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Laboratory determination of hydraulic conductivity functions for unsaturated cracked fine grained soil

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In geotechnical engineering, measuring the unsaturated hydraulic conductivity of fine grained soils can be time consuming and tedious. The various applications that require knowledge of the unsaturated hydraulic conductivity function are great, and in geotechnical engineering, they range from

In geotechnical engineering, measuring the unsaturated hydraulic conductivity of fine grained soils can be time consuming and tedious. The various applications that require knowledge of the unsaturated hydraulic conductivity function are great, and in geotechnical engineering, they range from modeling seepage through landfill covers to determining infiltration of water under a building slab. The unsaturated hydraulic conductivity function can be measured using various direct and indirect techniques. The instantaneous profile method has been found to be the most promising unsteady state method for measuring the unsaturated hydraulic conductivity function for fine grained soils over a wide range of suction values. The instantaneous profile method can be modified by using different techniques to measure suction and water content and also through the way water is introduced or removed from the soil profile. In this study, the instantaneous profile method was modified by creating duplicate soil samples compacted into cylindrical tubes at two different water contents. The techniques used in the duplicate method to measure the water content and matric suction included volumetric moisture probes, manual water content measurements, and filter paper tests. The experimental testing conducted in this study provided insight into determining the unsaturated hydraulic conductivity using the instantaneous profile method for a sandy clay soil and recommendations are provided for further evaluation. Overall, this study has demonstrated that the presence of cracks has no significant impact on the hydraulic behavior of soil in high suction ranges. The results of this study do not examine the behavior of cracked soil unsaturated hydraulic conductivity at low suction and at moisture contents near saturation.

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2011

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Creep characteristics and shear strength of recycled asphalt blends

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The trend towards using recycled materials on new construction projects is growing as the cost for construction materials are ever increasing and the awareness of the responsibility we have to be good stewards of our environment is heightened. While recycled

The trend towards using recycled materials on new construction projects is growing as the cost for construction materials are ever increasing and the awareness of the responsibility we have to be good stewards of our environment is heightened. While recycled asphalt is sometimes used in pavements, its use as structural fill has been hindered by concern that it is susceptible to large long-term deformations (creep), preventing its use for a great many geotechnical applications. While asphalt/soil blends are often proposed as an alternative to 100% recycled asphalt fill, little data is available characterizing the geotechnical properties of recycled asphalt soil blends. In this dissertation, the geotechnical properties for five different recycled asphalt soil blends are characterized. Data includes the particle size distribution, plasticity index, creep, and shear strength for each blend. Blends with 0%, 25%, 50%, 75% and 100% recycled asphalt were tested. As the recycled asphalt material used for testing had particles sizes up to 1.5 inches, a large 18 inch diameter direct shear apparatus was used to determine the shear strength and creep characteristics of the material. The results of the testing program confirm that the creep potential of recycled asphalt is a geotechnical concern when the material is subjected to loads greater than 1500 pounds per square foot (psf). In addition, the test results demonstrate that the amount of soil blended with the recycled asphalt can greatly influence the creep and shear strength behavior of the composite material. Furthermore, there appears to be an optimal blend ratio where the composite material had better properties than either the recycled asphalt or virgin soil alone with respect to shear strength.

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2011

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Novel biopolymer treatment for wind induced soil erosion

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It is estimated that wind induced soil transports more than 500 x 106 metric tons of fugitive dust annually. Soil erosion has negative effects on human health, the productivity of farms, and the quality of surface waters. A variety of

It is estimated that wind induced soil transports more than 500 x 106 metric tons of fugitive dust annually. Soil erosion has negative effects on human health, the productivity of farms, and the quality of surface waters. A variety of different polymer stabilizers are available on the market for fugitive dust control. Most of these polymer stabilizers are expensive synthetic polymer products. Their adverse effects and expense usually limits their use. Biopolymers provide a potential alternative to synthetic polymers. They can provide dust abatement by encapsulating soil particles and creating a binding network throughout the treated area. This research into the effectiveness of biopolymers for fugitive dust control involved three phases. Phase I included proof of concept tests. Phase II included carrying out the tests in a wind tunnel. Phase III consisted of conducting the experiments in the field. Proof of concept tests showed that biopolymers have the potential to reduce soil erosion and fugitive dust transport. Wind tunnel tests on two candidate biopolymers, xanthan and chitosan, showed that there is a proportional relationship between biopolymer application rates and threshold wind velocities. The wind tunnel tests also showed that xanthan gum is more successful in the field than chitosan. The field tests showed that xanthan gum was effective at controlling soil erosion. However, the chitosan field data was inconsistent with the xanthan data and field data on bare soil.

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2011

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Evaluation of the effects of aging on asphalt rubber

Description

Oxidative aging is an important factor in the long term performance of asphalt pavements. Oxidation and the associated stiffening can lead to cracking, which in turn can lead to the functional and structural failure of the pavement system. Therefore, a

Oxidative aging is an important factor in the long term performance of asphalt pavements. Oxidation and the associated stiffening can lead to cracking, which in turn can lead to the functional and structural failure of the pavement system. Therefore, a greater understanding of the nature of oxidative aging in asphalt pavements can potentially be of great importance in estimating the performance of a pavement before it is constructed. Of particular interest are the effects of aging on asphalt rubber pavements, due to the fact that, as a newer technology, few asphalt rubber pavement sections have been evaluated for their full service life. This study endeavors to shed some light on this topic. This study includes three experimental programs on the aging of asphalt rubber binders and mixtures. The first phase addresses aging in asphalt rubber binders and their virgin bases. The binders were subjected to various aging conditions and then tested for viscosity. The change in viscosity was analyzed and it was found that asphalt rubber binders exhibited less long term aging. The second phase looks at aging in a laboratory environment, including both a comparison of accelerated oxidative aging techniques and aging effects that occur during long term storage. Dynamic modulus was used as a tool to assess the aging of the tested materials. It was found that aging materials in a compacted state is ideal, while aging in a loose state is unrealistic. Results not only showed a clear distinction in aged versus unaged material but also showed that the effects of aging on AR mixes is highly dependant on temperature; lower temperatures induce relatively minor stiffening while higher temperatures promote much more significant aging effects. The third experimental program is a field study that builds upon a previous study of pavement test sections. Field pavement samples were taken and tested after being in service for 7 years and tested for dynamic modulus and beam fatigue. As with the laboratory aging, the dynamic modulus samples show less stiffening at low temperatures and more at higher temperatures. Beam fatigue testing showed not only stiffening but also a brittle behavior.

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2010

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Implementation of building information modeling for wafer fab construction

Description

Semiconductor manufacturing facilities are very complex and capital intensive in nature. During the lifecycle of these facilities various disciplines come together, generate and use a tremendous amount of building and process information to support various decisions that enable them to

Semiconductor manufacturing facilities are very complex and capital intensive in nature. During the lifecycle of these facilities various disciplines come together, generate and use a tremendous amount of building and process information to support various decisions that enable them to successfully design, build and sustain these advanced facilities. However, a majority of the information generated and processes taking place are neither integrated nor interoperable and result in a high degree of redundancy. The objective of this thesis is to build an interoperable Building Information Model (BIM) for the Base-Build and Tool Installation in a semiconductor manufacturing facility. It examines existing processes and data exchange standards available to facilitate the implementation of BIM and provides a framework for the development of processes and standards that can help in building an intelligent information model for a semiconductor manufacturing facility. To understand the nature of the flow of information between the various stakeholders the flow of information between the facility designer, process tool manufacturer and tool layout designer is examined. An information model for the base build and process tool is built and the industry standards SEMI E6 and SEMI E51 are used as a basis to model the information. It is found that applications used to create information models support interoperable industry standard formats such as the Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) and ISO 15926 in a limited manner. A gap analysis has revealed that interoperability standards applicable to the semiconductor manufacturing industry such as the IFC and ISO15926 need to be expanded to support information transfers unique to the industry. Information modeling for a semiconductor manufacturing facility is unique in that it is a process model (Process Tool Information Model) within a building model (Building Information Model), each of them supported more robustly by different interoperability standards. Applications support interoperability data standards specific to the domain or industry they serve but information transfers need to occur between the various domains. To facilitate flow of information between the different domains it is recommended that a mapping of the industry standards be undertaken and translators between them be developed for business use.

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2011

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Duration characteristics of the mean horizontal component of shallow crustal earthquake records in active tectonic regions

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The focus of this study is statistical characterization of the significant duration of strong ground motion time histories. The significant duration is defined as the time needed to build up between five and seventy five (SD575) and ninety five

The focus of this study is statistical characterization of the significant duration of strong ground motion time histories. The significant duration is defined as the time needed to build up between five and seventy five (SD575) and ninety five percent (SD595) of the energy of a strong motion record. Energy is measured as the integral of the square of the acceleration time history and can be used to capture the potential destructiveness of an earthquake. Correlations of the geometric means of the two significant duration measures (SD575 and SD595) with source, path, and near surface site parameters have been investigated using the geometric mean of 2,690 pairs of recorded horizontal strong ground motion data from 129 earthquakes in active plate margins. These time histories correspond to moment magnitudes between 4.8 and 7.9, site to source distances up to 200 km, and near surface shear wave velocity ranging from 120 to 2250 m/s. Empirical relationships have been developed based upon the simple functional forms, and observed correlations. The coefficients of the independent variables in these empirical relationships have been determined through nonlinear regression analysis using a random effects model. It is found that significant duration measures correlate well with magnitude, site to source distance, and near surface shear wave velocity. The influence of the depth to top of rupture, depth to the shear wave velocity of 1000 m/s and the style of faulting were not found to be statistically significant. Comparison of the empirical relationship developed in this study with existing empirical relationships for the significant duration shows good agreement at intermediate magnitudes (M 6.5). However, at larger and smaller magnitude, the differences between the correlations developed in this study and those from previous studies are significant.

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2011

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The shift of precipitation maxima on the annual maximum series using regional climate model precipitation data

Description

Ten regional climate models (RCMs) and atmosphere-ocean generalized model parings from the North America Regional Climate Change Assessment Program were used to estimate the shift of extreme precipitation due to climate change using present-day and future-day climate scenarios. RCMs emulate

Ten regional climate models (RCMs) and atmosphere-ocean generalized model parings from the North America Regional Climate Change Assessment Program were used to estimate the shift of extreme precipitation due to climate change using present-day and future-day climate scenarios. RCMs emulate winter storms and one-day duration events at the sub-regional level. Annual maximum series were derived for each model pairing, each modeling period; and for annual and winter seasons. The reliability ensemble average (REA) method was used to qualify each RCM annual maximum series to reproduce historical records and approximate average predictions, because there are no future records. These series determined (a) shifts in extreme precipitation frequencies and magnitudes, and (b) shifts in parameters during modeling periods. The REA method demonstrated that the winter season had lower REA factors than the annual season. For the winter season the RCM pairing of the Hadley regional Model 3 and the Geophysical Fluid-Dynamics Laboratory atmospheric-land generalized model had the lowest REA factors. However, in replicating present-day climate, the pairing of the Abdus Salam International Center for Theoretical Physics' Regional Climate Model Version 3 with the Geophysical Fluid-Dynamics Laboratory atmospheric-land generalized model was superior. Shifts of extreme precipitation in the 24-hour event were measured using precipitation magnitude for each frequency in the annual maximum series, and the difference frequency curve in the generalized extreme-value-function parameters. The average trend of all RCM pairings implied no significant shift in the winter annual maximum series, however the REA-selected models showed an increase in annual-season precipitation extremes: 0.37 inches for the 100-year return period and for the winter season suggested approximately 0.57 inches for the same return period. Shifts of extreme precipitation were estimated using predictions 70 years into the future based on RCMs. Although these models do not provide climate information for the intervening 70 year period, the models provide an assertion on the behavior of future climate. The shift in extreme precipitation may be significant in the frequency distribution function, and will vary depending on each model-pairing condition. The proposed methodology addresses the many uncertainties associated with the current methodologies dealing with extreme precipitation.

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2013

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Multi-hazard damage mitigation for low-rise wood-framed structures using a CarbonFlex composite

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This study focused on investigating the ability of a polymeric-enhanced high-tenacity fabric composite called CarbonFlex to mitigate damages from multi-natural hazards, which are earthquakes and tornadoes, in wood-framed structures. Typically, wood-framed shear wall is a seismic protection system used in

This study focused on investigating the ability of a polymeric-enhanced high-tenacity fabric composite called CarbonFlex to mitigate damages from multi-natural hazards, which are earthquakes and tornadoes, in wood-framed structures. Typically, wood-framed shear wall is a seismic protection system used in low-rise wood structures. It is well-known that the main energy dissipation of the system is its fasteners (nails) which are not enough to dissipate energy leading to decreasing of structure's integrity. Moreover, wood shear walls could not sustain their stiffness after experiencing moderate wall drift which made them susceptible to strong aftershocks. Therefore, CarbonFlex shear wall system was proposed to be used in the wood-framed structures. Seven full-size CarbonFlex shear walls and a CarbonFlex wrapped structures were tested. The results were compared to those of conventional wood-framed shear walls and a wood structure. The comparisons indicated that CarbonFlex specimens could sustain their strength and fully recover their initial stiffness although they experienced four percent story drift while the stiffness of the conventional structure dramatically degraded. This indicated that CarbonFlex shear wall systems provided a better seismic protection to wood-framed structures. To evaluate capability of CarbonFlex to resist impact damages from wind-borne debris in tornadoes, several debris impact tests of CarbonFlex and a carbon fiber reinforced storm shelter's wall panels were conducted. The results showed that three CarbonFlex wall panels passed the test at the highest debris impact speed and the other two passed the test at the second highest speed while the carbon fiber panel failed both impact speeds.

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2013

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Estimations of reductions in household vehicle miles traveled under scenarios of shifts in vehicle type choice

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Vehicle type choice is a significant determinant of fuel consumption and energy sustainability; larger, heavier vehicles consume more fuel, and expel twice as many pollutants, than their smaller, lighter counterparts. Over the course of the past few decades, vehicle type

Vehicle type choice is a significant determinant of fuel consumption and energy sustainability; larger, heavier vehicles consume more fuel, and expel twice as many pollutants, than their smaller, lighter counterparts. Over the course of the past few decades, vehicle type choice has seen a vast shift, due to many households making more trips in larger vehicles with lower fuel economy. During the 1990s, SUVs were the fastest growing segment of the automotive industry, comprising 7% of the total light vehicle market in 1990, and 25% in 2005. More recently, due to rising oil prices, greater awareness to environmental sensitivity, the desire to reduce dependence on foreign oil, and the availability of new vehicle technologies, many households are considering the use of newer vehicles with better fuel economy, such as hybrids and electric vehicles, over the use of the SUV or low fuel economy vehicles they may already own. The goal of this research is to examine how vehicle miles traveled, fuel consumption and emissions may be reduced through shifts in vehicle type choice behavior. Using the 2009 National Household Travel Survey data it is possible to develop a model to estimate household travel demand and total fuel consumption. If given a vehicle choice shift scenario, using the model it would be possible to calculate the potential fuel consumption savings that would result from such a shift. In this way, it is possible to estimate fuel consumption reductions that would take place under a wide variety of scenarios.

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2013

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Incorporation of phase change materials into cementitious systems

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Manufacture of building materials requires significant energy, and as demand for these materials continues to increase, the energy requirement will as well. Offsetting this energy use will require increased focus on sustainable building materials. Further, the energy used in building,

Manufacture of building materials requires significant energy, and as demand for these materials continues to increase, the energy requirement will as well. Offsetting this energy use will require increased focus on sustainable building materials. Further, the energy used in building, particularly in heating and air conditioning, accounts for 40 percent of a buildings energy use. Increasing the efficiency of building materials will reduce energy usage over the life time of the building. Current methods for maintaining the interior environment can be highly inefficient depending on the building materials selected. Materials such as concrete have low thermal efficiency and have a low heat capacity meaning it provides little insulation. Use of phase change materials (PCM) provides the opportunity to increase environmental efficiency of buildings by using the inherent latent heat storage as well as the increased heat capacity. Incorporating PCM into concrete via lightweight aggregates (LWA) by direct addition is seen as a viable option for increasing the thermal storage capabilities of concrete, thereby increasing building energy efficiency. As PCM change phase from solid to liquid, heat is absorbed from the surroundings, decreasing the demand on the air conditioning systems on a hot day or vice versa on a cold day. Further these materials provide an additional insulating capacity above the value of plain concrete. When the temperature drops outside the PCM turns back into a solid and releases the energy stored from the day. PCM is a hydrophobic material and causes reductions in compressive strength when incorporated directly into concrete, as shown in previous studies. A proposed method for mitigating this detrimental effect, while still incorporating PCM into concrete is to encapsulate the PCM in aggregate. This technique would, in theory, allow for the use of phase change materials directly in concrete, increasing the thermal efficiency of buildings, while negating the negative effect on compressive strength of the material.

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2013