Presented in this thesis are the test results of combined processing and mechanical property characterisation studies using a developed cementitious mix reinforced by various fibre types and forms (with short and continuous lengths). The research is aimed to identify new Fibre Reinforced Cementitious (FRC) composites that have post-cracking ductility, much higher flexural strength and higher toughness than the control (matrix) material without reinforcement, and higher than traditional FRC composites. Laboratory work uses two methods to process the green forms, one by novel compression moulding and the other by hand lay-up that were both adapted from the fibre reinforced polymer industry. Results show a reduction in the hand lay-up water/binder ratio of 24 to 41% can be achieved by applying compression moulding with a pressure of 9MPa. One key processing challenge with short recycled milled carbon fibres is to make the mix uniform, even when the volume fraction is low at 2%. Microstructural investigations confirm that the carbon fibres, having mean length of 0.085 mm, always gave a very poor dispersion, and this is due to static electricity causing the fibres to form into balls (5 to 30 mm diameter). Overall, the study with short fibre reinforcements found that, by adding 2% by volume of the polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) fibres, the stress-strain curve exhibits strain-hardening behaviour accompanied by multiple cracking. Furthermore, the flexural properties show the material to possess ductility, toughness and mean strength that, at 13 MPa, is two times higher than the control material. It is observed that the hydrophilic nature of PVA and the fibres surface roughness play a significant role in an increased bonding strength with this short fibre. When introducing continuous fibre reinforcement in the form of fabrics it is shown that the volume fraction of fibres should be no more than 5%. Unsuccessful green form specimens were a consequence of having a higher volume fraction by introducing more fabric layers. Test results show that materials reinforced with carbon fabrics give an FRC material with much improved mechanical properties, in terms of post-cracking strength, strain at peak stress and toughness (energy absorption) at peak stress. Higher overall bond strength might be attributed to an apparent increase in interfacial contact area between fibres and cement matrix and improved mechanical anchoring from the fabric’s construction. Microstructural investigations confirm that good matrix penetrability between the filaments of the tow or bundle is essential in order to maximise the reinforcing efficiency of the fabric. Investigated are two novel methods for modifying the continuous unidirectional carbon fibre reinforcements to improve the overall bond strength, by enhancing matrix penetration through and across the reinforcement plane. In one method the fabric is cut into strips to leave spaces (holes) between parallel reinforcement units for the matrix material to bridge across, while in the second method the fabric receives a surface treatment by immersion in Ethanol alcohol. Test results show that, with compression moulding and the strip form of reinforcement at 5% volume fraction the FRC composite has a flexural strength of 75 MPa. This flexural strength is ten times higher than the measured strength of the control material. The experimental research reported in this thesis shows that to achieve ‘unusual’ composite action and a relative high stress at loss of proportionality requires a continuous fibre reinforcement that can be treated or non-treated. Given the considerable increase in mechanical properties achieved using such fibre reinforcement at 5% the most promising FRC materials require to be further evaluated to find suitable candidates for load bearing products.
The performance and properties of novel desiccant coated heat exchange surfaces for solar air conditioningSpillmann, Thorsten S. January 2014 (has links)
This work deals with the preparation, thermo-hydraulic characterisation, and performance analysis of silica gel coated highly conductive surface enhancing structures to be used as tube inserts in a prototype of an innovative water-cooled sorption rotor. The candidate inserts under investigation comprise highly porous aluminium foam inserts, twisted-in wire brushes, and flocked structures, that are investigated for their flow impedance, heat transfer performance, and cyclic dehumidification performance. The conducted analysis comprises experimental testing of insert specific pressure drop and heat transfer performance in a purpose built test rig, that led to the preselection of the foam structures and a twisted-in aluminium wire brush insert for desiccant coating and further investigation. Cyclic heat and mass transfer tests were performed in a purpose-built small-scale test rig, that simulated the dehumidification process of a desiccant rotor with and without employing water-cooling. The experimental analysis is complemented by a numerical investigation of the cyclic heat and mass transfer performance of the brush and metal foam type structures, modelled as two-dimensionally axis-symmetric porous media. The geometry based functions of the insert specific flow characteristics are derived from two- and three-dimensional pore scale computational fluid dynamics models, that are calibrated against experimental data. The validity of fundamental modelling assumptions was confirmed by a decent agreement between numerical and experimental steady-state heat transfer results. The heat and mass transfer investigation showed that the investigated structures were capable of eﬀectively removing heat during the dehumidification half-cycle. The thermal mass was shown to be a critical design parameter in achieving acceptable dehumidification performance.
Millard, S. G.
The objectivc of this research was to determine the in-plane shear stiffness and strength of a reinforced concrete sprecimen, which had first been cracked in uniaxial tension. This information could then lead to a more accurate analysis or reinforced concrete structures using the finite clement method. Tests were devised that enabled the effects of aggregate interlock and of dowel action in slab type specimens to be studied independently. As the aggregate interlock and dowel action specimens were similar and were loaded in the same way, a direct comparison of the test results could be made. The composite effects of aggregate interlock and dowel action were then studied by applying the same shear loading to cracked reinforced concrete specimens. The shear stiffness and strength due to aggregate interlock were typically found to be two to four times as great as those due to dowel action. It was also observed that the crack in the aggregate interlock tests tended to widen as shear slip occurred. This is an effect which has received very little attention in the past. The stiffness normal to the crack that restrains crack widening, and the initial crack width were both observed to have a significant influcnce on the aggregate interlock shear stiffness. The behaviour of the reinforced concrete specimens was similar to that which was expected from the results of the dowel action and aggregate interlock tests, if the additional effects of local bond were LikclI into consideration. Several analytical models of the micro mechanisms of shear resistance within the specimens were studied and formulae were derived to predict their behaviour. A matrix equation for the material properties for cracked concrete was derived and used in a finite clement analysis in an attempt to model the behaviour of a reinforced concrete structure.
Building information modelling for sustainability appraisal of conceptual design of steel-framed buildingsOti, Akponanabofa Henry January 2014 (has links)
In the construction sector, capturing the building product in a single information model with good interoperable capabilities has been the subject of much research efforts in at least the last three decades. Contemporary advancements in Information Technology and the efforts from various research initiatives in the AEC industry are showing evidence of progress with the advent of building information modelling (BIM). BIM presents the opportunity of electronically modelling and managing the vast amount of information embedded in a building project, from its conception to end-of-life. Researchers have been looking at extensions to expand its scope. Sustainability is one such modelling extension that is in need of development. This is becoming pertinent for the structural engineer as recent design criteria have put great emphasis on the sustainability credentials in addition to the traditional criteria of structural integrity, constructability and cost. Considering the complexity of nowadays designs, there is a need to provide decision support tools to aid the assessment of sustainability credentials. Such tools would be most beneficial at the conceptual design stage so that sustainability is built into the design solution starting from its inception. This research work therefore investigates how contemporary process and data modelling techniques can be used to map and model sustainability related information to inform the structural engineer’s building design decisions at an early stage. The research reviews current design decisions support systems on sustainability and highlights existing deficiencies. It examines the role of contemporary information modelling techniques in the building design process and employs this to tackle identified gaps. The sustainability of buildings is related to life cycle and is measured using indicator-terms such as life cycle costing, ecological footprint and carbon footprint. This work takes advantage of current modelling techniques to explore how these three indicators can be combined to provide sustainability assessment of alternative design solutions. It identifies the requirements for sustainability appraisal and information modelling to develop a requisite decision-support framework vis-à-vis issues on risk, sensitivity and what-if scenarios for implementation. The implementation employed object-oriented programming and feature modelling techniques to develop a sustainability decision-support prototype. The prototype system was tested in a typical design activity and evaluated to have achieved desired implementation requirements. The research concludes that the utilized current process and data modelling techniques can be employed to model sustainability related information to inform decisions at the early stages of structural design. As demonstrated in this work, design decision support systems can be optimized to include sustainability credentials through the use of object-based process and data modelling techniques. This thesis presents a sustainability appraisal framework, associated implementation algorithms and related object mappings and representations systems that could be used to achieve such decision support optimization.
An investigation into the parameters that contribute to the gap between the designed and as-built thermal performance of British housingWhite, Jennifer A. January 2014 (has links)
The UK Government has placed the need to reduce national energy demands and carbon emissions at the forefront of the political agenda, with a commitment made to meet EU targets of 20% reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and primary energy consumption, alongside a 20% improvement in overall energy efficiency, across all EU Member States, by 2020. Building performance has been identified as a key area where significant progress towards meeting these ambitions can be made. It is fundamental to ensure that the building fabric of a property functions correctly in order to achieve high levels of thermal effectiveness, which should result in lower energy demands and carbon emissions. However, research to date shows that a gap exists between predicted and actual performance levels. This research utilises the dwelling Heat Loss Coefficient (HLC) as a common output in design stage and post-construction evaluation techniques, that can be used to compare predicted and measured fabric performance. The Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP), coheating tests, air pressure tests and thermal imaging are used to evaluate in-situ buildings. Sensitivity analysis and controlled conditions experiments are utilised in order to investigate the reliability of the assessment techniques used. The key findings from the study include the demonstration, through novel coheating test, that post-installation mechanically ventilated heat recovery (MVHR) system efficiency levels can have a pronounced effect on the measured HLC, and, in conjunction with use of assumed theoretical efficiency levels, can cause divergence in theoretical and measured data of 10-15%. This can largely be resolved through correct design, installation and commissioning. Environmental conditions, both notional and site-specific, can also cause divergence in the HLC data, including wind speed (15%) and solar gains (10-26%). In addition, it has been shown that, when considering thermal bridging values, inaccurate calculation at the design-stage and poor attention to detail during construction could cause underperformance in this element by up to 50%. This is of significance as there are currently no mandatory procedures to assess post-construction compliance with thermal bridging levels specified within the UK Building Regulations.
Exploring a best practice approach to operability and maintainability of low carbon buildings in the UKFrank, Owajionyi L. January 2014 (has links)
Growth in technological advancement was to humanity a mixed blessing. While it provided comfort and improved quality of life, it also increased the demand for energy to drive them. This increase in energy usage, particularly from fossil fuel sources is widely understood to be responsible for the critical environmental problems in the world (Climate Change). Mitigating and adapting to this anthropogenic induced consequence created the need for varying innovative and new low carbon and renewable technologies which are gradually replacing the traditional high fossil fuel driven systems in buildings. Presently in the UK, every new building is expected to be low carbon and energy efficient; operated in such a manner as to use no more fuel and power than is reasonable in the circumstances. However, it is widely believed that construction underperforms in terms of capacity to deliver value. Clients and end-users of these buildings appear not to be getting long term value for their investments. Much attention has also not been given to how these new and innovative technologies can be operated and maintained long into the future. Recent researches also underpin the fact that the wide information gap existing between designers and building end-users is one of the factors responsible for the underperformance. This research therefore sought to explore a best practice approach that could bridge this information gap, and ensure that low carbon buildings are efficiently operated and maintained long into the future, particularly as the UK built environment moves closer to its zero carbon targets of 2016 and 2019. The research methodology involved triangulation (a mixed-method research approach), thus maximising the chances of benefiting from the strength of each of qualitative and quantitative methods. Interviews, surveys and case studies were employed. Post occupancy evaluation method was also used for the key case study. Findings indicate that there is a need for change in the way low carbon buildings are delivered to the end-users; that a properly prepared operation and maintenance (O&M) manual is indispensable in the effective and efficient operation and maintenance of low carbon buildings, and that it will be good practice to bring in the O&M team early to the design process. The study also suggested that designers be required to prove ‘life-cycle operability and maintainability’ of their designs before they are constructed. To ensure this desired cultural and process change in project delivery, a Maintainability and Operability Integrated (OMI) Design and Construction Process Model is proposed. The model was developed using the proposed RIBA 2013 revised Outline Plan of Work and drawing lessons from the New Product Development (NPD) process used by the manufacturing sector and other construction industry models. A validation test was conducted by means of a focus group, populated by top management officials of the University of Nottingham Estates Office, which has been actively involved in the procurement and management of myriads of low carbon buildings. Feedbacks from the validation test indicate that the proposed OMI Process Model was a well thought out idea which is practicable and capable of addressing the shortfall within the existing processes to deal with the O&M issues raised by the use of new and innovative low carbon technologies.
Crews, Joseph MacNeal
This research thesis was developed as a planning and design reference for mental health treatment centres. This text is intended to assist planners, designers, and health practitioners to optimize patient health and comfort by providing suitable environments to facilitate care and treatment. This thesis examines and provides guidance on security issues, environmental design, the cognitive environment, and site development. Sample facility plans are also provided to demonstrate the design principles advocated. The foreword examines the historical background of mental health treatment facilities in relation to the context of care. The continuing problem of the alienating and dehumanizing effects of psychiatric hospitals on patients is also addressed. Security requirements are investigated in relation to patients' rights and personal needs. This text also examines related fire safety requirements and design measures to minimize the risks of suicides, self injuries, and assaults. Environmental design issues, including lighting, color, acoustics, construction materials, air quality, and spatial relationships, are examined in relation to mental and physical health. Cognitive issues such as wayfinding, mental maps, symbolism, and perceptions of physical environments and architectural design are explored in relation to mental health treatment facilities. Earlier research suggests that patients have difficulty making the cognitive adjustment to typical mental health treatment facilities, and this can negatively effect their therapy and potential recovery. An illustrated questionnaire was developed to help determine the types of facilities patients can relate to and experience relative comfort. This questionnaire was used to examine perceptions of buildings and designs in relation to the provision of comfortable and healthy environments. The survey revealed that patients, health care providers, and students shared similar perceptions of the built environment, and that buildings possessing features generally associated with domestic buildings (houses) were considered more comfortable than other building types. In particular, buildings with pitched roofs and brick exteriors were considered most suggestive of comfort. Horizontal windows were preferred to more common vertically oriented windows. This effect was more pronounced when windows framed a pleasant natural view. Curved interior forms were also found to be suggestive of comfort. Past, current, and emerging patterns of site and facility development are reviewed in association with their environmental context. The role of nature in the healing process, from ancient Greece to recent discoveries, is also examined. The final chapter of this thesis is a demonstration of design principles with annotated drawings of a hypothetical inpatient unit and outpatient clinic. These drawings are provided to demonstrate an integration of thesis findings and design principles. These drawings are not a definitive design or prototype, because every site and building program are different and require their own design solution.
The technology and applications of evaporative cooling to provide human comfort in buildings is not new and has been used in different places based on different methods and materials. Conventional air conditioning systems overshadowed the application of evaporative cooling for buildings despite their ozone layer depletion. Evaporative cooling using porous ceramic evaporators were experimentally investigated. Encouraging results in terms of temperature reduction and cooling effectiveness were reported. In this work also thermoelectric unit was integrated in to the evaporative cooling system containing porous ceramic evaporators. The warm inlet air cooled in the evaporative cooling chamber was passed over the hot-side fins of the thermoelectric cooling device to act as a better heat sink. Typical test results showed that the cold side temperature of thermoelectric unit was 5Deg.C lower and the hot side was 10Deg.Clower, respectively when operated on the wet and dry porous ceramics evaporative cooling chamber. Direct evaporative cooling is often associated with the rise in relative humidity which may result in uncomfortable feeling due to unwanted increase in moisture. Indirect evaporative cooling offers a solution but still requires improvements in the effectiveness. There is also need for using cheap and readily available materials for the construction, requiring simple fabrication technology without very complex engineering infrastructure. Most widely used common fibrous materials have very limited capillary effect. So a periodic water spray system with an automatic control is required for running the cooler which adds to the power consumption, rise in operation costs as well as construction and operational difficulties. As a compromise using horizontal arrangement was considered. Use of pump for supplying water required to moisten the evaporative cooling surface was eliminated. The system was constructed and tested under varying temperature, relative humidity and air flow rates. Results showed significant temperature reduction accompanied with acceptable increase in relative humidity. Temperature drop of 6-10Deg.C between the inlet and outlet temperatures of the product or supply air was recorded. Increase in relative humidity of the supply air was 6 - 10% less than the working air. Application of this novel system was demonstrated in the parasol self-cooling arrangement. The fibre tube vaporative cooler has the potential of cooling a building space to the acceptable comfort limits. The application of porous ceramics for building space cooling, integrating the system to be used as a heat sink and the use of horizontal fibre tubes for evaporative cooling are all novel ideas in this field of research. Other novel features also include the ability to minimise energy consumption by eliminating common methods of continuous water circulation.
This research investigated the longitudinal shear transfer mechanism in composite shallow cellular floor beams. The shear transfer mechanism is different with the headed shear studs used in composite construction. The shear resisting properties and behaviour of the shear transfer mechanism has not been studied previously. Experimental and analytical studies were carried out with the aims of improving and optimizing the design details, and advancing the method of shear connection in shallow floor beam construction. The composite shallow cellular floor beam investigated in this research is a new type of beam fabricated by welding two highly asymmetric cellular tees along the web. The shear connections of this type of composite beam are formed by the web openings, which transfer longitudinal shear force. Four types of these shear connections were studied: concrete-infill-only, tie-bar, ducting and web-welded-stud shear connections. In total, 24 push-out tests were performed in two test series to investigate the load-slip behaviour and shear resistance of the shear connections under direct shear force. The failure mechanisms of the two forms of shear connections were extensively studied, which lead to the development of a design method for the composite action. The concrete infill element passing through the web opening is subject to a complex three-dimensional stress state, and it is difficult to analyse it using the mathematical model rather than empirical formula. Finite Element Analysis of the concrete-infill-only shear connection was performed with a parametric study to further verify the design method that has been developed. Two flexural tests were carried out on a full-scale composite shallow cellular floor beam with a solid slab. The shear connections investigated in the flexural tests were: concrete-infill-only and tie-bar shear connections passed through the web. The behaviour and performance of the shear connections in the flexural tests were compared with those in the push-out tests. The degree of shear connection of the two flexural tests was determined in the back analysis using plastic theory with measured material properties. Based on the findings of the push-out tests and flexural tests, two design methods of deflection check and moment resistance were developed for composite shallow cellular floor beams at the serviceability limit state and the ultimate limit state respectively. The deflection check design method is based on the uncracked section properties of the composite beam. The moment resistance design method developed in this thesis is compatible with the design methods of BS5950 and Eurocode 4 (EC4).
Design of interlocking bricks for enhanced wall construction, flexibility, alignment accuracy and load bearingKintingu, Simion Hosea January 2009 (has links)
The worldwide housing shortage has stimulated a search for appropriate, easy, fast and cost-effective new ways of wall construction. Among many technologies found to have promise is mortarless technology using dry-stack interlocking bricks/blocks. This thesis is about such mortarless walling technology and in particular: how to improve wall-construction flexibility, the effects of brick irregularities on wall alignment accuracy and wall behaviour (stiffness, strength) when subject to lateral forces. The flexibility of mortarless technology (MT) has been enhanced by the development of new bricks (centre-half bat and tee brick): the introduction of closer bricks led to the formation of two new bonds (patterns) namely Shokse and Lijuja bonds. It is now possible to construct more than half-brick-thick walls, to attach more than half-brickwide piers (buttresses) onto walls, and, using special bricks, to construct polygonal and curved walls using interlocking bricks. Three methods (theoretical modeling, physical experiments and computer simulation) were used to analyze the effects of brick imperfections on wall alignment accuracy. Theoretical analysis confirmed that brick moulders should concentrate on achieving parallel top and bottom faces rather than achieving true square-ness. Physical column assembly compared three brick-laying strategies namely: “random”, “reversing” and “replace”. The columns assembled using the “reversing” and “replace” strategies realized alignment improvement factors of 1.6 and 2.9 respectively over “random” strategy. The research also revealed that grooving, to prevent bricks making contact near their centre lines, improved column alignment by factor 2.13 and stiffness by factor 2.0, thus allowing construction of longer and higher walls without strengthening measures. In order to attain alignment accuracy in accordance with BS 5628-3:2005 in a dry-stack mortarless wall, this research recommends using full bricks with top and bottom surface irregularities not exceeding ±0.5mm for un-grooved bricks, and up-to ±0.9mm for grooved bricks. Further analysis was undertaken with respect to resource-use implications (cement, water, soil) of employing MT. Using MT will save 50% of wall construction cost and 50% cement consumption, which ultimately will reduce 40% of carbon emissions.
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