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Cold-Formed Steel Bolted Connections without Washers on Oversized and Slotted Holes

Description: The use of the cold-formed steel sheet bolted connections without washers is so significant; however, the North American Specifications for the Design of Cold Formed Steel Structural Members, NASPEC, doesn't provide provisions for such connections. The bearing failure of sheet and the shear failure of sheet were considered in this study. For the sheet shear strength, it was found that the NASPEC (2007) design provisions can be used for oversized holes in both single and double shear configurations and for the double shear connections on short slotted holes. For the sheet bearing strength, a new design method was proposed to be used for low and high ductile steel sheets. The method was compared with the NASPEC and the University of Waterloo approach. Washers were still required for single shear connections on short slotted holes. Besides, connections using ASTM A325 bolts yielded higher bearing strength than connections using ASTM A307 bolts.
Date: May 2009
Creator: Sheerah, Ibraheem

Design and Validation of an Automated Multiunit Composting System.

Description: This thesis covers the design of an automated multiunit composting system (AMUCS) that was constructed to meet the experimental apparatus requirements of the ASTM D5338 standard. The design of the AMUCS is discussed in full detail and validated with two experiments. The first experiment was used to validate the operation of the AMUCS with a 15 day experiment. During this experiment visual observations were made to visually observe degradation. Thermal properties and stability tests were performed to quantify the effects of degradation on the polymer samples, and the carbon metabolized from the degradation of samples was measured. The second experiment used the AMUCS to determine the effect of synthetic clay nanofiller on the aerobic biodegradability behavior of poly (3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate).
Date: December 2009
Creator: Pickens, Mark Everett

Electrical resistivity as a measure of change of state in substrates: Design, development and validation of a microprocessor-based system.

Description: Smart structures are relevant and significant because of their relevance to phenomena such as hazard mitigation, structural health monitoring and energy saving. Electrical resistance could potentially serve as an indicator of structural well-being or damage in the structure. To this end, the development of a microprocessor-based automated resistance measurement system with customized GUI is desired. In this research, a nodal electrical resistance acquisition circuit (NERAC) system was designed. The system hardware interfaces to a laptop, which houses a customized GUI developed using DAQFactory software. Resistance/impedance was measured using DC/AC methods with four-point probes technique, on three substrates. Baseline reading before damage was noted and compared with the resistance measured after damage. The device was calibrated and validated on three different substrates. Resistance measurements were taken from PVDF samples, composite panels and smart concrete. Results conformed to previous work done on these substrates, validating the effective working of the NERAC device.
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Date: December 2009
Creator: Le, Dong D.

Micro-fabrication of a Mach-Zehnder interferometer combining laser direct writing and fountain pen micropatterning for chemical/biological sensing applications.

Description: This research lays the foundation of a highly simplified maskless micro-fabrication technique which involves incorporation of laser direct writing technique combined with fountain pen based micro-patterning method to fabricate polymer-based Mach-Zehnder interferometer sensor arrays' prototype for chemical/biological sensing applications. The research provides methodology that focuses on maskless technology, allowing the definition and modification of geometric patterns through the programming of computer software, in contrast to the conventional mask-based photolithographic approach, in which a photomask must be produced before the device is fabricated. The finished waveguide sensors are evaluated on the basis of their performance as general interferometers. The waveguide developed using the fountain pen-based micro-patterning system is compared with the waveguide developed using the current technique of spin coating method for patterning of upper cladding of the waveguide. The resulting output power profile of the waveguides is generated to confirm their functionality as general interferometers. The results obtained are used to confirm the functionality of the simplified micro-fabrication technique for fabricating integrated optical polymer-based sensors and sensor arrays for chemical/biological sensing applications.
Date: May 2009
Creator: Kallur, Ajay

A Verilog 8051 Soft Core for FPGA Applications

Description: The objective of this thesis was to develop an 8051 microcontroller soft core in the Verilog hardware description language (HDL). Each functional unit of the 8051 microcontroller was developed as a separate module, and tested for functionality using the open-source VHDL Dalton model as benchmark. These modules were then integrated to operate as concurrent processes in the 8051 soft core. The Verilog 8051 soft core was then synthesized in Quartus® II simulation and synthesis environment (Altera Corp., San Jose, CA, www.altera.com) and yielded the expected behavioral response to test programs written in 8051 assembler residing in the v8051 ROM. The design can operate at speeds up to 41 MHz and used only 16% of the FPGA fabric, thus allowing complex systems to be designed on a single chip. Further research and development can be performed on v8051 to enhance performance and functionality.
Date: August 2009
Creator: Rangoonwala, Sakina