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Infrastructures, Volume 6, Issue 4 (April 2021) – 13 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): A concrete slab mainly bears vehicle and environmental loads, and the support structure of a rigid pavement system affects its structural capacity. In this paper, a procedure to determine the optimized layer composition of a continuously reinforced concrete pavement (CRCP) is proposed using a regression analysis method. Various field tests were performed to investigate the field support characteristics, and finite element models of the support structure describing the actual field conditions were studied. A procedure for selecting the layer properties to generate the appropriate composite k-value was developed. Subsequently, multiple regression relationships between design variables of CRCP were derived. Lastly, considering the economical aspect, an algorithm for selecting the optimized layer composition of CRCP is proposed. View this paper.
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Open AccessArticle
Sustainable Use of the Catenary by Trolleybuses with Auxiliary Power Sources on the Example of Gdynia
Infrastructures 2021, 6(4), 61; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/infrastructures6040061 - 19 Apr 2021
Viewed by 303
Abstract
The current developments in onboard power source technology, in particular, traction batteries, open up new potential in trolleybus transport and also make it possible to introduce electric buses. Thus far, trolleybus transport has required the presence of overhead lines (OHL). Introducing trolleybuses with [...] Read more.
The current developments in onboard power source technology, in particular, traction batteries, open up new potential in trolleybus transport and also make it possible to introduce electric buses. Thus far, trolleybus transport has required the presence of overhead lines (OHL). Introducing trolleybuses with onboard batteries makes it possible to grow the zero-emissions transport network in places with limited power supply capabilities and low population density, or in places where building OHL would not be possible. This improves the efficiency of trolleybus transport and makes environmentally friendly public transport more accessible to the local citizens. Despite their obvious advantages, traction batteries can also be problematic, as the drivers may overuse them (e.g., in the event of pantograph failure), and the public transport authorities and transport companies may plan connections in an ineffective way without preparing the necessary infrastructure (the absence of slipways or automatic connection capabilities), which in turn leads to inefficient use of the OHL. The article outlines the operation of the trolleybus transport network in Gdynia. The use of traction batteries in regular connections is analysed, and the potential for electrification of the bus line, some sections of which follow the traction infrastructure, is examined. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Infrastructures for Smart Cities)
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Open AccessArticle
Performance and Durability of Rendering and Basecoat Mortars for ETICS with CSA and Portland Cement
Infrastructures 2021, 6(4), 60; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/infrastructures6040060 - 17 Apr 2021
Viewed by 366
Abstract
The production of Portland cement (OP) is commonly associated to significant level of energy consumption and gas emissions. The use of calcium sulfoaluminate cement (CSA) can be a sustainable alternative binder, since its production releases about half of the CO2 emissions and [...] Read more.
The production of Portland cement (OP) is commonly associated to significant level of energy consumption and gas emissions. The use of calcium sulfoaluminate cement (CSA) can be a sustainable alternative binder, since its production releases about half of the CO2 emissions and its clinker requires 200 °C lower temperatures, when compared to OP. Furthermore, CSA has fast setting time and achieves higher strength in shorter periods, as well as reduced shrinkage. This paper discusses the incorporation of CSA in rendering mortars and basecoat mortars for ETICS (External Thermal Insulation Composite Systems). The physical-mechanical properties of mortars made with OP and CSA cements were experimental evaluated. The results showed that the introduction of CSA generally improves shrinkage, compressive strength, water absorption at low pressure, enhances the tensile bending strength and decreases the setting time. The amount of CSA introduced into the mixture significantly affected the properties of the cement matrix. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Durability and Degradability of Construction Materials)
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Open AccessArticle
A Validated Train-Track-Bridge Model with Nonlinear Support Conditions at Bridge Approaches
Infrastructures 2021, 6(4), 59; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/infrastructures6040059 - 16 Apr 2021
Viewed by 270
Abstract
A bridge approach, an essential component connecting a relatively rigid bridge and a more flexible track on subgrade soil, is one of the most common types of track transition zones. The tracks on a bridge deck often undergo significantly lower deformations under loading [...] Read more.
A bridge approach, an essential component connecting a relatively rigid bridge and a more flexible track on subgrade soil, is one of the most common types of track transition zones. The tracks on a bridge deck often undergo significantly lower deformations under loading compared to the approach tracks. Even though there have been numerous efforts to understand and remediate performance deficiencies emerging from the differences in stiffness between the bridge deck and the approach, issues such as differential settlement and unsupported hanging crossties often exist. It is often difficult and expensive to try different combinations of mitigation methods in the field. Therefore, computational modeling becomes of vital importance to study dynamic responses of railroad bridge approaches. In this study, field instrumentation data were collected from the track substructure of US Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor railroad track bridge approaches. After analyses and model implementation of such comprehensive field data, an advanced train-track-bridge model is introduced and validated in this paper. Nonlinear relative displacements under varying contact forces observed between crosstie and ballast are adequately considered in the dynamic track model. The validated model is then used to simulate an Amtrak passenger train entering an open deck bridge to generate typical track transient responses and better understand dynamic behavior trends in bridge approaches. The simulated results show that near bridge location experiences much larger transient deformations, impact forces, vibration velocities and vibration accelerations. The validated track model is an analysis tool to evaluate transient responses at bridge approaches with nonlinear support; it is intended to eventually aid in developing improved track design and maintenance practices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Road and Rail Infrastructures)
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Open AccessArticle
Low-Temperature Performance of Polymer-Modified Binders in Stone Mastic Asphalts
Infrastructures 2021, 6(4), 58; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/infrastructures6040058 - 15 Apr 2021
Viewed by 261
Abstract
When temperatures drop to significantly low levels, road pavements are subjected to thermally-induced stresses, resulting in the appearance of thermal cracking, among other distresses. In these situations, polymers can be used as asphalt binder modifiers to improve certain asphalt binder properties, such as [...] Read more.
When temperatures drop to significantly low levels, road pavements are subjected to thermally-induced stresses, resulting in the appearance of thermal cracking, among other distresses. In these situations, polymers can be used as asphalt binder modifiers to improve certain asphalt binder properties, such as elastic recovery, cohesion, and ductility. Polymers also minimize some of the problems of asphalt mixtures, such as thermal and fatigue cracking and permanent deformation. This work’s objective was to study the behavior of asphalt mixtures at low temperatures, mainly when using modified binders. Thus, three binders were selected and tested: a standard 50/70 penetration grade bitumen and two polymer-modified binders (PMB), obtained by adding, respectively, 2.5% and 5.0% of styrene–butadiene–styrene (SBS) in the 50/70 pen grade bitumen. Then, the PMBs were incorporated into stone mastic asphalt mixtures (namely SMA 11), which were subjected to low-temperature mechanical tests based on the most recent European Standards. The asphalt binders and mixtures evaluated in this work were tested for thermal cracking resistance, creep, elastic recovery, cohesive strength, and ductility strength. Overall, it is concluded that the studied asphalt mixtures with PMB, with just 2.5% SBS, performed adequately at low temperatures down to −20 °C. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Eigenfrequency-Based Bayesian Approach for Damage Identification in Catenary Poles
Infrastructures 2021, 6(4), 57; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/infrastructures6040057 - 13 Apr 2021
Viewed by 313
Abstract
This study proposes an efficient Bayesian, frequency-based damage identification approach to identify damages in cantilever structures with an acceptable error rate, even at high noise levels. The catenary poles of electric high-speed train systems were selected as a realistic case study to cover [...] Read more.
This study proposes an efficient Bayesian, frequency-based damage identification approach to identify damages in cantilever structures with an acceptable error rate, even at high noise levels. The catenary poles of electric high-speed train systems were selected as a realistic case study to cover the objectives of this study. Compared to other frequency-based damage detection approaches described in the literature, the proposed approach is efficiently able to detect damages in cantilever structures to higher levels of damage detection, namely identifying both the damage location and severity using a low-cost structural health monitoring (SHM) system with a limited number of sensors; for example, accelerometers. The integration of Bayesian inference, as a stochastic framework, in the proposed approach, makes it possible to utilize the benefit of data fusion in merging the informative data from multiple damage features, which increases the quality and accuracy of the results. The findings provide the decision-maker with the information required to manage the maintenance, repair, or replacement procedures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Infrastructures and Structural Engineering)
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Open AccessArticle
Layer Composition of Continuously Reinforced Concrete Pavement Optimized Using a Regression Analysis Method
Infrastructures 2021, 6(4), 56; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/infrastructures6040056 - 06 Apr 2021
Viewed by 358
Abstract
A procedure for determining the optimized composition of layer properties for a continuously reinforced concrete pavement (CRCP) system was constructed using field tests, finite element (FE) analysis, and regression analysis methods. The field support characteristics of a rigid pavement system were investigated using [...] Read more.
A procedure for determining the optimized composition of layer properties for a continuously reinforced concrete pavement (CRCP) system was constructed using field tests, finite element (FE) analysis, and regression analysis methods. The field support characteristics of a rigid pavement system were investigated using a falling weight deflectometer (FWD), dynamic cone penetrometer (DCP), and a static plate load test. The subgrade layer exhibited a more uniform condition than the aggregate base, and the modulus of the subgrade reaction of the aggregate base and subgrade combination (effective k-value) was improved by about 1.5 times by introducing a 2 inch (50.8 mm) asphalt stabilized base (ASB) layer. Thereafter, FE support models describing the actual field conditions were studied. The effects of the thickness of the stabilized base layer, the elastic modulus of the stabilized base material, and the effective k-value on the composite k-value of the support system were identified using a regression analysis method, and the results showed that the variables had a similar effect when determining the composite k-value. Afterward, a procedure for selecting the layer properties for producing a suitable composite k-value was constructed, and we identified that the maximum stress in the concrete slab was induced at different levels, even with identical composite k-values. Lastly, regression relationships were derived to estimate the maximum stress in the concrete slab by considering both the support layer properties and the concrete slab. Subsequently, an algorithm for selecting an optimized layer composition of the CRCP structure was construction considering the economical aspect. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Geotechnical Engineering)
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Open AccessArticle
Assessment of the Seismic Response of CLT Shear Walls Using the EEGBW, a Bouc–Wen Class Predictive Model
Infrastructures 2021, 6(4), 55; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/infrastructures6040055 - 06 Apr 2021
Viewed by 287
Abstract
The paper presents an application of the Extended Energy-dependent Generalized Bouc–Wen model (EEGBW) to simulate the experimental cyclic response of Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) panels. The main objectives of the paper are assessing the sensitivity of the quadratic error between experimental and numerical data [...] Read more.
The paper presents an application of the Extended Energy-dependent Generalized Bouc–Wen model (EEGBW) to simulate the experimental cyclic response of Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) panels. The main objectives of the paper are assessing the sensitivity of the quadratic error between experimental and numerical data to the EEGBW parameters, showing the fitting performance of the EEGBW model in matching the experimental cyclic response of CLT panels, highlighting the stability of the model in nonlinear dynamic analysis with seismic excitation. The research proves that the considered Bouc–Wen class hysteresis model can reproduce the hysteretic response of structural arrangements characterized by pinching and degradation phenomena. The model exhibits significant stability in nonlinear dynamic analysis with seismic excitation. The model’s stability and versatility endorse its application to simulate structural systems’ dynamic response when Finite Element modelling might be an impractical choice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Structural Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering)
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Open AccessArticle
Realising a Push Button Modality for Video-Based Forensics
Infrastructures 2021, 6(4), 54; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/infrastructures6040054 - 02 Apr 2021
Viewed by 400
Abstract
Complexity and sophistication among multimedia-based tools have made it easy for perpetrators to conduct digital crimes such as counterfeiting, modification, and alteration without being detected. It may not be easy to verify the integrity of video content that, for example, has been manipulated [...] Read more.
Complexity and sophistication among multimedia-based tools have made it easy for perpetrators to conduct digital crimes such as counterfeiting, modification, and alteration without being detected. It may not be easy to verify the integrity of video content that, for example, has been manipulated digitally. To address this perennial investigative challenge, this paper proposes the integration of a forensically sound push button forensic modality (PBFM) model for the investigation of the MP4 video file format as a step towards automated video forensic investigation. An open-source multimedia forensic tool was developed based on the proposed PBFM model. A comprehensive evaluation of the efficiency of the tool against file alteration showed that the tool was capable of identifying falsified files, which satisfied the underlying assertion of the PBFM model. Furthermore, the outcome can be used as a complementary process for enhancing the evidence admissibility of MP4 video for forensic investigation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Sensitivity Investigation on the Pressure Coefficients Non-Dimensionalization
Infrastructures 2021, 6(4), 53; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/infrastructures6040053 - 01 Apr 2021
Viewed by 383
Abstract
The scaling of large structures to investigate their aerodynamics in wind tunnels is a common and robust procedure to estimate important magnitudes, including pressure coefficients. Different aspects can affect the estimation of pressure coefficients; four examples are the non-dimensionalization, blockage, non-stationarity, and non-Gaussianity [...] Read more.
The scaling of large structures to investigate their aerodynamics in wind tunnels is a common and robust procedure to estimate important magnitudes, including pressure coefficients. Different aspects can affect the estimation of pressure coefficients; four examples are the non-dimensionalization, blockage, non-stationarity, and non-Gaussianity of the wind tunnel velocity. This paper shows the variability of pressure coefficients due to these four aspects for the case study of a closed box section of a suspended bridge. It was estimated that the pressure coefficients of similar pressure taps vary significantly due to different sets of wind velocity time history used to non-dimensionalize the wind tunnel pressures. In addition, the stationarity of the wind velocity process was not confirmed for all wind velocity sets and the non-Gaussianity of the wind velocity time history was confirmed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Scaled Modeling for Experimental Tests)
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Open AccessArticle
Collaboration through Integrated BIM and GIS for the Design Process in Rail Projects: Formalising the Requirements
Infrastructures 2021, 6(4), 52; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/infrastructures6040052 - 30 Mar 2021
Viewed by 393
Abstract
Many of the obstacles to effective delivery of rail projects (in terms of cost, time and quality) can be traced back to poor collaboration across complex design teams and supply chains. As in any infrastructure delivery process, it is important to make decisions [...] Read more.
Many of the obstacles to effective delivery of rail projects (in terms of cost, time and quality) can be traced back to poor collaboration across complex design teams and supply chains. As in any infrastructure delivery process, it is important to make decisions collaboratively at an early design stage. Advanced systems such as Building Information Modelling (BIM) and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) can facilitate collaboration during the decision-making process and boost work efficiencies. Such potential benefits are not realised because the roles of BIM and GIS in facilitating collaboration are not clearly understood or articulated. This paper aims to identify and articulate collaboration requirements during the design stage of rail projects. To achieve this, a mixed-method approach was employed to examine the issues that hinder collaboration in rail projects. An online questionnaire was designed to assess the state-of-art in BIM and GIS, followed by fifteen follow-up face to face interviews with experts to identify collaboration issues and suggestions to overcome them. The research identified the main challenges to effective collaboration and provided suggestions to overcome them. The main challenges were managing information and a reluctance to use new collaboration technologies. The main solution which emerged from the data was to develop an original Collaborative Plan of Work (CPW). The developed CPW is tailored to rail projects and has been formulated by combining the RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) Plan of Work and the GRIP Stages (Governance for Railway Investment Projects). This comprehensive plan of work, which is uniquely collaboration-focused, is significant because it can be further developed to formulate a precise process model for collaboration during the design process of rail projects. Such a process can (for example) be configured into the workflow prescribed by a Common Data Environment. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
BIM-Based Description of Intelligent Transportation Systems for Roads
Infrastructures 2021, 6(4), 51; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/infrastructures6040051 - 26 Mar 2021
Viewed by 418
Abstract
Intelligent transportation systems (ITS) provide safer, greener, and more convenient mobility, while reducing the impact on the environment. In recent years, simulation platforms have been employed to study ITS applications, mostly focusing on traffic-related simulations. Despite several research studies on ITS applications and [...] Read more.
Intelligent transportation systems (ITS) provide safer, greener, and more convenient mobility, while reducing the impact on the environment. In recent years, simulation platforms have been employed to study ITS applications, mostly focusing on traffic-related simulations. Despite several research studies on ITS applications and simulation platforms, formal semantic descriptions of intelligent transportation systems have not been addressed yet. In this paper, a semantic model describing intelligent transportation systems for roads is proposed. The semantic model is devised to provide a basis for designing ITS simulation platforms. Building upon the semantic model, an extension to an open building information modeling (BIM) standard, i.e., the Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) schema, is presented. The IFC schema extension is verified and validated using a BIM-based simulation scenario of ITS for roads. It is shown that the proposed IFC-compliant description of ITS for roads provides a formal basis for generating BIM-based simulations and hence facilitates ITS infrastructure modeling in BIM projects. It is concluded that the present work represents a cornerstone for designing BIM-based ITS simulation platforms. In future endeavors, potential standardization and formalization efforts may be discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Smart Infrastructures)
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Open AccessArticle
Optimal Temperature-Based Condition Monitoring System for Wind Turbines
Infrastructures 2021, 6(4), 50; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/infrastructures6040050 - 26 Mar 2021
Viewed by 441
Abstract
With the increasing demand for the efficiency of wind energy projects due to challenging market conditions, the challenges related to maintenance planning are increasing. In this paper, a condition-based monitoring system for wind turbines (WTs) based on data-driven modeling is proposed. First, the [...] Read more.
With the increasing demand for the efficiency of wind energy projects due to challenging market conditions, the challenges related to maintenance planning are increasing. In this paper, a condition-based monitoring system for wind turbines (WTs) based on data-driven modeling is proposed. First, the normal condition of the WTs key components is estimated using a tailor-made artificial neural network. Then, the deviation of the real-time measurement data from the estimated values is calculated, indicating abnormal conditions. One of the main contributions of the paper is to propose an optimization problem for calculating the safe band, to maximize the accuracy of abnormal condition identification. During abnormal conditions or hazardous conditions of the WTs, an alarm is triggered and a proposed risk indicator is updated. The effectiveness of the model is demonstrated using real data from an offshore wind farm in Germany. By experimenting with the proposed model on the real-world data, it is shown that the proposed risk indicator is fully consistent with upcoming wind turbine failures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Resilient Strategies in Cyber-Physical Energy Systems)
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Open AccessReview
Selection Criteria for Building Materials and Components in Line with the Circular Economy Principles in the Built Environment—A Review of Current Trends
Infrastructures 2021, 6(4), 49; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/infrastructures6040049 - 24 Mar 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 558
Abstract
A growing concern is given to the environmental impacts caused by the construction industry. Waste generation, resource consumption, and greenhouse gas emissions are the main drawbacks of the rapid urbanization that the world is witnessing. As a response to these pressing issues, policymakers [...] Read more.
A growing concern is given to the environmental impacts caused by the construction industry. Waste generation, resource consumption, and greenhouse gas emissions are the main drawbacks of the rapid urbanization that the world is witnessing. As a response to these pressing issues, policymakers and academia are exploring the concept of Circular Economy (CE) to manage resources better and achieve resource efficiency while eliminating waste. One of the strategies to implement CE in the built environment is to select the appropriate building materials and components from the early stages to carry out the concept’s principles along the value chain and create a closed-loop system. Therefore, this study aims at identifying selection criteria for building elements according to CE principles through a review of the latest research. Results have shown that little has been concretely achieved in terms of a paradigm shift to CE since the main focus of the literature is still the use of recycled products and the recyclability of building materials and components at their end-of-life. Although the present study is solely focused on the technical aspect of building materials and components, it outlines current adopted criteria to bring about a circular built environment and highlights the need for a more innovative approach to attain higher circularity levels. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability of Building Materials and Structures)
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