Microstructural Evolution of an Interface Region in a Nickel-Based Superalloy Joint Produced by Direct Energy Deposition

Microstructure analysis of additively manufactured (AM) materials is an important step in understanding the interrelationship between mechanical properties and materials performance. Literature on the effect of a laser-based AM process parameters on the microstructure in the substrate-deposit interface is limited. The interface region, the adjoining area of substrate and deposit, is characterized by the presence of the fusion zone (FZ) and heat affected zone (HAZ) experiencing rapid thermal gyrations resulting in thermal induced transformations. Inconel 718 was utilized as a work material for both the substrate and deposit. Three blocks of Inconel 718 material were deposited by Direct Energy Deposition (DED) using three different laser powers, 550W, 750W and 950W, respectively. A coupled thermo-mechanical transient approach was utilized to correlate temperature history to the evolution of microstructure. Thermal history of the deposition process was monitored with the thermocouples installed inside the substrate material. Interface region of the blocks were analysed with Optical Microscopy (OM) and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) including electron back-scattered diffraction (EBSD) technique. Laser power was found to influence the dissolution of intermetallic precipitated phases in the substrate and grain growth in the interface region. Microstructure and thermal history data were utilized to draw conclusive comparisons between the investigated process parameters.

Teaching Science Content Area Literacy to 21st Century Learners

The use of new literacies within science classrooms needs to be balanced by teachers to both teach different forms of communication while assessing content area proficiency. Using new literacies such as Twitter and Facebook needs to be incorporated into science content area literacy studies in addition to continuing to use generally-accepted forms of scientific content area presentation which include scientific papers and textbooks. The research question this literature review seeks to answer is “What are some ways in which new forms of literacy are better suited to teach scientific content area literacy to 21st century learners?” The research question is addressed through a literature review that highlights methods currently being used to educate the next wave of learners in the world of science content area literacy. Both temporal discourse analysis (TDA) and critical discourse analysis (CDA) were used to determine the need to use new literacies to teach science content area literacy. Increased use of digital technologies and a change in science content area pedagogy were explored.

Construction Port Requirements for Floating Offshore Wind Turbines

s the floating offshore wind turbine industry continues to develop and grow, the capabilities of established port facilities need to be assessed as to their ability to support the expanding construction and installation requirements. This paper assesses current infrastructure requirements and projected changes to port facilities that may be required to support the floating offshore wind industry. Understanding the infrastructure needs of the floating offshore renewable industry will help to identify the port-related requirements. Floating offshore wind turbines can be installed further out to sea and in deeper waters than traditional fixed offshore wind arrays, meaning it can take advantage of stronger winds. Separate ports are required for substructure construction, fit-out of the turbines, moorings, subsea cables and maintenance. Large areas are required for the laydown of mooring equipment, inter array cables, turbine blades and nacelles. The capabilities of established port facilities to support floating wind farms are assessed by evaluation of size of substructures, height of wind turbine with regards to the cranes for fitting of blades, distance to offshore site and offshore installation vessel characteristics. The paper will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using large land based cranes, inshore floating crane vessels or offshore crane vessels at the fit-out port for the installation of the turbine. Water depths requirements for import of materials and export of the completed structures will be considered. There are additional costs associated with any emerging technology. However, part of the popularity of Floating Offshore Wind Turbines stems from the cost savings against permanent structures like fixed wind turbines. Floating Offshore Wind Turbine developers can benefit from lighter, more cost effective equipment which can be assembled in port and towed to site rather than relying on large, expensive installation vessels to transport and erect fixed bottom turbines. The ability to assemble Floating Offshore Wind Turbines equipment on shore means minimising highly weather dependent operations like offshore heavy lifts and assembly, saving time and costs and reducing safety risks for offshore workers. Maintenance might take place in safer onshore conditions for barges and semi submersibles. Offshore renewables, such as floating wind, can take advantage of this wealth of experience, while oil and gas operators can deploy this experience at the same time as entering the renewables space. The floating offshore wind industry is in the early stages of development and port facilities are required for substructure fabrication, turbine manufacture, turbine construction and maintenance support. The paper discusses the potential floating wind substructures as this provides a snapshot of the requirements at the present time, and potential technological developments required for commercial development. Scaling effects of demonstration-scale projects will be addressed; however the primary focus will be on commercial-scale (30+ units) device floating wind energy farms.

An Application-Driven Procedure for Optimal Signal Digitization of Automotive-Grade Ultrasonic Sensors

In this work, a methodology is presented for identifying the optimal digitization parameters for the analog signal of ultrasonic sensors. These digitization parameters are the resolution of the analog to digital conversion and the sampling rate. This is accomplished though the derivation of characteristic curves based on Fano inequality and the calculation of the mutual information content over a given dataset. The mutual information is calculated between the examples in the dataset and the corresponding variation in the feature that needs to be estimated. The optimal parameters are identified in a manner that ensures optimal estimation performance while preventing inefficiency in using unnecessarily powerful analog to digital converters.

A Multigranular Linguistic Additive Ratio Assessment Model in Group Decision Making

Most of the multi-criteria group decision making (MCGDM) problems dealing with qualitative criteria require consideration of the large background of expert information. It is common that experts have different degrees of knowledge for giving their alternative assessments according to criteria. So, it seems logical that they use different evaluation scales to express their judgment, i.e., multi granular linguistic scales. In this context, we propose the extension of the classical additive ratio assessment (ARAS) method to the case of a hierarchical linguistics term for managing multi granular linguistic scales in uncertain context where uncertainty is modeled by means in linguistic information. The proposed approach is called the extended hierarchical linguistics-ARAS method (ELH-ARAS). Within the ELH-ARAS approach, the decision maker (DMs) can diagnose the results (the ranking of the alternatives) in a decomposed style i.e., not only at one level of the hierarchy but also at the intermediate ones. Also, the developed approach allows a feedback transformation i.e., the collective final results of all experts are able to be transformed at any level of the extended linguistic hierarchy that each expert has previously used. Therefore, the ELH-ARAS technique makes it easier for decision-makers to understand the results. Finally, an MCGDM case study is given to illustrate the proposed approach.

Indigenous Engagement: Towards a Culturally Sensitive Approach for Inclusive Economic Development

This paper suggests that cultural landscape management plans in an Indigenous context are more effective if designed by taking into consideration context-related social and cultural aspects, adopting people-centred and cultural-based approaches for instance. In relation to working in Indigenous and mining contexts, we draw upon and contribute to international policies on human rights that promote the development of management plans that are co-designed through genuine engagement processes. We suggest that the production of management plans that are built upon culturally relevant frameworks leads to more inclusive economic development, a greater sense of trust, and shared managerial responsibilities. In this paper, three issues related to Indigenous engagement and cultural landscape management plans will be addressed: (1) the need for effective communication channels between proponents and Traditional Owners (Australian original Aboriginal peoples who inhabited specific regions), (2) the use of a culturally sensitive approach to engage local representatives in the decision-making processes, and (3) how design of new management plans can help in establishing shared management.

Teachers’ Continuance Intention Towards Using Madrasati Platform: A Conceptual Framework

With the rapid spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Saudi government suspended students from going to school to combat the outbreak. As e-learning was not applied at all in schools, online teaching and learning have been revived in Saudi Arabia by providing a new platform called ‘Madrasati’. The Decomposed Theory of Planned Behaviour (DTPB) is used to examine individuals’ intention behaviour in many fields. Nevertheless, the factors that affect teachers’ continuance intention of the Madrasati platform have not yet been investigated. The purpose of this paper is to present a conceptual model in light with DTPB. To enhance the predictability of the model, the study incorporates other variables including learning content quality and interactivity as sub-factors under the perceived usefulness, students and government influences under the subjective norms, and technical support and prior e-learning experience under the perceived behavioural control. The model will be further validated using a mixed methods approach. Such findings would help administrators and stakeholders to understand teachers’ needs and develop new methods that might encourage teachers to continue using Madrasati effectively in their teaching.

The Role of Product Involvement Level in Consumer Tendency toward Online Review

The paper aims to clarify the relationship between product involvement level and consumer tendency toward online review. It proposes the products in two classes and examines the level of user attention and significant difference between attribute-based areas and experience-based areas in each category. It uses an eye-tracking experiment to simulate the experience of online shopping behavior in order to view the consumers' shopping behavior. Thus, a scenario was designed, and 23 participants were asked step by step to purchase some products and add them to their shopping cart. The fixation durations are used to examine the amount of visual attention of the user in each area of interest (AOI) determined considering two classes of high involvement and low involvement products, and paired sample T-test was used to examine the effect of the product’s types on the online review content. The study results explained that users of high involvement products consider the attribute-based points more highly than the experience-based points.

Piezoelectric Bimorph Harvester Based on Different Lead Zirconate Titanate Materials to Enhance Energy Collection

Nowadays, the increasing applicability of internet of things (IoT) systems has changed the way that the world around is perceived. The massive interconnection of systems by means of sensing, processing and communication, allows multitude of data to be at our fingertips. In this way, countless advances have been made in different fields such as personal care, predictive maintenance in industry, quality control in production processes, security, and in everything imaginable. However, all these electronic systems have in common the need to be electrically powered. In this context, batteries and wires are the most commonly used solutions, but they are not a definitive solution in some applications, because of the attainability, the serviceability, or the performance requirements. Therefore, the need arises to look for other types of solutions based on energy harvesting and long-life electronics. Energy Harvesting can be defined as the action of capturing energy from the environment and store it for an instantaneous use or later use. Among the materials capable of harvesting energy from the environment, such as thermoelectrics, electromagnetics, photovoltaics or triboelectrics, the most suitable is the piezoelectric material. The phenomenon of piezoelectricity is one of the most powerful sources for energy harvesting, ranging from a few micro wats to hundreds of wats, depending on certain factors such as material type, geometry, excitation frequency, mechanical and electrical configurations, among others. In this research work, an exhaustive study is carried out on how different types of piezoelectric materials and electrical configurations influence the maximum power that a bimorph harvester is able to extract from mechanical vibrations. A series of experiments has been carried out in which the manufactured bimorph specimens are excited under fixed inertial vibrational conditions. In addition, in order to evaluate the dependence of the maximum transferred power, different load resistors are tested. In this way, the pure active power that achieves the maximum power transfer can be approximated. In this paper, we present the design of low-cost energy harvesting solutions based on piezoelectric smart materials with tunable frequency. The results obtained show the differences in energy extraction between the PZT materials studied and their electrical configurations. The aim of this work is to gain a better understanding of the behavior of piezoelectric materials, and the design process of bimorph PZT harvesters to optimize environmental energy extraction.

On the Paradigm Shift of the Overall Urban Design in China

Facing a period of major change that is rarely seen in a century, China formulates the 14th Five-Year Plan and places emphasis on promoting high-quality development. In this context, the overall urban design has become a crucial and systematic tool for high-quality urban development. However, there are bottlenecks in the cognition of nature, content scope and transmission mechanisms of the current overall urban design in China. The paper interprets the emerging demands of the 14th Five-Year Plan on urban design in terms of new value-quality priority, new dynamic-space performance, new target-region coordination and new path-refined governance. Based on the new trend and appeal, the multi-dimensional thinking integrated with the major tasks of urban design are proposed accordingly, which is the biomass thinking in ecological, production and living element, the strategic thinking in spatial structure, the systematic thinking in the cityscape, the low-carbon thinking in urban form, the governance thinking in public space, the user thinking in design implementation. The paper explores the possibility of transforming the value thinking and technical system of urban design in China and provides a breakthrough path for the urban planning and design industry to better respond to the propositions of the country’s 14th Five-Year Plan.

Predictions of Dynamic Behaviors for Gas Foil Bearings Operating at Steady-State Based on Multi-Physics Coupling Computer Aided Engineering Simulations

A simulation scheme of rotational motions for predictions of bump-type gas foil bearings operating at steady-state is proposed. The scheme is based on multi-physics coupling computer aided engineering packages modularized with computational fluid dynamic model and structure elasticity model to numerically solve the dynamic equation of motions of a hydrodynamic loaded shaft supported by an elastic bump foil. The bump foil is assumed to be modelled as infinite number of Hookean springs mounted on stiff wall. Hence, the top foil stiffness is constant on the periphery of the bearing housing. The hydrodynamic pressure generated by the air film lubrication transfers to the top foil and induces elastic deformation needed to be solved by a finite element method program, whereas the pressure profile applied on the top foil must be solved by a finite element method program based on Reynolds Equation in lubrication theory. As a result, the equation of motions for the bearing shaft are iteratively solved via coupling of the two finite element method programs simultaneously. In conclusion, the two-dimensional center trajectory of the shaft plus the deformation map on top foil at constant rotational speed are calculated for comparisons with the experimental results.

Structural Performance Evaluation of Electronic Road Sign Panels Reflecting Damage Scenarios

This paper is intended to evaluate the structural performance of welded electronic road signs under various damage scenarios (DSs) using a finite element (FE) model calibrated with full-scale ultimate load testing results. The tested electronic road sign specimen was built with a back skin made of 5052 aluminum and two channels and a frame made of 6061 aluminum, where the back skin was connected to the frame by welding. The size of the tested specimen was 1.52 m long, 1.43 m wide, and 0.28 m deep. An actuator applied vertical loads at the center of the back skin of the specimen, resulting in a displacement of 158.7 mm and an ultimate load of 153.46 kN. Using these testing data, generation and calibration of a FE model of the tested specimen were executed in ABAQUS, indicating that the difference in the ultimate load between the calibrated model simulation and full-scale testing was only 3.32%. Then, six different DSs were simulated where the areas of the welded connection in the calibrated model were diminished for the DSs. It was found that the corners at the back skin-frame joint were prone to connection failure for all the DSs, and failure of the back skin-frame connection occurred remarkably from the distant edges.

Factors Affecting Employee Decision Making in an AI Environment

The decision-making process in humans is a complicated system influenced by a variety of intrinsic and extrinsic factors. Human decisions have a ripple effect on subsequent decisions. In this study, the scope of human decision making is limited to employees. In an organisation, a person makes a variety of decisions from the time they are hired to the time they retire. The goal of this research is to identify various elements that influence decision making. In addition, the environment in which a decision is made is a significant aspect of the decision-making process. Employees in today's workplace use artificial intelligence (AI) systems for automation and decision augmentation. The impact of AI systems on the decision-making process is examined in this study. This research is designed based on a systematic literature review. Based on gaps in the literature, limitations and the scope of future research have been identified. Based on these findings, a research framework has been designed to identify various factors affecting employee decision making. Employee decision making is influenced by technological advancement, data-driven culture, human trust, decision automation-augmentation and workplace motivation. Hybrid human-AI systems require development of new skill sets and organisational design. Employee psychological safety and supportive leadership influences overall job satisfaction.

Properties of Bacterial Nanocellulose for Scenic Arts

Kombucha (a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) produces material capable of acquiring multiple shapes and textures that change significantly under different environment or temperature variations (e.g., when it is exposed to wet conditions), properties that may be explored in the scenic industry. This paper presents an analysis of its specific characteristics, exploring them as a non-conventional material for arts and performance. Costume Design uses surfaces as a powerful way of expression to represent concepts and stories; it may apply the unique features of nano bacterial cellulose (NBC) as assets in this artistic context. A mix of qualitative and quantitative (interventionist) methodology approaches were used such as review of relevant literature to deepen knowledge on the research topic (crossing bibliography from different fields of studies: biology, art, costume design, etc.); as well as descriptive methods: laboratorial experiments, document quantities, observation to identify material properties and possibilities used to express a multiple narrative ideas, concepts and feelings. The results confirmed that NBC is an interactive and versatile material viable to be used in an alternative scenic context; its unique aesthetic and performative qualities, which change in contact to moisture, are resources that can be used to show a visual and poetic impact on stage.

The Relationship between Representational Conflicts, Generalization, and Encoding Requirements in an Instance Memory Network

This paper aims to provide an interpretation of artificial neural networks (ANNs) and explore some of its implications. The interpretation views ANNs as a memory which encodes instances of experience. An experiment explores the behavior of encoding and retrieval of instances from memory. A localised representation ANN is created that allows control over encoding and retrieved memory sample size and is experimented with using the MNIST digits dataset. The relationship between input familiarity, conflict within retrieved samples, and error rates is described and demonstrated to be an effective driver for memory encoding. Results indicate that selective encoding and retrieval samples that allow detection of memory conflicts produce optimal performance, and that error rates are normally distributed with input familiarity and conflict. By using input familiarity and sample consistency to guide memory encoding, the number of encoding trials on the dataset were reduced to 18.33% of the training data while maintaining good recognition performance on the test data.

Accelerated Ageing of Unidirectional Flax Fibers Reinforced Recycled Polypropylene Composites

Over the last decades, worldwide environmental awareness has grown due to the depletion of raw material resources and global warming. This awareness has prompted the development of new products more environmentally friendly. Among these products are biocomposite materials reinforced with natural fibers. The main challenge in developing the use of biocomposites in exterior applications is the lack of knowledge about their durability and the evolution of their mechanical and physicochemical properties in the long term. The aim of this work is to study the photooxidation of unidirectional (UD) composites based on recycled matrix. For this purpose, UD flax fiber composites based on recycled polypropylene were prepared by thermocompression. An accelerated aging test was carried out using a xenon arc WeatherOmeter. The consequences of UV exposure on the chemical composition and morphology of the surface of composites as well as on their tensile mechanical properties have been reported. The results showed that accelerated aging had a significant effect on the surface of these composites while it had little impact on their mechanical properties.

Multi-Robotic Partial Disassembly Line Balancing with Robotic Efficiency Difference via HNSGA-II

To accelerate the remanufacturing process of electronic waste products, this study designs a partial disassembly line with the multi-robotic station to effectively dispose of excessive wastes. The multi-robotic partial disassembly line is a technical upgrade to the existing manual disassembly line. Balancing optimization can make the disassembly line smoother and more efficient. For partial disassembly line balancing with the multi-robotic station (PDLBMRS), a mixed-integer programming model (MIPM) considering the robotic efficiency differences is established to minimize cycle time, energy consumption and hazard index and to calculate their optimal global values. Besides, an enhanced NSGA-II algorithm (HNSGA-II) is proposed to optimize PDLBMRS efficiently. Finally, MIPM and HNSGA-II are applied to an actual mixed disassembly case of two types of computers, the comparison of the results solved by GUROBI and HNSGA-II verifies the correctness of the model and excellent performance of the algorithm, and the obtained Pareto solution set provides multiple options for decision-makers.

An Effective Noise Resistant FM Continuous-Wave Radar Vital Sign Signal Detection Method

To address the problem that the FM continuous-wave (FMCW) radar extracts human vital sign signals which are susceptible to noise interference and low reconstruction accuracy, a detection scheme for the sign signals is proposed. Firstly, an improved complete ensemble empirical modal decomposition with adaptive noise (ICEEMDAN) algorithm is applied to decompose the radar-extracted thoracic signals to obtain several intrinsic modal functions (IMF) with different spatial scales, and then the IMF components are optimized by a backpropagation (BP) neural network improved by immune genetic algorithm (IGA). The simulation results show that this scheme can effectively separate the noise, accurately extract the respiratory and heartbeat signals and improve the reconstruction accuracy and signal to-noise ratio of the sign signals.

Topic Modeling Using Latent Dirichlet Allocation and Latent Semantic Indexing on South African Telco Twitter Data

Twitter is one of the most popular social media platforms where users share their opinions on different subjects. Twitter can be considered a great source for mining text due to the high volumes of data generated through the platform daily. Many industries such as telecommunication companies can leverage the availability of Twitter data to better understand their markets and make an appropriate business decision. This study performs topic modeling on Twitter data using Latent Dirichlet Allocation (LDA). The obtained results are benchmarked with another topic modeling technique, Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI). The study aims to retrieve topics on a Twitter dataset containing user tweets on South African Telcos. Results from this study show that LSI is much faster than LDA. However, LDA yields better results with higher topic coherence by 8% for the best-performing model in this experiment. A higher topic coherence score indicates better performance of the model.

Un Pavillon – Un Monument: The Modern Palace and the Case of the U.S. Embassy in Karachi, Pakistan (1955–59)

This paper investigates civic representation in mid-century diplomatic buildings through the case of the U.S. Embassy in Karachi (1955-59), Pakistan, designed by the Austrian-American architect Richard Neutra (1892-1970) and the American architect Robert Alexander (1907-92). Texts, magazines, and oral histories at that time highlighted the need for a new postwar expression of American governmental architecture, leaning toward modernization, technology, and monumentality. Descriptive, structural, and historical analyses of the U.S. Embassy in Karachi revealed the emergence of a new prototypical solution for postwar diplomatic buildings: the combination of one main orthogonal block, seen as a modern-day corps de logis, and a flanking arcuated pavilion, often organized in one or two stories. Although the U.S. Embassy relied on highly industrialized techniques and abstract images of social progress, archival work at the Neutra’s archives at the University of California, Los Angeles, revealed that much of this project was adapted to vernacular elements and traditional forms—such as the intriguing use of reinforced concrete barrel vaults.