Due to the setbacks on the international scene and the wave of cacophonic financial scandals affecting large international groups, the new Islamic finance industry is not immune despite its initial resistance. The purpose of this paper is to understand and analyze the meaning of the Corporate Governance (CG) concept in Moroccan Islamic banking systems with specific reference to their institutions. The research objective is to identify also the path taken and adopted by these banks recently set up in Morocco. The foundation is rooted in shari'a, in particular, no stakeholder (the shareholding approach) must be harmed, and the ethical value is reflected into these parties’ behavior. We chose a qualitative method, semi-structured interviews where six managers provided answers about their banking systems. Since these respondents held a senior position (directors) within their organizations, it is felt that they are well placed and have the necessary knowledge to provide us with information to answer the questions asked. The results identified the orientation of participating banks and assessing how governance works, while determining which party is fovoured: shareholders, stakeholders or both. This study discusses the favorable condition to the harmonization of the regulations and therefore a better integration between Islamic finance and conventional ones in the economic context of Morocco.
Currently, the reduction of energy consumption, through the use of abundant and recyclable natural materials, for better thermal insulation represents an important area of research. To this end, the use of bio-sourced materials has been identified as one of the green sectors with a very high economic development potential for the future. Because of its role in reducing the consumption of fossil-based raw materials, it contributes significantly to the storage of atmospheric carbon, limits greenhouse gas emissions and creates new economic opportunities. This study constitutes a contribution to the elaboration and the experimental characterization of the thermal behavior of a sawdust-reduced mortar matrix. We have taken into account the influence of the size of the grain fibers of sawdust, hence the use of three different ranges and also different percentage in the different confections. The intended practical application consists of producing a light weight compound at a lower cost to ensure a better thermal and acoustic behavior compared to that existing in the field, in addition to the desired resistances. Improving energy performance, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the building sector, is amongst the objectives to be achieved. The results are very encouraging and highlight the value of the proposed design of organic-source mortar panels which have specific mechanical properties acceptable for their use, low densities, lower cost of manufacture and labor, and above all a positive impact on the environment.
Headed reinforcement bars are increasingly used for anchorage in concrete structures. Applications include connections in composite steel-concrete structures, such as beam-column joints, in several strengthening situations as well as in more traditional uses in cast-in-place and precast structural systems. This paper investigates the reduction in the ultimate tensile capacity of embedded cast-in headed anchors due to concrete cracking. A series of nine laboratory tests are carried out to evaluate the influence of cracking on the concrete breakout strength in tension. The experimental results show that cracking affects both the resistance and load-slip response of the headed bar anchors. The strengths measured in these tests are compared to theoretical resistances calculated following the recommendations presented by fib Bulletin no. 58 (2011), ETAG 001 (2010) and ACI 318 (2014). The influences of parameters such as the effective embedment depth (hef), bar diameter (ds), and the concrete compressive strength (fc) are analysed and discussed. The theoretical recommendations are shown to be over-conservative for both embedment depths and were, in general, inaccurate in comparison to the experimental trends. The ACI 318 (2014) was the design code which presented the best performance regarding to the predictions of the ultimate load, with an average of 1.42 for the ratio between the experimental and estimated strengths, standard deviation of 0.36, and coefficient of variation equal to 0.25.
Interest in natural fiber-reinforced composites (NFRC) is progressively growing both in terms of academia research and industrial applications thanks to their abundant advantages such as low cost, biodegradability, eco-friendly nature and relatively good mechanical properties. However, their widespread use is still presumed as challenging because of the specificity of their non-homogeneous structure, limited knowledge on their machinability characteristics and parameter settings, to avoid defects associated with the machining process. The present work is aimed to investigate the effect of the cutting tool geometry and material on the drilling-induced delamination, thrust force and hole quality produced when drilling a fully biodegradable flax/poly (lactic acid) composite laminate. Three drills with different geometries and material were used at different drilling conditions to evaluate the machinability of the fabricated composites. The experimental results indicated that the choice of cutting tool, in terms of material and geometry, has a noticeable influence on the cutting thrust force and subsequently drilling-induced damages. The lower value of thrust force and better hole quality was observed using high-speed steel (HSS) drill, whereas Carbide drill (with point angle of 130o) resulted in the highest value of thrust force. Carbide drill presented higher wear resistance and stability in variation of thrust force with a number of holes drilled, while HSS drill showed the lower value of thrust force during the drilling process. Finally, within the selected cutting range, the delamination damage increased noticeably with feed rate and moderately with spindle speed.
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.
This paper includes experimental results and analytical studies about increasing resistance of single-span reinforced concreted frames against impact factor and their modeling according to optimization methods and optimizing the behavior of these frames under impact loads. During this study, about 30 designs for different frames were modeled and made using specialized software like ANSYS and Sap and their behavior were examined under variable impacts. Then suitable strategies were offered for frames in terms of concrete mixing in order to optimize frame modeling. To reduce the weight of the frames, we had to use fine-grained stones. After designing about eight types of frames for each type of frames, three samples were designed with the aim of controlling the impact strength parameters, and a good shape of the frame was created for the impact resistance, which was a solid frame with muscular legs, and as a bond away from each other as much as possible with a 3 degree gradient in the upper part of the beam.
Slurry infiltrated fiber concrete (SIFCON) is considered as a special type of high strength high-performance fiber reinforced concrete, extremely strong, and ductile. The objective of this study is to investigate the durability of SIFCON to corrosion in chloride environments. Six different SIFCON mixes were made in addition to two refinance mixes with 0% and 1.5% steel fiber content. All mixes were exposed to 10% chloride solution for 180 days. Half of the specimens were partially immersed in chloride solution, and the others were exposed to weekly cycles of wetting and drying in 10% chloride solution. The effectiveness of using corrosion inhibitors, mineral admixture, and epoxy protective coating were also evaluated as protective measures to reduce the effect of chloride attack and to improve the corrosion resistance of SIFCON mixes. Corrosion rates, half-cell potential, electrical resistivity, total permeability tests had been monitored monthly. The results indicated a significant improvement in performance for SIFCON mixes exposed to chloride environment, when using corrosion inhibitor or epoxy protective coating, whereas SIFCON mix contained mineral admixture (metakaolin) did not improve the corrosion resistance at the same level. The cyclic wetting and drying exposure were more aggressive to the specimens than the partial immersion in chloride solution although the observed surface corrosion for the later was clearer.
Raindrops and overland flow both are erosive parameters but they do not act by the same way. The overland flow alone tends to shear the soil horizontally and concentrates into rills. In the presence of rain, the soil particles are removed from the soil surface in the form of a uniform sheet layer. In addition to this, raindrops falling on the flow roughen the water and soil surface depending on the flow depth, and retard the velocity, therefore influence shear velocity and Manning’s factor. To investigate this part, agricultural sandy soil, rainfall simulator and a laboratory soil tray of 0.2x1x3 m were the base of this work. Five overland flow depths of 0; 3.28; 4.28; 5.16; 5.60; 5.80 mm were generated under a rainfall intensity of 217.2 mm/h. Sediment concentration control is based on the proportionality of depth/microtopography. The soil loose is directly related to the presence of rain splash on thin sheet flow. The effect of shear velocity on sediment concentration is limited by the value of 5.28 cm/s. In addition to this, the rain splash reduces the soil roughness by breaking the soil crests. The rainfall intensity is the major factor influencing depth and soil erosion. In the presence of rainfall, the shear velocity of the flow is due to two simultaneous effects. The first, which is horizontal, comes from the flow and the second, vertical, is due to the raindrops.
Automotive light weighting is of major prominence in the current times due to its contribution in improved fuel economy and reduced environmental pollution. Various arc welding technologies are being employed in the production of automobile components with reduced weight. The present study is of practical importance since it involves preferential substitution of Zinc coated mild steel with a light weight alloy such as 6061 Aluminium by means of Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW) – Brazing technique at different processing parameters. However, the fabricated joints have shown the generation of Al – Fe layer at the interfacial regions which was confirmed by the Scanning Electron Microscope and Energy Dispersion Spectroscopy. These Al-Fe compounds not only affect the mechanical strength, but also predominantly deteriorate the corrosion resistance of the joints. Hence, it is essential to understand the phases formed in this layer and their crystal structure. Micro area X - ray diffraction technique has been exclusively used for this study. Moreover, the crevice corrosion analysis at the joint interfaces was done by exposing the joints to 5 wt.% FeCl3 solution at regular time intervals as per ASTM G 48-03. The joints have shown a decreased crevice corrosion resistance with increased heat intensity. Inner surfaces of welds have shown severe oxide cracking and a remarkable weight loss when exposed to concentrated FeCl3. The weight loss was enhanced with decreased filler wire feed rate and increased heat intensity.
The world is in need of efficient energy conversion technologies which are affordable, accessible, and sustainable with eco-friendly nature. Solar energy is one of the cornerstones for the world’s economic growth because of its abundancy with zero carbon pollution. Among the various solar energy conversion technologies, solar thermal technology has attracted a substantial renewed interest due to its diversity and compatibility in various applications. Solar thermal systems employ concentrators, tracking systems and heat engines for electricity generation which lead to high cost and complexity in comparison with photovoltaics; however, it is compatible with distinct thermal energy storage capability and dispatchable electricity which creates a tremendous attraction. Apart from that, employing cost-effective solar selective receiver tube in a concentrating solar thermal (CST) system improves the energy conversion efficiency and directly reduces the cost of technology. In addition, the development of solar receiver tubes by low cost methods which can offer high optical properties and corrosion resistance in an open-air atmosphere would be beneficial for low and medium temperature applications. In this regard, our work opens up an approach which has the potential to achieve cost-effective energy conversion. We have developed a highly selective tandem absorber coating through a facile wet chemical route by a combination of chemical oxidation, sol-gel, and nanoparticle coating methods. The developed tandem absorber coating has gradient refractive index nature on stainless steel (SS 304) and exhibited high optical properties (α ≤ 0.95 & ε ≤ 0.14). The first absorber layer (Cr-Mn-Fe oxides) developed by controlled oxidation of SS 304 in a chemical bath reactor. A second composite layer of ZrO2-SiO2 has been applied on the chemically oxidized substrate by So-gel dip coating method to serve as optical enhancing and corrosion resistant layer. Finally, an antireflective layer (MgF2) has been deposited on the second layer, to achieve > 95% of absorption. The developed tandem layer exhibited good thermal stability up to 250 °C in open air atmospheric condition and superior corrosion resistance (withstands for > 200h in salt spray test (ASTM B117)). After the successful development of a coating with targeted properties at a laboratory scale, a prototype of the 1 m tube has been demonstrated with excellent uniformity and reproducibility. Moreover, it has been validated under standard laboratory test condition as well as in field condition with a comparison of the commercial receiver tube. The presented strategy can be widely adapted to develop highly selective coatings for a variety of CST applications ranging from hot water, solar desalination, and industrial process heat and power generation. The high-performance, cost-effective medium temperature receiver tube technology has attracted many industries, and recently the technology has been transferred to Indian industry.
Recently hybrid vehicles have become a major concern as one alternative vehicles. This type of hybrid vehicle contributes greatly to reducing pollution. Therefore, this work studies the influence of electrification phase of hybrid electric vehicle on emission of vehicle at different road conditions. To accomplish this investigation, a simulation model was used to evaluate the external characteristics of the hybrid electric vehicle according to variant conditions of road resistances. Therefore, this paper reports a methodology to decrease the vehicle emission especially greenhouse gas emission inside cities. The results show the effect of electrification on vehicle performance characteristics. The results show that CO2 emission of vehicle decreases up to 50.6% according to an urban driving cycle due to applying the electrification strategy for hybrid electric vehicle.
Over recent years, due to increased population and increased waste production, groundwater protection has become more important, therefore, designing engineered barrier systems such as landfill liners to prevent the entry of leachate into groundwater should be done with greater accuracy. These measures generally involve the application of low permeability soils such as clays. Bentonite is a natural clay with low permeability which makes it a suitable soil for using in liners. Also zeolite with high cation exchange capacity can help to reduce of hazardous materials risk. Bentonite expands when wet, absorbing as much as several times its dry mass in water. This property may effect on some structural properties of soil such as shear strength. In present study, shear strength parameters are determined by both leachates polluted and not polluted bentonite-amended zeolite soil with mixing rates (B/Z) of 5%-10% and 20% with unconfined compression test to obtain the differences. It is shown that leachate presence causes reduction in resistance in general.
In the recent years, aluminum metal matrix composites were most widely used, which are finding wide applications in various field such as automobile, aerospace defense etc., due to their outstanding mechanical properties like low density, light weight, exceptional high levels of strength, stiffness, wear resistance, high temperature resistance, low coefficient of thermal expansion and good formability. In the present work, an effort is made to study the effect of heat treatment on mechanical properties of aluminum 7075 alloy reinforced with constant weight percentage of naturally occurring mineral beryl and varying weight percentage of graphene. The hybrid composites are developed with 0.5 wt. %, 1wt.%, 1.5 wt.% and 2 wt.% of graphene and 6 wt.% of beryl by stir casting liquid metallurgy route. The cast specimens of unreinforced aluminum alloy and hybrid composite samples were prepared for heat treatment process and subjected to solutionizing treatment (T6) at a temperature of 490±5 oC for 8 hours in a muffle furnace followed by quenching in boiling water. The microstructure analysis of as cast and heat treated hybrid composite specimens are examined by scanning electron microscope (SEM). The tensile test and hardness test of unreinforced aluminum alloy and hybrid composites are examined. The wear behavior is examined by pin-on disc apparatus. The results of as cast specimens and heat treated specimens were compared. The heat treated Al7075-Beryl-Graphene hybrid composite had better properties and significantly improved the ultimate tensile strength, hardness and reduced wear loss when compared to aluminum alloy and as cast hybrid composites.
Yeast cells are generally used as a model system of eukaryotes due to their complex genetic structure, rapid growth ability in optimum conditions, easy replication and well-defined genetic system properties. Thus, yeast cells increased the knowledge of the principal pathways in humans. During fermentation, carbohydrates (hexoses and pentoses) degrade into some toxic by-products such as 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (5-HMF or HMF) and furfural. HMF influences the ethanol yield, and ethanol productivity; it interferes with microbial growth and is considered as a potent inhibitor of bioethanol production. In this study, yeast single cell behavior under HMF application was monitored by using a continuous flow single phase microfluidic platform. Microfluidic device in operation is fabricated by hot embossing and thermo-compression techniques from cyclo-olefin polymer (COP). COP is biocompatible, transparent and rigid material and it is suitable for observing fluorescence of cells considering its low auto-fluorescence characteristic. The response of yeast cells was recorded through Red Fluorescent Protein (RFP) tagged Nop56 gene product, which is an essential evolutionary-conserved nucleolar protein, and also a member of the box C/D snoRNP complexes. With the application of HMF, yeast cell proliferation continued but HMF slowed down the cell growth, and after HMF treatment the cell proliferation stopped. By the addition of fresh nutrient medium, the yeast cells recovered after 6 hours of HMF exposure. Thus, HMF application suppresses normal functioning of cell cycle but it does not cause cells to die. The monitoring of Nop56 expression phases of the individual cells shed light on the protein and ribosome synthesis cycles along with their link to growth. Further computational study revealed that the mechanisms underlying the inhibitory or inductive effects of HMF on growth are enriched in functional categories of protein degradation, protein processing, DNA repair and multidrug resistance. The present microfluidic device can successfully be used for studying the effects of inhibitory agents on growth by single cell tracking, thus capturing cell to cell variations. By metabolic engineering techniques, engineered strains can be developed, and the metabolic network of the microorganism can thus be manipulated such that chemical overproduction of target metabolite is achieved along with the maximum growth/biomass yield.
Alkyds have become essential raw materials in the coating and paint industry, due to their low cost, good application properties and lower environmental impact in comparison with petroleum-based polymers. The properties of these oil-modified materials depend on the type of polyunsaturated vegetable oil used for its manufacturing, since a higher degree of unsaturation provides a better crosslinking of the cured paint. Linum usitatissimum L. (flax) oil is widely used to develop alkyd resins due to its high degree of unsaturation. Although it is intended to find non-traditional sources and increase their commercial value, to authors’ best knowledge a natural source that can replace flaxseed oil has not yet been found. However, Plukenetia volubilis L. oil, of Peruvian origin, contains a similar fatty acid polyunsaturated content to the one reported for Linum usitatissimum L. oil. In this perspective, medium alkyd resins were prepared with a mixture of 50% of Linum usitatissimum L. oil and 50% of Plukenetia volubilis L. oil. Pure Linum usitatissimum L. oil was also used for comparison purposes. Three different resins were obtained by varying the amount of glycerol and pentaerythritol. The synthesized alkyd resins were characterized by FT-IR, and physicochemical properties like acid value, colour, viscosity, density and drying time were evaluated by standard methods. The pencil hardness and chemical resistance behaviour of the cured resins were also studied. Overall, it can be concluded that medium alkyd resins containing Plukenetia volubilis L. oil have an equivalent behaviour compared to those prepared purely with Linum usitatissimum L. oil. Both Plukenetia volubilis L. oil and pentaerythritol have a remarkable influence on certain physicochemical properties of medium alkyd resins.
Varying methodologies are considered for pile design for both Russian and Western approaches. Although both approaches rely on toe and side frictional resistances, different calculation methods are proposed to estimate pile capacity. The Western approach relies on compactness (internal friction angle) of soil for cohesionless soils and undrained shear strength for cohesive soils. The Russian approach relies on grain size for cohesionless soils and liquidity index for cohesive soils. Though most recommended methods in the Western approaches are relatively simple methods to predict pile settlement, the Russian approach provides a detailed method to estimate single pile and pile group settlement. Details to calculate pile axial capacity and settlement using the Russian and Western approaches are discussed and compared against field test results.
Prediction of the ultimate bearing capacity of piles (Qu) is one of the basic issues in geotechnical engineering. So far, several methods have been used to estimate Qu, including the recently developed artificial intelligence methods. In recent years, optimization algorithms have been used to minimize artificial network errors, such as colony algorithms, genetic algorithms, imperialist competitive algorithms, and so on. In the present research, artificial neural networks based on colonial competition algorithm (ANN-ICA) were used, and their results were compared with other methods. The results of laboratory tests of short piles in clayey soils with parameters such as pile diameter, pile buried length, eccentricity of load and undrained shear resistance of soil were used for modeling and evaluation. The results showed that ICA-based artificial neural networks predicted lateral bearing capacity of short piles with a correlation coefficient of 0.9865 for training data and 0.975 for test data. Furthermore, the results of the model indicated the superiority of ICA-based artificial neural networks compared to back-propagation artificial neural networks as well as the Broms and Hansen methods.
Ultimate capacity of large diameter bored piles is usually determined from pile loading tests as recommended by several international codes and foundation design standards. However, loading of this type of piles till achieving apparent failure is practically seldom. In this paper, numerical analyses are carried out to simulate load test of a large diameter bored pile performed at the location of Alzey highway bridge project (Germany). Test results of pile load settlement relationship till failure as well as results of the base and shaft resistances are available. Apparent failure was indicated in this test by the significant increase of the induced settlement during the last load increment applied on the pile head. Measurements of this pile load test are used to assess the quality of the numerical models investigated. Three different material soil models are implemented in the analyses: Mohr coulomb (MC), Soft soil (SS), and Modified Mohr coulomb (MMC). Very good agreement is obtained between the field measured settlement and the calculated settlement using the MMC model. Results of analysis showed also that the MMC constitutive model is superior to MC, and SS models in predicting the ultimate base and shaft resistances of the large diameter bored pile. After calibrating the numerical model, behavior of large diameter bored piles under axial loads is discussed and the formation of the plastic zone around the pile is explored. Results obtained showed that the plastic zone below the base of the pile at failure extended laterally to about four times the pile diameter and vertically to about three times the pile diameter.
Resistance exercise bands are a core component of any physical activity strengthening program. Strength training can mitigate the development of sarcopenia, the loss of muscle mass or strength and function with aging. Yet, the adherence of such behavioral exercise strategies in a home-based setting are fraught with issues of monitoring and compliance. Our group developed a Bluetooth-enabled resistance exercise band capable of transmitting data to an open-source platform. In this work, we developed an application to capture this information in real-time, and conducted three usability studies in two mixed-aged groups of participants (n=6 each) and a group of older adults with obesity participating in a weight-loss intervention (n=20). The system was favorable, acceptable and provided iterative information that could assist in future deployment on ubiquitous platforms. Our formative work provides the foundation to deliver home-based monitoring interventions in a high-risk, older adult population.
Morbid obesity is a health threatening condition particularly in children. Generally, it leads to the development of metabolic syndrome (MetS) characterized by central obesity, elevated fasting blood glucose (FBG), triglyceride (TRG), blood pressure values and suppressed high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) levels. However, some ambiguities exist during the diagnosis of MetS in children below 10 years of age. Therefore, clinicians are in the need of some surrogate markers for the laboratory assessment of pediatric MetS. In this study, the aim is to develop an index, which will be more helpful during the evaluation of further risks detected in morbid obese (MO) children. A total of 235 children with normal body mass index (N-BMI), with varying degrees of obesity; overweight (OW), obese (OB), MO as well as MetS participated in this study. The study was approved by the Institutional Ethical Committee. Informed consent forms were obtained from the parents of the children. Obesity states of the children were classified using BMI percentiles adjusted for age and sex. For the purpose, tabulated data prepared by WHO were used. MetS criteria were defined. Systolic and diastolic blood pressure values were measured. Parameters related to glucose and lipid metabolisms were determined. FBG, insulin (INS), HDL-C, TRG concentrations were determined. Diagnostic Obesity Notation Model Assessment Laboratory (DONMALAB) Index [ln TRG/HDL-C*INS] was introduced. Commonly used insulin resistance (IR) indices such as Homeostatic Model Assessment for IR (HOMA-IR) as well as ratios such as TRG/HDL-C, TRG/HDL-C*INS, HDL-C/TRG*INS, TRG/HDL-C*INS/FBG, log, and ln versions of these ratios were calculated. Results were interpreted using statistical package program (SPSS Version 16.0) for Windows. The data were evaluated using appropriate statistical tests. The degree for statistical significance was defined as 0.05. 35 N, 20 OW, 47 OB, 97 MO children and 36 with MetS were investigated. Mean ± SD values of TRG/HDL-C were 1.27 ± 0.69, 1.86 ± 1.08, 2.15 ± 1.22, 2.48 ± 2.35 and 4.61 ± 3.92 for N, OW, OB, MO and MetS children, respectively. Corresponding values for the DONMALAB index were 2.17 ± 1.07, 3.01 ± 0.94, 3.41 ± 0.93, 3.43 ± 1.08 and 4.32 ± 1.00. TRG/HDL-C ratio significantly differed between N and MetS groups. On the other hand, DONMALAB index exhibited statistically significant differences between N and all the other groups except the OW group. This index was capable of discriminating MO children from those with MetS. Statistically significant elevations were detected in MO children with MetS (p < 0.05). Multiple parameters are commonly used during the assessment of MetS. Upon evaluation of the values obtained for N, OW, OB, MO groups and for MO children with MetS, the [ln TRG/HDL-C*INS] value was unique in discriminating children with MetS.
Obesity is a clinical state associated with low-grade inflammation. It is also a major risk factor for insulin resistance (IR). In its advanced stages, metabolic syndrome (MetS), a much more complicated disease which may lead to life-threatening problems, may develop. Obesity-mediated IR seems to correlate with the inflammation. Human studies performed particularly on pediatric population are scarce. The aim of this study is to detect possible associations between inflammation and IR in terms of some related ratios. 549 children were grouped according to their age- and sex-based body mass index (BMI) percentile tables of WHO. MetS components were determined. Informed consent and approval from the Ethics Committee for Clinical Investigations were obtained. The principles of the Declaration of Helsinki were followed. The exclusion criteria were infection, inflammation, chronic diseases and those under drug treatment. Anthropometric measurements were obtained. Complete blood cell, fasting blood glucose, insulin, and C-reactive protein (CRP) analyses were performed. Homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR), systemic immune inflammation (SII) index, tense index, alanine aminotransferase to aspartate aminotransferase ratio (ALT/AST), neutrophils to lymphocyte (NLR), platelet to lymphocyte, and lymphocyte to monocyte ratios were calculated. Data were evaluated by statistical analyses. The degree for statistical significance was 0.05. Statistically significant differences were found among the BMI values of the groups (p < 0.001). Strong correlations were detected between the BMI and waist circumference (WC) values in all groups. Tense index values were also correlated with both BMI and WC values in all groups except overweight (OW) children. SII index values of children with normal BMI were significantly different from the values obtained in OW, obese, morbid obese and MetS groups. Among all the other lymphocyte ratios, NLR exhibited a similar profile. Both HOMA-IR and ALT/AST values displayed an increasing profile from N towards MetS3 group. BMI and WC values were correlated with HOMA-IR and ALT/AST. Both in morbid obese and MetS groups, significant correlations between CRP versus SII index as well as HOMA-IR versus ALT/AST were found. ALT/AST and HOMA-IR values were correlated with NLR in morbid obese group and with SII index in MetS group, (p < 0.05), respectively. In conclusion, these findings showed that some parameters may exhibit informative differences between the early and late stages of obesity. Important associations among HOMA-IR, ALT/AST, NLR and SII index have come to light in the morbid obese and MetS groups. This study introduced the SII index and NLR as important inflammatory markers for the discrimination of normal and obese children. Interesting links were observed between inflammation and IR in morbid obese children and those with MetS, both being late stages of obesity.
In this study, the Si-aluminide coating was prepared on gamma-TiAl [Ti-45Al-2Nb-2Mn-1B (at. %)] via liquid-phase slurry procedure. The high temperature oxidation resistance of this diffusion coating was evaluated at 1100 °C for 400 hours. The results of the isothermal oxidation showed that the formation of Si-aluminide coating can remarkably improve the high temperature oxidation of bare gamma-TiAl alloy. The identification of oxide scale microstructure showed that the formation of protective Al2O3+SiO2 mixed oxide scale along with a continuous, compact and uniform layer of Ti5Si3 beneath the surface oxide scale can act as an oxygen diffusion barrier during the high temperature oxidation. The other possible mechanisms related to the formation of Si-aluminide coating and oxide scales were also discussed.
Pile load tests should be applied to check the bearing capacity calculations and to determine the settlement of the pile corresponding to test load. Strain gauges can be installed into pile in order to determine the shaft resistance of the piles for every soil layer respectively. Detailed results can be obtained by means of strain gauges placed at certain levels into test piles. In the scope of this study, pile load test data obtained from two different projects are examined. Instrumented static pile load tests were applied on totally 7 test bored piles of different diameters (80 cm, 150 cm, and 200 cm) and different lengths (between 30-76 m) in two different project site. Settlement analysis of test piles is done by using some of load transfer methods and finite element method. Plaxis 3D which is a three-dimensional finite element program is also used for settlement analysis of the test piles. In this study, firstly bearing capacity of test piles are determined and compared with strain gauge data which is required for settlement analysis. Then, settlement values of the test piles are estimated by using load transfer methods developed in recent years and finite element method. The aim of this study is to show similarities and differences between the results obtained from settlement analysis methods and instrumented pile load tests.
Interest in using bacteria in cement materials due to its positive influences has been increased. Cement materials such as mortar and concrete basically suffer from higher porosity and water absorption compared to other building materials such as steel materials. Because of the negative side-effects of certain chemical techniques, biological methods have been proposed as a desired and environmentally friendly strategy for reducing concrete porosity and diminishing water absorption. This paper presents the results of an experimental investigation carried out to evaluate the influence of Sporosarcina pasteurii bacteria on the behaviour of two types of concretes (light weight aggregate concrete and normal weight concrete). The resistance of specimens to water penetration by testing water absorption and evaluating the electrical resistance of those concretes was examined and compared. As a conclusion, 20% increase in electrical resistance and 10% reduction in water absorption of lightweight aggregate concrete (LWAC) and for normal concrete the results show 7% decrease in water absorption and almost 10% increase in electrical resistance.
Hyphal growth and the transcriptional regulation to the host environment are key issues during the pathogenesis of C. albicans. Tec1p is the C. albicans homolog of a TEA transcription factor family, which share a conserved DNA-binding TEA domain in their N-terminal. In order to define a structure-function relationship of the C. albicans Tec1p protein, we constructed several mutations on the N terminal, C terminal or in the TEA binding domain itself by homologous recombination technology. The modifications in the open reading frame of TEC1 were tested for reconstitution of the morphogenetic development of the tec1/tec1 mutant strain CaAS12. Mutation in the TEA consensus sequence did not confer transition to hyphae whereas the reconstitution of the full-length Tec1p has reconstituted hyphal development. A deletion in one of glutamine-rich regions either in the Tec1p N-terminal or the C-terminal in regions of 53-212 or 637–744 aa, respectively, did not restore morphological development in mutant CaAS12 strain. Whereas, the reconstitution with Tec1p mutants other than the glutamate-rich region has restored the morphogenetic switch. Additionally, the deletion of the glutamine-rich region has attenuated the invasive growth and the heat shock resistance of C. albicans. In conclusion, we show that a glutamine-rich region of Tec1p is essential for the hyphal development and mediating adaptation to the host environment of C. albicans.
Proposing an appropriate control strategy is an effective and practical way to address the overheat problems of the wet multi-plate clutch in Direct Shift Gearbox under the long-time creeping condition. To do so, the temperature variation of the wet multi-plate clutch is investigated firstly by establishing a thermal resistance model for the gearbox cooling system. To calculate the generated heat flux and predict the clutch temperature precisely, the friction torque model is optimized by introducing an improved friction coefficient, which is related to the pressure, the relative speed and the temperature. After that, the heat transfer model and the reasonable friction torque model are employed by the vehicle powertrain model to construct a comprehensive co-simulation model for the Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG) vehicle. A creeping control strategy is then proposed and, to evaluate the vehicle performance, the safety temperature (250 ℃) is particularly adopted as an important metric. During the creeping process, the temperature of two clutches is always under the safety value (250 ℃), which demonstrates the effectiveness of the proposed control strategy in avoiding the thermal failures of clutches.
Thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) is a multifunctional polymeric material which possesses a combination of excellent properties of parent materials. Basically, TPE has a rubber phase and a thermoplastic phase which gives processability as thermoplastics. When the rubber phase is partially or fully crosslinked in the thermoplastic matrix, TPE is called as thermoplastic elastomer vulcanizate (TPV). If the rubber phase is non-crosslinked, it is called as thermoplastic elastomer olefin (TPO). Nowadays TPEs are introduced into the commercial market with different products. However, the application of TPE as a roofing material is limited. Out of the commercially available roofing products from different materials, only single ply roofing membranes and plastic roofing sheets are produced from rubbers and plastics. Natural rubber (NR) and high density polyethylene (HDPE) are used in various industrial applications individually with some drawbacks. Therefore, this study was focused to develop both TPO and TPV blends from NR and HDPE at different compositions and then to identify the best blend composition to use as a roofing material. A series of blends by varying NR loading from 10 wt% to 50 wt%, at 10 wt% intervals, were prepared using a twin screw extruder. Dicumyl peroxide was used as a crosslinker for TPV. The standard properties for a roofing material like tensile properties tear strength, hardness, impact strength, water absorption, swell/gel analysis and thermal characteristics of the blends were investigated. Change of tensile strength after exposing to UV radiation was also studied. Tensile strength, hardness, tear strength, melting temperature and gel content of TPVs show higher values compared to TPOs at every loading studied, while water absorption and swelling index show lower values, suggesting TPVs are more suitable than TPOs for roofing applications. Most of the optimum properties were shown at 10/90 (NR/HDPE) composition. However, high impact strength and gel content were shown at 20/80 (NR/HDPE) composition. Impact strength, as being an energy absorbing property, is the most important for a roofing material in order to resist impact loads. Therefore, 20/80 (NR/HDPE) is identified as the best blend composition. UV resistance and other properties required for a roofing material could be achieved by incorporating suitable additives to TPVs.