International Science Index

970
10010866
TiO2 Nanowires as Efficient Heterogeneous Photocatalysts for Waste-Water Treatment
Abstract:

One-dimensional (1D) nanostructures like nanowires, nanotubes, and nanorods find variety of practical application owing to their unique physico-chemical properties. In this work, TiO2 nanowires were synthesized by direct oxidation of titanium particles in a unique microwave plasma jet reactor. The prepared TiO2 nanowires manifested the flexible features, and were characterized by using X-ray diffraction, Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET) surface area analyzer, UV-Visible and FTIR spectrophotometers, Scanning electron microscope, and Transmission electron microscope. Further, the photodegradation efficiency of these nanowires were tested against toxic organic dye like methylene blue (MB) and the results were compared with the commercial TiO2. It was found that TiO2 nanowires exhibited superior photocatalytic performance (89%) as compared to commercial TiO2 (75%) after 60 min of reaction. This is attributed to the lower recombination rate and increased interfacial charge transfer in TiO2 nanowire. Pseudo-first order kinetic modelling performed with the experimental results revealed that the rate constant of photodegradation in case of TiO2 nanowire was 1.3 times higher than that of commercial TiO2. Superoxide radical (O2˙−) was found to be the major contributor in the photodegradation mechanism. Based on the trapping experiments, a plausible mechanism of the photocatalytic reaction is discussed.

Paper Detail
16
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969
10010799
Communication in a Heterogeneous Ad Hoc Network
Abstract:
Wireless networks are getting more and more used in every new technology or feature, especially those without infrastructure (Ad hoc mode) which provide a low cost alternative to the infrastructure mode wireless networks and a great flexibility for application domains such as environmental monitoring, smart cities, precision agriculture, and so on. These application domains present a common characteristic which is the need of coexistence and intercommunication between modules belonging to different types of ad hoc networks like wireless sensor networks, mesh networks, mobile ad hoc networks, vehicular ad hoc networks, etc. This vision to bring to life such heterogeneous networks will make humanity duties easier but its development path is full of challenges. One of these challenges is the communication complexity between its components due to the lack of common or compatible protocols standard. This article proposes a new patented routing protocol based on the OLSR standard in order to resolve the heterogeneous ad hoc networks communication issue. This new protocol is applied on a specific network architecture composed of MANET, VANET, and FANET.
Paper Detail
70
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968
10010813
Bio-Psycho-Social Consequences and Effects in Fall-Efficacy Scale in Seniors Using Exercise Intervention of Motor Learning According to Yoga Techniques
Abstract:

The paper declares effects of exercise intervention of the research project “Basic research of balance changes in seniors”, granted by the Czech Science Foundation. The objective of the presented study is to define predictors, which influence bio-psycho-social consequences and effects of balance ability in senior 65 years old and above. We focused on the Fall-Efficacy Scale changes evaluation in seniors. Comprehensive hypothesis of the project declares, that motion uncertainty (dyskinesia) can negatively affect the well-being of a senior in bio-psycho-social context. In total, random selection and testing of 100 seniors (30 males, 70 females) from Prague and Central Bohemian region was provided. The sample was divided by stratified random selection into experimental and control groups, who underwent input and output testing. For diagnostics the methods of Medical Anamnesis, Functional anthropological examinations, Tinetti Balance Assessment Tool, SF-36 Health Survey, Anamnestic comparative self-assessment scale were used. Intervention method called "Life in Balance" based on yoga techniques was applied in four-week cycle. Results of multivariate regression were verified by repeated measures ANOVA: subject factor, phase of intervention (between-subject factor), body fluid (within-subject factor) and phase of intervention × body fluid interaction). ANOVA was performed with a repetition involving the factors of subjects, experimental/control group, phase of intervention (independent variable), and x phase interaction followed by Bonferroni multiple comparison assays with a test strength of at least 0.8 on the probability level p < 0.05. In the paper results of the first-year investigation of the three years running project are analysed. Results of balance tests confirmed no significant difference between females and males in pre-test. Significant improvements in balance and walking ability were observed in experimental group in females comparing to males (F = 128.4, p < 0.001). In the females control group, there was no significant change in post- test, while in the female experimental group positive changes in posture and spine flexibility in post-tests were found. It seems that females even in senior age react better to incentives of intervention in balance and spine flexibility. On the base of results analyses, we can declare the significant improvement in social balance markers after intervention in the experimental group (F = 10.5, p < 0.001). In average, seniors are used to take four drugs daily. Number of drugs can contribute to allergy symptoms and balance problems. It can be concluded that static balance and walking ability of seniors according Tinetti Balance scale correlate significantly with psychic and social monitored markers.

Paper Detail
60
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967
10010820
Comparative Effect of Self-Myofascial Release as a Warm-Up Exercise on Functional Fitness of Young Adults
Abstract:

Warm-up is an essential component for optimizing performance in various sports before a physical fitness training session. This study investigated the immediate comparative effect of Self-Myofascial Release through vibration rolling (VR), non-vibration rolling (NVR), and static stretching as a part of a warm-up treatment on the functional fitness of young adults. Functional fitness is a classification of training that prepares the body for real-life movements and activities. For the present study 20male physical education students were selected as subjects. The age of the subjects was ranged from 20-25 years. The functional fitness variables undertaken in the present study were flexibility, muscle strength, agility, static and dynamic balance of the lower extremity. Each of the three warm-up protocol was administered on consecutive days, i.e. 24 hr time gap and all tests were administered in the morning. The mean and SD were used as descriptive statistics. The significance of statistical differences among the groups was measured by applying ‘F’-test, and to find out the exact location of difference, Post Hoc Test (Least Significant Difference) was applied. It was found from the study that only flexibility showed significant difference among three types of warm-up exercise. The observed result depicted that VR has more impact on myofascial release in flexibility in comparison with NVR and stretching as a part of warm-up exercise as ‘p’ value was less than 0.05. In the present study, within the three means of warm-up exercises, vibration roller showed better mean difference in terms of NVR, and static stretching exercise on functional fitness of young physical education practitioners, although the results were found insignificant in case of muscle strength, agility, static and dynamic balance of the lower extremity. These findings suggest that sports professionals and coaches may take VR into account for designing more efficient and effective pre-performance routine for long term to improve exercise performances. VR has high potential to interpret into an on-field practical application means.

Paper Detail
42
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966
10010706
Experimental Investigation of Cold-Formed Steel-Timber Board Composite Floor Systems
Abstract:

This paper comprises an experimental investigation into the structural performance of cold formed steel (CFS) and timber board composite floor systems. The tests include a series of small-scale pushout tests and full-scale bending tests carried out using a refined loading system to simulate uniformly distributed constant load. The influence of connection details (screw spacing and adhesives) on floor performance was investigated. The results are then compared to predictions from relevant existing models for composite floor systems. The results of this research demonstrate the significant benefits of considering the composite action of the boards in floor design. Depending on connection detail, an increase in flexural stiffness of up to 40% was observed in the floor system, when compared to designing joists individually.

Paper Detail
119
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965
10010713
First Cracking Moments of Hybrid Fiber Reinforced Polymer-Steel Reinforced Concrete Beams
Abstract:

The present paper reports the cracking moment estimates of a set of steel-reinforced, Fiber Reinforced Polymer (FRP)-reinforced and hybrid steel-FRP reinforced concrete beams, calculated from different analytical formulations in the codes, together with the experimental cracking load values. A total of three steel-reinforced, four FRP-reinforced, 12 hybrid FRP-steel over-reinforced and five hybrid FRP-steel under-reinforced concrete beam tests were analyzed within the scope of the study. Glass FRP (GFRP) and Basalt FRP (BFRP) bars were used in the beams as FRP bars. In under-reinforced hybrid beams, rupture of the FRP bars preceded crushing of concrete, while concrete crushing preceded FRP rupture in over-reinforced beams. In both types, steel yielding took place long before the FRP rupture and concrete crushing. The cracking moment mainly depends on two quantities, namely the moment of inertia of the section at the initiation of cracking and the flexural tensile strength of concrete, i.e. the modulus of rupture. In the present study, two different definitions of uncracked moment of inertia, i.e. the gross and the uncracked transformed moments of inertia, were adopted. Two analytical equations for the modulus of rupture (ACI 318M and Eurocode 2) were utilized in the calculations as well as the experimental tensile strength of concrete from prismatic specimen tests. The ACI 318M modulus of rupture expression produced cracking moment estimates closer to the experimental cracking moments of FRP-reinforced and hybrid FRP-steel reinforced concrete beams when used in combination with the uncracked transformed moment of inertia, yet the Eurocode 2 modulus of rupture expression gave more accurate cracking moment estimates in steel-reinforced concrete beams. All of the analytical definitions produced analytical values considerably different from the experimental cracking load values of the solely FRP-reinforced concrete beam specimens.

Paper Detail
82
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964
10010716
Design of a Telemetry, Tracking, and Command Radio-Frequency Receiver for Small Satellites Based on Commercial Off-The-Shelf Components
Abstract:

From several years till now the aerospace industry is developing more and more small satellites for Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) missions. Such satellites have a low cost of making and launching since they have a size and weight smaller than other types of satellites. However, because of size limitations, small satellites need integrated electronic equipment based on digital logic. Moreover, the LEOs require telecommunication modules with high throughput to transmit to earth a big amount of data in a short time. In order to meet such requirements, in this paper we propose a Telemetry, Tracking & Command module optimized through the use of the Commercial Off-The-Shelf components. The proposed approach exploits the major flexibility offered by these components in reducing costs and optimizing the performance. The method has been applied in detail for the design of the front-end receiver, which has a low noise figure (1.5 dB) and DC power consumption (smaller than 2 W). Such a performance is particularly attractive since it allows fulfilling the energy budget stringent constraints that are typical for LEO small platforms.

Paper Detail
79
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963
10010723
The Influence of Basalt and Steel Fibers on the Flexural Behavior of RC Beams
Abstract:

An experimental program is conducted in this research to investigate the influence of basalt fibers and steel fibers on the flexural behavior of RC beams. Reinforced concrete beams are constructed using steel fiber concrete and basalt fiber concrete. Steel and basalt fibers are included in a percentage of 15% and 2.5% of the total cement weight, respectively. Test results have shown that basalt fibers have increased the load carrying capacity of the beams up to 30% and the maximum deflection to almost 2.4 times that measured in the control specimen. It has also shown that steel fibers have increased the load carrying capacity of the beams up to 47% and the ultimate deflection is almost duplicated compared to the control beam. Steel and basalt fibers have increased the ductility of the reinforced concrete beams.

Paper Detail
110
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962
10010730
Residual Modulus of Elasticity of Self-Compacting Concrete Incorporated Unprocessed Waste Fly Ash after Expose to the Elevated Temperature
Abstract:

The present study experimentally investigated the impact of incorporating unprocessed waste fly ash (UWFA) on the residual mechanical properties of self-compacting concrete (SCC) after exposure to elevated temperature. Three mixtures of SCC have been produced by replacing the cement mass by 0%, 15% and 30% of UWFA. Generally, the fire resistance of SCC has been enhanced by replacing the cement up to 15% of UWFA, especially in case of residual modulus of elasticity which considers more sensitive than other mechanical properties at elevated temperature. However, a strong linear relationship has been observed between the residual flexural strength and modulus of elasticity, where both of them affected significantly by the cracks appearance and propagation as a result of elevated temperature. Sustainable products could be produced by incorporating unprocessed waste powder materials in the production of concrete, where the waste materials, CO2 emissions, and the energy needed for processing are reduced.

Paper Detail
102
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961
10010748
Numerical and Experimental Investigation of the Aerodynamic Performances of Counter-Rotating Rotors
Abstract:

The contra-rotating axial machine is a promising solution for several applications, where high pressure and efficiencies are needed. Also, they allow reducing the speed of rotation, the radial spacing and a better flexibility of use. However, this requires a better understanding of their operation, including the influence of second rotor on the overall aerodynamic performances. This work consisted of both experimental and numerical studies to characterize this counter-rotating fan, especially the analysis of the effects of the blades stagger angle and the inter-distance between the rotors. The experimental study served to validate the computational fluid dynamics model (CFD) used in the simulations. The numerical study permitted to cover a wider range of parameter and deeper investigation on flow structures details, including the effects of blade stagger angle and inter-distance, associated with the interaction between the rotors. As a result, there is a clear improvement in aerodynamic performance compared with a conventional machine.

Paper Detail
52
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960
10010774
Peridynamic Modeling of an Isotropic Plate under Tensile and Flexural Loading
Authors:
Abstract:

Peridynamics is a new modeling concept of non-local interactions for solid structures. The formulations of Peridynamic (PD) theory are based on integral equations rather than differential equations. Through, undefined equations of associated problems are avoided. PD theory might be defined as continuum version of molecular dynamics. The medium is usually modeled with mass particles bonded together. Particles interact with each other directly across finite distances through central forces named as bonds. The main assumption of this theory is that the body is composed of material points which interact with other material points within a finite distance. Although, PD theory developed for discontinuities, it gives good results for structures which have no discontinuities. In this paper, displacement control of the isotropic plate under the effect of tensile and bending loading has been investigated by means of PD theory. A MATLAB code is generated to create PD bonds and corresponding surface correction factors. Using generated MATLAB code the geometry of the specimen is generated, and the code is implemented in Finite Element Software. The results obtained from non-local continuum theory are compared with the Finite Element Analysis results and analytical solution. The results show good agreement.

Paper Detail
100
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959
10010781
Resilient Modulus and Deformation Responses of Waste Glass in Flexible Pavement System
Abstract:

Experimental investigations are conducted to assess a layered structure of glass (G) - rock (R) blends under the impact of repeated loading. Laboratory tests included sieve analyses, modified compaction test and repeated load triaxial test (RLTT) is conducted on different structures of stratified GR samples to reach the objectives of this study. Waste materials are such essential components in the climate system, and also commonly used in minimising the need for natural materials in many countries. Glass is one of the most widely used groups of waste materials which have been extensively using in road applications. Full range particle size and colours of glass are collected and mixed at different ratios with natural rock material trying to use the blends in pavement layers. Whole subsurface specimen sequentially consists of a single layer of R and a layer of G-R blend. 12G/88R and 45G/55R mix ratios are employed in this research, the thickness of G-R layer was changed, and the results were compared between the pure rock and the layered specimens. The relations between resilient module (Mr) and permanent deformation with sequence number are presented. During the earlier stages of RLTT, the results indicated that the 45G/55R specimen shows higher moduli than R specimen.

Paper Detail
71
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958
10010658
Application of Seismic Isolators in Kutahya City Hospital Project Utilizing Double Friction Pendulum Type Devices
Abstract:

Seismic isolators have been utilized around the world to protect the structures, nonstructural components and contents from the damaging effects of earthquakes. In Structural Engineering, seismic isolation is used for protecting buildings and its vibration-sensitive contents from earthquakes. Seismic isolation is a passive control system that lowers effective earthquake forces by utilizing flexible bearings. One of the most significant isolation systems is seismic isolators. In this paper, double pendulum type Teflon coated seismic isolators utilized in a city hospital project by Guris Construction and Engineering Co. Inc, located in Kutahya, Turkey, have been investigated. Totally, 498 seismic isolators were applied in the project. These isolators are double friction pendulum type seismic isolation devices. The review of current practices is also examined in this study. The focus of this study is related to the application of passive seismic isolation systems for buildings as practiced in Kutahya City Hospital Project. Based on the study, the acceleration at the top floor will be 0.18 g and it will decrease 0.01 g in every floor. Therefore, seismic isolators are very important for buildings located in earthquake zones.

Paper Detail
102
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957
10010687
Influence of Power Flow Controller on Energy Transaction Charges in Restructured Power System
Abstract:

The demand for power supply increases day by day in developing countries like India henceforth demand of reactive power support in the form of ancillary services provider also has been increased. The multi-line and multi-type Flexible alternating current transmission system (FACTS) controllers are playing a vital role to regulate power flow through the transmission line. Unified power flow controller and interline power flow controller can be utilized to control reactive power flow through the transmission line. In a restructured power system, the demand of such controller is being popular due to their inherent capability. The transmission pricing by using reactive power cost allocation through modified matrix methodology has been proposed. The FACTS technologies have quite costly assembly, so it is very useful to apportion the expenses throughout the restructured electricity industry. Therefore, in this work, after embedding the FACTS devices into load flow, the impact on the costs allocated to users in fraction to the transmission framework utilization has been analyzed. From the obtained results, it is clear that the total cost recovery is enhanced towards the Reactive Power flow through the different transmission line for 5 bus test system. The fair pricing policy towards reactive power can be achieved by the proposed method incorporating FACTS controller towards cost recovery of the transmission network.

Paper Detail
68
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956
10010542
Impact of Out-of-Plane Stiffness of the Diaphragm on Deflection of Wood Light-Frame Shear Walls
Abstract:

The in-plane rigidity of light frame diaphragms has been investigated by researchers due to the importance of this subsystem regarding lateral force distribution between the lateral force resisting system (LFRS). Where research has lacked is in evaluating the impact of out-of-plane raigidity of the diaphragm on the deflection of shear walls. This study aims at investigating the effect of the diaphragm on the behavior of wood light-frame shear walls, in particular its out-of-plane rigidity was simulated by modeling the floors as beam. The out of plane stiffness of the diaphragm was investigated for idealized (infinitely stiff or flexible) as well as “realistic”. The results showed reductions in the shear wall deflection in the magnitude of approximately 80% considering the out of plane rigidity of the diaphragm. It was also concluded that considering conservative estimates of out-of-plane stiffness might lead to a very significant reduction in deflection and that assuming the floor diaphragm to be infinitely rigid out of plan seems to be reasonable. For diaphragms supported on multiple panels, further reduction in the deflection was observed. More work, particularly at the experimental level, is needed to verify the finding obtained in the numerical investigation related to the effect of out of plane diaphragm stiffness.

Paper Detail
121
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955
10010580
Reinforcing Effects of Natural Micro-Particles on the Dynamic Impact Behaviour of Hybrid Bio-Composites Made of Short Kevlar Fibers Reinforced Thermoplastic Composite Armor
Abstract:

Hybrid bio-composites are developed for use in protective armor through positive hybridization offered by reinforcement of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) with Kevlar short fibers and palm wood micro-fillers. The manufacturing process involved a combination of extrusion and compression molding techniques. The mechanical behavior of Kevlar fiber reinforced HDPE with and without palm wood filler additions are compared. The effect of the weight fraction of the added palm wood micro-fillers is also determined. The Young modulus was found to increase as the weight fraction of organic micro-particles increased. However, the flexural strength decreased with increasing weight fraction of added micro-fillers. The interfacial interactions between the components were investigated using scanning electron microscopy. The influence of the size, random alignment and distribution of the natural micro-particles was evaluated. Ballistic impact and dynamic shock loading tests were performed to determine the optimum proportion of Kevlar short fibers and organic micro-fillers needed to improve impact strength of the HDPE. These results indicate a positive hybridization by deposition of organic micro-fillers on the surface of short Kevlar fibers used in reinforcing the thermoplastic matrix leading to enhancement of the mechanical strength and dynamic impact behavior of these materials. Therefore, these hybrid bio-composites can be promising materials for different applications against high velocity impacts.

Paper Detail
155
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954
10010607
The Appeal of Vocal Islamism in the West: The Case of Hizb ut-Tahrir vis-à-vis Its Competitors
Authors:
Abstract:

Islamism is a very debated topic in the West but almost exclusively explored in its violent forms. Nevertheless, a number of “vocal radical Islamist” groups exist in the West and legally operate because of their non-violent nature. Vocal radicals continually inspire individuals and lead them towards specific goals and priorities, sometimes even towards violence. This paper uses the long-living group Hizb ut-Tahrir (HT) to explore the elements that make the organization appealing to segments of Muslim community in the West. This paper uses three agency variables - reflexive monitoring, the rationalization of action and the motivations for actions – to analyze HT’s appeal vis-à-vis two other Islamist groups, Ikhwan al-Muslimun and Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI), having similar goals and the same high international profile. This paper concludes that HT’s uniqueness is given by its method, detailed vision of the caliphate, consistency over time and the emphasis placed on the caliphate as the leading force of HT’s unchanged motivation for action.

Paper Detail
109
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953
10010608
Thermo-Mechanical Approach to Evaluate Softening Behavior of Polystyrene: Validation and Modeling
Abstract:

A Thermo-mechanical technique was developed to determine softening point temperature/glass transition temperature (Tg) of polystyrene exposed to high pressures. The design utilizes the ability of carbon dioxide to lower the glass transition temperature of polymers and acts as plasticizer. In this apparatus, the sorption of carbon dioxide to induce softening of polymers as a function of temperature/pressure is performed and the extent of softening is measured in three-point-flexural-bending mode. The polymer strip was placed in the cell in contact with the linear variable differential transformer (LVDT). CO2 was pumped into the cell from a supply cylinder to reach high pressure. The results clearly showed that full softening point of the samples, accompanied by a large deformation on the polymer strip. The deflection curves are initially relatively flat and then undergo a dramatic increase as the temperature is elevated. It was found that increasing the pressure of CO2 causes the temperature curves to shift from higher to lower by increment of about 45 K, over the pressure range of 0-120 bars. The obtained experimental Tg values were validated with the values reported in the literature. Finally, it is concluded that the defection model fits consistently to the generated experimental results, which attempts to describe in more detail how the central deflection of a thin polymer strip affected by the CO2 diffusions in the polymeric samples.

Paper Detail
105
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952
10010638
Determination of the Thermophysical Characteristics of the Composite Material Clay Cement Paper
Abstract:

In Morocco, the building sector is largely responsible for the evolution of energy consumption. The control of energy in this sector remains a major issue despite the rise of renewable energies. The design of an environmentally friendly building requires mastery and knowledge of energy and bioclimatic aspects. This implies taking into consideration of all the elements making up the building and the way in which energy exchanges take place between these elements. In this context, thermal insulation seems to be an ideal starting point for reducing energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. In this context, thermal insulation seems to be an ideal starting point for reducing energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. The aim of this work is to provide some solutions to reduce energy consumption while maintaining thermal comfort in the building. The objective of our work is to present an experimental study on the characterization of local materials used in the thermal insulation of buildings. These are paper recycling stabilized with cement and clay. The thermal conductivity of these materials, which were constituted based on sand, clay, cement; water, as well as treated paper, was determined by the guarded-hot-plate method. It involves the design of two materials that will subsequently be subjected to thermal and mechanical tests to determine their thermophysical properties. The results show that the thermal conductivity decreases as well in the case of the paper-cement mixture as that of the paper-clay and seems to stabilize around 40%. Measurements of mechanical properties such as flexural strength have shown that the enrichment of the studied material with paper makes it possible to reduce the flexural strength by 20% while optimizing the conductivity.

Paper Detail
95
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951
10010460
Research of the Factors Affecting the Administrative Capacity of Enterprises in the Logistic Sector of Bulgaria
Abstract:

The human factor plays a major role in boosting the competitive capacity of logistic enterprises. This is of particular importance when it comes to logistic companies. On the one hand they should be strictly compliant with legislation; on the other hand, they should be competitive in terms of pricing and of delivery timelines. Moreover, their policies should allow them to be as flexible as possible. All these circumstances are reason for very serious challenges for the qualification, motivation and experience of the human resources, working in logistic companies or in logistic departments of trade and industrial enterprises. The geographic place of Bulgaria puts it in position of a country with some specific competitive advantages in the goods transport from Europe to Asia and back. Along with it, there is a number of logistic companies, that operate in this sphere in Bulgaria. In the current paper, the authors aim to establish the condition of the administrative capacity and human resources in the logistic companies and logistic departments of trade and industrial companies in Bulgaria in order to propose some guidelines for improving of their effectiveness. Due to independent empirical research, conducted in Bulgarian logistic, trade and industrial enterprises, the authors investigate both the impact degree and the interdependence of various factors that characterize the administrative capacity. The study is conducted with a prepared questionnaire, in format of direct interview with the respondents. The volume of the poll is 50 respondents, representatives of: general managers of industrial or trade enterprises; logistic managers of industrial or trade enterprises; general managers of forwarding companies – either with own or with hired transport; experts from Bulgarian association of logistics; logistic lobbyist and scientists of the relevant area. The data are gathered for 3 months, then arranged by a specialized software program and analyzed by preset criteria. Based on the results of this methodological toolbox, it can be claimed that there is a correlation between the individual criteria. Also, a commitment between the administrative capacity and other factors that determine the competitiveness of the studied companies is established. In this paper, the authors present results of the empirical research that concerns the number and the workload in the logistic departments of the enterprises. Also, what is commented is the experience, related to logistic processes management and human resources competence. Moreover, the overload level of the logistic specialists is analyzed as one of the main threats for making mistakes and losing clients. The paper stands behind the thesis that there is indispensability of forming an effective and efficient administrative capacity, based on the number, qualification, experience and motivation of the staff in the logistic companies. The paper ends with recommendations about the qualification and experience of the specialists in logistic departments; providing effective and efficient administrative capacity in the logistic departments; interdependence of the human factor and the other factors that influence the enterprise competitiveness.

Paper Detail
133
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950
10010325
Seismic Performance of Slopes Subjected to Earthquake Mainshock Aftershock Sequences
Abstract:

It is commonly observed that aftershocks follow the mainshock. Aftershocks continue over a period of time with a decreasing frequency and typically there is not sufficient time for repair and retrofit between a mainshock–aftershock sequence. Usually, aftershocks are smaller in magnitude; however, aftershock ground motion characteristics such as the intensity and duration can be greater than the mainshock due to the changes in the earthquake mechanism and location with respect to the site. The seismic performance of slopes is typically evaluated based on the sliding displacement predicted to occur along a critical sliding surface. Various empirical models are available that predict sliding displacement as a function of seismic loading parameters, ground motion parameters, and site parameters but these models do not include the aftershocks. The seismic risks associated with the post-mainshock slopes ('damaged slopes') subjected to aftershocks is significant. This paper extends the empirical sliding displacement models for flexible slopes subjected to earthquake mainshock-aftershock sequences (a multi hazard approach). A dataset was developed using 144 pairs of as-recorded mainshock-aftershock sequences using the Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center (PEER) database. The results reveal that the combination of mainshock and aftershock increases the seismic demand on slopes relative to the mainshock alone; thus, seismic risks are underestimated if aftershocks are neglected.

Paper Detail
205
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10010340
Developing Proof Demonstration Skills in Teaching Mathematics in the Secondary School
Abstract:

The article describes the theoretical concept of teaching secondary school students proof demonstration skills in mathematics. It describes in detail different levels of mastery of the concept of proof-which correspond to Piaget’s idea of there being three distinct and progressively more complex stages in the development of human reflection. Lessons for each level contain a specific combination of the visual-figurative components and deductive reasoning. It is vital at the transition point between levels to carefully and rigorously recalibrate teaching to reflect the development of more complex reflective understanding. This can apply even within the same age range, since students will develop at different speeds and to different potential. The authors argue that this requires an aware and adaptive approach to lessons to reflect this complexity and variation. The authors also contend that effective teaching which enables students to properly understand the implementation of proof arguments must develop specific competences. These are: understanding of the importance of completeness and generality in making a valid argument; being task focused; having an internalised locus of control and being flexible in approach and evaluation. These criteria must be correlated with the systematic application of corresponding methodologies which are best likely to achieve success. The particular pedagogical decisions which are made to deliver this objective are illustrated by concrete examples from the existing secondary school mathematics courses. The proposed theoretical concept formed the basis of the development of methodological materials which have been tested in 47 secondary schools.

Paper Detail
167
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948
10010280
Flexible Technologies of Granulated Complex Fertilizers
Abstract:

The article focuses on the latest research and developments (R&D) aimed at the development of plants for production of complex phosphorus-containing fertilizers which are in line with the principles of the best available techniques (BAT). The advantages of the implemented technical solutions are given. The paper describes developed options of flexible technologies for schemes with DGD (drum granulator dryer) and for schemes with AG-DD (ammoniator-granulator and dryer drum).

Paper Detail
236
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10010123
Study of Mechanical Properties of Glutarylated Jute Fiber Reinforced Epoxy Composites
Abstract:

Natural fibers have attained the potential market in the composite industry because of the huge environmental impact caused by synthetic fibers. Among the natural fibers, jute fibers are the most abundant plant fibers which are manufactured mainly in countries like India. Even though there is a good motive to utilize the natural supplement, the strength of the natural fiber composites is still a topic of discussion. In recent days, many researchers are showing interest in the chemical modification of the natural fibers to increase various mechanical and thermal properties. In the present study, jute fibers have been modified chemically using glutaric anhydride at different concentrations of 5%, 10%, 20%, and 30%. The glutaric anhydride solution is prepared by dissolving the different quantity of glutaric anhydride in benzene and dimethyl-sulfoxide using sodium formate catalyst. The jute fiber mats have been treated by the method of retting at various time intervals of 3, 6, 12, 24, and 36 hours. The modification structure of the treated fibers has been confirmed with infrared spectroscopy. The degree of modification increases with an increase in retention time, but higher retention time has damaged the fiber structure. The unmodified fibers and glutarylated fibers at different retention times are reinforced with epoxy matrix under room temperature. The tensile strength and flexural strength of the composites are analyzed in detail. Among these, the composite made with glutarylated fiber has shown good mechanical properties when compared to those made of unmodified fiber.

Paper Detail
222
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10010124
Automated, Objective Assessment of Pilot Performance in Simulated Environment
Abstract:

Nowadays flight simulators offer tremendous possibilities for safe and cost-effective pilot training, by utilization of powerful, computational tools. Due to technology outpacing methodology, vast majority of training related work is done by human instructors. It makes assessment not efficient, and vulnerable to instructors’ subjectivity. The research presents an Objective Assessment Tool (gOAT) developed at the Warsaw University of Technology, and tested on SW-4 helicopter flight simulator. The tool uses database of the predefined manoeuvres, defined and integrated to the virtual environment. These were implemented, basing on Aeronautical Design Standard Performance Specification Handling Qualities Requirements for Military Rotorcraft (ADS-33), with predefined Mission-Task-Elements (MTEs). The core element of the gOAT enhanced algorithm that provides instructor a new set of information. In details, a set of objective flight parameters fused with report about psychophysical state of the pilot. While the pilot performs the task, the gOAT system automatically calculates performance using the embedded algorithms, data registered by the simulator software (position, orientation, velocity, etc.), as well as measurements of physiological changes of pilot’s psychophysiological state (temperature, sweating, heart rate). Complete set of measurements is presented on-line to instructor’s station and shown in dedicated graphical interface. The presented tool is based on open source solutions, and flexible for editing. Additional manoeuvres can be easily added using guide developed by authors, and MTEs can be changed by instructor even during an exercise. Algorithm and measurements used allow not only to implement basic stress level measurements, but also to reduce instructor’s workload significantly. Tool developed can be used for training purpose, as well as periodical checks of the aircrew. Flexibility and ease of modifications allow the further development to be wide ranged, and the tool to be customized. Depending on simulation purpose, gOAT can be adjusted to support simulator of aircraft, helicopter, or unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).

Paper Detail
226
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10009988
Fast Return Path Planning for Agricultural Autonomous Terrestrial Robot in a Known Field
Abstract:

The agricultural sector is becoming more critical than ever in view of the expected overpopulation of the Earth. The introduction of robotic solutions in this field is an increasingly researched topic to make the most of the Earth's resources, thus going to avoid the problems of wear and tear of the human body due to the harsh agricultural work, and open the possibility of a constant careful processing 24 hours a day. This project is realized for a terrestrial autonomous robot aimed to navigate in an orchard collecting fallen peaches below the trees. When it receives the signal indicating the low battery, it has to return to the docking station where it will replace its battery and then return to the last work point and resume its routine. Considering a preset path in orchards with tree rows with variable length by which the robot goes iteratively using the algorithm D*. In case of low battery, the D* algorithm is still used to determine the fastest return path to the docking station as well as to come back from the docking station to the last work point. MATLAB simulations were performed to analyze the flexibility and adaptability of the developed algorithm. The simulation results show an enormous potential for adaptability, particularly in view of the irregularity of orchard field, since it is not flat and undergoes modifications over time from fallen branch as well as from other obstacles and constraints. The D* algorithm determines the best route in spite of the irregularity of the terrain. Moreover, in this work, it will be shown a possible solution to improve the initial points tracking and reduce time between movements.

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10010017
Using Business Intelligence Capabilities to Improve the Quality of Decision-Making: A Case Study of Mellat Bank
Abstract:

Today, business executives need to have useful information to make better decisions. Banks have also been using information tools so that they can direct the decision-making process in order to achieve their desired goals by rapidly extracting information from sources with the help of business intelligence. The research seeks to investigate whether there is a relationship between the quality of decision making and the business intelligence capabilities of Mellat Bank. Each of the factors studied is divided into several components, and these and their relationships are measured by a questionnaire. The statistical population of this study consists of all managers and experts of Mellat Bank's General Departments (including 190 people) who use commercial intelligence reports. The sample size of this study was 123 randomly determined by statistical method. In this research, relevant statistical inference has been used for data analysis and hypothesis testing. In the first stage, using the Kolmogorov-Smirnov test, the normalization of the data was investigated and in the next stage, the construct validity of both variables and their resulting indexes were verified using confirmatory factor analysis. Finally, using the structural equation modeling and Pearson's correlation coefficient, the research hypotheses were tested. The results confirmed the existence of a positive relationship between decision quality and business intelligence capabilities in Mellat Bank. Among the various capabilities, including data quality, correlation with other systems, user access, flexibility and risk management support, the flexibility of the business intelligence system was the most correlated with the dependent variable of the present research. This shows that it is necessary for Mellat Bank to pay more attention to choose the required business intelligence systems with high flexibility in terms of the ability to submit custom formatted reports. Subsequently, the quality of data on business intelligence systems showed the strongest relationship with quality of decision making. Therefore, improving the quality of data, including the source of data internally or externally, the type of data in quantitative or qualitative terms, the credibility of the data and perceptions of who uses the business intelligence system, improves the quality of decision making in Mellat Bank.

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329
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10010065
Experimental and Numerical Study of Ultra-High-Performance Fiber-Reinforced Concrete Column Subjected to Axial and Eccentric Loads
Abstract:

Ultra-high-performance fiber reinforced concrete (UHPFRC) is a specially formulated cement-based composite characterized with an ultra-high compressive strength (fc’ = 240 MPa) and a low water-cement ratio (W/B= 0.2). With such material characteristics, UHPFRC is favored for the design and constructions of structures required high structural performance and slender geometries. Unlike conventional concrete, the structural performance of members manufactured with UHPFRC has not yet been fully studied, particularly, for UHPFRC columns with high slenderness. In this study, the behaviors of slender UHPFRC columns under concentric or eccentric load will be investigated both experimentally and numerically. Four slender UHPFRC columns were tested under eccentric loads with eccentricities, of 0 mm, 35 mm, 50 mm, and 85 mm, respectively, and one UHPFRC beam was tested under four-point bending. Finite element (FE) analysis was conducted with concrete damage plasticity (CDP) modulus to simulating the load-middle height or middle span deflection relationships and damage patterns of all UHPFRC members. Simulated results were compared against the experimental results and observation to gain the confidence of FE model, and this model was further extended to conduct parametric studies, which aim to investigate the effects of slenderness regarding failure modes and load-moment interaction relationships. Experimental results showed that the load bearing capacities of the slender columns reduced with an increase in eccentricity. Comparisons between load-middle height and middle span deflection relationships as well as damage patterns of all UHPFRC members obtained both experimentally and numerically demonstrated high accuracy of the FE simulations. Based on the available FE model, the following parametric study indicated that a further increase in the slenderness of column resulted in significant decreases in the load-bearing capacities, ductility index, and flexural bending capacities.

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353
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10010077
Investigation of Seismic T-Resisting Frame with Shear and Flexural Yield of Horizontal Plate Girders
Abstract:

There are some limitations in common structural systems, such as providing appropriate lateral stiffness, adequate ductility, and architectural openings at the same time. Consequently, the concept of T-Resisting Frame (TRF) has been introduced to overcome all these deficiencies. The configuration of TRF in this study is a Vertical Plate Girder (VPG) which is placed within the span and two Horizontal Plate Girders (HPGs) connect VPG to side columns at each story level by the use of rigid connections. System performance is improved by utilizing rigid connections in side columns base joint. Shear yield of HPGs causes energy dissipation in TRF; therefore, high plastic deformation in web of HPGs and VPG affects the ductility of system. Moreover, in order to prevent shear buckling in web of TRF’s members and appropriate criteria for placement of web stiffeners are applied. In this paper, an experimental study is conducted by applying cyclic loading and using finite element models and numerical studies such as push over method are assessed on shear and flexural yielding of HPGs. As a result, seismic parameters indicate adequate lateral stiffness, and high ductility factor of 6.73, and HPGs’ shear yielding achieved as a proof of TRF’s better performance.

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194
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10009923
Project Management at University: Towards an Evaluation Process around Cooperative Learning
Abstract:

The enrollment in current Master's degree programs usually pursues gaining the expertise required in real-life workplaces. The experience we present here concerns the learning process of "Project Management Methodology (PMM)", around a cooperative/collaborative mechanism aimed at affording students measurable learning goals and providing the teacher with the ability of focusing on the weaknesses detected. We have designed a mixed summative/formative evaluation, which assures curriculum engage while enriches the comprehension of PMM key concepts. In this experience we converted the students into active actors in the evaluation process itself and we endowed ourselves as teachers with a flexible process in which along with qualifications (score), other attitudinal feedback arises. Despite the high level of self-affirmation on their discussion within the interactive assessment sessions, they ultimately have exhibited a great ability to review and correct the wrong reasoning when that was the case.

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560
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