Excellence in Research and Innovation for Humanity

International Science Index

Commenced in January 1999 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 18

Civil, Environmental, Structural, Construction and Architectural Engineering

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  • 18
    Decision Making during the Project Management Life Cycle of Infrastructure Projects

    The various disciplines in the construction industry and the co-existence of the people in the various disciplines are what builds well-developed, closely-knit interpersonal skills at various hierarchical levels thus leading to a varied way of leadership. The varied decision making aspects during the lifecycle of a project include: autocratic, participatory and last but not least, free-rein. We can classify some of the decision makers in the construction industry in a hierarchical manner as follows: project executive, project manager, superintendent, office engineer and finally the field engineer. This survey looked at how decisions are made during the construction period by the key stakeholders in the project. From the paper it is evident that the three decision making aspects can be used at different times or at times together in order to bring out the best leadership decision. A blend of different leadership styles should be used to enhance the success rate during the project lifecycle.

    Re-Use of Waste Marble in Producing Green Concrete

    In this study, literature related to the replacement of cement with waste marble and the use of waste marble as an aggregate in concrete production was examined. Workability of the concrete decreased when marble powder was used as a substitute for fine aggregate. Marble powder contributed to the compressive strength of concrete because of the CaCO3 and SiO2 present in the chemical structure of the marble. Additionally, the use of marble pieces in place of coarse aggregate revealed that this contributed to the workability and mechanical properties of the concrete. When natural standard sand was replaced with marble dust at a ratio of 15% and 75%, the compressive strength and splitting tensile strength of the concrete increased by 20%-26% and 10%-15%, respectively. However, coarse marble aggregates exhibited the best performance at a 100% replacement ratio. Additionally, there was a greater improvement in the mechanical properties of concrete when waste marble was used in a coarse aggregate form when compared to that of when marble was used in a dust form. If the cement was replaced with marble powder in proportions of 20% or more, then adverse effects were observed on the compressive strength and workability of the concrete. This study indicated that marble dust at a cement-replacement ratio of 5%-10% affected the mechanical properties of concrete by decreasing the global annual CO2 emissions by 12% and also lowering the costs from US$40/m3 to US$33/m3.

    Experimental and Finite Element Study of Bending Fatigue Failure: A Case Study on Main Shaft of a Gyrator Crusher

    This study investigates the mechanism of a Gyratory crusher-located in Golgohar mining and industrial Co. specifically with a focus on stresses distribution and fatigue failure of its main shaft. At first step, the cross section of the fractured shaft is studied, and the crack growth is analyzed. Then, the rotational motion of the shaft and the oil temperature of oil circuit of equipment are monitored. Condition monitoring is used to help finding a better modification. Based on the results of this study, the main causes of shaft failure are identified, and corrective solution is offered to increase crusher performance, especially its main shaft life. To predict the efficiency of the proposed modification, finite element simulation is performed, and its results are compared with the similar modified cases. The comparison and interpretation of simulation results confirm the efficiency of proposed corrective method.

    A Failure Criterion for Unsupported Boreholes in Poorly Cemented Granular Formations
    The breakage of bonding between sand particles and their dislodgment from the borehole wall are among the main factors resulting in a borehole failure in poorly cemented granular formations. The grain debonding usually precedes the borehole failure and it can be considered as a sign that the onset of the borehole collapse is imminent. Detecting the bonding breakage point and introducing an appropriate failure criterion will play an important role in borehole stability analysis. To study the influence of different factors on the initiation of sand bonding breakage at the borehole wall, a series of laboratory tests was designed and conducted on poorly cemented sand samples. The total absorbed strain energy per volume of material up to the point of the observed particle debonding was computed. The results indicated that the particle bonding breakage point at the borehole wall was reached both before and after the peak strength of the thick-walled hollow cylinder specimens depending on the stress path and cement content. Three different cement contents and two borehole sizes were investigated to study the influence of the bonding strength and scale on the particle dislodgment. Test results showed that the stress path has a significant influence on the onset of the sand bonding breakage. It was shown that for various stress paths, there is a near linear relationship between the absorbed energy and the normal effective mean stress.
    Dissipation Capacity of Steel Building with Fiction Pendulum Base-Isolation System
    Use of base isolators in the seismic design of structures has attracted considerable attention in recent years. The major concern in the design of these structures is to have enough lateral stability to resist wind and seismic forces. There are different systems providing such isolation, among them there are friction- pendulum base isolation systems (FPS) which are rather widely applied nowadays involving to both affordable cost and high fundamental periods. These devices are characterised by a stiff resistance against wind loads and to be flexible to the seismic tremors, which make them suitable for different situations. In this paper, a 3D numerical investigation is done considering the seismic response of a twelve-storey steel building retrofitted with a FPS. Fast nonlinear time history analysis (FNA) of Boumerdes earthquake (Algeria, May 2003) is considered for analysis and carried out using SAP2000 software. Comparisons between fixed base, bearing base isolated and braced structures are shown in a tabulated and graphical format. The results of the various alternatives studies to compare the structural response without and with this device of dissipation energy thus obtained were discussed and the conclusions showed the interesting potential of the FPS isolator. This system may to improve the dissipative capacities of the structure without increasing its rigidity in a significant way which contributes to optimize the quantity of steel necessary for its general stability.
    The Effect of User Comments on Traffic Application Usage

    With the unprecedented rates of technological improvements, people start to solve their problems with the help of technological tools. According to application stores and websites in which people evaluate and comment on the traffic apps, there are more than 100 traffic applications which have different features with respect to their purpose of usage ranging from the features of traffic apps for public transit modes to the features of traffic apps for private cars. This study focuses on the top 30 traffic applications which were chosen with respect to their download counts. All data about the traffic applications were obtained from related websites. The purpose of this study is to analyze traffic applications in terms of their categorical attributes with the help of developing a regression model. The analysis results suggest that negative interpretations (e.g., being deficient) does not lead to lower star ratings of the applications. However, those negative interpretations result in a smaller increase in star rate. In addition, women use higher star rates than men for the evaluation of traffic applications.

    Feasibility Study of Distributed Lightless Intersection Control with Level 1 Autonomous Vehicles

    Urban intersection control without the use of the traffic light has the potential to vastly improve the efficiency of the urban traffic flow. For most proposals in the literature, such lightless intersection control depends on the mass market commercialization of highly intelligent autonomous vehicles (AV), which limits the prospects of near future implementation. We present an efficient lightless intersection traffic control scheme that only requires Level 1 AV as defined by NHTSA. The technological barriers of such lightless intersection control are thus very low. Our algorithm can also accommodate a mixture of AVs and conventional vehicles. We also carry out large scale numerical analysis to illustrate the feasibility, safety and robustness, comfort level, and control efficiency of our intersection control scheme.

    The Effect of Addition of Dioctyl Terephthalate and Calcite on the Tensile Properties of Organoclay/Linear Low Density Polyethylene Nanocomposites

    In recent years, polymer/clay nanocomposites have generated great interest in the polymer industry as a new type of composite material because of their superior properties, which includes high heat deflection temperature, gas barrier performance, dimensional stability, enhanced mechanical properties, optical clarity and flame retardancy when compared with the pure polymer or conventional composites. The investigation of change of the tensile properties of organoclay/linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) nanocomposites with the use of Dioctyl terephthalate (DOTP) (as plasticizer) and calcite (as filler) has been aimed. The composites and organoclay synthesized were characterized using the techniques such as XRD, HRTEM and FTIR techniques. The spectroscopic results indicate that platelets of organoclay were well dispersed within the polymeric matrix. The tensile properties of the composites were compared considering the stress-strain curve drawn for each composite and pure polymer. It was observed that the composites prepared by adding the plasticizer at different ratios and a certain amount of calcite exhibited different tensile behaviors compared to pure polymer.

    Role of Sodium Concentration, Waiting Time and Constituents’ Temperature on the Rheological Behavior of Alkali Activated Slag Concrete
    In this paper, rheological behavior of alkali activated slag concretes were investigated depending on the sodium concentration (SC), waiting time (WT) after production, and constituents’ temperature (CT) parameters. For this purpose, an experimental program was conducted with four different SCs of 1.85, 3.0, 4.15, and 5.30%, three different WT of 0 (just after production), 15, and 30 minutes and three different CT of 18, 30, and 40 °C. Solid precursors are activated by water glass and sodium hydroxide solutions with silicate modulus (Ms = SiO2/Na2O) of 1. Slag content and (water + activator solution)/slag ratio were kept constant in all mixtures. Yield stress and plastic viscosity values were defined for each mixture by using the ICAR rheometer. Test results were demonstrated that all of the three studied parameters have tremendous effect on the yield stress and plastic viscosity values of the alkali activated slag concretes. Increasing the SC, WT, and CT drastically augmented the rheological parameters. At the 15 and 30 minutes WT after production, most of the alkali activated slag concretes were set instantaneously, and rheological measurements were not performed.
    Performance Analysis of Air-Tunnel Heat Exchanger Integrated into Raft Foundation

    In this study, a field experiment and performance analysis of air-tunnel heat exchanger integrated with water-filled raft foundation of residential building were performed. In order to obtain better performance, conventional applications of air-tunnel inevitably have high initial cost or issues about insufficient installation space. To improve the feasibility of air tunnel heat exchanger in high-density housing, an integrated system consisting of air pipes immersed in the water-filled raft foundation was presented, taking advantage of immense amount of water and relatively stable temperature in raft foundation of building. The foundation-integrated air tunnel was applied to a residential building located in Yilan, Taiwan, and its thermal performance was measured in the field experiment. The results indicated that the cooling potential of integrated system was close to the potential of soil-based EAHE at 2 m depth or deeper. An analytical model based on thermal resistance method was validated by measurement results, and was used to carry out the dimensioning of foundation-integrated air tunnel. The discrepancies between calculated value and measured data were less than 2.7%. In addition, the return-on-investment with regard to thermal performance and economics of the application was evaluated. Because the installation for air tunnel is scheduled in the building foundation construction, the utilization of integrated system spends less construction cost compare to the conventional earth-air tunnel.

    The Microstructural and Mechanical Characterization of Organo-Clay-Modified Bitumen, Calcareous Aggregate, and Organo-Clay Blends

    Bitumen has been widely used as the binder of aggregate in road pavement due to its good viscoelastic properties, as a viscous organic mixture with various chemical compositions. Bitumen is a liquid at high temperature and it becomes brittle at low temperatures, and this temperature-sensitivity can cause the rutting and cracking of the pavement and limit its application. Therefore, the properties of existing asphalt materials need to be enhanced. The pavement with polymer modified bitumen exhibits greater resistance to rutting and thermal cracking, decreased fatigue damage, as well as stripping and temperature susceptibility; however, they are expensive and their applications have disadvantages. Bituminous mixtures are composed of very irregular aggregates bound together with hydrocarbon-based asphalt, with a low volume fraction of voids dispersed within the matrix. Montmorillonite (MMT) is a layered silicate with low cost and abundance, which consists of layers of tetrahedral silicate and octahedral hydroxide sheets. Recently, the layered silicates have been widely used for the modification of polymers, as well as in many different fields. However, there are not too much studies related with the preparation of the modified asphalt with MMT, currently. In this study, organo-clay-modified bitumen, and calcareous aggregate and organo-clay blends were prepared by hot blending method with OMMT, which has been synthesized using a cationic surfactant (Cetyltrymethylammonium bromide, CTAB) and long chain hydrocarbon, and MMT. When the exchangeable cations in the interlayer region of pristine MMT were exchanged with hydrocarbon attached surfactant ions, the MMT becomes organophilic and more compatible with bitumen. The effects of the super hydrophobic OMMT onto the micro structural and mechanic properties (Marshall Stability and volumetric parameters) of the prepared blends were investigated. Stability and volumetric parameters of the blends prepared were measured using Marshall Test. Also, in order to investigate the morphological and micro structural properties of the organo-clay-modified bitumen and calcareous aggregate and organo-clay blends, their SEM and HRTEM images were taken. It was observed that the stability and volumetric parameters of the prepared mixtures improved significantly compared to the conventional hot mixes and even the stone matrix mixture. A micro structural analysis based on SEM images indicates that the organo-clay platelets dispersed in the bitumen have a dominant role in the increase of effectiveness of bitumen - aggregate interactions.

    Seismic Behavior of Self-Balancing Post-Tensioned Reinforced Concrete Spatial Structure

    The construction industry is currently trying to develop sustainable reinforced concrete structures. In trying to aid in the effort, the research presented in this paper aims to prove the efficiency of modified special hybrid moment frames composed of discretely jointed precast and post-tensioned concrete members. This aim is due to the fact that current design standards do not cover the spatial design of moment frame structures assembled by post-tensioning with special hybrid joints. This lack of standardization is coupled with the fact that previous experimental programs, available in scientific literature, deal mainly with plane structures and offer little information regarding spatial behavior. A spatial model of a modified hybrid moment frame is experimentally analyzed. The experimental results of a natural scale model test of a corner column-beams sub-structure, cut from an actual multilevel building tested to seismic type loading are presented in order to highlight the behavior of this type of structure. The test is performed under alternative cycles of imposed lateral displacements, up to a storey drift ratio of 0.035. Seismic response of the spatial model is discussed considering the acceptance criteria for reinforced concrete frame structures designed based on experimental tests, as well as some of its major sustainability features. The results obtained show an overall excellent behavior of the system. The joint detailing allows for quick and cheap repairs after an accidental event and a self-balancing behavior of the system that ensures it can be used almost immediately after an accidental event it.

    Techniques of Construction Management in Civil Engineering

    The Middle East Gulf region has witnessed rapid growth and development in many areas over the last two decades. The development of the real-estate sector, construction industry and infrastructure projects are a major share of the development that has participated in the civilization of the countries of the Gulf. Construction industry projects were planned and managed by different types of experts, who came from all over the world having different types of experiences in construction management and industry. Some of these projects were completed on time, while many were not, due to many accumulating factors. Many accumulated factors are considered as the principle reason for the problem experienced at the project construction stage, which reflected negatively on the project success. Specific causes of delay have been identified by construction managers to avoid any unexpected delays through proper analysis and considerations to some implications such as risk assessment and analysis for many potential problems to ensure that projects will be delivered on time. Construction management implications were adopted and considered by project managers who have experience and knowledge in applying the techniques of the system of engineering construction management. The aim of this research is to determine the benefits of the implications of construction management by the construction team and level of considerations of the techniques and processes during the project development and construction phases to avoid any delay in the projects. It also aims to determine the factors that participate to project completion delays in case project managers are not well committed to their roles and responsibilities. The results of the analysis will determine the necessity of the applications required by the project team to avoid the causes of delays that help them deliver projects on time, e.g. verifying tender documents, quantities and preparing the construction method of the project.

    Innovation in Lean Thinking to Achieve Rapid Construction

    Lean thinking holds the potential for improving the construction sector, and therefore, it is a concept that should be adopted by construction sector players and academicians in the real industry. Bridging from that, a learning process for construction sector players regarding this matter should be the agenda in gaining the knowledge in preparation for their career. Lean principles offer opportunities for reducing lead times, eliminating non-value adding activities, reducing variability, and are facilitated by methods such as pull scheduling, simplified operations and buffer reduction. Thus, the drive for rapid construction, which is a systematic approach in enhancing efficiency to deliver a project using time reduction, while lean is the continuous process of eliminating waste, meeting or exceeding all customer requirements, focusing on the entire value stream and pursuing perfection in the execution of a constructed project. The methodology presented is shown to be valid through literature, interviews and questionnaire. The results show that the majority of construction sector players unfamiliar with lean thinking and they agreed that it can improve the construction process flow. With this background knowledge established and identified, best practices and recommended action are drawn.

    Methodologies for Crack Initiation in Welded Joints Applied to Inspection Planning

    Crack initiation and propagation threatens structural integrity of welded joints and normally inspections are assigned based on crack propagation models. However, the approach based on crack propagation models may not be applicable for some high-quality welded joints, because the initial flaws in them may be so small that it may take long time for the flaws to develop into a detectable size. This raises a concern regarding the inspection planning of high-quality welded joins, as there is no generally acceptable approach for modeling the whole fatigue process that includes the crack initiation period. In order to address the issue, this paper reviews treatment methods for crack initiation period and initial crack size in crack propagation models applied to inspection planning. Generally, there are four approaches, by: 1) Neglecting the crack initiation period and fitting a probabilistic distribution for initial crack size based on statistical data; 2) Extrapolating the crack propagation stage to a very small fictitious initial crack size, so that the whole fatigue process can be modeled by crack propagation models; 3) Assuming a fixed detectable initial crack size and fitting a probabilistic distribution for crack initiation time based on specimen tests; and, 4) Modeling the crack initiation and propagation stage separately using small crack growth theories and Paris law or similar models. The conclusion is that in view of trade-off between accuracy and computation efforts, calibration of a small fictitious initial crack size to S-N curves is the most efficient approach.

    Non-Destructive Testing of Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic by Infrared Thermography Methods
    Composite materials are one answer to the growing demand for materials with better parameters of construction and exploitation. Composite materials also permit conscious shaping of desirable properties to increase the extent of reach in the case of metals, ceramics or polymers. In recent years, composite materials have been used widely in aerospace, energy, transportation, medicine, etc. Fiber-reinforced composites including carbon fiber, glass fiber and aramid fiber have become a major structural material. The typical defect during manufacture and operation is delamination damage of layered composites. When delamination damage of the composites spreads, it may lead to a composite fracture. One of the many methods used in non-destructive testing of composites is active infrared thermography. In active thermography, it is necessary to deliver energy to the examined sample in order to obtain significant temperature differences indicating the presence of subsurface anomalies. To detect possible defects in composite materials, different methods of thermal stimulation can be applied to the tested material, these include heating lamps, lasers, eddy currents, microwaves or ultrasounds. The use of a suitable source of thermal stimulation on the test material can have a decisive influence on the detection or failure to detect defects. Samples of multilayer structure carbon composites were prepared with deliberately introduced defects for comparative purposes. Very thin defects of different sizes and shapes made of Teflon or copper having a thickness of 0.1 mm were screened. Non-destructive testing was carried out using the following sources of thermal stimulation, heating lamp, flash lamp, ultrasound and eddy currents. The results are reported in the paper.
    Optimum Design of Alkali Activated Slag Concretes for Low Chloride Ion Permeability and Water Absorption Capacity

    In this research, effect of curing time (TC), curing temperature (CT), sodium concentration (SC) and silicate modules (SM) on the compressive strength, chloride ion permeability, and water absorption capacity of alkali activated slag (AAS) concretes were investigated. For maximization of compressive strength while for minimization of chloride ion permeability and water absorption capacity of AAS concretes, best possible combination of CT, CTime, SC and SM were determined. An experimental program was conducted by using the central composite design method. Alkali solution-slag ratio was kept constant at 0.53 in all mixture. The effects of the independent parameters were characterized and analyzed by using statistically significant quadratic regression models on the measured properties (dependent parameters). The proposed regression models are valid for AAS concretes with the SC from 0.1% to 7.5%, SM from 0.4 to 3.2, CT from 20 °C to 94 °C and TC from 1.2 hours to 25 hours. The results of test and analysis indicate that the most effective parameter for the compressive strength, chloride ion permeability and water absorption capacity is the sodium concentration.

    Stochastic Risk Analysis Framework for Building Construction Projects

    The study was carried out to establish the probability density function of some selected building construction projects of similar complexity delivered using Bill of Quantities (BQ) and Lump Sum (LS) forms of contract, and to draw a reliability scenario for each form of contract. 30 of such delivered projects are analyzed for each of the contract forms using Weibull Analysis, and their Weibull functions (α, and β) are determined based on their completion times. For the BQ form of contract delivered projects, α is calculated as 1.6737E20 and β as + 0.0115 and for the LS form, α is found to be 5.6556E03 and β is determined as + 0.4535. Using these values, respective probability density functions are calculated and plotted, as handy tool for risk analysis of future projects of similar characteristics. By input of variables from other projects, decision making processes can be made for a whole project or its components using EVM Analysis in project evaluation and review techniques. This framework, as a quantitative approach, depends on the assumption of normality in projects completion time, it can help greatly in determining the completion time probability for veritable projects using any of the contract forms under consideration. Projects aspects that are not amenable to measurement, on the other hand, can be analyzed using fuzzy sets and fuzzy logic. This scenario can be drawn for different types of building construction projects, and using different suitable forms of contract in projects delivery.