Now showing items 1-20 of 2142

    • Ultrasonic micromoulding: Process characterisation using extensive in-line monitoring for micro-scaled products

      Gülçür, Mert; Brown, Elaine; Gough, Tim; Romano, J.-M.; Penchev, P.; Dimov, Stefan; Whiteside, Benjamin R. (2020-10)
      Industry-standard quality management systems such as Six Sigma and emerging Industry 4.0 compliant production processes demonstrate the importance of in-line condition monitoring of manufacturing methods for achieving the highest levels of product quality. Measurement data collected as the process is running can inform the operator about unexpected changes in machine operation or raw materials that could negatively impact production; and offer an opportunity for a process control intervention to stabilise production. However, micro-manufacturing production lines can pose a challenging environment for deploying such systems, since processing events can occur extremely rapidly and in harsh environments. Moreover, the small scale of micro-nano featured components can make sensor installation even more problematic. Recently, ultrasonic micromoulding has drawn attention in niche markets due to its unique advantages for processing thermoplastics as a new micro-manufacturing technology. The process differs from conventional moulding significantly by eliminating the need for a plasticising screw and using direct application of ultrasonic energy to melt the polymer. This offers numerous benefits such as decrease in energy usage, moulding at lower pressures, easier cleaning, and reduced material residence times, the latter which could be beneficial for pharma-grade polymers or polymers with active ingredients. However, very little work has been reported attempting to monitor the process using in-line measurements. This work aims to evaluate the characteristics of the ultrasonic micromoulding process for microinjection moulding of a microneedle array using a range of sensor technologies including: data recorded by the machine controller; a high-speed thermal camera and a cavity pressure transducer. The data has captured the highly dynamic process environment with a high degree of accuracy. The relationship between the process data and dimensional quality of the ultrasonically micromoulded products has been quantified and subsequently implemented as a cost-effective in-line quality assurance method.
    • Effects of mould wear on hydrophobic polymer surfaces replicated using plasma treated and laser-textured stainless steel inserts

      Dimov, Stefan; Romano, J.-M.; Sarasa, J.F.; Concheso, C.; Gülçür, Mert; Dashtbozorg, B.; Garcia-Giron, A.; Penchev, P.; Dong, H.; Whiteside, Benjamin R. (2020)
      The mass production of polymeric parts with functional surfaces requires economically viable manufacturing routes. Injection moulding is a very attractive option however wear and surface damage can be detrimental to the lifespan of replication masters. In this research, the replication of superhydrophobic surfaces is investigated by employing a process chain that integrates surface hardening, laser texturing and injection moulding. Austenitic stainless steel inserts were hardened by low temperature plasma carburising and three different micro and nano scale surface textures were laser fabricated, i.e. submicron triangular LaserInduced Periodic Surface Structures (LIPSS), micro grooves and Lotus-leaf like topographies. Then, a commonly available talc-loaded polypropylene was used to produce 5000 replicas to investigate the evolution of surface textures on both inserts and replicas together with their functional response. Any wear orsurface damage progressively built up on the inserts during the injection moulding process had a clear impact on surface roughness and peak-to-peak topographies of the replicas. In general, the polymer replicas produced with the carburised inserts retained the wetting properties of their textured surfaces for longer periods compared with those produced with untreated replication masters.
    • Model-based assessment of energy-efficiency, dependability, and cost-effectiveness of waste heat recovery systems onboard ship

      Lampe, J.; Rüde, E.; Papadopoulus, Y.; Kabir, Sohag (2018-06-01)
      Technological systems are not merely designed with a narrow function in mind. Good designs typically aim at reducing operational costs, e.g. through achieving high energy efficiency and improved dependability (i.e. reliability, availability and maintainability). When there is a choice of alternative design options that perform the same function, it makes sense to compare alternatives so that the variant that minimises operational costs can be selected. In this paper, we examine this issue in the context of the design of Waste Heat Recovery Systems (WHRS) for main engines of large commercial freight vessels. We propose a method that can predict the operational cost of a WHRS via thermodynamic analysis which shows costs related to energy utilisation, and dependability analysis which shows costs related to system unavailability and repair. Our approach builds on recent advances in thermodynamic simulation and compositional dependability analysis techniques. It is a model-based approach, and allows reuse of component libraries, and a high degree of automation which simplify application of the method. Our case study shows that alternative designs can be explored in fast iterations of this method, and that this facilitates the evidence-based selection of a design that minimises operational costs.
    • Experimental investigation on the effects of bed slope and tailwater on dam-break flows

      liu, Wenjun; Wang, Bo; Guo, Yakun; Zhang, Jianmin; Chen, Yunliang (2020-11)
      Understanding of the characteristics of dam-break flows moving along a sloping wet bed can help to timely issue flood warning and risk mitigation. In this study, laboratory experiments are carried out in a large flume for a wide range of upstream water depth, bed slopes and tailwater depth. The water level is recorded and processed to calculate the mean velocity and wave celerity. Results show that the increase of the bed slope will significantly accelerate the wave-front celerity for the downstream dry bed, while the negative wave celerity will decrease. When water depth ratio α ≥ 0.3 (defined as the ratio of initial downstream water depth over the upstream water depth of dam), there are extra negative waves propagating towards the reservoir area after the flow has developed for a period of time. When α ≥ 0.6, there are the Favre waves propagating downstream. The water level and the mean velocity fluctuate due to the influence of the extra negative waves and the Favre waves. Such fluctuant frequency increases with the increase of the water depth ratio. The empirical formulas are obtained for the celerity of the first extra negative wave and the first downstream wave. The variation of wave-front height is very similar under three bed slopes investigated in this study, while the maximum wave-front height occurs when α = 0.2. The present study broadens the understanding of the effects of the bed slope and the tailwater level on the movement of the dam-break flows. Furthermore, experimental results are also compared with some analytical solutions. The validity of the assumptions made during the development of these analytical solutions and their limitations are discussed by comparing with the experimental measurements.
    • Analytical Solution of Suspended Sediment Concentration Profile: Relevance of Dispersive Flow Term in Vegetated Channels

      Huai, W.; Yang, L.; Guo, Yakun (2020-07)
      Simulation of the suspended sediment concentration (SSC) has great significance in predicting the sediment transport rate, vegetation growth and the river ecosystem in the vegetated open channel flows. The present study focuses on investigating the vertical SSC profile in the vegetated open channel flows. To this end, a model of the dispersive flux is proposed in which the dispersive coefficient is expressed as partitioned linear profile above or below the half height of vegetation. The double-averaging method, i.e. time-spatial average, is applied to improve the prediction accuracy of the vertical SSC profile in the vegetated open channel flows. The analytical solution of SSC in both the submerged and the emergent vegetated open channel flows is obtained by solving the vertical double-averaging sediment advection-diffusion equation. The morphological coefficient, a key factor of the dispersive coefficient, is obtained by fitting the existing experimental data. The analytically predicted SSC agrees well with the experimental measurements, indicating that the proposed model can be used to accurately predict the SSC in the vegetated open channel flows. Results show that the dispersive term can be ignored in the region without vegetation, while the dispersive term has significant effect on the vertical SSC profile within the region of vegetation. The present study demonstrates that the dispersive coefficient is closely related to the vegetation density, the vegetation structure and the stem Reynolds number, but has little relation to the flow depth. With a few exceptions, the absolute value of the dispersive coefficient decreases with the increase of the vegetation density and increases with the increase of the stem Reynolds number in the submerged vegetated open channel flows.
    • Modelling study of wave damping over a sandy and a silty bed

      Tong, L.; Zhang, J.; Zhao, L.; Zheng, J.; Guo, Yakun (2020-10)
      Laboratory experiments have been carried out to investigate wave damping over the seabed, in which the excess pore pressure and free surface elevations are synchronously measured for examining the wave-induced soil dynamics and wave kinematics. Two types of soil, namely fine sand and silt, are tested to examine the role of soil in the wave damping. Observation of experiments shows that (i) soil liquefaction takes place for some tests with silty bed and soil particles suspend into the water layer when the bed is made of silt; (ii) sand ripples can be generated for experiments with sand bed. Measurements reveal that the wave damping greatly depends on the soil dynamic responses to wave loading and the wave damping mechanism over the silty seabed differs from that over the sand bed. On the one hand, the wave damping rate is greatly increased, when soil liquefaction occurs in the silty bed. On the other hand, the presence of sand ripples generated by oscillatory flow in the sand bed experiments also increases the wave damping to some extent. Furthermore, experimental results show that soil particle suspension in the silt bed test contributes to the wave damping. Theoretical analysis is presented to enhance discussions on the wave damping. The theoretical calculations demonstrate that the wave damping is mainly induced by the shear stress in the boundary layer for the cases when no liquefaction occurs. While for the cases when soil liquefaction takes place, the viscous flow in the liquefied layer contributes most towards to the wave damping.
    • Wave-induced seabed residual response and liquefaction around a mono-pile foundation with various embedded depth

      Sui, T.; Zhang, C.; Jeng, D-S.; Guo, Yakun; Zheng, J.; Zhang, W.; Shi, J. (Elsevier, 2019-01)
      Wave-induced seabed instability caused by the residual liquefaction of seabed may threaten the safety of an offshore foundation. Most previous studies have focused on the structure that sits on the seabed surface (e.g., breakwater and pipeline), a few studies investigate the structure embedded into the seabed (e.g. a mono-pile). In this study, by considering the inertial terms of pore fluid and soil skeleton, a three-dimensional (3D) integrated model for the wave-induced seabed residual response around a mono-pile is developed. The model is validated with five experimental tests available in the literature. The proposed model is then applied to investigate the spatial and temporal pattern of pore pressure accumulation as well as the 3D liquefaction zone around a mono-pile. The numerical simulation shows that the residual pore pressure in front of a pile is larger than that at the rear, and the seabed residual response would be underestimated if the inertial terms of pore fluid and soil skeleton are neglected. The result also shows that the maximum residual liquefaction depth will increase with the increase of the embedded depth of the pile.
    • Self-healing concrete composites for sustainable infrastructures: a review

      Zhang, Wei; Zheng, Q.; Ashour, Ashraf F.; Han, B. (Elsevier, 2020-05-15)
      Cracks in concrete composites, whether autogenous or loading-initiated, are almost inevitable and often difficult to detect and repair, posing a threat to safety and durability of concrete infrastructures, especially for those with strict sealing requirements. The sustainable development of infrastructures calls for the birth of self-healing concrete composites, which has the built-in ability to autonomously repair narrow cracks. This paper reviews the fabrication, characterization, mechanisms and performances of autogenous and autonomous healing concretes. Autogenous healing materials such as mineral admixtures, fibers, nanofillers and curing agents, as well as autonomous healing methods such as electrodeposition, shape memory alloys, capsules, vascular and microbial technologies, have been proven to be effective to partially or even fully repair small cracks. As a result, the mechanical properties and durability of concrete infrastructure can be restored to some extent. However, autonomous healing techniques have shown a better performance in healing cracks than most of autogenous healing methods that are limited to healing of cracks having a narrower width than 150 µm. Self-healing concrete with biomimetic features, such as self-healing concrete based on shape memory alloys, capsules, vascular networks or bacteria, is a frontier subject in the field of material science. Self-healing technology provides concrete infrastructures with the ability to adapt and respond to the environment, exhibiting a great potential to facilitate the creation of a wide variety of smart materials and intelligent structures.
    • Effect and mechanisms of nanomaterials on interface between aggregates and cement mortars

      Wang, X.; Dong, S.; Ashour, Ashraf F.; Zhang, W.; Han, B. (2020-04)
      As the weakest zone in concrete, the interfacial transition zone (ITZ) between aggregates and cement mortars has important effects on the properties of concrete. This paper aims to investigate the effects and mechanisms of nanofillers on the bond strength and interfacial microstructures between aggregates and cement mortars. A total of 8 representative types of nanofillers (namely nano-SiO2, nano-TiO2, nano-ZrO2, untreated multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs), hydroxyl-functionalized MWCNTs, nickel-coated MWCNTs, multi-layer graphenes (MLGs), and nano boron nitride (nano-BN)) were selected to fabricate specimens with scale-up aggregate-cement mortar interface that can be characterized by the three-point bend test. The experimental results indicate that all types of nanofillers can enhance the bond strength between aggregates and cement mortars. The highest relative/absolute increases of 2.1 MPa/35.1%, 2.32 MPa/38.8% and 2.56 MPa/42.8% in interfacial bond strength are achieved by incorporating 2 wt% of nano-ZrO2, 0.3 wt% of nickel-coated MWCNTs, and 0.3 wt% of nano-BN, respectively. Scanning electron microscope observations show the presence of nanofillers can improve hydration products and increase interfacial compactness. Energy dispersive spectrometer results suggest that local content of nanofillers in the ITZ is higher than that in the bulk cement mortars. These findings indicate the nanofillers can transfer with water migration toward aggregates and enrich in ITZ, thus improving the bond strength and interfacial microstructures between aggregates and cement mortars through the nano-core effect.
    • Investigation of stick-slip vibration in a commercial vehicle brake assembly

      Ashraf, N.; Bryant, David; Fieldhouse, John D. (2017-09)
      There are several types of disc brake instabilities associated with the brake systems; however, they are usually classified into two main categories depending on the frequency range: brake groan 0–300 Hz and brake squeal 1– 16 kHz. The groan is associated with the stick-slip motion while the squeal is associated with the modal coupling. This paper presents a detailed analysis of low frequency noise (0–300 Hz) in a commercial vehicle trailer disc brake as a result of stick-slip vibration. A range of experimental techniques are used to understand the characteristic behaviour of the caliper and the brake pads during braking events on a laboratory test rig. The analysed brake system comprised a full disc brake assembly and the trailer suspension system with a beam axle. Laser-based optical displacement sensors were used to investigate the deformation of the caliper body and the brake pads during a braking application. The contact pressure distribution at the disc/pad interfaces were also measured to gain more insight into the contact profile of the pad surfaces. Results revealed that the stick-slip phenomenon, in this study, was a result of the combination of the deformation of the caliper and the friction material formulation of the brake pads. In addition, it was observed through the testing of two different sets of pads that a low compression modulus would help to reduce the stick-slip phenomenon.
    • Flexural behaviour of hybrid steel-GFRP reinforced concrete continuous T-beams

      Almahmood, Hanady; Ashour, Ashraf F.; Sheehan, Therese (Elsevier, 2020-12-15)
      This paper presents test results of six full scale reinforced concrete continuous T beams. One beam was reinforced with glass fibre reinforced polymer (GFRP) bars while the other five beams were reinforced with a different combination of GFRP and steel bars. The ratio of GFRP to steel reinforcement at both mid-span and middle-support sections was the main parameter investigated. The results showed that adding steel reinforcement to GFRP reinforced concrete T-beams improves the flexural stiffness, ductility and serviceability in terms of crack width and deflection control. However, the moment redistribution at failure was limited because of the early yielding of steel reinforcement at a beam section that does not reach its moment capacity and could still carry more loads due to the presence of FRP reinforcement. The experimental results were compared with the ultimate moment prediction of ACI 440.2R-17, and with the existing theoretical equations for deflection prediction. It was found that the ACI 440.2R-17 reasonably estimated the moment capacity of both mid-span and middle support sections. Conversely, the available theoretical deflection models underestimated the deflection of hybrid reinforced concrete T-beams at all load stages.
    • Offshore Wind Turbine Reliability and Operational Simulation under Uncertainties

      Dao, Cuong D.; Kazemtabrizi, B.; Crabtree, C.J. (2020)
      The fast‐growing offshore wind energy sector brings opportunities to provide a sustainable energy resource but also challenges in offshore wind turbine (OWT) operation and maintenance management. Existing operational simulation models assume deterministic input reliability and failure cost data, whereas OWT reliability and failure costs vary depending on several factors, and it is often not possible to specify them with certainty. This paper focuses on modelling reliability and failure cost uncertainties and their impacts on OWT operational and economic performance. First, we present a probabilistic method for modelling reliability data uncertainty with a quantitative parameter estimation from available reliability data resources. Then, failure cost uncertainty is modelled using fuzzy logic that relates a component's failure cost to its capital cost and downtime. A time‐sequential Monte Carlo simulation is presented to simulate operational sequences of OWT components. This operation profile is later fed into a fuzzy cost assessment and coupled with a wind power curve model to evaluate OWT availability, energy production, operational expenditures and levelised cost of energy. A case study with different sets of reliability data is presented, and the results show that impacts of uncertainty on OWT performance are magnified in databases with low components' reliability. In addition, both reliability and cost uncertainties can contribute to more than 10% of the cost of energy variation. This research can provide practitioners with methods to handle data uncertainties in reliability and operational simulation of OWTs and help them to quantify the variability and dependence of wind power performance on data uncertainties.
    • Scheduling Infrastructure Renewal for Railway Networks

      Dao, Cuong D.; Hartmann, A.; Lamper, A.; Herbert, P. (2019-12)
      The pressing necessity to renew infrastructure assets in developed railway systems leads to an increased number of activities to be scheduled annually. Scheduling of renewal activities for a railway network is a critical task because these activities often require a significant amount of time and create a capacity conflict in operation scheduling. This paper discusses economic and technological aspects, opportunities, and constraints in the renewals of multiple rail infrastructure components at several locations in a railway network. We addressed and modeled a challenging situation in which there were interrelationships between different track lines, and thus, possession of a track line could affect the other track lines and prevent renewal works on them. A mathematical formulation for the railway infrastructure renewal scheduling problem in the network context was presented to minimize the total renewal and unavailability costs. A method based on a triple-prioritization rule and an optimal sharing of renewal times allocated for different types of rail infrastructure components in a possession is proposed to solve the problem. The method was applied to a real case of a regional railway network in Northern Netherlands and it was shown that up to 13% of total costs can be saved compared with the current scheduling practice.
    • Maintenance scheduling for railway tracks under limited possession time

      Dao, Cuong D.; Basten, R.; Hartmann, A. (2018-08)
      Maintenance planning for busy railway systems is challenging because there is growing pressure on increasing operation time, which reduces the infrastructure-accessible time for maintenance. This paper proposes an optimization model that is aimed at finding the best maintenance schedule for multiple components in a railway track to minimize the total cost in the planning horizon. One distinct and practical feature of the model is that the track accessible time for maintenance is limited. We formulate all relevant costs in the component's life cycle, including maintenance cost, fixed track-closure (possession) cost, social-economic cost related to the effects of maintenance time on the train operation, and service-life shortening cost due to the shifting of activities. Generally, it is beneficial to cluster and maintain several components in a single possession because this helps reduce the cost by occupying the track only once. However, the decision must depend on the available possession time. A sensitivity analysis is performed to highlight the effects of available possession time on the number of required possessions as well as the total cost incurred.
    • Optimal selective maintenance for multi-state systems in variable loading conditions

      Dao, Cuong D.; Zuo, M.J. (2017-10)
      This paper studies the selective maintenance problem for multi-state series systems working in variable loading conditions in the next mission. In the mission, a component's degradation depends on its current state and the load applied on it. A load-dependent degradation model is proposed for multi-state components operating in variable loading conditions. This model is inspired by the load-sharing model where many components share a common workload and the failure rate of a component depends on the state of other components. A Monte-Carlo simulation method is presented to simulate the multi-state component's degradation and to evaluate the system reliability. The final objective is to determine the best selective maintenance strategy to maximize the expected system reliability in the next mission within available resources. An illustrative example, reliability estimation results, and analysis of optimal selective maintenance scenarios for different levels of budget limitation are provided.
    • Selective maintenance of multi-state systems with structural dependence

      Dao, Cuong D.; Zuo, M.J. (2017-03)
      This paper studies the selective maintenance problem for multi-state systems with structural dependence. Each component can be in one of multiple working levels and several maintenance actions are possible to a component in a maintenance break. The components structurally form multiple hierarchical levels and dependence groups. A directed graph is used to represent the precedence relations of components in the system. A selective maintenance optimization model is developed to maximize the system reliability in the next mission under time and cost constraints. A backward search algorithm is used to determine the assembly sequence for a selective maintenance scenario. The maintenance model helps maintenance managers in determining the best combination of maintenance activities to maximize the probability of successfully completing the next mission. Examples showing the use of the proposed method are presented.
    • Selective maintenance for multistate series systems with S-dependent components

      Dao, Cuong D.; Zuo, M.J. (2016-06)
      In this paper, we will consider the selective maintenance problem for multistate series systems with stochastic dependent components. In multistate systems, the health state of a component may vary from perfect functioning to complete failure. The stochastic dependence (S-dependence) between components is discussed and categorized into two types in multistate context. First, the failure of a component can immediately cause complete failures of some other components in the system. Second, as components deteriorate, the reduced working performance rate of a multistate component affects the state as well as the degradation rate of its subsequent components in series structure. The system reliability is evaluated using an approach based on stochastic process. A cost-based selective maintenance model is developed for the multistate system with S-dependent components to maximize the total system profit, which includes the production gain and loss in the next mission as well as possible maintenance costs for the system. Analyses of systems with independent and dependent components are provided. It is observed that ignoring S-dependence in the system may lead to alternative maintenance decision making and an optimistic estimation of the system performance.
    • Selective maintenance for multi-state series-parallel systems under economic dependence

      Dao, Cuong D.; Zuo, M.J.; Pandey, M. (2014-01)
      This paper presents a study on selective maintenance for multi-state series-parallel systems with economically dependent components. In the selective maintenance problem, the maintenance manager has to decide which components should receive maintenance activities within a finite break between missions. All the system reliabilities in the next operating mission, the available budget and the maintenance time for each component from its current state to a higher state are taken into account in the optimization models. In addition, the components in series-parallel systems are considered to be economically dependent. Time and cost savings will be achieved when several components are simultaneously repaired in a selective maintenance strategy. As the number of repaired components increases, the saved time and cost will also increase due to the share of setting up between components and another additional reduction amount resulting from the repair of multiple identical components. Different optimization models are derived to find the best maintenance strategy for multi-state series-parallel systems. A genetic algorithm is used to solve the optimization models. The decision makers may select different components to be repaired to different working states based on the maintenance objective, resource availabilities and how dependent the repair time and cost of each component are. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    • Selective maintenance for multi-state systems considering the benefits of repairing multiple components simultaneously

      Dao, Cuong D.; Zuo, M.J. (Springer, 2015-01)
      Many industrial systems such as aircrafts, ships, manufacturing systems, etc. are required to perform several missions with finite breaks between missions. Maintenance is only available within the breaks. Due to the limitation of resources, all components in the system may not be maintained as desired. The selective maintenance problem helps the decision makers figure out what critical components to select and how to perform maintenance on these components. This paper studies the selective maintenance for multi-state series-parallel systems with the benefit of repairing multiple components simultaneously. Both time and cost savings can be acquired when several components are simultaneously repaired in a selective maintenance strategy. As the number of repaired components increases, the saved time and cost will also increase due to the share of setting up between components and another additional reduction amount from the repair of multiple identical components. A non-linear optimization model is developed to find the most reliable system subjected to time and cost constraints. Genetic algorithm is used to solve the optimization model. An illustrative example will be provided.