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2D numerical analysis of the seismic response of a karst rock mass: importance of underground caves and geostructural details

Abstract

The present study shows the results of a 2D local seismic response (LSR) analysis, simulated for a geomechanical model consisting of a layered carbonate rock mass with hypogean karst caves and a structural– lithostratigraphic complex setting, in an area within the Municipality of Turi (Apulia, Italy). In this case study a Distinct Element Code (DEM) code (UDEC) was used for the LSR simulations conducted on a model both in the absence and in the presence of two overlapping karst caves. The preliminary stress–strain model analysis show some tensile yielding points clustered on the roof of the upper karst cave, already in static conditions, and the phenomenon becomes even more noticeable in dynamic conditions. This is perfectly in agreement with the real occurrence of a sinkhole that brought to the light the underlying karst cave, in the case study area, in the recent past.

The amplification/deamplification factor (FA) was calculated as the ratio of the top value to the bottom value in the model, both of the max X-acceleration and of the spectral Fourier amplitude in three different ranges of frequencies, in order to estimate the effects of LSR on the X-component of the seismic input. According to the previous studies, the results obtained show a generalised deamplification of the seismic ground motion at the top of the model, both without and with underground karst caves, caused by the presence of the upper karst cave and by the seismic energy absorption because of layers’ discontinuity.

Open access
3D Numerical Modeling of Large Piled-Raft Foundation on Clayey Soils for Different Loadings and Pile-Raft Configurations

Abstract

In a piled-raft foundation, the interaction between structural elements and soil continuum can be simulated very precisely by numerical modeling. In the present study, 3D finite element model has been used to examine the settlement, load-sharing, bending moment, and shear force behavior of piled-raft foundation on different soil profiles for different load configurations and pile-raft configurations (PRCs). The model incorporates the pile-to-soil and raft-to-soil interactions by means of interface elements. The effect of parameters such as pile spacing and raft thickness are also studied. For any soil profile, larger pile spacing is observed to be more efficient in reducing the average settlement and enhancing the load-sharing coefficient. The smaller pile spacing is observed to be efficient in reducing the differential settlement. For any soil profile, the behavior of piledraft foundation is significantly affected by the PRCs and load configurations. Furthermore, the raft thickness has significant effect on settlement, bending moment, and shears force. Thus, the results of the present study can be used as guidelines for analyzing and designing large piled-raft foundation.

Open access
Shear strength of compacted Chlef sand: effect of water content, fines content and others parameters

Abstract

This paper presents a laboratory study of the combined effect of the water content and fines content on the mechanical behaviour of Chlef sand in a medium dense state (RD = 65%) and dense state (RD = 80%). Several mechanical parameters were evaluated such as shear strength, cohesion and friction angle at different water content w = 0, 1, 2 and 3% and different fines content Fc = 0, 10, 20, 30 and 40%. The test results showed that the shear strength of Chlef sand decrease with the increase fines content Fc = 0 to 40%, our tests result also showed that the water content has a significant influence on the shear strength which decreases with the increase in the water content w = 0 to 3%. The fines content and the water content have a significant influence on the mechanical parameters c and φ. Cohesion increases with the percentage of fines and decreases with the increase of the water content while the friction angle decreases with the increase the fines content and the water content.

Open access
Critical state constitutive models and shear loading of overconsolidated clays with deviatoric hardening

Abstract

This paper presents an enhanced constitutive model integrating deviatoric hardening with a modified yield surface for overconsolidated clayey soils in a general framework of Cam-clay type models. Its performance was assessed with the simulation of drained and undrained triaxial tests on three clays at different consolidation states in comparison to two critical state models. The proposed model satisfactorily estimates the shear resistance, while capturing the smooth nonlinearity of the soil response.

Shear triaxial tests at constant mean pressure were performed on an overconsolidated marl to study the shear response. Their simulation attests the importance of deviatoric hardening integration.

Open access
Development of sol-gel derived gahnite anti-reflection coating for augmenting the power conversion efficiency of polycrystalline silicon solar cells

Abstract

The present research is focused on developing ZnAl2O4 (gahnite) spinel as an antireflection coating material for enhanced energy conversion of polycrystalline silicon solar cells (PSSC). ZnAl2O4 has been synthesized using dual precursors, namely aluminum nitrate nonahydrate and zinc nitrate hexahydrate in ethanol media. Diethanolamine has been used as a sol stabilizer in sol-gel process for ZnAl2O4 nanosheet fabrication. ZnAl2O4 nanosheet was deposited layer-by-layer (LBL) on PSSC by spin coating method. The effect of ZnAl2O4 coating on the physical, electrical, optical properties and temperature distribution in PSSC was investigated. The synthesized antireflection coating (ARC) material bears gahnite (ZnAl2O4) spinel crystal structure composed of two dimensional (2D) nanosheets. An increase in layer thickness proves the LBL deposition of ARC on the PSSC substrate. The ZnAl2O4 2D nanosheet comprising ARC on the PSSC was tested and it exhibited a maximum of 93 % transmittance, short-circuit photocurrent of 42.364 mA/cm2 and maximum power conversion efficiency (PCE) 23.42 % at a low cell temperature (50.2 °C) for three-layer ARC, while the reference cell exhibited 33.518 mA/cm2, 15.74 % and 59.1 °C, respectively. Based on the results, ZnAl2O4 2D nanosheets have been proven as an appropriate ARC material for increasing the PCE of PSSC.

Open access
SiN/SiO2 passivation stack of n-type silicon surface

Abstract

The SiN/SiO2 stack is widely used to passivate the surface of n-type monocrystalline silicon solar cells. In this work, we have undertaken a study to compare the stack layer obtained with SiO2 grown by both rapid thermal and chemical ways to passivate n-type monocrystalline silicon surface. By varying the plateau time and the plateau temperature of the rapid thermal oxidation, we determined the parameters to grow 10 nm thick oxide. Two-step nitric acid oxidation was used to grow 2 nm thick silicon oxide. Silicon nitride films with three refractive indices were used to produce the SiN/SiO2 stack. Regarding this parameter, the minority carrier lifetime measured by means of QSSPC revealed that the refractive index of 1.9 ensured the best passivation quality of silicon wafer surface. We also found that stacks with nitric acid oxidation showed definitely the best passivation quality. In addition to produce the most efficient passivation, this technique has the lowest thermal budget.

Open access
Deposition time and annealing effects on morphological and optical properties of ZnS thin films prepared by chemical bath deposition

Abstract

Nanocrystalline zinc sulfide thin films were prepared on glass substrates by chemical bath deposition method using aqueous solutions of zinc chloride, thiourea ammonium hydroxide along with non-toxic complexing agent trisodium citrate in alkaline medium at 80 °C. The effect of deposition time and annealing on the properties of ZnS thin films was investigated by X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, optical transmittance spectroscopy and four-point probe method. The X-ray diffraction analysis showed that the samples exhibited cubic sphalerite structure with preferential orientation along 〈2 0 0〉 direction. Scanning electron microscopy micrographs revealed uniform surface coverage, UV-Vis (300 nm to 800 nm) spectrophotometric measurements showed transparency of the films (transmittance ranging from 69 % to 81 %), with a direct allowed energy band gap in the range of 3.87 eV to 4.03 eV. After thermal annealing at 500 °C for 120 min, the transmittance increased up to 87 %. Moreover, the electrical conductivity of the deposited films increased with increasing of the deposition time from 0.35 × 10−4 Ω·cm−1 to 2.7 × 10−4 Ω·cm−1.

Open access
Green synthesis and spectral analysis of surface encapsulated copper (II) oxide nanostructures

Abstract

Nanostructures of copper (II) oxide were synthesized through chemical reduction of copper (II) sulfate pentahydrate using phytochemicals present in leaf extracts of Leucas aspera. The crystalline phases and size were assessed by X-ray diffraction data analysis. From the Bragg reflection peaks, existence of monoclinic end-centered phase of copper (II) oxide along with presence of cubic primitive phase of copper (I) oxide and traces of cubic face centered lattices of zero valent copper was revealed. The three Raman active modes corresponding to CuO phase were identified in the sample with permissible merging of characteristic bands due to nanostructuring and organic capping. The surface topography measurement using field emission scanning electron microscope evidenced the occurrence of cylindrical rod shaped morphological structures along with a number of unshaped aggregates in the sample. The effective crystallite size and lattice strain were estimated from Williamson-Hall analysis of Bragg reflection data. Tauc plot analysis of UV-Vis-NIR absorption data in direct transition mode provided an estimation of band gap, viz. 1.83 eV and 2.06 eV respectively, for copper (II) oxide and copper (I) oxide. Thermal degradation study using thermogravimetric curve analysis could reveal the amount of moisture content, volatile components as well as the polymer capping over nanorods present in the sample. It could be seen that upon heating, inorganic core crystals undergo oxidation process and at temperature above 464 °C, the sample was found to be composed solely of inorganic crystallite phase of copper (II) oxide.

Open access
Growth, characterization and optical properties of potassium iodide (KI) doped potassium hydrogen phthalate (KHP) single crystals for optoelectronic applications

Abstract

Potassium iodide (KI) doped potassium hydrogen phthalate (KHP) single crystals were grown by slow evaporation technique using millipore water as a solvent. The grown single crystals were analyzed by powder X-ray diffraction and the analysis confirmed that KI-doped KHP crystallizes in orthorhombic system with space group Pca21. The functional groups were identified by FT-IR technique which showed slight shift in vibrational frequencies, indicating inclusion of dopant into the crystal lattice. The UV-Vis spectral studies revealed the optical transparency of the doped crystals in the entire visible region. The optical band gap values were estimated from Tauc plots. Kurtz-Perry powder test was employed for second harmonic generation efficiency studies of the grown crystals.

Open access
Growth, electrical, thermal, mechanical and etching studies on 4-chloroanilinium hydrogen (2R, 3R)-tartrate monohydrate-an organic NLO single crystal

Abstract

An organic single crystal of 4-chloroanilinium hydrogen (2R,3R)-tartrate monohydrate (4CAHT) was grown by slow evaporation solution growth technique at room temperature. Single crystal XRD study confirmed that the crystal belongs to monoclinic system with the space group P21. Powder XRD analysis confirmed the crystalline nature of the compound. The presence of various functional groups in the compound was revealed by FT-IR analysis. UV studies showed the absence of absorption in the entire visible region. To determine the thermal stability of the grown crystals it was subjected to thermogravimetric and differential thermal analyses. Microhardness and etching studies were also carried out for the crystal. The powder second harmonic generation efficiency of 4CAHT was tested by Kurtz and Perry powder technique and the relative SHG efficiency of 4CAHT was found to be 1.44 times greater than that of standard KDP.

Open access