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Effect of macromolecular mass transport in microgravity protein crystallization

Abstract

To investigate the effect of macromolecular transport and the incorporation of protein aggregate impurities in growing crystals, experiments were performed on the International Space Station (ISS) and compared with control experiments performed in a 1G laboratory environment. Crystal growth experiments for hen egg-white lysozyme (HEWL) and Plasmodium falciparum glutathione S-transferase (PfGST) were monitored using the ISS Light Microscopy Module (LMM). Experiments were performed applying the liquid–liquid counter diffusion crystallization method using rectangular, optically transparent capillaries. To analyze the quantity of impurity incorporated into growing crystals, stable fluorescently labeled protein aggregates were prepared and subsequently added at different percent concentrations to nonlabeled monomeric protein suspensions. For HEWL, a covalent cross-linked HEWL dimer was fluorescently labeled, and for PfGST, a stable tetramer was prepared. Crystallization solutions containing different protein aggregate ratios were prepared. The frozen samples were launched on 19.02.2017 via SpaceX-10 mission and immediately transferred to a -80°C freezer on the ISS. Two series of crystallization experiments were performed on ISS, one during 26.02.2017 to 10.03.2017 and a second during 16.06.2017 to 23.06.2017. A comparison of crystal growth rate and size showed different calculated average growth rates as well as different dimensions for crystals growing in different positions along the capillary. The effect of macromolecular mass transport on crystal growth in microgravity was experimentally calculated. In parallel, the percentage of incorporated fluorescent aggregate into the crystals was monitored utilizing the fluorescent LMM and ground-based fluorescent microscopes.

Open access
Effect of using insert on the flow pressure in cylindrical silo

Abstract

This paper presents an experimental investigation of the discharge flow pressure in the vertical silo and the hopper due to the use of insert (top cone with trunk cone bottom). Using the Insert inside the silos is one of the proposed solutions to avoid the problems of having funnel flow pattern, which has a significant effect on the distribution of flow pressure exerted on the silo wall and the hopper. The experiments were performed on a metal cylinder prototype; corn was used as a granular material, and the wall and hopper pressure distribution was measured by a special pressure transducer. The experiments revealed an important result in the flow pressure due to the change in the location of the insert. The experiments were conducted in Damascus University laboratories.

Open access
A New Method for the Estimation of Hydraulic Permeability, Coefficient of Consolidation, and Soil Fraction Based on the Dilatometer Tests (DMT)

Abstract

The main issue of the paper is the estimation of soil hydraulic permeability based on the DMT test. DMTA, DMTC and SASK methods performed in the Nielisz dam, Stegny and the SGGW Campus of the Warsaw University of Life Sciences sites are described. The article presents the implementation of the dilatometer Marchetti test (DMT) in the determination of soil fraction and effects of its occurrence in the subsoil, tested in the Nielisz dam located in the Wieprz river valley in the Lublin province, and in various sites in Warsaw (Stegny site and SGGW Campus of the Warsaw University of Life Sciences). In order to acquire the needed data, the flat dilatometer test (DMT) method was used. A direct and indirect pressure methodology of interpreting soil swelling was characterized in the article. The paper shows the possibilities of determining sand, silt and clay soil fractions based on po and p 1 pressures from dilatometer tests (DMT) and the effective (σvo) and total (σvo) vertical in situ overburden stress. Additionally, the main advantage of this paper is the proposal of use of a new chart to determine hydraulic permeability and soil fraction, based on DMT tests.

Open access
Shear Strength Enhancement of Cemented Reinforced Sand: Role of Cement Content on the Macro-Mechanical Behavior

Abstract

Sands reinforced by hydraulic binders (cement) have constituted in recent decades a major asset for the expansion of several areas of engineering. The mechanical behavior of sand-cement mixtures has undergone some controversies studied on the Chlef sand. In this paper, we present an experimental study to investigate the mechanical behavior of a sandy soil reinforced by a hydraulic binder (cement), using the direct shear apparatus emphasizing on the shear strength characteristics and the vertical deformation variation of cemented reinforced sand. The parameters used in this study are mainly: relative density (Dr = 80%), normal stress (σn = 100, 200, 400 kPa), water content (3, 7 and 10%), cement content (2.5, 5, 7.5 and 10 %) and cure time (7, 14 and 28 days). The experimental results show that the mechanical characteristics in terms of internal cohesion (C) and internal frication angle (φ) give a better mechanical performance with the binder inclusion, and the cure conditions play an effective role on the improvement of the shear strength. This result also showed that 10% of the cement content gave us a maximum value of shear strength and an optimal influence on the mechanical characteristics. The addition of cement not only improves the shear strength of soil, but also provides diversity in the resistance against the deformations imposed load, which can be established by a dilatant character.

Open access
Effectiveness of GEANT4 in Monte Carlo Simulation Studyofphonon Conduction in Sn Host with Si Nanowire Interface

Abstract

We have explored the effectiveness of Geant4 by using it to simulate phonon conduction in Sn Host with Si Nanowire Interface. Our Monte Carlo Simulation shows that the effectiveness of the phonon conduction Geant4 simulation increases when the system attained a steady state of 100 time steps. We have simulated phonon conduction in Sn host with Si nanowire interface using a Geant4Condensed Matter Physics Monte Carlo simulation toolkit in a low cost and less powerful processing computer machine. In the simulation, phonons were displaced inside a computation domain from their initial positions with the velocities and direction vectors assigned to them. A time step was selected so that a phonon can move at most the length of one sub-cell in one time step. Our phonon conduction analysis of SiSn based alloy using Geant4 showed performance enhancement and reasonable predicted thermal values. Numerical predictions of the thermal profile simulations of the values of the temperature in each cell were all within ten percent of the average temperature of Silicon – Tin.

Open access
Construction and Monitoring of Cement/Bentonite Cutoff Walls: Case Study of Karkheh Dam, Iran

Abstract

Water seepage is one of the most important features of embankment dams. To prevent and reduce seepage, it is necessary to seal the dam. Plastic concrete cutoff walls are one of the most efficient methods in waterproofing the foundation of embankment dams on permeable alluvial substrates. Sufficient resistance to loads, low permeability to maintain dam sealing, high ductility compatible with the foundation and deformation under load without cracking are the main requirements in plastic concrete cutoff walls. In this paper, the construction and implementation of the cutoff wall of Karkheh Dam, which is one the world’s largest water sealing projects, was studied. In addition, a numerical model using Seep-3D software was developed to evaluate the efficiency of the cut-off wall to decrease the seepage over the dam’s foundation. The numerical results validated by instrumentation statistics resulted from 17-years dam operation. According to the results, after the drainage of the reservoir, the cutoff wall optimally reduced the hydraulic gradient by 0.08 from 2.35 and the water leakage by 3.1 m/s from 18.3 m/s.

Open access
Effect of settlement of foundations on the failure risk of the bottom of cylindrical steel vertical tanks for liquids

Abstract

Different types of foundations are used in steel, above-ground cylindrical storage tanks for liquids. If a sand-gravel foundation is used under the entire bottom of the tank or only in the central part of the tank, settlement can be expected, and it increases after many years of operation. The paper presents the typical kinds and types of soil settlements under the bottoms of the tanks, in which different types of foundations were used. Numerical analyses of the effect of the soil settlement on the state of deformations and stresses in steel sheets of the bottom under one of the real tanks, in which different types of foundations and different cases of settlement were assumed. The results of numerical analyses indicated the possibility of evaluating the state of the soil settlement and bottom sheet deformations on the basis of simple measurements of deformations of the lower part of the tank cylinder. These measurements can be very useful in assessing the possible risk of failure of the tank bottom during each period of its operation, as measurements of settlement of the bottom of a filled tank are not feasible in practice. It has been proposed that in each steel tank, the deformation of the cylinder’s sheets should be measured even before the beginning of exploitation, and that in subsequent periodical measurements, the influence of the soil settlement under the tank on the state of the cylinder deformation and bottom’s strain should be assessed more accurately.

Open access
Penetrative convection due to absorption of radiation in a magnetic nanofluid saturated porous layer

Abstract

The present study investigates the onset of penetrative convection in- duced by selective absorption of radiation in a magnetic nanofluid saturated porous medium. The influence of Brownian motion, thermophoresis, and magnetophoresis on magnetic nanofluid treatment is taken into consideration. The Darcy’s model is selected for the porous medium. We conduct a linear stability analysis to examine the onset of instability and evaluate the results for two different configurations, namely, when the layer is heated from below and when the layer is heated from above. The numerical investigations are carried out by applying the Chebyshev pseudospectral method. The effect of the porosity parameter E, parameter Y (represents the ratio of internal heating to boundary heating), Lewis number Le, concentration Rayleigh number Rn, Langevin parameter αL, width of nanofluid layer d, diffusivity ratio η, and modified diffusivity ratio NA is examined at the onset of convection. The results indicate that the convection commences easily with an increase in the value of Y, Le, and NA but opposite in the case with a decrease in the value of E, αL, η and d for both the two configurations. The parameter Rn advances the onset of convection when the layer is heated from below, while delays the onset of convection when the layer is heated from above.

Open access
Effective Friction Angle Of Deltaic Soils In The Vistula Marshlands

Abstract

This article presents the results of laboratory tests on soft, normally consolidated soils from the Vistula Marshlands. Samples of high-plasticity organic soils (muds) taken from 3.2–4.0 m and 9.5–10.0 m depth, as well as peat deposit at 14.0 m, are analysed. Presented case study confirms the applicability of the Norwegian Institute of Technology (NTH) method based on Cone Penetration Tests (CPTU) and allows for a conservative estimation of effective friction angle for muds. The plastification angle equal to 14.5° for organic silt, applied in the modified NTH method, fits well the triaxial test (TX) results. Moreover, the dilative-contractive behaviour according to the CPTU soil classification based on the Robertson’s proposal from 2016 corresponds well with volumetric changes observed in the consolidated drained triaxial compression tests. The internal friction angles of the Vistula Marshlands’ muds and peats are lower in comparison with the database of similar soft soils.

Open access
Axisymmetric Torsion of an Elastic Layer Sandwiched between Two Elastic Half-Spaces with Two Interfaced Cracks

Abstract

The present article examines the problem related to the axisymmetric torsion of an elastic layer by a circular rigid disc at the symmetry plane. The layer is sandwiched between two similar elastic half-spaces with two penny-shaped cracks symmetrically located at the interfaces between the two bonded dissimilar media. The mixed boundary-value problem is transformed, by means of the Hankel integral transformation, to dual integral equations, that are reduced, to a Fredholm integral equation of the second kind. The numerical methods are used to convert the resulting system to a system of infinite algebraic equations. Some physical quantities such as the stress intensity factor and the moment are calculated and presented numerically according to some relevant parameters. The numerical results show that the discontinuities around the crack and the inclusion cause a large increase in the stresses that decay with distance from the disc-loaded. Furthermore, the dependence of the stress intensity factor on the disc size, the distance between the crack and the disc, and the shear parameter is also observerd.

Open access