Simulation and Analysis of Polyetheretherketone Implants for Diaphysis Femur Fracture

In the present work, reverse engineering approach has been used to create a 3D model of a fractured femur diaphysis bone using the computed tomography (CT) scan data. Thereafter, a counter fit fixation plate of polyetheretherketone (PEEK) composite has been designed and analyzed considering static physiological loading conditions. Static stress distribution and deformation analysis of the plate have been performed. From the analysis, it has been found that the stresses and deformation developed are quite low. This implies that these designed fixation plates will be able to provide stable fixation and thus resulting in improved fracture union.

Analytical Authentication of Butter Using Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy Coupled with Chemometrics

Fourier Transform Infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy coupled with chemometrics was used to distinguish between butter samples and non-butter samples. Further, quantification of the content of margarine in adulterated butter samples was investigated. Fingerprinting region (1400-800 cm–1) was used to develop unsupervised pattern recognition (Principal Component Analysis, PCA), supervised modeling (Soft Independent Modelling by Class Analogy, SIMCA), classification (Partial Least Squares Discriminant Analysis, PLS-DA) and regression (Partial Least Squares Regression, PLS-R) models. PCA of the fingerprinting region shows a clustering of the two sample types. All samples were classified in their rightful class by SIMCA approach; however, nine adulterated samples (between 1% and 30% w/w of margarine) were classified as belonging both at the butter class and at the non-butter one. In the two-class PLS-DA model’s (R2 = 0.73, RMSEP, Root Mean Square Error of Prediction = 0.26% w/w) sensitivity was 71.4% and Positive Predictive Value (PPV) 100%. Its threshold was calculated at 7% w/w of margarine in adulterated butter samples. Finally, PLS-R model (R2 = 0.84, RMSEP = 16.54%) was developed. PLS-DA was a suitable classification tool and PLS-R a proper quantification approach. Results demonstrate that FT-IR spectroscopy combined with PLS-R can be used as a rapid, simple and safe method to identify pure butter samples from adulterated ones and to determine the grade of adulteration of margarine in butter samples.

Automatic Number Plate Recognition System Based on Deep Learning

In the last few years, Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) systems have become widely used in the safety, the security, and the commercial aspects. Forethought, several methods and techniques are computing to achieve the better levels in terms of accuracy and real time execution. This paper proposed a computer vision algorithm of Number Plate Localization (NPL) and Characters Segmentation (CS). In addition, it proposed an improved method in Optical Character Recognition (OCR) based on Deep Learning (DL) techniques. In order to identify the number of detected plate after NPL and CS steps, the Convolutional Neural Network (CNN) algorithm is proposed. A DL model is developed using four convolution layers, two layers of Maxpooling, and six layers of fully connected. The model was trained by number image database on the Jetson TX2 NVIDIA target. The accuracy result has achieved 95.84%.

Stress Distribution in Axisymmetric Indentation of an Elastic Layer-Substrate Body

We focus on internal stress and displacement of an elastic axisymmetric contact problem for indentation of a layer-substrate body. An elastic layer is assumed to be perfectly bonded to an elastic semi-infinite substrate. The elastic layer is smoothly indented with a flat-ended cylindrical indenter. The analytical and exact solutions were obtained by solving an infinite system of simultaneous equations using the method to express a normal contact stress at the upper surface of the elastic layer as an appropriate series. This paper presented the numerical results of internal stress and displacement distributions for hard-coating system with constant values of Poisson’s ratio and the thickness of elastic layer.

Geographic Information Systems as a Tool to Support the Sustainable Development Goals

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is a multipurpose computer-based tool that provides a sophisticated ability to map and analyze data on different spatial layers. However, GIS is far more easily applied in some policy areas than others. This paper seeks to determine the areas of sustainable development, including environmental, economic, and social dimensions, where GIS has been used to date to support efforts to implement the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and to discuss potential areas where it might be used more. Based on an extensive analysis of published literature, we ranked the SDGs according to how frequently GIS has been used to study related policy. We found that SDG#15 “Life on Land” is most often addressed with GIS, following by SDG#11 “Sustainable Cities and Communities”, and SDG#13 “Climate Action”. On the other hand, we determined that SDG#2 “Zero Hunger”, SDG#8 “Decent Work and Economic Growth”, and SDG#16 “Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions” are least addressed with GIS. The paper outlines some specific ways that GIS might be applied to the SDGs least linked to this tool currently.

Methyltrioctylammonium Chloride as a Separation Solvent for Binary Mixtures: Evaluation Based on Experimental Activity Coefficients

An ammonium based ionic liquid (methyltrioctylammonium chloride) [N8 8 8 1] [Cl] was investigated as an extraction potential solvent for volatile organic solvents (in this regard, solutes), which includes alkenes, alkanes, ketones, alkynes, aromatic hydrocarbons, tetrahydrofuran (THF), alcohols, thiophene, water and acetonitrile based on the experimental activity coefficients at infinite THF measurements were conducted by the use of gas-liquid chromatography at four different temperatures (313.15 to 343.15) K. Experimental data of activity coefficients obtained across the examined temperatures were used in order to calculate the physicochemical properties at infinite dilution such as partial molar excess enthalpy, Gibbs free energy and entropy term. Capacity and selectivity data for selected petrochemical extraction problems (heptane/thiophene, heptane/benzene, cyclohaxane/cyclohexene, hexane/toluene, hexane/hexene) were computed from activity coefficients data and compared to the literature values with other ionic liquids. Evaluation of activity coefficients at infinite dilution expands the knowledge and provides a good understanding related to the interactions between the ionic liquid and the investigated compounds.

Adaptive Multiple Transforms Hardware Architecture for Versatile Video Coding

The Versatile Video Coding standard (VVC) is actually under development by the Joint Video Exploration Team (or JVET). An Adaptive Multiple Transforms (AMT) approach was announced. It is based on different transform modules that provided an efficient coding. However, the AMT solution raises several issues especially regarding the complexity of the selected set of transforms. This can be an important issue, particularly for a future industrial adoption. This paper proposed an efficient hardware implementation of the most used transform in AMT approach: the DCT II. The developed circuit is adapted to different block sizes and can reach a minimum frequency of 192 MHz allowing an optimized execution time.

Study on the Use of Manganese-Containing Materials as a Micro Fertilizer Based on the Local Mineral Resources and Industrial Wastes in Hydroponic Systems

Hydroponic greenhouses systems (production of the artificial substrate without soil) are becoming popular in the world. Mostly the system is used to grow vegetables and berries. Different countries are taking action to participate in the development of hydroponic technology and solutions such as EU members, Turkey, Australia, New Zealand, Israel, Scandinavian countries, etc. Many vegetables and berries are grown by hydroponics in Europe. As a result of our research, we have obtained material containing manganese and nitrogen. It became possible to produce this fertilizer by means of one-stage thermal processing, using industrial waste containing manganese (ores and sludges) and mineral substance (ammonium nitrate) that exist in Georgia. The received material is usable as a micro-fertilizer with economic efficiency. It became possible to turn practically water-insoluble manganese dioxide substance into the soluble condition from industrial waste in an indirect way. The ability to use the material as a fertilizer is predetermined by its chemical and phase composition, as the amount of the active component of the material in relation to manganese is 30%. At the same time, the active component elements presented non-ballast sustained action compounds. The studies implemented in Poland and in Georgia by us have shown that the manganese-containing micro-fertilizer- Mn(NO3)2 can provide the plant with nitrate nitrogen, which is a form that can be used for plants, providing the economy and simplicity of the application of fertilizers. Given the fact that the application of the manganese-containing micro-fertilizers significantly increases the productivity and improves the quality of the big number of agricultural products, it is necessary to mention that it is recommended to introduce the manganese containing fertilizers into the following cultures: sugar beet, corn, potato, vegetables, vine grape, fruit, berries, and other cultures. Also, as a result of the study, it was established that the material obtained is the predominant fertilizer for vegetable cultures in the soil. Based on the positive results of the research, we consider it expedient to conduct research in hydroponic systems, which will enable us to provide plants the required amount of manganese; we also introduce nitrogen in solution and regulate the solution of pH, which is one of the main problems in hydroponic production. The findings of our research will be used in hydroponic greenhouse farms to increase the fertility of vegetable crops and, consequently, to get bountiful and high-quality harvests, which will promote the development of hydroponic greenhouses in Georgia as well as abroad.

Morphology of Indian Female Athletes of Different Track and Field Events

Participation in games and sports in the contemporary times has become more competing with the developed scientific knowledge, skills and methods, along with the equipment and applied research in the field. In spite of India being a large country having vast resources and potential, its performance in the world of sports on the whole needs sincere attention for better achievements. Beside numerous factors responsible for the dismal performance of a sportsperson, the physique and body composition, including the size, shape and form are known to play a significant role. The present investigation was undertaken to study the specific morphological characteristics of Indian female Track and Field athletes. A total of 300 athletes were randomly selected as sample for the purpose of the study from the six events having 50 athletes in each event including 100m., 400m., Shot Put, Discus Throw, Long Jump and High Jump. The study included body weight, body fat percentage, lean body weight, endomorphy, mesomorphy and ectomorphy as variables. The data were computed statistically by using Mean, Standard Deviation and Analysis of Variance. The post-hoc analysis was conducted where the F-ratio was found to be significant at .05 level. The study concluded that there is a significant difference with regard to the selected variables among the Indian female athletes of different track and field events.

Cultural Effects on the Performance of Non- Profit and For-Profit Microfinance Institutions

Using a large dataset of more than 2,400 individual microfinance institutions (MFIs) from 120 countries from 1999 to 2016, this study finds that nearly half of the international MFIs operate as for-profit institutions. Formal institutions (business regulatory environment, property rights, social protection, and a developed financial sector) impact the likelihood of MFIs being for-profit across countries. Cultural differences across countries (power distance, individualism, masculinity, and indulgence) seem to be a factor in the legal status of the MFI (non-profit or for-profit). MFIs in countries with stronger formal institutions, a greater degree of power distance, and a higher degree of collectivism experience better financial and social performance.

The Design of a Die for the Processing of Aluminum through Equal Channel Angular Pressing

The processing of metals through Equal Channel Angular Pressing (ECAP) leads to their remarkable strengthening. The ECAP dies control the amount of strain imposed on the material through its geometry, especially through the angle between the die channels, and thus the microstructural and mechanical properties evolution of the material. The present study describes the design of an ECAP die whose utilization and maintenance are facilitated, and that also controls the eventual undesired flow of the material during processing. The proposed design was validated through numerical simulations procedures using commercial software. The die was manufactured according to the present design and tested. Tests using aluminum alloys also indicated to be suitable for the processing of higher strength alloys.

Natural Frequency Analysis of a Porous Functionally Graded Shaft System

The vibration characteristics of a functionally graded (FG) rotor model having porosities and micro-voids is investigated using three-dimensional finite element analysis. The FG shaft is mounted with a steel disc located at the midspan. The shaft ends are supported on isotropic bearings. The FG material is composed of a metallic (stainless-steel) and ceramic phase (zirconium oxide) as its constituent phases. The layer wise material property variation is governed by power law. Material property equations are developed for the porosity modelling. Python code is developed to assign the material properties to each layer including the effect of porosities. ANSYS commercial software is used to extract the natural frequencies and whirl frequencies for the FG shaft system. The obtained results show the influence of porosity volume fraction and power-law index, on the vibration characteristics of the ceramic-based FG shaft system.

Geophysical Investigation of Abnormal Seepages in Goronyo Dam Sokoto, North Western Nigeria Using Self-Potential Method

In this research, Self-Potential (SP) method was employed to locate anomalous electrical conductivity located in Goronyo area and also to determine the condition of the embankment of the dam. SP data were plotted against distance along with the profile and spacing of electrode using surfer software (version 12). High and low zones of SP values were identified along the right and left abutments of the dam reservoir. The regions with high SP values were described to be high tendency of fluid flow associate with wet sandy soil. These zones have the SP values ranging from 200 mV and above. High SP values were due to the high moisture content that may lead to the seepage of water leaking through this zone. The zones with high SP values occupied Profiles S1, S2, S3, S4 and S5 indicating the presence of potential seepage paths within the subsurface of the embankment. These regions of seepage were identified as weak zones and potential pathways through which water could be lost from the dam reservoir. The SP values for the regions range from 250 m to 400 m (S1), 306 m to 400 m (S2), 192 m to 400 m (S3), 48 m to 200 m (S4) and 7 m to 170 m (S5) with their corresponding maximum depths of 30 m, 28 m, 28 m, 30 m and 26 m respectively. However, zones of low SP values in the overburden were observed which shows the presence of intact regions, which may be due to the compactness and dryness around the dam. The weak zones were considered as geological features (such as fractures, joints, and faults) that have undermined the integrity of the dam structure, which has led to the abnormal seepage.

Model Reference Adaptive Approach for Power System Stabilizer for Damping of Power Oscillations

In recent years, electricity trade between neighboring countries has become increasingly intense. Increasing power transmission over long distances has resulted in an increase in the oscillations of the transmitted power. The damping of the oscillations can be carried out with the reconfiguration of the network or the replacement of generators, but such solution is not economically reasonable. The only cost-effective solution to improve the damping of power oscillations is to use power system stabilizers. Power system stabilizer represents a part of synchronous generator control system. It utilizes semiconductor’s excitation system connected to the rotor field excitation winding to increase the damping of the power system. The majority of the synchronous generators are equipped with the conventional power system stabilizers with fixed parameters. The control structure of the conventional power system stabilizers and the tuning procedure are based on the linear control theory. Conventional power system stabilizers are simple to realize, but they show non-sufficient damping improvement in the entire operating conditions. This is the reason that advanced control theories are used for development of better power system stabilizers. In this paper, the adaptive control theory for power system stabilizers design and synthesis is studied. The presented work is focused on the use of model reference adaptive control approach. Control signal, which assures that the controlled plant output will follow the reference model output, is generated by the adaptive algorithm. Adaptive gains are obtained as a combination of the "proportional" term and with the σ-term extended "integral" term. The σ-term is introduced to avoid divergence of the integral gains. The necessary condition for asymptotic tracking is derived by means of hyperstability theory. The benefits of the proposed model reference adaptive power system stabilizer were evaluated as objectively as possible by means of a theoretical analysis, numerical simulations and laboratory realizations. Damping of the synchronous generator oscillations in the entire operating range was investigated. Obtained results show the improved damping in the entire operating area and the increase of the power system stability. The results of the presented work will help by the development of the model reference power system stabilizer which should be able to replace the conventional stabilizers in power systems.

The Strategic Engine Model: Redefined Strategy Structure, as per Market-and Resource-Based Theory Application, Tested in the Automotive Industry

The purpose of the paper is to redefine the levels of structure of corporate, business and functional strategies that were established over the past several decades, to a conceptual model, consisting of corporate, business and operations strategies, that are reinforced by functional strategies. We will propose a conceptual framework of different perspectives in the role of strategic operations as a separate strategic place and reposition the remaining functional strategies as supporting tools, existing at all three levels. The proposed model is called ‘the strategic engine’, since the mutual relationships of its ingredients are identical with main elements and working principle of the internal combustion engine. Based on theoretical essence, related to every strategic level, we will prove that the strategic engine model is useful for managers seeking to safeguard the competitive advantage of their companies. Each strategy level is researched through its basic elements. At the corporate level we examine the scope of firm’s product, the vertical and geographical coverage. At the business level, the point of interest is limited to the SWOT analysis’ basic elements. While at operations level, the key research issue relates to the scope of the following performance indicators: cost, quality, speed, flexibility and dependability. In this relationship, the paper provides a different view for the role of operations strategy within the overall strategy concept. We will prove that the theoretical essence of operations goes far beyond the scope of traditionally accepted business functions. Exploring the applications of Resource-based theory and Market-based theory within the strategic levels framework, we will prove that there is a logical consequence of the theoretical impact in corporate, business and operations strategy – at every strategic level, the validity of one theory is substituted to the level of the other. Practical application of the conceptual model is tested in automotive industry. Actually, the proposed theoretical concept is inspired by a leading global automotive group – Inchcape PLC, listed on the London Stock Exchange, and constituent of the FTSE 250 Index.

School and Teacher Level Predictors for Students’ Information Literacy in Chinese Rural and Urban Education

This study aimed to investigate the level of secondary school students’ information literacy in China and examine the contribution of school and teacher level factors on students’ information literacy between rural and urban schools. A total of 598 schools, 56415 students and 18286 teachers participated in this study. The findings of this study were as follows: (1) the overall of secondary schools students’ information literacy only reached an average level and urban school students’ information literacy were significantly higher than that of rural school students; (2) In rural schools, teachers’ ICT collaboration was a positive predictor for students’ information literacy, while teachers’ ICT use for learning was identified as a negative predictor of students’ information literacy; (3) In urban schools, ICT management, ICT operation and teachers’ ICT self-efficacy were found to be significantly associated with students’ information literacy. Based on the findings, suggestions for improving students’ information literacy between rural and urban schools were discussed.

A Neuroscience-Based Learning Technique: Framework and Application to STEM

Existing learning techniques such as problem-based learning, project-based learning, or case study learning are learning techniques that focus mainly on technical details, but give no specific guidelines on learner’s experience and emotional learning aspects such as arousal salience and valence, being emotional states important factors affecting engagement and retention. Some approaches involving emotion in educational settings, such as social and emotional learning, lack neuroscientific rigorousness and use of specific neurobiological mechanisms. On the other hand, neurobiology approaches lack educational applicability. And educational approaches mainly focus on cognitive aspects and disregard conditioning learning. First, authors start explaining the reasons why it is hard to learn thoughtfully, then they use the method of neurobiological mapping to track the main limbic system functions, such as the reward circuit, and its relations with perception, memories, motivations, sympathetic and parasympathetic reactions, and sensations, as well as the brain cortex. The authors conclude explaining the major finding: The mechanisms of nonconscious learning and the triggers that guarantee long-term memory potentiation. Afterward, the educational framework for practical application and the instructors’ guidelines are established. An implementation example in engineering education is given, namely, the study of tuned-mass dampers for earthquake oscillations attenuation in skyscrapers. This work represents an original learning technique based on nonconscious learning mechanisms to enhance long-term memories that complement existing cognitive learning methods.

Simplified Stress Gradient Method for Stress-Intensity Factor Determination

Several techniques exist for determining stress-intensity factors in linear elastic fracture mechanics analysis. These techniques are based on analytical, numerical, and empirical approaches that have been well documented in literature and engineering handbooks. However, not all techniques share the same merit. In addition to overly-conservative results, the numerical methods that require extensive computational effort, and those requiring copious user parameters hinder practicing engineers from efficiently evaluating stress-intensity factors. This paper investigates the prospects of reducing the complexity and required variables to determine stress-intensity factors through the utilization of the stress gradient and a weighting function. The heart of this work resides in the understanding that fracture emanating from stress concentration locations cannot be explained by a single maximum stress value approach, but requires use of a critical volume in which the crack exists. In order to understand the effectiveness of this technique, this study investigated components of different notch geometry and varying levels of stress gradients. Two forms of weighting functions were employed to determine stress-intensity factors and results were compared to analytical exact methods. The results indicated that the “exponential” weighting function was superior to the “absolute” weighting function. An error band +/- 10% was met for cases ranging from a steep stress gradient in a sharp v-notch to the less severe stress transitions of a large circular notch. The incorporation of the proposed method has shown to be a worthwhile consideration.

Evaluation of the Rheological Properties of Bituminous Binders Modified with Biochars Obtained from Various Biomasses by Pyrolysis Method

In this study, apricot seed shell, walnut shell, and sawdust were chosen as biomass sources. The materials were sorted by using a sieve No. 50 and the sieved materials were subjected to pyrolysis process at 400 °C, resulting in three different biochar products. The resulting biochar products were added to the bitumen at three different rates (5%, 10% and 15%), producing modified bitumen. Penetration, softening point, rotation viscometer and dynamic shear rheometer (DSR) tests were conducted on modified binders. Thus the modified bitumen, which was obtained by using additives at 3 different rates obtained from biochar produced at 400 °C temperatures of 3 different biomass sources were compared and the effects of pyrolysis temperature and additive rates were evaluated. As a result of the conducted tests, it was determined that the rheology of the pure bitumen improved significantly as a result of the modification of the bitumen with the biochar. Additionally, with biochar additive, it was determined that the rutting parameter values obtained from softening point, viscometer and DSR tests were increased while the values in terms of penetration and phase angle decreased. It was also observed that the most effective biomass is sawdust while the least effective was ground apricot seed shell.

Modeling of Cobalt-Chromium-Molybdenum Alloy Implant for Fractured Distal Femur

Distal femur fractures are the cause of abnormal gloomy. Several types of surgical treatments have been adopted by the practitioners to restore the fractured region of distal femur. Still within this domain of study, unstable fixation remains a challenge for orthopedists. In the present study, a fixation implant is designed and analyzed under physiological loading conditions for cobalt-chromium-molybdenum alloy (Co-Cr-Mo). It has been found that the stresses and deformation developed are quite low. It means that customized fixation plates will provide stable fixation resulting in improved fracture union.