Excellence in Research and Innovation for Humanity

International Science Index

Commenced in January 1999 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 1276

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Analysis of Building Response from Vertical Ground Motions

Building structures are subjected to both horizontal and vertical ground motions during earthquakes, but only the horizontal ground motion has been extensively studied and considered in design. Most of the prevailing seismic codes assume the vertical component to be 1/2 to 2/3 of the horizontal one. In order to understand the building responses from vertical ground motions, many earthquakes records are studied in this paper. System identification methods (ARX Model) are used to analyze the strong motions and to find out the characteristics of the vertical amplification factors and the natural frequencies of buildings. Analysis results show that the vertical amplification factors for high-rise buildings and low-rise building are 1.78 and 2.52 respectively, and the average vertical amplification factor of all buildings is about 2. The relationship between the vertical natural frequency and building height was regressed to a suggested formula in this study. The result points out an important message; the taller the building is, the greater chance of resonance of vertical vibration on the building will be.

Shear Behaviour of RC Deep Beams with Openings Strengthened with Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymer

Construction industry is making progress at a high pace. The trend of the world is getting more biased towards the high rise buildings. Deep beams are one of the most common elements in modern construction having small span to depth ratio. Deep beams are mostly used as transfer girders. This experimental study consists of 16 reinforced concrete (RC) deep beams. These beams were divided into two groups; A and B. Groups A and B consist of eight beams each, having 381 mm (15 in) and 457 mm (18 in) depth respectively. Each group was further subdivided into four sub groups each consisting of two identical beams. Each subgroup was comprised of solid/control beam (without opening), opening above neutral axis (NA), at NA and below NA. Except for control beams, all beams with openings were strengthened with carbon fibre reinforced polymer (CFRP) vertical strips. These eight groups differ from each other based on depth and location of openings. For testing sake, all beams have been loaded with two symmetrical point loads. All beams have been designed based on strut and tie model concept. The outcome of experimental investigation elaborates the difference in the shear behaviour of deep beams based on depth and location of circular openings variation. 457 mm (18 in) deep beam with openings above NA show the highest strength and 381 mm (15 in) deep beam with openings below NA show the least strength. CFRP sheets played a vital role in increasing the shear capacity of beams.

Geo-Spatial Methods to Better Understand Urban Food Deserts
Food deserts are a reality in some cities. These deserts can be described as a shortage of healthy food options within close proximity of consumers. The shortage in this case is typically facilitated by a lack of stores in an urban area that provide adequate fruit and vegetable choices. This study explores new avenues to better understand food deserts by examining modes of transportation that are available to shoppers or consumers, e.g. walking, automobile, or public transit. Further, this study is unique in that it not only explores the location of large grocery stores, but small grocery and convenience stores too. In this study, the relationship between some socio-economic indicators, such as personal income, are also explored to determine any possible association with food deserts. In addition, to help facilitate our understanding of food deserts, complex network spatial models that are built on adequate algorithms are used to investigate the possibility of food deserts in the city of Hamilton, Canada. It is found that Hamilton, Canada is adequate serviced by retailers who provide healthy food choices and that the food desert phenomena is almost absent.
Lack of BIM Training: Investigating Practical Solutions for the State of Kuwait

Despite the evident benefits of building information modeling (BIM) to the construction industry, it faces significant implementation challenges in the State of Kuwait. This study investigates the awareness of construction stakeholders of BIM implementation challenges, and identifies various solutions to overcome these challenges. Specifically, the main objectives of this study are to: (1) characterize the barriers that deter utilization of BIM, (2) examine the awareness of engineers, architects, and construction stakeholders of these barriers, and (3) identify practical solutions to facilitate BIM utilization. A questionnaire survey was designed to collect data on the aforementioned objectives from local companies and senior BIM experts. It was found that engineers are highly aware of BIM implementation barriers. In addition, it was concluded from the questionnaire that the biggest barrier is the lack of BIM training. Based on expert feedback, the study concluded with a number of recommendations on how to overcome the barriers of BIM utilization. This should prove useful to the construction industry stakeholders and can lead to significant changes to design and construction practices.

Anticipation of Bending Reinforcement Based on Iranian Concrete Code Using Meta-Heuristic Tools

In this paper, different concrete codes including America, New Zealand, Mexico, Italy, India, Canada, Hong Kong, Euro Code and Britain are compared with the Iranian concrete design code. First, by using Adaptive Neuro Fuzzy Inference System (ANFIS), the codes having the most correlation with the Iranian ninth issue of the national regulation are determined. Consequently, two anticipated methods are used for comparing the codes: Artificial Neural Network (ANN) and Multi-variable regression. The results show that ANN performs better. Predicting is done by using only tensile steel ratio and with ignoring the compression steel ratio.

Comparison of Physical and Chemical Properties of Micro-Silica and Locally Produced Metakaolin and Effect on the Properties of Concrete

The properties of locally produced metakaolin (MK) as cement replacing material and the comparison of reactivity with commercially available micro-silica have been investigated. Compressive strength, splitting tensile strength, and load-deflection behaviour under bending are the properties that have been studied. The amorphous phase of MK with micro-silica was compared through X-ray diffraction (XRD) pattern. Further, interfacial transition zone of concrete with micro-silica and MK was observed through Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscopy (FESEM). Three mixes of concrete were prepared. One of the mix is without cement replacement as control mix, and the remaining two mixes are 10% cement replacement with micro-silica and MK. It has been found that MK, due to its irregular structure and amorphous phase, has high reactivity with portlandite in concrete. The compressive strength at early age is higher with MK as compared to micro-silica. MK concrete showed higher splitting tensile strength and higher load carrying capacity as compared to control and micro-silica concrete at all ages respectively.

Laboratory Investigations on the Utilization of Recycled Construction Aggregates in Asphalt Mixtures

Road networks are increasingly expanding all over the world. The construction and maintenance of the road pavements require large amounts of aggregates. Considerable usage of various natural aggregates for constructing roads as well as the increasing rate at which solid waste is generated have attracted the attention of many researchers in the pavement industry to investigate the feasibility of the application of some of the waste materials as alternative materials in pavement construction. Among various waste materials, construction and demolition wastes, including Recycled Construction Aggregate (RCA) constitute a major part of the municipal solid wastes in Australia. Creating opportunities for the application of RCA in civil and geotechnical engineering applications is an efficient way to increase the market value of RCA. However, in spite of such promising potentials, insufficient and inconclusive data and information on the engineering properties of RCA had limited the reliability and design specifications of RCA to date. In light of this, this paper, as a first step of a comprehensive research, aims to investigate the feasibility of the application of RCA obtained from construction and demolition wastes for the replacement of part of coarse aggregates in asphalt mixture. As the suitability of aggregates for using in asphalt mixtures is determined based on the aggregate characteristics, including physical and mechanical properties of the aggregates, an experimental program is set up to evaluate the physical and mechanical properties of RCA. This laboratory investigation included the measurement of compressive strength and workability of RCA, particle shape, water absorption, flakiness index, crushing value, deleterious materials and weak particles, wet/dry strength variation, and particle density. In addition, the comparison of RCA properties with virgin aggregates has been included as part of this investigation and this paper presents the results of these investigations on RCA, basalt, and the mix of RCA/basalt.

Laboratory Analysis of Stormwater Runoff Hydraulic and Pollutant Removal Performance of Pervious Concrete Based on Seashell By-Products

In order to solve problems associated with stormwater runoff in urban areas and their effects on natural and artificial water bodies, the integration of new technical solutions to the rainwater drainage becomes even more essential. Permeable pavement systems are one of the most widely used techniques. This paper presents a laboratory analysis of stormwater runoff hydraulic and pollutant removal performance of permeable pavement system using pervious pavements based on seashell products. The laboratory prototype is a square column of 25 cm of side and consists of the surface in pervious concrete, a bedding of 3 cm in height, a geotextile and a subbase layer of 50 cm in height. A series of constant simulated rain events using semi-synthetic runoff which varied in intensity and duration were carried out. The initial vertical saturated hydraulic conductivity of the entire pervious pavement system was 0.25 cm/s (148 L/m2/min). The hydraulic functioning was influenced by both the inlet flow rate value and the test duration. The total water losses including evaporation ranged between 9% to 20% for all hydraulic experiments. The temporal and vertical variability of the pollutant removal efficiency (PRE) of the system were studied for total suspended solids (TSS). The results showed that the PRE along the vertical profile was influenced by the size of the suspended solids, and the pervious paver has the highest capacity to trap pollutant than the other porous layers of the permeable pavement system after the geotextile. The TSS removal efficiency was about 80% for the entire system. The first-flush effect of TSS was observed, but it appeared only at the beginning (2 to 6 min) of the experiments. It has been shown that the PPS can capture first-flush. The project in which this study is integrated aims to contribute to both the valorization of shellfish waste and the sustainable management of rainwater.

Dynamic Response Analyses for Human-Induced Lateral Vibration on Congested Pedestrian Bridges

In this paper, a lateral walking design force per person is proposed and compared with Imperial College test results. Numerical simulations considering the proposed walking design force which is incorporated into the neural-oscillator model are carried out placing much emphasis on the synchronization (the lock-in phenomenon) for a pedestrian bridge model with the span length of 50 m. Numerical analyses are also conducted for an existing pedestrian suspension bridge. As compared with full scale measurements for this suspension bridge, it is confirmed that the analytical method based on the neural-oscillator model might be one of the useful ways to explain the synchronization (the lock-in phenomenon) of pedestrians being on the bridge.

Surface Temperature of Asphalt Pavements with Colored Cement-Based Grouting Materials Containing Ceramic Waste Powder and Zeolite
The heat island phenomenon and extremely hot summer climate are becoming environmental problems in Japan. Cool pavements reduce the surface temperature compared to conventional asphalt pavements in the hot summer climate and improve the thermal environment in the urban area. The authors have studied cement–based grouting materials poured into voids in porous asphalt pavements to reduce the road surface temperature. For the cement–based grouting material, cement, ceramic waste powder, and natural zeolite were used. This cement–based grouting material developed reduced the road surface temperature by 20 °C or more in the hot summer season. Considering the urban landscape, this study investigates the effect of surface temperature reduction of colored cement–based grouting materials containing pigments poured into voids in porous asphalt pavements by measuring the surface temperature of asphalt pavements outdoors. The yellow color performed the same as the original cement–based grouting material containing no pigment and was thermally better performance than the other color. However, all the tested cement–based grouting materials performed well for reducing the surface temperature and for creating the urban landscape.
Analytical Model to Predict the Shear Capacity of Reinforced Concrete Beams Externally Strengthened with CFRP Composites Conditions

This paper presents a proposed analytical model for predicting the shear strength of reinforced concrete beams strengthened with CFRP composites as external reinforcement. The proposed analytical model can predict the shear contribution of CFRP composites of RC beams with an acceptable coefficient of correlation with the tested results. Based on the comparison of the proposed model with the published well-known models (ACI model, Triantafillou model, and Colotti model), the ACI model had a wider range of 0.16 to 10.08 for the ratio between tested and predicted ultimate shears at failure. Also, an acceptable range of 0.27 to 2.78 for the ratio between tested and predicted ultimate shears by the Triantafillou model. Finally, the best prediction (the ratio between the tested and predicted ones) of the ultimate shear capacity is observed by using Colotti model with a range of 0.20 to 1.78. Thus, the contribution of the CFRP composites as external reinforcement can be predicted with high accuracy by using the proposed analytical model.

Behavioral Study of Reinforced Concrete Beams Designed for Shear Using Compressive Force Path and ACI Code Models
Compressive Force Path (CFP) concept is a proposed shear design method to explain shear behavior in reinforced concrete (RC) beams. This concept identifies 04 behaviors based on the shear span to beam depth (a/d) ratio and provides detailed shear design and transverse reinforcement detailing procedure for each behavior. Therefore, author of this paper intended to use this concept as a practical tool for the designing of RC beams particularly for Type II (2 ≤ a/d < 5) and Type III (1 < a/d < 2) behaviors to validate the concept. Total 08 beams of 100×200×1800 mm size beams were cast; out of which, 04 beams were designed according to ACI Code approach while, rest were designed and detailed using CFP concept strategy. The beam sizes in this study are identical, and all parameters are constant except shear span ‘a’. The two-point loading test results of RC beams showed that the shear resistance of concrete (Vc) is better estimated by the CFP concept with a good prediction of cracks pattern, load carrying capacity and actual behavior of the beams in shear as compare to the beams designed according to ACI Code approach. However, most of the beams, particularly a/d ratio less than 4.44 were observed to be deficient in serviceability and failed in shear in spite of attaining theoretical predicted loads.
Comparison of ANN and Finite Element Model for the Prediction of Ultimate Load of Thin-Walled Steel Perforated Sections in Compression
The analysis of perforated steel members is a 3D problem in nature, therefore the traditional analytical expressions for the ultimate load of thin-walled steel sections cannot be used for the perforated steel member design. In this study, finite element method (FEM) and artificial neural network (ANN) were used to simulate the process of stub column tests based on specific codes. Results show that compared with those of the FEM model, the ultimate load predictions obtained from ANN technique were much closer to those obtained from the physical experiments. The ANN model for the solving the hard problem of complex steel perforated sections is very promising.
Flexural Strength of Alkali Resistant Glass Textile Reinforced Concrete Beam with Prestressing

Due to the aging of bridges, increasing of maintenance costs and decreasing of structural safety is occurred. The steel corrosion of reinforced concrete bridge is the most common problem and this phenomenon is accelerating due to abnormal weather and increasing CO2 concentration due to climate change. To solve these problems, composite members using textile have been studied. A textile reinforced concrete can reduce carbon emissions by reduced concrete and without steel bars, so a lot of structural behavior studies are needed. Therefore, in this study, textile reinforced concrete beam was made and flexural test was performed. Also, the change of flexural strength according to the prestressing was conducted. As a result, flexural strength of TRC with prestressing was increased compared and flexural behavior was shown as reinforced concrete.

Torsional Rigidities of Reinforced Concrete Beams Subjected to Elastic Lateral Torsional Buckling
Reinforced concrete (RC) beams rarely undergo lateral-torsional buckling (LTB), since these beams possess large lateral bending and torsional rigidities owing to their stocky cross-sections, unlike steel beams. However, the problem of LTB is becoming more and more pronounced in the last decades as the span lengths of concrete beams increase and the cross-sections become more slender with the use of pre-stressed concrete. The buckling moment of a beam mainly depends on its lateral bending rigidity and torsional rigidity. The nonhomogeneous and elastic-inelastic nature of RC complicates estimation of the buckling moments of concrete beams. Furthermore, the lateral bending and torsional rigidities of RC beams and the buckling moments are affected from different forms of concrete cracking, including flexural, torsional and restrained shrinkage cracking. The present study pertains to the effects of concrete cracking on the torsional rigidities of RC beams prone to elastic LTB. A series of tests on rather slender RC beams indicated that torsional cracking does not initiate until buckling in elastic LTB, while flexural cracking associated with lateral bending takes place even at the initial stages of loading. Hence, the present study clearly indicated that the un-cracked torsional rigidity needs to be used for estimating the buckling moments of RC beams liable to elastic LTB.
Selection of Intensity Measure in Probabilistic Seismic Risk Assessment of a Turkish Railway Bridge

Fragility curve is an effective common used tool to determine the earthquake performance of structural and nonstructural components. Also, it is used to determine the nonlinear behavior of bridges. There are many historical bridges in the Turkish railway network; the earthquake performances of these bridges are needed to be investigated. To derive fragility curve Intensity measures (IMs) and Engineering demand parameters (EDP) are needed to be determined. And the relation between IMs and EDP are needed to be derived. In this study, a typical simply supported steel girder riveted railway bridge is studied. Fragility curves of this bridge are derived by two parameters lognormal distribution. Time history analyses are done for selected 60 real earthquake data to determine the relation between IMs and EDP. Moreover, efficiency, practicality, and sufficiency of three different IMs are discussed. PGA, Sa(0.2s) and Sa(1s), the most common used IMs parameters for fragility curve in the literature, are taken into consideration in terms of efficiency, practicality and sufficiency.

The Development of a Low Carbon Cementitious Material Produced from Cement, Ground Granulated Blast Furnace Slag and High Calcium Fly Ash

This research represents experimental work for investigation of the influence of utilising Ground Granulated Blast Furnace Slag (GGBS) and High Calcium Fly Ash (HCFA) as a partial replacement for Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC) and produce a low carbon cementitious material with comparable compressive strength to OPC. Firstly, GGBS was used as a partial replacement to OPC to produce a binary blended cementitious material (BBCM); the replacements were 0, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45 and 50% by the dry mass of OPC. The optimum BBCM was mixed with HCFA to produce a ternary blended cementitious material (TBCM). The replacements were 0, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45 and 50% by the dry mass of BBCM. The compressive strength at ages of 7 and 28 days was utilised for assessing the performance of the test specimens in comparison to the reference mixture using 100% OPC as a binder. The results showed that the optimum BBCM was the mix produced from 25% GGBS and 75% OPC with compressive strength of 32.2 MPa at the age of 28 days. In addition, the results of the TBCM have shown that the addition of 10, 15, 20 and 25% of HCFA to the optimum BBCM improved the compressive strength by 22.7, 11.3, 5.2 and 2.1% respectively at 28 days. However, the replacement of optimum BBCM with more than 25% HCFA have showed a gradual drop in the compressive strength in comparison to the control mix. TBCM with 25% HCFA was considered to be the optimum as it showed better compressive strength than the control mix and at the same time reduced the amount of cement to 56%. Reducing the cement content to 56% will contribute to decrease the cost of construction materials, provide better compressive strength and also reduce the CO2 emissions into the atmosphere.

A Methodology of Testing Beam to Column Connection under Lateral Impact Load

Beam to column connection can be considered as the most important structural part that affects the response of buildings to progressive collapse. However, many studies were conducted to investigate the beam to column connection under accidental loads such as fire, blast and impact load to investigate the connection response. The study is a part of a PhD plan to investigate different types of connections under lateral impact load. The conventional test setups, such as cruciform setup, were designed to apply shear forces and bending moment on the connection, whilst, in the lateral impact case, the connection is subjected to combined tension and moment. Hence, a review is presented to introduce the previous test setup that is used to investigate the connection behaviour. Then, the design and fabrication of the novel test setup is presented. Finally, some trial test results to investigate the efficiency of the proposed setup are discussed. The final results indicate that the setup was efficient in terms of the simplicity and strength.

Quasi-Static Analysis of End Plate Beam-to-Column Connections

This paper presents a method for modelling and analysing end plate beam-to-column connections to obtain the quasi-static behaviour using non-linear dynamic explicit integration. In addition to its importance to study the static behaviour of a structural member, quasi-static behaviour is largely needed to be compared with the dynamic behaviour of such members in order to investigate the dynamic effect by proposing dynamic increase factors (DIFs). The beam-to-column bolted connections contain various contact surfaces at which the implicit procedure may have difficulties converging, resulting in a large number of iterations. Contrary, explicit procedure could deal effectively with complex contacts without converging problems. Hence, finite element modelling using ABAQUS/explicit is used in this study to address the dynamic effect may be produced using explicit procedure. Also, the effect of loading rate and mass scaling are discussed to investigate their effect on the time of analysis. The results show that the explicit procedure is valuable to model the end plate beam-to-column connections in terms of failure mode, load-displacement relationships. Also, it is concluded that loading rate and mass scaling should be carefully selected to avoid the dynamic effect in the solution.

Parametric Study on Dynamic Analysis of Composite Laminated Plate

A laminated plate composite of graphite/epoxy has been analyzed dynamically in the present work by using a quadratic element (8-node diso-parametric), and by depending on 1st order shear deformation theory, every node in this element has 6-degrees of freedom (displacement in x, y, and z axis and twist about x, y, and z axis). The dynamic analysis in the present work covered parametric studies on a composite laminated plate (square plate) to determine its effect on the natural frequency of the plate. The parametric study is represented by set of changes (plate thickness, number of layers, support conditions, layer orientation), and the plates have been simulated by using ANSYS package 12. The boundary conditions considered in this study, at all four edges of the plate, are simply supported and fixed boundary condition. The results obtained from ANSYS program show that the natural frequency for both fixed and simply supported increases with increasing the number of layers, but this increase in the natural frequency for the first five modes will be neglected after 10 layers. And it is observed that the natural frequency of a composite laminated plate will change with the change of ply orientation, the natural frequency increases and it will be at maximum with angle 45 of ply for simply supported laminated plate, and maximum natural frequency will be with cross-ply (0/90) for fixed laminated composite plate. It is also observed that the natural frequency increase is approximately doubled when the thickness is doubled.

Studies on the Mechanical Behavior of Bottom Ash for a Sustainable Environment

Bottom ash is a by-product of the combustion process of coal in furnaces in the production of electricity in thermal power plants. In India, about 75% of total power is produced by using pulverized coal. The coal of India has a high ash content which leads to the generation of a huge quantity of bottom ash per year posing the dual problem of environmental pollution and difficulty in disposal. This calls for establishing strategies to use this industry by-product effectively and efficiently. However, its large-scale utilization is possible only in geotechnical applications, either alone or with soil. In the present investigation, bottom ash was collected from National Capital Power Station Dadri, Uttar Pradesh, India. Test samples of bottom ash admixed with 20% clayey soil were prepared and treated with different cement content by weight and subjected to various laboratory tests for assessing its suitability as an engineered construction material. This study has shown that use of 10% cement content is a viable chemical additive to enhance the mechanical properties of bottom ash, which can be used effectively as an engineered construction material in various geotechnical applications. More importantly, it offers an interesting potential for making use of an industrial waste to overcome challenges posed by bottom ash for a sustainable environment.

Scour Depth Prediction around Bridge Piers Using Neuro-Fuzzy and Neural Network Approaches

The prediction of scour depth around bridge piers is frequently considered in river engineering. One of the key aspects in efficient and optimum bridge structure design is considered to be scour depth estimation around bridge piers. In this study, scour depth around bridge piers is estimated using two methods, namely the Adaptive Neuro-Fuzzy Inference System (ANFIS) and Artificial Neural Network (ANN). Therefore, the effective parameters in scour depth prediction are determined using the ANN and ANFIS methods via dimensional analysis, and subsequently, the parameters are predicted. In the current study, the methods’ performances are compared with the nonlinear regression (NLR) method. The results show that both methods presented in this study outperform existing methods. Moreover, using the ratio of pier length to flow depth, ratio of median diameter of particles to flow depth, ratio of pier width to flow depth, the Froude number and standard deviation of bed grain size parameters leads to optimal performance in scour depth estimation.

Building Information Modelling for Construction Delay Management

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) is not an exception in relying on the growth of its construction industry to support rapid population growth. However, its need for infrastructure development is constrained by low productivity levels and cost overruns caused by factors such as delays to project completion. Delays in delivering a construction project are a global issue and while theories such as Optimism Bias have been used to explain such delays, in KSA, client-related causes of delays are also significant. The objective of this paper is to develop a framework-based approach to explore how the country’s construction industry can manage and reduce delays in construction projects through building information modelling (BIM) in order to mitigate the cost consequences of such delays.  It comprehensively and systematically reviewed the global literature on the subject and identified gaps, critical delay factors and the specific benefits that BIM can deliver for the delay management.  A case study comprising of nine hospital projects that have experienced delay and cost overruns was also carried out. Five critical delay factors related to the clients were identified as candidates that can be mitigated through BIM’s benefits. These factors are: Ineffective planning and scheduling of the project; changes during construction by the client; delay in progress payment; slowness in decision making by the client; and poor communication between clients and other stakeholders. In addition, data from the case study projects strongly suggest that optimism bias is present in many of the hospital projects. Further validation via key stakeholder interviews and documentations are planned.

Resilience Assessment for Power Distribution Systems

Power distribution systems are essential and crucial infrastructures for the development and maintenance of a sustainable society. These systems are extremely vulnerable to various types of natural and man-made disasters. The assessment of resilience focuses on preparedness and mitigation actions under pre-disaster conditions. It also concentrates on response and recovery actions under post-disaster situations. The aim of this study is to present a methodology to assess the resilience of electric power distribution poles against wind-related events. The proposed methodology can improve the accuracy and rapidity of the evaluation of the conditions and the assessment of the resilience of poles. The methodology provides a metric for the evaluation of the resilience of poles under pre-disaster and post-disaster conditions. The metric was developed using mathematical expressions for physical forces that involve various variables, such as physical dimensions of the pole, the inclination of the pole, and wind speed. A three-dimensional imaging technology (photogrammetry) was used to determine the inclination of poles. Based on expert opinion, the proposed metric was used to define zones to visualize resilience. Visual representation of resilience is helpful for decision makers to prioritize their resources before and after experiencing a wind-related disaster. Multiple electric poles in the City of Beaumont, TX were used in a case study to evaluate the proposed methodology.  

Best Combination of Design Parameters for Buildings with Buckling-Restrained Braces

Buildings vulnerability due to seismic activity has been highly studied since the middle of last century. As a solution to the structural and non-structural damage caused by intense ground motions, several seismic energy dissipating devices, such as buckling-restrained braces (BRB), have been proposed. BRB have shown to be effective in concentrating a large portion of the energy transmitted to the structure by the seismic ground motion. A design approach for buildings with BRB elements, which is based on a seismic Displacement-Based formulation, has recently been proposed by the coauthors in this paper. It is a practical and easy design method which simplifies the work of structural engineers. The method is used here for the design of the structure-BRB damper system. The objective of the present study is to extend and apply a methodology to find the best combination of design parameters on multiple-degree-of-freedom (MDOF) structural frame – BRB systems, taking into account simultaneously: 1) initial costs and 2) an adequate engineering demand parameter. The design parameters considered here are: the stiffness ratio (α = Kframe/Ktotal), and the strength ratio (γ = Vdamper/Vtotal); where K represents structural stiffness and V structural strength; and the subscripts "frame", "damper" and "total" represent: the structure without dampers, the BRB dampers and the total frame-damper system, respectively. The selection of the best combination of design parameters α and γ is based on an initial costs analysis and on the structural dynamic response of the structural frame-damper system. The methodology is applied to a 12-story 5-bay steel building with BRB, which is located on the intermediate soil of Mexico City. It is found the best combination of design parameters α and γ for the building with BRB under study.

Numerical Solution of Manning's Equation in Rectangular Channels
When the Manning equation is used, a unique value of normal depth in the uniform flow exists for a given channel geometry, discharge, roughness, and slope. Depending on the value of normal depth relative to the critical depth, the flow type (supercritical or subcritical) for a given characteristic of channel conditions is determined whether or not flow is uniform. There is no general solution of Manning's equation for determining the flow depth for a given flow rate, because the area of cross section and the hydraulic radius produce a complicated function of depth. The familiar solution of normal depth for a rectangular channel involves 1) a trial-and-error solution; 2) constructing a non-dimensional graph; 3) preparing tables involving non-dimensional parameters. Author in this paper has derived semi-analytical solution to Manning's equation for determining the flow depth given the flow rate in rectangular open channel. The solution was derived by expressing Manning's equation in non-dimensional form, then expanding this form using Maclaurin's series. In order to simplify the solution, terms containing power up to 4 have been considered. The resulted equation is a quartic equation with a standard form, where its solution was obtained by resolving this into two quadratic factors. The proposed solution for Manning's equation is valid over a large range of parameters, and its maximum error is within -1.586%.
Influence of Local Soil Conditions on Optimal Load Factors for Seismic Design of Buildings

Optimal load factors (dead, live and seismic) used for the design of buildings may be different, depending of the seismic ground motion characteristics to which they are subjected, which are closely related to the type of soil conditions where the structures are located. The influence of the type of soil on those load factors, is analyzed in the present study. A methodology that is useful for establishing optimal load factors that minimize the cost over the life cycle of the structure is employed; and as a restriction, it is established that the probability of structural failure must be less than or equal to a prescribed value. The life-cycle cost model used here includes different types of costs. The optimization methodology is applied to two groups of reinforced concrete buildings. One set (consisting on 4-, 7-, and 10-story buildings) is located on firm ground (with a dominant period Ts=0.5 s) and the other (consisting on 6-, 12-, and 16-story buildings) on soft soil (Ts=1.5 s) of Mexico City. Each group of buildings is designed using different combinations of load factors. The statistics of the maximums inter-story drifts (associated with the structural capacity) are found by means of incremental dynamic analyses. The buildings located on firm zone are analyzed under the action of 10 strong seismic records, and those on soft zone, under 13 strong ground motions. All the motions correspond to seismic subduction events with magnitudes M=6.9. Then, the structural damage and the expected total costs, corresponding to each group of buildings, are estimated. It is concluded that the optimal load factors combination is different for the design of buildings located on firm ground than that for buildings located on soft soil.

Performance Assessment of the Gold Coast Desalination Plant Offshore Multiport Brine Diffuser during ‘Hot Standby’ Operation

Alongside the rapid expansion of Seawater Reverse Osmosis technologies there is a concurrent increase in the production of hypersaline brine by-products. To minimize environmental impact, these by-products are commonly disposed into open-coastal environments via submerged diffuser systems as inclined dense jet outfalls. Despite the widespread implementation of this process, diffuser designs are typically based on small-scale laboratory experiments under idealistic quiescent conditions. Studies concerning diffuser performance in the field are limited. A set of experiments were conducted to assess the near field characteristics of brine disposal at the Gold Coast Desalination Plant offshore multiport diffuser. The aim of the field experiments was to determine the trajectory and dilution characteristics of the plume under various discharge configurations with production ranging 66 – 100% of plant operative capacity. The field monitoring system employed an unprecedented static array of temperature and electrical conductivity sensors in a three-dimensional grid surrounding a single diffuser port. Complimenting these measurements, Acoustic Doppler Current Profilers were also deployed to record current variability over the depth of the water column and wave characteristics. Recorded data suggested the open-coastal environment was highly active over the experimental duration with ambient velocities ranging 0.0 – 0.5 m∙s-1, with considerable variability over the depth of the water column observed. Variations in background electrical conductivity corresponding to salinity fluctuations of ± 1.7 g∙kg-1 were also observed. Increases in salinity were detected during plant operation and appeared to be most pronounced 10 – 30 m from the diffuser, consistent with trajectory predictions described by existing literature. Plume trajectories and respective dilutions extrapolated from salinity data are compared with empirical scaling arguments. Discharge properties were found to adequately correlate with modelling projections. Temporal and spatial variation of background processes and their subsequent influence upon discharge outcomes are discussed with a view to incorporating the influence of waves and ambient currents in the design of brine outfalls into the future.

Identifying Dynamic Structural Parameters of Soil-Structure System Based on Data Recorded during Strong Earthquakes

In many applied engineering problems, structural analysis is usually conducted by assuming a rigid bed, while imposing the effect of structure bed flexibility can affect significantly on the structure response. This article focuses on investigation and evaluation of the effects arising from considering a soil-structure system in evaluation of dynamic characteristics of a steel structure with respect to elastic and inelastic behaviors. The recorded structure acceleration during Taiwan’s strong Chi-Chi earthquake on different floors of the structure was our evaluation criteria. The respective structure is an eight-story steel bending frame structure designed using a displacement-based direct method assuring weak beam - strong column function. The results indicated that different identification methods i.e. reverse Fourier transform or transfer functions, is capable to determine some of the dynamic parameters of the structure precisely, rather than evaluating all of them at once (mode frequencies, mode shapes, structure damping, structure rigidity, etc.). Response evaluation based on the input and output data elucidated that the structure first mode is not significantly affected, even considering the soil-structure interaction effect, but the upper modes have been changed. Also, it was found that the response transfer function of the different stories, in which plastic hinges have occurred in the structure components, provides similar results.

Characterization of the Microbial Induced Carbonate Precipitation Technique as a Biological Cementing Agent for Sand Deposits

The population increase in Egypt is urging for horizontal land development which became a demand to allow the benefit of different natural resources and expand from the narrow Nile valley. However, this development is facing challenges preventing land development and agriculture development. Desertification and moving sand dunes in the west sector of Egypt are considered the major obstacle that is blocking the ideal land use and development. In the proposed research, the sandy soil is treated biologically using Bacillus pasteurii bacteria as these bacteria have the ability to bond the sand partials to change its state of loose sand to cemented sand, which reduces the moving ability of the sand dunes. The procedure of implementing the Microbial Induced Carbonate Precipitation Technique (MICP) technique is examined, and the different factors affecting on this process such as the medium of bacteria sample preparation, the optical density (OD600), the reactant concentration, injection rates and intervals are highlighted. Based on the findings of the MICP treatment for sandy soil, conclusions and future recommendations are reached.

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