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    ABSTRACT: Time-variant reliability analysis of RC highway bridges strengthened with carbon fiber reinforced polymer CFRP laminates under four possible competing damage modes (concrete crushing, steel rupture after yielding, CFRP rupture and FRP plate debonding) and three degradation factors is analyzed in terms of reliability index β using FORM. The first degradation factor is chloride-attack corrosion which induces reduction in steel area and concrete cover cracking at characteristic key times (corrosion initiation, severe surface cover cracking). The second degradation factor considered is fatigue which leads to damage in concrete and steel rebar. Interaction between corrosion and fatigue crack growth in steel reinforcing bars is implemented. The third degradation phenomenon is the CFRP properties deterioration due to aging. Considering these three degradation factors, the time-dependent flexural reliability profile of a typical simple 15 m-span intermediate girder of a RC highway bridge is constructed under various traffic volumes and under different corrosion environments. The bridge design options follow AASHTO-LRFD specifications. Results of the study have shown that the reliability is very sensitive to factors governing the corrosion. Concrete damage due to fatigue slightly affects reliability profile of non-strengthened section, while service life after strengthening is strongly related to fatigue damage in concrete.
    Reliability Engineering [?] System Safety 11/2014; 131. DOI:10.1016/j.ress.2014.04.016
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    ABSTRACT: Hay meadows and hedgerows have been declining for decades in Western Europe. Conservation policies promote their protection but agri-environmental measures for both can be implemented in the same area, possibly generating loss of efficiency. We recorded grassland passerine abundance in 99 sampling plots distributed in hay meadow habitat. Sampling plots were located across a gradient of hedgerow density in a floodplain system. As expected, abundance and species richness increased with grassland area. More importantly, hedgerow density was negatively related to both response variables when grassland area was controlled for. This result is important for habitat management. Subsidizing agri-environmental measures for hedgerows and grassland is of interest for biodiversity, but incompatibility between measures may occur at the parcel scale if one landscape component (hedges) splits another component (meadows) down to the suitability threshold for grassland species. To optimize the payoffs of subsidies, it can be effective and efficient to manage agri-environmental schemes at the landscape scale.
    Agriculture Ecosystems & Environment 05/2014; 189:21–27. DOI:10.1016/j.agee.2014.03.014
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    ABSTRACT: Diabetes is a very common disease with 400 million cases worldwide. Micro and macro vascular complications caused by this disease render it a serious disease. Sleep apnea syndrome is a risk factor for diabetes by chronic intermittent hypoxia and sleep fragmentation. Sleep apnea syndrome makes it more difficult for diabetics to control their blood sugar. Treatment with continuous positive airway pressure does not seem to be effective in terms of glycemic control, nor in decreasing cardiovascular risk. More studies are necessary with optimal durations of use. Diabetes occurs frequently in apneic patients, and apneic patients are also frequently found to be diabetic. This link between diabetes and sleep apnea means that patients with one disease should also be screened for the other. Sleep apnea treatment should therefore always be multidisciplinary.
    Revue des Maladies Respiratoires Actualites 05/2014; 6(2):185–188. DOI:10.1016/S1877-1203(14)70543-9


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Solar Energy 10/2013; 96(2013):140-151. DOI:10.1016/j.solener.2013.07.005,
Biosensors & Bioelectronics 09/2012; 41. DOI:10.1016/j.bios.2012.09.029

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