The Conduct of Laundering Money through Transport of Cash in the Middle East and North Africa Region

This article mainly aims to detect and understand how money laundering activities are executed by transport of cash, identifying the underlying factors and separating legitimate from illegitimate usage of cash and how it is being used. This research provides academics with additional literature and provides bank supervisors and practitioners with a better understanding of sources and uses of cash in criminal activities and how cash is used in the laundering mechanism. Data are gathered through survey in the Middle East and North Africa region and review of the available research. The results of the analysis will help distinguish the factors affecting preference for cash rather other payment instruments in the region, identify what causes the tendency to launder illegal proceeds through cash transportation and how illegal cash is being laundered and moved. On the other hand, this paper sheds the light on major cash generating criminal activities, its sources and main destinations.

Kinetic Parameter Estimation from Thermogravimetry and Microscale Combustion Calorimetry

Flammability analysis of extruded polystyrene (XPS) has become crucial due to its utilization as insulation material for energy efficient buildings. Using the Kissinger-Akahira-Sunose and Flynn-Wall-Ozawa methods, the degradation kinetics of two pure XPS from the local market, red and grey ones, were obtained from the results of thermogravity analysis (TG) and microscale combustion calorimetry (MCC) experiments performed under the same heating rates. From the experiments, it was discovered that red XPS released more heat than grey XPS and both materials showed two mass loss stages. Consequently, the kinetic parameters for red XPS were higher than grey XPS. A comparative evaluation of activation energies from MCC and TG showed an insignificant degree of deviation signifying an equivalent apparent activation energy from both methods. However, different activation energy profiles as a result of the different chemical pathways were presented when the dependencies of the activation energies on extent of conversion for TG and MCC were compared.

Modeling of Titanium Alloy Implant for Fractured Distal Femur

In the present work, reverse engineering (RE) approach has been used to create a 3D model of a fractured femur bone using the computed tomography (CT) scan data. Thereafter, counter fit fixation plates of Titanium alloy (Ti6Al4V) have been designed and analyzed considering physiological static loading conditions. From the analysis, it has been inferred that the stresses and deformation developed are quite low. It implies that these designed customized fixation plates are able to provide stable fixation resulting in improved fracture union.

Modeling Non-Darcy Natural Convection Flow of a Micropolar Dusty Fluid with Convective Boundary Condition

A numerical approach of the effectiveness of numerous parameters on magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) natural convection heat and mass transfer problem of a dusty micropolar fluid in a non-Darcy porous regime is prepared in the current paper. In addition, a convective boundary condition is scrutinized into the micropolar dusty fluid model. The governing boundary layer equations are converted utilizing similarity transformations to a system of dimensionless equations to be convenient for numerical treatment. The resulting equations for fluid phase and dust phases of momentum, angular momentum, energy, and concentration with the appropriate boundary conditions are solved numerically applying the Runge-Kutta method of fourth-order. In accordance with the numerical study, it is obtained that the magnitude of the velocity of both fluid phase and particle phase reduces with an increasing magnetic parameter, the mass concentration of the dust particles, and Forchheimer number. While rises due to an increment in convective parameter and Darcy number. Also, the results refer that high values of the magnetic parameter, convective parameter, and Forchheimer number support the temperature distributions. However, deterioration occurs as the mass concentration of the dust particles and Darcy number increases. The angular velocity behavior is described by progress when studying the effect of the magnetic parameter and microrotation parameter.

Study of the Effect of Soil Compaction and Height on Pipe Ovality for Buried Steel Pipe

In this paper, the numerical study of buried steel pipe in soil is investigated. Buried pipeline under soil weight, after embankment on the pipe leads to ovality of pipe. In this paper also it is considered the percentage of soil compaction, the soil height on the steel pipe and the external load of a mechanical excavator on the steel pipe and finally, the effect of these on the rate of pipe ovality investigated. Furthermore, the effect of the pipes’ thickness on ovality has been investigated. The results show that increasing the percentage of soil compaction has more effect on reducing percentage of ovality, and if the percentage of soil compaction increases, we can use the pipe with less thickness. Finally, ovality rate of the pipe and acceptance criteria of pipe diameter up to yield stress is investigated.

Real-Time Episodic Memory Construction for Optimal Action Selection in Cognitive Robotics

The three most important components in the cognitive architecture for cognitive robotics is memory representation, memory recall, and action-selection performed by the executive. In this paper, action selection, performed by the executive, is defined as a memory quantification and optimization process. The methodology describes the real-time construction of episodic memory through semantic memory optimization. The optimization is performed by set-based particle swarm optimization, using an adaptive entropy memory quantification approach for fitness evaluation. The performance of the approach is experimentally evaluated by simulation, where a UAV is tasked with the collection and delivery of a medical package. The experiments show that the UAV dynamically uses the episodic memory to autonomously control its velocity, while successfully completing its mission.

Optimization of Surface Finish in Milling Operation Using Live Tooling via Taguchi Method

The main objective of this research is to optimize the surface roughness of a milling operation on AISI 1018 steel using live tooling on a HAAS ST-20 lathe. In this study, Taguchi analysis is used to optimize the milling process by investigating the effect of different machining parameters on surface roughness. The L9 orthogonal array is designed with four controllable factors with three different levels each and an uncontrollable factor, resulting in 18 experimental runs. The optimal parameters determined from Taguchi analysis were feed rate – 76.2 mm/min, spindle speed 1150 rpm, depth of cut – 0.762 mm and 2-flute TiN coated high-speed steel as tool material. The process capability Cp and process capability index Cpk values were improved from 0.62 and -0.44 to 1.39 and 1.24 respectively. The average surface roughness values from the confirmation runs were 1.30 µ, decreasing the defect rate from 87.72% to 0.01%. The purpose of this study is to efficiently utilize the Taguchi design to optimize the surface roughness in a milling operation using live tooling.

Analysis of Air-Water Two-Phase Flow in a 3x3 Rod Bundle

This study investigated the void fraction characteristics under low superficial gas velocity (Jg) and low superficial fluid velocity (Jf) conditions in a 3x3 rod bundle geometry. Three arrangements of conductivity probes were set to measure the void fraction at various cross-sectional regions, including rod-gap, sub-channel and rod-wall regions. The experimental tests were performed under the flow conditions of Jg = 0-0.236 m/s and Jf = 0-0.142 m/s, and the time-averaged void fractions were recorded at each flow condition. It was observed that while the superficial gas velocity increases, the small bubbles started to cluster together and become big bubbles. As the superficial fluid velocity increases, the local void fractions of the three test regions will get closer and the bubble distribution will be more uniform across the cross section.

Research of Amplitude-Frequency Characteristics of Nonlinear Oscillations of the Interface of Two-Layered Liquid

The problem of nonlinear oscillations of a two-layer liquid completely filling a limited volume is considered. Using two basic asymmetric harmonics excited in two mutually perpendicular planes, ordinary differential equations of nonlinear oscillations of the interface of a two-layer liquid are investigated. In this paper, hydrodynamic coefficients of linear and nonlinear problems in integral relations were determined. As a result, the instability regions of forced oscillations of a two-layered liquid in a cylindrical tank occurring in the plane of action of the disturbing force are constructed, as well as the dynamic instability regions of the parametric resonance for different ratios of densities of the upper and lower liquids depending on the amplitudes of liquids from the excitations frequencies. Steady-state regimes of fluid motion were found in the regions of dynamic instability of the initial oscillation form. The Bubnov-Galerkin method is used to construct instability regions for approximate solution of nonlinear differential equations.

Effect of Halo Protection Device on the Aerodynamic Performance of Formula Racecar

This paper explores the aerodynamics of the formula racecar when a ‘halo’ driver-protection device is added to the chassis. The halo protection device was introduced at the start of the 2018 racing season as a safety measure against foreign object impacts that a driver may encounter when driving an open-wheel racecar. In the one-year since its introduction, the device has received wide acclaim for protecting the driver on two separate occasions. The benefit of such a safety device certainly cannot be disputed. However, by adding the halo device to a car, it changes the airflow around the vehicle, and most notably, to the engine air-intake and the rear wing. These negative effects in the air supply to the engine, and equally to the downforce created by the rear wing are studied in this paper using numerical technique, and the resulting CFD outputs are presented and discussed. Comparing racecar design prior to and after the introduction of the halo device, it is shown that the design of the air intake and the rear wing has not followed suit since the addition of the halo device. The reduction of engine intake mass flow due to the halo device is computed and presented for various speeds the car may be going. Because of the location of the halo device in relation to the air intake, airflow is directed away from the engine, making the engine perform less than optimal. The reduction is quantified in this paper to show the correspondence to reduce the engine output when compared to a similar car without the halo device. This paper shows that through aerodynamic arguments, the engine in a halo car will not receive unobstructed, clean airflow that a non-halo car does. Another negative effect is on the downforce created by the rear wing. Because the amount of downforce created by the rear wing is influenced by every component that comes before it, when a halo device is added upstream to the rear wing, airflow is obstructed, and less is available for making downforce. This reduction in downforce is especially dramatic as the speed is increased. This paper presents a graph of downforce over a range of speeds for a car with and without the halo device. Acknowledging that although driver safety is paramount, the negative effect of this safety device on the performance of the car should still be well understood so that any possible redesign to mitigate these negative effects can be taken into account in next year’s rules regulation.

Improving Lubrication Efficiency at High Sliding Speeds by Plasma Surface Texturing

Cathodic plasma electrolysis (CPE) is used to create surface textures on cast iron samples for improving the tribological properties. Micro craters with confined size distribution were successfully formed by CPE process. These craters can generate extra hydrodynamic pressure that separates two sliding surfaces, increase the oil film thickness and accelerate the transition from boundary to mixed lubrication. It was found that the optimal crater size was 1.7 μm, at which the maximum lubrication efficiency was achieved. The Taguchi method was used to optimize the process parameters (voltage and roughness) for CPE surface texturing. The orthogonal array and the signal-to-noise ratio were employed to study the effect of each process parameter on the coefficient of friction. The results showed that with higher voltage and lower roughness, the lower friction coefficient can be obtained, and thus the lubrication can be more efficiently used for friction reduction.

Numerical Investigation on the Interior Wind Noise of a Passenger Car

With the development of the automotive technology and electric vehicle, the contribution of the wind noise on the interior noise becomes the main source of noise. The main transfer path which the exterior excitation is transmitted through is the greenhouse panels and side windows. Simulating the wind noise transmitted into the vehicle accurately in the early development stage can be very challenging. The basic methodologies of this study were based on the Lighthill analogy; the exterior flow field around a passenger car was computed using unsteady Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) firstly and then a Finite Element Method (FEM) was used to compute the interior acoustic response. The major findings of this study include: 1) The Sound Pressure Level (SPL) response at driver’s ear locations is mainly induced by the turbulence pressure fluctuation; 2) Peaks were found over the full frequency range. It is found that the methodology used in this study could predict the interior wind noise induced by the exterior aerodynamic excitation in industry.

Statistical Approach to Identify Stress and Biases Impairing Decision-Making in High-Risk Industry

Decision-making occurs several times an hour when working in high risk industry and an erroneous choice might have undesirable outcomes for people and the environment surrounding the industrial plant. Industrial decisions are very often made in a context of acute stress. Time pressure is a crucial stressor leading decision makers sometimes to boost up the decision-making process and if it is not possible then shift to the simplest strategy. We thus found it interesting to update the characterization of the stress factors impairing decision-making at Chinon Nuclear Power Plant (France) in order to optimize decision making contexts and/or associated processes. The investigation was based on the analysis of reports addressing safety events over the last 3 years. Among 93 reports, those explicitly addressing decision-making issues were identified. Characterization of each event was undertaken in terms of three criteria: stressors, biases impairing decision making and weaknesses of the decision-making process. The statistical analysis showed that biases were distributed over 10 possibilities among which the hypothesis confirmation bias was clearly salient. No significant correlation was found between criteria. The analysis indicated that the main stressor was time pressure and highlights an unexpected form of stressor: the trust asymmetry principle of the expert. The analysis led to the conclusion that this stressor impaired decision-making from a psychological angle rather than from a physiological angle: it induces defensive bias of self-esteem, self-protection associated with a bias of confirmation. This leads to the hypothesis that this stressor can intervene in some cases without being detected, and to the hypothesis that other stressors of the same kind might occur without being detected too. Further investigations addressing these hypotheses are considered. The analysis also led to the conclusion that dealing with these issues implied i) decision-making methods being well known to the workers and automated and ii) the decision-making tools being well known and strictly applied. Training was thus adjusted.

Effect of Viscous Dissipation and Axial Conduction in Thermally Developing Region of the Channel Partially Filled with a Porous Material Subjected to Constant Wall Heat Flux

The present investigation has been undertaken to assess the effect of viscous dissipation and axial conduction on forced convection heat transfer in the entrance region of a parallel plate channel with the porous insert attached to both walls of the channel. The flow field is unidirectional. Flow in the porous region corresponds to Darcy-Brinkman model and the clear fluid region to that of plane Poiseuille flow. The effects of the parameters Darcy number, Da, Peclet number, Pe, Brinkman number, Br and a porous fraction γp on the local heat transfer coefficient are analyzed graphically. Effects of viscous dissipation employing the Darcy model and the clear fluid compatible model have been studied.

Design and Analysis of a Piezoelectric Linear Motor Based on Rigid Clamping

Piezoelectric linear motors have the characteristics of great electromagnetic compatibility, high positioning accuracy, compact structure and no deceleration mechanism, which make it promising to applicate in micro-miniature precision drive systems. However, most piezoelectric motors are employed by flexible clamping, which has insufficient rigidity and is difficult to use in rapid positioning. Another problem is that this clamping method seriously affects the vibration efficiency of the vibrating unit. In order to solve these problems, this paper proposes a piezoelectric stack linear motor based on double-end rigid clamping. First, a piezoelectric linear motor with a length of only 35.5 mm is designed. This motor is mainly composed of a motor stator, a driving foot, a ceramic friction strip, a linear guide, a pre-tightening mechanism and a base. This structure is much simpler and smaller than most similar motors, and it is easy to assemble as well as to realize precise control. In addition, the properties of piezoelectric stack are reviewed and in order to obtain the elliptic motion trajectory of the driving head, a driving scheme of the longitudinal-shear composite stack is innovatively proposed. Finally, impedance analysis and speed performance testing were performed on the piezoelectric linear motor prototype. The motor can measure speed up to 25.5 mm/s under the excitation of signal voltage of 120 V and frequency of 390 Hz. The result shows that the proposed piezoelectric stacked linear motor obtains great performance. It can run smoothly in a large speed range, which is suitable for various precision control in medical images, aerospace, precision machinery and many other fields.

Numerical and Experimental Investigation of Air Distribution System of Larder Type Refrigerator

Almost all of the domestic refrigerators operate on the principle of the vapor compression refrigeration cycle and removal of heat from the refrigerator cabinets is done via one of the two methods: natural convection or forced convection. In this study, airflow and temperature distributions inside a 375L no-frost type larder cabinet, in which cooling is provided by forced convection, are evaluated both experimentally and numerically. Airflow rate, compressor capacity and temperature distribution in the cooling chamber are known to be some of the most important factors that affect the cooling performance and energy consumption of a refrigerator. The objective of this study is to evaluate the original temperature distribution in the larder cabinet, and investigate for better temperature distribution solutions throughout the refrigerator domain via system optimizations that could provide uniform temperature distribution. The flow visualization and airflow velocity measurements inside the original refrigerator are performed via Stereoscopic Particle Image Velocimetry (SPIV). In addition, airflow and temperature distributions are investigated numerically with Ansys Fluent. In order to study the heat transfer inside the aforementioned refrigerator, forced convection theories covering the following cases are applied: closed rectangular cavity representing heat transfer inside the refrigerating compartment. The cavity volume has been represented with finite volume elements and is solved computationally with appropriate momentum and energy equations (Navier-Stokes equations). The 3D model is analyzed as transient, with k-ε turbulence model and SIMPLE pressure-velocity coupling for turbulent flow situation. The results obtained with the 3D numerical simulations are in quite good agreement with the experimental airflow measurements using the SPIV technique. After Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) analysis of the baseline case, the effects of three parameters: compressor capacity, fan rotational speed and type of shelf (glass or wire) are studied on the energy consumption; pull down time, temperature distributions in the cabinet. For each case, energy consumption based on experimental results is calculated. After the analysis, the main effective parameters for temperature distribution inside a cabin and energy consumption based on CFD simulation are determined and simulation results are supplied for Design of Experiments (DOE) as input data for optimization. The best configuration with minimum energy consumption that provides minimum temperature difference between the shelves inside the cabinet is determined.

Experimental Study of Exhaust Muffler System for Direct-Injection Gasoline Engine

Engine exhaust noise is considered one of the largest sources of vehicle exterior noise. Further reduction of noise from the vehicle exhaust system will be required, as the vehicle exterior noise regulations become stricter. Therefore, the present study has been carried out to illustrate the role of engine operating parameters and exhaust system construction factors on exhaust noise emitted. The measurements carried out using different exhaust systems, which are mainly used in today’s vehicle. The effect of engine speed on the spectra level of exhaust noise is recorded at engine speeds of 900 rpm, 1800 rpm, 2700, rpm 3600 rpm and 4500 rpm. The results indicate that the increase of engine speed causes a significant increase in the spectrum level of exhaust noise. The increase in the number of the outlet of the expansion chamber also reduces the overall level of exhaust noise.

Characterization of a Pure Diamond-Like Carbon Film Deposited by Nanosecond Pulsed Laser Deposition

This work aims to investigate the properties and microstructure of diamond-like carbon film deposited by pulsed laser deposition by ablation of a graphite target in a vacuum chamber on a steel substrate. The equipment was mounted to provide one laser beam. The target of high purity graphite and the steel substrate were polished. The mechanical and tribological properties of the film were characterized using Raman spectroscopy, nanoindentation test, scratch test, roughness profile, tribometer, optical microscopy and SEM images. It was concluded that the pulsed laser deposition (PLD) technique associated with the low-pressure chamber and a graphite target provides a good fraction of sp3 bonding, that the process variable as surface polishing and laser parameter have great influence in tribological properties and in adherence tests performance. The optical microscopy images are efficient to identify the metallurgical bond.

Separation of Water/Organic Mixtures Using Micro- and Nanostructured Membranes of Special Type of Wettability

Both hydrophilic-oleophobic and hydrophobic-oleophilic membranes were obtained by coating of the substrate of membranes, presented by stainless steel meshes with various dimensions of their openings, with a composition that forms the special type of their surface wettability via spray-coating method. The surface morphology of resulting membranes was studied using SEM, the type of their wettability was identified by measuring the contact angle between the surface of membrane and a drop of studied liquid (water or organic liquid) and efficiency of continuous separation of water and organic liquid was studied on self-assembled setup.

Numerical Analysis of Flow in the Gap between a Simplified Tractor-Trailer Model and Cross Vortex Trap Device

Heavy trucks are aerodynamically inefficient due to their un-streamlined body shapes, leading to more than of 60% engine power being required to overcome the aerodynamics drag at 60 m/hr. There are many aerodynamics drag reduction devices developed and this paper presents a study on a drag reduction device called Cross Vortex Trap Device (CVTD) deployed in the gap between the tractor and the trailer of a simplified tractor-trailer model. Numerical simulations have been carried out at Reynolds number 0.51×106 based on inlet flow velocity and height of the trailer using the Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) approach. Three different configurations of CVTD have been studied, ranging from single to three slabs, equally spaced on the front face of the trailer. Flow field around three different configurations of trap device have been analysed and presented. The results show that a maximum of 12.25% drag reduction can be achieved when a triple vortex trap device is used. Detailed flow field analysis along with pressure contours are presented to elucidate the drag reduction mechanisms of CVTD and why the triple vortex trap configuration produces the maximum drag reduction among the three configurations tested.