In the field of civil engineering, Structural Health Monitoring is a topic of growing interest. Effective monitoring instruments permit the control of the working conditions of structures and infrastructures, through the identification of behavioral anomalies due to incipient damages, especially in areas of high environmental hazards as earthquakes. While traditional sensors can be applied only in a limited number of points, providing a partial information for a structural diagnosis, novel transducers may allow a diffuse sensing. Thanks to the new tools and materials provided by nanotechnology, new types of multifunctional sensors are developing in the scientific panorama. In particular, cement-matrix composite materials capable of diagnosing their own state of strain and tension, could be originated by the addition of specific conductive nanofillers. Because of the nature of the material they are made of, these new cementitious nano-modified transducers can be inserted within the concrete elements, transforming the same structures in sets of widespread sensors. This paper is aimed at presenting the results of a research about a new self-sensing nanocomposite and about the implementation of smart sensors for Structural Health Monitoring. The developed nanocomposite has been obtained by inserting multi walled carbon nanotubes within a cementitious matrix. The insertion of such conductive carbon nanofillers provides the base material with piezoresistive characteristics and peculiar sensitivity to mechanical modifications. The self-sensing ability is achieved by correlating the variation of the external stress or strain with the variation of some electrical properties, such as the electrical resistance or conductivity. Through the measurement of such electrical characteristics, the performance and the working conditions of an element or a structure can be monitored. Among conductive carbon nanofillers, carbon nanotubes seem to be particularly promising for the realization of self-sensing cement-matrix materials. Some issues related to the nanofiller dispersion or to the influence of the nano-inclusions amount in the cement matrix need to be carefully investigated: the strain sensitivity of the resulting sensors is influenced by such factors. This work analyzes the dispersion of the carbon nanofillers, the physical properties of the fresh dough, the electrical properties of the hardened composites and the sensing properties of the realized sensors. The experimental campaign focuses specifically on their dynamic characterization and their applicability to the monitoring of full-scale elements. The results of the electromechanical tests with both slow varying and dynamic loads show that the developed nanocomposite sensors can be effectively used for the health monitoring of structures.
Biodegradable solid waste disposal and management has been a major problem in Nigeria and indiscriminate dumping of this waste either into watercourses or drains has led to environmental hazards affecting public health. The study investigated the nutrients level of pit composting and vermicomposting. Wooden bins 60 cm × 30 cm × 30 cm3 in size were constructed and bedding materials (sawdust, egg shell, paper and grasses) and red worms (Eisenia fetida) introduced to facilitate the free movement and protection of the worms against harsh weather. A pit of 100 cm × 100 cm × 100 cm3 was dug and worms were introduced into the pit, which was turned every two weeks. Food waste was fed to the red worms in the bin and pit, respectively. The composts were harvested after 100 days and analysed. The analyses gave: nitrogen has average value 0.87 % and 1.29 %; phosphorus 0.66 % and 1.78 %; potassium 4.35 % and 6.27 % for the pit and vermicomposting, respectively. Higher nutrient status of vermicomposting over pit composting may be attributed to the secretions in the intestinal tracts of worms which are more readily available for plant growth. However, iron and aluminium were more in the pit compost than the vermin compost and this may be attributed to the iron and aluminium already present in the soil before the composting took place. Other nutrients in ppm concentrations were aluminium 4,999.50 and 3,989.33; iron 2,131.83 and 633.40 for the pit and vermicomposting, respectively. These nutrients are only needed by plants in small quantities. Hence, vermicomposting has the higher concentration of essential nutrients necessary for healthy plant growth.
Natural environments have always been affected by one of the most important natural hazards, which is called, the mass movements that cause instability. Identifying the unstable regions and separating them so as to detect and determine the risk of environmental factors is one of the important issues in mountainous areas development. In this study, the northwest of Sabalan hillsides overlooking the Meshkin city and the surrounding area of that have been delimitated, in order to analyze the range processes such as landslides and debris flows based on structural and geomorphological conditions, by means of using GIS. This area due to the high slope of the hillsides and height of the region and the poor localization of roads and so because of them destabilizing the ranges own an inappropriate situation. This study is done with the purpose of identifying the effective factors in the range motion and determining the areas with high potential for zoning these movements by using GIS. The results showed that the most common range movements in the area, are debris flows, rocks falling and landslides. The effective factors in each one of the mass movements, considering a small amount of weight for each factor, the weight map of each factor and finally, the map of risk zoning for the range movements were provided. Based on the zoning map resulted in the study area, the risking level of damaging has specified into the four zones of very high risk, high risk, medium risk, low risk, in which areas with very high and high risk are settled near the road and along the Khyav river and in the mountainous district.
Modern low earth orbit (LEO) satellites that require multi-mission flexibility are highly likely to be repositioned between different operational orbits. While executing this process the satellite may experience high levels of vibration and environmental hazards, exposing the deployed solar panel to dangerous stress levels, fatigue and space debris, hence it is desirable to retract the solar array before satellite repositioning to avoid damage or failure.
A novel concept of deployable/retractable hybrid solar array systemcomposed of both rigid and flexible solar panels arranged within a petal formation, aimed to provide a greater power to volume ratio while dramatically reducing mass and cost is proposed.
Environmental impact assessment (EIA) is a procedure tool of environmental management for identifying, predicting, evaluating and mitigating the adverse effects of development proposals. EIA reports usually analyze how the amounts or concentrations of pollutants obey the relevant standards. Actually, many analytical tools can deepen the analysis of environmental impacts in EIA reports, such as life cycle assessment (LCA) and environmental risk assessment (ERA). Life cycle impact assessment (LCIA) is one of steps in LCA to introduce the causal relationships among environmental hazards and damage. Incorporating the LCIA concept into ERA as an integrated tool for EIA can extend the focus of the regulatory compliance of environmental impacts to determine of the significance of environmental impacts. Sometimes, when using integrated tools, it is necessary to consider fuzzy situations due to insufficient information; therefore, ERA should be generalized to fuzzy risk assessment (FRA). Finally, the use of the proposed methodology is demonstrated through the study case of the expansion plan of the world-s largest plastics processing factory.