Bacterial Cellulose (BC) is a structural organic compound produced in the anaerobic process. This material can be a useful eco-friendly substitute for commercial textiles that are used in industries today. BC is easily and sustainably produced and has the capabilities to be used as a replacement in textiles. However, BC is extremely fragile when it completely dries. This research was conducted to improve the mechanical properties of the BC by reinforcing with an organic polymer and exfoliated graphite (EG). The BC films were grown over a period of weeks in a green tea and kombucha solution at 30 °C, then cleaned and added to an enhancing solution. The enhancing solutions were a mixture of 2.5 wt% polymer and 2.5 wt% latex solution, a 5 wt% polymer solution, a 0.20 wt% graphite solution and were each allowed to sit in a furnace for 48 h at 50 °C. Tensile test samples were prepared and tested until fracture at a strain rate of 8 mm/min. From the research with the addition of a 5 wt% polymer solution, the flexibility of the BC has significantly improved with the maximum strain significantly larger than that of the base sample. The addition of EG has also increased the modulus of elasticity of the BC by about 25%.
Since the discovery of the manuscript, mechanical methods for storing, transferring and using the information have evolved into digital methods over the time. In this process, libraries that are the center of the information have also become digitized and become accessible from anywhere and at any time in the world by taking on a structure that has no physical boundaries. In this context, some criteria for information obtained from digital libraries have become more important for users. This paper evaluates the user criteria from different perspectives that make a digital library more useful. The Step-Wise Weight Assessment Ratio Analysis-Weighted Aggregated Sum Product Assessment (SWARA-WASPAS) method is used with flexibility and easy calculation steps for the evaluation of digital library criteria. Three different digital libraries are evaluated by information technology experts according to five conflicting main criteria, ‘interface design’, ‘effects on users’, ‘services’, ‘user engagement’ and ‘context’. Finally, alternatives are ranked in descending order.
Vibration analysis of a misaligned rotor coupling bearing system has been carried out while decelerating through its critical speed. The finite element method (FEM) is used to model the rotor system and simulate flexural vibrations. A flexible coupling with a frictionless joint is considered in the present work. The continuous wavelet transform is used to extract the misalignment features from the simulated time response. Subcritical speeds at one-half, one-third, and one-fourth the critical speed have appeared in the wavelet transformed vibration response of a misaligned rotor coupling bearing system. These features are also verified through a parametric study.
The purpose of the paper is to redefine the levels of structure of corporate, business and functional strategies that were established over the past several decades, to a conceptual model, consisting of corporate, business and operations strategies, that are reinforced by functional strategies. We will propose a conceptual framework of different perspectives in the role of strategic operations as a separate strategic place and reposition the remaining functional strategies as supporting tools, existing at all three levels. The proposed model is called ‘the strategic engine’, since the mutual relationships of its ingredients are identical with main elements and working principle of the internal combustion engine. Based on theoretical essence, related to every strategic level, we will prove that the strategic engine model is useful for managers seeking to safeguard the competitive advantage of their companies. Each strategy level is researched through its basic elements. At the corporate level we examine the scope of firm’s product, the vertical and geographical coverage. At the business level, the point of interest is limited to the SWOT analysis’ basic elements. While at operations level, the key research issue relates to the scope of the following performance indicators: cost, quality, speed, flexibility and dependability. In this relationship, the paper provides a different view for the role of operations strategy within the overall strategy concept. We will prove that the theoretical essence of operations goes far beyond the scope of traditionally accepted business functions. Exploring the applications of Resource-based theory and Market-based theory within the strategic levels framework, we will prove that there is a logical consequence of the theoretical impact in corporate, business and operations strategy – at every strategic level, the validity of one theory is substituted to the level of the other. Practical application of the conceptual model is tested in automotive industry. Actually, the proposed theoretical concept is inspired by a leading global automotive group – Inchcape PLC, listed on the London Stock Exchange, and constituent of the FTSE 250 Index.
There have been many reports of the destructive effects of cement on the environment in recent years. In the present research, it has been attempted to reduce the destructive effects of cement by replacing silica fume as adhesive materials instead of cement. The present study has attempted to improve the mechanical properties of cement slurry by using waste material from a glass production factory, located in Qazvin city of Iran, in which accumulation volume has become an environmental threat. The chemical analysis of the waste material indicates that this material contains about 94% of SiO2 and AL2O3 and has a close structure to silica fume. Also, the particle grain size test was performed on the mentioned waste. Then, the unconfined compressive strength test of the slurry was performed by preparing a mixture of water and adhesives with different percentages of cement and silica fume. The water to an adhesive ratio of this mixture is 1:3, and the curing process last 28 days. It was found that the sample had an unconfined compressive strength of about 300 kg/cm2 in a mixture with equal proportions of cement and silica fume. Besides, the sample had a brittle fracture in the slurry sample made of pure cement, however, the fracture in cement-silica fume slurry mixture is flexible and the structure of the specimen remains coherent after fracture. Therefore, considering the flexibility that is achieved by replacing this waste, it can be used to stabilize soils with cracking potential.
Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) has become a very rich area of research. Practitioners or teachers of English as a foreign or a second language are now promoting both collaborative learning and collaborative teaching. Students learning a language collaboratively and cooperatively are learning in a better environment of team work where they learn from each other. Further, teaching English collaboratively also creates an enriching environment that is also very enriching to students’ and teachers’ experiences of learning and teaching. Moreover, action research stems from actual teacher concerns and students’ needs. Reflection in turn, on the experience of the material taught and the delivery of material is becoming an integral part of the teaching and learning experience self- evaluation and self-development. In this case, the concern of the research field in the area of TESL will be the development of teaching delivery, material and quality of learning. In the present research, the TESL module taught to year two students in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, British University in Egypt (BUE) will be evaluated reflexively by the students and teachers. The module was taught to students in two different specialisms. It was taught and delivered through collaborative teaching and was evaluated by both teachers and students as very successful and enjoyable. The reflections of both teachers and students as well as student results confirm that it was a success.
3D concrete printing is one of the most innovative and modern techniques in the field of construction that achieved several milestones in that field for the following advantages: saving project’s time, ability to execute complicated shapes, reduce waste and low cost. However, the concept of 3D printing in UAE is relatively new where construction teams, including clients, consultants, and contractors, do not have the required knowledge and experience in the field. This is the most significant obstacle for the construction parties, which make them refrained from using 3D concrete printing compared to conventional concreting methods. This study shows the historical development of the 3D concrete printing, its advantages, and the challenges facing this innovation. Concrete mixes and materials have been proposed and evaluated to select the best combination for successful 3D concrete printing. The main characteristics of the 3D concrete printing in the fresh and hardened states are considered, such as slump test, flow table, compressive strength, tensile, and flexural strengths. There is need to assess the structural stability of the 3D concrete by testing the bond between interlayers of the concrete.
Piezoelectric linear motors have the characteristics of great electromagnetic compatibility, high positioning accuracy, compact structure and no deceleration mechanism, which make it promising to applicate in micro-miniature precision drive systems. However, most piezoelectric motors are employed by flexible clamping, which has insufficient rigidity and is difficult to use in rapid positioning. Another problem is that this clamping method seriously affects the vibration efficiency of the vibrating unit. In order to solve these problems, this paper proposes a piezoelectric stack linear motor based on double-end rigid clamping. First, a piezoelectric linear motor with a length of only 35.5 mm is designed. This motor is mainly composed of a motor stator, a driving foot, a ceramic friction strip, a linear guide, a pre-tightening mechanism and a base. This structure is much simpler and smaller than most similar motors, and it is easy to assemble as well as to realize precise control. In addition, the properties of piezoelectric stack are reviewed and in order to obtain the elliptic motion trajectory of the driving head, a driving scheme of the longitudinal-shear composite stack is innovatively proposed. Finally, impedance analysis and speed performance testing were performed on the piezoelectric linear motor prototype. The motor can measure speed up to 25.5 mm/s under the excitation of signal voltage of 120 V and frequency of 390 Hz. The result shows that the proposed piezoelectric stacked linear motor obtains great performance. It can run smoothly in a large speed range, which is suitable for various precision control in medical images, aerospace, precision machinery and many other fields.
The need for modeling response to urban fire disaster cannot be over emphasized, as recurrent fire outbreaks have gutted most cities of the world. This necessitated the need for a prompt and efficient response system in order to mitigate the impact of the disaster. Promptness, as a function of time, is seen to be the fundamental determinant for efficiency of a response system and magnitude of a fire disaster. Delay, as a result of several factors, is one of the major determinants of promptgness of a response system and also the magnitude of a fire disaster. Response Delay Model (RDM) intends to bridge the gap in urban fire disaster response system through incorporating and synchronizing the delay moments in measuring the overall efficiency of a response system and determining the magnitude of a fire disaster. The model identified two delay moments (pre-notification and Intra-reflex sequence delay) that can be elastic and collectively plays a significant role in influencing the efficiency of a response system. Due to variation in the elasticity of the delay moments, the model provides for measuring the length of delays in order to arrive at a standard average delay moment for different parts of the world, putting into consideration geographic location, level of preparedness and awareness, technological advancement, socio-economic and environmental factors. It is recommended that participatory researches should be embarked on locally and globally to determine standard average delay moments within each phase of the system so as to enable determining the efficiency of response systems and predicting fire disaster magnitudes.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.