Open Science Research Excellence

Open Science Index

Commenced in January 2007 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 2351

Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering

Current Status and Future Trends of Mechanized Fruit Thinning Devices and Sensor Technology

This paper reviews the different concepts that have been investigated concerning the mechanization of fruit thinning as well as multiple working principles and solutions that have been developed for feature extraction of horticultural products, both in the field and industrial environments. The research should be committed towards selective methods, which inevitably need to incorporate some kinds of sensor technology. Computer vision often comes out as an obvious solution for unstructured detection problems, although leaves despite the chosen point of view frequently occlude fruits. Further research on non-traditional sensors that are capable of object differentiation is needed. Ultrasonic and Near Infrared (NIR) technologies have been investigated for applications related to horticultural produce and show a potential to satisfy this need while simultaneously providing spatial information as time of flight sensors. Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) technology also shows a huge potential but it implies much greater costs and the related equipment is usually much larger, making it less suitable for portable devices, which may serve a purpose on smaller unstructured orchards. Portable devices may serve a purpose on these types of orchards. In what concerns sensor methods, on-tree fruit detection, major challenge is to overcome the problem of fruits’ occlusion by leaves and branches. Hence, nontraditional sensors capable of providing some type of differentiation should be investigated.

Standalone Docking Station with Combined Charging Methods for Agricultural Mobile Robots

One of the biggest concerns in the field of agriculture is around the energy efficiency of robots that will perform agriculture’s activity and their charging methods. In this paper, two different charging methods for agricultural standalone docking stations are shown that will take into account various variants as field size and its irregularities, work’s nature to which the robot will perform, deadlines that have to be respected, among others. Its features also are dependent on the orchard, season, battery type and its technical specifications and cost. First charging base method focuses on wireless charging, presenting more benefits for small field. The second charging base method relies on battery replacement being more suitable for large fields, thus avoiding the robot stop for recharge. Existing many methods to charge a battery, the CC CV was considered the most appropriate for either simplicity or effectiveness. The choice of the battery for agricultural purposes is if most importance. While the most common battery used is Li-ion battery, this study also discusses the use of graphene-based new type of batteries with 45% over capacity to the Li-ion one. A Battery Management Systems (BMS) is applied for battery balancing. All these approaches combined showed to be a promising method to improve a lot of technical agricultural work, not just in terms of plantation and harvesting but also about every technique to prevent harmful events like plagues and weeds or even to reduce crop time and cost.

Algorithm for Path Recognition in-between Tree Rows for Agricultural Wheeled-Mobile Robots

Machine vision has been widely used in recent years in agriculture, as a tool to promote the automation of processes and increase the levels of productivity. The aim of this work is the development of a path recognition algorithm based on image processing to guide a terrestrial robot in-between tree rows. The proposed algorithm was developed using the software MATLAB, and it uses several image processing operations, such as threshold detection, morphological erosion, histogram equalization and the Hough transform, to find edge lines along tree rows on an image and to create a path to be followed by a mobile robot. To develop the algorithm, a set of images of different types of orchards was used, which made possible the construction of a method capable of identifying paths between trees of different heights and aspects. The algorithm was evaluated using several images with different characteristics of quality and the results showed that the proposed method can successfully detect a path in different types of environments.

Contribution to the Analytical Study of Barrier Surface Waves: Decomposition of the Solution
When a partially or completely immersed solid moves in a liquid such as water, it undergoes a force called hydrodynamic drag. Reducing this force has always been the objective of hydrodynamic engineers to make water slide better on submerged bodies. This paper deals with the examination of the different terms composing the analytical solution of the flow over an obstacle embedded at the bottom of a hydraulic channel. We have chosen to use a linear method to study a two-dimensional flow over an obstacle, in order to understand the evolution of the drag. We set the following assumptions: incompressible inviscid fluid, irrotational flow, low obstacle height compared to the water height. Those assumptions allow overcoming the difficulties associated with modelling these waves. We will mathematically formulate the equations that allow the determination of the stream function, and then the free surface equation. A similar method is used to determine the exact analytical solution for an obstacle in the shape of a sinusoidal arch.
Stability of a Self-Excited Machine Due to the Mechanical Coupling

Generally, different rods in shaft systems can be misaligned based on the mechanical system usages. These rods can be linked together via U-coupling easily. The system is self-stimulated and may cause instabilities due to the inherent behavior of the coupling. In this study, each rod includes an elastic shaft with an angular stiffness and structural damping. Moreover, the mass of shafts is considered via attached solid disks. The impact of the system architecture and shaft mass on the instability of such mechanism are studied. Stability charts are plotted via a method based on Floquet theory. Eventually, the unstable points have been found and analyzed in detail. The results show that stabilizing the driveline is feasible by changing the system characteristics which include shaft mass and architecture.

Taguchi-Based Surface Roughness Optimization for Slotted and Tapered Cylindrical Products in Milling and Turning Operations

The research follows a systematic approach to optimize the parameters for parts machined by turning and milling processes. The quality characteristic chosen is surface roughness since the surface finish plays an important role for parts that require surface contact. A tapered cylindrical surface is designed as a test specimen for the research. The material chosen for machining is aluminum alloy 6061 due to its wide variety of industrial and engineering applications. HAAS VF-2 TR computer numerical control (CNC) vertical machining center is used for milling and HAAS ST-20 CNC machine is used for turning in this research. Taguchi analysis is used to optimize the surface roughness of the machined parts. The L9 Orthogonal Array is designed for four controllable factors with three different levels each, resulting in 18 experimental runs. Signal to Noise (S/N) Ratio is calculated for achieving the specific target value of 75 ± 15 µin. The controllable parameters chosen for turning process are feed rate, depth of cut, coolant flow and finish cut and for milling process are feed rate, spindle speed, step over and coolant flow. The uncontrollable factors are tool geometry for turning process and tool material for milling process. Hypothesis testing is conducted to study the significance of different uncontrollable factors on the surface roughnesses. The optimal parameter settings were identified from the Taguchi analysis and the process capability Cp and the process capability index Cpk were improved from 1.76 and 0.02 to 3.70 and 2.10 respectively for turning process and from 0.87 and 0.19 to 3.85 and 2.70 respectively for the milling process. The surface roughnesses were improved from 60.17 µin to 68.50 µin, reducing the defect rate from 52.39% to 0% for the turning process and from 93.18 µin to 79.49 µin, reducing the defect rate from 71.23% to 0% for the milling process. The purpose of this study is to efficiently utilize the Taguchi design analysis to improve the surface roughness.

Inverse Dynamics of the Mould Base of Blow Molding Machines
This paper deals with the study of devices for displacement of the mould base of blow-molding machines. The displacement of the mould in the studied case is carried out by a linear actuator, which ensures the descent of the mould base and by extension springs, which return the letter in the initial position. The aim of this paper is to study the inverse dynamics of the device for displacement of the mould base of blow-molding machines and to determine its optimum parameters for higher rate of production. In the other words, it is necessary to solve the inverse dynamic problem to find the equation of motion linking applied forces with displacements. This makes it possible to determine the stiffness coefficient of the spring to turn the mold base back to the initial position for a given time. The obtained results are illustrated by a numerical example. It is shown that applying a spring with stiffness returns the mould base of the blow molding machine into the initial position in 0.1 sec.
Optimal Peer-to-Peer On-Orbit Refueling Mission Planning with Complex Constraints

On-Orbit Refueling is of great significance in extending space crafts' lifetime. The problem of minimum-fuel, time-fixed, Peer-to-Peer On-Orbit Refueling mission planning is addressed here with the particular aim of assigning fuel-insufficient satellites to the fuel-sufficient satellites and optimizing each rendezvous trajectory. Constraints including perturbation, communication link, sun illumination, hold points for different rendezvous phases, and sensor switching are considered. A planning model has established as well as a two-level solution method. The upper level deals with target assignment based on fuel equilibrium criterion, while the lower level solves constrained trajectory optimization using special maneuver strategies. Simulations show that the developed method could effectively resolve the Peer-to-Peer On-Orbit Refueling mission planning problem and deal with complex constraints.

Result Validation Analysis of Steel Testing Machines

Structural failures occur due to a number of reasons. These may include under design, poor workmanship, substandard materials, misleading laboratory tests and lots more. Reinforcing steel bar is an important construction material, hence its properties must be accurately known before being utilized in construction. Understanding this property involves carrying out mechanical tests prior to design and during construction to ascertain correlation using steel testing machine which is usually not readily available due to the location of project. This study was conducted to determine the reliability of reinforcing steel testing machines. Reconnaissance survey was conducted to identify laboratories where yield and ultimate tensile strengths tests can be carried out. Six laboratories were identified within Ibadan and environs. However, only four were functional at the time of the study. Three steel samples were tested for yield and tensile strengths, using a steel testing machine, at each of the four laboratories (LM, LO, LP and LS). The yield and tensile strength results obtained from the laboratories were compared with the manufacturer’s specification using a reliability analysis programme. Structured questionnaire was administered to the operators in each laboratory to consider their impact on the test results. The average value of manufacturers’ tensile strength and yield strength are 673.7 N/mm2 and 559.7 N/mm2 respectively. The tensile strength obtained from the four laboratories LM, LO, LP and LS are given as 579.4, 652.7, 646.0 and 649.9 N/mm2 respectively while their yield strengths respectively are 453.3, 597.0, 550.7 and 564.7 N/mm2. Minimum tensile to yield strength ratio is 1.08 for BS 4449: 2005 and 1.15 for ASTM A615. Tensile to yield strength ratio from the four laboratories are 1.28, 1.09, 1.17 and 1.15 for LM, LO, LP and LS respectively. The tensile to yield strength ratio shows that the result obtained from all the laboratories meet the code requirements used for the test. The result of the reliability test shows varying level of reliability between the manufacturers’ specification and the result obtained from the laboratories. Three of the laboratories; LO, LS and LP have high value of reliability with the manufacturer i.e. 0.798, 0.866 and 0.712 respectively. The fourth laboratory, LM has a reliability value of 0.100. Steel test should be carried out in a laboratory using the same code in which the structural design was carried out. More emphasis should be laid on the importance of code provisions.

Quantification of Aerodynamic Variables Using Analytical Technique and Computational Fluid Dynamics

Aerodynamic stability coefficients are necessary to be known before any unmanned aircraft flight is performed. This requires expertise on aerodynamics and stability control of the aircraft. To enable efficacious performance of aircraft requires that a well-defined flight path and aerodynamics should be defined beforehand. This paper presents a study on the aerodynamics of an unmanned aero vehicle (UAV) during flight conditions. Current research holds comparative studies of different parameters for flight aerodynamic, measured using two different open source analytical software programs. These software packages are DATCOM and XLRF5, which help in depicting the flight aerodynamic variables. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) was also used to perform aerodynamic analysis for which Star CCM+ was used. Output trends of the study demonstrate high accuracies between the two software programs with that of CFD. It can be seen that the Coefficient of Lift (CL) obtained from DATCOM and XFLR is similar to CL of CFD simulation. In the similar manner, other potential aerodynamic stability parameters obtained from analytical software are in good agreement with CFD.

Estimation of the External Force for a Co-Manipulation Task Using the Drive Chain Robot
The aim of this paper is to show that the observation of the external effort and the sensor-less control of a system is limited by the mechanical system. First, the model of a one-joint robot with a prismatic joint is presented. Based on this model, two different procedures were performed in order to identify the mechanical parameters of the system and observe the external effort applied on it. Experiments have proven that the accuracy of the force observer, based on the DC motor current, is limited by the mechanics of the robot. The sensor-less control will be limited by the accuracy in estimation of the mechanical parameters and by the maximum static friction force, that is the minimum force which can be observed in this case. The consequence of this limitation is that industrial robots without specific design are not well adapted to perform sensor-less precision tasks. Finally, an efficient control law is presented for high effort applications.
Combustion Improvements by C4/C5 Bio-Alcohol Isomer Blended Fuels Combined with Supercharging and EGR in a Diesel Engine

Next generation bio-alcohols produced from non-food based sources like cellulosic biomass are promising renewable energy sources. The present study investigates engine performance, combustion characteristics, and emissions of a small single cylinder direct injection diesel engine fueled by four kinds of next generation bio-alcohol isomer and diesel fuel blends with a constant blending ratio of 3:7 (mass). The tested bio-alcohol isomers here are n-butanol and iso-butanol (C4 alcohol), and n-pentanol and iso-pentanol (C5 alcohol). To obtain simultaneous reductions in NOx and smoke emissions, the experiments employed supercharging combined with EGR (Exhaust Gas Recirculation). The boost pressures were fixed at two conditions, 100 kPa (naturally aspirated operation) and 120 kPa (supercharged operation) provided with a roots blower type supercharger. The EGR rates were varied from 0 to 25% using a cooled EGR technique. The results showed that both with and without supercharging, all the bio-alcohol blended diesel fuels improved the trade-off relation between NOx and smoke emissions at all EGR rates while maintaining good engine performance, when compared with diesel fuel operation. It was also found that regardless of boost pressure and EGR rate, the ignition delays of the tested bio-alcohol isomer blends are in the order of iso-butanol > n-butanol > iso-pentanol > n-pentanol. Overall, it was concluded that, except for the changes in the ignition delays the influence of bio-alcohol isomer blends on the engine performance, combustion characteristics, and emissions are relatively small.

Calibrations and Effect of Different Operating Conditions on the Performance of a Fluid Power Control System with Servo Solenoid Valve

The current investigation presents a study on the hydraulic performance of an electro-hydraulic servo solenoid valve controlled linear piston used in hydraulic systems. Advanced methods have been used to measure and record laboratory experiments, to ensure accurate analysis and evaluation. Experiments have been conducted under different values of temperature (28, 40 and 50 °C), supply pressure (10, 20, 30, 40 and 50 bar), system stiffness (32 N/mm), and load (0.0 & 5560 N). It is concluded that increasing temperature of hydraulic oil increases the quantity of flow rate, so it achieves an increase of the quantity of flow by 5.75 % up to 48.8 % depending on operating conditions. The values of pressure decay at low temperature are less than the values at high temperature. The frequency increases with the increase of the temperature. When we connect the springs to the system, it decreases system frequency. These results are very useful in the process of packing and manufacturing of fluid products, where the properties are not affected by 50 °C, so energy and time are saved.

Determination of the Quality of the Machined Surface Using Fuzzy Logic

This paper deals with measuring and modelling of the quality of the machined surface of the metal machining process. The average surface roughness (Ra) which represents the quality of the machined part was measured during the dry turning of the AISI 4140 steel. A large number of factors with the unknown relations among them influences this parameter, and that is why mathematical modelling is extremely complicated. Different values of cutting speed, feed rate, depth of cut (cutting regime) and workpiece hardness causes different surface roughness values. Modelling with soft computing techniques may be very useful in such cases. This paper presents the usage of the fuzzy logic-based system for determining metal machining process parameter in order to find the proper values of cutting regimes.

Continuous Plug Flow and Discrete Particle Phase Coupling Using Triangular Parcels
Various processes are modelled using a discrete phase, where particles are seeded from a source. Such particles can represent liquid water droplets, which are affecting the continuous phase by exchanging thermal energy, momentum, species etc. Discrete phases are typically modelled using parcel, which represents a collection of particles, which share properties such as temperature, velocity etc. When coupling the phases, the exchange rates are integrated over the cell, in which the parcel is located. This can cause spikes and fluctuating exchange rates. This paper presents an alternative method of coupling a discrete and a continuous plug flow phase. This is done using triangular parcels, which span between nodes following the dynamics of single droplets. Thus, the triangular parcels are propagated using the corner nodes. At each time step, the exchange rates are spatially integrated over the surface of the triangular parcels, which yields a smooth continuous exchange rate to the continuous phase. The results shows that the method is more stable, converges slightly faster and yields smooth exchange rates compared with the steam tube approach. However, the computational requirements are about five times greater, so the applicability of the alternative method should be limited to processes, where the exchange rates are important. The overall balances of the exchanged properties did not change significantly using the new approach.
Triple Diffusive Convection in a Vertically Oscillating Oldroyd-B Liquid

The effect of linear stability analysis of triple diffusive convection in a vertically oscillating viscoelastic liquid of Oldroyd-B type is studied. The correction Rayleigh number is obtained by using perturbation method which gives prospect to control the convection. The eigenvalue is obtained by using perturbation method by adopting Venezian approach. From the study, it is observed that gravity modulation advances the onset of triple diffusive convection.

Quantitative Changes in Biofilms of a Seawater Tubular Heat Exchanger Subjected to Electromagnetic Fields Treatment
Biofilms adhesion is one of the more important cost of industries plants on wide world, which use to water for cooling heat exchangers or are in contact with water. This study evaluated the effect of Electromagnetic Fields on biofilms in tubular heat exchangers using seawater cooling. The results showed an up to 40% reduction of the biofilm thickness compared to the untreated control tubes. The presence of organic matter was reduced by 75%, the inorganic mater was reduced by 87%, and 53% of the dissolved solids were eliminated. The biofilm thermal conductivity in the treated tube was reduced by 53% as compared to the control tube. The hardness in the effluent during the experimental period was decreased by 18% in the treated tubes compared with control tubes. Our results show that the electromagnetic fields treatment has a great potential in the process of removing biofilms in heat exchanger.
Aerodynamic Performance of a Pitching Bio-Inspired Corrugated Airfoil

In the present study, the aerodynamic performance of a rigid two-dimensional pitching bio-inspired corrugate airfoil was numerically investigated at Reynolds number of 14000. The Open Field Operations And Manipulations (OpenFOAM) computational fluid dynamic tool is used to solve flow governing equations numerically. The k-ω SST turbulence model with low Reynolds correction (k-ω SST LRC) and the pimpleDyMFOAM solver are utilized to simulate the flow field around pitching bio-airfoil. The lift and drag coefficients of the airfoil are calculated at reduced frequencies k=1.24-4.96 and the angular amplitude of A=5°-20°. Results show that in a fixed reduced frequency, the absolute value of the sectional lift and drag coefficients increase with increasing pitching amplitude. In a fixed angular amplitude, the absolute value of the lift and drag coefficients increase as the pitching reduced frequency increases.

Fuzzy Control of Thermally Isolated Greenhouse Building by Utilizing Underground Heat Exchanger and Outside Weather Conditions
A traditional greenhouse is a metal frame agricultural building used for cultivation plants in a controlled environment isolated from external climatic changes. Using greenhouses in agriculture is an efficient way to reduce the water consumption, where agriculture field is considered the biggest water consumer world widely. Controlling greenhouse environment yields better productivity of plants but demands an increase of electric power. Although various control approaches have been used towards greenhouse automation, most of them are applied to traditional greenhouses with ventilation fans and/or evaporation cooling system. Such approaches are still demanding high energy and water consumption. The aim of this research is to develop a fuzzy control system that minimizes water and energy consumption by utilizing outside weather conditions and underground heat exchanger to maintain the optimum climate of the greenhouse. The proposed control system is implemented on an experimental model of thermally isolated greenhouse structure with dimensions of 6x5x2.8 meters. It uses fans for extracting heat from the ground heat exchanger system, motors for automatic open/close of the greenhouse windows and LED as lighting system. The controller is integrated also with environmental condition sensors. It was found that using the air-to-air horizontal ground heat exchanger with 90 mm diameter and 2 mm thickness placed 2.5 m below the ground surface results in decreasing the greenhouse temperature of 3.28 ˚C which saves around 3 kW of consumed energy. It also eliminated the water consumption needed in evaporation cooling systems which are traditionally used for cooling the greenhouse environment.
Unified Gas-Kinetic Scheme for Gas-Particle Flow in Shock-Induced Fluidization of Particles Bed
In this paper, a unified-gas kinetic scheme (UGKS) for the gas-particle flow is constructed. UGKS is a direct modeling method for both continuum and rarefied flow computations. The dynamics of particle and gas are described as rarefied and continuum flow, respectively. Therefore, we use the Bhatnagar-Gross-Krook (BGK) equation for the particle distribution function. For the gas phase, the gas kinetic scheme for Navier-Stokes equation is solved. The momentum transfer between gas and particle is achieved by the acceleration term added to the BGK equation. The new scheme is tested by a 2cm-in-thickness dense bed comprised of glass particles with 1.5mm in diameter, and reasonable agreement is achieved.
Real Time Lidar and Radar High-Level Fusion for Obstacle Detection and Tracking with Evaluation on a Ground Truth
Both Lidars and Radars are sensors for obstacle detection. While Lidars are very accurate on obstacles positions and less accurate on their velocities, Radars are more precise on obstacles velocities and less precise on their positions. Sensor fusion between Lidar and Radar aims at improving obstacle detection using advantages of the two sensors. The present paper proposes a real-time Lidar/Radar data fusion algorithm for obstacle detection and tracking based on the global nearest neighbour standard filter (GNN). This algorithm is implemented and embedded in an automative vehicle as a component generated by a real-time multisensor software. The benefits of data fusion comparing with the use of a single sensor are illustrated through several tracking scenarios (on a highway and on a bend) and using real-time kinematic sensors mounted on the ego and tracked vehicles as a ground truth.
Aeroacoustics Investigations of Unsteady 3D Airfoil for Different Angle Using Computational Fluid Dynamics Software

Noise disturbance is one of the major factors considered in the fast development of aircraft technology. This paper reviews the flow field, which is examined on the 2D NACA0015 and 3D NACA0012 blade profile using SST k-ω turbulence model to compute the unsteady flow field. We inserted the time-dependent flow area variables in Ffowcs-Williams and Hawkings (FW-H) equations as an input and Sound Pressure Level (SPL) values will be computed for different angles of attack (AoA) from the microphone which is positioned in the computational domain to investigate effect of augmentation of unsteady 2D and 3D airfoil region noise level. The computed results will be compared with experimental data which are available in the open literature. As results; one of the calculated Cp is slightly lower than the experimental value. This difference could be due to the higher Reynolds number of the experimental data. The ANSYS Fluent software was used in this study. Fluent includes well-validated physical modeling capabilities to deliver fast, accurate results across the widest range of CFD and multiphysics applications. This paper includes a study which is on external flow over an airfoil. The case of 2D NACA0015 has approximately 7 million elements and solves compressible fluid flow with heat transfer using the SST turbulence model. The other case of 3D NACA0012 has approximately 3 million elements.

Longitudinal Vibration of a Micro-Beam in a Micro-Scale Fluid Media

In this paper, longitudinal vibration of a micro-beam in micro-scale fluid media has been investigated. The proposed mathematical model for this study is made up of a micro-beam and a micro-plate at its free end. An AC voltage is applied to the pair of piezoelectric layers on the upper and lower surfaces of the micro-beam in order to actuate it longitudinally. The whole structure is bounded between two fixed plates on its upper and lower surfaces. The micro-gap between the structure and the fixed plates is filled with fluid. Fluids behave differently in micro-scale than macro, so the fluid field in the gap has been modeled based on micro-polar theory. The coupled governing equations of motion of the micro-beam and the micro-scale fluid field have been derived. Due to having non-homogenous boundary conditions, derived equations have been transformed to an enhanced form with homogenous boundary conditions. Using Galerkin-based reduced order model, the enhanced equations have been discretized over the beam and fluid domains and solve simultaneously in order to obtain force response of the micro-beam. Effects of micro-polar parameters of the fluid as characteristic length scale, coupling parameter and surface parameter on the response of the micro-beam have been studied.

Influence of a Pulsatile Electroosmotic Flow on the Dispersivity of a Non-Reactive Solute through a Microcapillary
The influence of a pulsatile electroosmotic flow (PEOF) at the rate of spread, or dispersivity, for a non-reactive solute released in a microcapillary with slippage at the boundary wall (modeled by the Navier-slip condition) is theoretically analyzed. Based on the flow velocity field developed under such conditions, the present study implements an analytical scheme of scaling known as the Theory of Homogenization, in order to obtain a mathematical expression for the dispersivity, valid at a large time scale where the initial transients have vanished and the solute spreads under the Taylor dispersion influence. Our results show the dispersivity is a function of a slip coefficient, the amplitude of the imposed electric field, the Debye length and the angular Reynolds number, highlighting the importance of the latter as an enhancement/detrimental factor on the dispersivity, which allows to promote the PEOF as a strong candidate for chemical species separation at lab-on-a-chip devices.
Oscillatory Electroosmotic Flow of Power-Law Fluids in a Microchannel
The Oscillatory electroosmotic flow (OEOF) in power law fluids through a microchannel is studied numerically. A time-dependent external electric field (AC) is suddenly imposed at the ends of the microchannel which induces the fluid motion. The continuity and momentum equations in the x and y direction for the flow field were simplified in the limit of the lubrication approximation theory (LAT), and then solved using a numerical scheme. The solution of the electric potential is based on the Debye-H¨uckel approximation which suggest that the surface potential is small,say, smaller than 0.025V and for a symmetric (z : z) electrolyte. Our results suggest that the velocity profiles across the channel-width are controlled by the following dimensionless parameters: the angular Reynolds number, Reω, the electrokinetic parameter, ¯κ, defined as the ratio of the characteristic length scale to the Debye length, the parameter λ which represents the ratio of the Helmholtz-Smoluchowski velocity to the characteristic length scale and the flow behavior index, n. Also, the results reveal that the velocity profiles become more and more non-uniform across the channel-width as the Reω and ¯κ are increased, so oscillatory OEOF can be really useful in micro-fluidic devices such as micro-mixers.
Molding Properties of Cobalt-Chrome-Based Feedstocks Used in Low-Pressure Powder Injection Molding

Low-pressure powder injection molding is an emerging technology for cost-effectively producing complex shape metallic parts with the proper dimensional tolerances, either in high or in low production volumes. In this study, the molding properties of cobalt-chrome-based feedstocks were evaluated for use in a low-pressure powder injection molding process. The rheological properties of feedstock formulations were obtained by mixing metallic powder with a proprietary wax-based binder system. Rheological parameters such as reference viscosity, shear rate sensitivity index, and activation energy for viscous flow, were extracted from the viscosity profiles and introduced into the Weir model to calculate the moldability index. Feedstocks were experimentally injected into a spiral mold cavity to validate the injection performance calculated with the model.

An Observer-Based Direct Adaptive Fuzzy Sliding Control with Adjustable Membership Functions

In this paper, an observer-based direct adaptive fuzzy sliding mode (OAFSM) algorithm is proposed. In the proposed algorithm, the zero-input dynamics of the plant could be unknown. The input connection matrix is used to combine the sliding surfaces of individual subsystems, and an adaptive fuzzy algorithm is used to estimate an equivalent sliding mode control input directly. The fuzzy membership functions, which were determined by time consuming try and error processes in previous works, are adjusted by adaptive algorithms. The other advantage of the proposed controller is that the input gain matrix is not limited to be diagonal, i.e. the plant could be over/under actuated provided that controllability and observability are preserved. An observer is constructed to directly estimate the state tracking error, and the nonlinear part of the observer is constructed by an adaptive fuzzy algorithm. The main advantage of the proposed observer is that, the measured outputs is not limited to the first entry of a canonical-form state vector. The closed-loop stability of the proposed method is proved using a Lyapunov-based approach. The proposed method is applied numerically on a multi-link robot manipulator, which verifies the performance of the closed-loop control. Moreover, the performance of the proposed algorithm is compared with some conventional control algorithms.

Smart Side View Mirror Camera for Real Time System

In the last decade, automotive companies have invested a lot in terms of innovation about many aspects regarding the automatic driver assistance systems. One innovation regards the usage of a smart camera placed on the car’s side mirror for monitoring the back and lateral road situation. A common road scenario is the overtaking of the preceding car and, in this case, a brief distraction or a loss of concentration can lead the driver to undertake this action, even if there is an already overtaking vehicle, leading to serious accidents. A valid support for a secure drive can be a smart camera system, which is able to automatically analyze the road scenario and consequentially to warn the driver when another vehicle is overtaking. This paper describes a method for monitoring the side view of a vehicle by using camera optical flow motion vectors. The proposed solution detects the presence of incoming vehicles, assesses their distance from the host car, and warns the driver through different levels of alert according to the estimated distance. Due to the low complexity and computational cost, the proposed system ensures real time performances.

Optical Flow Based System for Cross Traffic Alert

This document describes an advanced system and methodology for Cross Traffic Alert (CTA), able to detect vehicles that move into the vehicle driving path from the left or right side. The camera is supposed to be not only on a vehicle still, e.g. at a traffic light or at an intersection, but also moving slowly, e.g. in a car park. In all of the aforementioned conditions, a driver’s short loss of concentration or distraction can easily lead to a serious accident. A valid support to avoid these kinds of car crashes is represented by the proposed system. It is an extension of our previous work, related to a clustering system, which only works on fixed cameras. Just a vanish point calculation and simple optical flow filtering, to eliminate motion vectors due to the car relative movement, is performed to let the system achieve high performances with different scenarios, cameras and resolutions. The proposed system just uses as input the optical flow, which is hardware implemented in the proposed platform and since the elaboration of the whole system is really speed and power consumption, it is inserted directly in the camera framework, allowing to execute all the processing in real-time.

Silicon-To-Silicon Anodic Bonding via Intermediate Borosilicate Layer for Passive Flow Control Valves

Flow control valves comprise a silicon flexible membrane that deflects against a substrate, usually made of glass, containing pillars, an outlet hole, and anti-stiction features. However, there is a strong interest in using silicon instead of glass as substrate material, as it would simplify the process flow by allowing the use of well controlled anisotropic etching. Moreover, specific devices demanding a bending of the substrate would also benefit from the inherent outstanding mechanical strength of monocrystalline silicon. Unfortunately, direct Si-Si bonding is not easily achieved with highly structured wafers since residual stress may prevent the good adhesion between wafers. Using a thermoplastic polymer, such as parylene, as intermediate layer is not well adapted to this design as the wafer-to-wafer alignment is critical. An alternative anodic bonding method using an intermediate borosilicate layer has been successfully tested. This layer has been deposited onto the silicon substrate. The bonding recipe has been adapted to account for the presence of the SOI buried oxide and intermediate glass layer in order not to exceed the breakdown voltage. Flow control valves dedicated to infusion of viscous fluids at very high pressure have been made and characterized. The results are compared to previous data obtained using the standard anodic bonding method.

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