Pavement-watering as a technique of cooling dense urban areas and reducing the urban heat island effect has been studied since the 1990's. The method is currently considered as a potential tool for and climate change adaptation against increasing heat wave intensity and frequency. However, although water consumption necessary to implement this technique is an important aspect for decision makers, optimization of possible watering methods has only rarely been conducted. An analysis of pavement heat flux at a depth of 5 cm and solar irradiance measurements is proposed to attempt to optimize the watering period, cycle frequency and water consumption rate of a pavement-watering method applied in Paris over the summer of 2013. While fine-tuning of the frequency can be conducted on the basis of pavement heat flux observations, the watering rate requires a heat transfer analysis based on a relation established between pavement heat flux and solar irradiance during pavement insolation. From this, it was found that watering conducted during pavement insolation could be optimized to 30-min cycles and water consumption could be reduced by more than 80% while reducing the cooling effect by less than 13%.
This study aims to develop a series of robust and efficient methodologies, which can be applied to understand and estimate firebrand generation and to evaluate firebrand showers close to a fire front. A field scale high intensity prescribed fire was conducted in the New Jersey Pine Barrens in March 2013. Vegetation was characterised with field and remotely sensed data, fire spread and intensity was characterised and meteorological conditions were monitored before and during the burn. Firebrands were collected from different locations in the forest and analysed for mass and size distribution. The majority were found to be bark slices (more than 70%) with substantial amounts of pine and shrub twigs. Shrub layer consumption was evaluated to supplement the firebrand generation study. Bark consumption was studied by measuring the circumference variation at several heights on each of three different pine trees. The variation was in the same order of magnitude as the bark thickness (1–5 mm). Testing and improving the protocol can facilitate the collection of compatible data in a wide range of ecosystems and fire environments, aiding in the development of solutions to prevent structural ignition at the Wildland Urban Interface.
Validation of physics-based models of fire behavior requires comparing systematically and objectively simulated results and experimental observations in different scenarios, conditions and scales. Heat Release Rate (HRR) is a key parameter for understanding combustion processes in vegetation fires and a main output data of physics-based models. This paper addresses the validation of the Wildland-urban interface Fire Dynamics Simulator (WFDS) through the comparison of predicted and measured values of HRR from spreading fires in a furniture calorimeter. Experimental fuel beds were made up of Pinus pinaster needles and three different fuel loadings (i.e. 0.6, 0.9 and 1.2 kg/m2) were tested under no-slope and up-slope conditions (20°). An Arrhenius type model for solid-phase degradation including char oxidation was implemented in WFDS. To ensure the same experimental and numerical conditions, sensitivity analyses were carried out in order to determine the grid resolution to capture the flow dynamics within the hood of the experimental device and to assess the grid resolution’s influence on the outputs of the model. The comparison of experimental and predicted HRR values showed that WFDS calculates accurately the mean HRR values during the steady-state of fire propagation. It also reproduces correctly the duration of the flaming combustion phase, which is directly tied to the fire rate of spread.
Experiments were carried out to study the effect of spacing between wall and thin fuels on upward flame spread. The front flame height, back flame height, pyrolysis height, burnout length, and pyrolysis spread rate were measured by video image analysis with spacings of 2 mm, 7 mm, 13 mm, 19 mm, and 25 mm. Experiments were performed on uniform PMMA (polymethyl-methacrylate) samples with 200 mm height, 50 mm width, and 1 mm thickness. The results are as follows: (1) As the spacing increased, the front flame height, back flame height, pyrolysis height, and burnout length showed the same trajectory, first increased and then decreased. The maximum trajectory was observed at a spacing of 6.5% of the wall height. (2) At an infinite length of PMMA, the pyrolysis zone and pyrolysis spread rate would reach an asymptotic steady state, and the pyrolysis and burnout spread rates will be asymptotically equal. (3) Of particular interest is the maximum mass-loss rate for a wall spacing/sample height ratio (0.065) due to enhanced the radiation fluxes. In this study, the effects of spacing between wall and fuels on upward flame spread was investigated for the first time using 1 mm thick PMMA sheets, including two-face burning case.
In a compartment fire, externally venting flames (EVF) may significantly increase the risk of fire spreading to adjacent floors or buildings; EVF-induced risks are constantly growing due to the ever-increasing trend of using combustible materials in building facades. The main aim of this work is to investigate the fundamental physical phenomena associated with EVF and the factors influencing their dynamic development. In this context, a series of fire tests is conducted in a medium-scale compartment-façade configuration; an n-hexane liquid pool fire is employed, aiming to realistically simulate an “expendable” fire source. A parametric study is performed by varying the fire load density (127.75, 255.5 and 511 MJ/m2) and ventilation factor (0.071 and 0.033 m3/2). Emphasis is given to characterization of the thermal field developing adjacent to the façade wall. Experimental results suggest that the three characteristic EVF phases, namely “internal flaming”, “intermittent flame ejection” and “consistent external flaming”, are mainly affected by the opening dimensions, whereas the fuel load has a notable impact on the fuel consumption rate and heat flux to the façade. Fuel consumption rates were found to increase with increasing fire load and opening area, whereas the global equivalence ratio increases with decreasing opening factor. The obtained extensive set of experimental data can be used to validate CFD fire models as well as to evaluate the accuracy of available fire design correlations.
A starch-based composite film was prepared by using fibrous residual of starch extraction (cassava bagasse) as filler. Composite films were prepared through casting technique using fructose as a plasticizer and various sizes and concentrations of bagasse. The physical, thermal, tensile and structural properties of the composite film were investigated. Also, temperature variation of dynamic-mechanical parameters of cassava starch/bagasse composites was investigated by Dynamic Mechanical Analysis (DMA) test. The size and concentration of bagasse were significantly influenced the physical properties of cassava bagasse. There were also increases- in thickness, water solubility, and water absorption of cassava bagasse. There were reduction of water content and density of the film. However, there was no significant effect of adding bagasse on thermal properties. X-ray diffraction (XRD) studies indicated increase in crystallinity of the composites with increase in fiber content. SEM micrographs indicated that the filler was incorporated into the matrix. Films with a small size of bagasse showed better compact structure and homogeneity surface. On the other hand, films with big size and higher concentration of bagasse exhibited more heterogeneous surfaces. The modulus and maximum tensile strength of composite films were increased from 69.03 to 581.68 MPa and 4.7 to 10.78 MPa respectively. Addition of 6 % bagasse was the most efficient reinforcing agent owing to its remarkable physical and mechanical properties. The composites prepared by using cassava for both matrix and reinforcement increased the significance of the remaining residue of starch extraction.
In the framework of the Clear-PEM project for the construction of a high-resolution scanner for breast cancer imaging, a very compact and dense frontend electronics system has been developed for readout of multi-pixel S8550 Hamamatsu APDs. The frontend electronics are instrumented with a mixed-signal Application-Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC), which incorporates 192 low-noise charge pre-amplifiers, shapers, analog memory cells and digital control blocks. Pulses are continuously stored in memory cells at clock frequency. Channels above a common threshold voltage are readout for digitization by off-chip free-sampling ADCs. The ASIC has a size of and was implemented in a AMS CMOS technology. In this paper the experimental characterization of the Clear-PEM frontend ASIC, reading out multi-pixel APDs coupled to LYSO:Ce crystal matrices, is presented. The chips were mounted on a custom test board connected to six APD arrays and to the data acquisition system. Six 32-pixel LYSO:Ce crystal matrices coupled on both sides to APD arrays were readout by two test boards. All 384 channels were operational. The chip power consumption is 660 mW (3.4 mW per channel). A very stable behavior of the chip was observed, with an estimated ENC of at APD gain 100. The inter-channel noise dispersion and mean baseline variation is less than 8% and 0.5%, respectively. The spread in the gain between different channels is found to be 1.5%. Energy resolution of 16.5% at 511 keV and 12.8% at 662 keV has been measured. Timing measurements between the two APDs that readout the same crystal is extracted and compared with detailed Monte Carlo simulations. At 511 keV the measured single photon time RMS resolution is 1.30 ns, in very good agreement with the expected value of 1.34 ns.
Cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) extracted from corn husks were used as additive to modify the hydrophilicity and anti-fouling properties of polysulfone (PSf) membrane. The PSf/CNCs blend membranes were prepared via an immersion phase inversion method. The influence of CNCs content on the morphology, structure, and performances of PSf membrane were carefully investigated by SEM, TG, DTG, DSC, break strength, elongation-at-break, Young modulus, contact angle and filtration experiment. The results showed that the isolated CNCs from corn husks were a promising additive for modifying the properties of PSf membrane. CNCs can improve mechanical property, thermal stability, hydrophilicity and anti-fouling performance of the pure PSf membrane. The PSf/CNCs blend membrane reached optimal properties at 2 wt% CNCs content, which was 2.76 and 1.57 times in pure water flux and FRR values respectively as compared to pure PSf membrane. Meanwhile, PSf-2 also can maintain a relatively high BSA rejection.
Waste cotton fibers were used to produce activated carbon fiber (ACF) via chemical activation method with phosphoric acid. The effect of different operational parameters on the adsorption capacity and yield of activated carbon fibers was studied by Taguchi experimental design. Optimized conditions were: Activation temperature of 450 °C, activation time of 0.5 h, impregnation ratio of 2, and the rate of temperature rising of 10 °C min−1. The activated carbon fiber produced under optimized conditions was characterized by pore structure analysis, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray energy-dispersion spectroscopy (EDS), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), and X-ray diffraction analysis (XRD). The obtained results showed that the produced activated carbon has developed porous structure, fibrous shape, predominantly amorphous structure, large number of oxygen functional groups, and acidic nature.
Oxidized cellulose has a long history of safe and effective use in medical applications. In this paper, research has been directed towards obtaining hormone-active cellulose fibers in the form of an artificial insulin depot, and examination of its biocompatibility regarding cytotoxicity, sensitization, and irritation. The procedure of obtaining the fibrous insulin depot is based on the modification of cotton fibers with sodium periodate, followed by chemisorption of insulin from insulin aqueous solutions. In order to optimize the insulin chemisorption process, the influence of the fiber structure parameters, i.e. the aldehyde group content and iodine sorption value (ISV) on the chemisorption capacity was examined. The obtained artificial depot, containing ≈55 mg insulin/g of fibers, has been characterized in vitro by investigation of the desorption kinetics of the insulin from the fibrous depot. It has been shown that insulin is controllably released in quantities of 1.3-1.6 mg of insulin during 24 hours, in the course of 20 days. The results of biocompatibility tests have shown that the examined artificial depot neither shows irritating effects nor provokes sensitizing or cytotoxic effects. Therefore, these materials are acceptable for use in a direct contact with tissue of a living organism.