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    ABSTRACT: The design of high-Q resonators such as Xylophone Bar Resonators (XBRs) capable of being fabricated using Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) processes is of considerable interest in light of the widespread and rapidly growing use of systems dependent on their availability and performance. This paper is concerned with vibration analysis and Q optimisation of an XBR, with the method extending directly to other planar frames and straightforwardly to more complex structures. The Rayleigh–Ritz method is discussed in some detail, first treating the discrete case, followed by developing and applying a kinematical procedure to an L-frame structure. Attention is given to geometric interpretation of the Rayleigh–Ritz procedure and to developing an intuitive understanding the method before turning to the XBR case. Having developed an approximation for system dynamics, the results are used in conjunction with an analytical model of elastic wave propagation in the substrate to obtain an estimate for the support Q factor. Natural frequencies, mode shapes, and support Q values are presented and compared to Finite Element models of the same problem, with excellent agreement observed at substantially lower computational cost. For the first time in the literature, the geometric impedance tuning principle underlying the XBR design is validated and quantified, including sensitivity to manufacturing error.
    Journal of Sound and Vibration 09/2014; 333(19):4724–4749. DOI:10.1016/j.jsv.2014.03.040
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    ABSTRACT: There is increasing interest in the potential of urban rail to reduce the impact of metropolitan transportation due to its high capacity, reliability and absence of local emissions. However, in a context characterised by increasing capacity demands and rising energy costs, and where other transport modes are considerably improving their environmental performance, urban rail must minimise its energy use without affecting its service quality. Urban rail energy consumption is defined by a wide range of interdependent factors; therefore, a system wide perspective is required, rather than focusing on energy savings at subsystem level. This paper contributes to the current literature by proposing an holistic approach to reduce the overall energy consumption of urban rail. Firstly, a general description of this transport mode is given, which includes an assessment of its typical energy breakdown. Secondly, a comprehensive appraisal of the main practices, strategies and technologies currently available to minimise its energy use is provided. These comprise: regenerative braking, energy-efficient driving, traction losses reduction, comfort functions optimisation, energy metering, smart power management and renewable energy micro-generation. Finally, a clear, logical methodology is described to optimally define and implement energy saving schemes in urban rail systems. This includes general guidelines for a qualitative assessment and comparison of measures alongside a discussion on the principal interdependences between them. As a hypothetical example of application, the paper concludes that the energy consumption in existing urban rail systems could be reduced by approximately 25–35% through the implementation of energy-optimised timetables, energy-efficient driving strategies, improved control of comfort functions in vehicles and wayside energy storage devices.
    Energy Conversion and Management 04/2014; 80:509–524. DOI:10.1016/j.enconman.2014.01.060
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    Expert Review of Medical Devices 01/2014; 2(6). DOI:10.1586/17434440.2.6.655
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    ABSTRACT: The study was conducted to investigate the difference between Han Chinese and Caucasians on various parameters measured from responses to transcranial magnetic brain stimulation (TMS). Sixteen subjects were studied in each group. A circular coil at the vertex was used for stimulation, whilst recording surface electromyograms from right first dorsal interosseous. In the passive state, motor-evoked potential (MEP) threshold, MEP recruitment, short-interval intracortical inhibition (SICI) and intracortical facilitation were measured. The MEP threshold, recruitment and silent period were also measured in the active state. Chinese subjects showed significantly higher passive thresholds (P < 0.005), less inhibition of the motor response (SICI, P < 0.0005) and a shorter silent period (P < 0.05). Differences in SICI appeared to be a consequence of the differences in passive threshold and were not seen when active threshold was used to determine the conditioning stimulus intensity. Differences in silent period may also reflect differences in cortical excitability rather than inhibitory processes, as they were not seen when the silent-period duration was expressed as a function of MEP size, rather than TMS intensity. There appears to be a significant difference in some TMS parameters between Han Chinese and Caucasian subjects. This may reflect an underlying difference in cortical excitability.
    Experimental Brain Research 11/2013; 232(2). DOI:10.1007/s00221-013-3763-2
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    ABSTRACT: Press-fit acetabular shells are subject to compressive loading conditions upon insertion during surgery. These conditions may result in deformation of the shell, potentially adversely affecting the performance of any liner fitted within it. This technical note describes the method used to measure acetabular shell deformation in a cadaver study using an optical GOM ATOS Triple Scan system. Six custom-made titanium acetabular shells were scanned prior to and immediately following insertion into three cadavers (one shell per acetabulum). A three-dimensional colour map was created for each shell, and cross sections were taken at the rim to determine the maximum diametrical deformation. Values of between 30 and 150 µm were recorded, with the results suggesting a size-dependent response.
    10/2013; 227(12). DOI:10.1177/0954411913507706
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    ABSTRACT: The stability of prototype kilogram reference masses has been a long-standing question within the SI, with mass loss or gain at the surface being the principal concern. In papers I, III and IV of this series we showed mercury and organic carbonaceous contamination to be significant in sample surfaces exposed to typical prototype kilogram storage environments. In this work, we have examined the surfaces of six platinum mass standards manufactured in the mid-19th century. We used x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy in order to identify mercury and carbonaceous contamination, and assess the validity of our previous models for the rate of increase. We use white-light interferometry to study surface roughness and polishing damage. We see mercury on all six of the 19th century polished prototypes we analysed. For one weight, manufactured around 1830, we see a quantity of mercury roughly equivalent to 250 µg if present on the surface of a prototype kilogram at the same mass per unit area. The quantities of these contaminations calculated from our XPS spectra are in good agreement with the theoretical models developed in papers III and IV for the growth of mercury and carbonaceous contamination, respectively, and increase our confidence that these processes are indeed happening at the surface of polished kilogram prototypes in most (if not all) cases. We discuss some potential sources of mercury contamination, though the most likely source remains the accidental breakage of thermometers and barometers containing mercury in the past. Mercury in laboratory air can adsorb and diffuse into defects and grain boundaries, especially at polished surfaces. We consider some possible ways to improve the situation, for example by placing a gold foil in the proximity of a prototype to act as a ‘getter’ that will preferentially adsorb mercury.
    Metrologia 10/2013; 50(5). DOI:10.1088/0026-1394/50/5/518
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    ABSTRACT: Mercury contamination and the build-up of carbonaceous contamination are two contributing factors to the instability observed in kilogram prototype masses. The kilogram prototypes that lie at the core of the dissemination of the SI base unit were manufactured in the late 19th century, and have polished surfaces. In papers IV and V of this series we developed a method for cleaning noble metal mass standards in air to remove carbonaceous contamination. At the core of this ‘UVOPS’ protocol is the application of UV light and ozone gas generated in situ in air. The precise nature of the carbonaceous contamination that builds up on such surfaces is difficult to mimic demonstrably or quickly on new test surfaces, yet data from such tests are needed to provide the final confidence to allow UVOPS to be applied to a real 19th century kilogram prototype. Therefore, in the present work we have applied the UVOPS method to clean a platinum avoirdupois pound mass standard, ‘RS2’, manufactured in the mid-19th century. This is thought to have been polished in a similar manner to the kilogram prototypes. To our knowledge this platinum surface has not previously been cleaned by any method. We used x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy to identify organic contamination, and weighing to quantify the mass lost at each application of the UVOPS procedure. The UVOPS procedure is shown to be very effective.It is likely that the redefinition of the kilogram will require mass comparisons in vacuum in the years to come. Therefore, in addition to UVOPS a cleaning method for use in vacuum will also be needed. We introduce and evaluate gas cluster ion-beam (GCIB) treatment as a potential method for cleaning reference masses in vacuum. Again, application of this GCIB cleaning to a real artefact, RS2, allows us to make a realistic evaluation of its performance. While it has some attractive features, we cannot recommend it for cleaning mass standards in its present form.
    Metrologia 10/2013; 50(5). DOI:10.1088/0026-1394/50/5/532
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    ABSTRACT: One of the major challenges of hard tissue engineering research focuses on the development of scaffolds that can match the mechanical properties of the host bone and resorb at the same rate as the bone is repaired. The aim of this work was the synthesis and characterization of a resorbable phosphate glass, as well as its application for the fabrication of three dimensional (3-D) scaffolds for bone regeneration. The glass microstructure and behaviour upon heating were analysed by X-ray diffraction, differential scanning calorimetry and hot stage microscopy. The glass solubility was investigated according to relevant ISO standards using distilled water, simulated body fluid (SBF) and Tris-HCl as testing media. The glass underwent progressive dissolution over time in all three media but the formation of a hydroxyapatite-like layer was also observed on the samples soaked in SBF and Tris-HCl, which demonstrated the bioactivity of the material. The glass powder was used to fabricate 3-D macroporous bone-like glass-ceramic scaffolds by adopting polyethylene particles as pore formers: during thermal treatment, the polymer additive was removed and the sintering of glass particles was allowed. The obtained scaffolds exhibited high porosity (87 vol.%) and compressive strength around 1.5 MPa. After soaking for 4 months in SBF, the scaffolds mass loss was 76 wt.% and the pH of the solution did not exceed the 7.55 value, thereby remaining in a physiological range. The produced scaffolds, being resorbable, bioactive, architecturally similar to trabecular bone and exhibiting interesting mechanical properties, can be proposed as promising candidates for bone repair applications.
    Journal of Biomaterials Applications 09/2013; 28(9). DOI:10.1177/0885328213506759
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    ABSTRACT: The invention of the atomic force microscope led directly to the possibility of carrying out nanomechanical tests with forces below the nanonewton and the ability to test nanomaterials and single molecules. As a result there is a pressing need for accurate and traceable force calibration of AFM measurements that is not satisfactorily met by existing calibration methods. Here we present a force reference device that makes it possible to calibrate the normal stiffness of typical AFM microcantilevers down to 90 pN nm(-1) with very high accuracy and repeatability and describe how it can be calibrated traceably to the International System of Units via the ampere and the metre, avoiding in that way the difficulties associated with traceability to the SI kilogram. We estimate the total uncertainty associated with cantilever calibration including traceability to be better than 3.5%, thus still offering room for future improvement.
    Nanotechnology 08/2013; 24(33):335706. DOI:10.1088/0957-4484/24/33/335706
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    ABSTRACT: The aims of this piece of work were to: 1) record the background concentrations of blood chromium (Cr) and cobalt (Co) concentrations in a large group of subjects; 2) to compare blood/serum Cr and Co concentrations with retrieved metal-on-metal (MoM) hip resurfacings; 3) to examine the distribution of Co and Cr in the serum and whole blood of patients with MoM hip arthroplasties; and 4) to further understand the partitioning of metal ions between the serum and whole blood fractions. A total of 3042 blood samples donated to the local transfusion centre were analysed to record Co and Cr concentrations. Also, 91 hip resurfacing devices from patients who had given pre-revision blood/serum samples for metal ion analysis underwent volumetric wear assessment using a coordinate measuring machine. Linear regression analysis was carried out and receiver operating characteristic curves were constructed to assess the reliability of metal ions to identify abnormally wearing implants. The relationship between serum and whole blood concentrations of Cr and Co in 1048 patients was analysed using Bland-Altman charts. This relationship was further investigated in an in vitro study during which human blood was spiked with trivalent and hexavalent Cr, the serum then separated and the fractions analysed. Only one patient in the transfusion group was found to have a blood Co > 2 µg/l. Blood/Serum Cr and Co concentrations were reliable indicators of abnormal wear. Blood Co appeared to be the most useful clinical test, with a concentration of 4.5 µg/l showing sensitivity and specificity for the detection of abnormal wear of 94% and 95%, respectively. Generated metal ions tended to fill the serum compartment preferentially in vivo and this was replicated in the in vitro study when blood was spiked with trivalent Cr and bivalent Co. Blood/serum metal ion concentrations are reliable indicators of abnormal wear processes. Important differences exist however between elements and the blood fraction under study. Future guidelines must take these differences into account.
    05/2013; 2(5):84-95. DOI:10.1302/2046-3758.25.2000148
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