Now showing items 163-182 of 624

• #### Electromagnetic wave absorption properties of ternary poly (vinylidene fluoride)/magnetite nanocomposites with carbon nanotubes and graphene

Ternary nanocomposite systems of poly(vinylidene fluoride)/magnetite/carbon nanotube (PVDF/Fe3O4/CNT) and poly(vinylidene fluoride)/magnetite/graphene (PVDF/Fe3O4/GN), were prepared using high shear twin screw compounding followed by compression moulding. The electromagnetic (EM) microwave absorption properties of the nanocomposites were investigated in the frequency range of 3–10 GHz. PVDF/Fe3O4/CNT samples with the thickness d = 0.7 mm present a minimum reflection loss (RL) of −28.8 dB at 5.6 GHz, while all the RL values in the measurement frequency range 3–10 GHz are lower than −10 dB. PVDF/Fe3O4/GN with a thickness of 0.9 mm, presents a minimum RL of −22.6 dB at 5.4 GHz, while all the RL values in the measurement frequency range 3–10 GHz are lower than −10 dB as well. The excellent microwave absorption properties of both nanocomposites, in terms of minimum RL value and broad absorption bandwidth, are mainly due to the enhanced magnetic losses. The results indicate that the ternary nanocomposites studied here, can be used as an attractive candidate for EM absorption materials in diverse fields of various technological applications, not only in the frequency range 3–10 GHz, but also at frequencies <3 GHz for PVDF/Fe3O4/CNT and >10 GHz for PVDF/Fe3O4/GN with a realistic thickness of close to 1 mm.
• #### An Endoscope Interface for Immersive Virtual Reality

This is a work in progress paper that describes a novel endoscope interface designed for use in an immersive virtual reality surgical simulator. We use an affordable off the shelf head mounted display to recreate the operating theatre environment. A hand held controller has been adapted so that it feels like the trainee is holding an endoscope controller with the same functionality. The simulator allows the endoscope shaft to be inserted into a virtual patient and pushed forward to a target position. The paper describes how we have built this surgical simulator with the intention of carrying out a full clinical study in the near future.
• #### Energetic fluctuations in amorphous semiconducting polymers: Impact on charge-carrier mobility

We present a computational approach to model hole transport in an amorphous semiconducting fluorene-triphenylamine copolymer (TFB), which is based on the combination of molecular dynamics to predict the morphology of the oligomeric system and Kinetic Monte Carlo (KMC), parameterized with quantum chemistry calculations, to simulate hole transport. Carrying out a systematic comparison with available experimental results, we discuss the role that different transport parameters play in the KMC simulation and in particular the dynamic nature of positional and energetic disorder on the temperature and electric field dependence of charge mobility. It emerges that a semi-quantitative agreement with experiments is found only when the dynamic nature of the disorder is taken into account. This study establishes a clear link between microscopic quantities and macroscopic hole mobility for TFB and provides substantial evidence of the importance of incorporating fluctuations, at the molecular level, to obtain results that are in good agreement with temperature and electric field-dependent experimental mobilities. Our work makes a step forward towards the application of nanoscale theoretical schemes as a tool for predictive material screening.
• #### Energy Harvesting behaviour for Aircraft Composites Structures using Macro-Fibre Composite: Part I–Integration and Experiment

This paper investigates new ways to integrate piezoelectric energy harvesting elements onto carbon-fibre composite structures, using a new bonding technique with a vacuum bag system and co-curing process, for fabrication onto airframe structures. Dynamic mechanical vibration tests were performed to characterise the energy harvested by the various integration methods across a range of different vibration frequencies and applied mechanical input loadings. An analytical model was also introduced to predict the power harvested under the mechanical vibrations as a benchmark to evaluate the proposed methods. The developed co-curing showed a high efficiency for energy harvesting at a range of low frequencies, where the co-curing method offered a maximum improvement of 14.3% compared to the mechanical bonding approach at a frequency of 10 Hz. Furthermore, co-curing exhibited potential at high frequency by performing the sweep test between frequencies of 1 and 100 Hz. Therefore, this research work offers potential integration technology for energy harvesting in complicated airframe structures in aerospace applications, to obtain the power required for environmental or structural health monitoring.
• #### Enhanced design of an offgrid PV-battery-methanation hybrid energy system for power/gas supply

Extensive studies have been carried out on various hybrid energy systems (HESs) for providing electricity to off-grid areas. However, a standalone HES that is capable of providing power and gas, has been less studied. In this paper, a standalone Photovoltaic (PV)-battery-methanation HES is proposed to provide adequate, reliable and cost-effective electricity and gas to the local consumers. Identifying a potential solution to maximize the reliability of the system, asked by consumers, and to minimize costs required by the investors is challenging. Bi-level programming is adopted in this study to tackle the pre-mentioned issue. In the outer layer, an optimal design is obtained by means of particle swarm optimization. In the inner layer, an optimal operation strategy is found under the optimal design of the outer layer using sequential quadratic programming. The results indicate that 1) The bi-level programming used in this study can find the optimal solution; 2) The proposed HES is proved to be able to supply power and gas simultaneously. 3) Compared with the right most and leftmost points on Pareto set, the total costs are reduced by 17.77% and 2.16%.
• #### Enhanced design of an offgrid PV-battery-methanation hybrid energy system for power/gas supply

Extensive studies have been carried out on various hybrid energy systems (HESs) for providing electricity to off-grid areas. However, a standalone HES that is capable of providing power and gas, has been less studied. In this paper, a standalone Photovoltaic (PV)-battery-methanation HES is proposed to provide adequate, reliable and cost-effective electricity and gas to the local consumers. Identifying a potential solution to maximize the reliability of the system, asked by consumers, and to minimize costs required by the investors is challenging. Bi-level programming is adopted in this study to tackle the pre-mentioned issue. In the outer layer, an optimal design is obtained by means of particle swarm optimization. In the inner layer, an optimal operation strategy is found under the optimal design of the outer layer using sequential quadratic programming. The results indicate that 1) The bi-level programming used in this study can find the optimal solution; 2) The proposed HES is proved to be able to supply power and gas simultaneously. 3) Compared with the right most and leftmost points on Pareto set, the total costs are reduced by 17.77% and 2.16%.
• #### Enhancement in Interfacial Adhesion of Ti/Polyetheretherketone by Electrophoretic Deposition of Graphene Oxide

This article discusses about the significance of graphene oxide (GO) deposition on the surface of a titanium plate by electrophoretic deposition (EPD) method to improve the adhesive strength of Ti/polyetheretherketone (PEEK) interfacial adhesive. Firstly, the anodic EPD method was applied to a water dispersion solution of GO, and then the morphology and the properties of titanium plate surface were characterized by scanning electron microscopy and contact angle measurements before and after GO deposition. Furthermore, the changes in the properties of GO after heating at 390°C were characterized by Raman and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopies. According to the results of single lap tensile shear test, the adhesion strength of Ti/PEEK interface after the anodization and deposition of GO was 34.94 MPa, an increase of 29.2% compared with 27.04 MPa of sample with only anodization. Also, the adhesion strengths were 58.1 and 76.5% higher compared with the samples of only GO deposited (22.1 MPa) and pure titanium (19.8 MPa), respectively.
• #### Enhancement of Wear and Corrosion Resistance of Beta Titanium Alloy by Laser Technology

The relatively high elastic modulus coupled with the presence of toxic vanadium (V) in Ti6Al4V alloy has long been a concern in orthopaedic applications. To solve the problem, a variety of non-toxic and low modulus beta-titanium (beta-Ti) alloys have been developed. Among the beta-Ti alloy family, the quaternary Ti-Nb-Zr-Ta (TZNT) alloys have received the highest attention as a promising replacement for Ti6Al4V due to their lower elastic modulus and outstanding long term stability against corrosion in biological environments. However, the inferior wear resistance of TNZT is still a problem that must be resolved before commercialising in the orthopaedic market. In this work, a newly-developed laser surface treatment technique was employed to improve the surface properties of Ti-35.3Nb-7.3Zr-5.7Ta alloy. The surface microstructure and composition of the laser-treated TNZT surface were examined by grazing incidence x-ray diffraction (GI-XRD) and x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). The wear and corrosion resistance were evaluated by pin-on-plate sliding test and anodic polarisation test in Hanks’ solution. The experimental results were compared with the untreated (or base) TNZT material. The research findings showed that the laser surface treatment technique reported in this work can effectively improve the wear and corrosion resistance of TNZT. The enhancement of such surface properties was due to the formation of a smooth and hard layer on the substrate surface. The laser-formed layer was metallurgically bonded to the substrate, and had no concern of coating delamination or peel-off.
• #### Enhancing interfacial strength between AA5083 and cryogenic adhesive via anodic oxidation and silanization

AA5083 aluminum alloy was treated in turn with phosphoric-sulfuric acid anodic oxidation and then with silanization using the silane coupling agent KH560. A chemical bond (Si-O-Al) was created between the aluminum alloy and silane film, and a dehydration condensation reaction occurred between the silane film and cryogenic adhesive to enhance the bonding strength between the aluminum alloy and the cryogenic adhesive. Scanning electron microscopy, Energy dispersive spectroscopy, and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy were used to explore the interfacial characteristics of the aluminum alloy both with and without the applied treatment. Furthermore, single lap shear tests and durability tests were performed to assess the adhesive strength of the interface between the aluminum alloy and the cryogenic adhesive at low temperature. The most improved interfacial strength using the anodic oxidation and the silanization treatments reached 33.96 MPa at −60 °C. The interface strength with the same treatments after the durability test was 25.4 MPa.
• #### Enhancing the antibacterial performance of orthopaedic implant materials by fibre laser surface engineering

Implant failure caused by bacterial infection is extremely difficult to treat and usually requires the removal of the infected components. Despite the severe consequence of bacterial infection, research into bacterial infection of orthopaedic implants is still at an early stage compared to the effort on enhancing osseointegration, wear and corrosion resistance of implant materials. In this study, the effects of laser surface treatment on enhancing the antibacterial properties of commercially pure (CP) Ti (Grade 2), Ti6Al4V (Grade 5) and CoCrMo alloy implant materials were studied and compared for the first time. Laser surface treatment was performed by a continuous wave (CW) fibre laser with a near-infrared wavelength of 1064 nm in a nitrogen-containing environment. Staphylococcus aureus, commonly implicated in infection associated with orthopaedic implants, was used to investigate the antibacterial properties of the laser-treated surfaces. The surface roughness and topography of the laser-treated materials were analysed by a 2D roughness testing and by AFM. The surface morphologies before and after 24 h of bacterial cell culture were captured by SEM, and bacterial viability was determined using live/dead staining. Surface chemistry was analysed by XPS and surface wettability was measured using the sessile drop method. The findings of this study indicated that the laser-treated CP Ti and Ti6Al4V surfaces exhibited a noticeable reduction in bacterial adhesion and possessed a bactericidal effect. Such properties were attributable to the combined effects of reduced hydrophobicity, thicker and stable oxide films and presence of laser-induced nano-features. No similar antibacterial effect was observed in the laser-treated CoCrMo.
• #### Entropy-driven cell decision-making predicts "fluid-to-solid" transition in multicellular systems

Cellular decision making allows cells to assume functionally different phenotypes in response to microenvironmental cues, with or without genetic change. It is an open question, how individual cell decisions influence the dynamics at the tissue level. Here, we study spatio-temporal pattern formation in a population of cells exhibiting phenotypic plasticity, which is a paradigm of cell decision making. We focus on the migration/resting and the migration/proliferation plasticity which underly the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and the go or grow dichotomy. We assume that cells change their phenotype in order to minimize their microenvironmental entropy following the LEUP (Least microEnvironmental Uncertainty Principle) hypothesis. In turn, we study the impact of the LEUP-driven migration/resting and migration/proliferation plasticity on the corresponding multicellular spatiotemporal dynamics with a stochastic cell-based mathematical model for the spatio-temporal dynamics of the cell phenotypes. In the case of the go or rest plasticity, a corresponding mean-field approximation allows to identify a bistable switching mechanism between a diffusive (fluid) and an epithelial (solid) tissue phase which depends on the sensitivity of the phenotypes to the environment. For the go or grow plasticity, we show the possibility of Turing pattern formation for the "solid" tissue phase and its relation with the parameters of the LEUP-driven cell decisions.
• #### Error estimates of high-order numerical methods for solving time fractional partial differential equations

Error estimates of some high-order numerical methods for solving time fractional partial differential equations are studied in this paper. We first provide the detailed error estimate of a high-order numerical method proposed recently by Li et al. \cite{liwudin} for solving time fractional partial differential equation. We prove that this method has the convergence order $O(\tau^{3- \alpha})$ for all $\alpha \in (0, 1)$ when the first and second derivatives of the solution are vanish at $t=0$, where $\tau$ is the time step size and $\alpha$ is the fractional order in the Caputo sense. We then introduce a new time discretization method for solving time fractional partial differential equations, which has no requirements for the initial values as imposed in Li et al. \cite{liwudin}. We show that this new method also has the convergence order $O(\tau^{3- \alpha})$ for all $\alpha \in (0, 1)$. The proofs of the error estimates are based on the energy method developed recently by Lv and Xu \cite{lvxu}. We also consider the space discretization by using the finite element method. Error estimates with convergence order $O(\tau^{3- \alpha} + h^2)$ are proved in the fully discrete case, where $h$ is the space step size. Numerical examples in both one- and two-dimensional cases are given to show that the numerical results are consistent with the theoretical results.
• #### Error estimates of a continuous Galerkin time stepping method for subdiffusion problem

A continuous Galerkin time stepping method is introduced and analyzed for subdiffusion problem in an abstract setting. The approximate solution will be sought as a continuous piecewise linear function in time $t$ and the test space is based on the discontinuous piecewise constant functions. We prove that the proposed time stepping method has the convergence order $O(\tau^{1+ \alpha}), \, \alpha \in (0, 1)$ for general sectorial elliptic operators for nonsmooth data by using the Laplace transform method, where $\tau$ is the time step size. This convergence order is higher than the convergence orders of the popular convolution quadrature methods (e.g., Lubich's convolution methods) and L-type methods (e.g., L1 method), which have only $O(\tau)$ convergence for the nonsmooth data. Numerical examples are given to verify the robustness of the time discretization schemes with respect to data regularity.
• #### Error estimates of a high order numerical method for solving linear fractional differential equations

In this paper, we first introduce an alternative proof of the error estimates of the numerical methods for solving linear fractional differential equations proposed in Diethelm [6] where a first-degree compound quadrature formula was used to approximate the Hadamard finite-part integral and the convergence order of the proposed numerical method is O(∆t 2−α ), 0 < α < 1, where α is the order of the fractional derivative and ∆t is the step size. We then use the similar idea to prove the error estimates of a high order numerical method for solving linear fractional differential equations proposed in Yan et al. [37], where a second-degree compound quadrature formula was used to approximate the Hadamard finite-part integral and we show that the convergence order of the numerical method is O(∆t 3−α ), 0 < α < 1. The numerical examples are given to show that the numerical results are consistent with the theoretical results.
• #### Estimating N2O5 uptake coefficients using ambient measurements of NO3, N2O5, ClNO2 and particle-phase nitrate

We present an estimation of the uptake coefficient (γ) and yield of nitryl chloride (ClNO2) (f) for the heterogeneous processing of dinitrogen pentoxide (N2O5) using simultaneous measurements of particle and trace gas composition at a semi-rural, non-coastal, mountain site in the summer of 2011. The yield of ClNO2 varied between (0.035 ± 0.027) and (1.38 ± 0.60) with a campaign average of (0.49 ± 0.35). The large variability in f reflects the highly variable chloride content of particles at the site. Uptake coefficients were also highly variable with minimum, maximum and average γ values of 0.004, 0.11 and 0.028 ± 0.029, respectively, with no significant correlation with particle composition, but a weak dependence on relative humidity. The uptake coefficients obtained are compared to existing parameterisations based on laboratory datasets and with other values obtained by analysis of field data.
• #### Estimating N2O5 uptake coefficients using ambient measurements of NO3, N2O5, ClNO2 and particle-phase nitrate

We present an estimation of the uptake coefficient (γ) and yield of nitryl chloride (ClNO2) (f) for the heterogeneous processing of dinitrogen pentoxide (N2O5) using simultaneous measurements of particle and trace gas composition at a semi-rural, non-coastal, mountain site in the summer of 2011. The yield of ClNO2 varied between (0.035 ± 0.027) and (1.38 ± 0.60) with a campaign average of (0.49 ± 0.35). The large variability in f reflects the highly variable chloride content of particles at the site. Uptake coefficients were also highly variable with minimum, maximum and average γ values of 0.004, 0.11 and 0.028 ± 0.029, respectively, with no significant correlation with particle composition, but a weak dependence on relative humidity. The uptake coefficients obtained are compared to existing parameterizations based on laboratory datasets and with other values obtained by analysis of field data.
• #### Estimating the atmospheric concentration of Criegee intermediates and their possible interference in a FAGE-LIF instrument

We analysed the extensive dataset from the HUMPPA-COPEC 2010 and the HOPE 2012 field campaigns in the boreal forest and rural environments of Finland and Germany, respectively, and estimated the abundance of stabilised Criegee intermediates (SCI) in the lower troposphere. Based on laboratory tests, we propose that the background OH signal observed in our IPI-LIF-FAGE instrument during the afore-mentioned campaigns is caused at least partially by SCI. This hypothesis is based on observed correlations with temperature and with concentrations of unsaturated volatile organic compounds and ozone. Just like SCI, the background OH concentration can be removed through the addition of sulfur dioxide. SCI also adds to the previously underestimated production rate of sulfuric acid. An average estimate of the SCI concentration of ~ 5.0 x 104 molecules cm-3 (with an order of magnitude uncertainty) is calculated for the two environments. This implies a very low ambient concentration of SCI, though, over the boreal forest, significant for the conversion of SO2 into H2SO4. The large uncertainties in these calculations, owing to the many unknowns in the chemistry of Criegee intermediates, emphasise the need to better understand these processes and their potential effect on the self-cleaning capacity of the atmosphere.
• #### Evaluating current practice and proposing a system to enhance knowledge assets within a small software development unit

Knowledge management and knowledge transfer within organisations challenge continuity and resilience in the face of changing environments. While issues are principally addressed within large organisations, there is scope to evaluate how knowledge assets are managed within small and medium enterprises and to consider how the process might be enhanced. The research reported here aimed to evaluate practice within an evolving software development unit to understand how knowledge has been acquired and utilised to further organisational development. In-depth interviews were carried out with members of the unit to elicit an understanding of individual and collective learning. Qualitative analysis of the data revealed key changes in thinking and practice as well as insight into the development of individuals' contextual knowledge and tacit understanding. This analysis led to the proposal of a bespoke, lightweight web-based system to support knowledge capture and organisational learning. This work is still in progress but it is anticipated that the results will provide a potentially novel and beneficial method for enhancing knowledge assets in small enterprises and consolidating valuable, and potentially scarce, expertise.
• #### Evaluating LevelEd AR: An Indoor Modelling Application for Serious Games Level Design

We developed an application that makes indoor modelling accessible by utilizing consumer grade technology in the form of Apple’s ARKit and a smartphone to assist with serious games level design. We compared our system to that of a tape measure and a system based on an infra-red depth sensor and application. We evaluated the accuracy and efficiency of each system over four different measuring tasks of increasing complexity. Our results suggest that our application is more accurate than the depth sensor system and as accurate and more time efficient as the tape measure over several tasks. Participants also showed a preference to our LevelEd AR application over the depth sensor system regarding usability.
• #### Evaluation of a Micro Gas Turbine With Post-Combustion CO2 Capture for Exhaust Gas Recirculation Potential With Two Experimentally Validated Models

The growing global energy demand is facing concerns raised by increasing greenhouse gas emissions, predominantly CO2. Despite substantial progress in the field of renewable energy in recent years, quick balancing responses and back-up services are still necessary to maintain the grid load and stability, due to increased penetration of intermittent renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind. In a scenario of natural gas availability, gas turbine power may be a substitute for back-up/balancing load. Rapid start-up and shut down, high ramp rate, and low emissions and maintenance have been achieved in commercial gas turbine cycles. This industry still needs innovative cycle configurations, e.g. exhaust gas recirculation (EGR), to achieve higher system performance and lower emissions in the current competitive power generation market. Together with reduced NOx emissions, EGR cycle provides an exhaust gas with higher CO2 concentration compared to the simple gas turbine/combined cycle, favorable for post-combustion carbon capture. This paper presents an evaluation of EGR potential for improved gas turbine cycle performance and integration with a post-combustion CO2 capture process. It also highlights features of two software tools with different capabilities for performance analysis of gas turbine cycles, integrated with post-combustion capture. The study is based on a combined heat and power micro gas turbine (MGT), Turbec T100, of 100kWe output. Detailed models for the baseline MGT and amine capture plant were developed in two software tools, IPSEpro and Aspen Hysys. These models were validated against experimental work conducted at the UK PACT National Core Facilities. Characteristics maps for the compressor and the turbine were used for the MGT modeling. The performance indicators of systems with and without EGR, and when varying the EGR ratio and ambient temperature, were calculated and are presented in this paper.