Excellence in Research and Innovation for Humanity

International Science Index

Commenced in January 1999 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 11

Civil, Environmental, Structural, Construction and Architectural Engineering

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  • 11
    Sensitivity Analysis of Principal Stresses in Concrete Slab of Rigid Pavement Made From Recycled Materials

    Complex sensitivity analysis of stresses in a concrete slab of the real type of rigid pavement made from recycled materials is performed. The computational model of the pavement is designed as a spatial (3D) model, is based on a nonlinear variant of the finite element method that respects the structural nonlinearity, enables to model different arrangements of joints, and the entire model can be loaded by the thermal load. Interaction of adjacent slabs in joints and contact of the slab and the subsequent layer are modeled with the help of special contact elements. Four concrete slabs separated by transverse and longitudinal joints and the additional structural layers and soil to the depth of about 3m are modeled. The thickness of individual layers, physical and mechanical properties of materials, characteristics of joints, and the temperature of the upper and lower surface of slabs are supposed to be random variables. The modern simulation technique Updated Latin Hypercube Sampling with 20 simulations is used. For sensitivity analysis the sensitivity coefficient based on the Spearman rank correlation coefficient is utilized. As a result, the estimates of influence of random variability of individual input variables on the random variability of principal stresses s1 and s3 in 53 points on the upper and lower surface of the concrete slabs are obtained.

    Influence of Strengthening with Perforated Steel Plates on the Behavior of Infill Walls and RC Frame

    The contribution of the infill walls to the overall earthquake response of a structure is limited and this contribution is generally ignored in the analyses. Strengthening of the infill walls through different techniques has been and is being studied extensively in the literature to increase this limited contribution and the ductilities and energy absorption capacities of the infill walls to create non-structural components where the earthquake-induced energy can be absorbed without damaging the bearing components of the structural frame. The present paper summarizes an extensive research project dedicated to investigate the effects of strengthening the brick infill walls of a reinforced concrete (RC) frame on its lateral earthquake response. Perforated steel plates were used in strengthening due to several reasons, including the ductility and high deformation capacity of these plates, the fire resistant, recyclable and non-cancerogenic nature of mild steel, and the ease of installation and removal of the plates to the wall with the help of anchor bolts only. Furthermore, epoxy, which increases the cost and amount of labor of the strengthening process, is not needed in this technique. The individual behavior of the strengthened walls under monotonic diagonal and lateral reversed cyclic loading was investigated within the scope of the study. Upon achieving brilliant results, RC frames with strengthened infill walls were tested and are being tested to examine the influence of this strengthening technique on the overall behavior of the RC frames. Tests on the wall and frame specimens indicated that the perforated steel plates contribute to the lateral strength, rigidity, ductility and energy absorption capacity of the wall and the infilled frame to a major extent.

    Damage Localization of Deterministic-Stochastic Systems

    A scheme integrated with deterministic–stochastic subspace system identification and the method of damage localization vector is proposed in this study for damage detection of structures based on seismic response data. A series of shaking table tests using a five-storey steel frame has been conducted in National Center for Research on Earthquake Engineering (NCREE), Taiwan. Damage condition is simulated by reducing the cross-sectional area of some of the columns at the bottom. Both single and combinations of multiple damage conditions at various locations have been considered. In the system identification analysis, either full or partial observation conditions have been taken into account. It has been shown that the damaged stories can be identified from global responses of the structure to earthquakes if sufficiently observed. In addition to detecting damage(s) with respect to the intact structure, identification of new or extended damages of the as-damaged (ill-conditioned) counterpart has also been studied. The proposed scheme proves to be effective.

    Long-Term Structural Behavior of Resilient Materials for Reduction of Floor Impact Sound

    People’s tendency towards living in apartment houses is increasing in a densely populated country. However, some residents living in apartment houses are bothered by noise coming from the houses above. In order to reduce noise pollution, the communities are increasingly imposing a bylaw, including the limitation of floor impact sound, minimum thickness of floors, and floor soundproofing solutions. This research effort focused on the specific long-time deflection of resilient materials in the floor sound insulation systems of apartment houses. The experimental program consisted of testing nine floor sound insulation specimens subjected to sustained load for 45 days. Two main parameters were considered in the experimental investigation: three types of resilient materials and magnitudes of loads. The test results indicated that the structural behavior of the floor sound insulation systems under long-time load was quite different from that the systems under short-time load. The loading period increased the deflection of floor sound insulation systems and the increasing rate of the long-time deflection of the systems with ethylene vinyl acetate was smaller than that of the systems with low density ethylene polystyrene.

    Influence of Deficient Materials on the Reliability of Reinforced Concrete Members

    The strength of reinforced concrete depends on the member dimensions and material properties. The properties of concrete and steel materials are not constant but random variables. The variability of concrete strength is due to batching errors, variations in mixing, cement quality uncertainties, differences in the degree of compaction and disparity in curing. Similarly, the variability of steel strength is attributed to the manufacturing process, rolling conditions, characteristics of base material, uncertainties in chemical composition, and the microstructure-property relationships. To account for such uncertainties, codes of practice for reinforced concrete design impose resistance factors to ensure structural reliability over the useful life of the structure. In this investigation, the effects of reductions in concrete and reinforcing steel strengths from the nominal values, beyond those accounted for in the structural design codes, on the structural reliability are assessed. The considered limit states are flexure, shear and axial compression based on the ACI 318-11 structural concrete building code. Structural safety is measured in terms of a reliability index. Probabilistic resistance and load models are compiled from the available literature. The study showed that there is a wide variation in the reliability index for reinforced concrete members designed for flexure, shear or axial compression, especially when the live-to-dead load ratio is low. Furthermore, variations in concrete strength have minor effect on the reliability of beams in flexure, moderate effect on the reliability of beams in shear, and sever effect on the reliability of columns in axial compression. On the other hand, changes in steel yield strength have great effect on the reliability of beams in flexure, moderate effect on the reliability of beams in shear, and mild effect on the reliability of columns in axial compression. Based on the outcome, it can be concluded that the reliability of beams is sensitive to changes in the yield strength of the steel reinforcement, whereas the reliability of columns is sensitive to variations in the concrete strength. Since the embedded target reliability in structural design codes results in lower structural safety in beams than in columns, large reductions in material strengths compromise the structural safety of beams much more than they affect columns.

    Comparison of Seismic Retrofitting Methods for Existing Foundations in Seismological Active Regions

    Seismic retrofitting of important structures is essential in seismological active zones. The importance is doubled when it comes to some buildings like schools, hospitals, bridges etc. because they are required to continue their serviceability even after a major earthquake. Generally, seismic retrofitting codes have paid little attention to retrofitting of foundations due to its construction complexity. In this paper different methods for seismic retrofitting of tall buildings’ foundations will be discussed and evaluated. Foundations are considered in three different categories. First, foundations those are in danger of liquefaction of their underlying soil. Second, foundations located on slopes in seismological active regions. Third, foundations designed according to former design codes and may show structural defects under earthquake loads. After describing different methods used in different countries for retrofitting of the existing foundations in seismological active regions, comprehensive comparison between these methods with regard to the above mentioned categories is carried out. This paper gives some guidelines to choose the best method for seismic retrofitting of tall buildings’ foundations in retrofitting projects.

    Smart Grid Simulator

    The Smart Grid Simulator is a computer software based on advance algorithms which has as the main purpose to lower the energy bill in the most optimized price efficient way as possible for private households, companies or energy providers. It combines the energy provided by a number of solar modules and wind turbines with the consumption of one household or a cluster of nearby households and information regarding weather conditions and energy prices in order to predict the amount of energy that can be produced by renewable energy sources and the amount of energy that will be bought from the distributor for the following day. The user of the system will not only be able to minimize his expenditures on energy factures, but also he will be informed about his hourly consumption, electricity prices fluctuation and money spent for energy bought as well as how much money he saved each day and since he installed the system. The paper outlines the algorithm that supports the Smart Grid Simulator idea and presents preliminary test results that supports the discussion and implementation of the system.

    Thermal Performance and Environmental Assessment of Evaporative Cooling Systems: Case of Mina Valley, Saudi Arabia

    This paper presents a detailed description of evaporative cooling systems used for space cooling in Mina Valley, Saudi Arabia. The thermal performance and environmental impact of the evaporative coolers were evaluated. It was found that the evaporative cooling systems used for space cooling in pilgrims’ accommodations and in the train stations could reduce energy consumption by as much as 75% and cut carbon dioxide emission by 78% compared to traditional vapour compression systems.

    Buildings Founded on Thermal Insulation Layer Subjected to Earthquake Load

    The modern energy-efficient houses are often founded on a thermal insulation (TI) layer placed under the building’s RC foundation slab.The purpose of the paper is to identify the potential problems of the buildings founded on TI layer from the seismic point of view. The two main goals of the study were to assess the seismic behavior of such buildings, and to search for the critical structural parameters affecting the response of the superstructure as well as of the extruded polystyrene (XPS) layer. As a test building a multi-storeyed RC frame structure with and without the XPS layer under the foundation slab has been investigated utilizing nonlinear dynamic (time-history) and static (pushover) analyses. The structural response has been investigated with reference to the following performance parameters: i) Building’s lateral roof displacements, ii) Edge compressive and shear strains of the XPS, iii) Horizontal accelerations of the superstructure, iv) Plastic hinge patterns of the superstructure, v) Part of the foundation in compression, and vi) Deformations of the underlying soil and vertical displacements of the foundation slab (i.e. identifying the potential uplift). The results have shown that in the case of higher and stiff structures lying on firm soil the use of XPS under the foundation slab might induce amplified structural peak responses compared to the building models without XPS under the foundation slab. The analysis has revealed that the superstructure as well as the XPS response is substantially affected by the stiffness of the foundation slab.

    Some Aspects of Study the Leaching and Acid Corrosion of Concrete

    Although properly made concrete is inherently a durable material, there are many physical and chemical forces in the environment which can contribute to its deterioration. This paper deals with two aspects of concrete durability in chemical aggressive environment: degradation effect of particular aggressive exposure and role of particular mineral additives. Results of the study of leaching and acid corrosion processes in samples prepared with specific dosage of microsilica and zeolite are given in the paper.

    Corrosion progress after 60-day exposition is manifested by increasing rate of both Ca and Si release, what is identified by XRF method. Kind and dosage of additions used in experiment was found to be helpful for stabilization of concrete microstructure.The lowest concentration of mean elements in leachates was observed for mixture V1 (microsilica only) unlike the V2 (microsilica + zeolite). It is surprising in the terms of recommendations of zeolite application for acid exposure. Using microsilica only seems to be more effective.

    The Impact of Rapid Urbanisation on Public Transport Systems in the Gauteng Region of South Africa

    This paper seeks to illustrate the impact of rapid urbanization (in terms of both increase in people and vehicles) in the Gauteng region (which includes Johannesburg, Pretoria and Ekurhuleni). The impact that existing transport systems and options place on the capacity of residents from low income areas to travel and conduct various socio-economic activities is discussed. The findings are drawn from a 2013 analysis of a random transport household survey of 1550 households carried out in Gauteng province. 91.4% of the study respondents had access to public transport, while 8.6% had no access to public transport. Of the 91.4% who used public transport, the main reason used to explain this state of affairs was that it was affordable (54.3%), convenient (15.9%), Accessible (11.9%), lack of alternatives (6.4%) and reliable at 4.1%. Recommendations advanced revolve around the need to reverse land use and transportation effects of apartheid planning, growing and developing a sustainable critical mass of public transport interventions supported by appropriate transport systems that are environmentally sustainable through proper governance. 38.5% of the respondents indicated that developing compact, smart and integrated urban land spaces was key to reducing travel challenges in the study area. 23.4% indicated that the introduction and upgrading of BRT buses to cover all areas in the study area was a step in the right direction because it has great potential in shifting travel patterns to favor public modes of transport. 15.1% indicated that all open spaces should be developed so that fragmentation of land uses can be addressed. This would help to fight disconnected and fragmented space and trip making challenges in Gauteng. 13.4% indicated that improving the metro rail services was critical since this is a mass mover of commuters. 9.6% of the respondents highlighted that the bus subsidy policy has to be retained in the short to medium term since the spatial mismatches and challenges created by apartheid are yet to be fully reversed.