voltage have been studied. More specifically, TiO2 film thickness, microstructure, surface roughness, crystal structure, optical transmittance and photocatalytical properties were investigated by profilometer, scanning electron microscope, atomic force microscope, X-ray diffractometer and UV-Vis spectrophotometer respectively. The proposed unconventional two magnetron co-sputtering based TiO2 film formation method showed very promising results for crystalline TiO2 film formation while keeping process temperatures below 100 °C. XRD analysis revealed that by using proper combination of power source type and bias voltage various TiO2 phases (amorphous, anatase, rutile or their mixture) can be synthesized selectively. Moreover, strong dependency between power source type and surface roughness, as well as between the bias voltage and band gap value of TiO2 films was observed. Interestingly, TiO2 films deposited by two magnetron co-sputtering without bias voltage had one of the highest band gap values between the investigated films but its photocatalytic activity was superior compared to all other samples. It is suggested that this is due to the dominating nanocrystalline anatase phase with various exposed surfaces including photocatalytically the most active {001}.

Effect of Particle Size on Alkali-Activation of Slag

In this study grinding experiments were performed in a laboratory ball mill using Polish ferronickel slag in order to study the effect of the particle size on alkali activation and the properties of the produced alkali activated materials (AAMs). In this regard, the particle size distribution and the specific surface area of the grinding products in relation to grinding time were assessed. The experimental results show that products with high compressive strength, e.g. higher than 60 MPa, can be produced when the slag median size decreased from 39.9 μm to 11.9 μm. Also, finer fractions are characterized by higher reactivity and result in the production of AAMs with lower porosity and better mechanical properties.

Development of AA2024 Matrix Composites Reinforced with Micro Yttrium through Cold Compaction with Superior Mechanical Properties

In this present work, five different composite samples with AA2024 as matrix and varying amounts of yttrium (0.1-0.5 wt.%) as reinforcement are developed through cold compaction. The microstructures of the developed composite samples revealed that the yttrium reinforcement caused grain refinement up to 0.3 wt.% and beyond which the refinement is not effective. The microstructure revealed Al2Cu precipitation which strengthened the composite up to 0.3 wt.% yttrium reinforcement. Upon further increase in yttrium reinforcement, the intermetallics and the precipitation coarsen and their corresponding strengthening effect decreases. The mechanical characterization revealed that the composite sample reinforced with 0.3 wt.% yttrium showed highest mechanical properties like 82 HV of hardness, 276 MPa Ultimate Tensile Strength (UTS), 229 MPa Yield Strength (YS) and an elongation (EL) of 18.9% respectively. However, the relative density of the developed composites decreased with the increase in yttrium reinforcement.

Investigation of Chip Formation Characteristics during Surface Finishing of HDPE Samples

Chip formation characteristics are investigated during surface finishing of high density polyethylene (HDPE) samples using a shaper machine. Both the cutting speed and depth of cut are varied continually to enable observations under various machining conditions. The generated chips are analyzed in terms of their shape, size, and deformation. Their physical appearances are also observed using digital camera and optical microscope. The investigation shows that continuous chips are obtained for all the cutting conditions. It is observed that cutting speed is more influential than depth of cut to cause dimensional changes of chips. Chips curl radius is also found to increase gradually with the increase of cutting speed. The length of continuous chips remains always smaller than the job length, and the corresponding discrepancies are found to be more prominent at lower cutting speed. Microstructures of the chips reveal that cracks are formed at higher cutting speeds and depth of cuts, which is not that significant at low depth of cut.

Dye Removal from Aqueous Solution by Regenerated Spent Bleaching Earth

Spent bleaching earth (SBE) recycling and utilization as an adsorbent to eliminate dyes from aqueous solution was studied. Organic solvents and subsequent thermal treatment were carried out to recover and reactivate the SBE. The effect of pH, temperature, dye’s initial concentration, and contact time on the dye removal using recycled spent bleaching earth (RSBE) was investigated. Recycled SBE showed better removal affinity of cationic than anionic dyes. The maximum removal was achieved at pH 2 and 8 for anionic and cationic dyes, respectively. Kinetic data matched with the pseudo second-order model. The adsorption phenomenon governing this process was identified by the Langmuir and Freundlich isotherms for anionic dye while Freundlich model represented the sorption process for cationic dye. The changes of Gibbs free energy (ΔG°), enthalpy (ΔH°), and entropy (ΔS°) were computed and compared through thermodynamic study for both dyes.

Towards the Prediction of Aesthetic Requirements for Women’s Apparel Product

The prediction of aesthetics of apparel is helpful for the development of a new type of apparel. This study is to build the quantitative relationship between the aesthetics and its design parameters. In particular, women’s pants have been preliminarily studied. This aforementioned relationship has been carried out by statistical analysis. The contributions of this study include the development of a more personalized apparel design mechanism and the provision of some empirical knowledge for the development of other products in the aspect of aesthetics.

Machinability Analysis in Drilling Flax Fiber-Reinforced Polylactic Acid Bio-Composite Laminates

Interest in natural fiber-reinforced composites (NFRC) is progressively growing both in terms of academia research and industrial applications thanks to their abundant advantages such as low cost, biodegradability, eco-friendly nature and relatively good mechanical properties. However, their widespread use is still presumed as challenging because of the specificity of their non-homogeneous structure, limited knowledge on their machinability characteristics and parameter settings, to avoid defects associated with the machining process. The present work is aimed to investigate the effect of the cutting tool geometry and material on the drilling-induced delamination, thrust force and hole quality produced when drilling a fully biodegradable flax/poly (lactic acid) composite laminate. Three drills with different geometries and material were used at different drilling conditions to evaluate the machinability of the fabricated composites. The experimental results indicated that the choice of cutting tool, in terms of material and geometry, has a noticeable influence on the cutting thrust force and subsequently drilling-induced damages. The lower value of thrust force and better hole quality was observed using high-speed steel (HSS) drill, whereas Carbide drill (with point angle of 130o) resulted in the highest value of thrust force. Carbide drill presented higher wear resistance and stability in variation of thrust force with a number of holes drilled, while HSS drill showed the lower value of thrust force during the drilling process. Finally, within the selected cutting range, the delamination damage increased noticeably with feed rate and moderately with spindle speed.

Peculiarities of Internal Friction and Shear Modulus in 60Co γ-Rays Irradiated Monocrystalline SiGe Alloys

At present, a number of modern semiconductor devices based on SiGe alloys have been created in which the latest achievements of high technologies are used. These devices might cause significant changes to networking, computing, and space technology. In the nearest future new materials based on SiGe will be able to restrict the A3B5 and Si technologies and firmly establish themselves in medium frequency electronics. Effective realization of these prospects requires the solution of prediction and controlling of structural state and dynamical physical –mechanical properties of new SiGe materials. Based on these circumstances, a complex investigation of structural defects and structural-sensitive dynamic mechanical characteristics of SiGe alloys under different external impacts (deformation, radiation, thermal cycling) acquires great importance. Internal friction (IF) and shear modulus temperature and amplitude dependences of the monocrystalline boron-doped Si1-xGex(x≤0.05) alloys grown by Czochralski technique is studied in initial and 60Co gamma-irradiated states. In the initial samples, a set of dislocation origin relaxation processes and accompanying modulus defects are revealed in a temperature interval of 400-800 ⁰C. It is shown that after gamma-irradiation intensity of relaxation internal friction in the vicinity of 280 ⁰C increases and simultaneously activation parameters of high temperature relaxation processes reveal clear rising. It is proposed that these changes of dynamical mechanical characteristics might be caused by a decrease of the dislocation mobility in the Cottrell atmosphere enriched by the radiation defects.

Quantification of Biomethane Potential from Anaerobic Digestion of Food Waste at Vaal University of Technology

The global urbanisation and worldwide economic growth have caused a high rate of food waste generation, resulting in environmental pollution. Food waste disposed on landfills decomposes to produce methane (CH4), a greenhouse gas. Inadequate waste management practices contribute to food waste polluting the environment. Thus effective organic fraction of municipal solid waste (OFMSW) management and treatment are attracting widespread attention in many countries. This problem can be minimised by the employment of anaerobic digestion process, since food waste is rich in organic matter and highly biodegradable, resulting in energy generation and waste volume reduction. The current study investigated the Biomethane Potential (BMP) of the Vaal University of Technology canteen food waste using anaerobic digestion. Tests were performed on canteen food waste, as a substrate, with total solids (TS) of 22%, volatile solids (VS) of 21% and moisture content of 78%. The tests were performed in batch reactors, at a mesophilic temperature of 37 °C, with two different types of inoculum, primary and digested sludge. The resulting CH4 yields for both food waste with digested sludge and primary sludge were equal, being 357 Nml/g VS. This indicated that food waste form this canteen is rich in organic and highly biodegradable. Hence it can be used as a substrate for the anaerobic digestion process. The food waste with digested sludge and primary sludge both fitted the first order kinetic model with k for primary sludge inoculated food waste being 0.278 day-1 with R2 of 0.98, whereas k for digested sludge inoculated food waste being 0.034 day-1, with R2 of 0.847.

Triple Intercell Bar for Electrometallurgical Processes: A Design to Increase PV Energy Utilization

PV energy prices are declining rapidly. To take advantage of the benefits of those prices and lower the carbon footprint, operational practices must be modified. Undoubtedly, it challenges the electrowinning practice to operate at constant current throughout the day. This work presents a technology that contributes in providing modulation capacity to the electrode current distribution system. This is to raise the day time dc current and lower it at night. The system is a triple intercell bar that operates in current-source mode. The design is a capping board free dogbone type of bar that ensures an operation free of short circuits, hot swapability repairs and improved current balance. This current-source system eliminates the resetting currents circulating in equipotential bars. Twin auxiliary connectors are added to the main connectors providing secure current paths to bypass faulty or impaired contacts. All system conductive elements are positioned over a baseboard offering a large heat sink area to the ventilation of a facility. The system works with lower temperature than a conventional busbar. Of these attributes, the cathode current balance property stands out and is paramount for day/night modulation and the use of photovoltaic energy. A design based on a 3D finite element method model predicting electric and thermal performance under various industrial scenarios is presented. Preliminary results obtained in an electrowinning facility with industrial prototypes are included.

Assessment and Uncertainty Analysis of ROSA/LSTF Test on Pressurized Water Reactor 1.9% Vessel Upper Head Small-Break Loss-of-Coolant Accident

An experiment utilizing the ROSA/LSTF (rig of safety assessment/large-scale test facility) simulated a 1.9% vessel upper head small-break loss-of-coolant accident with an accident management (AM) measure under the total failure of high-pressure injection system of emergency core cooling system in a pressurized water reactor. Steam generator (SG) secondary-side depressurization on the AM measure was started by fully opening relief valves in both SGs when the maximum core exit temperature rose to 623 K. A large increase took place in the cladding surface temperature of simulated fuel rods on account of a late and slow response of core exit thermocouples during core boil-off. The author analyzed the LSTF test by reference to the matrix of an integral effect test for the validation of a thermal-hydraulic system code. Problems remained in predicting the primary coolant distribution and the core exit temperature with the RELAP5/MOD3.3 code. The uncertainty analysis results of the RELAP5 code confirmed that the sample size with respect to the order statistics influences the value of peak cladding temperature with a 95% probability at a 95% confidence level, and the Spearman’s rank correlation coefficient.

Producing and Mechanical Testing of Urea-Formaldehyde Resin Foams Reinforced by Waste Phosphogypsum

Many of thermosetting resins have application only in filled state, reinforced with different mineral fillers. The co-filling of polymers with mineral filler and gases creates a possibility for production of polymer composites materials with low density. This processing leads to forming of new materials – gas-filled plastics (polymer foams). The properties of these materials are determined mainly by the shape and size of internal structural elements (pores). The interactions on the phase boundaries have influence on the materials properties too. In the present work, the gas-filled urea-formaldehyde resins were reinforced by waste phosphogypsum. The waste phosphogypsum (CaSO4.2H2O) is a solid by-product in wet phosphoric acid production processes. The values of the interactions polymer-filler were increased by using two modifying agents: polyvinyl acetate for polymer matrix and sodium metasilicate for filler. Technological methods for gas-filling and recipes of urea-formaldehyde based materials with apparent density 20-120 kg/m3 were developed. The heat conductivity of the samples is between 0.024 and 0.029 W/moK. Tensile analyses were carried out at 10 and 50% deformation and show values 0.01-0.14 MPa and 0.01-0.09 MPa, respectively. The apparent density of obtained materials is between 20 and 92 kg/m3. The changes in the tensile properties and density of these materials according to sodium metasilicate content were studied too. The mechanism of phosphogypsum adsorption modification was studied using methods of FT-IR spectroscopy. The structure of the gas-filled urea-formaldehyde resins was described by results of electron scanning microscopy at three different magnification ratios – x50, x150 and x 500. The aim of present work is to study the possibility of the usage of phosphogypsum as mineral filler for urea-formaldehyde resins and development of a technology for the production of gas-filled reinforced polymer composite materials. The structure and the properties of obtained composite materials are suitable for thermal and sound insulation applications.

Forecast of Polyethylene Properties in the Gas Phase Polymerization Aided by Neural Network

A major problem that affects the quality control of polymer in the industrial polymerization is the lack of suitable on-line measurement tools to evaluate the properties of the polymer such as melt and density indices. Controlling the polymerization in ordinary method is performed manually by taking samples, measuring the quality of polymer in the lab and registry of results. This method is highly time consuming and leads to producing large number of incompatible products. An online application for estimating melt index and density proposed in this study is a neural network based on the input-output data of the polyethylene production plant. Temperature, the level of reactors' bed, the intensity of ethylene mass flow, hydrogen and butene-1, the molar concentration of ethylene, hydrogen and butene-1 are used for the process to establish the neural model. The neural network is taught based on the actual operational data and back-propagation and Levenberg-Marquart techniques. The simulated results indicate that the neural network process model established with three layers (one hidden layer) for forecasting the density and the four layers for the melt index is able to successfully predict those quality properties.

Determination of the Thermophysical Characteristics of the Composite Material Clay Cement Paper

In Morocco, the building sector is largely responsible for the evolution of energy consumption. The control of energy in this sector remains a major issue despite the rise of renewable energies. The design of an environmentally friendly building requires mastery and knowledge of energy and bioclimatic aspects. This implies taking into consideration of all the elements making up the building and the way in which energy exchanges take place between these elements. In this context, thermal insulation seems to be an ideal starting point for reducing energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. In this context, thermal insulation seems to be an ideal starting point for reducing energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. The aim of this work is to provide some solutions to reduce energy consumption while maintaining thermal comfort in the building. The objective of our work is to present an experimental study on the characterization of local materials used in the thermal insulation of buildings. These are paper recycling stabilized with cement and clay. The thermal conductivity of these materials, which were constituted based on sand, clay, cement; water, as well as treated paper, was determined by the guarded-hot-plate method. It involves the design of two materials that will subsequently be subjected to thermal and mechanical tests to determine their thermophysical properties. The results show that the thermal conductivity decreases as well in the case of the paper-cement mixture as that of the paper-clay and seems to stabilize around 40%. Measurements of mechanical properties such as flexural strength have shown that the enrichment of the studied material with paper makes it possible to reduce the flexural strength by 20% while optimizing the conductivity.

Study of Structural and Electronic Properties of Ternary PdMnGe Half-Heusler Alloy

This study deals with the structural and electronic properties of ternary PdMnGe Half-Heusler alloy using the full potential linearized augmented plane wave (FP-LAPW) method based on the density functional theory (DFT) as implemented in the WIEN2k package, within the framework of generalized gradient approximation (GGA). Structural parameters, total and partial densities of states were also analyzed. The obtained result shows that the studied material is metallic in GGA treatment. The elastic constants (Cij) show that our compound is ductile, stiff and anisotropic.

Thermo-Mechanical Approach to Evaluate Softening Behavior of Polystyrene: Validation and Modeling

A Thermo-mechanical technique was developed to determine softening point temperature/glass transition temperature (Tg) of polystyrene exposed to high pressures. The design utilizes the ability of carbon dioxide to lower the glass transition temperature of polymers and acts as plasticizer. In this apparatus, the sorption of carbon dioxide to induce softening of polymers as a function of temperature/pressure is performed and the extent of softening is measured in three-point-flexural-bending mode. The polymer strip was placed in the cell in contact with the linear variable differential transformer (LVDT). CO2 was pumped into the cell from a supply cylinder to reach high pressure. The results clearly showed that full softening point of the samples, accompanied by a large deformation on the polymer strip. The deflection curves are initially relatively flat and then undergo a dramatic increase as the temperature is elevated. It was found that increasing the pressure of CO2 causes the temperature curves to shift from higher to lower by increment of about 45 K, over the pressure range of 0-120 bars. The obtained experimental Tg values were validated with the values reported in the literature. Finally, it is concluded that the defection model fits consistently to the generated experimental results, which attempts to describe in more detail how the central deflection of a thin polymer strip affected by the CO2 diffusions in the polymeric samples.

Effect of Coffee Grounds on Physical and Heating Value Properties of Sugarcane Bagasse Pellets

Objective of this research is to study effect of coffee grounds on physical and heating value properties of sugarcane bagasse pellets. The coffee grounds were tested as an additive for pelletizing process of bagasse pellets. Pelletizing was performed using a Flat–die pellet mill machine. Moisture content of raw materials was controlled at 10-13%. Die temperature range during the process was 75-80 oC. Physical characteristics (bulk density and durability) of the bagasse pellet and pellets with 1-5% coffee ground were determined following the standard assigned by the Pellet Fuel Institute (PFI). The results revealed increasing values of 648±3.4, 659 ± 3.1, 679 ± 3.3 and 685 ± 3.1 kg/m3 (for pellet bulk density); and 98.7 ± 0.11, 99.2 ± 0.26, 99.3 ± 0.19 and 99.4 ± 0.07% (for pellet durability), respectively. In addition, the heating values of the coffee ground supplemented pellets (15.9 ± 1.16, 17.0 ± 1.23 and 18.8 ± 1.34 MJ/kg) were improved comparing to the non-supplemented control (14.9 ± 1.14 MJ/kg), respectively. The results indicated that both the bulk density and durability values of the bagasse pellets were increased with the increasing proportion of the coffee ground additive.

The Role of Fluid Catalytic Cracking in Process Optimisation for Petroleum Refineries

Petroleum refining is a chemical process in which the raw material (crude oil) is converted to finished commercial products for end users. The fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) unit is a key asset in refineries, requiring optimised processes in the context of engineering design. Following the first stage of separation of crude oil in a distillation tower, an additional 40 per cent quantity is attainable in the gasoline pool with further conversion of the downgraded product of crude oil (residue from the distillation tower) using a catalyst in the FCC process. Effective removal of sulphur oxides, nitrogen oxides, carbon and heavy metals from FCC gasoline requires greater separation efficiency and involves an enormous environmental significance. The FCC unit is primarily a reactor and regeneration system which employs cyclone systems for separation.  Catalyst losses in FCC cyclones lead to high particulate matter emission on the regenerator side and fines carryover into the product on the reactor side. This paper aims at demonstrating the importance of FCC unit design criteria in terms of technical performance and compliance with environmental legislation. A systematic review of state-of-the-art FCC technology was carried out, identifying its key technical challenges and sources of emissions.  Case studies of petroleum refineries in Nigeria were assessed against selected global case studies. The review highlights the need for further modelling investigations to help improve FCC design to more effectively meet product specification requirements while complying with stricter environmental legislation.